Former Attorney General Eric Holder claims FBI Director has committed "a stunning breach of protocol"

James Comey announced in a letter to Congress that new emails could potentially be related to Hillary Clinton's email server

Eric Holder, Edward Snowden,

Image: Andrew Harnik / AP/Press Association Images

Former Attorney General Eric Holder has dubbed FBI Director James Comey's letter announcing further investigations into Hillary Clinton's email server as a "serious breach of protocol." 

Holder has criticised the decision to announce the review into the emails without providing sufficient details, stating that there were "severe implications" to the way in which the fallout of the move has been dealt with.

Investigators found 650,000 emails on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner, which they believe may have been used by his estranged wife and Clinton aide Huma Abedin. The mails could potentially relate to their investigation into Clinton's email server, but it will take a number of weeks before the FBI can confirm whether or not they contain any classified information, or if they were indeed sent using the private server.

Writing in The Washington Post, Holder said that the move was "a stunning breach of protocol" on behalf of Comey, and that he needed to clarify exactly what the investigation would be looking at before election day.

Noting that he had worked with Comey previously, and that he believed "he is a man of integrity and honor," he stated that "good men make mistakes", and that he was "deeply concerned" about the decision to "write a vague letter to Congress about emails potentially connected to a matter of public, and political, interest."

"It is incumbent upon him - or the leadership of the department - to dispel the uncertainty he has created before Election Day," added Holder. "It is up to the director to correct his mistake - not for the sake of a political candidate or campaign, but in order to protect our system of justice and best serve the American people." 

Holder served as Attorney General until 2015, and stated that Comey's announcement "ran counter to guidance that I put in place four years ago laying out the proper way to conduct investigations during an election season. That guidance, which reinforced established policy, is still in effect and applies to the entire Justice Department.

"I fear he has unintentionally and negatively affected public trust in both the Justice Department and the FBI," Holder added. "And he has allowed - again, without improper motive - misinformation to be spread by partisans with less than pure intentions."

Holder is not the only voice that has been critical of Comey's actions, as minority Senate leader Harry Reid also stated that the move "demonstrated a disturbing double standard for the treatment of sensitive information, with what appears to be a clear intent to aid one political party over another."

The Democrtatic candidate has also criticsed the move, stating: "The American people deserve to get the full and complete facts immediately. It's imperative that the bureau explains this issue in question, whatever it is, without any delay."

Clinton's lead in the polls has slipped slightly in the wake of the announcement, with Real Clear Politics showing she has a lead of 4.3% over her Republican rival, down from the 5.2% she had on Friday before the review was announced.

Via The Washington Post