Clin­ton team urges FBI say whether he’s re­viewed emails

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

WASH­ING­TON — Hil­lary Clin­ton’s cam­paign on Sun­day pres­sured FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey to re­lease more de­tails about the emails he says could be re­lated to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into her use of a pri­vate email server, in­clud­ing whether Comey had even re­viewed them him­self.

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 10 days re­main­ing be­fore Novem­ber 8 elec­tion. Kaine’s mes­sage aimed to counter Repub­li­can ri­val Donald Trump, who has seized on the reignited email con­tro­versy in hopes of sew­ing fresh doubts about Clin­ton’s trust­wor­thi­ness.

“As far as we know now, Di­rec­tor Comey knows noth­ing about the con­tent of these emails. We don’t know whether they’re to or from Hil­lary at all,” Kaine said.

e Vir­ginia se­na­tor said if Comey “hasn’t seen the emails, I mean they need to make that com­pletely plain. Then they should work to see the emails and re­lease the cir­cum­stances of those once they have done that anal­y­sis”.

Clin­ton’s cam­paign chair, John Podesta, said Comey’s han­dling of the mat­ter was “in­ap­pro­pri­ate”. Podesta urged Comey to be more trans­par­ent be­cause the disclosure came “in the mid­dle of the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign so close to the vot­ing”.

Comey’s ac­tions on Fri­day roiled the White House race, en­er­gis­ing Trump as polls had showed him slid­ing and un­nerv­ing Democrats wor­ried about the pres­i­dency and down-bal­lot con­gres­sional races.

The FBI is look­ing into whether there was clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion on a de­vice be­long­ing to An­thony Weiner, the dis­graced ex-con­gress­man who is sep­a­rated from long time Clin­ton aide Huma Abe­din. Comey, in a let­ter to Congress on Fri­day, said the FBI had re­cently come upon new emails while pur­su­ing an un­re­lated case and was re­view­ing whether they were clas­si­fied.

Clin­ton’s team tried to make it cases on the Sun­day news shows, join­ing Demo­cratic lead­ers who have said it was “un­prece­dented” for such FBI ac­tion so close to an elec­tion.

Her cam­paign has called on Comey to re­lease all the facts known so far, and they have crit­i­cised his let­ter be­cause, they con­tend, it lacks cru­cial de­tails.

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,” by fail­ing to dis­close the re­view, Con­way said.

Clin­ton said in Florida on Satur­day that it was “pretty strange to put some­thing like that out with such lit­tle in­for­ma­tion right be­fore an elec­tion” and ac­cused Trump of us­ing the is­sue to mis­lead vot­ers in the fi­nal leg of the cam­paign.

Trump told a crowd in Golden, Colorado, on Satur­day that the FBI’s re­view of Clin­ton email prac­tices raises “every­body’s deep­est hope that jus­tice, as last, can be prop­erly de­liv­ered”. His crowd cheered Clin­ton’s email woes, which Trump has taken to call­ing the big­gest po­lit­i­cal scan­dal since Watergate.

The con­tro­versy over Clin­ton’s email prac­tices while she served as sec­re­tary of State has dogged her for more than a year.

Late Satur­day, four se­nior Demo­cratic sen­a­tors urged the Jus­tice De­part­ment and the FBI to pro­vide more de­tailed in­for­ma­tion by Mon­day about what in­ves­tiga­tive steps are be­ing taken, the num­ber of emails in­volved and what is be­ing done to de­ter­mine how many of the emails are du­plica­tive of those al­ready re­viewed by the FBI.

The let­ter went to Comey and At­tor­ney Gen­eral Loretta Lynch from Sen­a­tors Ben Cardin of Mary­land, Tom Carper of Delaware, Pa­trick Leahy of Ver­mont and Dianne Fe­in­stein of Cal­i­for­nia.

Comey spoke on Satur­day with the Repub­li­can and Demo­cratic lead­ers of the House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, said Chair Bob Good­latte, R-Va.

Good­latte said he and John Cony­ers en­cour­aged Comey to make as much in­for­ma­tion as pos­si­ble public be­fore the elec­tion. He said the FBI chief “did not give us any re­sponse in terms of what more he could say.”

Good­latte said he also asked Comey about the sta­tus of the re­quest from the House Repub­li­cans on the re­fer­ral “of po­ten­tial im­peach­ment — I’m sorry — po­ten­tial per­jury charges to be brought with re­gard to Ms Clin­ton and he de­ferred to the Jus­tice De­part­ment it­self. He did not an­swer that ques­tion as well.”

The slip about im­peach­ment re­flected the GOP prom­ise, if Clin­ton is elected, to doggedly in­ves­ti­gate her.

A gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial said on Satur­day that the Jus­tice De­part­ment had ad­vised the FBI against telling Congress about the new de­vel­op­ments in the Clin­ton in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­cause of the po­ten­tial fall­out so close to the elec­tion. The of­fi­cial was not au­tho­rised to speak pub­licly about the mat­ter and dis­cussed it on con­di­tion of anonymity.

Jus­tice of­fi­cials con­cluded the let­ter would be in­con­sis­tent with de­part­ment pol­icy that di­rects against in­ves­tiga­tive ac­tions that could be seen as af­fect­ing an elec­tion or help­ing a par­tic­u­lar candidate, the of­fi­cial said. — AFP

Hil­lary Clin­ton

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