Rorschach test

The FBI is looking into the Hillary Clinton email case again and no one knows what the hell it means

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The FBI announced on Friday that it will be taking “appropriate investigative steps” to review emails that are “pertinent” to the Hillary Clinton email probe, effectively reviving a case that was considered closed in July.

“In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation,” FBI director James Comey wrote in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “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.”

So what does it mean? Well, that depends on whom you ask.

Comey’s email is a little like one of those local news teasers that tells you something in your kitchen might be secretly killing you without offering any actual detail. Seems alarming, but it’s super vague.

Comey himself acknowledged as much in the letter, saying he couldn’t say whether or not the new emails are “significant” or how long the additional work of vetting them may take.

But it’s hard to imagine that subtle distinction is going to come through in the coverage of this development.

Which brings us to Donald Trump, who is pumped as hell. The Republican nominee, who now has more than a dozen sexual assault allegations against him and has faced a related death spiral in the polls, used the news to open a New Hampshire rally.

“I need to open with a very critical breaking news announcement,” Trump said, less than an hour after Comey’s letter was announced. “The FBI has just sent a letter to Congress informing them that they have discovered new emails pertaining to the former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s investigation. And they are reopening the case into her criminal and illegal conduct that threatens the security of the United States of America.” (The crowd erupted into chants of “lock her up.”)

Clinton’s campaign has not issued a statement, and is running with what seem to be pre-planned tweets and campaign speeches. Reporters shouted questions at Clinton as she deplaned for a campaign stop in Iowa after the announcement, but she climbed into a waiting car without answering.

A former spokesperson for the Department of Justice, however, floated the idea that Comey’s announcement was politically timed:

Other sources suggested that the investigation was never even closed in the first place, like that part in The Notebook when Ryan Gosling is like, “It wasn’t over—it still isn’t over”:

Oh and officials say the emails are not actually from Clinton:

Yep:

You see, it’s like a Rorschach test where everyone sees something different—as long as it’s a terrible thing.

UPDATE:

The New York Times reports that this is somehow Anthony Weiner’s fault:

Federal law enforcement officials said Friday that the new emails uncovered in the closed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server were discovered after the F.B.I. seized electronic devices belonging to Huma Abedin, an aide to Mrs. Clinton, and her husband, Anthony Weiner.

This is a developing story, and this election is still a shitshow.