Election Shocker: FBI Reopens Criminal Investigation Into Clinton’s Private Email Server
The decision to reopen the investigation allegedly came after relevant emails were discovered on devices owned by Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her husband Anthony Weiner.
FBI Director James Comey is reopening the investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
The news came Friday afternoon — 11 days before Election Day — in a letter to members of Congress from Comey:
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 agreed 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.
Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) tweeted about receiving the letter.
FBI Dir just informed me, "The FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation." Case reopened
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) October 28, 2016
Over two hours later, The New York Times reported that “U.S. law enforcement officials” claim the newly discovered emails did not come from Clinton’s private server, but from devices owned by Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her husband Anthony Weiner. Weiner is currently undergoing investigation after allegations that he sexted with an underage teenager.
The initial Clinton investigation was closed in July after Comey recommended no charges against Clinton despite her “extremely careless” use of a private email server to send classified emails while secretary of state.
Comey ended his letter by saying he does not know how long it will take to complete the work of assessing the new material.
Reactions: Trump and Clinton
Both presidential candidates were set to speak at rallies minutes after news of Comey’s letter broke.
Speaking in New Hampshire, Republican nominee Donald Trump said, “Perhaps justice will finally be done,” and that Clinton’s email scandal was “bigger than Watergate.”
Trump’s Vice presidential pick Mike Pence tweeted asking the FBI to release all the pertinent information, saying that “Americans have the right to know before election day.”
We call on the FBI to immediately release all emails pertinent to their investigation. Americans have the right to know before Election Day.
— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) October 28, 2016
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway tweeted a link to the breaking news story saying that the day had gotten “even better.”
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) October 28, 2016
In a statement Friday afternoon, Clinton campaign chair John Podesta accused Trump “and his Republican allies” of “baselessly second-guessing the FBI, and, in both public and private, browbeating the career officials there to revisit their conclusion in a desperate attempt to harm Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.”
Podesta called on Comey to “immediately” release more information, adding “it is extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election.”
JUST IN: Statement from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta on re-opening on FBI investigation: pic.twitter.com/yq2SHGsitE
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 28, 2016
Clinton has been quiet on the matter so far, coolly waving and smiling as she exited her campaign plane in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. News of the reopened investigation broke while her plane was in the air.
“What a beautiful day in Cedar Rapids,” she said as she stepped up to the podium at her rally.
According to NBC, a source from the Clinton campaign said they had “no idea” what Comey was referencing in his letter.
Reactions: Members of Congress
Minutes after the delivery of Comey’s letter, House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement, saying, “I renew my call for the Director of National Intelligence to suspend all classified briefings for Secretary Clinton until this matter is fully resolved.”
BREAKING NEWS → The FBI is reopening its investigation into Secretary Hillary Clinton.
My full statement ⇩ pic.twitter.com/LHfyg46dWk
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) October 28, 2016
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Chairmain of the House Judiciary Committee, also issued a statement, saying that “the more we learn about Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server, the clearer it becomes that she and her associates committed wrongdoing and jeopardized national security.”
— Bob Goodlatte (@RepGoodlatte) October 28, 2016
October Bombshell Aftermath Uncertain
With the Election Day on November 8 only 11 days away, many are speculating how Comey’s announcement will affect Clinton’s campaign — though CNN reported Friday morning that 12.6 million Americans have already cast their votes through early voting.
Business Insider reported that stocks began “tanking” after news of the reopened investigation.
According to Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll released Friday morning, Trump has already been making gains on Clinton in the last week.
The Stream will continue updating this story as more information becomes available.