House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday split from colleagues who have been critical of FBI Director James Comey, saying he "clearly" understands why the head of the bureau made his decision to reopen Hillary Clinton's email case and make it public.
"I understand why he did what he did because imagine if he didn't and we found out after the fact that he was sitting on this before the election," Ryan told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. "So I clearly understand why he did what he did."
Democrats and some Republican lawmakers have accused Comey of interfering with the presidential election by sending a vague letter to congressional committee heads last week to announce the agency's decision to revisit its Clinton email probe.
"I think this was probably not the right thing for Comey to do — the protocol here — to come out this close to an election, but it's consistent," House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said Monday.
Ryan, however, said Clinton is the only one to blame for how her email investigation had unfolded in the waning days of the election. The Wisconsin Republican also encouraged Comey to release more information related to the reopened investigation as soon as he is able to do so.
"Hillary Clinton has no one to blame but herself and she and Republicans are saying if you've got something you've got cleared, put it out there," Ryan told Hewitt. "So yeah, I think if [Comey] is going through the process that he needs to go through to vet evidence and he's got it, he should do it.
"I do agree with that. More disclosure is better, clearly," he said.