Friday 20 October 2017

FBI stirs up more trouble for Hillary Clinton

Leaks say that Democrat will probably face indictment

Democratic US presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally at Pitt Community College in Winterville, North Carolina. Photo: Reuters
Democratic US presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally at Pitt Community College in Winterville, North Carolina. Photo: Reuters
Democratic US presidential nominee Hillary Clinton greets audience members at a campaign rally at Pitt Community College in Winterville, North Carolina. Photo: Reuters
Democratic US presidential nominee Hillary Clinton gives a thumbs up to audience members at a campaign rally at Pitt Community College in Winterville, North Carolina. Photo: Reuters
Democratic US presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally at Pitt Community College in Winterville, North Carolina. Photo: Reuters
President Barack Obama speaks at a rally for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Florida International University Arena on Thursday. Photo: AP
Melania Trump speaks at the Main Line Sports Center in Berwyn. Photo: AP
Douglas Robinson, 20, wears a patriotic suit with Donald Trump pins while waiting in line outside before Melania Trump, wife to the Republican Presidential nominee, holds an event at Main Line Sports in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. Photo: Reuters
A Donald Trump supporter holds a modified campaign bumper sticker in favor of Melania Trump, wife to the Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, who spoke during an event at Main Line Sports in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. Photo: Reuters
Donald Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway speaks to the media after Melania Trump, wife to the Republican Presidential nominee, delivered a speech at Main Line Sports in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. Photo: Reuters
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a campaign event at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center in Jacksonville, Florida. Photo: Reuters

David Lawler, Kevin Cirilli and Ben Brody Washington

Donald Trump's claim that Hillary Clinton will end up on trial as president should she prevail on Tuesday is more than mere bluster, according to a report.

Sources with "intimate knowledge" of the two FBI investigations into Mrs Clinton's activities as Secretary of State said she was likely to be indicted if there was no "obstruction" from the Department of Justice, according to Fox News.

The sources said the FBI was highly confident that the private server Mrs Clinton used to conduct government business was hacked by as many as five foreign intelligence services.

In addition to the inquiry into emails, the FBI is investigating pay-for-play allegations relating to the Clinton Foundation.

The second inquiry has received far less attention, but according to leaks emanating from the FBI, it has reportedly been under way for more than a year and prompted a power struggle between the FBI and Department of Justice.

Agents have long believed they had sufficient evidence to pursue a full-fledged investigation into whether donors to the foundation received special treatment from Mrs Clinton's State Department, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Democratic US presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally at Pitt Community College in Winterville, North Carolina. Photo: Reuters
Democratic US presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally at Pitt Community College in Winterville, North Carolina. Photo: Reuters

That evidence includes recordings from a suspect in another case who discussed alleged deals made by the Clintons, the report claims. Prosecutors thought the evidence was too weak though, frustrating many within the FBI.

The new disclosures came a day after President Barack Obama criticised the agency for releasing "leaks" and "incomplete information" about the investigations into Mrs Clinton.

The announcement a week ago that the FBI was reopening the inquiry into Mrs Clinton's handling of classified information caused her lead in the polls to implode, but she has since begun to recover.

However, Kellyanne Conway, Mr Trump's campaign manager, said: "We're pushing into blue states. If you try and apply conventional political wisdom to Donald Trump you'll lose every time."

Meanwhile, Mr Trump's wife Melania hit the campaign trail outside Philadelphia last night to call for more civility online, in an appeal to suburban women voters.

American "culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teachers," Mrs Trump said in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, lamenting cyber-bullying in particular.

Melania Trump speaks at the Main Line Sports Center in Berwyn. Photo: AP
Melania Trump speaks at the Main Line Sports Center in Berwyn. Photo: AP

"Technology has changed our universe, but like anything that is powerful it can have a bad side," she said.

"Children and teenagers can be fragile. They are hurt when they are made fun of or made to feel less in looks or intelligence.

"We need to teach our youth American values - kindness, honesty, respect, compassion, charity, understanding, co-operation," she said, adding that this would be "one of the main focuses of my work if I'm privileged enough to become first lady". She would also advocate for women, she said.

An immigrant from Slovenia, Mrs Trump (46) described how she long saw the US as a land of freedom and opportunity and how she managed to become a citizen "after a 10-year process which included many visas and a green card".

She also sought to humanise her husband by discussing their son Barron (10) and citing Mr Trump's joy in working with three of his adult children at the Trump Organisation. "We talk a little bit about politics and a lot about life, homework and sports," she said of Barron.

"I want my little boy to know that he is blessed to have been born in this country."

The event was her first high-profile appearance on the campaign trail since the Republican national convention in July, when her message was overshadowed because it used lines that were traced back to remarks in a speech by first lady Michelle Obama.

Douglas Robinson, 20, wears a patriotic suit with Donald Trump pins while waiting in line outside before Melania Trump, wife to the Republican Presidential nominee, holds an event at Main Line Sports in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. Photo: Reuters
Douglas Robinson, 20, wears a patriotic suit with Donald Trump pins while waiting in line outside before Melania Trump, wife to the Republican Presidential nominee, holds an event at Main Line Sports in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. Photo: Reuters

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Mrs Clinton is fighting hard to keep Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes in her column. Her campaign said yesterday that she, former President Bill Clinton, President Obama and the first lady would hold a joint rally in Philadelphia on Monday as she made her closing argument.

After Mr Trump's 2005 remarks about groping women surfaced in October, Mrs Clinton trounced him in a Bloomberg Politics poll of four suburban Philadelphia counties, 59pc to 31pc.

At the time Mrs Clinton was also winning the state by six percentage points in a four-way race, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.

Mrs Clinton still led by an average of 3.4 points yesterday, according to the aggregator, despite the FBI's announcement that it had discovered more emails pertinent to its investigation of her email server.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump warned yesterday that a cloud of investigation would follow Mrs Clinton into the White House, evoking the bitter impeachment battle of the 1990s in a closing campaign argument meant to bring wayward Republicans home.

Mrs Clinton and her allies, led by President Obama, told voters to get serious about the dangers of Mr Trump.

Mrs Clinton's shrinking lead has given the Trump campaign a glimmer of hope, one he is trying to broaden into a breakthrough before time runs out.

That means courting the moderate Republicans and independents who have been the holdouts of his campaign, voters turned off by his controversies but equally repelled by the possible return of the Clintons.

Mr Trump directed his message at those voters at a rally in Jacksonville, where he zeroed in on questions of Mrs Clinton's trustworthiness and a new FBI review of an aide's emails.

"Here we go again with the Clintons - you remember the impeachment and the problems," he said.

"That's not what we need in our country, folks. We need someone who is ready to go to work."

Mr Obama and allies, meanwhile, are seeking to keep the spotlight on Mr Trump, charging that his disparaging comments about women and minorities, and his temperament make him unfit to occupy the White House. (© Daily Telegraph London)

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