An angry Donald Trump has accused the FBI of impropriety after the bureau cleared US presidential rival Hillary Clinton of criminal wrongdoing in a new email probe, lifting a cloud hanging over the Democrat as America goes to the polls on Tuesday.
FBI director James Comey told the US Congress on Sunday that the bureau found no evidence to warrant criminal charges against Clinton in a trove of newly-discovered emails. But the Republican candidate told supporters it would have been impossible for the FBI to review what has been reported to be as many as 650,000 emails in so short a time and said Clinton was being protected by "a rigged system".
"Hillary Clinton is guilty. She knows it, The FBI knows it. The people know it," he told a rally in Michigan. "Now it's up to the American people to deliver justice at the ballot box on November 8."
Clinton said the country was facing a "moment of reckoning" on election day and Americans must choose between "division and unity".
"We have to heal this country," Clinton told a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire. She plans to conclude her election campaign with stops in Pittsburgh, Grand Rapids, Philadelphia and Raleigh, North Carolina, on Monday.
Comey's move capped a stunning chapter in the bitter, deeply divisive contest between Clinton and Trump. The director's initial decision to make a renewed inquiry into Clinton's emails public on October 28 upended the campaign at a crucial moment, sapping her surging momentum and giving Trump fresh ammunition to challenge her trustworthiness.
Clinton's campaign, furious at Comey's handling of the review, welcomed Sunday's announcement. Communications director Jennifer Palmieri said: "We're glad this matter is resolved".
The new review involved material found on a computer belonging to Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former congressman and estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin. While Comey was vague in his initial description of the inquiry, he said on Sunday that the FBI reviewed communications "to or from Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state".
Based on that review, he told politicians the FBI was not changing the conclusion it reached this summer. Then, Comey said, "no reasonable prosecutor" would recommend that Clinton face criminal charges for using a private email system while at the US State Department.
Clinton appeared to be heading for a sweeping victory before Comey's first letter to Congress about the emails in April 2015, in which he stressed the FBI could not yet assess "whether or not this material may be significant" or how long it might take to run down the new investigative leads.
"The October surprise that came only 11 days before election day has unfairly hurt the campaign of one candidate and changed the tenor of this election," California Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein said.
Clinton still appears to hold an edge over Trump in the campaign's final stretch. The Republican has a narrow path to victory that requires him to win nearly all of the roughly dozen swing states up for grabs. As the campaign's final weekend drew to a close, more than 41 million Americans had already cast their ballots in early voting.