Trump says FBI rank & file ‘won’t let Clinton get away with crimes,’ questions email review

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump © Carlo Allegri
GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump said the FBI’s rank-and-file agents will not stop investigating Hillary Clinton’s handling of confidential information via her private server even after the FBI director said no charges would be brought against her.

Addressing a crowd of supporters gathered for a rally in Sterling Heights, Michigan, Trump argued that despite FBI chief James Comey’s statement Sunday that the probe into Clinton’s alleged national security breaches “will go on for a long, long time.” Comey earlier said that nothing incriminating was found in the emails stored on the laptop used by Clinton’s senior aide that could have warranted any charges against her.

“The rank-and-file special agents at the FBI won't let her get away with her terrible crimes, including the deletion of 33,000 emails after receiving a Congressional subpoena," Trump said. 

"Hillary Clinton is the most corrupted person ever to seek the presidency of the United States,” Trump argued.

During her tenure as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton used a private email server for both work-related and personal email correspondence. In the course of the investigation, she turned over some 33,000 business-related messages to State Department, but deleted about the same number of personal messages.

READ MORE: ‘Process has begun’: FBI scouring 650k emails on Clinton aide husband’s laptop in reopened case

Trump then called into question the FBI’s ability to sift through hundreds of thousands of emails on whether they contain classified information in just over a week’s time.

"You can't review 650,000 new emails in eight days, you can't do it folks," Trump said, adding that Hillary Clinton was “being protected by a rigged system.”

However, media reports claimed on Sunday that the vast majority of emails in the new batch were either found to be private, or duplicating those that had previously been reviewed by the FBI.

In light of this report, social media sprang into discussion of how much time it would take to sift through the 650,000 emails for duplicates, with one blogger even appealing to the former NSA contractor and CIA employee, whistleblower Edwards Snowden. Snowden replied that such a task would take “minutes-to-hours,” even on old laptops.

Whistleblowing group WikiLeaks, however, seemed to disagree that the case has been closed, writing in response to a tweet by General Michael T. Flynn that WikiLeaks, on its part, has published over 7 million of Clinton’s emails in total, and most had to be verified by a human, not a machine.

“Clinton uses pseudonyms and proxies, of which Huma is one, so most need to be read by hand,” WikiLeaks tweeted.

Comey’s decision to reopen the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server has courted much controversy, with her supporters accusing the FBI of interfering in the election process. In late October, the agency obtained a warrant to scrutinize emails, discovered on the laptop during an unrelated criminal investigation into former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who is the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s closest aide. 

The FBI intended to examine the contents of some 650,000 emails to ascertain if some of the messages could be linked to the Clinton probe.

On Sunday, Comey issued a statement, saying that the FBI had “reviewed all the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State” contained in the new batch of emails and did not find anything that would require prosecution, upholding FBI’s decision dating back to July.

In July, Comey described Clinton’s handling of emails that contained sensitive information on US policy as “extremely careless,” but did not recommend the Justice Department to press any charges against her. He said that the FBI had not found any evidence proving that she mishandled classified information on purpose, saying that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”