The FBI’s decision to probe Hillary Clinton’s emails stems from an ongoing investigation linked to the husband of Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin, according to The New York Times.
The FBI seized the couple’s electronic devices after it was discovered Abedin’s partner, Anthony Weiner, engaged in explicit text messages with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl. In its investigation, the FBI uncovered thousands of emails relating to the Clinton case, the outlet reports.
In a letter sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee and obtained by NBC News on Friday, FBI director James Comey plainly stated his intention to investigate:
“In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation … 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,” the statement reads.
Comey, a Republican, faced severe criticism in July when he announced his agency would not move to bring criminal charges against Clinton due to her use of a private email server for potentially classified material. The New York Times first broke the story regarding Clinton’s usage in 2015.
According to Politico, Comey was made aware of the newest batch of emails during a briefing on Thursday. A senior law enforcement official originally told NBC News the latest emails were found on “another device,” but did not go into detail.
“There’s no indication, the official said, that Clinton, her campaign or the State Department was withholding information. But the emails were not held by someone who was investigated in the Clinton email case, the official said,” NBC writes.
A top Clinton aide told NBC News they had “No idea” the agency’s decision would be announced.
Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine deferred when reporters approached him at a campaign stop in Florida.
“I’ve got to read more. I’ve got to read a little more,” Kaine said.
But at a rally in New Hampshire, GOP rival and presidential nominee Donald Trump seemed to revel in the new findings and encouraged the crowd to chant, “Lock her up!”
“This was a grave miscarriage of justice that the American people fully understood,” he said. “And it is everybody’s hope that it is about to be corrected.”