The Corner

Politics & Policy

What Is the ‘Unrelated Case’ That Caused the FBI to Reopen the Hillary Investigation?

The most intriguing question left hanging from Jim Comey’s letter reopening the FBI’s examination of e-mails from Hillary Clinton’s server is what the “unrelated case” he refers to is:

In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation … I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation….the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant…

Now, note that Comey doesn’t say the FBI has learned anything that changes his conclusions, but clearly the FBI has run across something — perhaps another large volume of e-mails — that demands FBI attention before Comey can feel secure that he came to the right conclusion (and bear in mind his conclusion, while stopping short of an indictment, was damning enough).

But what was that “unrelated case”? Comey suggests that he already has another ongoing investigation that led his investigators to find more e-mails. Presumably he wouldn’t say “unrelated” if it was an offshoot investigation of, say, lying to the FBI or destroying evidence. It could be the FBI’s investigation of Clinton crony and Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, or some other as yet unknown probe of McAuliffe or others in the Clinton circle. Or, it could be an investigation of WikiLeaks and other hackers who got the Podesta e-mails. Or, it could be a probe of something else in the administration we haven’t heard of at all. If nothing else, this news should give some pause to the people who rent their garments over Donald Trump and his voters wanting Mrs. Clinton jailed — even the FBI itself thinks a further use of federal criminal investigative resources is warranted.

Well, good thing we have extended early voting, so some voters can avoid learning such things between now and Election Day…

Dan McLaughlin is an attorney practicing securities and commercial litigation in New York City, and a contributing columnist at National Review Online.

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