Some facts on the new e-mail developments, with props to Steve Benen:
The FBI has not reopened its investigation into Clinton’s e-mail service because that investigation was never closed. Republicans would like us to believe the FBI found something new, which led them to re-open the investigation. Nope.
According to several media sources, the messages currently being examined were not withheld and are unrelated to Wikileaks activity.
The new emails have nothing to do with Hillary Clinton’s server, nor are they e-mails from Mrs. Clinton.
As we all now know, the “unrelated case” to which FBI Director Comey is referring is about Anthony Weiner, who is under investigation for allegedly sexting to a 15-year old girl. As a part of that investigation, the FBI has taken possession of electronic devices belonging to Weiner and his estranged wife Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Why they did not think to look into these devices during the Clinton investigation is unclear.
Hillary Clinton, in a short press conference earlier this afternoon, encouraged the FBI to release more information about the new investigation into what are likely Abedin’s emails, at least to the extent that it would confirm or correct what seems to have been gleaned from other sources and noted about.
It now appears that there are thousands of e-mails to go through. The FBI will not be able to comment substantively about what they find, nor do they typically comment on ongoing investigation. But, under the circumstances, since they made this mess, they ought to provide some context for what is going on as we are now 11 days out from the election and such information is rather important.
Some have said that Comey had no choice but to inform Congress of the existence of the e-mails as he was finding out about them because Republicans would have skewered him if he had informed them of the investigation only after the election, just as Democrats are skewering him now. Perhaps someone can tell me how that is not a comment on an ongoing investigation, as I thought they were not supposed to do, but I’m not a lawyer.
I really don’t want to think this was politically motivated. Maybe it’s just a combination of arrogance and stupidity. I do wonder what new career Mr. Comey will be pursing once Hillary Clinton is sworn in in January.