Hillary Clinton has forcefully challenged the FBI’s new e-mail inquiry, declaring during a campaign rally in battleground Ohio, “There’s no case here.”
Clinton’s comments yesterday were her most pointed yet on the subject, and they underscored her campaign’s decision to fight back aggressively against FBI Director James Comey.
On Friday just over a week from Election Day Comey alerted Congress that the FBI has obtained new material that may be related to its dormant investigation into whether classified information passed through Clinton’s private e-mail server while she served as secretary of state.
The FBI plans to review the e-mails to see if they contain classified information and if so, whether they were handled properly. The Justice Department said yesterday it would “dedicate all necessary resources” to concluding the review promptly.
Clinton accused the FBI of having jumped into the election “with no evidence of any wrongdoing with just days to go.” She said that if the bureau wants to look at the e-mails, which appear tied to her longtime aide Huma Abedin, “by all means, they should look at them.”
But she insisted the FBI would reach the same conclusion it did earlier this year, when it declined to recommend Clinton and her advisers face charges for how they handled classified information.
“They said it wasn’t even a close call,” she said. “I think most people have decided a long time ago what they think about all of this.”
The investigation appears to centre on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former congressman and Abedin’s estranged husband. It’s unclear whether the material on the device was from Clinton. It’s also not known if the e-mails in question are new or duplicates of the thousands the former secretary of state and her aides have already turned over.
In another sign of the Clinton campaign’s escalating feud with Comey, her advisers leapt on a CNBC report that the director opposed releasing information close to Election Day about Russian interference in the White House race. Campaign manager Robby Mook called the report evidence of a “blatant double standard.”
The AP has not confirmed that report, and the FBI declined to comment on it yesterday.
Intelligence agencies have linked Russia to the hacking of Democratic groups during the campaign. Clinton has charged the Kremlin is trying to tilt the election in favour of Donald Trump and has questioned the Republican’s financial ties to Russia.
The Obama administration delayed for weeks formally blaming Russia because of sensitive negotiations that were taking place with Moscow at the time over Syria, according to people familiar with the investigation. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly about the hackings, which were investigated as counter-intelligence cases.
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