By Paul Miller
News of the FBI reopening their investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails could hardly have
come at a worse time. It seemed like the scandal had been put firmly to bed, with the recent leaking of the Podesta emails and allegations of shady co-ordination with liberal advocacy group Americans United for Change largely contained to online discussion and Fox News.
With Donald Trump’s “locker-room” talk still dominating headlines and allegations of his
sexual misconduct piling up, the Democratic nominee believes she has the election sewn up. However, with election day looming the resurrection of the email scandal will be an unwelcome surprise to the Clinton campaign.
The worry is that with the focus back on the emails, the Democrat’s message of progressivism and equality will be drowned out by Trump’s description of her as an untrustworthy career politician – and this will drive down turnout and cause her to haemorrhage votes to third party candidates.
The content of the emails is as yet unknown, and it is unlikely that much more will be revealed before Americans go to the polls. What is known is that the emails were discovered during an investigation into former congressman Anthony Weiner’s inappropriate text messages to a fifteen-year-old girl. Mr Weiner is the husband of Huma Abedin, one of Clinton’s closest aides.
The news follows the episodic release of the Podesta emails – 20,000 pages of emails allegedly taken from Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta’s personal Gmail account in March 2016 breach. These were the WikiLeaks that drove the Ecuadorian embassy to sever Julian Assange’s internet connection, on the grounds that he was meddling with US political affairs.
The Podesta emails are not incriminating, but they suggest Clinton may have received town-hall debate questions in advance and, more seriously, point to ties between the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One – a company controlled by Russian interests, effectively giving Russia control over one-fifth of US uranium.
The best outcome for Clinton is that she weathers the storm and prevails on November 8th – but even if the FBI’s conclusion in July does not change, the start of her presidency will be dogged by accusations of nepotism, backroom dealings, and pay-to-play.
Image by Marc Nozell via flickr.