The FBI has given Hillary Clinton a huge boost with just hours to go in the US presidential campaign by clearing her of wrongdoing following a new trawl of email material.
FBI director James Comey told Congress on Sunday that Mrs Clinton should not face charges over messages found on the computer of disgraced politician Anthony Weiner – the estranged husband of the Democratic candidate’s close aide Huma Abedin.
He said the bureau had come to the same conclusion it reached in July, when it ruled that Mrs Clinton was “extremely careless” in handling classified information while Secretary of State, but that her conduct did not amount to criminality.
Mr Comey said that the FBI had worked “around the clock to process and review a large number of emails”.
He did not say how many emails were looked at – some reports said there were 650,000 – nor did he reveal any details about what was found.
A spokesman for Mrs Clinton’s campaign team said they were “glad” that the issue had been “resolved”.
The US stock market reacted positively to the news.
Futures on the S&P 500 increased by 1.4% to 2,108.25, while futures based on the 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average were also up – by 1.1%, at 17,999.
Donald Trump – who had praised the FBI for launching the review – responded by returning to his claim that Mrs Clinton is being protected by a “rigged system”.
The property tycoon insisted at a rally in the Detroit suburbs that it would have been impossible for the FBI to review the huge tranche of emails in so short a time.
He said: “Hillary Clinton is guilty. She knows it, The FBI knows it. The people know it.”
Mr Comey’s announcement that agents would be reviewing more emails shook up the race for the White House with just 11 days to go – when Mrs Clinton appeared to be building an unassailable lead.