Email Investigation Reopened: Hillary Clinton and the potential for blackmail

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally at Smale Riverfront Park in Cincinnati, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. (Andrew Harnik/AP Photo)

There are seven days until election day. I’ll start by saying that these seven days are not likely to change the minds of any eligible voters in the U.S. At this stage in the game, voters are simply waiting to cast their ballot for their candidate of choice, or are deciding whether or not to vote at all.

While these last seven days are usually uneventful, the 2016 election cycle has been anything but the “usual.” On Friday, Oct. 28, James Comey, Director of the FBI sent a letter to Congress which essentially reopened what was a closed investigation regarding the Hilary Clinton email scandal.

Comey acted on his own, against the will of his direct superior, Loretta Lynch, who had advised him and the rest of the department to not make comments on ongoing investigations, or take any action that could end up influencing the outcome of an election.

Members of the Department of Justice have expressed concern that this information may unfairly affect the election when there is still no hard evidence. In the eyes of the American public, just hearing “FBI” and “Hillary Clinton” associated together seems to suggest that something fishy is happening. In reality, the investigation may lead to nothing at all, in which case any effect on the election could be an unfair advantage to Clinton’s opponent.

At this point in the election cycle, most people have made up their mind about the emails. Secretary Clinton has come out and said, “People a long time ago made up their minds about the emails. I think that’s factored into what people think.”

There are many people that agree with Clinton, such as Tyra Banks who appeared on CNN saying, “I actually don’t think there’s anything new. To quote Bernie Sanders, ‘enough of the damn emails.’”

Most people either believe that the emails are unimportant and are voting for Hillary, or that they are of vehement importance and are voting for Trump. I urge the world to see a third option, that the emails are extremely important but don’t have to impact candidate-choice.

For Trump supporters, these emails are already a major cause of concern. However, Clinton supporters need to understand the gravity of the situation rather than simply sweeping it under the rug.

It was odd when, in July, Comey decided against prosecuting Clinton for her use of a private email account while serving as Secretary of State. The use of a private email account not only constituted an enormous breach of national security, but could also lead to larger issues in the future.

The general public only has knowledge of what has been released by Wikileaks and others. With the recent cyber attacks targeted at the Democratic National Committee, it has been suggested that Russia is determined to alter outcome of this election.

There is a possibility that the “hostile foreign actors,” who have already broken into Clinton’s emails are withholding information that they could potentially use to harm or blackmail Clinton if she is elected. While on the surface, it may seem like Clinton is in the clear, we have no way of knowing if more information will be leaked in the weeks after the election.

The fact that these emails are of more importance than most people seem to give them serves as a measure of the state of citizen-knowledge in this country. In the decision of who is to run the U.S. Government, one should not simply pick a candidate and ignore their flaws for the remainder of the election cycle.

Our job as citizens is to hold our elected officials accountable, but how can we hold them accountable if we simply ignore any of their possible wrongdoings? It is imperative, then, that whether supporting Clinton or not, it is understood that the email investigation is a serious issue that should not simply be stowed away for the sake of an easy last week before Nov. 8. Instead, we should hope to see Clinton pursue and clarify the issue in further detail if she is elected the next President of the United States.


Gulrukh Haroon is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at gulrukh.haroon@uconn.edu.