|James Comey explains his decision not to pursue charges against Hillary Clinton in July.|
The FBI has determined that a new batch of emails linked to Hillary Clinton's private email server "have not changed our conclusion" that she committed no criminal wrongdoing, FBI director James Comey told congressional leaders in a letter on Sunday.
As campaigning continued ahead of Tuesday's presidential election, a Clinton spokeswoman said the candidate was "glad this matter is resolved".
The Democratic nominee's opponent, Donald Trump, reacted with anger at the news, and cast doubt on whether the FBI had even carried out its work. "You can't review 650,000 emails in eight days," Donald Trump told a campaign rally in Sterling Heights, Michigan on Sunday evening.
On 28 October, only 11 days before the presidential election, Comey sent congressional leaders a letter informing them that agents had discovered emails "that appear pertinent" to a prior investigation, into Clinton's use of a private server while she was secretary of state. It was later reported that as many as 650,000 such emails were in question.
The new emails were discovered on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner, a disgraced former congressman who is the estranged husband of HumaAbedin, a close aide to Clinton. Weiner is under investigation for allegedly exchanging sexually explicit messages with a minor.
|Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton.|
Comey's first letter surprised both campaigns and cast the FBI into the middle of a bitter and volatile race. Senior Democrats accused Comey of political meddling, Clinton said she found the letter "deeply troubling" and Trump gleefully predicted the emails would reveal a corruption scandal "bigger than Watergate".
The move, so close to an election, proved tremendously controversial. In July, Comey had announced that Clinton and her aides were "extremely careless" but that "no reasonable prosecutor" would bring a case against them.
"Since my letter, the FBI investigative team has been working around the clock to process and review a large volume of emails from a device obtained in connection with an unrelated criminal investigation," Comey wrote to Congress on Sunday.
"During that process, we reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state."
"Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton," he concluded. "I am grateful to the professionals at the FBI for doing an extraordinary amount of high-quality work in a short period of time."
Republican House speaker Paul Ryan insisted that the new conclusion should not change any opinions about Clinton. "Regardless of this decision, the undisputed finding of the FBI's investigation is that Secretary Clinton put our nation's secrets at risk and in doing so compromised our national security," he said in a statement. "She simply believes she's above the law and always plays by her own rules."
Trump said Comey's decision is proof that things in Washington are "rigged" in Clinton's favor.
"Right now, she is being protected by a rigged system. It's a totally rigged system," Trump told supporters in Michigan. "You can't review 650,000 new emails in eight days. You can't do it, folks."
"Hillary Clinton is guilty. She knows it, the FBI knows it, the people know it," he said. "And now it is up to the American people to deliver justice at the ballot box on November 8."