The US Department of Justice’s inspector general said Thursday that he will launch a review of the FBI’s actions with regard to former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election.

The statement said that the review will examine whether proper agency procedures and policies were followed with regard to public statements and communications made by FBI director James Comey, and whether “certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations”. It will also address whether Mr Comey should have recused himself and whether certain DOJ or FBI employees “improperly disclosed non-public information” among other things.

The review is being launched in response to requests from numerous lawmakers, organisations and members of the public, according to the statement from DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz. The IG’s effort will not second-guess the FBI’s decision to recommend that Hillary Clinton not be indicted for her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

Mrs Clinton’s supporters have blamed her defeat last November to Donald Trump in part on Mr Comey’s letter to members of Congress just days before the election saying that it had learned about previously undisclosed emails that could be pertinent to its previous investigation into Mrs Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state.

On October 28, Mr Comey wrote Congress to say that the FBI was reviewing a new batch of Clinton emails discovered on a laptop her aide Huma Abedin shared with her husband, former congressman Anthony Weiner. The news jolted Mrs Clinton’s campaign, putting it on the road to eventual defeat.

Two days before the voting, the FBI chief wrote lawmakers again to say that nothing had been found on the laptop to alter his decision not to recommend charges. Clinton herself has fingered Mr Comey’s extraordinary intervention as one of the chief factors in her shock loss.

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