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Democratic Senators Ask FBI to Provide Info About Clinton Email Development

Four senators in a letter asked the FBI to provide clarity to newly-discovered emails by Monday, saying the failure to do so would be a disservice.
James Comey
FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on 'Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.'Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

A group of Democratic senators on Saturday sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking for more details about the new development in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

The letter signed by Sens. Patrick Leahy, Dianne Feinstein, Thomas Carper and Ben Cardin called a letter sent to Congress about newly discovered emails that could be pertinent to the investigation "vaguely worded" and open for misinterpretation with just a little more than a week before the election.

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The senators requested that this information be provided to Congress and the American people no later than Monday.

"Just ten days before a presidential election, the American people deserve more disclosure without delay regarding the FBI’s most recent announcement,” the senators wrote. "Anything less would be irresponsible and a disservice to the American people."

Related: Emails Related to Clinton Case Found in Anthony Weiner Investigation

Comey in a letter to 16 members of the House and Senate Friday said the FBI learned "of the existence of e-mails that appear to be pertinent" to the Clinton investigation, though he added that the FBI "cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant."

Nearly four months ago Comey announced the FBI found no evidence Clinton committed any crime.

The letter dropped like a political bomb with the election looming on Nov. 8, and reenergized the campaign of Donald Trump, who has made Clinton’s email controversy a centerpiece of his attacks.

The senators referred to a memo Comey sent to employees about notifying Congress of the emails found in the unrelated investigation into Anthony Weiner which said: "In trying to strike that balance, in a brief letter, and in the middle of an election season, there is significant risk of being misunderstood, but I wanted you to hear directly from me about it.”

"Unfortunately, Director Comey’s letter has been misunderstood. It is already being used for political purposes, creating a misleading impression regarding the FBI’s intent and actions," the senators wrote in the letter.

"This letter is troubling because it is vaguely worded and leaves so many questions unanswered," the senators wrote. "It is not clear whether the emails identified by the FBI are even in the custody of the FBI, whether any of the emails have already been reviewed, whether Secretary Clinton sent or received them, or whether they even have any significance to the FBI’s previous investigation."

Related: Justice Department Urged FBI to Not Make Clinton Email Development Public

The Department of Justice opposed the FBI's plan to notify Congress about the discovery of the new emails, but Comey concluded that informing Congress was better than waiting until after the election and hoping in the meantime that the fact of the discovery wouldn't leak, senior officials familiar with the discussions told NBC News.