Nine days ago in a Friday afternoon news dump, FBI Director James Comey announced a renewed probe of email messages that were possibly relevant to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. After a week of enormous speculation, Comey now recommends to Congress that no criminal charges be brought. All of this has taken place immediately before the election, and Comey has faced widespread accusations (including from many former Department of Justice officials and prosecutors) of attempting to sway voters.
This would be the second time that the FBI has come to this conclusion with the first being in August. At that point, Comey publicly called Clinton out as “extremely careless” in handling “highly classified information” but found no criminal intent. This time, agents at the bureau “have been working around the clock to process and review” the emails, which apparently added up to 650,000 messages found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. Here’s the relevant excerpt from Comey’s newest letter to Congress:
“The FBI investigative team has been working around the clock to process and review a large volume of emails from a device obtained in connection with an unrelated criminal investigation. During that process, we reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State. Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.”
Comey also expressed gratitude to all the team members who were working on this probe, which was actually a quicker turnaround than expected. The Justice Department didn’t even secure a warrant until last Sunday and somehow managed to dig through hundreds of thousands of emails (containing god knows what on Weiner’s laptop) in less than a week. Still, this investigation — so close to Election Day — could work a detrimental effect on the Clinton campaign. We’ll see what happens on Tuesday.
Here’s a copy of Comey’s second letter regarding the matter in as many weeks, courtesy of CNN’s James Acosta.
(Via Washington Post)