The FBI Is Reopening The Hillary Clinton Email Investigation Right Before The Election ― UPDATE
Things are probably not feeling so serene at the Hillary Clinton campaign headquarters right now. According to a report from NBC News, the FBI is reviewing new Clinton emails, and less than two weeks before the general election on Nov. 8.
The news was confirmed by Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz, who's the chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He tweeted that FBI director James Comey told him the investigation was reopening, thanks to newly discovered emails that "appear to be pertinent to the investigation." But despite Chaffetz's claims, the FBI actually reviewed new emails that it was made aware of; they did not reopen a full investigation.
In a letter to the committee, as cited by NBC News, Comey explained why there are more emails to review, saying that the new, potentially relevant emails were discovered in connection to a different case, and they'll be reviewed to determine whether they contain classified information. Needless to say, there are big potential political implications in all of this. Comey wrote:
In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. … I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.
Beyond the fact that the investigation is being reopened and these new emails will be reviewed, it's hard to know exactly what the fallout will be, especially as the content of the emails and their relationship to Clinton's scandal are still unclear. It's entirely possible that the bureau will determine the emails weren't classified or don't rise to the level of implicating Clinton in any wrongdoing. The Associated Press reported that the emails the FBI reviewed were not from Clinton's private server.
You'd be hard pressed to script a worse time for this news to drop, with the Clinton campaign already fending off Wikileaks' daily flow of emails hacked from campaign manager John Podesta. You can rest assured that congressional Republicans like Chaffetz ― who, in a flip-flop of epic proportions, recently went from supporting Trump to rebuking him to supporting him again ― will try to put the bleakest possible face on this news. But it bears mentioning, as with any largely opaque investigation, that people shouldn't be jumping the gun prematurely.
For what it's worth, Clinton's standing in the electoral map does look rosy right now, to be sure ― she's currently the odds-on favorite to win the election. But this close to Election Day, this latest news out of the FBI is sure to generate headlines and grab voters' attention, whether or not it's ultimately a significant enough issue to move anyone's vote.