Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server again became a topic of controversy Friday, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation told Congress that "new emails related to the Clinton case" had been incidentally uncovered during an unrelated investigation. According to the New York Times, these "new emails" were discovered when authorities seized devices belonging to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her husband, Anthony Weiner.
FBI director James Comedy said in a letter to Congress Friday that he wished to "supplement" his previous testimony regarding the Clinton case. "Although the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this additional work, I believe it is important to update your Committees about our efforts in light of my previous testimony," Comey said. The FBI was investigating "illicit" text messages exchanged between Weiner and a 15-year-old North Carolina girl when these allegedly "related" emails were found.
"Director Comey's letter refers to emails that have come to light in an unrelated case, but we have no idea what those emails are and the director himself notes they may not even be significant," John Podesta, Clinton's campaign chair, said in a statement to the Times Friday. "It is extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election."
Though Trump quickly pounced on the news during a rally in New Hampshire, the Clinton campaign is asking Comey and the FBI to come forward with additional information regarding the nature of the emails.
In a press conference Friday Clinton said she's heard the “rumors” and doesn’t know what to believe. “That’s why it is incumbent upon the FBI to tell us what they’re talking about...Because right now your guess is as good as mine and I don’t think that’s good enough. We’ve made it very clear that if they’re going to be sending this kind of letter that is only going originally to Republican members of the House that they need to share whatever facts they claim to have with the American people and that’s what I expect to happen.”
Clinton: "We don't know what to believe ... It is incumbent upon the FBI to tell us what they're talking about." https://t.co/ovLwrxKIfT— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 28, 2016
The Washington Post reported Comey wrote a letter explaining to FBI employees why the bureau was investigating Clinton's emails again. The letter read:
"This morning I sent a letter to Congress in connection with the Secretary Clinton email investigation. Yesterday, the investigative team briefed me on their recommendation with respect to seeking access to emails that have recently been found in an unrelated case. Because those emails appear to be pertinent to our investigation, I agreed that we should take appropriate steps to obtain and review them.
"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. At the same time, however, given that we don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails, I don’t want to create a misleading impression. In trying to strike that balance, in a brief letter and in the middle of an election season, there is significant risk of being misunderstood, but I wanted you to hear directly from me about it."
Comey previously concluded in July that the investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server should not result in criminal charges. "In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts," Comey said at the time.