WASHINGTON – Newly discovered emails related to an investigation into a private email server used by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton were found on a separate device during an unrelated probe, a U.S. government source said on Friday.
The FBI said on Friday it will investigate the additional emails that have surfaced, in a new twist to the U.S. presidential campaign with 11 days to go before Election Day
New emails the FBI is examining related to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private computer server were discovered after the agency seized electronic devices belonging to Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her husband, Anthony Weiner, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing law enforcement officials.
Two sources close to the investigation said the latest emails were discovered as part of a probe into Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
The FBI has been investigating illicit text messages allegedly sent from Weiner to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina, and found the Clinton emails on a device related to that investigation, the sources said.
Abedin told federal investigators in April that she used several email accounts for her work, including a Yahoo email, according to a summary of the interview released by the FBI in September. She said it was difficult to print from the State Department’s email system so she routinely forwarded documents to her private accounts when she needed to print them out, according to the summary.
Abedin announced her separation from Weiner in August after a sex scandal similar to an earlier incident that led him to resign from the U.S. Congress.
Lawyers representing Abedin did not respond to questions sent by email on Friday. Weiner did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment, and he did not respond to phone calls.
Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic strategist who had previously advised former President Bill Clinton but has no role with Hillary Clinton’s campaign, said the linking of Clinton’s email woes with Weiner’s sex scandals made it harder for her campaign to distinguish itself from Trump’s sex scandals.
“The whole campaign is now smeared with sex, corruption and scandal,” he said. “Nobody remembers the beginning of something, they only remember the end. What are they going to remember? They’re all the same: sex, scandal, corruption, emails. People are going to have trouble sorting out all this information.”
Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, said it was “extraordinary” for the FBI to release the letter so close to the end of a hotly contested election.
“The Director owes it to the American people to immediately provide the full details of what he is now examining,” Podesta said in a statement. “We are confident this will not produce any conclusions different from the one the FBI reached in July.”
Clinton has repeatedly apologized for using the private email server in her home instead of a government email account for her work as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. She has said she did not knowingly send or receive classified information.
While the FBI probe of new emails will likely prove a distraction to Clinton in the coming days, it was unclear what impact it would have when Americans go to the polls. Election experts say about 20 percent of ballots have already been cast, as more Americans vote by mail or go to the polls early.
“A lot of concern about the emails has already been baked into this electoral cake I think,” said Linda Fowler, a professor of government at Dartmouth College. “They know she did it, they know it was inappropriate and, failing some sensational revelation on Nov. 6, it’s hard to see that it’s going to make that big a difference.”