FBI: No charges against Clin­ton

Review of emails shows no charges are war­ranted

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Julie Pace, Lisa Lerer and Jill Colvin

Lift­ing the cloud he placed over Hil­lary Clin­ton, FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey said Sunday there is no ev­i­dence in newly dis­cov­ered emails to war­rant crim­i­nal charges against the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee — just two days be­fore Americans choose their 45th com­man­der in chief.

Comey’s move capped an ex­tra­or­di­nary chap­ter in the bit­ter, deeply di­vi­sive con­test be­tween Clin­ton and Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump. The di­rec­tor’s ini­tial de­ci­sion to make a re­newed in­quiry into Clin­ton’s emails pub­lic on Oct. 28 up­ended the cam­paign at a cru­cial mo­ment, sap­ping a surg­ing Clin­ton’s mo­men­tum and giv­ing Trump fresh am­mu­ni­tion to chal­lenge her trust­wor­thi­ness.

Clin­ton’s cam­paign, fu­ri­ous at Comey’s han­dling of the review, wel­comed Sunday’s an­nounce­ment.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor Jen­nifer Palmieri told re­porters, “We’re glad this matter is re­solved,” though Clin­ton her­self did not men­tion the is­sue dur­ing a rally in Ohio with bas­ket­ball su­per­star LeBron James.

The new review in­volved ma­te­rial found on a com­puter be­long­ing to An­thony Weiner, the dis­graced for­mer con­gress­man and es­tranged hus­band of Clin­ton aide Huma Abe­din. While Comey was vague in his ini­tial de­scrip­tion of

the in­quiry, he said Sunday that the FBI re­viewed com­mu­ni­ca­tions “to or from Hil­lary Clin­ton while she was sec­re­tary of state.”

Based on that review, Comey told law­mak­ers the FBI was not chang­ing the con­clu­sion it reached this sum­mer. Then, Comey said, “no rea­son­able pros­e­cu­tor” would rec­om­mend Clin­ton face crim­i­nal charges for us­ing a pri­vate email sys­tem while at the State Department.

Trump landed in Min­nesota for a rally moments after Comey’s lat­est let­ter to Congress went pub­lic. He made no di­rect men­tion of the FBI’s de­ci­sion and con­tin­ued to in­sist —with­out ev­i­dence — that Clin­ton would be un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion dur­ing

her po­ten­tial pres­i­dency.

“She’s pro­tected by a rigged sys­tem,” he said. “She shouldn’t even be al­lowed to run for pres­i­dent.”

For­mer House Speaker Newt Gin­grich, a Trump ally, ques­tioned Comey’s in­de­pen­dence, say­ing he “must be un­der enor­mous po­lit­i­cal pres­sure to cave like this and an­nounce some­thing he can’t pos­si­bly know.”

The FBI be­gan in­ves­ti­gat­ing the han­dling of clas­si­fied ma­te­rial on Clin­ton’s pri­vate email server shortly after she an­nounced her bid in April 2015. The is­sue has dogged Clin­ton’s cam­paign and con­trib­uted to the ques­tions a ma­jor­ity of Americans have about her hon­esty and trust­wor­thi­ness.

Still, Clin­ton had ap­peared to be head­ing for a sweep­ing vic­tory be­fore Comey’s first let­ter to law­mak­ers, in which he stressed the FBI could not yet as­sess “whether or not this ma­te­rial may be sig­nif­i­cant,” or how long it might take to run down the new in­ves­tiga­tive leads.

Since then, na­tional polls and those in bat­tle­ground states in­di­cated a tight­en­ing race for the White House and for sev­eral com­pet­i­tive Se­nate seats. Democrats need to pick up four seats if Clin­ton wins to take back con­trol of the cham­ber.

“The Oc­to­ber sur­prise that came only 11 days be­fore Elec­tion Day has un­fairly hurt the cam­paign of one can­di­date and changed the tenor of this elec­tion,” Sen. Dianne Fe­in­stein, DCalif., said in a state­ment.

Clin­ton still ap­pears to hold an edge over Trump in the cam­paign’s fi­nal stretch. The Repub­li­can has a nar­row path to vic­tory that re­quires him to win nearly all of the roughly dozen bat­tle­ground states up for grabs.

The can­di­dates spent Sunday sprint­ing across swing states as they sought to lock up sup­port ahead of Elec­tion Day. As the cam­paign’s fi­nal weekend drew to a close, more than 41 mil­lion Americans had al­ready cast their bal­lots in early vot­ing.

Dur­ing re­marks at a black church in Philadel­phia on Sunday morn­ing, Clin­ton urged vot­ers to choose “unity over divi­sion” as she sought to close a caus­tic pres­i­den­tial cam­paign on an up­lift­ing note.

She warned that Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s le­gacy is on the line, part of her strat­egy to shore up black vot­ers who may be less en­thu­si­as­tic about her than the pres­i­dent.

“If we come to­gether with the com­mon vi­sion, com­mon faith, we will find com­mon ground,” Clin­ton de­clared.

Fol­low­ing her rally in Ohio, Clin­ton headed to New Hamp­shire with Khizr Khan, the Gold Star fa­ther who de­liv­ered a sting­ing in­dict­ment of Trump at the Demo­cratic con­ven­tion. Her high-wattage al­lies also fanned out across the coun­try, in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, who was joined by mu­si­cal icon Ste­vie Won­der at a rally in Florida.

Trump opened a fu­ri­ous day of cam­paign­ing in Iowa, the bat­tle­ground state where he ap­pears strong­est. He was also mak­ing stops in Min­nesota, Michi­gan and Penn­syl­va­nia, three states that have re­li­ably voted for Democrats in pres­i­den­tial elec­tions, as well as Vir­ginia, a state Clin­ton’s cam­paign be­lieves it has a solid hold on.

Trump’s cam­paign man­ager Kellyanne Con­way told re­porters Sunday that Trump planned to keep up the break­neck cam­paign pace through Elec­tion Day. After vot­ing in New York Tues­day morn­ing, Trump was ex­pected to re­turn to Penn­syl­va­nia, Michi­gan, Ohio, North Carolina and New Hamp­shire later in the day, Con­way said.

The busi­ness­man was also fac­ing crit­i­cism for a new ad that as­serts the “es­tab­lish­ment has tril­lions of dol­lars at stake in this elec­tion” and fea­tures pho­tos of bil­lion­aire Ge­orge Soros, Fed­eral Re­serve Chair Janet Yellen and Gold­man Sachs chief ex­ec­u­tive Lloyd Blank­fein, all of whom are Jewish.

The Na­tional Jewish Demo­cratic Coun­cil said the ad’s use of anti-Semitic stereo­types is “shock­ing and dan­ger­ous.” Trump’s cam­paign pushed back, say­ing the crit­i­cism of the ad was “com­pletely false and un­called for.”

Comey

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