FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers Sunday the agency hasn’t changed its opinion that Hillary Clinton should not face criminal charges after a review of new emails.
Comey had dropped a bombshell 11 days from the election when he informed Congress that the FBI had discovered emails in its separate investigation of Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, that could be connected to its investigation of whether Clinton mishandled classified information by using a private email server.
It’s impossible to know before results are tallied what impact Comey’s actions — first raising a vaguely worded red flag 11 days out, and then lowering it two days from the election — will have on the contest. But the news could help Clinton put to rest a controversy that has dogged her in the 2016 race’s closing days, helping Donald Trump narrow a polling gap nationally and in key battleground states.
“Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July,” Comey said in the letter to top Republicans on the House Oversight Committee.
Comey’s letter was the culmination of a fast-paced review of the newly discovered email, law enforcement sources said Sunday.
“We went through this as fast as we could,” a senior law enforcement official told CNN.
The emails, thousands found, were mostly duplicates of what had already been seen and personal emails, law enforcement officials said in explaining how the conclusion was reached so quickly.
The laptop which was found was around a decade old, with lots of personal content on it not relevant to the investigation, according to one source.
Comey sent the letter as soon as possible, the senior law enforcement official said. He was “very careful” about how the letter was crafted given the sensitivities.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch was informed ahead of time that the FBI director was sending the updated letter to congress informing them of that there would be no change in the FBI stance on Hillary Clinton, a Justice official told CNN on Sunday.
Lynch supported the decision.
“Everyone is on the same page,” the source said.
Since there is no change to the original findings, the Justice Department has no need to weigh in further, the official said.
“The Department of Justice and the FBI dedicated all necessary resources to conduct this review expeditiously,” the Justice Department said in a brief statement released Sunday afternoon. ( CNN / IM )