Hillary Clinton’s private email server investigation is not all done and dusted.
In a bombshell revelation, FBI director James Comey announced on Friday that the bureau had gained access to new information they believe could be pertinent to the previously closed investigation on Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Back in June, the FBI had told the Department of Justice that no evidence had been found to charge Hillary Clinton with espionage, following which Attorney General Loretta Lynch had closed the investigation, as reported by Reuters.
“I received and accepted their unanimous recommendation that the thorough, year-long investigation be closed and that no charges be brought against any individuals within the scope of the investigation,” Lynch had said.
But with mere days to go before Election Day, the FBI’s revelation that the bureau would continue to pursue the closed email server investigation in light of the recently discovered emails has once brought the limelight back on Hillary Clinton. In a letter James Comey wrote to the Congress — an extraordinary measure considering the FBI does not usually intimate Congress about its ongoing investigations — he effectively mentioned that the bureau would go ahead with the email probe.
“In previous congressional testimony, I referred to the fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had completed its investigation of former Secretary Clinton’s personal email server. I am writing to supplement my previous testimony.”
“In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agree 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.”
“Although the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete the additional work, I believe it is important to update your Committees about our efforts in light of my previous testimony.”
The letter raises more questions than it answers. For instance, Comey does not mention what new emails have been discovered, or how they would relate to the investigation on Clinton’s email server. The FBI director mentions that enough assessment has not been done to conclude if the discovered emails will be “significant” to the Clinton investigation, or predict the time such an assessment might take.
However, Politico cited a U.S. official as saying that the emails that Comey refers to in the letter to the Congress may have been discovered while the FBI carried its investigation into allegations that former Rep. Anthony Weiner exchanged sexually explicit messages with an underage girl.
The sheer fact that new information which can shed an altogether new light on the investigation is available with 11 days to go before Election Day has raised speculations on the implications the discovery might have on the remainder of the presidential race.
Director James Comey has also come under scathing criticism for not releasing enough information for American voters to make an informed choice.
“Doing it in the last week or 10 days of a presidential election without more information, I don’t think that he should because how does it inform a voter? It just invites speculation… I would question the timing of it. It’s not going to get done in a week,” said former federal prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg.
Donald Trump was quick to pounce on the FBI revelation, opening a campaign rally in Iowa on Friday night saying that the unusual route that FBI had taken to continue the Hillary Clinton email investigation meant that there was evidence of “most egregious criminal offense,” as reported by ABC News.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign released a statement too on Friday evening, urging the FBI and James Comey to be more clear about the information in its possession. Insinuating that the revelations could lead to rumors which might eventually be harmful to her chances in the presidential race, Clinton’s campaign said that the facts must be out before the public.
“We are 11 days out from perhaps the most important national election of our lifetimes. Voting is already underway in our country, so the American people deserve to get the full and complete facts immediately.”
“So we don’t know the facts, which is why we are calling on the FBI to release all the information that it has. Even Director Comey noted that this new information may not be significant, so let’s get it out.”
Both campaigns are eagerly waiting for more news on the Clinton email investigation, and it would be interesting to see what the FBI does have on Hillary because 10 days is a really a long time in politics.
[Featured Image by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]