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FBI reopens Clinton email investigation

Democratic candidate says the results of this investigation will be the same

Hillary Clinton (right) speaks with senior aide Huma Abedin aboard her campaign plane at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y., Friday. Associated Press/Photo by Andrew Harnik

FBI reopens Clinton email investigation

UPDATE (6:55 p.m.): Hillary Clinton responded to the newly reopened investigation into her email practices, saying she had confidence the FBI would come to the same conclusion as before and decline to prosecute her.

“The American people deserve to get the full and complete facts immediately,” she said today. “Let’s get it out.”

UPDATE (4:04 p.m.): Federal law enforcement officials told The New York Times the new Hillary Clinton­–related emails came from the investigation into former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner’s alleged illicit texting with a minor in North Carolina. The FBI obtained the documents when it seized electronic devices belonging to Weiner’s estranged wife, Huma Abedin, who was Clinton’s deputy chief of staff at the State Department and currently serves as vice chairwoman of Clinton’s presidential campaign. One official said the emails number in the thousands.

In a statement, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta dismissed the new FBI probe and called it a desperate Republican attempt to harm Clinton’s candidacy. He acknowledged the “extraordinary” circumstances only 11 days before a presidential election, but he disputed the characterization of a “reopened” investigation.

“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.”

OUR EARLIER REPORT: WASHINGTON—On Friday, FBI Director James Comey informed congressional leaders the agency is reopening its investigation into the private email server Hillary Clinton used during her tenure as secretary of state, a major development that could influence the presidential election only 11 days before most voters head to the polls.

“In connection with another case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation,” Comey wrote in a letter to eight Republican committee chairmen and their Democratic Party counterparts.

Comey said the investigative team briefed him on Thursday: “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.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump immediately jumped on the news about his Democratic opponent during a New Hampshire rally, saying he has “great respect” for officials at the FBI and the Department of Justice who are trying to “right the horrible mistake” they made.

In July, Comey announced the FBI would not recommend criminal charges against Clinton, despite what he called “extremely careless” handling of classified information by the former secretary of state and her senior aides. The bureau subsequently closed the investigation.

Comey defended his earlier decision in testimony before Congress as recently as last month, when the House Judiciary Committee grilled him on why top Clinton staffers received immunity deals in exchange for turning over their laptops to investigators.

On Friday, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, welcomed Comey’s letter, saying it reinforces what his panel has maintained for months: “The more we learn about Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server, the clearer it becomes that she and her associates committed wrongdoing and jeopardized national security.”

Comey said he could not assess whether the new material is significant, but he signaled the issue would linger for the foreseeable future: “I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this additional work.”

Comey’s announcement comes when Clinton appeared poised to cruise to victory on Nov. 8, despite a string of embarrassing revelations contained in hacked documents WikiLeaks released this month. The latest RealClearPolitics average of recent polls shows Clinton leading Trump by an average of 4.4 points.

On Wall Street, stocks immediately began sliding downward Friday afternoon, as investors reacted to the reopened investigation.

Shortly after Comey’s announcement, the watchdog group Judicial Watch said it filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI for records related to its Clinton email investigation, including records related to a meeting on a Phoenix airport tarmac between former President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

House Speaker Paul Ryan renewed his call for James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, to suspend all classified briefings for Clinton until the FBI investigation is complete: “She was entrusted with some of our nation’s most important secrets, and she betrayed that trust by carelessly mishandling highly classified information.”

J.C. Derrick J.C. is a former reporter and editor for WORLD.


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