Clinton vows to stay course, Trump boosted
Hillary Clinton vowed Sunday that she would not be “knocked off course” in the election’s final days, as she sought to push past a new FBI email inquiry that delivered a late jolt to her race against Republican Donald Trump.
“I’m not stopping now, we’re just getting warmed up,” Clinton declared during a packed rally with gay and lesbian supporters in battleground Florida. “We’re not going to be distracted, no matter what our opponents throw at us.”
Trump campaigned in Las Vegas at a casino owned by billionaire GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson and accused the Justice Department, without offering evidence, of trying to protect Clinton following the FBI’s discovery of new emails that could be related to its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.
“Hillary has nobody but herself to blame for her mounting legal problems,” Trump said during a rally.
Meanwhile, federal investigators secured a warrant to examine the newly discovered emails related to Hillary Clinton’s private server, media reported on Sunday, as a prominent Democrat accused FBI Director James Comey of breaking the law by trying to influence the election.
The warrant will allow the FBI to examine the emails to see if they are relevant to its probe of the private email server used for government work by Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.
Comey came under heavy pressure from Democrats on Sunday to quickly provide details of the emails, as Clinton allies worried the prolonged controversy could extend beyond the Nov 8 election and cast a shadow over a Clinton transition if she wins the White House.
Comey’s disclosure of the email discovery in a letter to Congress on Friday plunged the final days of the White House race between Clinton and Republican Donald Trump into turmoil.
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid sent a letter to Comey on Sunday suggesting he violated the Hatch Act, which bars the use of a federal government position to influence an election.
“Through your partisan actions, you may have broken the law,” Reid, a senator from Nevada, said in the letter to Comey.
Through your partisan actions, you may have broken the law.”
Harry Reid, US Senate Minority Leader, in a letter to FBI Director James Comey
FBI investigators in the Anthony Weiner sexting probe knew for weeks about the existence of newly discovered emails potentially related to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, a law enforcement official said Sunday.
In his letter that roiled the White House race, FBI Director James Comey said he was briefed last Thursday about that development and had agreed that investigators should take steps to review the emails for any classified information.
He alerted Congress on Friday that the bureau had found emails in an unrelated case that might be relevant to the Clinton inquiry.
The emails were found on a device that belonged to Weiner, the estranged husband of close Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of State has dogged her campaign since early last year. In July, Comey recommended against criminal prosecution after a months-long investigation, but rebuked Clinton and her aides for being careless with classified material.
Justice Department officials who were advised of the FBI’s intention to notify Congress about the discovery expressed concern that the action would be inconsistent with department protocols designed to avoid the appearance of interference in an election.
In an apparent departure from the wishes of top Justice Department leaders, Comey acted independently when he sent several members of Congress a letter about the emails on Friday, said an official.
It was not immediately clear what the emails were about or what significance, if any, they carried to the email investigation. Nor was it clear when agents would be able to fully review the recovered emails.
Tim Kaine, Clinton’s running mate, said Comey owed it to the public to be more forthcoming about the emails under review by the FBI with only nine days remaining before the Nov 8 election. Calling Comey’s announcement “extremely puzzling”, Kaine said that if Comey “hasn’t seen the emails, I mean they need to make that completely plain.”
Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, said Comey’s handling of the matter was “inappropriate”.
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Comey was in “an impossible spot” when he acknowledged the FBI was looking into the messages. “Had he sat on the information, one can argue that he also would be interfering in the election,” Conway said.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Greeley, Colorado on Sunday.