Jay Bookman

Opinion columnist and blogger with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, specializing in foreign relations, environmental and technology-related issues

One more twist in a rollercoaster of an election

Working on a separate case, the FBI has apparently run across new emails "pertinent" to Hillary Clinton's use of a private server during her time as secretary of state, and it will now be reviewing those emails, FBI Director James Comey informed Congress today.

There's a lot that we don't know, and won't know until long after the election, about what that means. The early reporting that I've seen suggests that this latest batch of emails isn't from Clinton herself, and wasn't illegally withheld by anybody earlier in the investigation. They also didn't come to the FBI's attention via Wikileaks.

Those are things they aren't, leaving a whole universe of room in which to speculate about what they are. In Comey's letter, he states that the FBI "cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant," which suggests that on the surface they aren't of the blockbuster variety.

Again, we don't know the source or content of these additional emails, and in political terms, the announcement certainly isn't good news for the Clinton campaign. But if I had to bet, I'd bet this proves to be a bunch of hoopla that doesn't alter the investigation's outcome, with the FBI simply doing its due diligence to tie up every loose end, as it should.

UPDATE: The "separate case" apparently involves Anthony Weiner, under investigation for sending illicit texts to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina, once again compounding the weird factor many times over.

Whether the FBI should have announced this development so soon before a national election, with so much unknown about it, is another matter entirely. I'm not comfortable condemning Comey's decision until we know more, but I'm certainly not comfortable embracing it either.


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About the Author

Jay Bookman writes about government and politics, with an occasional foray into other aspects of life as time, space and opportunity allow.