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DOJ to Lawmakers: Working ‘Expeditiously’ With FBI on Emails

FBI Director Under Pressure for Answers After Clinton Case Review 1:57

The Justice Department reassured lawmakers Monday that federal investigators won't drag their feet in reviewing newly discovered emails that could be related to their probe of Hillary Clinton's private server.

In a brief letter Monday, just eight days before Election Day, the department wrote that it would "continue to would work closely with the FBI" and "take appropriate steps as expeditiously as possible."

The letter (PDF) — signed by Peter Kadzik, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, and declaring in essence that federal investigators will do their jobs properly — was the latest in a string of messages between the Justice Department and Democratic senators over FBI Director James Comey's disclosure Friday that more Clinton emails may have emerged.

Comey said little about the emails themselves beyond that they "appear to be pertinent" to the Clinton investigation — which he'd declared closed last summer.

Related: Clinton Camp Enlists Democrats for War With Comey

The Justice Department's letter was addressed to four Democrats — including Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, which oversees the FBI — who'd expressed frustration that Comey reopened the issue without providing specifics so close to the presidential election.

House Intelligence Chairman Requests More Info From Comey 2:51

Leahy and the three other senators — Dianne Feinstein of California, Tom Carper of Delaware and Ben Cardin of Maryland, who'd demanded details over the weekend from Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch — called the department's response "disappointing and inadequate."

"Voters are going to the polls at this very moment, and it is incumbent on the FBI Director and Attorney General to provide Congress and the American people with clear, unambiguous answers about what the FBI knows and doesn't know about the emails in question, including how many are duplicate emails that have already been reviewed by the FBI," they said in a statement Monday night.

In a separate letter to Comey on Monday, Rep. Devin Nunes of California, the Republican chairman of the Intelligence Committee, asked for details about the FBI probe including the number and nature of emails related to Clinton's use of a private server.

Multiple federal officials have told NBC News that the emails were uncovered as part of a separate investigation of disgraced former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-New York, whose wife, Huma Abedin, is a top aide to Clinton. The FBI is investigating allegations that Weiner engaged in illicit communications with an underage girl.

White House: Will 'Neither Defend or Criticize' FBI Director 1:09

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday that President Barack Obama believed Comey is "a man of principle and a man of good character" and didn't suspect him of trying to influence the election.