FBI Director James Comey grossly overstated to Congress the number of emails Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin forwarded to husband Anthony Weiner while working at the State Department, the FBI said in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
The letter was released just moments before the White House announced President Donald Trump had dismissed Comey.
Comey told the panel last week that Abedin forwarded “hundreds and thousands of emails” to her spouse, to print when Clinton served as secretary of state.
“Somehow, her emails were being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information,” he said.
But a clarification sent from the FBI on Tuesday said only two email chains containing classified information were manually forwarded from Abedin to Weiner. Ten other chains with classified information were also found on Weiner's laptop, but are believed to be the product of a backup of her personal electronic device.
All 12 of the email chains had previously been discovered during the FBI’s investigation, the letter stated.
The discovery of Comey’s misstatement was first reported by ProPublica.
Comey revealed the seemingly new information while defending his decision to renew the FBI investigation into Clinton’s private email server just days before the 2016 presidential campaign. Less than two weeks before election day, the FBI informed Congress new Clinton emails had been found on a laptop belonging to Weiner.
Though Clinton was again cleared of any criminal wrongdoing before Election Day, Democrats pointed to the surprise announcement as part of the reason why she was defeated.
Comey said at the hearing it makes him “mildly nauseous” to think he played a role in the outcome of the election.
Clinton also pointed to the Oct. 28 letter as major factor in her stunning loss.
“If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president,” she said at a forum last week.