House Republican Defends FBI Director Over Email Review

People familiar with the case said they had known about it since soon after New York FBI agents seized a computer related to their investigation into former Democrat congressman Anthony Weiner, who is alleged to have exchanged explicit messages with a 15-year-old girl.

"Already, we have seen characterizations that the FBI is "reopening" an investigation but Comey's words do not match that characterization", said John Podesta, chairman of the Clinton campaign, in a statement.

Nearly instantly, Comey came under intense criticism for his timing and for bucking the Justice Department's guidance not to tell Congress about the development.

Polls released on Sunday showed the USA presidential race growing tighter as Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton grappled with the fallout from the Federal Bureau of Investigation revelation that more of her emails were under review.

Trump is also again accusing the Justice Department of trying to protect Clinton.

The FBI director wrote to lawmakers on Friday, announcing that his agents are investigating a newly discovered trove of emails, renewing an enquiry that the Clinton campaign thought ended in July.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pounded away at the new Federal Bureau of Investigation development, devoting a large part of a campaign speech in Golden, Colorado, to attacking Clinton and arguing that she is not to be trusted with the presidency.

A law enforcement official said Sunday that FBI investigators in the Weiner sexting probe knew for weeks about the existence of newly discovered emails that might be relevant to the Clinton email investigation.

At a press conference in March 2015, Clinton acknowledged that she had exchanged about 60,000 emails from her private email account during her stint in the Obama administration, among which about half were personal and thus deleted.

According to several Clinton advisers, Clinton told them overnight and on Saturday that she wanted the campaign to operate normally, not rashly, while pressuring Comey to dispel any possibility that her candidacy was under legal threat.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other top Justice Department officials discouraged Comey from alerting Congress of the unexpected discovery of the emails given the closeness of Election Day on November 8 and department protocols created to avoid the appearance of interference in an election.But House Judiciary Chairman Robert Goodlatte of Virginia said on ABC's "This Week" that the FBI's review of the newly-discovered emails is "a stunning new development" and announcing it was necessary. "Then they should work to see the emails and release the circumstances of those once they have done that analysis".

Republican nominee Donald Trump was perhaps the first to raise the concern that Abedin's marriage might be a problem for Clinton, tweeting more than a year ago that Weiner was "a major security risk as a collector of info".

"You know I support Donald Trump and want him to win, but whether it's Hillary Clinton or anyone else, Comey's actions violate not only longstanding Justice Department policy ... but the most fundamental rules of fairness and impartiality", Pirro said.

In her appearance yesterday, Clinton stopped just short of accusing Comey, once a registered Republican, of partisan interference in the election.

Podesta also told Tapper that Clinton has learned from her use of a private email server at the State Department.

Hillary Clinton's campaign has put pressure on FBI Director James Comey to release more details about the emails he says could be related to the investigation into her use of a private email server.

The 69-year-old former secretary of state hit the ground hard on Sunday, ticking off five campaign stops in Miami and Fort Lauderdale - an early vote brunch in an Irish pub, an African-American Baptist church, a soul food restaurant, an early voting site and a rally in a gay nightclub.

In July, Mr Comey criticised Mrs Clinton's handling of sensitive information but recommended no charges be brought, and she appeared to be in the clear. "I don't know anything more than the speculation that's running wild in the press now what this is about", Podesta said.

But for those who have always been wary of the company the Clintons keep, it was a reminder of the downside of both Bill and Hillary Clinton's famed loyalty - and a reluctance to distance themselves from drama bound to do them political harm.

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