Republican National Committee (RNC)
Clinton’s campaign intensifies its criticism of Comey’s decision to announce the reopening of the Clinton email investigation.
On October 28, 2016, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congress revealing that the Clinton email investigation was being at least partially reopened, due to newly discovered emails. This was immediately leaked to the general public.
One day later, Clinton comments, “It’s pretty strange to put something like that out with such little information right before an election. In fact, it’s not just strange. It’s unprecedented. And it is deeply troubling.”
Her campaign chair John Podesta says, “Twenty-four hours after that letter was sent, we have no explanation why. No-one can separate what is true or is not because Comey has not been forthcoming with the facts.” He suggests that “by providing selective information, [Comey] has allowed partisans to distort and exaggerate to inflict maximum political damage.” He declines to say whether Comey should be retained as FBI director if Clinton wins.
Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook says that Comey “owes the public the full story or else he shouldn’t have cracked open this door in the first place.”
By contrast, Republican National Committee (RNC) spokesperson Michael Short says, “The Clinton campaign was happy to praise Director Comey when it was politically convenient, but now that the FBI has found thousands of new emails pertinent to their investigation, they’re attacking him and mischaracterizing his letter to Congress.” (Bloomberg News, 10/29/2016)
Republicans applaud Comey’s announcement regarding the FBI’s discovery of new information relevant to the Clinton email investigation.
Prominent Republican politicians react to FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that the Clinton email investigation has been at least partially reopened due to the discovery of more emails in the possession of her aide Huma Abedin.
Republican National Committee (RNC) chair Reince Priebus says, “The FBI’s decision to reopen their criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s secret email server just 11 days before the election shows how serious this discovery must be. … This stunning development raises serious questions about what records may not have been turned over and why, and whether they show intent to violate the law.”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) says, “Hillary Clinton has nobody but herself to blame. She was entrusted with some of our nation’s most important secrets, and she betrayed that trust by carelessly mishandling highly classified information.” He argues that she should no longer be allowed to receive classified briefings. (The New York Times, 10/28/2016)
The State Department will release all of Clinton’s work-related emails recovered by the FBI.
In late 2014, Clinton sorted her emails into what she and her lawyers deemed work-related and personal, and then deleted over 31,000 of the “personal” emails. In the FBI investigation into her emails that concluded in July 2016, it was reported that “several thousand” of the personal emails were recovered or found through other people having copies, and many of these actually were work-related.
In a court filing, the State Department reveals that it is planning to release all of the emails it decides are work-related. The emails will be given to Judicial Watch, who have a number of on-going Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits related to Clinton’s emails. However, it is unknown just how many emails were recovered and how many of those are work-related. It also is unknown how soon they will be released. Republican National Committee (RNC) chair Reince Priebus urges the department to release the emails before the November 2016 presidential election. (The Hill, 8/16/2016)
The Justice Department won’t pursue an indictment against Clinton, ending the FBI’s Clinton investigation.
One day after FBI Director James Comey announced that he would not give the Justice Department a recommendation to indict Clinton, Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the Justice Department agrees with Comey and will not pursue the indictment. Comey did not publicly discuss Clinton’s former aides, but Lynch says there will not be any indictments of her aides either. She also announces that this closes the investigation into Clinton’s email practices during her tenure as secretary of state.
Lynch says, “Late this afternoon, I met with FBI Director James Comey and career prosecutors and agents who conducted the investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email system during her time as Secretary of State. I received and accepted their unanimous recommendation that the thorough, year-long investigation be closed and that no charges be brought against any individuals within the scope of the investigation.”
On July 1, 2016, Lynch said she would accept whatever recommendations Comey and her top prosecutors would give after it was discovered she’d had a meeting with Bill Clinton, Hillary’s husband, several days earlier.
Lynch’s announcement comes one day before Comey is scheduled to testify before the House Oversight Committee, in order to explain his decision to not recommend any indictments.
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Reince Priebus criticizes Lynch’s decision, saying, “By so blatantly putting its political interests ahead of the rule of law, the Obama administration is only further eroding the public’s faith in a government they no longer believe is on their side.” (Politico, 7/6/2016)
Republicans criticize Clinton after she is interviewed by the FBI.
Hours after the FBI interviews Clinton as part of their Clinton email investigation, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says, “It is impossible for the FBI not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton. What she did was wrong!”
The Republican National Committee (RNC) issues a statement after the interview, saying that Clinton “has just taken the unprecedented step of becoming the first major party presidential candidate to be interviewed by the FBI as part of a criminal investigation surrounding her reckless conduct.” (The New York Times, 7/2/2016)
Clinton’s comment in a November 2010 email “I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible” could become an issue in the 2016 presidential election.
The email undercuts Clinton’s claim that she used a private email account and private server for “convenience.” This email was not included in the 30,000 work-related emails Clinton turned over in late 2014.
One unnamed “Clinton ally” says, “If Donald Trump didn’t have some major problems right now, I’d be worried. It basically sums up that she was aware of what was happening. It’s yet another headache for us.”
RNC (Republican National Committee) spokesperson Michael Short says: “The fact that such a key email, which contained damning information about her use of a private server, was not turned over casts doubt on the notion that this may have been an oversight and raises questions about what other work-related emails may have been deleted or inappropriately withheld.”
An unnamed “former senior aide to President Obama who supports Clinton” says Clinton’s email controversy in general “gives Trump something he can hammer her on. It’s something that the Republican base can actually rally behind. It adds fuel to the fire. Anytime there’s another drip, voters are distracted from whatever dumb thing Trump is saying so it’s not helpful. The more things that come out, the more it highlights the larger trust problem [with Clinton].”
Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University, says the controversy is the “continuing story that plagues the Clinton campaign. The great danger is to her credibility because this has gone on for a long time and there are various incompatible details about why she did the things she did and it reminds people that they have been for decades been suspicious of the Clintons.” (The Hill, 6/24/2016)