Hillary Clinton says timing of FBI emails letter is 'strange, unprecedented and deeply troubling'

At a rally in Florida on Saturday, the Democrat also slammed Donald Trump for 'making up lies' about the latest email controversy

Tim Walker
US Correspondent
Monday 07 November 2016 09:51
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Hillary Clinton attacks FBI handling of email review

Hillary Clinton has described the timing of new FBI disclosures regarding the investigation into her private email server, just days before the US presidential election, as “strange”, “unprecedented” and “deeply troubling”.

Speaking at a rally in Daytona Beach, Florida on Saturday, the Democratic nominee said the letter sent on Friday from FBI director James Comey to Republican congressional committee chairs, informing them of developments in the email investigation, was “deeply troubling, because voters deserve to get the full and complete facts.”

In the letter, Mr Comey said only that the bureau was reviewing a newly discovered cache of emails, which “appear to be pertinent” to the long-running probe of Ms Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State. The emails were discovered “in connection with an unrelated case,” the FBI director wrote.

FBI director James Comey's letter to congressional committee chairs

It subsequently emerged that the emails were found on a device shared by Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her estranged husband, former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, who is under investigation for allegedly sending explicit electronic messages to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina.

Ms Clinton urged Mr Comey to provide more detail about what the emails contained. The FBI director has been criticised by Department of Justice officials, Democrats and Republicans alike for releasing such a vaguely worded letter at the risk of influencing the outcome of the election on 8 November.

Mr Comey, a Republican appointed by President Obama, wrote in an email to FBI employees on Friday that he had “felt an obligation” to inform Congress of the new developments, “given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that our investigation was completed.”

But Clinton campaign chair John Podesta told reporters on Saturday that Mr Comey’s letter was “long on innuendo”, “short on facts” and contained “no evidence of wrongdoing. No charge of wrongdoing. No indication this is even about Hillary.”

Before the letter become public, Ms Clinton was enjoying a comfortable lead over Republican Donald Trump, though the polls had tightened in recent days. “We can’t let this election in the last 10 days be about the noise and the distraction,” Ms Clinton insisted on Saturday. “It has to be about the country we want for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.”

Mr Trump, who has described the email controversy as the “biggest political scandal since Watergate”, declared on the stump in Arizona on Saturday that “very, very serious things things must have been happening” for the FBI to be revisiting its investigation. The property developer said he “respected” Mr Comey for “coming back” to the case after having cleared Ms Clinton of any criminal wrongdoing earlier this year. “Hillary Clinton's corruption is corrosive to the soul of our nation and it must be stopped,” he added.

But in Florida, Ms Clinton slammed her opponent for “making up lies about” the significance of Mr Comey’s letter. “It’s time for Donald Trump to stop fear-mongering, to stop disgracing himself, to stop attacking our democracy,” she said, to cheers from the crowd, adding: “We can’t let him get away with this, can we?”

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