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.
Leaks and spin from Chaffetz, Gowdy et al are baker’s chocolate, and reporters are children who think “maybe it’ll taste sweet this time!" https://t.co/cb0U5Ne4wf
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) October 28, 2016
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.
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.
So, the "Clinton e-mails" are now not from Clinton and not from her private server? Ah, see. This is why the news was released on a Friday.
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) October 28, 2016
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.
FBI Dir Comey letter to congressional committee chairs re discovery of "new emails…pertinent to the investigation" pic.twitter.com/y4gvHiILLn
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 28, 2016
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.
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.”
Why is FBI doing this just 11 days before the election?
— JohnCornyn (@JohnCornyn) October 28, 2016
Even though today’s “news” is next to nothing in substance, it is just enough to get partisans and Hillary-bashers in a lather.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 28, 2016
The Democrats got rid of Anthony Weiner; Republicans ran theirs for president. And that sums 2016 up in a nutshell, so to speak.
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) October 28, 2016
— Balyn Parker (@Balynpa) October 28, 2016
Someone very appropriately said a month ago Anthony Weiner being alive is proof the Clinton are not secret murderershttps://t.co/FYkf0Bq4YQ
— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) October 28, 2016
Hard to believe James Comey would re-open the Hillary investigation 10 days before the election unless this was something very big.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) October 28, 2016
Comey’s letter doesn’t say his agents have discovered new witnesses or documents suggesting a criminal act occurred https://t.co/7T5z8fFm6c
— Cheri Jacobus (@CheriJacobus) October 28, 2016
FBI reopens investigation into Clinton email use | Fox News – https://t.co/22lJ6qT1o3
Thank you Jesus.
— Larry Nelson (@southernarcher) October 28, 2016
BTW…this is why gov officials are required to smash devices they use in official capacity. Be ironic if issue at play is failure to smash.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) October 28, 2016
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
Follow me on Twitter @kegill
Follow me Facebook
Copyright 2016 The Moderate Voice