Hillary Clinton and her campaign criticized the FBI’s Friday announcement that it would be examining more emails potentially connected to its earlier investigation of her email server, calling it “extraordinary” that the news would break less than two weeks before a presidential election.
Clinton said she expects the examination of newly discovered material reportedly uncovered in a criminal probe of Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin, to result in no new charges.
“The American people deserve to get the full and complete facts immediately. The director himself has said he doesn’t know whether the emails referenced in his letter are significant or not. I’m confident whatever they are will not change the conclusion reached in July,” Clinton told reporters Friday evening after a Des Moines, Iowa, rally.
Clinton campaign chair John Podesta first called on FBI Director James Comey on Friday afternoon to provide the “full details” of what new emails he is now probing before Clinton echoed the call.
Clinton, who briefly answered questions from the press, said she was confident any new information would not change the decision the FBI reached months ago. But with the presidential election 11 days away — and early voting already underway in many states — she was eager to put the matter to rest.
“We’ve heard these rumors. We don’t know what to believe. And I’m sure there will be even more rumors. That’s why it’s incumbent upon the FBI to tell us what they’re talking about, because right now your guess is as good as mine,” Clinton said.
FBI Director James Comey wrote to Congress on Friday that he had uncovered emails in an unrelated case that “appear to be pertinent” to the agency’s previous investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state. Comey said investigators would look into whether the emails contained classified information. In July, Comey announced he would not be recommending prosecution in Clinton’s case, because no laws were broken, though he chastised Clinton for being “careless” with classified information.
The New York Times and the Associated Press reported Friday that the new emails were uncovered while the FBI was investigating inappropriate text messages that Weiner allegedly sent to a 15-year-old girl. Weiner is the husband of Clinton’s longtime aide Huma Abedin, and the FBI seized devices that belonged to both Weiner and Abedin in the investigation, the Times reported. Abedin announced she was separating from Weiner several months ago.
The Clinton campaign’s statement also said the FBI’s announcement did not indicate the agency was “reopening” the previous investigation into Clinton.
“FBI Director Comey should immediately provide the American public more information than is contained in the letter he sent to eight Republican committee chairmen,” Podesta said. “Already, we have seen characterizations that the FBI is ‘reopening’ an investigation, but Comey’s words do not match that characterization.”
Everett Starling contributed to this story.
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