The No-Scandal Scandal: E-mail Re-Boot

rageIt is 28 October, 2016, 11 days before one of the most contentious and vitriolic presidential elections ever. It seems nearly every news source is running with the story of the FBI “re-opening” an investigation into the e-mails of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. This assertion is patently false.

In the letter addressed to Congress, FBI Director Comey stated that an unrelated investigation turned up “e-mails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation,” referring to the investigation concluded in July that resulted in no charges against Mrs. Clinton. He further stated the FBI would review the e-mails to see if there was any classified information and to determine if they were of any significance because, as of right now, they have no idea whether these e-mails actually have to do with anything.

This is political theater, and it is an attempt to disrupt the near certain victory of Hillary Clinton on November 8th. What they have found is a large number of Clinton e-mails, and have not yet looked at them to determine if they have anything to do with the previous investigation. It is therefore not a re-opening, but a preliminary examination – if anything. Director Comey is deliberately attempting to influence public perception, and it is inappropriate and irresponsible. One of Comey’s prevailing mantras has been, “I won’t talk about an ongoing investigation.” Apparently that does not apply to Mrs. Clinton. So much for impartiality. (And, yes, even in the previous statement where he explained that there were no criminal charges warranted against Mrs Clinton, he torpedoed her with his opinions on general e-mail handling, and left many with a false impression that she had sent and received properly marked classified information, which she had not.)

We have already addressed the previous investigation, so there is no need to re-hash the entire event. Just understand that this letter is not a re-opening of anything, and may not even warrant being called a full-blown investigation at this point. The current investigation is of Anthony Weiner, and these e-mails were found incidentally. There is no reason to assume they are of any merit with regard to the previous investigation, and Director Comey should have waited until they actually had information before releasing a statement like this.

As before, I don’t mean to convince you that you should vote for Clinton, or that her use of a private server was a good idea. It just bugs me to see people so eager to misrepresent what was actually said or written, and unelected senior officials so willing to misuse their positions for political purposes. There is no identified or articulated connection between these e-mails and any previous investigations. No investigations have been re-opened. Right now, there are just a bunch of un-screened e-mails. Let’s all pay attention to what information is actually being conveyed.

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