We are at the season finale of the televised spectacle that has been the 2016 US presidential race. And like any good American series, there have been the usual twists and turns, but the latest story arc is worthy of an Emmy.
The FBI is investigating newly-discovered emails ‘pertinent’ to its previously closed probe into Hillary Clinton’s private server. Add to this allegations of a Russian conspiracy to influence the elections in the guise of a Wikileaks release, it looks like everyone will be glued to their screens for the nail-biting climax.
Previously on ‘I’m With Her’January 2009
It all begins with the registration of Internet domain clintonemail.com from a private New York-based server and then Hillary becomes US Secretary of State.
The National Archives issues advice to federal agencies that all emails including attachments are to be conserved under the Federal Records Act.February 2013
Clinton is succeeded by John Kerry as Secretary of State.November 2014
The House Select Committee investigating the 2012 attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi requests emails from Clinton. She releases some from her .gov account and also from her private email account.March 2015
It is revealed by the New York Times that Clinton used a private email server during her time in office.July 2015
The FBI receives a referral from State Dept inspector general about potential mishandling of classified information.September 2015
In an interview on ABC Clinton apologises for using a private email server.October 2015
Clinton endures a 11-hour marathon hearing into the Benghazi incident. She repeated that she did not send information that was marked classified at the time.June 2016
With the email scandal played down, Hillary is declared the Democratic party’s nominee in the race for the White House.July 2016
The FBI completes an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server when she was Secretary of State, saying that she had been “extremely careless” with the handling of classified information. However, FBI director James Comey sees no case for criminal prosecution.
It looked like Hillary had ridden out the storm.In the slow-burning spin-off from the original email scandal comes #PodestaEmails.October 7, 2016
Wikileaks begins dumping emails to and from Hillary’s campaign chief John Podesta. In March, his email account was compromised in what was an alleged attack by Fancy Bear, which cyber security firm Crowdstrike identified as having affiliations to Russian intelligence. The Kremlin has denied involvement in trying to influence the election. The files were subsequently obtained by the whistleblowing organisation.
The emails provide insight into the Clinton campaign, including possible slogans. It also provided embarrassing details of paid speeches Clinton gave at Goldman Sachs. Wikileaks says it will publish thousands more emails before the November 8 election.And then, the major plot twist occurred with a cameo from Carlos Danger, aka Anthony Weiner.October 28, 2016
Eleven days before the presidential election, FBI director James Comey writes in a letter to Congress that more emails, relevant to the previous investigation, have been found. The emails were apparently uncovered during a separate probe into Clinton aide Huma Abedine’s estranged husband, Anthony Weiner. He is the target of an investigation into illicit text messages with a 15-year-old girl. The FBI had a warrant to search his laptop.
The news led Richard Painter, the chief White House ethics lawyer from 2005-07 to file a complaint over Comey’s actions with the Office of Special Counsel. He said, “We cannot allow FBI or Justice Department officials to unnecessarily publicize pending investigations concerning candidates of either party while an election is underway. This is an abuse of power.”
Republican nominee Donald Trump is looking to capitalise on the announcement. October 31, 2016
Trump tells supporters, “Hillary Clinton is not the victim. You, the American people are the victims of this corrupt system.”
Will Hillary’s ambitions be foiled by a smartphone?
To be continued…