Hillary Clinton may be leading Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic race by a hefty margin, but Clinton’s biographer and investigative author Carl Bernstein believes that Sanders won’t give up on the race because the FBI’s investigation into her emails could lead to some “very damaging leaks.”
Clinton is currently the subject of two separate FBI investigations, one of which is for allegedly mishandling classified government information on her private server. In recent days, the federal agency has interviewed several of Hillary Clinton’s former State Department aides, including her campaign vice chairwoman, Huma Abedin, as part of the investigations.
It is believed that Hillary Clinton could be summoned for questioning under oath by the agency before the Democratic Convention in July.
Shedding light on the nature of the current presidential race, Bernstein said “all bets are off,” including the traditional Republican-Democrat binary that shapes the result of most presidential races. Emphasizing the influence of celebrity culture on the race, Bernstein added that Hillary Clinton’s probable fight with Donald Trump will be on the lines of who can be lured into campaigning for them rather than on the strength of any ideology.
Because, as Bernstein conceded, both Clinton and Trump are deeply flawed and despised not only by voters of the other party but by their party voters themselves. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll gives weight to this argument, showing that nearly half of Americans who support either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump for the White House will vote primarily to stop the other candidate from winning.
Elucidating on the reasons that Republican voters might have turned to Trump, Bernstein said the GOP nominee was the first among the presidential candidates to understand, and subsequently exploit, common Americans’ growing disillusionment with the country’s institutions. He said that is the reason why Trump’s campaign has expanded from a “nativist, neo-fascist campaign” to one where “there might be a kind of screw you vote, about Washington, about the process, that he could be the beneficiary of.”
But perhaps the most important part of the discussion came when Carl Bernstein suggested that Hillary Clinton’s close campaigners are aware of the task facing them because they know their candidate has “performed awfully.”
“[T]he folks around Hillary, who are not the usual Clinton Kool Aid drinkers…they’re worried, they know that their candidate has performed awfully, and that [Democratic presidential candidate Senator] Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has drubbed her.”
When presenter Don Lemon asked Carl if the email scandal could cost Hillary Clinton the nomination, he said that it is possible.
“If it blew up to the point of explosion.. I don’t believe there will be an indictment, but I think one of the reasons that Bernie Sanders is staying in till the very end is on the chance that something explosive would happen with the server. For instance, some kind of report by the FBI that got leaked, that could be devastating to Hillary Clinton..”
“And I think there are going to be some leaks that are going to be very damaging to Hillary Clinton. Look, what she did was an act of recklessness and entitlement that there is no excuse for… and she’s going to have to go to the FBI — under oath — and explain why she did that. And it is the first time that she is going to have to give a straight explanation.”
Do you agree with Bernstein’s analysis of the direction that the FBI investigation could take? And if there are going to be “damaging leaks” about Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information, do you think Bernie Sanders would be in a position to benefit from it?
[Photos by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]