As everyone freaks out about this morning’s headlines claiming the FBI has “reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton‘s emails,” let’s take a moment to breathe and actually read the letter FBI Director James Comey sent to the Republican congressional committee.
Comey’s letter reads:
“In previous congressional testimony, I referred to the fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had completed its investigation of former Secretary Clinton’s personal email server. Due to recent developments, I am writing to supplement my previous testimony.
In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.
Although the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take to complete this additional work, I believe it is important to update your Committees about our efforts in light of out previous testimony.”
Not that conspiracy theorists will care, but the headline, ‘FBI to reopen new investigation of emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server’ is false.
From Ian Millhiser of ThinkProgress:
The FBI, in other words, is not reexamining its previous findings. It is not questioning its previous legal conclusion that “no reasonable prosecutor” could determine that charges are warranted. Based on the letter, it appears that the FBI will simply provide the same scrutiny to these newly uncovered emails as it previously applied to the emails it already reviewed when it determined that criminal charges are not warranted.
Any many are now rightly reporting, the narrative that claimed the FBI was “reopening” the email case against Clinton simply isn’t true. Additionally, the AP has reported that the new emails in question didn’t even come from her private server.
NOTE: House Oversight Chair has called this a "re-opening" of the investigation into Clinton. However, FBI Director used no such language.
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) October 28, 2016
The bottom line is that the FBI is not “reopening” a closed matter because of some new bombshell revelation. Comey’s examining of new material may or may not have implications for the conclusions already reached by the FBI.
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) October 28, 2016
Why did FBI Director James Comey shock Washington on Friday with an announcement that the FBI “has learned of the existence of emails” related to Hillary Clinton’s private email server, and what does it mean?
The truth is Comey didn’t have a choice. Because the new information followed his sworn testimony about the case, Comey was obligated by Department of Justice rules to keep the relevant committees apprised.
Under oath Comey had stated that the bureau had completed its review. Once he learned that there were new emails that required examination, Comey had to notify Congress that he had to amend his testimony because it was no longer true.
Now that early-Christmas has been canceled for Trumpkins and those suffering from Hillary-Derangement Syndrome, you can still expect the conspiracy blogs to keep firing up over this one.