Clinton camp set to wage effort to discredit FBI Director Comey and criminal probe as politically motivated
Before even 24 hours had passed since the FBI director informed Congress on Friday that it was reopening the probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails, Clinton suggested the director was in cahoots with the Republican Party.
“We’ve made it very clear that, if they are going to be sending this kind of letter that is only going originally to Republican members of the House, that they need to share whatever facts they claim to have with the American people,” Clinton said on Friday, after initially being blindsided by the FBI’s announcement.
The claim wasn’t true. All you had to do is turn the page and find Democratic members of Congress who had also received the letter from the FBI. But it shows how ready Clinton is to fight anyone in the government who dares investigate or question her. It is likely a habit Clinton picked up when she was first lady, from 1993 to 2001.
Clinton’s opening salvo, though weak, is a sign of more to come. Her coming attack on the FBI and its director, James Comey, will likely begin in earnest on Monday, with her operatives using the letter to Congress as proof Clinton is the victim of a political conspiracy.
Clinton previewed her attack in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Saturday, when she said the letter was “unprecedented and deeply troubling.”
Clinton will also turn the issue into one of “transparency” — even though FBI investigations are inherently not transparent. In Daytona, she called on Comey to “explain everything right away, put it all right on the table” — a demand she knows will go unheeded.
But many of Clinton’s allies in the media are likely to demand to see the emails found on former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s laptop.
It’s a strategy that could work, even with only a few days left until Election Day.
Such attacks on law enforcement worked fairly well for Clinton in 1998, when she and her husband, then-President Bill Clinton, vilified independent counsel Kenneth Starr. Starr had been tasked by Bill Clinton’s own attorney general to investigate corruption charges, but likely rued the day he ever took the job.
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