FBI director James Comey came under fire this past weekend for his unprecedented, possibly illegal announcement that the organization was reviewing emails from a separate investigation to see if they're connected to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's private email server. There was bipartisan criticism over his decision to release a three-paragraph letter to Congress that read, in part, "the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant."
Fellow candidate Donald Trump has insisted that these emails are the "motherload," but no one yet knows how many there are, or what even is in them — though many have called on the FBI to release more information pertinent to his announcement, including Clinton herself.
The new emails that the FBI found seem less likely to change the outcome of its probe into Clinton's email server, and comparatively more likely to affect the outcome of this election. Although polls indicate that voters are not particularly swayed by Comey's announcement, it may diminish enthusiasm for Clinton voters to head to the ballot box on Nov. 8.
Clinton's email controversy has dogged her for so long now that it may be difficult to reconcile all the unsubstantiated chatter around it with what investigators found, which is that there was no evidence of wrongdoing on her part. In fact, some of her emails are spectacularly undramatic.
But the picture that these emails paint is ultimately one of a "earnest public servant toiling away on important affairs of state," as David Corn at Mother Jones wrote in his likening of her to Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus. And one particular email, resurfaced by Jimmy Kimmel writer Bess Kalb on Twitter, showed a side of Clinton that she has always prioritized in politics, as evidenced by her work on women's rights.
The email in question was sent to a senior department aide in 2009 about a young Yemeni girl, Nujood Ali, who fought for a divorce after becoming a child bride at age 10. Clinton had seen a follow-up story in CNN about Ali and asked if there was anything they could do to help her. Her email read:
Do you recall Noori Ali (?), the ten year old Yemeni girl who got herself divorced? I met her at the Glamour awards last year. There was a CNN story last few days about how unhappy she is, still living at home, not attending school and quite angry that her life is not better. Is there any way we can help her? Could we get her to the US for counseling and education?"
Kalb's tongue-in-cheek response to the leaked email just drove Clinton's generosity further home.
So the story here is that there really is no story behind these emails — unless anyone wanted to go over them again only to realize that Clinton was ultimately just doing her job.
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