Washington [USA], Jan. 13 (ANI
): The U.S. Justice Department Inspector General has announced to launch a probe into the department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server.
The announcement comes after criticism of the Justice Department's handling of the investigation, particularly on how the public was notified about the controversy, which was a major issue in the presidential election, reports the CNN.
It will likely mean a review of the role of FBI Director James Comey
, his news conference in July and his two letters to lawmakers in late October and early November. Justice Department
Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said the decision to initiate a review was prompted by requests from numerous members of Congress and public inquiries.
Horowitz's office said the review will examine several allegations, including that the Department of Justice (DOJ) or FBI policies were not followed when Comey publicly stated last July that his bureau would not pursue criminal charges against Clinton; that DOJ and FBI employees improperly disclosed non-public information; and that the timing of the FBI's release of certain Freedom of Information Act requests right before the election was improper.
The White House said Thursday it wasn't involved in the decision to investigate.
"Decisions that are made by inspectors general across the administration are independent, and this administration has assiduously protected the independence of inspectors general," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said at a briefing.
investigation of Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state - and whether she mishandled classified information in doing so - was accused of political machinations.
Democrats were furious when Comey wrote to lawmakers less than two weeks before the election announcing the discovery of emails potentially relevant to its investigation of Clinton's handling of classified information.
A few days before the election, Comey wrote to lawmakers again to say that based on a review of emails, the agency had not changed its opinion that Clinton should not face criminal charges.
But Democrats say his move came too late and have said that the initial letter stalled her momentum during the final two weeks of the election campaign. (ANI