Did the FBI director abuse his power?

BTN11: Did the FBI director break the law?

MINNEAPOLIS - Hillary Clinton's emails are back in the spotlight with the window for election closing fast.

The biggest questions of the day: What's in these emails? Did Hillary Clinton break the law? Or did the head of the FBI break the law by announcing them?

Richard Painter, President George W. Bush's former chief ethics advisor, and current University of Minnesota law professor, is fuming at the FBI.

"I filed a formal complaint with the office of special council and with the office of government ethics," Painter said.

In an Op-ed published in the New York Times, Painter accuses FBI Director James Comey of using his position to sway an election.

"The FBI should never be used by members of Congress, or the President, for purposes of investigating their political enemies and then releasing information for purposes of influencing an election," Painter said.

So what is the Hatch Act?

"The Hatch Act is a law that was passed in the 1930s. The Republican congress was very concerned about the Roosevelt administration using government jobs and government money on influencing elections. It prohibits any executive branch official from using their official position to influence an election. And that's what happened here with this letter," Painter said.

But what is Comey supposed to do? Not say anything? Should he not disclose information should the FBI find incriminating evidence in the new emails?

"What he's supposed to do is investigate. That's why we have an FBI. It's not a political organization. They are there to investigate," Painter replied. "Just because the director of the FBI promises congress that he will violate the Hatch Act for them doesn't mean he needs to do it."


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