News & Politics

Comey Tries to Explain the Timing of His Email Announcement

FBI Director James Comey (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

In a memo to FBI employees on Friday, Director James Comey sought to explain his announcement that additional emails discovered on devices used by Huma Abedin’s current husband, Anthony Weiner, caused the bureau to reopen the Clinton email case.

A grand jury is considering whether to indict Weiner for sexting with an underage girl.

Fox News:

In an internal memo obtained by Fox News, the beleaguered director noted that the FBI typically would not communicate with the public when reopening a case, according to a Department of Justice source. But Comey said he had to in this case because Clinton is seeking the White House in an election on Nov. 8.

“Of course we don’t ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations, but here I feel an obligation to do so given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that our investigation was completed,” Comey wrote. “I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record.

“At the same time, however, given that we do not know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails, I don’t want to create a misleading impression,” Comey’s letter continued. “In trying to strike that balance, in a brief letter, and in the middle of an election season, there is significant risk of being misunderstood, but I wanted you to hear directly from me about it.”

The bombshell revelation that newly discovered emails had prompted a new look into whether Clinton or those around her had broken the law my mishandling sensitive information rocked the race for the White House Friday.

Comey informed key Republican and Democrat lawmakers that new emails had surfaced that were relevant to the investigation, and warranted a new look.

Exactly when did these new emails “surface”? How long did Comey sit on this information? If the FBI doesn’t know what’s in them, how do they “appear to be pertinent” to the congressional investigation? What difference does it make to the cause of “justice” that there’s an election in a few days?

Comey has made a muddled situation even more confusing with this memo. He tried to split the difference by denying a partisan political agenda while admitting his announcement has political implications. By trying to explain himself to both sides, he only increased the speculation about what’s in those emails and why they were found on Anthony Weiner’s computer.

It is likely that most of the emails won’t be released until after the election. There is going to be a review by several intelligence agencies and probably the State Department about whether information contained in the documents is classified. This is a process that may take months in some instances—not soon enough to impact the election with their contents.

But the emails’ existence and speculation about what’s in them can be crippling to the Clinton campaign as well. With the voting public basically ensured of Clinton corruption, it’s an open question how much juice this story will have with those few Americans still on the fence about who they will support on November 8.