Every election has its defining moments where the flow takes swift turns and everything changes. This year had a number of those moments and they were especially important, given how critical of a cycle we had this year. The successor to President Barack Obama is critical, because it comes down to upholding his legacy or undoing it.
Hillary Clinton, a one-time election opponent of the President, would represent a continuation of the liberal agenda. Donald Trump, a political newcomer and lifelong businessman, would represent a departure from many of the President’s key policy points.
For this reason, many argued that the Federal Bureau of Investigation should have stayed out of the election.
Just weeks before the election, FBI Director James Comey dropped a bombshell revealing that the e-mail investigation involving the Democratic nominee and former Secretary of State was back on. Outrage burst out from the left, who once celebrated Director Comey after he previously declined to recommend charges in the case.
Given the honesty problem surrounding Clinton, it was clear this could be a problem.
As we now know, the country would become shocked by the victory of the Republican businessman. Despite most election models and media pundits predicting Clinton would walk away with the election, she lost a lot of states she arrogantly assumed were hers. The election was lost.
Instead of simply admitting defeat, the blame game has resulted in pointing fingers at a wide array of external factors. Including these is the FBI investigation being re-opened. Many Clinton supporters and Democrats allege that with this letter, Clinton lost the election.
Should the Federal Bureau of Investigation had held onto the letter officially reopening the investigation until after the election?
It’s a complicated question. On the one hand, given the obvious impact, an argument in favor of holding off could be made. Clinton already has trust issues with voters and even after the primary alone, many had trouble believing in the Democratic establishment. The investigative body that should be impartial would be playing into the hands of a Republican narrative and thus politicizing itself by interfering in a major presidential election.
But what kind of precedent would be set by the FBI holding off?
Ironically, holding off on an investigation to avoid political conflict would actually be impacting an investigation because of political reasons. If an investigative body is meant to be impartial, external factors should not come into play. First and foremost, an election shouldn’t matter. Investigators shouldn’t feel like they have to withhold findings and avoid leads because of an event going on.
At that point, if the FBI did hold off to avoid becoming tangled up in a deeply polarized presidential election, they would be favoring Hillary Clinton. They would become the very thing they sought to avoid.
It was a difficult position for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to be in. The decision to go forward or hold back is complicated, but the right call is to not allow external factors such as an election to impact timing. If investigators believe they have something worth investigating, they should do their job as impartially as possible without concern for triggering political partisans.