sexta-feira, 28 de outubro de 2016

Hillary Clinton emails; candidate urges FBI to release 'full and complete facts immediately' / Hillary Clinton's email woes refuse to go away – what does this latest twist mean? / HILLARY CLINTON'S EMAILS: THE REAL REASON THE FBI IS REVIEWING MORE OF THEM / Video: Hillary Clinton Addresses FBI Director's Revelation

Hillary Clinton emails; candidate urges FBI to release 'full and complete facts immediately'
Ms Clinton delivers her statement during a news briefing in Des Moines

Feliks Garcia New York

Hillary Clinton broke her silence after the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced its reopening of a probe into her use of email while serving as Secretary of State – stoking the flames of the ongoing scandal that has plagued her campaign.

The Democratic presidential candidate made her statement following a day of speculation caused by FBI director's letter to congression Republicans. Mr Comey revealed that investigators discovered emails pertinent to the prior probe into Ms Clinton's private email servers – for which the FBI found evidence of no criminal wrongdoing in July.

The former Secretary of State said it is "imperative" that investigators release all informatoon about the new emails, following Mr Comey's Friday announcement.

"We are 11 days out from perhaps the most important national election of our lifetimes. Voting is already underway in our country," she said. "So, the American people deserve to get the full and complete facts immediately."

She emphasised that Mr Comey did not know the significance of the particular emails referenced in his letter, and expressed her confidence that the decision to not pursue criminal charges in July would remain unchanged.

"Therefore, it's imperative that the Bureau explain this issue in question – whatever it is – without any delay."

FBI officials found the emails while investigating electronic devices that belonged to longtime aide Huma Abedin and her now-estranged husband, former congressman Anthony Weiner – who is the focus of an investigation for allegedly sending sexts to a minor.

When questioned about the investigation into Mr Weiner's case, Ms Clinton repeated her urge for the FBI to release more information.

"We've heard these rumours. We don't know what to believe,” she said. "That is why it is incumbent on the FBI to tell us what they are talking about. Because right now your guess is as good mine, and I don't think that is good enough."

In his Friday statement, Mr Comey said: “In connection with an unrelated case the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent, and I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday and I agreed 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.”

He added: "The FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this additional work."

Republican nominee Donald Trump quickly seized the opportunity to use this persistent scandal to his advantage.

While speaking at a campaign event in New Hampshire, Mr Trump said the news is "bigger than Watergate" – the scandal that led to President Richard Nixon's 1974 resignation.

"Hillary Clinton’s corruption is on a scale we have never seen before,” Mr Trump said. “We must not let her take her criminal scheme into the Oval Office.

“I have great respect for the fact that the FBI and the DOJ are now willing to have the courage to right the horrible mistake that they made."

He continued: "This was a grave miscarriage of justice that the American people fully understand. It is everybody’s hope that it is about to be corrected."

In July, Mr Comey said he would not seek prosecution against Ms Clinton after reading through more than 30,000 emails.

"Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case," he said. "In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts."

Hillary Clinton's email woes refuse to go away – what does this latest twist mean?
Only 11 days out from the election, the FBI’s director said newly discovered emails – from an investigation into Anthony Weiner – were under review. Will it matter to voters?

Dan Roberts in Washington
Friday 28 October 2016 22.09 BST

Eighteen months and 30 miles away from where Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign began, the issue that has dogged the Democratic candidate from the start caught up with her on Friday, when director James Comey announced the FBI was reviewing newly discovered emails relating to her personal server.

We know from leaked emails that even Clinton’s closest friends thought it was “insane” to secretly communicate via a private computer server while working as secretary of state.

“Do we actually know who told Hillary she could use a private email?” wrote close aide and transition team member Neera Tanden in a July 2015 note recently revealed by WikiLeaks. “And has that person been drawn and quartered? Like [this] whole thing is fucking insane.”

Fortunately for Clinton, in July the FBI eventually decided to let this potentially illegal evasion of security protocol pass with a sharp wrap on the knuckles.

There was an audible intake of breath among campaign followers in the summer, when Comey criticised her for being “extremely careless” in her handling of classified information, but his decision not to recommend criminal charges brought to an end the one threat deemed capable of preventing her from becoming president.

That was, at least, until Comey dropped a fresh bombshell. The three-paragraph letter he released to Congress on Friday revealing the existence of potentially significant new evidence may or not have any legal bearing on whether charges are again possible. It certainly had a political impact.

Clinton was in the air when the letter leaked. An onboard Wi-Fi outage meant she may not have discovered its existence at all until her plane landed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for a campaign stop just down the road from her very first event as a candidate on 14 April 2015.

There was a long delay in her leaving the plane as aides urgently gathered onboard to discuss the issue. A planned photoshoot with Annie Leibowitz had to be cut short. Her opponent wasted no time pointing out that it is never a good look for a presidential candidate to be under criminal investigation by the FBI.

“Hillary Clinton’s corruption is on a scale we have never seen before,” was Donald Trump’s predictable hyperbole at a rally minutes later in New Hampshire. “We must not let her take her criminal scheme into the Oval Office.”

Democrats rushed to downplay its significance on Friday, as Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, suggested Comey may have been “browbeaten” by aggressive Republicans into announcing a relatively minor wrinkle for the sake of transparency.

The investigation had still not officially been closed, so it is also oversimplifying to say, as many initially did, that it has been “reopened”. The fact that the evidence in question reportedly comes from a separate investigation into a sex scandal engulfing Anthony Weiner, the estranged of husband of Huma Abedin, one of Clinton’s key aides, should make it less relevant to her security case, not more.

But there is little doubt it gives everyone something to talk about in the 11 days left before election day. Unless the FBI moves far faster than is normal to clarify that there is nothing new of significance here, Democrats may also struggle to come up with convincing answers to questions that will undoubtedly weigh on the minds of some voters.

The new evidence that has emerged relates to how Huma Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide, managed her email accounts.

The disclosure by the Federal Bureau of Investigation late on Friday, October 28 that it had discovered potential new evidence in its inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s handling of her personal email when she was Secretary of State has virtually nothing to do with any actions taken by the Democratic nominee, according to government records and an official with knowledge of the investigation, who spoke to Newsweek on condition of anonymity.

The revelation that the FBI has discovered additional emails convulsed the political world, and led to widespread (and erroneous) claims and speculation. Many Republicans proclaimed that the discovery suggests Clinton may have broken the law, while Democrats condemned FBI Director James Comey for disclosing this information less than two weeks before the election, claiming he did it for political purposes.

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Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, said the development showed his opponent had engaged in corruption “on a scale we have never seen before,’’ while Clinton called for the FBI to release all of the information it has, saying the American people have a right to know everything.

The truth is much less explosive. There is no indication the emails in question were withheld by Clinton during the investigation, the law enforcement official told Newsweek, nor does the discovery suggest she did anything illegal. Also, none of the emails were to or from Clinton, the official said. Moreover, despite the widespread claims in the media that this development had prompted the FBI to “reopen” of the case, it did not; such investigations are never actually closed, and it is common for law enforcement to discover new information that needs to be examined.

As of Friday night Comey had only said the bureau is seeking to determine whether these newly discovered emails involved classified material.

The FBI found the new evidence during an unrelated inquiry into former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner regarding an allegation that he sent illicit, sexual text messages to an underage girl in North Carolina. In the course of that investigation, agents seized a laptop computer Weiner shared with his wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide who has already been questioned by the FBI during its investigation. The bureau found the emails now being examined on this shared device, which agents obtained some time ago.

This new evidence relates to how Abedin managed her emails. She maintained four email accounts—an unclassified State Department account, another on the domain and a third on Yahoo. The fourth was linked to her husband’s account; she used it to support his activities when he was running for Congress, investigative records show. Abedin, who did not know Clinton used a private server for her emails, told the bureau in an April interview that she used the account on the domain only for issues related to the Secretary’s personal affairs, such as communicating with her friends. For work-related records, Abedin primarily used the email account provided to her by the State Department.

Because Clinton preferred to read documents on paper rather than on a screen, emails and other files were often printed out and provided to her either at her office or home, where they were delivered in a diplomatic pouch by a security agent. Abedin, like many State Department officials, found the government network technology to be cumbersome, and she had great trouble printing documents there, investigative records show. As a result, she sometimes transferred emails from her unclassified State Department account to either her Yahoo account or her account on Clinton’s server, and printed the emails from there. It is not clear whether she ever transferred official emails to the account she used for her husband’s campaign.

Abedin would use this procedure for printing documents when she received emails she believed Clinton needed to see and when the Secretary forwarded emails to her for printing. Abedin told the FBI she would often print these emails without reading them. Abedin printed a large number of emails this way, in part because, investigative records show, other staff members considered her Clinton’s “gatekeeper” and often sent Abedin electronic communications they wanted the Secretary to see.

This procedure for printing documents, the government official says, appears to be how the newly discovered emails ended up on the laptop shared by Abedin and her husband. It is unclear whether any of those documents were downloaded onto the laptop off of her personal email accounts or were saved on an external storage device, such as a flash drive, and then transferred to the shared computer. There is also evidence that the laptop was used to send emails from Abedin to Clinton; however, none of those emails are the ones being examined by the FBI. Moreover, unless she was told by Abedin in every instance, Clinton could not have known what device her aide was using to transmit electronic information to her.

If the FBI determines that any of the documents that ended up on the shared device were classified, Abedin could be deemed to have mishandled them. In order to prove that was a criminal offense, however, investigators would have to establish that Abedin had intended to disclose the contents of those classified documents, or that she knew she was mishandling that information.

If the documents were not classified, no crime was committed. But either way, this discovery has embarrassed Clinton, even though there is no evidence at this point suggesting she has been implicated in any potential wrongdoing.

According to a letter Comey sent to the chairs of several Congressional committee on Friday, he learned of these new emails on Thursday, October 27.

His decision to immediately reveal this discovery was not a partisan act, although it was a horribly mishandled one. Arguably, he had to issue his letter because of previous statements he had made to Congress. In September, he testified that the bureau had completed its review of the evidence in the case and found no crimes had been committed. With the discovery of the information on the laptop shared by Weiner and Abedin, that sworn statement was no longer true, and there was new evidence that needed to be examined. As a result, Comey felt he was obligated to inform the committees as quickly as possible that his previous statement was now incorrect.

However, the letter he sent could well damage the reputation of the FBI as an apolitical organization for years to come. Given that Comey also testified that his agents would examine any new evidence that emerged, Democrats will undoubtedly argue that issuing a letter repeating that point was unnecessary.

In a communication to bureau employees, Comey described his letter to Congress as an attempt to thread a needle – amend his testimony while not disclosing details of an ongoing investigation. The combination, however, created a circumstance where politicians are filling in the blanks, creating a storyline of corruption that was not justified by the evidence developed by the bureau. Making it worse, the communication to the bureau employees is far more detailed than what Comey issued to Congress.

“There is a significant risk of being misunderstood,” Comey told the bureau employees in the communication, explaining why he was so vague in his letter to Congress. “It would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record. At the same time, however, given that we don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails, I don’t want to create a misleading impression.”

Unfortunately, by trying to have things both ways – revealing the change in circumstances while remaining vague about what the agents know – Comey has created that misleading impression that could change the outcome of a presidential election, an act that, if uncorrected, will undoubtedly go down as one of the darkest moments in the bureau’s history.

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