Monday, November 7, 2016
FBI director: No charges after new review of Hillary Clinton emails
Saying that his team "has been working around the clock," studying emails on a laptop belonging to the husband of an aide of Hillary Clinton's, Comey claimed the review of the additional material "from a device obtained in connection with an unrelated criminal investigation" did not change the investigators' previous conclusion regarding Clinton's email practices.
In July, the FBI said no charges were warranted in the case of the former secretary of state concerning her use of a private email server.
“[We] have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton," Comey wrote in his letter on Sunday.
Since late October, the FBI director has found himself in hot water following his announcement of new "appropriate investigative steps" in the months-long investigation into Clinton’s use of a private server while she served as America's secretary of state.
The FBI then obtained a search warrant that allowed it to scour through some 650,000 emails discovered on a laptop belonging to ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner and apparently also used by his wife, Clinton’s closest aide, Huma Abedin.
Commenting on the announcement that there would be no charges, Clinton's campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri told reporters they were "glad that this matter is resolved."
Earlier Sunday, the chairman of Clinton's campaign, John Podesta, accused the FBI chief of revealing the new investigation in the first place by calling it a "mistake."
"I think the men and women of the FBI are doing a tremendous job out here across the country, but the leakers should shut up," Podesta said in an interview with NBC News' Meet the Press.
House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi described the FBI letter as “a clean bill of health,” adding that it should “finally close the door on this Republicans sideshow.”
Meanwhile, Dianne Feinstein, senior Democratic Senator representing California, said that the FBI’s decision to reopen an investigation into the scandal in late October “has unfairly hurt the campaign of one candidate and changed the tenor of this election.”
However, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) remained unfazed by the announcement, saying that the latest review does not change the fact that classified information was “placed at risk.”
Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway pointed out that despite the clearance given by the FBI to Clinton, the agency has not changed its previous conclusions.
“This means she still was reckless and careless, still lied about classified info,” she tweeted.
The RNC chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement that findings from the FBI’s criminal probe into Clinton’s use of private email server showed “a damning and unprecedented indictment of her judgment,” adding that the FBI investigation proved that she “placed highly classified information at risk and repeatedly lied to the American people.”
Commenting on the FBI director’s letter, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan also said that Clinton “put our nation’s secrets at risk and in doing so compromised our national security,” citing the “undisputed finding” of the FBI’s probe.
Another prominent Republican, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, alleged that Comey had given in to “enormous political pressure” by releasing the letter days ahead of the vote.
“The destruction of James Comey by political pressure is painful to watch,” he tweeted.
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