FBI probe:Clinton campaign on defensive

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Hillary Clinton campaign on Defensive after renewed email probe by FBI
Hillary Clinton campaign on Defensive after renewed email probe by FBI

Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager on Sunday demanded the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to explain its decision to reopen its investigation of the Democratic presidential nominee’s email.

Nine days ahead of the election, campaign chairman John Podesta said Clinton was cooperating with the latest revelations, adding that there had been no charge of wrongdoing and the new investigation may not be about the former secretary of state.

FBI Director James Comey set off a political firestorm on Friday by announcing in a letter to Congress that the agency was reviewing more emails that came to light during an investigation of disgraced former New York congressman Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton’s closest aide, Huma Abedin.

Weiner is under investigation for allegedly sending lewd messages to an under-aged girl.

The FBI found the emails on computers that it seized in that investigation, according to news reports.

“I think this is something that has been tossed into the middle of a campaign,” Podesta said on CNN.

“Mr Comey really needs to come forward and explain.”

Podesta also said Abedin was continuing her work for the Clinton campaign.

Both Clinton and her opponent Donald Trump were scheduled to campaign later on Sunday in western states.

The FBI has not said what the emails contain or even whether they were sent by or to Clinton.

Comey told Congress it was not yet clear whether the material was significant, and that he did not know how long a full review would take.

In a new twist revealed Sunday, FBI agents investigating Clinton’s use of a private email server knew in early October that messages recovered in the probe of allegations against Weiner might be relevant to their case, according to the Washington Post.

The report, based on unidentified people familiar with the case, raised a question over why it took them weeks to inform Comey.

Comey’s letter said he was briefed on Thursday about the development.

Clinton said on Saturday that Comey’s decision to reopen the email investigation was “unprecedented and deeply troubling” and demanded he provide more information.

Comey said the emails in question would be checked to determine if they contained classified information.

The FBI chief said he felt obligated to make the information public.

The move appeared to backslide on his July announcement that Clinton had been “extremely careless” in handling classified information but had not broken the law.

Republican presidential nominee Trump reacted to the revelation on Saturday by saying Clinton had “nobody to blame but herself” for her ongoing problems with her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

Trump has accused Clinton of using the server to conceal her “criminal conduct from public disclosure.”

He continued making the claim despite Comey’s decision not to prosecute Clinton.

A nationwide poll released Sunday showed Clinton still holds a narrow lead among likely voters.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll, partially conducted since Comey’s announcement on Friday, shows Clinton with 46 per cent of the vote and Trump with 45 per cent in a four-way race that includes Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Clinton has 3-point lead in a head-to-head race with Trump.

It was not clear what impact Comey’s announcement would have on Clinton’s lead in polls in the battleground states of Colorado, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia. (dpa/NAN)

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