WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 (UPI) — Hillary Clinton and her campaign were critical of the FBI’s top official on Friday for failing to explain and detail new emails the bureau said could be “pertinent” to its earlier examination of the private server she used while secretary of state — an investigation that resulted in no charges this summer.
At a news conference in Iowa, Clinton criticized FBI Director James Comey for failing to disclose exactly what the bureau is looking at with its review.
Clinton also said it’s “imperative” for the FBI to explain its actions, because people are already voting.
“We don’t know all the facts,” she added. “Even Director Comey noted that this information may or may not be significant, so let’s get it out.”
Earlier Friday, Clinton’s campaign chairman released a statement that sounded disappointed and frustrated with the lack of details about the new review.
“Upon completing this investigation more than three months ago, FBI Director Comey declared no reasonable prosecutor would move forward with a case like this and added that it was not even a close call,” Chairman John Podesta said. “In the months since, Donald Trump and his Republican allies have been 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.”
On Friday, Comey announced that the FBI would review the new emails in a letter to congressional leaders, saying investigators have come across new messages as part of an unrelated investigation “that appear to be pertinent” to their investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server. FBI agents are combing through them to determine whether any contain classified information, or point to criminal intent in sharing those emails with people who do not have security clearance.
NBC reported the emails were not found on Clinton’s server and were not believed to be withheld by Clinton’s legal team when they turned over all emails on the server they said were relevant to her job as secretary of state.
It was unclear who actually sent or received the emails if they were not on Clinton’s server, which Abedin also used for her electronic communications.
When asked about the possible connection to the aide, Clinton said she didn’t know.
“We don’t know what to believe,” Clinton said. “That’s why it’s incumbent upon the FBI director to tell us what they’re talking about.”
In his comments, Podesta echoed Clinton’s concerns — saying he wants clarification on exactly what the FBI is looking at now.
“Already, we have seen characterizations that the FBI is ‘reopening’ an investigation, but Comey’s words do not match that characterization,” he said. “Director Comey’s letter refers to emails that have come to light in an unrelated case, but we have no idea what those emails are, and the director himself notes they may not even be significant.”
“It is extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election,” he continued. “The director owes it to the American people to immediately provide the full details of what he is now examining. We are confident this will not produce any conclusions different from the one the FBI reached in July.”
Indeed, Comey did not say in the letter the FBI had “reopened” the investigation into Clinton’s email; as the investigation did not result in any indictments, it was never “closed.”
This summer, Comey said the FBI would not pursue criminal charges against Clinton for her private email setup. While he concluded Clinton was “extremely careless” with her handling of classified information on an unclassified private server, Comey said the investigation showed no criminal intent on the part of Clinton or her aides in their mishandling of classified information.
Comey also refuted repeated claims by Clinton that her private email server did not contain classified information at the time, only information that was subsequently classified as part of the ongoing email investigation and resulting open records lawsuits seeking access to her email messages. Comey said several email chains did contain information that was classified at the time Clinton received it.
Clinton’s Republican opponent Donald Trump has repeatedly said she should face prison time for her private email use, leading to frequent chants at his rallies of “lock her up!”
Trump made the announcement of Comey’s new letter to a raucous group of supporters on Friday, saying “Hillary Clinton’s corruption is on a scale we have never seen before. We must not let her take her criminal scheme into the Oval Office.
“I have great respect for the fact the FBI and the Department of Justice are willing and have the courage to right the horrible mistake that they made.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said the timing of the FBI’s move shows the discovery must be serious.
“This stunning development raises serious questions about what records may not have been turned over and why, and whether they show intent to violate the law,” he said.