By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
In July, FBI Director James Comey denounced former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mis-handling of classified material, but said that while careless and reckless, there was no criminal intent. Thus, he was closing the investigation against Mrs. Clinton without bringing the matter before a grand jury. This move angered many inside the FBI and Republicans accused Comey of acting improperly. While the FBI stopped investigating, independent journalists and news gathering organizations, particularly the controversial Wiki-Leaks, continued their investigations, uncovering thousands of Clinton emails that the FBI thought were unrecoverable. Now, Director Comey has announced that the FBI is reopening its investigation, just 11 days before the Presidential election.
US Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) sent a letter to Director Comey following the terse announcement to Congress that the investigation had been reopened.
Sen. Shelby wrote, “I am writing in response to the letter you sent me regarding the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s intention to re-open the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Due to the serious nature of this matter, I request that the FBI expeditiously and thoroughly conduct its review.”
Sen. Shelby continued, “In July, you held a press conference where you explained to the American people that Secretary Clinton was ‘extremely careless’ with classified information while using a private e-mail server. Unfortunately, it has now become apparent that the FBI, with all its extensive resources and highly-trained personnel, closed an incomplete investigation that resulted in only partial findings. I firmly believe that the American people deserve to know the facts – all of them.”
Shelby said, “There is much at stake in how this investigation is conducted. Not only is the Bureau’s examination a reflection on the current Administration and Secretary Clinton, but it is also critical to the integrity of the FBI and the American people’s ability to place their trust in government. I believe that your recommendation and the Department of Justice’s decision not to prosecute Secretary Clinton set a dangerous precedent for the way we hold our public officials accountable.”
Sen. Shelby concluded, “While I am pleased that the FBI is re-opening this case in light of new information, it is imperative that the Bureau immediately evaluate the material to complete this investigation. The American people are electing their next Commander-in-Chief only days from now, and they deserve to know the conclusion of your review prior to Election Day. Let me be clear: This should be your utmost priority.”
The move could not come at a more critical time. Following the release of a 2005 videotape showing Republican nominee Donald J. Trump using uncouth and derogatory language about women, including the p-word, Clinton had built a sizable lead in national polling as well as in a number of critical swing states. That lead has been eroding somewhat in the last ten days, though Hillary had been gaining ground in red states including Texas and Georgia. Trump has been denouncing the former Secretary of State as “Crooked Hillary” and even went so far as to tell her that she would be in prison if he were elected President. After Comey cleared her of any wrongdoing in July that statement seemed absurd; but the reopening of the investigation by the FBI gives Republicans talking points to back up their claims that Hillary is corrupt and that she was involved in activities that violated existing statutes. The Trump campaign hopes that these revelations energize their base to come out to actually vote; diminishes the enthusiasm of Democratic voters; and sways swing voters their way on November 8.
Sen. Richard Shelby is also on the ballot in November. Alabama’s senior Senator is seeking a sixth term in the US Senator. Shelby faces a challenge from Ron Crumpton (D).