WASHINGTON, October 31, 2016 — Hillary Clinton’s campaign, relishing an expected electoral treat on November 8, received a nasty trick. The FBI seized computers belonging to Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin in search of kiddy porn, and instead found 650,000 emails related to Abedin’s State Department work for Clinton.
The FBI’s October surprise may rival the revelations of President Nixon’s Watergate scandal. At least, so says and so hopes presidential candidate Donald Trump.
At Clinton’s Brooklyn campaign headquarters, her staff is undoubtedly having nightmares. So are some voters, who are turning to Trump for solace.
It’s thanks to Weiner that FBI Director James Comey decided to revisit the Clinton email probe this week, but the real credit goes to former Presidnt Bill Clinton. After his visit to Attorney General Loretta Lynch last summer, she felt obliged to announce that she would follow any suggestion Comey cared to make with regard to the Hillary Clinton email investigation. She was too compromised by that improper visit to do otherwise.
Comey was thus forced to publicly announce the FBI’s findings and to make a public recommendation to indict or not indict Clinton. That wasn’t how the process was supposed to work. In his press conference, Comey laid out damming information, but, perhaps under intense pressure from the Obama Administration, he did not recommend indictment.
However, he agreed under intense pressure from Congress to inform them if there were new information and to reexamine the case if there were. He would certainly have preferred that there not be, and that he not be obliged to revisit that can of worms, but Anthony Weiner couldn’t keep his pants zipped, and new information popped up.
Had he not told Congress about it, Comey would have been blasted for further protecting Clinton and pushing the election her way when news of the Weiner mails inevitably came out. It was a losing, untenable position for Comey, one that Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch locked him into.
NBC News has reported that tens of thousands of the emails being investigated by the FBI could be connected to Clinton’s private server. After FBI officials received a warrant on Sunday to begin the arduous task of searching through the 650,000 emails discovered on Abedin’s and Weiner’s shared computer, the Clinton campaign suggested that Comey intended to throw the election to Trump.
That’s absurd. If that had been his goal, he would have recommended that Clinton be indicted in July. Instead, when he said that she was officially off the hook, the Clinton campaign and the mainstream media raised Comey to a status somewhere between Eliot Ness and a saint. Whenever anyone suggested that Clinton had done something improper, they piously intoned that Comey had absolved her, and restored her virginity in the process.
Now that Comey has reopened the investigation, the Democrats have demoted him from saint to demon. They also demand that he release all 650,000 messages to show that they contain nothing more sinister than Chelsea’s wedding plans, knowing that the FBI can do no such thing.
Most Americans have probably paid little attention to this controversy. Millions of Americans have more important things to worry about, such as how they can afford Obamacare bills that are devastating their family. They may be tying Clinton’s campaign promises of “Stronger Together” to Obama’s Obamacare lies.
Promises and lies do not pay health insurance bills or help a family manage the mounting debt that has swamped millions of Americans. For undecided voters, Clinton’s promises be just one more lie that their families cannot take a risk on.
For those voters, coming on top of the mountain of WikiLeaks and Veritas videos, an FBI criminal investigation is solid and may seal the deal for Trump. They might ignore Congressional hearings as political posturing, the sort of thing of which President Obama said, “there’s no there, there,” but an FBI investigation feels very real.
The Trump campaign and the down ballot races are big beneficiaries of the Weiner files. According to the Daily Mail, Trump said of Clinton, “Her criminal action was willful, deliberate, intentional and purposeful. … Hillary set up an illegal server for the obvious purpose of shielding her criminal conduct from public disclosure and exposure.”
Many voters will want to avoid the possible legal and moral turmoil which would result if Clinton won and were then indicted. The impeachment of Bill Clinton is still vivid in our collective memory. The government was paralyzed, just as it was during the impeachment hearings of former President Richard Nixon. That’s a nightmare we’d rather avoid.
The FBI’s October surprise may be a nightmare to Clinton and her supporters, but she could have avoided this debacle by being honest in 2015 at her first press conference. But being open and honest is not her strong suit, and now America may decide that the renewed FBI criminal investigation proves it.