Less than two weeks from Election Day, news that the FBI is reviewing new information possibly pertaining to Hillary Clinton’s private email server has left many questions unanswered.
People on both sides of the political aisle are calling for clarification. Others have raised questions over the timing of FBI Director James Comey’s vague announcement. The straightforward response here is that Comey had previously told Congress that the FBI had reviewed all evidence and had not found anything in its investigation, and had to update the record with the latest evidence yet to be reviewed.
Rush Limbaugh had another theory — an unlikely and “cynical” (his words) one at that: Comey’s letter was an intentional distraction from the recent developments in WikiLeaks’ release of John Podesta’s emails, which Li thinks have been starting to take a toll on the Clinton campaign.
Comey, Limbaugh said, knows that “reopening the investigation is a big deal” and “is going to make everybody think for the next three or four days that there’s really something to be forthcoming here.”
Here is Limbaugh’s theory:
The cynical view of the FBI reopening the case in the Hillary Clinton emails goes this way: “Comey is just doing this to take everybody's attention off of the WikiLeaks email dump. He's gonna make everybody think for the next three or four days that there's really something to be forthcoming here. I mean, opening the investigation, reopening it is a big deal. He knows that everybody's gonna say, 'Wow! There must be something brand-new that's dynamite. There must be something that's gonna just end it for her.'"
And then everybody focuses on what it is, and they drop reporting the WikiLeaks scandal, which is starting to have negative impact on the Clintons. The WikiLeaks scandal right now is starting to hurt because it's exposing the fraud and the hustling and the collusion and the corruption that's going on at the Clinton Foundation. You start messing around with things that are supposed to be charitable to serve humanity, you end up profiting personally from it, that's easy to understand. Everybody knows that's not nice.
Everybody understands that you are not supposed to get rich off of a charity, and the news here is that the Clintons have done that and are doing that. That's easy to understand. So, as Hillary starts plummeting in the polls -- eight points down in the Washington Post -- riding to the rescue is the Lone Ranger, James Comey, announcing that they're reopening the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails. Everybody stops talking about what is easily portrayed and is easily understandable in the WikiLeaks story and starts speculating on what Comey and the FBI are doing.
All the while, nobody knows.
That's the cynical view. The cynical view is that Comey is still carrying water for Clinton and is trying to get everybody to stop paying attention to the WikiLeaks dump because it's starting to have an impact.
Limbaugh’s theory — while conspiratorial at best — is in line with Donald Trump’s past rhetoric on the Clinton email scandal, that the FBI, the Justice Department, the media, and the election as a whole are rigged toward Clinton. It also highlights some unfortunate realities for Clinton’s campaign this week.
Bad news with Obamacare, WikiLeaks’ release of Podesta’s emails prompting another round of “pay to play” headlines, and news that the FBI was reopening the email server investigation make for a bad week for the Clinton campaign. And as the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza writes, “While some large amount of the email stuff surrounding Clinton is already baked into her poll numbers and unfavorable ratings, the swirl surrounding the new news from the FBI will not help the Democratic nominee as she tries to build momentum for election day.”