A major development just 11 days before the presidential election, the FBI is re-opening its investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails.
“In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation,” FBI director James Comey wrote in an letter to members of Congress released Friday. “I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”
“Although the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this additional work, I believe it is important to update your committees about our efforts in light of my previous testimony,” Comey wrote.
He added: “In previous congressional testimony, I referred to the fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had completed its investigation of former Secretary Clinton’s personal email server. Due to recent developments, I am writing to supplement my previous testimony.”
According to the New York Times, “U.S. law enforcement officials said Friday that the new emails uncovered in the closed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server were discovered after the F.B.I. seized electronic devices belonging to Huma Abedin and her husband, Anthony Weiner.” Weiner, a former Democratic congressman, is being investigated over allegations of sexting with an underage girl.
Speaking in Manchester, N.H. after the news broke, Republican nominee Donald Trump told an exuberant crowd the news, saying: “They are re-opening the case into her criminal and illegal conduct that threatens the security of the United States of America.”
In a statement released by his campaign, Trump said: “Hillary Clinton’s corruption is on a scale we have never seen before. We must not let her take her criminal scheme into the Oval Office.
“I have great respect for the fact that the FBI and the DOJ are now willing to have the courage to right the horrible mistake that they made,” Trump added. “This was a grave miscarriage of justice that the American people fully understand. It is everybody’s hope that it is about to be corrected.”
Clinton was on an airplane when the news first broke. She didn’t comment when she disembarked in Iowa.
— Erin Laviola (@ErinLaviola) October 28, 2016
Clinton smiled and waved but ignored all shouted questions. Took her ~30m before she got off plane.
— Gabriel Debenedetti (@gdebenedetti) October 28, 2016
Clinton leaves plane and gets straight into car. No statement. Not a good look.
— Madeline Marshall (@Maddie_Marshall) October 28, 2016
Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, expressed his outrage at the announcement on Friday: “It is extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election.”
“The Director owes it to the American people to immediately provide the full details of what he is now examining,” Podesta said. “We are confident this will not produce any conclusions different from the one the FBI reached in July.”
Reacting to the news, House Speaker Paul Ryan wrote: “I renew my call for the Director of National Intelligence to suspend all classified briefings for Secretary Clinton until this matter is fully resolved.”
Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, revealed the news on Twitter on Friday: “FBI Dir just informed me, ‘The FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation.’ Case reopened.”
FBI Dir just informed me, “The FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation.” Case reopened
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) October 28, 2016
In July, Comey recommended “no charges” against Clinton after an investigation into her whether she compromised national security with her private email arrangement as secretary of state.
“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence they were extremely careless in their handling of highly classified information,” Comey wrote.