FBI email inquiry dominates as race enters final full week

2016-10-31 10:34
Hillary Clinton speaks at a debate watch party after the third presidential debate. (Andrew Harnik)

Hillary Clinton speaks at a debate watch party after the third presidential debate. (Andrew Harnik)

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Wilton Manors — Hillary Clinton enters the final full week of the presidential race on defence once again over her use of a private email system. Meanwhile, a newly emboldened Donald Trump is seizing on the discovery of a trove of new emails that may be pertinent to the FBI's investigation and trying to open new paths to victory by campaigning in traditionally Democratic states.


Clinton, who is set to campaign on Monday across Ohio, vowed over the weekend that she would not be "knocked off course" in the election's final days by the discovery of new emails in an unrelated sexting investigation. It is unclear what is contained in the emails or if any of them was sent or received by Clinton herself.


"I'm not stopping now, we're just getting warmed up," Clinton declared during a packed rally with gay and lesbian supporters in battleground Florida on Sunday. "We're not going to be distracted, no matter what our opponents throw at us."


Trump, who had been trailing Clinton nationally and across key battleground states, campaigned with new vigour over the weekend as he seized on the news in an effort to boost his struggling candidacy. Trump heads to Michigan for a pair of rallies on Monday — a state that last voted for the Republican nominee for president in 1988.


"The polls have come out and they have been amazing, even before the big blow-up on Friday," Trump told a crowd of thousands packed into an airport in Albuquerque, New Mexico — another traditionally Democratic state that Trump said on Sunday night he believes he can win.


"Traditionally, you understand, Republicans aren't quite there, right?" Trump told the crowd. "But this is a Republican who is there and we're going to win this thing."


Clinton's advisors and fellow Democrats, furious over the vague letter sent by FBI Director James Comey to Congress on Friday, have been pressuring him to release more details about the emails, including whether Comey had even reviewed them himself. The emails were found on a computer that appears to belong to disgraced former New York Representative Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, one of Clinton's closest advisors.


A law enforcement official confirmed late on Sunday that investigators had obtained a search warrant to begin the review of Abedin's emails on Weiner's computer. The official said investigators would move expeditiously, but would not say when the review might be complete.


Tim Kaine, Clinton's running mate, said Comey owed it to the public to be more forthcoming about the emails under review by the FBI with the days ticking down to the November 8 election. Calling Comey's announcement "extremely puzzling," Kaine said that if Comey "hasn't seen the emails, I mean they need to make that completely plain".


In a letter to Congress on Friday, Comey said the FBI had recently come upon new emails while pursuing an unrelated case and was reviewing whether they were classified.


Federal authorities in New York and North Carolina are investigating online communications between Weiner and a 15-year-old girl.


Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Comey was in "an impossible spot" when he acknowledged the FBI was looking into the messages. "Had he sat on the information, one can argue that he also would be interfering in the election," by failing to disclose the review, Conway said.


The controversy over Clinton's email practices while she served as secretary of state has dogged her for more than a year.


Read more on:    donald trump  |  hillary clinton  |  us  |  us elections 2016

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