FBI lobs a speculative grenade into US presidential race

EDITORIAL

The FBI has thrown Donald Trump a lifeline with its announcement that it is resuming its investigation into emails sent by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton from a private server.

Trump and the Republican party have leapt gratefully on to the bandwagon provided by the announcement from FBI director James Comey that the bureau is reopening the investigation it closed in July. Trump claims the 650,000 newly-discovered emails are the lodestone of Clinton’s insecure email use.

Clinton has called the announcement unprecedented and deeply disturbing, coming as it does less than a fortnight before the election on November 8.

The source of the new emails is the laptop of Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Weiner is best remembered as the former Congressman who accidentally emailed a body-part selfie photo to thousands, and sent sex-related messages to an underage girl.

More to the point, Comey says there has not been time yet to evaluate the new information. Why then announce a new investigation? Whatever he says there will be widespread scepticism about his motives.

It is too early to know just what impact the announcement will have, but latest polls have dramatically narrowed — reviving widespread fear throughout most of the world over the possibility of a victory by Trump.

The polling industry suffered a twin blow to its credibility by being well off the mark with the latest British general election — when it failed to predict the Conservative Party’s outright victory — and, more tellingly, with Brexit.

More people now use cellphones. Polls in the past have relied on landlines, which means the demographic of those polled lately is skewed. There is also evidence that more people are reluctant to take part in polls, partly because of privacy concerns. Others, as in Brexit, declined to say they intended to vote to leave and many previously non-voters actually did vote.

Trump is hoping something similar is happening now in the US. Perish the thought.

The FBI has thrown Donald Trump a lifeline with its announcement that it is resuming its investigation into emails sent by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton from a private server.

Trump and the Republican party have leapt gratefully on to the bandwagon provided by the announcement from FBI director James Comey that the bureau is reopening the investigation it closed in July. Trump claims the 650,000 newly-discovered emails are the lodestone of Clinton’s insecure email use.

Clinton has called the announcement unprecedented and deeply disturbing, coming as it does less than a fortnight before the election on November 8.

The source of the new emails is the laptop of Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Weiner is best remembered as the former Congressman who accidentally emailed a body-part selfie photo to thousands, and sent sex-related messages to an underage girl.

More to the point, Comey says there has not been time yet to evaluate the new information. Why then announce a new investigation? Whatever he says there will be widespread scepticism about his motives.

It is too early to know just what impact the announcement will have, but latest polls have dramatically narrowed — reviving widespread fear throughout most of the world over the possibility of a victory by Trump.

The polling industry suffered a twin blow to its credibility by being well off the mark with the latest British general election — when it failed to predict the Conservative Party’s outright victory — and, more tellingly, with Brexit.

More people now use cellphones. Polls in the past have relied on landlines, which means the demographic of those polled lately is skewed. There is also evidence that more people are reluctant to take part in polls, partly because of privacy concerns. Others, as in Brexit, declined to say they intended to vote to leave and many previously non-voters actually did vote.

Trump is hoping something similar is happening now in the US. Perish the thought.

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Lloyd Gretton - 2 years ago
Whatever his flaws, Trump wants to end the American wars, secure the borders, restore the industrial economy. The majority of Americans, of all ethnic and religious groups, support that. As regards his "pussy" remarks, when you epitomise the American dream or Western world, you get groped by women. I know that on trains in China. It takes two to tangle.

John Fricker - 2 years ago
No wonder Mr Trump is upset at the bias of the media, here is yet another example. Mr Comey has advised that the inquiry into Hillary Clinton will be reopened as new material has come to light. The fact that Mr Trump may benefit is incidental, nothing more. If Hillary Clinton had not set up her illicit server, deleted 33,000 emails and destroyed evidence after having been subpoenaed this whole mess would not be taking up so much media coverage.
I know who is to blame for this situation, you seem to have a different view.
Your closing sentence is a throw away that somehow escaped actually being thrown away.

Wayne George Elmsly - 2 years ago
I think this is an excellent editorial from John Jones. I have to say that I don't feel able to comment on this issue. I don't know enough about what seems to be a very complex situation. However, I look forward to reading your next editorial on this John.

Lloyd Gretton - 2 years ago
If Hillary wins the election, that would be the first paid job she has ever succeeded in. Right back to her student fish harvesting job, her arrogance and carelessness has had her fired. As president, that same pattern will be repeated. All our lives will be literally in disaster Hillary's hands. Trump's record is a mixed one. Still he did brilliantly in reality shows. Ralph Nader once said, reality shows are all that's left of the American people seeing themselves as they are.

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