House chairmen seek new federal probe of Clinton testimony

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican chairmen of two U.S. House of Representatives committees asked the Justice Department on Monday to launch an investigation into whether Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton committed perjury during testimony to Congress about her use of a private email server. "The evidence collected by the FBI during its investigation of Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email system appears to directly contradict several aspects of her sworn testimony" to Congress, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said in a letter to U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips requesting the probe. After a year-long investigation of Clinton's emails, the FBI recommended that no criminal charges be brought against the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee for the Nov. 8 election. That recommendation was accepted by Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The FBI found, however, that she was "extremely careless" while secretary of state in her handling of email documents that contained classified information. Representative Elijah Cummings, the senior Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform panel, accused Republicans of a political vendetta following years of Republican-led investigations of Clinton in the House. "Republicans are now squandering even more taxpayer dollars in a desperate attempt to keep this issue alive and bring down Secretary Clinton’s poll numbers ahead of the election,” Cummings said. Clinton has said that she did not believe she was handling classified information on the private email system. Chaffetz has also asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to give him access to its investigative files on Clinton. (Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by James Dalgleish and Peter Cooney)