FBI director on emails that dominated the last 10 days of the election: Never mind

James Comey hasn’t found any new evidence against Hillary Clinton.

FBI Director James Comey. CREDIT: AP Photos
FBI Director James Comey. CREDIT: AP Photos

FBI Director James Comey hasn’t found any new evidence to recommend a renewed investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

Back in July, Comey concluded that charges should not be brought against Hillary Clinton over her decision to use a private server while serving as the secretary of state. But a little more than a week ago, Comey informed Congress that he was taking a new look into some of Clinton’s emails — a bombshell that rocked the coverage of the Clinton campaign in the final days before the 2016 presidential election.

Now, the director says it was all little more than a red herring. He hasn’t found anything to contradict the FBI’s previous position that there isn’t enough evidence to bring any charges against Clinton.

In a new letter, Comey writes that “we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.”

At the end of October, Comey said he had obtained emails that could be relevant to the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.


Although the details were vague, the announcement was quickly misconstrued to suggest the FBI was “reopening” its previous investigation into Clinton’s emails, which was not entirely accurate.

Comey said the agency needed to examine the new emails — discovered on the computer of Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin — to determine whether they offered any additional insight into the case. It turns out they did not. Weiner’s computer contained merely duplicate or personal emails that aren’t relevant to the FBI, according to NBC News’ Pete Williams.

Comey’s initial letter sparked a lot of criticism given the timing. FBI guidelines stipulate the agency should not use its power to influence the outcome of an election. But there’s no doubt that Comey’s decision to publicly announce a review of additional emails drove a lot of negative press to the Clinton campaign in the crucial few weeks leading up to November 8.

A spokesperson from the Clinton campaign said they are “glad that this matter is resolved.”