Chaffetz Demands Emergency Hearing With FBI Director Less Than 48 Hours After Recommendation in Clinton Case

Attacks Comey on National Television Despite Previously Calling Him “Man of Integrity and Honesty”

Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement after Chairman Jason Chaffetz called an emergency hearing for this Thursday less than 48 hours after FBI Director James Comey recommended against any prosecution of Hillary Clinton relating to her use of private email:

“Republican after Republican praised Director Comey’s impeccable record of independence — right up until the moment he issued his conclusion. Since Republicans disagree with his recommendation, they are doing what they always do — using taxpayer funds to continue ‘investigating’ their baseless claims in an effort to bring down Secretary Clinton’s poll numbers. The only emergency here is that yet another Republican conspiracy theory is slipping away.”

Appearing on Fox News directly after the announcement, Chaffetz accused Comey of politicizing the investigation by recommending against any prosecution. Chaffetz claimed Comey’s decision was a “political calculation” and a “political determination in the end.” He added: “That’s not the job of the FBI.”

See related: Chaffetz: Comey Had One Job and Failed To Do It

Yet, just last month — before Comey issued his recommendation — Chaffetz claimed on Fox News that Republicans “believe in James Comey” because “in all of the government, he is a man of integrity and honesty.”

Rather than calling on Comey to withhold his recommendation, Chaffetz said Comey was exactly the right person to make it: “His finger is on the pulse of this. Nothing happens without him, and I think he is going to be the definitive person to make a determination or a recommendation.”

Since Chaffetz now disagrees with the FBI Director’s recommendation, he has called an emergency hearing with Comey for tomorrow.

Rule No. 10 — PROCEDURES FOR REPORTING MEASURES OR MATTERS

House Rule XI requires at least seven days’ notice for committee hearings, except in limited circumstances. In addition, Committee Rule 2 requires that Members receive a memo three days prior to a hearing explaining the purpose and witnesses, but no such memo has been provided.

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