Late yesterday, an FBI warrant was issued permitting the agency to examine emails contained in a laptop owned by disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner – one that he shared with his wife, Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Supposedly, FBI Director Comey is looking for evidence of classified emails from Clinton. But as reported by NBC News, Senator Harry Reid thinks Comey is attempting to tilt election polls results in Donald Trump’s favor.
Timing of FBI Warrant
The timing of Comey’s re-examination of the Hillary Clinton email issue is extremely suspicious. And it’s unlikely that Comey will want to speed up the process to remove the cloud he created over Clinton. On the contrary, it seems fairly clear that Comey timed the release of this information to congressional Republicans to ensure that the matter couldn’t be resolved before the 2016 Election Day.
FBI Director Comey seems to be implying that it’s all just a mysterious coincidence that the letter to congressional Republicans and the FBI warrant to examine the contents of these emails occurred only days before the 2016 election is to be decided. Even some Republicans are questioning the truth of this statement.
The problem with this assertion on the part of the Director is that the logic of it just doesn’t ring true. According to CNN, the FBI knew weeks ago about these alleged Clinton emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. Why didn’t it warrant an examination at that time?
Logically, the only reason to wait – rather than to act weeks ago – is that the emails could have been examined long before the election took place and Comey’s insinuations disproved. The principal difference would be that the Clinton campaign would have had time to recover from false allegations.
By waiting until now to obtain the FBI warrant, the Clinton campaign and the Democrats don’t have that time. Particularly given that the FBI – under Comey – will almost certainly wait until after the election to release the inevitably negative result of their “investigation.”
Goals of the FBI
Warrant use is generally limited to what is specified in the legal document, which is why the FBI and Director Comey were able to delay the use of a warrant to examine the laptop in question. Obviously, previous investigations unrelated to Hillary Clinton had already made use of a separate warrant to look at all of Anthony Weiner’s digital devices. But this previous warrant couldn’t be used for this new purpose.
Supposedly, the new warrant allows the FBI to look into other emails contained on the Weiner laptop that did not warrant investigation at that time. But from a skeptic’s perspective, the delays – bureaucratic and otherwise – in the FBI obtaining a warrant and acting on it substantially benefited Donald Trump and the Republicans.
Effect of the FBI Warrant
If as seems likely, there is absolutely nothing incriminating against Hillary Clinton in these emails – assuming they exist at all – the investigation into them will still serve the Republican purpose of disrupting the Clinton campaign. Obviously, Donald Trump would love to put a dent in Hillary Clinton’s considerable lead in the latest election polls results.
But the Republicans running for reelection in the Senate and House would probably settle for preventing a Clinton landslide that sweeps Democrats into control in one or both bodies. Whether they will actually achieve this goal is still an open question.
In carrying out his decision to obtain an FBI warrant for the Weiner emails only days before the 2016 election, Comey may well have miscalculated the result. For one thing, millions of Americans have already voted early across the country, with some polls showing this early voting is leaning heavily toward Hillary Clinton. Also, FBI Director Comey may have now lit a fire under complacent Democrats who might not have otherwise shown up to vote in the 2016 election.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]