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Washington • Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he's increased his security after receiving death threats following his public comments about the FBI continuing its investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of private email servers.
Clinton's campaign had suggested its surrogates go after Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, for characterizing a letter from the FBI as re-opening the probe of Clinton; the FBI has never closed that investigation.
Chaffetz, R-Utah, didn't want to discuss the specific threats Tuesday, other than saying there was more than one and he has alerted the Capitol Police as well as local authorities.
"Unfortunately, I have had some death threats," Chaffetz said. "Most people want to express their opinions in very volatile situations but you get some people who are a little too aggressive and I've turned those over to the authorities to deal with."
Chaffetz declined to provide the actual threats or to say how he has increased his security. The congressman has said previously that he often carries a pistol while in his district.
The Clinton campaign sent talking points to its surrogates on Saturday advising them on how to react to the news that the FBI had uncovered emails in an unrelated investigation that of former Rep. Anthony Weiner that could relate to its probe into Clinton's use of private email servers while she served as secretary of state.
"It's outrageous, though not surprising, that a Republican chairman would knowingly mislead the public and media by leaking and mischaracterizing this letter," according to the email obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune. The notice to surrogates did not mention Chaffetz's name, though it's clear he is the "Republican chairman" referenced.
The FBI, in its letter to eight congressional committees, did not say whether the emails were substantive or even directly pertinent to the investigation, and Clinton has called on the bureau to immediately inform the public whether there was any wrongdoing to clear the air in the days leading up to the election.
Chaffetz had tweeted that the FBI had "reopened" its investigation, though the case was never actually closed.
Democratic consultant James Carville alleged on MSNBC Monday evening that FBI Director James Comey was working with House Republicans to help torpedo Clinton's bid.
"First of all let's start at the beginning. He was acting in concert and coordination with the House Republicans. End of story," Carville said. "He gave the letter to him, they gave it to Fox News," Carville said.
Carville was apparently referencing Chaffetz.
Chaffetz says he didn't know anything about the FBI finding new information until he received Comey's letter and it was only after discussing it with legal counsel that he tweeted about it.
Chaffetz defended Comey's actions to inform Congress saying that "it must have been substantial or the FBI would not have done this."
And the congressman said despite campaign complaints, Clinton's use of private email servers to discuss government work triggered the probe.
"That's Hillary Clinton choosing, not mine," he said. "Hillary Clinton put herself in this position, not Jason Chaffetz."