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Clinton's troubles escalate as FBI reviews new 650,000 emails

Source: PTI
October 31, 2016 13:50 IST
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Over 650,000 emails have been found on a laptop shared by Hillary Clinton's close aide and her husband as the Democratic presidential nominee's woes escalated just over a week before the election with the Federal Bureau of Investigation set to review the newly-discovered data.

The FBI received the necessary search warrant on Sunday to look into the emails belonging to Clinton's aide Huma Abedin as part of the re-opened investigation into the case of use of a personal email hosted on a private server by the former secretary of state in the first term of the Obama administration, media reports said.

Such a large number of emails have been found on the laptop which was shared by a former Congressman Anthony Weiner and his estranged wife Abedin.

Abedin was a key individual investigated into the alleged email scandal of Clinton. Among others, she testified before a Congressional Committee.

The FBI came across these emails while investigating into a sexting case of Weiner, following which the FBI Director James Comey informed the Congress that it is
reopening the investigation on Clinton which it has closed three months ago.

The Clinton campaign has questioned the motive behind such a move.

Clinton's rival Donald Trump on Sunday said that the finding of such a large number of emails could be motherload.

"This could be the motherload, you know? This could be the 33,000 that are missing. This could be the 20,000 that are missing. This could be the 15,000 that are missing," he said, referring to emails that were deleted from the server before the FBI could see them.

Armed with the search warrant, FBI will now examine e-mails belonging to Abedin to see if they have anything to do with the original Clinton investigation.

The Clinton Campaign reiterated its demand that FBI release all information related to the case.

At an election rally in Michigan, the Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine said it was "unusual" that something that is all speculation would be released right before an election.

As such he called on the FBI to "put all the details out for the American public" so they can have the full information and decide for themselves.

"Just put the information out there so we can put this to rest. This campaign is supposed to be about the American people and their lives and what the next president is going to do for them. This is clouding our ability to talk about this," Clinton Campaign Manager Robby Mook told NBC News.

Mook said Abedin fully cooperated with the investigation.

Senate Minority leader Harry Reid said Comey may have violated a federal law when he disclosed, less than two weeks before the presidential election, that his office was pursuing potential new evidence related Clinton's use of a private email server.

A group of nearly 100 former federal prosecutors and high-ranking Department of Justice officials from both Democratic and Republican administrations, including former Attorney General Eric Holder in a joint letter expressed serious concerns over FBI Director's departure from long-standing department protocols.

Among the signatories include the former Indian American Acting Solicitor General Neal Kumar Katyal.

"Perhaps most troubling to us is the precedent set by this departure from the Department's widely-respected, non-partisan traditions. The admonitions that warn officials against making public statements during election periods have helped to maintain the independence and integrity of both the Department's important work and public confidence in the hardworking men and women who conduct themselves in a nonpartisan manner," the joint letter said.

According to The Wall Street Journal it will take weeks, at a minimum, to determine whether those messages are work-related from the time Abedin served Clinton at the State Department, how many are duplicates of emails already reviewed by the FBI, and whether they include either classified information or important new evidence in the Clinton email probe.

"Officials familiar with the case said the messages include a significant amount of correspondence associated with Clinton and her top aide Huma Abedin, Weiner's estranged wife," The Washington Post reported.

It quoted people familiar with the case as saying that agents on the Clinton email team had known about the messages since soon after New York FBI agents seized this computer.

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