Despite FBI Director James Comey’s announcement Tuesday that his agency will recommend no criminal charges be pursued as a result of its email probe, Ryan said that Comey outlined a case of “nothing but stonewalling and dishonesty” by Clinton and her top aides.
Comey has been called to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Thursday — the same day presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump will be making his first appearance before the full House and Senate Republican caucuses on Capitol Hill.
“The FBI’s recommendation is surprising and confusing,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said in a statement. “The fact pattern presented by Director Comey makes clear Secretary Clinton violated the law. Individuals who intentionally skirt the law must be held accountable. Congress and the American people have a right to understand the depth and breadth of the FBI’s investigation. I thank Directory Comey for accepting the invitation to publicly answer these important questions.”
Brian Fallon, Clinton’s spokesman and a former senior Justice Department aide, mocked the timing of Comey’s testimony and Trump’s meeting with Republicans.
“This should end well,” Fallon posted on Twitter.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the top Democrat on the oversight panel, issued a statement citing the previous times that the chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), had praised Comey, including a Fox News appearance when Chaffetz called the FBI director “a man of integrity and honesty.”
“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,” Cummings said.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch is set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday as part of a previously scheduled oversight hearing.
Ryan said Comey opened the door to there being more questions now about Clinton than there were just a few weeks ago.
“It looks like it to me,” he said when asked if the FBI was preferential in not recommending charges for exposing classified material to possible security breaches through her email server.
The sharp comments by Ryan suggest that congressional Republicans intend to prosecute the case against Clinton straight up to Election Day, regardless of whether there’s a formal criminal inquiry.
Matt Zapotosky contributed to this story.