Election 2020

'Let Me Be Clear': GOP Chairman Tells Comey to Review New Emails Before Election Day

President Obama meets with FBI Director James Comey in the Oval Office of the White House on July 19, 2016. (Rex Features via AP Images)

WASHINGTON — One of the eight GOP committee chairmen notified by FBI Director James Comey about new emails pertaining to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private server urged the bureau to finish its review before Election Day.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who leads the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, responded to Comey’s notification to Congress that he green-lighted “appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”

Comey stressed that “the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this additional work.”

The emails in question reportedly were recovered from electronic devices belonging to Huma Abedin and her estranged husband Anthony Weiner during the FBI’s probe of the former congressman sexting a 15-year-old. CNN reported that the new emails were not written by Clinton.

In his letter today, Shelby requested that the FBI “expeditiously and thoroughly conduct its review” due to “the serious nature of this matter.”

“Unfortunately, it has now become apparent that the FBI, with all its extensive resources and highly-trained personnel, closed an incomplete investigation that resulted in only partial findings. I firmly believe that the American people deserve to know the facts – all of them.” The emphasis on those last three words was added by the senator.

Shelby, who is up for re-election this year but expected to keep his seat, added that how the investigation is conducted is “critical to the integrity of the FBI and the American people’s ability to place their trust in government.”

“I believe that your recommendation and the Department of Justice’s decision not to prosecute Secretary Clinton set a dangerous precedent for the way we hold our public officials accountable,” the senator continued. “While I am pleased that the FBI is re-opening this case in light of new information, it is imperative that the Bureau immediately evaluate the material to complete this investigation. The American people are electing their next Commander-in-Chief only days from now, and they deserve to know the conclusion of your review prior to Election Day. Let me be clear: This should be your utmost priority.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), also a recipient of the Comey letter, said in a statement that the FBI director “is right to reopen the investigation and pursue all leads until we know the full extent of Clinton’s misconduct and the full extent of the harm she did to our national security”; he did not demand a timeframe on the investigation.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who likewise received Comey’s notification and is in a tough re-election fight in his home state, said “the American people deserve to have a full accounting of Secretary Clinton’s practices and a complete picture of her actions as secretary of State.”

“We should allow this to go through the complete processes, this time including all of the emails on Clinton’s server,” Burr said.