In a new letter to Congress released today, just two days before the election, Comey said the new emails don’t change his decision in July to drop the investigation into Clinton’s private State Department email server.
Last summer, Comey laid out in painstaking detail the department’s recommendation to federal prosecutors. He said “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring a case against Clinton based on the FBI’s investigation.
The latest emails were discovered on a laptop computer shared by Abedin and her estranged husband, who is being investigated for sexting with a 15-year-old girl.
Comey dropped the bombshell 11 days before the election. He sent a letter to Republican congressional leaders informing them he was re-opening the email investigation, even though the FBI had not reviewed the new batch of emails, or determined if they were even related to Clinton.
In its latest release, the FBI said it had reviewed all the new material found on the computer. It said nothing justified reopening the investigation. Nearly all the emails were duplicates that had already been reviewed.
Comey’s initial bombshell letter caused an uproar among both Republicans and Democrats. They charged he acted against U.S. Justice Department regulations and traditional protocols to avoid injecting the FBI into a federal election.
But that didn’t stop Donald Trump or his campaign from trumpeting the letter, despite the fact that it contained no evidence or probable cause.
It’s been a cornerstone of his 11th hour appeals to voters and caused a tightening of the race.
In polls before the letter, Clinton was leading by a comfortable margin and coasting to a victory. But since then, the race has tightened considerably.
The FBI’s action also led to some complaints that it is suppressing voter turnout.
The letter also sparked leaks by rogue FBI agents clearly designed to damage the Clinton campaign.
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