The notification that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey sent to Congress, less than two week before the presidential election, stating that there is certain material that may or may not be “significant” to the investigation on Hillary Clinton’s emails is an unacceptable intrusion.
Comey’s action is utterly irresponsible and casts doubts at a crucial moment in the election campaign, helping one of the candidates to the detriment of the other.
The reality is that not even Comey himself knows what the emails found in a computer shared by Clinton adviser Huma Abedin and her husband Anthony Weiner – from whom she is separated – say. Weiner is being investigated by the FBI for a sex scandal.
The FBI already conducted an exhaustive inquiry where it was concluded that there was no proof that the former Secretary of State inappropriately handled top secret information from her personal server. Unusually, at that moment Comey went beyond the announcement of the investigation’s conclusion to add his opinion that Clinton had been “extremely careless.”
Comey’s letter to Congress only says that he will allow his investigators to read Abedin’s emails to determine if they contain anything relevant to the investigation. In the FBI chief’s message to his staff on the topic, he said that the emails “appear to be pertinent” and that “we don’t know the significance” of them.
To top it off, defying his superiors, Comey sent the letter on Friday, when on Saturday he still did not have a court order in his hands to see the computer.
This is speculation on a gigantic scale. However, for Donald Trump and Republicans, it is enough to ensure that the inquiry was reopened and that this proves Clinton’s corruption, and to exaggerate by saying that the emails are “a bigger scandal than Watergate.”
Nothing is more damaging than doubt. It leaves it all to the individual’s imagination. “Comey may know something about Clinton that he hasn’t said,” many will think. For that reason, if there is any information, he must reveal it. If there is none, then he needs to clarify that immediately in order to end speculation.
Comey has said that he does not wish to intervene in the election and that his letter intends to correct part of the testimony he gave in front of Congress. With this, he has demonstrated that he does not have the necessary judgment to continue in his post. Worse yet, if we are going to speculate, then he might as well be a moderate Republican using the power he received from a Democratic government to destroy the Democratic presidential nominee.