Will Hillary Clinton face charges? What the FBI Clinton email review really means

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Friday afternoon saw the release of explosive news that Hillary Clinton will again face scrutiny from the FBI related to her emails as secretary of state.

"In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation," FBI director James Comey wrote in a Friday letter to Congress. Following the news, speculation about what it would mean for Clinton began in earnest. 

At this point, the main detriment to predicting what will happen next: We know too little. While many immediately speculated about the negative political impact this announcement could have on Clinton, varying bits of information flowed out Friday afternoon. 

NBC News reported Comey sent the letter to members of Congress "out of an abundance of caution." 

In July, Comey said he would not recommend charges against Clinton. 

The main question in the yearlong FBI investigation into Clinton's emails: Did Clinton mishandle classified information by putting it on an unsecured, private email server? While the FBI did find 110 emails that contained classified information, Comey determined Clinton and her aides were "extremely careless" but not breaking the law in sending this information outside of secure government channels. 

It is unclear if anything about Friday's news would change the FBI's July evaluation of "no charges" based on the evidence presented then. Pete Williams of NBC reported the new emails came from a device not owned by Clinton. Associated Press reporter Josh Lederman cited a source saying the new emails were not from the private email server.  

As the afternoon went on, the news became even stranger. The New York Times reported the emails were uncovered during an investigation into Anthony Weiner's sexting. When the FBI seized the devices of Weiner and Huma Abedin, Weiner's estranged wife and a longtime Clinton adviser, they found emails relevant to the Clinton server investigation, the Times reported. The FBI is trying to determine whether the new emails had any classified information or other relevance to the Clinton investigation.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Will Drabold

Will Drabold is a policy writer at Mic. He writes Navigating Trump's America, Mic's daily read on Donald Trump's America. He is based in Washington, D.C., and can be reached at wdrabold@mic.com

MORE FROM

White House says it knows of potential Syrian chemical attack, warns Assad of "heavy price"

The Trump administration did not provide any evidence backing the threat.

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

White House says it knows of potential Syrian chemical attack, warns Assad of "heavy price"

The Trump administration did not provide any evidence backing the threat.

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.