Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET.

FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday defended his decision to tell Congress he was revisiting the bureau's investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, just over a week before last November's presidential election.

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey said he believed revisiting the investigation just before the election — knowing it could affect the outcome — would be really bad, but that not to do so would be catastrophic for the agency's independence. He said, in retrospect, he still believes he made the right choice.

"Look, this was terrible. It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election. But honestly, it wouldn't change the decision," he said.

Comey's remarks were his first public comment on his decision to reopen the Clinton email investigation, which came after FBI agents discovered new communications from the former secretary of state. Comey's letter to congressional leaders informing them of the renewed investigation was immediately leaked, and Clinton says it contributed to her loss on Election Day.

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