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House Intel chair pushes Comey for details on Clinton emails

House Intel chair pushes Comey for details on Clinton emails
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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) is pushing the FBI for more information on its Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonShelby endorses Shalanda Young for OMB director should Biden pull Tanden's nomination Jennifer Palmieri: 'Ever since I was aware of politics, I wanted to be in politics' Cruz: Wife 'pretty pissed' about leaked Cancun texts MORE email investigation.

Director James Comey sent a letter to Congress Friday saying the FBI had discovered a new cache of emails potentially related to its investigation of the private email setup Clinton used when she was secretary of State.

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"Your letter and several recent press reports raise a number of questions relevant to the Committee's oversight of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), of which FBI is a part," Nunes wrote back to Comey in a letter Monday.

"Given the unprecedented level of transparency you have promised Congress regarding this investigation, I hope you will answer the following questions as expeditiously as possible."

Nunes's focus though is less with the controversial timing and vague nature of the bureau's announcement and more with larger questions about Clinton's handling of classified information and the related probe.

The letter lists six questions, the first two of which deal with the newly discovered emails.

Nunes asks whether any metadata from the recently discovered emails suggests they were sent or received by Clinton's private server.

He also follows up on reports that the device with the new emails was discovered in September, asking when FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Comey were each notified of the discovery. Nunes also raises the recent controversy involving McCabe's wife, Jill McCabe, in his next question. Jill McCabe received donations for a state Senate bid from close Clinton confident Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).

"Press reports also indicate Deputy Director McCabe recused himself from an FBI investigation involving Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe due to the donations McAuliffe's political action committee made to the political campaign of McCabe's wife," Nunes writes. "Has Deputy Director McCabe recused himself from other investigations involving former secretary Clinton, including the investigation of classified information on her private email server?"

Nunes also asks about Clinton and her aides' handling of classified documents while traveling. 

"I also understand that former Secretary Clinton left classified documents in her hotel room in China and that U.S. Marine Corps security officials filed a report related to the possible compromise of the documents.," he writes before asking how misplacing the documents did or did not impact the FBI's decision not to prosecute Clinton.

Nunes follows with a question about whether documents included information from the intelligence community and a request for damage assessments detailing each time Clinton or her staff left documents behind. 

State Department spokesman John Kirby said that the incident Nunes is describing was less dire than the lawmaker's characterization. During a security sweep, diplomatic security found the confidential documents in an aide's — not Clinton's — hotel room. The room was never outside the diplomatic security purview, and there was an agent constantly posted outside the door.

"Ultimately, Diplomatic Security concluded that classified information had been improperly secured, but that the evidence did not support assigning culpability to any individual. Furthermore, the Diplomatic Security investigation concluded that due to the fact that the documents were found within a Diplomatic Security controlled area, the likelihood that the information was compromised was remote," he said via email.

According to Kirby, Congress already received documentation explaining the incident in those terms.

"Back in July, the State Department provided to Congress documents related to this matter. Those documents make plan the facts as we have outlined them," he said.

Over the weekend, Nunes told Fox News Sunday he felt that Comey's letter likely meant the FBI had meant the agency had made a "substantial development.

"I just don't see Director Comey opening this case back up 11 days before the election unless it's quite serious," he said.

This story was updated at 7:45 p.m.