Case Closed: FBI Director Once Again Clears Hillary Clinton in Reopened Email Probe
The FBI has cleared Hillary Clinton in its reopened investigation into classified materials in her personal emails while Secretary of State.
"The FBI investigative team has been working around the clock to process and review a large volume of emails from a device obtained in an unrelated criminal investigation," wrote FBI director James Comey in a short letter to congressional committee chairs on Sunday. "During that process we reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state."
"Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton," he concluded.
In other words, the July recommendation by Comey that there was no basis for any criminal charges against the former Secretary of State stands. In short, the agency found nothing new—after unleashing one of the biggest political bombshells in a recent presidential campaign.
That conclusion will be reassuring to Democrats, infuriating to Republicansm and exasperating to Americans who were flustered that the FBI inserted itself into the finale of one of the most heated presidential elections in recent history.
How Comey's latest announcement will affect the race is an open question that will not be known until after the votes are counted. It is simply too late in the campaign for reputable polling to make that assessment, although it could undermine a boost that Donald Trump got in some polls taken after Comey's disclosure late last month.
But nearly 40 million voters have already cast mail-in, absentee or early voting ballots. It's unclear how many of the remaining voters will absorb news of Comey's latest announcement, which came less than 48 hours before polls open for traditional, in-person voting.
"We're glad this matter is resolved," Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri said after learning of Comey's letter.
The FBI's controversial behavior will almost certainly be subject to great scrutiny after Election Day. Both parties will want to know why the agency was plagued by illegal leaks and why Comey spoke up in a way that has cast a major shadow on the election.