This is the last chance for the FBI to prove itself to be transparent and non-partisan.
Newly discovered emails found on a computer seized during an investigation of disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner thrust the controversy over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server back into the presidential campaign less than two weeks before the election.
Officials said the discovery prompted a surprise announcement Friday by FBI Director James B. Comey that the agency would once again be examining emails related to Clinton’s time as secretary of state.
In a letter to lawmakers, Comey said the FBI would take “appropriate investigative steps” to determine whether the newly discovered emails contain classified information and to assess whether they are relevant to the Clinton server probe.
The emails, numbering more than 1,000, were found on a computer used by both Weiner (D-N.Y.) and his wife, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, according to law enforcement officials with knowledge of the inquiry who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The correspondence included emails between Abedin and Clinton, according to a law enforcement official.
Federal officials have been examining sexually suggestive online messages that Weiner allegedly exchanged with a teenage girl. The link to the Weiner investigation was first reported by the New York Times.
Comey’s announcement appears to resume the FBI’s probe of Clinton’s server, which previously ended in July with no charges.
The announcement could reshape a presidential race that Clinton, the Democratic nominee, has been leading in most public polls. It was immediately hailed by Republican nominee Donald Trump, who told supporters at a New Hampshire rally that “perhaps, finally, justice will be done.” The crowd responded with pumped fists and chants of “Lock her up! Lock her up!”
Clinton told reporters Friday night in Iowa that she learned of the newly discovered emails only after the letter to Congress was made public.
“I’m confident whatever [the emails] are will not change the conclusion reached in July,” she said. “Therefore, it’s imperative that the bureau explain this issue in question, whatever it is, without any delay.”