‘The FBI got permission on Sunday to look through 650,000 emails discovered on a laptop used by (current target of an underage-sexting investigation) Anthony Weiner and his estranged wife/Hillary Clinton confidante Huma Abedin, to see if any of those emails might be relevant to its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server. The investigation will probably not be done before the election. But it remains extremely unlikely that Clinton actually violated US law.
Instead, the question in the days since FBI Director James Comey sent Congress a letter alluding to the existence of the new emails is: Why the hell did Comey do that? Comey has come under fire from former Department of Justice officials (including ex-Attorney General Eric Holder) for violating standard DOJ practice of not releasing information that could affect a campaign within 60 days of the election. Some of that criticism has even come from Republican officials like Alberto Gonzales, who was attorney general under George W. Bush (though Gonzales might have been acting on a grudge against Comey dating back to the Bush years).
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid all but accused Comey and the FBI of deliberately airing the Clinton news while sitting on information about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia — behavior on the bureau’s part that Reid says could violate the Hatch Act, which prevents federal employees from electioneering. Nothing’s leaked out to back up Reid’s claim per se. But on Monday, officials confirmed to the press that Comey had resisted saying anything in public about Russia’s efforts to influence the elections by hacking into Democratic email accounts, because he was concerned about the 60-day window — which makes his decision to write the letter about the Weiner computer all the less defensible.
Comey was in an impossible situation. There were very good arguments both for and against writing the letter. And he couldn’t guarantee that if he didn’t say anything about the new computer, information wouldn’t leak out about it anyway. But that’s exactly the problem. This entire news story has been driven by leaks from different factions of the DOJ and FBI. It’s clear that no one has enough control of the nation’s leading law enforcement agency — one that is currently engaged in an investigation into the security of important government information — to control leaks of important government information….’