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  1. ITV Report

Did Clinton email probe affect outcome of US election?

Hillary Clinton lost the US presidential race to Donald Trump. Credit: PA

With just days to go before Americans went to the polls last November, the FBI disclosed the investigation into candidate Hillary Clinton's emails had been reopened.

Five months on, as he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, FBI Director James Comey reflects on his decision and what he feels about it now.

  • The doors

On October 28 last year, Mr Comey sent a private letter to congress notifying them the FBI would be reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

Why? Comey said he saw two doors, labelled ‘speak’ or ‘conceal’.

He said he "prayed to find a third door", but he couldn’t find it.

Mr Comey said "to speak would be really bad, lordy, there’s an election in 11 days".

But insisting he could not see a door labelled 'no action', he decided concealing the probe would be "catastrophic".

"The design was to act credibly, independently and honestly so that the American people would know the system is not rigged in any way...for transparency”, he said.

James Comey gives evidence to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Credit: PA
  • The nausea

On reopening the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, the FBI concluded there was no new evidence to change their view of Hillary Clinton's intent.

Mr Comey then had to tell congress the FBI were done with the investigation.

He said: "It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election but honestly it wouldn’t change the decision.

"Even in hindsight, and this has been one of the world's most painful experiences, I would make the same decision."

He added he knew "there would be a huge storm to come" but said he tried to do "the right thing."

Mr Comey was asked if he thought the decision influenced Donald Trump's win. Credit: PA
  • The politics

Before he sent the letter to congress informing them of the reopening of the email investigation, one of Mr Comey’s junior lawyers asked if he had considered sending such a letter may assist Donald Trump in winning the election.

Mr Comey thanked the lawyer for raising the question maintaining: "Down that path lies the death of the FBI as an independent institution in America.

"I can't consider for a second whose political fortunes would be affected in what way, we have to ask ourselves what is the right thing to do and then do that thing.

Protests have been going on in America since Donald Trump's victory. Credit: PA
  • The tweet

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse put one of President Trump's tweets from Tuesday to Mr Comey asking if he gave Hillary "Clinton a free pass for many bad deeds?"

Mr Comey said he did not as there was "not a prosecutable case there."