FBI Director James B. Comey on Wednesday stood by his controversial decision to announce last October that the bureau had reopened its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

But, he told a Senate panel, “It makes me mildly nauseous to think we had an impact on the election.”

In a long and passionate defense during which he repeatedly rapped a hand on the table, Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee that it would have been “catastrophic” to keep silent the discovery of new emails considered pertinent to the then-closed probe.

Having already told Congress that the bureau had completed the probe without recommending charges, to restart it in “a hugely significant way” and not inform lawmakers “would require an act of concealment,” he said.

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