Two days ago, on a otherwise sleepy Friday (normally a slow news day), FBI Director James Comey, changed everything. Director Comey sent a letter to the Congressional oversight committee informing them that the FBI has discovered emails which might be related to the Clinton private server investigation. Consequently, the FBI was reopening the Hillary Clinton investigation. Hmmm.
Now, the Justice Department’s own policies preclude any criminal announcements within 60 days of an election so as to not unduly influence the outcome. And, Comey allowed that he could not tell Congress more because the FBI had not read the emails as yet. Hmmm.
The emails, according to press reports were discovered as part of an FBI investigation of Anthony Weiner over alleged sexting. Weiner’s wife is Huma Abedin is a close aide of Hillary Clinton and 10’s of thousands of her emails were found on the computer Weiner was using. So the FBI has begun its search for the needle in the haystack.
Over the past few weeks there has been a lot of mentions of the “alt right” and their tactics of stirring up anxiety, if not downright outrage. Alt rightists announce outlandish claims apparently designed to invoke outrage in the reader. Journalists refer to much such activity as “trolling. Was Comey trolling to Congress or the Trump team? Or, was Comey confusing a responsibility to inform Congress with his duty to keep the FBI non-partisan?
In time, these newly discovered emails (which may just be copies of already reviewed ones) will be sorted and evaluated. I wonder what Director Comey will say then?
In the meantime, many will wonder whether this latest FBI announcement was designed embolden hard core Trump supporters or just to help down ballot Republican candidates?
Comey’s statements, however, are unlikely to change any minds already leaning or committed to Hillary. So, was there another purpose for this announcement?
Pundits describe Director Comey as a straight shooter, someone with enormous integrity. Earlier when Director Comey announced the FBI would not recommend prosecution over the confidential information held on Clinton’s private server while at the same time calling Clinton “sloppy” in handling classified information, one wondered why any additional qualifications were necessary.
With this seemingly unnecessary and uninformative announcement, many wonder again, was Comey trying to mollify Republicans and hedge his bets for the future? Others may wonder whether Comey is in over his head in trying to play Caesar. (Remember Antonin Scalia’s delight in 2000 weighing in on Florida’s recount. Remember what it got the US.)