Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Challenges FBI over New Email Investigation
Hillary Clinton’s campaign team has condemned the FBI’s decision to brief lawmakers on a new inquiry into the Democratic candidate’s email use.
On October 28, FBI Director James Comey informed Congress of the move in a letter, 11 days before the election.
Hillary Clinton told supporters the move was “unprecedented” and “deeply troubling”.
However, Donald Trump has praised the FBI’s decision.
In his letter to Congress, James Comey said the FBI had learned of fresh emails which might be “pertinent” to its previous inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server when she was secretary of state in the Obama administration.
James Comey has defended the move, insisting that not making it public would be “misleading” and also risked being “misunderstood”, given that the FBI does not know the significance of the newly found emails.
Speaking to supporters in Florida on October 29, Hillary Clinton said: “It’s not just strange, it’s unprecedented. And it is deeply troubling because voters deserve to get full and complete facts.
“So we’ve called on Director Comey to explain everything right away, put it all out on the table.”
Hillary Clinton has said she is confident the investigation into the emails will not change the FBI’s original finding in July, which criticized her but cleared her of any illegal acts.
James Comey has been heavily criticized by Clinton supporters – and according to the New York Times, justice department officials – for his decision to make the information public so close to polling day.
In a memo, James Comey acknowledged “we do not ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations”. But he said he felt an “obligation” to do so given that he had previously testified that the FBI investigation was complete.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta said the information provided by James Comey was “long on innuendo” and “short on facts”.
There was, he said, “no evidence of wrongdoing. No charge of wrongdoing. No indication this is even about Hillary”.
Donald Trump meanwhile has said the issue is the biggest political scandal in the US since Watergate, which brought down President Richard Nixon.
At a rally in Colorado on October 29, the Republican candidate said: “Her criminal action was willful, deliberate, intentional and purposeful.
“Hillary set up an illegal server for the obvious purpose of shielding her illegal actions from public disclosure and exposure.”
The FBI has already established that Hillary Clinton had held classified information on a private email server.
In July, James Comey said Hillary Clinton’s handling of sensitive material during her tenure as secretary of state was “extremely careless”, but cleared her of any criminal wrongdoing.
The latest emails were discovered as part of a separate investigation into the estranged husband of top Clinton aide, Huma Abedin.
Devices belonging to Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner, a former high-flying congressman, were seized in an investigation into whether he sent explicit emails to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina.
Investigators are reviewing the documents to see if they contain classified information.
Hillary Clinton’s private email server was first revealed in March 2015 by the New York Times.
She did not immediately express regret, and said the main reason for her “hdr2[email protected]” address was “convenience”.
Soon after that Hillary Clinton apologized in an interview with ABC News, and has since said sorry to voters a number of times.