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Richard Shelby, Hillary Clinton, Emails and a False Equation

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Richard Shelby is happy.

Alabama’s longest serving senator is just tickled to death that the FBI is taking another look at Hillary Clinton’s emails. (Shelby referred to this as “reopening” the investigation, but that’s inaccurate and everyone involved, including FBI director James Comey, who violated decades of protocol by publicly discussing an ongoing investigation, knows it.)

Yes, Shelby is so happy he wrote a letter to Comey. Ordinarily, a letter wouldn’t be a big deal, but this is Richard Shelby we’re talking about here – a man so busy driving through the 60 Alabama counties (the Black Belt counties don’t count) in his Ford Explorer that he didn’t have time to attend the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma.

That’s a super-busy guy.

So, when that guy takes the time to sit down and sign a letter his staff wrote, well, you know it’s a big deal.

In his letter to Comey, Shelby relays how pleased he is over this new development. But he urges Comey to hurry up with his review of the new emails – the ones discovered during the investigation of Anthony Weiner’s sexting.

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“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,” Shelby wrote. “Let me be clear: This should be your utmost priority.”

Never thought I’d say this, but I agree with Richard Shelby.

The American people do deserve the truth, and they deserve it before Election Day. They also deserved it in Shelby’s letter, but I guess that ship has sailed.

The American people – particularly the conservatives who have been glued to conservative news feeds that have treated Comey’s revelation of more emails like CNN treated that missing airplane – deserve to know the real truth about those emails. And about all of the other emails. And about this whole private server “scandal.”

And here’s the truth: It’s a phony scandal.

Yes, Clinton screwed up by having a private server at her home that she used. And she and her staff made bigger mistakes by not treating the emails with the security precautions they warranted. And Clinton made the whole thing worse by claiming originally that there were no issues at all.

But dear Lord, stop acting like this is a real scandal.

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Real scandals involve doing illegal things for personal gain. They don’t involve simple carelessness that really only makes life more difficult for you.

A real scandal is something like … oh, I don’t know, maybe setting up a fake university that bilks students out of millions of dollars. Or maybe being the first presidential candidate in modern history who hides his personal tax returns.

Or maybe a real scandal is something like being accused in a current civil suit of child molestation – complete with graphic descriptions and details from the alleged victim.

Or maybe it’s attempting to undermine the peaceful American election process by introducing the idea that fraud has rigged the whole thing … unless you win.

Or maybe it’s saying five black kids who were wrongly convicted should be given the death penalty after they were exonerated by DNA.

Or maybe a real scandal is attempting to question the capabilities of a federal judge – one that’s presiding over your fraud trial – because he’s Hispanic.

Or maybe it’s mocking a disabled reporter. Or calling Mexican immigrants – who have a lower murder, rape and overall crime rate in America than good ol’ Americans – mostly murderers and rapists. Or maybe it’s being caught on tape providing a how-to lesson in sexual assault for celebrities.

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It’s true that Hillary Clinton was wrong to have a private email server and use it to communicate with her staff at the State Department.

But only a partisan dolt looking for an excuse to vote for the racist could equate that email scandal with a fraction of the potentially illegal, likely corrupt, immoral, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic things that Trump has said and done.

And only a like-minded soul would write a letter about it.


Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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