FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers Friday the bureau is a reopening the investigation into the Hillary Clinton personal email server, a surprise development with 11 days until the election.
After recommending this year that the Department of Justice not press charges against the Secretary of State, Comey said in the letter to eight congressional committee chairman that “recent developments” urged him to take another look.
“In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear pertinent to the investigation,” Comey wrote the chairmen. “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 designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”
Comey said that he was not sure how long the additional review would take and said the FBI “cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant.”
Still the surprising news jolts a presidential race that had largely settled as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump struggled in national and key battleground polls. Now, Clinton will be placed back on the defensive and forced to confront yet again questions about her trustworthiness.
Trump pounced on the news at the opening of his Friday afternoon rally in Manchester, New Hampshire.
“Hillary Clinton’s corruption is on a scale we’ve never seen before,” Trump said. “We must not let her take her criminal scheme into the oval office.”
Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway tweeted after the news broke, “A great day in our campaign just got even better.”