Hillary Clinton was leading the polls last week, but on Friday a letter from the director of the FBI, Jim Comey, caused a major hitch. In an investigation of Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal, it seems the FBI has found emails between Huma Abedin, Weiner’s estranged wife, and Hillary Clinton that they believe may be relevant to Clinton’s email scandal.
Though Comey did not say that Clinton’s emails were being reinvestigated, the vague letter has raised even more suspicions about them and reinforced the controversy that has haunted Hillary for the past year.
Whether anything will come of the new investigation remains to be seen, but the proximity of this announcement to the presidential election has raised questions about whether it will unfairly influence the election. Soon after the letter’s release, Hillary and her campaign demanded that the FBI release all possible information about the new investigation, probably so they would be able to accurately address it. Some Democrats are questioning whether Comey’s announcement is even legal. Harry Reid, a Democratic Senator from Nevada, claims Comey’s actions violate the Hatch Act, a law which bans employees of the executive branch of the Federal government (other than high-ranking ones like the President and Vice President) from participating in certain partisan activities and campaigning.
On the other hand, Trump and his surrogates have praised and defended Comey. This is a reversal of Trump’s previous criticisms of Comey for having recommended in July that Hillary not be indicted for the email scandal.
The investigation may take months to be completed, but with the election next Tuesday, the impact of the announcement could be felt very soon. Hillary led in the polls by over 10 percentage points in the past few weeks, but recent polls indicate little to no lead.