When We Might Know More on FBI's Renewed Investigation Into Clinton's Email Server

The renewed investigation is unlikely to be resolved before Election Day.

— -- FBI experts are in the process of examining thousands of emails thought to be connected to long-time Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin -- a startling turn of events that has rocked the presidential campaign over the past few days.

The bureau team, which previously investigated Clinton's use of a private email server while she served as secretary of state, has pulled the hard drive from a laptop used by Abedin's estranged husband Anthony Weiner, who is under investigation for allegedly sexting with a minor.

FBI Director James Comey has received heavy criticism for his decision to notify Congress so close to the election that his agency is reviewing the emails after previously telling lawmakers the investigation into Clinton’s server had been completed.

Some Democrats say he has broken with Justice Department protocol by making public aspects of an ongoing investigation during the final days of a campaign, and they have demanded that he provide more information about the review to address the air of uncertainty surrounding the inquiry.

But the likelihood that the FBI’s review of the newly discovered emails will be complete a week from today when voters head to the polls to select the next president remains low.

Here’s a closer look at what is known about the FBI probe and when it might be completed:

Lawmakers Briefed

Comey has indicated he might have nothing more to say on the inquiry before Election Day on Nov. 8.

So far, the FBI chief has done a short briefing with the top Republican and Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, said Sunday on ABC’s "This Week" that Comey did not answer many of the questions asked during a phone call with himself and the panel’s ranking member, John Conyers, D-Michigan.

Some of Comey’s critics say he went public with the review before having information about what the emails might contain, including whether they are simply duplicates of messages already reviewed as part of the investigation into Clinton’s server, which focused on whether classified information was illegally shared on a nonsecure system.

Abedin has said she was unaware that any of her emails were on her estranged husband’s device.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said Comey may have violated the law preventing federal officials from being involved in campaigns by disclosing the current email review. Reid wrote Comey on Sunday, accusing the FBI director that he “may have broken the law” when he “rushed” to disclose “the slightest innuendo” related to Clinton 11 days prior to the election.

Questions Linger

Both Republicans and Democrats seem to agree on one thing: They want more information.

Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, wrote Comey Monday asking for more details about the review and saying the FBI chief’s letter was "vague" and "additional context" is needed.

"Without additional context, your disclosure is not fair to Congress, the American people, or Secretary Clinton," Grassley wrote. "In the absence of additional, authoritative information from the FBI in the wake of your vague disclosure, Congress and the American people are left to sift through anonymous leaks from Justice Department officials to the press of varying levels of detail, reliability, and consistency. The American people deserve better than that."

It’s unclear what steps Comey could take in the week before the election. The release of more information will likely depend on how quickly agents can comb through the relevant emails.

Breaking Protocol?

The Justice Department advised Comey he would break longstanding tradition by further discussing the ongoing investigation at this time, and his letter to Congress is seen by the DOJ as an overstep that risks meddling in politics too close to Election Day.

The Clinton campaign and many of its supporters have criticized Comey for the renewed investigation, calling it, at best, a severe lapse in judgment.

Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine called the FBI director's announcement "extremely puzzling" and a "distraction" in an interview on Sunday with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.

"Now this is an unprecedented move, as your folks were describing earlier, because it happens close to an election, which is in violation of normal Justice Department protocol, and it involves talking about an ongoing investigation, which also violates the protocol, and as far as we know now, Director Comey knows nothing about the content of these emails," Kaine said.

Democrats have also sought to play offense over the issue, publicly calling for the FBI to release any information about potential ties between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump or his aides and Russia that the agency is allegedly investigating. The FBI has not publicly disclosed that it is pursuing any such investigations.