WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence lauded the FBI’s decision to review newly-discovered emails tied to Hillary Clinton, saying it reversed an earlier decision that was “deeply troubling to millions of Americans.”
Pence appeared with host John Dickerson on “Face the Nation” Sunday morning. He reiterated that he and presidential candidate Donald Trump thought FBI director James Comey decided wrongly when he announced in July that Clinton would not face criminal charges for using a private email service while she was Secretary of State.
On Friday, Comey wrote a letter to lawmakers saying “in connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation,” and “to determine whether they contain classified information.”
“The director of the FBI’s decision this last July to not go forward with recommending charges was deeply troubling to millions of Americans, and us included,” Pence said.
Pence pointed out that Secretary of State Loretta Lynch met on a plane at the Phoenix airport with President Bill Clinton shortly before Comey’s July decision was announced. Lynch has said the meeting was social in nature and “there was nothing about any investigations or any specific cases.”
But Pence said Comey’s announcement “followed on the heels of when former President Clinton met on a private aircraft with the attorney general, and days later, we had the director of the FBI literally lay out a case of the mishandling of classified information on a private server that Hillary Clinton operated while she was secretary of state, and had a private family foundation taking money from foreign corporations and foreign countries.
He continued, “And then two days later, the director of the FBI went to Capitol Hill and literally undercut his own decision by confirming to the Congress that what Hillary Clinton had said about classified information was not true; that she had emailed classified information; that in fact, there had been emails marked classified.”
Dickerson said Pence was making a strong claim in suggesting that Lynch might have put pressure on the Comey and led him to change his mind about bringing charges.
Pence replied: “I’m not alleging that. You just suggested it. I really don’t know.”
But he reiterated that the meeting between Lynch and former President Clinton was “very troubling to millions of Americans.” He also suggested that Hillary Clinton was held to a different standard than others.
“I mean, we have a four-star general today who’s facing very serious legal consequences for mishandling classified information, and yet here again, we see a double standard, where the American people believe there’s a different standard for Hillary Clinton and for the Clintons than there is for the rest of us,” Pence said.
Law enforcement sources said investigators have not yet secured a search warrant to begin examining the emails, which were found on a laptop shared by disgraced New York Congressman Anthony Weiner and long-time Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
The FBI is working to review the emails and determine if they contain any new information that could be relevant to its investigation. It’s possible some of the emails are duplicates that have already been reviewed, the source said.
Dickerson also pointed out that Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway had chastised the Clinton campaign for suggesting that Comey is a partisan interfering with the election, calling such a suggestion “dangerous and unfair.” But Dickerson said Trump had suggested for months that Comey and the FBI were favoring Clinton.
Pence responded: “What we’re seeing now is the old playbook of the politics of personal destruction that the Clintons have rolled out throughout their career, and they’re targeting the director of the FBI and questioning his personal integrity.”
Dickerson also asked Pence about Trump’s suggestion that the electoral system might be rigged against him. Pence said the national news media have shown a bias in favor of Clinton.
“Let me say that when Donald Trump and I have talked about a rigged system, I mean, the documented overwhelming bias among many in the national media – I’ve got a lot of respect for you, John – a lot of people in the national media with overwhelming negative coverage of Donald Trump gives the American people the feeling that the national media gets up every day and does half of Hillary Clinton’s work for her,” Pence said.
Pence also said voter fraud has happened in polling places around the country.
“We’re just calling on every American to find a way to respectfully participate in their local election process to ensure that when we achieve that victory on November the 8th, it’s also a victory for American democracy,” Pence said.
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