James Comey, testifying before Congress on Tuesday, stated that the Federal Bureau of Investigation requested access to the Democratic National Committee server multiple times — but was repeatedly denied.
It was the first time Comey has spoken publicly since Donald Trump won the election.
When asked if the FBI was granted access to the DNC servers, he stated that they were not — despite repeated requests.
“A highly-respected private company eventually got access and shared with us what they found there,” Comey added.
Comey stated that he did not know why the DNC refused the FBI’s requests for access.
“We’d always prefer to have access hands-on ourselves if that’s possible,” Comey said.
When asked if Russians also tried to hack Republican campaigns at the same level, he replied, “not to my knowledge.
Last week, the DNC told Buzzfeed that the FBI never requested access to their servers following the breach.
Their claim was immediately disputed by a senior law enforcement official that spoke to Buzzfeed on the condition of anonymity.
“The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated,” the official said. “This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information. These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier.”
Many in the Democratic Party have petulantly blamed Comey for Clinton’s stunning election loss, due to his letter to lawmakers announcing that investigators had uncovered new emails that may be relevant to the the investigation into her private email server and handling of classified material while Secretary of State. Days later, he claimed that there was no new evidence and that he was standing by his decision not to recommend charges.