MICHAEL BIESECKER and ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) 10/28 — The FBI informed Congress Friday it is investigating whether there is classified information in new emails that have emerged in its probe of Hillary Clinton’s private server. The FBI said in July its investigation was finished.
The disclosure raises the possibility of the FBI reopening the criminal investigation involving the Democratic presidential nominee just days before the election, although it is not clear if that will happen.
Clinton’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.
In a letter sent to congressional leaders, FBI Director James Comey said that new emails have come to light recently that have prompted investigators to take another look at the sensitive government information that flowed through the private email sever Clinton used while serving as secretary of state.
It was not clear from Comey’s letter where the new emails came from or who sent or received them. WikiLeaks has published tens of thousands of confidential emails from Clinton campaign insiders that U.S. intelligence officials have said were hacked in a series of cyberattacks they blamed on the Russian government. The FBI, which did not respond to questions about Comey’s letter, is investigating the recent hacks.
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.”
The White House, through a spokesman, also declined to immediately comment.
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.”
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the FBI’s decision reinforces the committee’s view that the more that is learned about the server, “the clearer it becomes that she and her associates committed wrongdoing and jeopardized national security.”
A yearlong investigation by the FBI focused on whether Clinton sent or received classified information using the private server located in the basement of her New York home, which was not authorized to handle such messages.
Comey said in July that his agents didn’t find evidence to support any criminal charges or direct evidence that Clinton’s private server was hacked. He suggested that hackers working for a foreign government may have been so sophisticated they wouldn’t have left behind any evidence of a break-in.
Within minutes of the news, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump used Comey’s new letter to attack Clinton on the campaign trail.
“Perhaps finally justice will be done,” Trump said, accusing Clinton of orchestrating a “criminal scheme.”