Clin­ton cam­paign con­demns FBI email move

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

Hil­lary Clin­ton’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign team has chal­lenged the FBI over its de­ci­sion to brief US law­mak­ers on a new in­quiry into the Demo­cratic can­di­date’s email use.

FBI Direc­tor James Comey in­formed Congress of the move in a let­ter on Fri­day, 11 days be­fore the elec­tion.

Mrs Clin­ton told sup­port­ers the move was “un­prece­dented” and “deeply trou­bling”.

But Repub­li­can op­po­nent Don­ald Trump has praised the bureau’s de­ci­sion.

In his let­ter to Congress, Mr Comey said the FBI had learned of fresh emails which might be “per­ti­nent” to its pre­vi­ous in­quiry into the Demo­cratic can­di­date’s use of a pri­vate server when she was sec­re­tary of state in the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Mr Comey has de­fended the move, in­sist­ing that not mak­ing it pub­lic would be “mis­lead­ing” and also risked be­ing “mis­un­der­stood”, given that the FBI does not know the sig­nif­i­cance of the newly found emails.

Speak­ing to sup­port­ers in Florida on Satur­day, Mrs Clin­ton said: “It’s not just strange, it’s un­prece­dented. And it is deeply trou­bling be­cause vot­ers de­serve to get full and com­plete facts.

“So we’ve called on Direc­tor Comey to ex­plain ev­ery­thing right away, put it all out on the ta­ble.”

Mrs Clin­ton has said she is con­fi­dent the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the emails will not change the FBI’s orig­i­nal find­ing in July, which criticised her but cleared her of any il­le­gal acts.

Mr Comey has been heav­ily criticised by Clin­ton sup­port­ers -

and ac­cord­ing to the New York Times, jus­tice de­part­ment of­fi­cials - for his de­ci­sion to make the in­for­ma­tion pub­lic so close to polling day.

In a memo he ac­knowl­edged “we do not or­di­nar­ily tell Congress about on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions”. But he said he felt an “obli­ga­tion” to do so given that he had pre­vi­ously tes­ti­fied that the FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion was com­plete.

Clin­ton cam­paign chair­man John Podesta said the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by Mr Comey was “long on in­nu­endo” and “short on facts”.

There was, he said, “no ev­i­dence of wrong­do­ing. No charge of wrong­do­ing. No in­di­ca­tion this is even about Hil­lary”.

Mr Trump mean­while has said the is­sue is the big­gest po­lit­i­cal scan­dal in the US since Water­gate, which brought down Pres­i­dent Richard Nixon.

At a rally in Colorado on Satur­day, he said: “Her crim­i­nal ac­tion was wil­ful, de­lib­er­ate, in­ten­tional and pur­pose­ful.

“Hil­lary set up an il­le­gal server for the ob­vi­ous pur­pose of shield­ing her il­le­gal ac­tions from pub­lic dis­clo­sure and ex­po­sure.”

The FBI has al­ready es­tab­lished that Mrs Clin­ton had held clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion on a pri­vate email server.

In July, Mr Comey said Mrs Clin­ton’s han­dling of sen­si­tive ma­te­rial dur­ing her ten­ure as sec­re­tary of state was “ex­tremely care­less”, but cleared her of any crim­i­nal wrong­do­ing.

The lat­est emails were dis­cov­ered as part of a sep­a­rate in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the es­tranged hus­band of top Clin­ton aide, Huma Abe­din.

De­vices be­long­ing to her and An­thony Weiner, a for­mer high­fly­ing con­gress­man, were seized in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into whether he sent sex­u­ally ex­plicit emails to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors are re­view­ing the doc­u­ments to see if they con­tain clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion.

The for­mer sec­re­tary of state’s pri­vate email server was first re­vealed in March 2015 by the New York Times.

She did not im­me­di­ately ex­press re­gret, and said the main rea­son for her “hdr22@clin­tone­mail.com” ad­dress was “con­ve­nience”.

Soon after that she apol­o­gised in an in­ter­view with ABC News, and has since said sorry to vot­ers a num­ber of times.

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