Setting the Damn Record Straight: No, There’s Not a ‘New Clinton Email Scandal’

Words cannot express how sick and tired I am of hearing about, to paraphrase Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton’s damn emails. A story that nobody really cares about to begin with is once again in the headlines even though this new “twist” has practically nothing to do with Hillary Clinton.

Let me repeat that so I’m a bit more clear about what it is I’m saying: There is no “new Hillary Clinton email scandal,” the FBI did not “reopen its investigation,” and this new “story” has absolutely nothing to do with Clinton, herself.

Even though I’ve already covered this, I wanted to elaborate on it some more since I’m blown away by how this “story” is being discussed by Donald Trump, Republicans and even much of the media.

To listen to these folks discussing this “story,” you’d think there was some “bombshell” (a word used a lot on Friday) piece of information the FBI found that triggered Director James Comey to immediately reopen the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.


This is what actually happened: During the FBI’s investigation into Anthony Weiner’s contact with a 15-year-old girl, investigators found emails on devices owned by he and his wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin, that they need to review to see whether or not they were classified.

That’s it.

In fact, here’s what Kurt Eichenwald of Newsweek said:

This new evidence relates to how Abedin managed her emails. She maintained four email accounts—an unclassified State Department account, another on the domain and a third on Yahoo. The fourth was linked to her husband’s account; she used it to support his activities when he was running for Congress, investigative records show. Abedin, who did not know Clinton used a private server for her emails, told the bureau in an April interview that she used the account on the domain only for issues related to the Secretary’s personal affairs, such as communicating with her friends. For work-related records, Abedin primarily used the email account provided to her by the State Department.

Because Clinton preferred to read documents on paper rather than on a screen, emails and other files were often printed out and provided to her either at her office or home, where they were delivered in a diplomatic pouch by a security agent. Abedin, like many State Department officials, found the government network technology to be cumbersome, and she had great trouble printing documents there, investigative records show. As a result, she sometimes transferred emails from her unclassified State Department account to either her Yahoo account or her account on Clinton’s server, and printed the emails from there. It is not clear whether she ever transferred official emails to the account she used for her husband’s campaign.

Basically, this involves how Huma Abedin handled emails, not Hillary Clinton.

However, because these emails do involve communication with Clinton while she was Secretary of State, that requires the FBI to look into them to determine whether or not any of them were classified.

The “scandal” arose from this after Comey sent a very vague letter to Congress, at which point Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) sent out this completely inaccurate tweet:

A tweet which many within the media then took as “FBI reopens investigation into Clinton’s email” — which wasn’t remotely true.

Not only was the investigation never officially “closed,” but the potential issues they’re looking into concerning these newly found email have almost nothing to do with Clinton.

The FBI already determined that there were two emails “marked classified” (though they weren’t properly marked) on Clinton’s server during their investigation. However, as Comey said to Congress back in July, after the FBI’s extensive investigation into her server, they found nothing illegal nor any malicious intent committed by Clinton or her staff, which is why he didn’t recommend that any charges be brought against Hillary Clinton.

Furthermore, if for some reason classified emails are found on these devices owned and operated by Abedin or Weiner, then the fault for that would fall on them, not Clinton. The only way this would have anything to do with Clinton’s handling of classified material would be if the FBI found more emails “marked classified” that Clinton sent to Abedin. But even if that happens (which is unlikely), the only thing we’ll learn is that there were more than just two emails “marked classified” that passed through Clinton’s server — which wouldn’t change anything from what we already knew.

This is a non-story that became a big deal mostly because:

  • Anything involving Clinton’s emails is bound to make headlines (especially this close to an election).
  • A congressman sent out an inaccurate tweet concerning what Comey actually said in his letter to Congress, at which point Trump and other Republicans then ran with that, making completely inaccurate statements concerning what was really going on.

The bottom line is this: The FBI did not “reopen” its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The only thing they’re looking into is whether or not emails found on devices owned and operated by Anthony Wiener and his wife Huma Abedin — not Hillary Clinton — are classified.

Since this “story” broke, I’ve been embarrassed by the way it’s been covered by a lot of the media and ashamed to see Donald Trump and many Republicans going out of their way to blatantly misinform voters about the facts concerning what’s going on.

As I’ve said numerous times before, if the truth about Hillary Clinton was actually as bad as her critics claim, then they wouldn’t have to lie so damn often when attacking her.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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