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Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the press after attending the annual Women's Empowerment Principles event at UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. The potential 2016 U.S. presidential contender defended her use of a personal email account for official communications, saying it was "for convenience." (Niu Xiaolei/Xinhua/Sipa USA/TNS)

Clinton in the clear after FBI review of newfound emails

By: David Lauter & Del Quentin Wilber

Tribune Washington Bureau/(TNS)

WASHINGTON — The FBI’s new scrutiny of emails related to Hillary Clinton has turned up nothing that would cause the bureau to recommend charges against her, Director James B. Comey said.

Nine days after announcing that a new trove of emails had been found, Comey sent a brief letter to Congress that, in effect, ended the renewed controversy.

The letter that agents “have been working around the clock to process and review” the emails, which had been found on a computer owned by former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., the estranged husband of Clinton’s close aide Huma Abedin.

“During that process, we have reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state,” Comey wrote. “Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.”

In July, Comey sharply criticized Clinton for being “careless” in handling classified materials but said there was no basis for a criminal charge against her.

Clinton’s campaign Sunday expressed satisfaction with the announcement. “We are glad this matter is resolved,” said the campaign’s communications director, Jennifer Palmieri.

But the news from the FBI seems unlikely to calm the anger of many Democrats who have called for Comey to resign, saying that his original announcement that the emails had been discovered violated Justice Department rules designed to prevent investigative actions from influencing elections.

Even if Clinton wins the presidential election, many Democrats fear that the week of controversy set off by Comey’s announcement damaged their prospects in several close Senate races that could determine control of the chamber.

Comey was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2013 to a 10-year term as head of the FBI. He prides himself on his independence and had tangled with the White House in his previous job as a senior Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration.

But the fact that Comey is a Republican — coupled with a seeming deluge of leaks damaging to Clinton from current or former FBI agents in recent days — has caused concern among many Democrats.

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