Hillary Clinton forcefully challenged the FBI's new email inquiry Monday, just eight days before the election, as Donald Trump sought to convince voters that if Clinton is elected the probe could shadow her entire term in office.
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Clinton, addressing a campaign rally in battleground Ohio, declared that "there's no case here," her most pointed comments yet on the latest email flap.
It's not clear whether the emails are pertinent to the FBI's dormant investigation into whether classified information passed through Clinton's homebrew email server. Clinton's remarks underscored her campaign's decision to fight back aggressively against the FBI's review.
Clinton accused the FBI of having jumped into the election "with no evidence of any wrongdoing with just days to go." She said that if the bureau wants to look at the emails from her longtime aide Huma Abedin, "by all means, they should look at them."
But she insisted the FBI would reach the same conclusion it did earlier this year when it declined to prosecute Clinton and her advisers for their handling of classified information.
"They said it wasn't even a close call," she said. "I think most people have decided a long time ago what they think about all of this."
Clinton's campaign is banking on exactly that as the email controversy erupts anew in the White House race's final days. Republican Donald Trump has seized on the FBI decision, gleeful over getting a new opportunity to hammer Clinton's trustworthiness and perhaps change the trajectory of a race that appeared to be slipping away from him.
Meanwhile, Trump, who has repeatedly referred to Clinton as "corrupt Hillary," said the email probe shows what a poor role model she is - seemingly trying to turn the tables on Clinton, who has assailed his character over disclosures of vulgar comments he made about groping women.
"I want to tell you, she is a terrible example for my son and the children of this country," he said at a rally in Warren, Michigan, mentioning his youngest son, Barron. "Hillary is the one who broke the law over and over and over again."
Trump is hoping to convince voters that electing Clinton would prompt "a constitutional crisis that we cannot afford," as her emails would be subject to years of controversy.
"The investigation will last for years. The trial will probably start," Trump told a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan. "Nothing will get done. I can tell you, your jobs will continue to leave Michigan. Nothing's going to get done."
Clinton holds narrow lead
Until the Friday revelation, Clinton had been coasting with a comfortable lead over Trump.
Opinion polls now shows Clinton's lead over Trump has narrowed slightly since early last week. It is not yet known if the email controversy will hurt her support. Millions of Americans have already cast their ballot in early voting.
Clinton holds a 5 point lead over Trump in the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, receiving 44 percent of likely voters compared to Trump at 39 percent.
Despite the controversy about her email, Clinton continues to hold a large advantage in the Electoral College, the process that selects a president by awarding votes through individual state elections. Clinton holds leads in several key swing states, including Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, where Trump must erode a large lead to be victorious.
The nuke concern
Clinton tried to refocus the contest on Trump has she opened the final full week of campaigning with a rally at Kent State University. She's blasted Trump at length for being unfit to serve as commander in chief, bringing together several of the charges she has leveled against him throughout the campaign.
Speaking in serious tones, Clinton warned at length about putting Trump in control of the nation's nuclear stockpiles. She accused him of talking "casually" about nuclear war and wondered whether he knows "that a single nuclear warhead can kill millions of people."
Clinton's message was amplified by Bruce Blair, a former intercontinental ballistic missile launch control officer. Blair said he would "live in constant fear" of Trump making a bad call about nuclear weapons if he were still a launch officer.
Clinton's blistering warnings about Trump's preparedness for the Oval Office were an attempt to refocus the choice In front of voters after a rough stretch for her campaign. Her team has long accepted that many voters simply don't trust the former secretary of state, but they believe she is viewed as more qualified than Trump to be president — an assertion backed up by many public opinion polls.
Still, Clinton's advisers were stunned by FBI Director James Comey's decision to publicly alert Congress that the bureau had new information that could be pertinent to its initial email investigation. Comey's letter to lawmakers was short on detail, infuriating the Clinton campaign, which accused him of leaving the situation open to inaccurate interpretations.
The investigation appears to center on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former congressman and Abedin's estranged husband. It's unclear whether the material on the device was from Clinton. It's also not known if the emails in question are new or duplicates of the thousands the former secretary of state and her aides have already turned over.