The discovery of the emails prompted FBI Director James Comey to reopen the bureau's probe into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information during her tenure as secretary of state, particularly her use of a private email server. The probe had been closed without charges in July.
The new batch of messages were found during an unrelated investigation into disgraced former US Congressman Anthony Weiner's messaging with an underage girl. In searching Weiner's computer, investigators found correspondence between Clinton and Abedin, Weiner's estranged wife and the vice chair of Clintons’ presidential campaign.
In an October 28 letter to Congress, Comey said the emails – perhaps hundreds of thousands of them – may be pertinent to the investigation. Investigators will have little time to sort through the correspondence before the November 8 presidential election.
The New York Times reported that some of Abedin's emails passed through Clinton’s private server, meaning it’s likely the FBI has already seen them.
Abedin swore under oath in June that she had handed over any devices or papers that might contain correspondence relevant to the FBI investigation.
Both Clinton and her Republican rival for president, Donald Trump, have called on the FBI to air publicly what it has found before the election.