FBI Director James Comey rocked the presidential race Friday by announcing the existence of new emails relating to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump defends indicted GOP congressman GOP lawmaker says he expects to be indicted over FBI investigation Why it's time for conservatives to accept the 2020 election results and move on MORE’s private email server.
Comey's three-paragraph letter revealing the emails touched off a firestorm of speculation, though more information has since emerged providing a few more details about the emails.
Abedin emails were discovered on Weiner's laptop
Federal officials quoted in a number of outlets have said that the new batch of emails was found on a laptop belonging to former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.).
Prosecutors in Manhattan seized the device as part of an investigation into an illicit texting conversation involving an underage girl, according to The New York Times.
Weiner is the estranged husband of longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin, and the emails on the laptop purportedly belonged to her, the Times reported.
Is the FBI probe back on?
"Case reopened," Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzCongress's latest hacking investigation should model its most recent Fox News Audio expands stable of podcasts by adding five new shows The myth of the conservative bestseller MORE (R-Utah), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, declared Friday on Twitter, breaking news of the new FBI review.
Officials have since clarified that the investigation into Clinton's email arrangement was never officially closed due to administrative matters.
Comey indicated the probe was completed in early July when he declined to recommend pursuing charges over the mishandling of classified information.
He wrote Friday to inform lawmakers that new emails were discovered that may be "pertinent" to the agency's investigation, saying his agency would "take appropriate steps to obtain and review them."
Comey felt obligated to update Congress
In a memo to FBI employees on Friday, Comey said that he was aware that sending the letter to lawmakers could open him up to criticism, but felt obligated to be transparent about the investigation.
“Of course, we don’t ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations, but here I feel an obligation to do so given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that our investigation was completed,” reads the memo, which was obtained by The Washington Post.
“I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record. At the same time, however, given that we don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails, I don’t want to create a misleading impression. In trying to strike that balance, in a brief letter and in the middle of an election season, there is significant risk of being misunderstood, but I wanted you to hear directly from me about it," he wrote.
Abedin testified that she never deleted old emails
According to The Associated Press, Abedin testified in a sworn deposition in June that she never deleted old emails.
"I didn't have a practice of managing my mailbox other than leaving what was in there sitting in there," she said, according to the AP. "I didn't go into my emails and delete State.gov emails. They just lived on my computer."
"That was my practice for all my email accounts," she said. "I didn't have a particular form of organizing them. I had a few folders, but they were not deleted. They all stayed in whatever device I was using at the time or whatever desktop I was on at the time."
Who wrote the emails, and are they classified?
It's unclear what's in the newly discovered emails, and some have speculated that they could just be duplicates of emails already reviewed by officials.
The FBI's investigation centered on whether classified information had been mishandled, and it remains to be seen whether the emails did, in fact, contain classified information.
If the emails turn out to be new, those involved will be put in the uncomfortable spot of explaining why they weren't already handed over for archiving.
Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE speculated Saturday that the FBI was reviewing some of Clinton's "33,000 missing and deleted emails."
Clinton is furious with Comey
Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, and a number of aides, as well as Democratic Party brass, have publicly called on the FBI director to be more forthcoming in order to avoid having her detractors take control of the story.
Clinton on Saturday blasted the FBI director for making an "unprecedented" announcement within two weeks of the election. Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon also knocked Comey, accusing him of pushing "innuendo."
"Director Comey is just unleashing a wildfire of innuendo, of anonymously sourced reports, of Republicans mischaracterizing what the letter says," Fallon, a former Justice Department spokesman, told CNN on Friday.
How will Comey respond?
Leaders of both parties are demanding more information about the review of new emails before the election, with Democrats itching to have more details released to the public within days.
Comey, who has prided himself on being an independent law enforcement official, will have to weigh providing additional updates on the review of newly discovered emails so close to the election.
Critics who knocked the FBI director in early July for breaking precedent to comment on the investigation and criticize Clinton's "extremely careless" behavior are now pushing him provide more details.