Hillary Clinton (left), FBI Director James Comey (right)
Cox Media Group National Content Desk
The FBI is investigating newly discovered emails related to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to a letter sent Friday to multiple congressional committee heads by FBI director James Comey.
"In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation," Comey wrote. "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 did not say how the additional emails came to light or provide more information on the "unrelated case." However, the New York Times reported that the emails were uncovered after FBI agents seized electronics belonging to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her husband, Anthony Weiner. Federal agents are investigating allegations that Weiner sent illicit messages to a 15-year-old girl.
Comey did not provide a timeline for the new investigation.
On Saturday, CNN reported that Attorney General Loretta Lynch objected to Comey sending the letter.
In a statement, Clinton campaign chair John Podesta called on Comey to release additional information on the newly found emails. Clinton and the rest of her campaign did not know what the new emails said, according to Podesta.
"It is extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election," he said. "The director owes it to the American people to immediately provide the full details of what he is now examining. We are confident this will not produce any conclusions different from the one the FBI reached in July."
Clinton's use of a private email server has been frequently spotlighted by the Democratic presidential nominee's detractors in the race for the White House. Critics say the controversy highlights Clinton's lack of judgment and shows that she can't be trusted with confidential information.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, praised the announcement in a statement Friday and called for Clinton to be suspended from all classified briefings as the investigation continues.
"Yet again, Hillary Clinton has nobody but herself to blame," he wrote. "She was entrusted with some of our nation's most important secrets, and she betrayed that trust by carelessly mishandling highly classified information. This decision, long overdue, is the result of her reckless use of a private email server, and her refusal to be forthcoming with federal investigators."
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, wrote on Twitter that Comey told him that the investigation into Clinton's emails was "reopened" just before 1 p.m. Friday, although Comey's letter indicates that the emails are part of an unrelated case.
Chaffetz is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He was one of the eight committee chairs who received Comey's letter.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has promised to have a special prosecutor investigate Clinton's emails if he wins in November. At a campaign rally in New Hampshire on Friday, he welcomed news of the investigation.
"This was a grave miscarriage of justice that the American people understood," he said. "Perhaps, finally, justice will be done."
Over the summer, Comey called for no charges against Clinton after a months-long investigation by FBI agents digging into Clinton's use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state. She served in that capacity from 2009 to 2013.
Comey noted that Clinton and her staff "were extremely careless" in their handling of classified information, but he said there was no "clear evidence" that they intended to break the law.