US election: FBI probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails reignited by Anthony Weiner sexting investigation
29th Oct 2016
An FBI investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state has been reignited after new emails were discovered during an unrelated probe.
- The emails emerged through the FBI’s separate sexting probe of former US Representative Anthony Weiner
- FBI says it is uncertain how significant the material is or how long the review will take
- Clinton calls for all new information to be released
- Trump campaign praises renewed investigation
With just 11 days to go before the November 8 election, FBI director James Comey said in a letter to several congressional Republicans that the agency had learned of the existence of emails that appeared to be pertinent to its investigation.
There is no doubt that Donald Trump attracts a crowd, especially in Ohio and in states like it. Inland, industrial America — hit hard by the global financial crisis, the technology revolution and manufacturing being moved offshore — wants change, as Zoe Daniel writes.
Mr Comey did not provide details about the emails, but a US official said the emails emerged through the FBI’s separate sexting probe of former US representative Anthony Weiner, who is separated from Mrs Clinton’s confidant Huma Abedin.
Ms Abedin served as deputy chief of staff at the State Department and is still a key player in Mrs Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Mrs Clinton, who earlier remained silent on the issue, has called on the FBI to release all new information in its probe, saying she does not think the agency will change its July conclusion not to prosecute her.
“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,” she said.
“I’m confident whatever they are will not change the conclusion reached in July.”
Meanwhile, Republican Donald Trump’s campaign has reacted with glee to the renewed investigation.
“I have great respect for the fact that the FBI and the Department of Justice are now willing to have the courage to right the horrible mistake that they made,” Mr Trump told a rally in New Hampshire.
“We must not let her take her criminal scheme into the Oval Office… this is bigger than Watergate.”
Less than two weeks to go until election day
The announcement was an unexpected development less than two weeks before the US presidential election, where Mrs Clinton is the Democratic Party’s candidate and the front-runner in opinion polls.
Mrs Clinton’s email use has been one of the biggest vulnerabilities in her campaign for the White House. Even if she wins, the Republicans have vowed the issue will follow her continuing investigations.
But so far, the email-related controversies have not seemed to hurt Mrs Clinton’s campaign.
The FBI spent about a year investigating Mrs Clinton’s use of an unauthorised private email server for her work as US secretary of state between 2009 and 2013 after it emerged that there were classified government secrets in some of her emails.
The Government forbids transmitting classified information outside secure channels.
John Podesta, the chairman of Mrs Clinton’s campaign said the campaign was “confident” the FBI would again recommend against pressing charges.
He labelled the move as “a desperate attempt” by “Donald Trump and his Republican allies” to “harm Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign”.
“FBI Director Comey should immediately provide the American public more information than is contained in the letter he sent to eight Republican committee chairmen,” the statement read.
“It is extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election.”
The White House said it was not given any prior notice on the FBI’s announcement to investigate additional emails relating to Mrs Clinton’s use of a private email server.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz said news of the FBI probe has not affected Barack Obama’s support for Mrs Clinton.
Renewed calls to stop giving Clinton classified briefings
In July, Mr Comey said there was evidence that Mrs Clinton and her staff may have broken laws, but that no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges.
Following the announcement, leading Republican Paul Ryan renewed his call for US intelligence officials to stop giving Mrs Clinton classified briefings typically given to presidential candidates.
“This decision, long overdue, is the result of her reckless use of a private email server, and her refusal to be forthcoming with federal investigators,” Mr Ryan said in a statement referring to the former secretary of state.
“I renew my call for the Director of National Intelligence to suspend all classified briefings for secretary Clinton until this matter is fully resolved.”
Mrs Clinton’s campaign has announced plans to hold a rally in Arizona next Wednesday, a traditionally red state put in play by Mr Trump’s deep unpopularity among minority voters, Mormons and business leaders.