GOP lawmakers vow to continue Clinton probe
Republicans say the FBI director’s announcement still leaves key questions unanswered
WASHINGTON—Congressional Republicans say they will continue to investigate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, despite FBI Director James Comey’s announcement Sunday that a review of newly discovered emails doesn’t change the bureau’s previous verdict in the probe.
“[T]he FBI investigative team has been working around the clock,” Comey wrote in a letter to 16 members of Congress. “Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.”
Comey announced in July that the FBI would not recommend criminal charges against Clinton. The latest update to Congress absolves the Democratic presidential nominee of any new charges just two days before the election.
Ten days earlier, Comey announced the FBI would renew its investigation into Clinton’s email use as secretary of state after finding new emails on a laptop belonging to former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., the husband of Clinton State Department and campaign aide Huma Abedin. Comey said investigators processed and reviewed the 650,000 new messages and found no new evidence of wrongdoing.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told Fox News that Congress will continue to review Clinton’s case, despite Comey’s latest letter.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the FBI’s ambiguous update leaves many key questions unanswered.
“The American people deserve to know whether the FBI sought to determine if Secretary Clinton and her aides deliberately maneuvered around federal open records laws or congressional investigations,” Grassley said. “Another vague announcement by the FBI has again failed to provide this context.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the FBI’s announcement is a distraction to what’s important to Republicans: keeping Clinton out of the White House.
“Regardless of this decision, the undisputed finding of the FBI’s investigation is that Secretary Clinton put our nation’s secrets at risk and in doing so compromised our national security,” Ryan said. “She simply believes she’s above the law and always plays by her own rules.”
After reading Comey’s letter on Sunday, Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon tweeted the campaign knew the FBI wouldn’t find anything new, but they’re glad it’s confirmed.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump did not react specifically to Comey’s announcement but said at a campaign stop in Michigan last night that Clinton is “being protected by a rigged system.”
“If FBI conclusions remain unchanged, that means she still was reckless & careless, still lied about classified info,” Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway tweeted last night.
Many Democrats scolded Comey over the last week and a half, claiming the FBI was trying to swing the election for Trump by publically reopening the Clinton probe before finding anything concrete.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., expressed relief after reading Comey’s new letter.
“While the original letter allowed days of innuendo and falsehood by Republicans desperate to divert attention from themselves, the FBI’s swift and thorough review should finally close the door on this Republican sideshow,” Pelosi said in a statement.
Yet, Trump supporters remain skeptical, unsure how the FBI could have properly reviewed 650,000 emails in only 10 days.
“Comey must be under enormous political pressure to cave like this and announce something he can’t possibly know,” tweeted former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Pressure will continue for Comey, who still has to grapple with a divisive investigation into the Clinton Foundation. That FBI probe is ongoing.
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