FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers that the agency hasn’t changed its opinion that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton should not face criminal charges over her use of personal e-mail server during her stay in the State Department, after a review of new e-mails.
Comey had dropped a bombshell 11 days from the November 8 election when he informed Congress that the FBI had discovered e-mails in its separate investigation of Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, that could be connected to its investigation of whether Clinton mishandled classified information by using a private e-mail server, CNN reported.
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“Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July,” Comey said in a letter to top Republicans on the House Oversight Committee.
Comey’s letter was the culmination of a fast-paced review of the newly discovered e-mails, law enforcement sources said on Sunday.
“We went through this as fast as we could,” a senior law enforcement official told CNN.
The e-mails, thousands found, were mostly duplicates of what had already been seen and personal e-mails, law enforcement officials said in explaining how the conclusion was reached so quickly. The laptop which was found was around a decade old, with lots of personal content on it not relevant to the investigation, according to one source.
In July, Comey said Clinton had been careless but not criminal in handling sensitive material on her private e-mail server as Secretary of State.
It’s impossible to know before results are tallied what impact Comey’s actions — first raising a vaguely worded red flag 11 days out, and then lowering it two days from the election — will have on the contest.
But the news could help Clinton put to rest a controversy that has dogged her in the 2016 race’s closing days, helping her rival Donald Trump narrow a polling gap nationally and in key battleground states.