WASHINGTON, May 12 (UPI) -- FBI Director James Comey said his agency's investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server will follow its own timetable and not that of the 2016 presidential elections.
He gave no assurance that the probe will conclude by the November elections. The investigation of the 55,000 pages of emails Clinton has turned over to the State Department has revealed that about 1,000 of them required later upgrades to their security classifications.
Clinton is currently the leading candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for president.
"I don't tether to any particular external deadline," Comey told reporters Wednesday, "so I do feel the pressure to do it well and promptly, but as between the two, I always choose 'well.'"
When asked, he again noted he regarded the FBI's actions as a formal investigation, contrary to Clinton's regular characterization of the issue as a "security inquiry."
"I'm not familiar with the term 'security inquiry,'" Comey said.
In recent months Comey has repeatedly referred to the probe as an "investigation" into Clinton's use of a private email server, while secretary of state, for official communication. Clinton has contended the private server never handled any emails marked "classified," but the State Department determined 22 emails deserved a "top secret" designation.
Some of Clinton's top aides and advisers were interviewed in the past week, and the FBI indicated it would next interview Clinton herself, a sign the investigation could be nearing an end and that a recommendation to prosecute or drop the case may be forthcoming.