Today's "October surprise" should be about the investigation into Antony Weiner's sexting problem. Instead, partisans are frothing about "Clinton emails".

THAT’s the headline we should be seeing today

Everything else is speculation and hand-waving.

According to the NY Times:

The F.B.I. is investigating illicit text messages that Mr. Weiner, a former Democratic congressman from New York, sent to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina.

According to the Washington Post:

The emails were found on a computer used jointly by both Weiner and his wife, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, according to a person with knowledge of the inquiry.

Yes, there are emails. But the LA Times reports (anonymous source):

The emails were not to or from Clinton, and contained information that appeared to be more of what agents had already uncovered, the official said, but in an abundance of caution, they felt they needed to further scrutinize them.

Weiner resigned his seat in Congress in 2011 in the wake of tweeting instead of sexting.

After initially claiming that the first picture to be made public resulted from his account being hacked, Weiner eventually admitted that he sent the picture and had engaged in several inappropriate online relationships with women he contacted through social networking sites.

The NY Post reported earlier this month Weiner is under investigation by federal authorities in Manhattan and North Carolina. The Daily Mail (UK) reportedly broke the story that grand jury review was imminent.

That’s all we know, because the FBI is selectively mum.

If there were emails on the device(s) — handheld or laptop — of course the FBI has to do a pattern match to see if there are any new ones here!

That’s an “investigation” but it’s not a presumption of guilt.

And the FBI is not “re-opening” the private email server question.

The list of questions we don’t have answers to is a lot longer than the list that does have answers.

The NY Times editorial board weighs in:

Mr. Comey’s failure to provide any specifics about a new, potentially important development, less than two weeks before Election Day, is confounding.

Republicans, too, were scratching their heads regarding the timing of Comey’s letter.

“The letter from Director Comey was unsolicited and, quite honestly, surprising,” said a statement from Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa, a Republican. “But it’s left a lot more questions than answers for both the FBI and Secretary Clinton. Congress and the public deserve more context to properly assess what evidence the FBI has discovered and what it plans to do with it.”

 

Even though today’s “news” is next to nothing in substance, it is just enough to get partisans and Hillary-bashers in a lather.

 

It could be a long weekend.

* * *

The term October surprise was coined during the 1980 presidential campaign by William Casey, Reagan’s campaign manager who would become the CIA director. The Smithsonian Magazine reported earlier this month, the term …

… has been appropriated by the media to describe unexpected political disasters in the twilight hours of the campaign. Sometimes they are intentionally positioned by political opponents to impact voters, often days before they head to the polls. They aren’t always successful, but they’ve become a staple of modern politics.

 
 

Update – Comey email to FBI Staff

This morning I sent a letter to Congress in connection with the Secretary Clinton email investigation. Yesterday, the investigative team briefed me on their recommendation with respect to seeking access to emails that have recently been found in an unrelated case. Because those emails appear to be pertinent to our investigation, I agreed that we should take appropriate steps to obtain and review them.

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. 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 don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails, I don’t want to create a misleading impression. 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.

 
 

Featured image: Wikipedia
Updated @ 8:30 pm Pacific: added NYT Editorial quote
Updated @ 8:58 pm Pacific: added LA Times quote, Cornyn tweet
Updated @ 11:45 pm Pacific: added Comey’s email to staff
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KATHY GILL, Technology Policy Analyst
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Copyright 2016 The Moderate Voice
  • KATHY GILL, Technology Policy Analyst

    Good analysis at Newsweek (warning: auto-start video).

    There is no indication the emails in question were withheld by Clinton during the investigation, the law enforcement official told Newsweek, nor does the discovery suggest she did anything illegal. Also, none of the emails were to or from Clinton, the official said. Moreover, despite the widespread claims in the media that this development had prompted the FBI to “reopen” of the case, it did not; such investigations are never actually closed, and it is common for law enforcement to discover new information that needs to be examined.

  • Shannon Lee

    Lets be real, he isn’t telling Congress anything. He is telling the American people 10 days before a general election.

    That is his prerogative of course, but it makes the FBI seem somewhat incompetent. Partisans on the right don’t trust the FBI because they “closed” the investigation. Partisans on the left dont trust the FBI because they just reopened the investigation. Now who trusts the FBI?

    Going public was a lose lose decision. I guess it was the honorable things to do?

    • KATHY GILL, Technology Policy Analyst

      I dunno. He is a Republican after all.

      And it was never “closed”.

  • Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist

    Wouldn’t it be extreme irony if e-mails from/by a pervert would help elect another pervert?

    • KATHY GILL, Technology Policy Analyst

      Irony? Maybe.
      Heartbreaking. For sure.

    • dduck

      Trump newest: The Wiener Tower

      • KATHY GILL, Technology Policy Analyst

        ….

        <facepalm>

  • dduck

    Hillary road apples: “My good man, how can you put up with such demeaning conditions? Haven’t you ever thought about another line of work?” To which the carnival worker replied, “What—and give up show business?” or politics.

    • KATHY GILL, Technology Policy Analyst

      You do have to wonder why she has put up with this for four decades.

  • KATHY GILL, Technology Policy Analyst

    One point that seems clear to me from the totality of what we’ve seen is that Comey is more sensitive to avoiding present or future criticism than addressing the equities behind the DOJ and FBI protocols that counsel against what he did.

    Today’s top stories:

    • KATHY GILL, Technology Policy Analyst

      Matthew Miller, a Democrat who served as the public-affairs director at the Justice Department under Holder, recalled that, in one case, the department waited until after an election to send out subpoenas. “They didn’t want to influence the election—even though the subpoenas weren’t public,” he said. “People may think that the public needs to have this information before voting, but the thing is the public doesn’t really get the information. What it gets is an impression that may be false, because they have no way to evaluate it. The public always assumes when it hears that the F.B.I. is investigating that there must be something amiss. But there may be nothing here at all. That’s why you don’t do this.”

      EXACTLY.
      The New Yorker