According to the New York Times, FBI officials say there is “no chance” that their agents will have the opportunity to thoroughly review the tens of thousands of emails they discovered on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner in time for election day. In fact, as of this weekend, they had not even obtained a warrant to look at them at all.
FBI Director James Comey shocked the world on Friday with a letter to Congress where he informed them that the FBI had discovered the emails as part of a separate investigation into Weiner’s sexual dealings with an underage North Carolina girl. Few details have been provided, but the emails relate in some way to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server – an investigation which seemed to have reached its conclusion this summer.
To call this an October surprise would be an understatement. Both Republicans and Democrats reacted with shock this weekend, calling on Comey to release as much information publicly as possible so that the American people would be able to cast their votes with a clear head. But Comey has thus far remained utterly silent while Washington goes nuts trying to understand what this will mean for the election.
According to the New York Times, the Justice Department did not want Comey to send the letter:
Senior Justice Department officials did not move to stop him from sending the letter, officials said, but they did everything short of it, pointing to policies against talking about current criminal investigations or being seen as meddling in elections.
Of course, it’s easy to understand why Comey did what he did. If it came out on November 9 that he withheld the information and then it came out that there are emails on Weiner’s laptop that prove Clinton guilty of the crimes she miraculously escaped prosecution for this summer, the American people would be rightly calling for his resignation – if not his imprisonment. Even if you think Comey is above all wrongdoing, he was in a tough spot here.
But whether or not there is anything truly damning in the new emails, the news will be enough for voters to reconsider whether they want to go through another four years of Clinton corruption. At a certain point, you don’t need to find the fire anymore. The smoke itself is enough.
We’ve reached that point.