"Upon completing this investigation more than three months ago, FBI Director Comey declared no reasonable prosecutor would move forward with a case like this and added that it was not even a close call," Podesta said. "In the months since, Donald Trump and his Republican allies have been baselessly second-guessing the FBI and, in both public and private, browbeating the career officials there to revisit their conclusion in a desperate attempt to harm Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign."
Podesta then called on the FBI to offer more details about what exactly is happening with the emails, which sources have told The Washington Post are actually from an unrelated investigation into disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who has separated from his wife, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
Podesta also sounds furious that the FBI basically let people draw their own conclusions -- and let Republicans mischaracterize the announcement -- based on a three-paragraph letter and didn't provide more detail.
"Already, we have seen characterizations that the FBI is 'reopening' an investigation, but Comey's words do not match that characterization," Podesta said. "Director Comey's letter refers to emails that have come to light in an unrelated case, but we have no idea what those emails are, and the director himself notes they may not even be significant."
Podesta concludes: "It is extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election. The director owes it to the American people to immediately provide the full details of what he is now examining. We are confident this will not produce any conclusions different from the one the FBI reached in July."
To be clear, the Clinton campaign has decided to fight this politically — not to play it off as some small thing and wait for more information. It is serving notice that Republicans won't be the only ones applying political pressure to the FBI as it decides what to do over the next two weeks.
Podesta's first comments really drive that home. There is a reason the statement begins by pointing to the fact that this matter had been concluded before Republicans sought to keep re-raising it. Podesta saying that Republicans are "browbeating" career (i.e. nonpolitical) officials to "revisit their conclusion" suggests strongly that he's accused the FBI of reacting to that pressure — even if he doesn't directly say that.
Expect more of this combative tone in the days ahead.
Update: Clinton herself echoed Podesta's call for more disclosure in a delivered statement Friday night -- and also appeared somewhat exasperated by the lack of detail.
"We've heard these rumors, and we don't know what to believe, and I'm sure there will be even more rumors. That's why it is incumbent upon the FBI to tell us what they are talking about," Clinton, said, drawing out her syllables for emphasis. "Because right now, your guess is as good as mine, and I don't think that's good enough."
Clinton said these details should be released "without any delay."
"Even Director Comey said that this information may not be significant," she said, "so let's get it out."
Other Democrats offered similarly critical comments about the FBI.
DNC Chair Donna Brazile called the announcement "irresponsible."
"Now, 11 days away from the election, [Comey] released a vague letter that immediately led to rampant speculation in the news media," Brazile said. "This would be an irresponsible action at any time and, unsurprisingly, Donald Trump and Republicans are rushing to politicize this episode without any of the facts.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), meanwhile, called it "appalling."
"The FBI has a history of extreme caution near Election Day so as not to influence the results," Feinstein said. "Today’s break from that tradition is appalling.”