FBI Director James Comey

FBI Reverses Course on Clinton Email Investigation as General Election Arrives

FBI Director, James Comey announced on Sunday that there will not be criminal charges brought against Democratic Presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton over handling of classified information over her private email server. This comes as somewhat of a surprise as he just wrote a letter to Congress late last month that he would re-open the investigation. The latest developments are attracting much controversy and scrutiny because they are coming out so close to the election.

There is an apparent controversy in law enforcement as the Department of Justice and FBI had differing ideas when it came to the investigation circling around Clinton’s email scandal and the Clinton Foundation. At the center of the debate between the DOJ and the FBI is Robert Capers who is an attorney for the United States appointed by President Barack Obama. Deputy Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe’s wife was a Senate candidate who received campaign funds from a long time political ally of the Clintons. Many fear that there is pressure to stop an investigation because of political roots. Conversely, the DOJ felt as if there is not enough evidence to make a conclusive case, according to multiple news outlets. The DOJ wanted the FBI to halt their investigation as it appeared they were pulling at straws trying to investigate right before the election. According to some sources, a top DOJ worker leaked information regarding the investigation to the Clinton campaign in order for them to heed the warning; almost as a heads up. Peter Kadzik, the Attorney General, sent a warning of the investigation to the Clinton Campaign a while back. On either side of the political spectrum, constituents are concerned that there may be some sort of conflict of interest.

FBI Director, Comey made a public announcement last week when new information was found regarding Clinton. Reports coming from either political party question the intentions of this statement since he did not have any conclusive information when he came out with the press release. Many are concerned that this information will have led to voter confusion on Election Day.

Lawyer and Professor of Political Science, Ryan Tetro said, “The recent events have impacted the election because it appears that the DOJ and the FBI are ‘playing politics’. In the current political climate, such action breeds mistrust and invites speculation so that either party can ‘write their own narrative’ with what little we actually know.” He continued “The long term implications can be significant if the DOJ and FBI do not restore faith and trust in the American public as those two entities are at the frontline of justice and security in this country.”

Comey made the statement that he would be renewing the investigation last week in connection to possible classified e-mails on Clinton’s longtime friend and top aide, Huma Abedin. While the DOJ wanted the investigation to be halted, or at least slowed down until after the election, a judge recently ruled that they want information to be released quicker. Also, Hillary Clinton has said on the campaign trail when this information came out that she would like to hear about the possibly classified e-mails since neither she nor her team were aware of any such material. Many speculate that there should be recusal on behalf of certain DOJ or FBI members as they have close political allies and friendships with Mrs. Clinton.

President Obama has been aiding the Democratic nominee along the way in her race to the White House. President Obama stated that he is mad that Comey spoke about the renewed election. This does not come as a surprise as the FBI and DOJ are at a standstill on this topic. FBI officials are going as far as threatening to resign if an investigation does not follow through. As of Sunday night, nearly forty eight hours before the election, Mr. Comey issued a statement that the investigation against Mrs. Clinton has closed.

Senior political science student Kim Kallok said, “If they went through with pursuing the investigation it would probably have impacted the image of Hillary Clinton in a negative way. However, at this point people have pretty much made up their minds about who to vote for.” Then continued, “I’m not sure of the impact that the investigation actually had on the election since information came out so close to Election Day.”

Former Attorney General Eric Holder fears the possible criminal activity FBI official’s such as Comey may have put himself into. Various sources claim that there are many people that could be in hot water. Holder mentions Comey in an article with Front Page Mag, “I fear he has unintentionally and negatively affected public trust in both the Justice Department and the FBI. It is up to the director to correct his mistake — not for the sake of a political candidate or campaign but in order to protect our system of justice and best serve the American people.”

Mallory Inselberg, senior political science and psychology major also mentioned, “I don’t think the investigation really changed voter opinions much since it was spoken about so close to the election. People probably had their minds made up already. One, a lot of people already sent in their absentee ballots and two, if the investigation over the summer did not change someone’s view, it probably wouldn’t now.”