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Alex Brandon / AP

FBI Director James Comey was in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee today — his first appearance on the Hill since March's explosive testimony confirming an active investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Why he sent a letter to Capitol Hill on newly-discovered Clinton emails just days before the election: "I sat there that morning and I could not see a door labeled 'no action here'...concealing in my view would be catastrophic." Comey said he stands by his decision, but added, "It makes me mildly nauseous to think we might have had some impact on the election."

More quick hits:

  • From the opening: Sen. Grassley: "A cloud of doubt hangs over the FBI's objectivity." Sen. Feinstein: "I join those who believe the actions taken by the FBI did in fact have an impact on the election."
  • On leaks: Comey said that he's never been an anonymous media source — or authorized anyone to be an anonymous media source — and also refused to confirm if the FBI has an ongoing investigation regarding Trump leaks.
  • On the Clinton and Trump investigations: Comey said the FBI "treated them both the same."
  • Did any FBI agents talk to Rudy Giuliani or others? "I don't know yet, but if I find out…there'll be severe consequences."
  • Did Comey ever talk to Sally Yates about Michael Flynn? "I did. I don't know whether I can talk about it."
  • Russia: Comey said Russia was still involved in American politics and called it "the greatest threat of any nation on earth given their intention and their capability."
  • On future Russian interference: "I expect to see them back in 2018 and especially in 2020."
  • When WikiLeaks goes too far: "It crosses a line when it moves from trying to educate the public and moves to 'intelligence porn,' quite frankly."
  • The Weiner laptop, by the numbers: There were 40,000 Clinton emails found in late October on Anthony Weiner's laptop — 12 were deemed classified.
  • More on the Clinton investigation: Comey called the Loretta Lynch-Bill Clinton airplane meeting the "capper" that required him to personally speak out on the end of the Clinton email investigation last July. He also said that an investigation into Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner has ended. Comey said the FBI "could not prove that anyone was acting with...any kind of criminal intent."

Go deeper

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

13 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.