Bernie Sanders Vows To Stay In The Race, Says FBI's Decision Will Do Nothing To Change His Campaign

Jake Johnson

Over the past few weeks, some (including Donald Trump) have entertained the theory that Bernie Sanders' decision to remain in the presidential race rested solely on the belief that Hillary Clinton would ultimately be indicted after a long investigation by the FBI.

But from the early stages of his campaign for the presidency, Sanders has made it clear that his run was never about his opponent — it was about his own ideas and those of his supporters. Many were dismayed, for instance, when Sanders refused to stress Clinton's email scandal during televised debates, but this refusal was characteristic of his idea-centered run.

And now, those who believe that Sanders has for months been clinging to the hope that the FBI will eventually indict Clinton must face some strong evidence to the contrary.

According to a Sanders spokesperson, the FBI's decision, reached publicly on Tuesday, to not recommend charges against Clinton for her use of a private email server will not affect his decision to stay in the race.

No matter where the email scandal goes from here, though, Sanders insists that he is staying in the race.

Many on both sides of the political aisle are outraged by the FBI's decision, and some commentators have argued that this case is clear evidence that some people are, indeed, above the law.

Donald Trump, for his part, seized upon the FBI's decision as evidence that the system is "rigged."

Others are pointing to the fact that this is nothing new and that, in the United States, the rich and politically influential have always played by different rules than everyone else.

Even FBI Director James Comey seemed to concede that if someone less prominent than Clinton was being investigated for the same actions, they would likely face consequences.

"To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions," Comey said. "But that is not what we are deciding now."

Though pressed by many of his supporters to focus intensely on Clinton's ongoing email investigation, Sanders remained focused on the issues he entered the race to emphasize, namely soaring income inequality, Wall Street greed, environmental deregulation, corrupt trade deals, and America's disastrous foreign policy.

And Sanders has held nothing back in criticizing Clinton on these issues, noting often that her judgement, far from solving these problems, has exacerbated them.

However, Sanders has remained consistently mute on Clinton's emails.

"On Tuesday afternoon, as much of the political world discussed the FBI's decision not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders' campaign blasted a text message to supporters," the Washington Post reported.

The message was about the necessity of opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, ostensibly a trade deal that Sanders has argued will harm workers and the environment.

Undoubtedly, many remain dismayed by Sanders' refusal to wade into the Clinton email scandal and by his unwillingness to use the controversy to his advantage. Perhaps they are right. For better or worse, though, Sanders has remained firm in his belief that some issues are more important than others.

"You're not going to be the sixteenth writer who asks me about Hillary, are you?" Sanders asked a reporter in March. "I know you would not do that. You want to ask me about the state of the economy, unemployment, poverty. You would not ask me about my views on Hillary Clinton."

[Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]