It takes a lot for the FBI to reopen an investigation. It takes even more for the FBI to reopen an investigation of a presidential candidate eleven days before the election. But that’s exactly what has happened.
Early this afternoon it was announced that the FBI was reopening the criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton’s conduct as secretary of state, with regard to her email server and America’s secrets. And don’t listen to any Clinton surrogates who say it’s not a criminal investigation. The FBI doesn’t do any other kind of investigation.
The first inkling of the news was a tweet from Rep. Jason Chaffetz :
FBI Dir just informed me, "The FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation." Case reopened
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) October 28, 2016
About ten minutes after Chaffetz’s tweet came this letter from FBI Director James Comey to congressional leaders:
The new information didn’t come from WikiLeaks, according to the New York Times; it came from Hillary Clinton ultra-confidante Huma Abedin (thanks to the sexting scandal investigation involving her estranged husband). Federal law enforcement officials confirmed Friday that the new emails uncovered in the closed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server were discovered after the FBI seized electronic devices belonging to Abedin.
We don’t know when this new criminal investigation will be over, or what exactly the new material is. However, in this highly charged political year less than two weeks before Election Day, Comey would not reopen the criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton and do it so publicly unless he thought it was significant. Whether this will have any effect on people’s vote is also unknown. It may be that this kind of news is already baked in to people’s attitudes about Clinton. We shall see. Either way, if you are a Trump supporter, it can’t hurt.
Cross-posted at The Lid