Clinton campaign downplays significance of FBI’s email review
Washington, Oct 31 (IANS) Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign on Sunday played down the significance of Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) decision to review new emails related to her email probe less than two weeks before the Election Day.
When asked if the issue would likely cost Clinton the election, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he did not think so, Xinhua news agency reported.
“We have over 50,000 volunteers out there; we’re seeing record early-voting numbers… We’re feeling really good about this record turnout.”
US House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said on Friday that the FBI had reopened Clinton’s email investigation.
“The FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. Case reopened,” Chaffetz tweeted on Friday.
According to a copy of an letter by FBI Director James Comey to Chaffetz cited by CNN, new emails had emerged recently that appeared to be linked to the FBI’s Clinton email probe completed in July.
“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,” said Comey in the letter.
However, Comey said the FBI “cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant,” adding that he could not predict how long it would take investigators to complete the “additional work.”
The Clinton campaign on Friday afternoon urged the FBI to provide the public more information than is contained in the letter sent to the Congress.
“Already, we have seen characterizations that the FBI is ‘reopening’ an investigation but Comey’s words do not match that characterization,” said John Podesta, chairman of the Clinton campaign, in a statement.
After a yearlong investigation, the FBI in July recommended no criminal charges against Clinton in its email probe, and the Justice Department then closed the investigation.
At a press conference in March 2015, Clinton acknowledged that she had exchanged about 60,000 emails from her private email account during her stint in the Obama administration, among which about half were personal and thus deleted.
All emails were sent and received via a private email server based at Clinton’s home.
In response to requests from the State Department, the Clinton camp turned over the other half, roughly 30,000 emails in total, to the State Department in December 2014.
The controversy surrounding Clinton’s email practices again burst into public view in August 2015 after the inspector general for the intelligence community revealed that two of the thousands of emails held by Clinton contained top-secret information.