The Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened a new investigation into emails related to Hillary Clinton‘s private email system used during her time as secretary of state.
In a letter to members of Congress, FBI Director James Comey said emails discovered in an “unrelated case” may be pertinent to the investigation into Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business, which the Bureau ended in July without recommending charges against Clinton or her staff.
According to the New York Times, the “unrelated case” is its investigation into disgraced politician Anthony Weiner, husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Weiner is under investigation for allegedly sending lewd text messages and images to a 15-year-old girl.
BREAKING: US official: Newly discovered emails related to Clinton investigation did not come from her private server.— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) October 28, 2016
“In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation,” Comey wrote. “I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”
BIG: The FBI is reopening its investigation into @HillaryClinton's email server. Here's the letter from the FBI to Congress: pic.twitter.com/OKjipTeiJp— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) October 28, 2016
Comey added, “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.”
News of the letter was first revealed in a tweet by Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R). Chaffetz has led the effort among House Republicans to find Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, guilty of wrongdoing related to the 2012 terrorist attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya.
The new FBI investigation comes amid WikiLeaks‘ release of tens of thousands of emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, some of which show Clinton staffers discussing the private email server and condemning how the issue was being handled.
It also arrives just 11 days before the conclusion of the 2016 presidential election.
Update 2:45pm CT, Oct. 28: The “unrelated case” cited by Comey is reportedly its investigation into Anthony Weiner.
Update 6:42pm CT, Oct. 28: In a press conference in Des Moines, Iowa late Friday afternoon, Hillary Clinton called for the full release of the newly unearthed emails potentially linked to her private server.
“Voting is underway, so the American people deserve to get the full and complete facts immediately,” Clinton said, noting that there is just 11 days to go until election day.
Correction: The FBI is reviewing new emails linked to its Clinton server investigation, but it is not reopening its investigation. The headline has been updated. We regret the error.