The surprise disclosure that agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation are taking a new look at Hillary Clinton’s email use lays bare, just days before the election, tensions inside the bureau and the Justice Department over how to investigate the Democratic presidential nominee.Wow -- 650,000! That ought to shut us all up about "why can't we have more information before the election?" -- right? Take that, libtards! Even though only "thousands" seem relevant to this investigation, and ought to be somewhat sortable in a few days. "Thousands," by the way, seems to be a slight climbdown from this, which came from Fox News over the weekend:
Investigators found 650,000 emails on a laptop that they believe was used by former Rep. Anthony Weiner and his estranged wife Huma Abedin, a close Clinton aide, and underlying metadata suggests thousands of those messages could have been sent to or from the private server that Mrs. Clinton used while she was secretary of state, according to people familiar with the matter.
On Saturday, a senior law enforcement official told Fox News that the laptop contained "five digits," or at least 10,000, emails of interest to investigators.But here's the big news:
Fourteen paragraphs into a report on the internal feuding between the FBI and the Justice Department over the Clinton email probe, the Wall Street Journal mentions that the bureau has been investigating the Clinton Foundation.So now, if you believe the gripes of the FBI agents who spoke to the Journal's Devlin Barrett, we're in Conspiracy So Vast territory -- the email-mismanagement scandal has morphed into a Clinton Foundation scandal, and folks at the top are engaging in a cover-up.
It appears the probe was in its preliminary stages, and while some at the FBI wanted to launch a more robust investigation into allegations that the charity provided improper favors or political access to donors, the Justice Department’s public integrity unit said there was not enough evidence to move forward with the case.
But here's my favorite detail, from The Washington Post:
It is unclear what, if any, evidence [agents] had to substantiate those [Clinton Foundation] allegations, particularly through subpoenas or search warrants. One person familiar with the matter said their presentation drew at least in part from media accounts over various foundation-related controversies.So some or all of this is based on news stories? Not on anything these agents have actually found? And now we have to have a trial of Clinton in the media a week before the election based on that? The puke funnel's working better than ever.
I know all the smart folks -- the Sam Wangs, the Ed Kilgores -- are sanguine about the effect of all this on the outcome of the election. We're too polarized for this to change many votes, they tell us. Clinton has a big lead and a firewall of several states, and, unlike Trump, she has a get-out-the-vote effort.
Well, this is Trump's get-out-the-vote effort, however little his campaign may be involved in it. It's going to bring Republicans home to a nominee a lot of them have been reluctant to support, and even if it suppresses a tiny percentage of the Clinton vote, the loss of her least enthusiastic voters could tip the election.
Nate Silver is already pondering scenarios in which an election that seemed likely to be an Obama-sized victory for Clinton now comes down to one state, possibly Pennsylvania, assuming Trump takes a lot of the toss-up states. I think Clinton will win Pennsylvania -- she's up nearly 6 points there according to Real Clear Politics. She has a cushion.
But I think if Trump doesn't win, Republicans not named Trump are certain to try to litigate her victory. Oh, she won because of Pennsylvania? Lotta fishy stuff happens in Philadelphia at the polls, doesn't it, especially in certain neighborhoods?
It's been said that Vladimir Putin doesn't actually want Trump to win -- he assumes Clinton's victory is inevitable and just wants to weaken her as much as he can. I don't know if that's really what Putin is thinking, but it's more or less what the GOP is thinking. I seriously believe you'll see Mitch McConnell or Jason Chaffetz or, who knows, maybe even John McCain seriously suggesting that electors withhold their votes for Clinton because the race was close and because all those FBI investigations seriously call into question whether she should serve as president.
In other words: Either Trump's going to win or we really might have a ginned-up constitutional crisis. I'll be pleasantly surprised if we avoid both of these outcomes.