FBI begins new probe into Clinton emails

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pauses while speaking at a news conference at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday. The FBI dropped what amounts to a political bomb on the Clinton campaign on Friday when it announced it was investigating whether new emails involving the Democratic presidential nominee contain classified information, Des Moines, Iowa, Friday, Oct. 28, 2016 | AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, St. George News

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI is investigating whether there is classified information in new emails uncovered during the sexting investigation of disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of one of Hillary Clinton’s closest aides.

FBI Director James Comey told Congress in a letter that the emails prompted investigators to take another look at whether classified information had been mishandled, which had been the focus of its recently closed, criminal probe into Clinton’s use of a private email server. Comey couldn’t guarantee that the latest focus of the investigation would be finished before Election Day.

Clinton said Friday that “the American people deserve to get the full and complete facts immediately.” She urged the FBI to “explain this issue in question, whatever it is, without any delay.”

“Let’s get it out,” she said.

Comey did not provide details about the emails, but a U.S. official told The Associated Press that the emails emerged through the FBI’s separate sexting probe of Weiner, who is separated from Clinton confidant Huma Abedin. She served as deputy chief of staff at the State Department and is still a key player in Clinton’s presidential campaign. The two separated earlier this year after Weiner was caught in 2011, 2013 and again in 2016 sending sexually explicit text messages and photographs of himself undressed to numerous women.

Federal authorities in New York and North Carolina are investigating online communications between Weiner and a 15-year-old girl. The U.S. official was familiar with the investigation but was not authorized to discuss the matter by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The disclosure came less than two weeks before the presidential election and thrust a political liability for Clinton back into the headlines that her campaign thought had been resolved and had begun to recede from the minds of voters. The FBI said in July its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server was finished.

Comey stressed in his letter that 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.

“In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation,” Comey wrote. “I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”

Clinton, in a brief statement to reporters Friday evening, noted: “The director himself has said he doesn’t know whether the emails referenced in his letter are significant or not. I’m confident whatever they are will not change the conclusion reached in July.”

It was unclear what the emails contained, who sent them, or what connection they might have to the yearlong investigation the FBI closed in July without recommending criminal charges. The FBI probe focused on whether Clinton sent or received classified information using a server in the basement of her New York home, which was not authorized to handle such messages. Abedin was interviewed by the FBI as part of its investigation.

Comey said in July that his agents didn’t find evidence to support a criminal prosecution or direct evidence that Clinton’s private server was hacked.

Matthew Miller, a former chief spokesman for the Justice Department, was dismayed by the timing of Comey’s letter.

“Longstanding DOJ and FBI practice is you don’t say anything publicly close to an election that can possibly influence that election,” Miller said.

Comey, who has talked often about the FBI’s need to be accountable to the public, promised extraordinary transparency about the investigation and during intervening months has authorized the release of investigative files from the case, which are normally kept confidential.

That stance also left Comey, a career federal prosecutor who has served under both Republican and Democratic administrations, open to criticism from leaders in both parties that he was trying to influence the outcome of the presidential race.

Clinton campaign supporters were already suggesting the FBI director was putting a thumb on the scale. Had he waited until after Nov. 8 to announce the discovery of the new emails, however, Comey would surely have faced criticism for sitting on major news until after the new president had been selected.

In an internal email to FBI employees, Comey wrote: “Of course, we don’t ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations, but here I feel an obligation to do so given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that our investigation was completed. I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record.” The Associated Press acquired the email Friday night.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the department learned about the FBI letter from news reports and did not get any notification from the FBI. Toner pledged the department would “cooperate to the full extent that we can.”

Speaking at a Clinton rally in Florida, President Barack Obama also steered clear of the issue. White House spokesman Eric Schultz declined comment beyond reiterating Obama’s continuing support for Clinton.

The ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, said Comey’s letter was particularly troubling because it left so many questions unanswered.

“Without knowing how many emails are involved, who wrote them, when they were written or their subject matter, it’s impossible to make any informed judgment on this development,” said Feinstein, D-Calif. “The FBI has a history of extreme caution near Election Day so as not to influence the results. Today’s break from that tradition is appalling.”

Republicans immediately pounced on the news, hoping to shake up a presidential race where most polls appear to show Republican nominee Donald Trump lagging well behind Clinton.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Clinton has “nobody but herself to blame.”

She was entrusted with some of our nation’s most important secrets, and she betrayed that trust by carelessly mishandling highly classified information,” Ryan, R-Wis., said in a statement. “This decision, long overdue, is the result of her reckless use of a private email server, and her refusal to be forthcoming with federal investigators. I renew my call for the Director of National Intelligence to suspend all classified briefings for Secretary Clinton until this matter is fully resolved.”

Speaking to cheering supporters at a rally in New Hampshire, Trump used Comey’s new letter to attack Clinton.

“We must not let her take her criminal scheme into the Oval Office,” said Trump, who has pledged to “lock up” his political rival if elected. “Perhaps finally justice will be done.”

Prior to seeking public office as a Republican, Trump was a supporter of Clinton’s past campaigns for president and senator. Records show the New York billionaire also contributed at least $4,300 to former Rep. Weiner’s Democratic campaigns.

Story by MICHAEL BIESECKER and ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press. Associated Press reporter Tami Abdollah contributed from the District of Columbia.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • ladybugavenger October 29, 2016 at 7:49 am

    It’s a beautiful day! 🙂

    • .... October 29, 2016 at 9:54 am

      They’re not going to do anything to her. !

      • ladybugavenger October 29, 2016 at 3:03 pm

        Don’t be so negative LOL!

  • .... October 29, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Don’t say anything bad about Hillary because boob.oops I mean Bob. likes Hillary and RealLowlife gets upset if someone disagrees with his ( special ) little buddy.

  • Brian October 29, 2016 at 10:57 am

    For them to reopen the investigation 11 days before the election means there are some very substantial new revelations in those emails.

    If Hillary wins we’ll see nothing but 4 years of constant scandals and corruption. That should come as a surprise to no one, but this new investigation puts another exclamation point after it.

  • wilbur October 29, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Time for a special prosecutor.

  • Bob October 29, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    American politicians are scoundrels and criminals. that’s just how it is. Obama has been fairly scandal-free or at least good at hiding it. I know u people have a short memory but the bush/cheney regime is guilty of massive corruption and war crimes beyond imagination. The fact is: the elitists look out for eachother. we won’t see anyone punished. we’ve got a lot of idiots thinking that trump is some kind of “political outsider”–not even close. .

    • RealMcCoy October 29, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      “Obama has been fairly scandal-free or at least good at hiding it.”

      Your statement tells everyone that you are not only blind, but ignorant to the truth.

      • Bob October 29, 2016 at 4:35 pm

        not a fan of Barry in the least. I just find it amusing how so many have 0 memory of politics before 2009. Barry has continued the legacy of advancing the globalist agenda of both Bill Clinton and Bush II, and, whether it’s Trump or Hilary in this go around, the same agenda will continue. But to idiots it’s “Obama and the socialists done it” and just a completely blanked out memory of anything that happened before obama. maybe it’s all ancient history and i’m just gettin old, oh well

        • RealMcCoy October 31, 2016 at 10:57 am

          My point was that your comment that “Obama has been fairly scandal-free or at least good at hiding it” was so far off the mark as to be ridiculous.

          Here’s a few:
          Fast and Furious,
          Paying ransom to Iran,
          Gun control,
          Domestic surveillance,
          Lies about unemployment numbers and job creation,
          Lies about Obamacare,
          Lies about taxes and spending,
          Lies about energy production,
          Lies about immigration and border security,
          Lies about everything else,
          Intentionally weakening the American economy,
          Intentionally weakening America’s defenses,
          The use of the IRS as a weapon,
          The use of the EPA as a weapon,
          The use of the NLRB as a weapon,
          The use of the Fish and Wildlife department as a weapon,
          The heavily politicized Department of Justice,
          The VA hospitals,
          Lois Lerner’s conveniently deleted emails,
          Wholesale amnesty by executive fiat,
          Acting like a Marxist dictator,
          Changing the Obamacare law day by day,

          1. IRS targets Obama’s enemies: yep

          2. Benghazi: This is actually three scandals in one:

          The failure of administration to protect the Benghazi mission.
          The changes made to the talking points in order to suggest the attack was motivated by an anti-Muslim video
          The refusal of the White House to say what President Obama did the night of the attack

          3. Watching the AP: The Justice Department performed a massive cull of Associated Press reporters’ phone records as part of a leak investigation.

          4. Rosengate: The Justice Department suggested that Fox News reporter James Rosen is a criminal for reporting about classified information and subsequently monitored his phones and emails.

          5. Potential Holder perjury I: Attorney General Eric Holder told Congress he had never been associated with “potential prosecution” of a journalist for perjury when in fact he signed the affidavit that termed Rosen a potential criminal.

          6. The ATF “Fast and Furious” scheme: Allowed weapons from the U.S. to “walk” across the border into the hands of Mexican drug dealers. The ATF lost track of hundreds of firearms, many of which were used in crimes, including the December 2010 killing of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

          7. Potential Holder Perjury II: Holder told Congress in May 2011 that he had just recently heard about the Fast and Furious gun walking scheme when there is evidence he may have known much earlier.

          8. Sebelius demands payment: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius solicited donations from companies HHS might regulate. The money would be used to help her sign up uninsured Americans for ObamaCare.

          9. The Pigford scandal: An Agriculture Department effort that started as an attempt to compensate black farmers who had been discriminated against by the agency but evolved into a gravy train delivering several billion dollars in cash to thousands of additional minority and female farmers who probably didn’t face discrimination.

          10. GSA gone wild: The General Services Administration in 2010 held an $823,000 training conference in Las Vegas, featuring a clown and a mind readers. Resulted in the resignation of the GSA administrator.

          11. Veterans Affairs in Disney World: The agency wasted more than $6 million on two conferences in Orlando. An assistant secretary was fired.

          12. Sebelius violates the Hatch Act: A U.S. special counsel determined that Sebelius violated the Hatch Act when she made “extemporaneous partisan remarks” during a speech in her official capacity last year. During the remarks, Sebelius called for the election of the Democratic candidate for governor of North Carolina.

          13. Solyndra: Republicans charged the Obama administration funded and promoted its poster boy for green energy despite warning signs the company was headed for bankruptcy. The administration also allegedly pressed Solyndra to delay layoff announcements until after the 2010 midterm elections.

          14. AKA Lisa Jackson: Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson used the name “Richard Windsor” when corresponding by email with other government officials, drawing charges she was trying to evade scrutiny.

          15. The New Black Panthers: The Justice Department was accused of using a racial double standard in failing to pursue a voter intimidation case against Black Panthers who appeared to be menacing voters at a polling place in 2008 in Philadelphia.

          16. Waging war all by myself: Obama may have violated the Constitution and both the letter and the spirit of the War Powers Resolution by attacking Libya without Congressional approval.

          17. Biden bullies the press: Vice President Biden’s office has repeatedly interfered with coverage, including forcing a reporter to wait in a closet, making a reporter delete photos, and editing pool reports.

          18. AKPD not A-OK: The administration paid millions to the former firm of then-White House adviser David Axelrod, AKPD Message and Media, to promote passage of Obamacare. Some questioned whether the firm was hired to help pay Axelrod $2 million AKPD owed him.

          19. Sestak, we’ll take care of you: Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel used Bill Clinton as an intermediary to probe whether former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) would accept a prominent, unpaid White House advisory position in exchange for dropping out of the 2010 primary against former Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.).

          20. I’ll pass my own laws: Obama has repeatedly been accused of making end runs around Congress by deciding which laws to enforce, including the decision not to deport illegal immigrants who may have been allowed to stay in the United States had Congress passed the “Dream Act.”

          21. The hacking of Sharyl Attkisson’s computer: It’s not clear who hacked the CBS reporter’s computer as she investigated the Benghazi scandal, but the Obama administration and its allies had both the motive and the means to do it.

          22. An American Political Prisoner: The sudden decision to arrest Nakoula Basseley Nakoula on unrelated charges after protests in the Arab world over his anti-Muslim video is an extraordinarily suspicious coincidence. “We’re going to go out and we’re going to prosecute the person that made that video,” Hillary Clinton allegedly told the father of one of the ex-SEALs killed in Banghazi.

          23. Get rid of inconvenient IGs: Corporation for National and Community Service Inspector General Gerald Walpin was fired in 2009 as he fought wasteful spending and investigated a friend of Obama’s, Sacramento Mayor and former NBA player Kevin Johnson. The White House says Walpin was incompetent.

          24. Influence peddling: An investigation is underway of Alejandro Mayorkas, director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, who has been nominated by Obama for the number two post at the Department of Homeland Security. Mayorkas may have used his position to unfairly obtain U.S. visas for foreign investors in company run by Hillary Clinton’s brother, Anthony Rodham.

          No scandals?
          Try again…

          • Bob November 1, 2016 at 2:25 pm

            won’t defend Barry, and yes i guess i spoke too soon as far as the scandals. neo-libs and neo-cons being our only choices with not a lot of difference between the two groups… well, the future is not looking bright at all. we got ol’ corrupt criminal hillary and hillary’s friend, ol’ billionaire mogul trump talking about “grab ’em by the *****” and making sure everyone knows his small hands don’t mean………………. America is in decline and the time of expecting rigged politics to change anything has either ended, or is rapidly coming to an end.

          • Bob November 1, 2016 at 2:29 pm

            I remember the election of ’04 some of my biggest concerns were the massive illegal migrant invasion and the globalists sending millions of production jobs to china, and 12 years later and those issues haven’t even been touch–only become much worse, so who knows…

          • Bob November 1, 2016 at 2:49 pm

            one last item after reading your list here. Have you ever seen obama without his teleprompter? he’s completely clueless and aloof. I don’t know, but i sometimes suspect these top political figures are just puppets on strings that are told what to do by what some call “the deep state”–these are billionaire and trillionaire elitists that pull the strings of world events, and they are not visible public figures and do their dealings in the shadows. They run massive banks and move around the cash and material that drives wars. Many of them seem to be Israeli zionists. It gives me a huge headache to look into stuff like that and is basically pointless anyway. America is captivated by two buffoons arguing on stage, meanwhile the real dealings are going on off stage, out of sight. hmm….

      • .... October 29, 2016 at 4:44 pm

        Don’t mind Bob he only thinks he knows everything.

      • .... October 30, 2016 at 2:19 am

        The only truth Bob knows is all his whacked conspiracy theories. LOL !

  • Henry October 29, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    It’s rather ironic to see the Democratic attacks against FBI Director Comey. Back in July, Hillary Clinton’s website said this: “Throughout his long career in law enforcement, the independence of FBI chief James Comey has rarely been questioned. Comey is a well-respected Republican who served as George W. Bush’s Deputy Attorney General. And when President Obama tapped him to serve as Director of the FBI, he was confirmed by a 93-1 vote.”

    Perhaps Director Comey’s reopening of the investigation is to cover his backside after this October 24 revelation by the Wall Street Journal: “The political organization of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, an influential Democrat with longstanding ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, gave nearly $500,000 to the election campaign of the wife of an official at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Andrew McCabe) who later helped oversee the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email use.”

    • Bob October 29, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      only 500,000?

      • Henry October 29, 2016 at 6:00 pm

        LOL. Standby for WikiLeaks to publish more Clinton emails; $500K might be the tip of the iceberg.

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