FBI Director James Comey inserted himself into the 2016 election by releasing a three paragraph letter to Congress eleven days before the election about investigating Huma Abedin, a Hillary Clinton staffer. Democratic panic is now rampant but should it be?
Kurt Eichenwald describes the anger against James Comey in new Hillary Clinton attack
We do not yet know for sure if FBI Director’s irresponsible act will affect the election of Hillary Clinton, but my hunch is that it is a net positive. Before I explain, it is important to understand what FBI Director James Comey did exactly. Kurt Eichenwald wrote a must-read piece titled “Hillary Clinton’s emails: The Real Reason the FBI is Reviewing More of Them” that explains it in detail.
The revelation that the FBI has discovered additional emails convulsed the political world, and led to widespread (and erroneous) claims and speculation. Many Republicans proclaimed that the discovery suggests Clinton may have broken the law, while Democrats condemned FBI Director James Comey for disclosing this information less than two weeks before the election, claiming he did it for political purposes.
Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, said the development showed his opponent had engaged in corruption “on a scale we have never seen before,’’ while Clinton called for the FBI to release all of the information it has, saying the American people have a right to know everything.
The truth is much less explosive. There is no indication the emails in question were withheld by Clinton during the investigation, the law enforcement official told Newsweek, nor does the discovery suggest she did anything illegal. Also, none of the emails were to or from Clinton, the official said. Moreover, despite the widespread claims in the media that this development had prompted the FBI to “reopen” of the case, it did not; such investigations are never actually closed, and it is common for law enforcement to discover new information that needs to be examined.
Hillary Clinton gave a short press conference to address the FBI Director’s ‘attack’ on her campaign. She said the following.
I have now seen Director Comey’s letter to Congress. We are eleven days out from perhaps the most important national election of our lifetime. Voting is already underway in our country. The American people deserve to get the full and complete facts immediately. The director himself have said he doesn’t know whether the emails referenced in his letter are significant are not. I am confident whatever they are will not change the conclusion reached in July. Therefore it is imperative that the Bureau explain this issue in question, whatever it is, without any delay. So I look forward to moving forward to focus on the important challenges facing the American people, winning on November eighth, and working with all Americans to build a better future for our country. Thank you.
Democratic voting is currently brisk in most of the battleground states. Hillary Clinton is up in the polls anywhere from a durable 3 percent to 10 percent with a Real Clear Politics average of about 4.6 percent. My concern is that 11 days out many thought a Hillary Clinton win was a foregone conclusion. Many watch the cable news and the network news believing that these guys have a crystal ball.
Here is a reality. Donald Trump has a lot of supporters, dedicated supporters, ill-informed supporters. His campaign is engaged in guerrilla social media tactics. His campaign uses the magical misinforming email chains that are very effective for low information voters, a significant percentage of Americans. Trump made many Americans believe that they are under attack from the other and establishment politics. An energized Trump voter thinks Trump is their savior. And their evangelical leaders are telling them that he is godsent.
I now detect a sort of panic that this election is not over. Many who earlier believed that the election was over are now rethinking that belief. I am receiving emails sounding the alarm. This panic is a good thing. It ensures we continue to encourage everyone to vote. It means folks will make every effort to vote irrespective of any inconvenience that would otherwise cause them not to vote if they were sure a Hillary Clinton win was at hand.