There is no question that re-opening the FBI Investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server is a big deal. The FBI normally avoids acting just before an election in order to avoid charges of political manipulation. NBC reports:
The FBI is reviewing a new batch of Hillary Clinton emails, bureau director James Comey said in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday.
“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,” he wrote.
The very first thing to note is that Comey made no mention of a grand jury. The emails whose existence he learned of may have been the result of a subpoena in another investigation. If that is the case, further subpoenas are quite possible, a tool that was left unused in the investigation to date.
There are 3 competing theories as to why he might be doing this now that come to mind.
- He might be seeking to restore his badly damaged reputation, recognizing that the damage he has inflicted on the FBI is substantial. Three days ago, American Thinker published an open letter from a retired FBI Agent, Hugh Galyean, that laid out some of the damage Comey has inflicted on the institution he leads. There is little doubt that this reached many in the FBI family, putting in print what people have only whispered about. If those silenced voices start speaking out, Comey could face a serious loss of face. In this scenario, he is heading off a staff rebellion, possibly including mass resignations.
- Rush Limbaugh today discussed an alternative theory, that by announcing an FBI Investigation resuming, Comey is putting a lid on further attention to Wikileaks. I guess this means that Clinton forces will argue we must wait for the investigation to be complete (after the election) before speaking about what the evil Russians are planting into our politics.
- It is possible that something so dramatic came up in the pertinent emails that postponing a public reaction by not announcing the reopening of the investigation would, be regarded as political interference by covering up a smoking gun until after the election. In this scenario, Comey is assuming the evidence cannot be suppressed, and that he would be held accountable after it comes out. This scenario also indicates that we could be headed for a constitutional crisis, involving the possible indictment of a president-elect before an election. Or the evidence being turned over to the House of Representatives for impeachment hearings.
We’ll know more in the coming days, and I am sure there are other possible theories and motives. It is shame that we have to speculate, and that the once-respected FBI director is now subject to analysis of his political gamesmanship.