On Thursday, former FBI director James Comey testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss the agency's investigation into Russia's intervention in the 2016 presidential election. And while some members of the committee kept their line of questioning related to the inquiry and Comey's interactions with President Trump between January and May 2017, others decided to go in another direction: Hillary Clinton's email investigation.
Welcome back to 2016, where we are still re-litigating this issue for no sane reason. I just have one single question: What the hell, guys?
But before we dive in on why this is bananas, let's recap quickly what happened.
In early 2015, news broke that during Clinton's time as secretary of state, she used personal email addresses that were connected to a privately server, instead of using a government-issued email account. This was highly unusual and also controversial because it gave her and her staff control over what would and wouldn't become public, and also because there were questions about whether this decision put classified information and other government secrets at risk.
Clinton's email use was investigated by the FBI from the summer of 2015 to July 2016. After the investigation concluded, Comey said that "[Clinton and her staff] were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information." However, the FBI didn't find any criminal activity. In essence: Did Clinton screw up? Yes. Did she break the law? No.
Fast forward to October 28, 2016, when Comey announced the FBI had discovered a new batch of emails and was investigating them. Then on November 6, two days before the election, Comey said there was nothing new in those emails and there wouldn't be any criminal charges. (Clinton has blamed this move as one of the reasons she lost the election.)
Today, more than six months later, some Republican senators brought it up again during a completely unrelated hearing. The expectation is the Senate Intelligence Committee will stick to the topics at hand: 1) If and how a foreign power intervened in our election and how could the U.S. prevent it for happening again. 2) Whether Trump's associates were involved with a foreign entity to influence the election. 3) Whether the president of the United States tried to use his power to stop a federal investigation and would that be considered obstruction of justice.
However, folks like Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. John McCain believed that rehashing an old story that had no relevance to the hearing was a better use of their seven minutes with the former FBI director.
This is the time to introduce you to an evergreen meme.
Of course, most people know that going back to the "Hillary's emails" drama is so 2016. Just look at the Twitter reaction Corbyn and McCain's questions unleashed.
Let the record show that the Hillary email investigation by a non-partisan, independent federal agency has been closed for almost a year. There is no new story there.
And there's certainly enough drama without bringing up old news. McCain and Cornyn need to focus on whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia and determine how sophisticated the interference of a foreign power was in one of the most crucial pillars of our democracy. The Clinton case involves a now-private citizen and concluded almost a year ago. The Russia investigation involves the most powerful man in the country, who is now sitting in the Oval Office.
So for the love of everything sacred and for the well-being of our democracy, just let the damn Hillary Clinton emails go.