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Republicans going after FBI director is 'politically stupid,' Barney Frank says

FBI director gets grilled

The Republicans' grilling of FBI Director James Comey over his decision to not charge Hillary Clinton with a crime is an act of desperation, former Democratic Congressman Barney Frank said Thursday.

Comey spent the day fielding questions from the Republican-led House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He reiterated his conclusion that Clinton did not break the law when she used her private email server while serving as secretary of state. He also insisted the FBI's recommendation was not tinged by political considerations.

Frank, also a CNBC contributor, said Comey is a very respected, impartial and Republican prosecutor.

"The fact that the Republicans have now decided to go after Director Comey is politically stupid and in fact is not going to help them very much," he said in an interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell. "

"The problem is they are lacking any kind of confidence in their own nominee."

He called Clinton's use of her personal email a terrible mistake, but noted that there was no damage to the country because of it.

"This is an indictment in search of a crime," he said.

— CNBC's Everett Rosenfeld contributed to this report.