US President Barack Obama slams FBI’s hint at new Clinton email probe near Election Day

November 5, 2016 10:30 pm

speaks at Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, North Carolina on November 4, 2016 during a Hillary for America campaign event. (Photo by AFP)

President Barack Obama has slammed the nation’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over announcing a new probe of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s email server so close to the Election Day.
“When you are investigating a case then unless you have unearthed something, you need to just do your job,” Obama said in an interview with Al Sharpton aired Friday night local time on MSNBC’s “All in With Chris Hayes.” 
“If there are things that you think are worth presenting, then you present them to a prosecutor,” Obama noted. “The prosecutor then makes a judgment. The prosecutor can make a decision either to file a charge or not to file a charge.” 
“But we give enormous power to our law enforcement officials to keep us safe, to do a great job, to protect us,” he emphasized. “But we also put these norms and rules in place, some of them written, some of them unwritten, to make sure that any of us are not suddenly affected by innuendo or rumors.”
FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to notify Congressional leaders that the bureau had unearthed new, unspecific emails that appear “pertinent” to its already closed investigation into Clinton’s server.
The has adversely affected Clinton’s presidential bid just days prior to the polls, with her rival Republican nominee Donald Trump insisting that the letter indicated further evidence of serious wrongdoing by the former US secretary of state.
Obama, however, pushed back against growing suggestions by some Democrats that Comey was attempting to sway the election through his vague letter.
“Now, I’ve said before and I’ll say again, Jim Comey is a good man,” he said. “And I do not believe that he is in any way trying to influence the election one way or another.  I think he is a serious public servant who wants to do the right thing.”
Obama further used the interview to urge voters to head to the polls on Tuesday, saying that Republican-led voter suppression efforts are not stopping people from casting a ballot.
“We disempower ourselves all the time,” said the US president. “You can’t tell me that all those folks who don’t vote are doing so because somebody’s turned them away or somebody’s intimidated them, no. It’s because they decided they had something better to do. And my suggestion would be in this election, at this moment, there’s nothing better to do than vote.”
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