FBI Director James Comey must be feeling the backlash over his decision to announce that the bureau is reopening a probe of Clinton-related emails mere days before the election. The timing of the announcement has frustrated the Clinton campaign and former Justice Department officials, for the matter surely won’t be resolved by November 8. Now, CNBC News reports that Comey may have purposely chosen not to pursue Russia’s alleged meddling in the election because he was concerned about timing and influencing voters. If this is true, then Comey has indeed cooked up one fine kerfuffle:
FBI Director James Comey argued privately that it was too close to Election Day for the United States government to name Russia as meddling in the U.S. election and ultimately ensured that the FBI’s name was not on the document that the U.S. government put out, a former bureau official tells CNBC.
In the end, the Department of Homeland Security and The Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued the statement on Oct. 7, saying: “The U.S. intelligence community is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of emails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations. … These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process.”
During the the wave weekend criticism, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, while accusing Comey of violating the Hatch Act, also floated the idea that was Comey dragging his feet on a Russia-related investigation due to not wishing to influence the election. Reid’s theory also posited that the Trump campaign was working with the Russian government. The senator’s version of the story sounded like conjecture, although there’s no shortage of theories on the subject.
The Clinton-related investigation — which didn’t even have a supporting warrant until Sunday night — revolves around potentially relevant emails found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. This data could be connected to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server because Weiner’s then-wife, Huma Abedin, used the machine. Do these messages contain classified information? The FBI will now dig, though this could take forever, as 650,000 messages (whatever they are) apparently exist on the laptop.