On the eve of an early-voting parade in north-suburban Lincolnshire and just 11 days before the election, FBI director James B Comey told Congress that emails were uncovered that may relate to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, the New York Times reports.
The emails may or may not be relevant and may or may not contain classified information. As Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, was quoted as saying, “It’s unclear whether these emails have already been reviewed or if Secretary Clinton sent or received them. In fact, we don’t even know if the FBI has these emails in its possession.”
The very announcement by the FBI director that emails may be relevant has ignited a firestorm of controversy on social media and unleashed a crossfire of partisan acrimony in what was already a fearful, anxiety-ridden election cycle.
“What’s certain … is that whether this turns out to be a big deal or not, it places the spotlight on all the wrong places for the Clinton campaign,” wrote the BBC’s North America reporter Anthony Zurcher. “It all but guarantees that even if she wins White House, the early days of her presidency will be dogged by this long-running political imbroglio.”
Despite previous claims that the FBI was inept and corrupt, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump praised the agency. “I have great respect for the fact that the FBI and the [Department of Justice] are now willing to have the courage to right the horrible mistake that they made,” he was quoted as saying. “This was a grave miscarriage of justice that the American people fully understand. It is everybody’s hope that it is about to be corrected.”
For her part, Mrs Clinton called on the FBI to release “all the information that it has” about the ongoing probe, FOX News reports. The emails were “discovered” as the investigation into former congressman Anthony Weiner’s sexting charges involving a 15-year-old girl from North Carolina continued. Mr Weiner is separated from a top Clinton aide.
But Mr Trump said the information must be significant. “The FBI would have never reopened his case at this time unless it were an egregious criminal offense,” he was quoted as saying.
In Lincolnshire, Illinois, the marching band from Stevenson High School will march in a parade to escort any 18-year-old students or other community members who want to come along to an early voting site tomorrow, the Chicago Tribune reports.
“The incentive is that, for young people who will be voting for the first time, we want to make their first vote memorable,” the paper quoted Andrew Conneen, a Stevenson government teacher and sponsor of the Stevenson High School Political Action Club, as saying. “And what better way to do that than with a parade? They’ll remember that first vote for a long time.”
Very high voter turnout is expected on November 8, but early voting has already begun in both Illinois and Maryland. Mr Conneen predicted a high turnout especially from high school students, this being both their first time to vote in general and the first time a woman has been the nominee of a major political party for the top spot on the ticket.
Keep in mind, we don’t know the content of the emails or if the information in them was classified. The FBI may not be able to determine that, of course, until after Election Day, so Mrs Clinton’s poll numbers could be expected to slip. Crowds at a Trump rally in New Hampshire reportedly renewed their calls to “lock her up.”
“I’m sure glad I’m not one of the thousands who voted early, I wouldn’t want that on MY conscience,” one reader commented on the article. “I think there’s even more to come about this deceitful woman.”
On another site, a Democrat commented like this: “Will this stupid e-mail stuff ever die? It is simply preposterous. Mrs Clinton did not do anything that previous Secretaries of State didn’t and she did nothing close to criminal. Stop this costly nonsense NOW!”
Here’s a writing prompt for you: How should people use email to communicate with each other? Why should some information not be put in an email message?