For the second time, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has cleared Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton of criminal wrongdoing in the recently reopened probe of her use of a private email server.
FBI director James Comey gave the announcement Sunday, saying his team has worked "around the clock" to review and sift through the 650,000 emails the FBI stumbled into while investigating former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop.
Comey said that after checking the emails, their previous decision not to prosecute Clinton still stands.
“Since my letter, the FBI investigative team has been working around the clock to process and review a large volume of emails,” Comey said. “During that time we reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusion.”
On Oct. 28, just 11 days before the 2016 presidential election, Comey told Congress after the emails turned up at the Weiner sexting investigation that it would reopen its probe on Clinton’s use of a private server while she served as secretary of state.
The announcement affected the presidential race, negatively impacting the Democrats while giving the Republicans a boost. It’s still uncertain how Comey’s decision to clear Clinton, given just two days before election, would affect the presidential race.
"Today's letter makes Director Comey's actions nine days ago even more troubling," Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in a statement. "There's no doubt that it created a false impression about the nature of the agency's inquiry. The Justice Department needs to take a look at its procedures to prevent similar actions that could influence future elections."
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump cast doubt on the FBI investigation, saying it was “impossible” to conduct a thorough review of the new emails in such a short time.
"Right now, she is being protected by a rigged system. It's a totally rigged system,” Trump said in a rally in Michigan on Sunday. “You can't review 650,000 emails in eight days. You can't do it folks."
A law enforcement official said they sifted through the emails as fast as they could, adding that most of the emails were either personal or were duplicates of emails that have already been previously reviewed, which explained why the FBI was able to conclude its investigation faster than expected.
"Keep in mind we are focused on intent," the official told CNN. "We know there are classified materials, but that doesn't change the conclusion reached back in July."
Trump maintained Clinton is guilty. He said it was “unbelievable” how Clinton “gets away with it.”
"Hillary Clinton is guilty. She knows it, the FBI knows it, the people know it, and now it's up to the American people to deliver justice at the ballot box on November 8," he urged voters.