The meteor that just slammed into the Clinton campaign thanks to the FBI is one of those events that is both wildly entertaining, but also a bit baffling. The FBI director is not a moron so he had to know that this was an unprecedented act. He’s not just putting a new story into the political bloodstream, but he is putting himself and the FBI into the presidential election in an unprecedented way. In other words, he knew before he sent the letter that he was setting off the mother of all shit storms.
The question then is why has the FBI Director taken this step?
Assuming he knew the consequences, the only logical answer here is that the alternatives were all deemed to be far worse than setting off this scandal. This assumes he is not some sort of sadist that enjoys being in the middle of political pissing matches with skunks like the Clintons. It also means that waiting was not an acceptable choice. Waiting two weeks to send this letter would have avoided this and perhaps buried the news in the post election celebrating. For some reason, he decided this was not a viable option.
If we start from there, the question then becomes what could be so bad that the Director believed he had no choice. The first thing that comes to mind is that we have the story that money moved from Team Clinton to the number two man in the FBI, through his wife. Clinton helped raise money for a PAC that Terry McAuliffe controlled, which then handed half a million to the campaign of Jill McCabe, who is the wife of the number two man at the FBI. He was also working the e-mail case.
This is the sort of the thing that results in expensive lawyers getting phone calls from DC’s power players. It is possible that the game is to throw the Republicans some red meat by getting butch with Clinton over her e-mail. The problem here is Comey says they have new information and that will have to be disclosed. It also means tangling with Team Clinton, who could be in the White House in a few months. If you are going to strike the queen, you better kill the queen or have plans to leave the country.
Another possibility that comes to mind is something that was revealed in the daily WikiLeaks e-mails being dumps. We now have proof that the White House knew about the secret server and Obama was getting e-mails from Clinton’s private account. They had successfully played dumb on this but this steady release of e-mails has to be making people nervous. John Podesta is not some clerk. He is one of the biggest power brokers in Washington. He knows things that are not supposed to be known.
The other angle here is that the Obama people have always hated the Clintons and a lot of people on the Left of the party still hold a grudge against Hillary. This could simply be a case where the Obama people are using this as an excuse to execute the kill shot on someone they truly loath. Politics is a blood-sport and Obama’s people play rough. They cracked open sealed divorce documents twice to help Obama win local campaigns in Illinois. They would not flinch at doing the old bag like this.
That’s the other piece of the puzzle. It’s very clear that Team Clinton had no idea this was coming. Clinton looked poleaxed giving her statement to reporters and what she said bordered on nonsense. This was a well orchestrated hit job. In a town where keeping a secret is nearly impossible, the FBI managed to spring a total surprise. That was not an accident either. This was done for maximum effect. It either means the White House was in the dark up until Friday or the White House was orchestrating it.
There is also the lesson of Watergate. The caper was done for the most mundane reasons. John Dean acted as he did out of purely personal motives. Mark Felt talked because he had his feelings hurt. Alexander Butterfield was just an honest guy asked the right question at the right time. The point being, serendipity and personal grudges often count for more than Machiavellian scheming. Some last straw may have finally caused Comey to go rogue and take out Clinton at her most vulnerable moment.
Right now, my heart is an alligator.