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FBI to review New Batch of Emails of Hillary Clinton’s handling of Electronic Communication as Secretary of State

The latest emails were uncovered in a separate FBI investigation of the estranged husband of a top Clinton aide

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U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leaves after an unscheduled news conference on FBI inquiries about her emails after a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 28, 2016. VOA

Furor continues to build over Friday’s FBI’s announcement that it is reviewing a new batch of emails that could pertain to Hillary Clinton’s handling of electronic communication as secretary of state — a case the FBI had closed months ago.

“It’s just extremely puzzling,” said Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine on ABC’s This Week program. “I just have no way of understanding these actions. They are completely unprecedented.”

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“There’s this constant cloud of corruption that follows Hillary Clinton around,” said Republican Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, also on This Week. “And for the FBI to make this remarkable move 11 days before the election means there must be something there.”

The FBI’s action, less than two weeks before Election Day, set off a political frenzy — in part because the content and relevance of the emails are unknown and could remain so when Americans cast ballots on November 8.

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“It’s pretty strange to put something like that out, with such little information, right before an election,” said Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, at a campaign event.

Trump, meanwhile, seized on a chance to underscore a central line of attack on Clinton.

“A vote for Hillary is a vote to surrender our government to public corruption, graft, cronyism that threatens the survival of our Constitution itself,” the Republican presidential nominee said.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Open Door Christian Academy, Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, in Lisbon, Maine. VOA
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Open Door Christian Academy, Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, in Lisbon, Maine. VOA

The latest emails were uncovered in a separate FBI investigation of the estranged husband of a top Clinton aide. On Friday, FBI Director James Comey informed members of Congress of the existence of new material and the bureau’s intention to examine it.

Democrats cried foul.

FILE - FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 7, 2016, before the House Oversight Committee to explain his agency's recommendation to not prosecute Hillary Clinton. VOA
FILE – FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 7, 2016, before the House Oversight Committee to explain his agency’s recommendation to not prosecute Hillary Clinton. VOA

“It happens close to an election, which is in violation of normal Justice Department protocol, and it involves talking about an ongoing investigation, which also violates the protocol,” Kaine said. “And as far as we know now, Director Comey knows nothing about the content of these emails. We don’t know if they are to or from Hillary at all. And so this is a distraction.”

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The criticism from Democrats is a reversal from July, when they cheered Comey’s conclusion that no criminal charges should be brought against Clinton for using a private email server in her home to store communications during her tenure as President Barack Obama’s first secretary of state.

FILE - In this March 12, 2012, file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton checks her mobile phone after her address to the Security Council at United Nations headquarters. VOA
FILE – In this March 12, 2012, file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton checks her mobile phone after her address to the Security Council at United Nations headquarters. VOA

Republicans suggested the new emails must contain something noteworthy precisely because of the FBI’s unusual move.

“We don’t know what the basis was for Mr. Comey making the decision,” said the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte, on This Week. “We do know they know something is there.”

Millions of Americans already have cast early ballots in states across the country. What effect the FBI announcement might have on turnout is unclear, but polls showed a tightening race between Clinton and Trump even before Friday’s bombshell. (VOA)

Next Story

US President Donald Trump Declares National Emergency Over Cyber Threats

The world's third largest smartphone maker, on the contrary, has repeatedly rubbished the allegations

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U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on a range of subjects during an event in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, May 9, 2019. VOA

With a motive to protect US communications network from “foreign adversaries”, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on Wednesday.

The executive order gives the federal government powers to restrict US companies from doing business transactions with certain foreign tech suppliers “posing an unacceptable risk to the national security”, said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders in a statement.

According to the statement, Trump signed the executive order as “part of his commitment to protecting the information and communications technology and services” of the US.

“The President has made it clear that this Administration will do what it takes to keep America safe and prosperous, and to protect America from foreign adversaries who are actively and increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology infrastructure and services in the United States,” said the White House statement.

Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump earlier criticised social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter for anti-conservative bias. VOA

“This Executive Order declares a national emergency with respect to the threats against information and communications technology and services in the United States and delegates authority to the Secretary of Commerce to prohibit transactions posing an unacceptable risk to the national security,’ it added.

If reports are to be believed, Trump’s order is directed at Chinese telecom major Huawei. US believes that Huawei’s equipment could be used by China for surveillance.

Also Read- EC Orders Twitter to Remove Exit Poll-related Tweets

The world’s third largest smartphone maker, on the contrary, has repeatedly rubbished the allegations.

Last year, Trump signed a bill that barred the US government and its contractors from using components from Huawei and several other Chinese communications companies. (IANS)