The FBI reopened an inquiry into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails less than two weeks before the Nov. 8 presidential election.
FBI Director James Comey announced the move in a letter to Congress on Oct. 28, The New York Times reported.
The emails, found on a computer belonging to former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner, who is under investigation for an unrelated matter, “appear to be pertinent" to the investigation into Clinton, Comey wrote.
The FBI director continued that agents were working to “determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation,” CNBC reported.
Comey did not indicate how long it would take to examine the emails.
The Clinton campaign criticized the decision to make the announcement so close to election day.
“We are calling the FBI to release all the information that it has,” Clinton said at a media conference, The New York Times reports. “Let’s get it out.”
John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, also questioned the move.
“Director Comey’s letter refers to emails that have come to light in an unrelated case, but we have no idea what those emails are and the director himself notes they may not even be significant,” Podesta said in a statement.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump welcomed the latest development in the investigation.
“Perhaps, finally, justice will be done,” he said at a campaign rally.
Comey originally cleared Clinton of any criminal wrongdoing in July after the FBI examined thousands of emails on a private server she used during her time as Secretary of State.
“The FBI's decision to reopen their criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s secret email server just 11 days before the election shows how serious this discovery must be,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus added. “This stunning development raises serious questions about what records may not have been turned over and why, and whether they show intent to violate the law.”
Comey’s announcement could turn out to be even more significant, as polls indicate Clinton’s lead over Trump is narrowing.
An average of polls calculated by Real Clear Politics gave Clinton a 4.4 percentage point lead over Trump on Oct. 28. Just 10 days earlier, Trump was 7.1 percent behind in the same average of polls, The Guardian reported.
The picture is complicated further by a wide divergence between polls. As of late, polls have found Clinton with anything from a 1 to a 14 percent lead.