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Fact Check: Trump Presses Forward With Inaccurate 'Criminal' Claims

Donald Trump continued to cite a discredited report and exaggerate news to portray rival Hillary Clinton as a criminal on Friday.
Image: Donald Trump
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a campaign event in Pensacola, Florida, on November 2, 2016.CARLO ALLEGRI / Reuters

Donald Trump continued to cite a discredited report and exaggerate news to portray rival Hillary Clinton as a criminal embroiled in investigations on Friday, making inaccurate claims central to his final pitch to swing state voters just four days before the election.

In speeches on Friday punctuated by crowd chants of "lock her up, lock her up," Trump suggested that Clinton was likely to be indicted soon and that she was under review in "multiple open criminal investigations." Neither of those things are true: Fox News apologized Friday morning -- before Trump's speeches -- for a report stating the former and the latter claim is an exaggeration.

"The FBI has reopened its criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton. They're also conducting a second criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton's pay-for-play corruption at the state department," Trump said Friday night.

There is just one open investigation, into her handling of classified information on a private email server when she was Secretary of State. That investigation was completed this summer, when the FBI said they would not recommend pressing charges on the matter. As a technical matter, the case was never closed. When new emails related to the case were found in a separate investigation, the FBI announced they would review them.

"The FBI now has multiple open criminal investigations going on [into] Hillary Clinton. Lots of bad things are happening, lots of really bad things are happening," Trump alleged. "I mean, you have things going on that are incredible. That includes a discovery of another 650,000 emails and also a criminal investigation into her pay-for-play corruption at the State Department."

While there was a preliminary investigation after conservative author Peter Schweizer alleged a criminal pay-for-play scheme between the Clinton Foundation and State Department, it did not progress past the inquiry stage. Law enforcement officials say that investigation hasn't moved forward in months and isn't, as Fox News reported before apologizing, nearing indictment.

As for that 650,000 emails? That's the total number of emails media outlets say were uncovered on the laptop of Clinton aide Huma Abedin's husband Anthony Weiner, which included some that were related to Hillary Clinton's time as Secretary of State. We don't know how many; some news reports have said the number is in the "thousands."

He doubled down on this false number moment later.

"Last night it was just confirmed that the 650,000 emails include brand new emails not previously seen by authorities, likely including classified information. Hillary is now facing major problems with perjury. The FBI agents say their investigation is likely to yield, perhaps, an indictment," he said.

Again, not true. CBS News reported that the emails obtained off Weiner's laptop were not duplicates of previously reviewed email, but not that there were 650,000 of them or that Clinton perjured herself based on this number or that they were classified.

There is no evidence backing up these assertions Trump has made in the closing days of the campaign.

Additional reporting by Pete Williams.