Wisconsin Republicans joined a national chorus of GOP criticism Friday, following news that the FBI has newly discovered emails that may be linked to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
In a letter to members of Congress, FBI Director James Comey informed lawmakers that emails pertinent to its investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State were found while during a review of an unrelated case. Comey said investigators would look at the emails to “assess their importance to our investigation.”
The FBI ended its investigation into whether Clinton stored classified emails on a private server earlier this year. Federal prosecutors declined to file any charges. Friday’s letter was a required step by Comey, because it updates previous sworn testimony he had given to members of Congress.
In response to the news, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) called Comey’s letter “an important step toward accountability and transparency.”
“With the FBI already determining that Secretary Clinton sent and received classified information through her private email system, it is important for the FBI to fully examine these additional materials. I hope that the FBI will be transparent with Congress and the American people as it continues to examine Secretary Clinton’s extremely careless behavior,” Johnson said.
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) called the decision long overdue. “Hillary Clinton has nobody but herself to blame,” he argued. “She was entrusted with some of our nation’s most important secrets, and she betrayed that trust by carelessly mishandling highly classified information.”
Clinton’s campaign went on the defensive, with campaign chairman John Podesta calling on Comey to immediately clarify more information about the letter he sent to members of Congress. “Already, we have seen characterizations that the FBI is ‘reopening’ an investigation but Comey’s words do not match that characterization. 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.
Podesta also called it “extraordinary” that something like this would come out just 11 days before the presidential election. “The Director owes it to the American people to immediately provide the full details of what he is now examining. We are confident this will not produce any conclusions different from the one the FBI reached in July.”