Trump turns up heat over FBI probe into Clinton emails
DONALD Trump stepped up his attacks against Hillary Clinton, seeking to exploit the FBI decision to reopen an investigation into her emails as America’s bruising election campaign heads into its final stretch.
Just 10 days before the country goes to the polls to elect either the former US secretary of state or the bombastic Republican billionaire, America’s top cop James Comey has been thrust centre-stage.
The FBI director wrote to lawmakers on October 28, announcing that his agents are investigating a newly discovered trove of emails, renewing an enquiry that the Clinton campaign thought ended in July.
Mr Trump pounced. Campaigning in the western state of Colorado, which has been leaning toward Ms Clinton, he denounced what he called his opponent’s “criminal and illegal conduct” to chants of “Lock her up!”
“This is the biggest political scandal since Watergate, and it’s everybody’s deepest hope that justice at last will be beautifully delivered,” Mr Trump, 70, said in Phoenix, Arizona.
While his 69-year-old opponent remains on course to be voted in as America’s first female president at the ballot box on November 8, her campaign is furious that its momentum has slowed in the final stretch.
Ms Clinton campaigned hard in the key battleground state of Florida, greeting thousands of supporters at a Jennifer Lopez concert in Miami after earlier demanding that Mr Comey explain why he had effectively reopened the inquiry declared complete in July.
“It’s pretty strange to put something like that out with such little information right before an election,” she said in Daytona Beach.
“In fact, it’s not just strange, it’s unprecedented. And it is deeply troubling because voters deserve to get full and complete facts,” she added.
“So we’ve called on director Comey to explain everything right away, put it all out on the table, right?” she said, to rapturous cheers.
It seems unlikely that much progress will be made in the investigation before polling day and few expect Ms Clinton to face criminal charges.
Every day that she spends dealing with the fallout of her decision to use a private email server as secretary of state is a day the media is not dwelling on the scandals dogging Mr Trump.
The latest poll of polls by tracker site RealClearPolitics put Ms Clinton 3.9 percentage points ahead of the Republican nationwide, down from 7.1 points just 10 days previously.
Mr Trump – dogged by scandal over alleged sexual misconduct and accusations from at least 12 women – has relished the email probe.
Media reports citing FBI insiders suggest agents do not yet know whether the latest batch contains any new emails or classified information.