On Sunday, FBI Director James Comey briefed lawmakers on the renewed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email server. Comey said his agents analyzed over 650,000 emails and found no evidence of any wrongdoing. Just like he did this summer, the FBI chief indirectly recommended no prosecution.
He added that his team worked “around the clock” to review all the emails the agency had found on former congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop. The agency first disclosed they had fresh emails to analyze 10 days ago. Last weekend, the bureau obtained a warrant to pore over relevant emails. So, many people met this weekend’s bombshell news with skepticism.
FBI Reviewed “All Communications”
Comey wrote in a letter he addressed to lawmakers that the law enforcement agency analyzed “all communications” containing info on Clinton’s activities during her time as a secretary of state. The emails belonged to Weiner’s estranged wife and Clinton’s top adviser Huma Abedin. It is unclear how the cache of emails landed in the congressman’s laptop.
Comey said that the review did not change the bureau’s conclusions “with respect to Secretary Clinton.” In July, he said Clinton had been “extremely careless” when she handled top-secret information. But he added that “no reasonable prosecutor” would charge her.
On Oct. 28, Comey announced he would reopen the case as “pertinent” evidence surfaced in an “unrelated criminal investigation.” Federal agents had forced Weiner to hand over his laptop amid allegations of sexting a 15-year-old girl.
One person familiar with the matter said federal investigators sifted through the emails as fast as they could. The source also said the bulk of the email cache represented personal emails or duplicates of messages Clinton had already handed over. Weiner’s laptop is a decade old, officials noted, but it contains no relevant material to the investigation.
Clinton camp’s communications director Jennifer Palmieri praised the FBI for finally settling the issue. Donald Trump, on the other hand, was not at ease with the result of the new investigation.
“You can’t review 650,000 new emails in eight days. You can’t do it, folks,”
Trump told a large crowd of supporters at a rally in Sterling Heights, Mich.
The GOP candidate also said that his Democratic rival was guilty and that both she and the FBI “know it.” He said that Americans should be the ones to “deliver justice” on Election Day.
Dianne Feinstein from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, criticized the federal agency for how it handled the new probe. Feinstein believes that the FBI director’s statement make his recent actions “even more troubling.” Feinstein urged the Department of Justice to ensure no other FBI probe influences an election.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, criticized Comey’s letter for being too “vague.” Grassley had expected more info on the limits of the review. It is unclear whether the agency focused only on the emails during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. The lawmaker suspects FBI agents excluded files that could reveal whether she obstructed Congress.
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