Since last summer, when U.S. authorities confirmed the presence of classified information in emails sent or received by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton using her private email server, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has tried to determine whether Clinton or any of her subordinates mishandled that information—which under certain circumstances is considered a serious crime. The stakes are so high, in fact, that the F.B.I. has deployed nearly 150 full-time agents to investigate the matter, according to a lengthy report by Robert O’Harrow, Jr. of the The Washington Post:
The F.B.I. is now trying to determine whether a crime was committed in the handling of that classified material. It is also examining whether the server was hacked. One hundred forty-seven F.B.I. agents have been deployed to run down leads, according to a lawmaker briefed by F.B.I. Director James B. Comey. The FBI has accelerated the investigation because officials want to avoid the possibility of announcing any action too close to the election.
Besides the sheer number of agents supposedly dedicated to investigating Clinton’s email server, the justification for doing so is noteworthy as well: The 2016 presidential election is over seven months away, but the Democratic primary, in which Clinton has successfully fended off Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders thus far, is operating on much shorter timetable. Indeed, there’s some anxiety among Democrats on the national stage about the possibility of Clinton receiving an F.B.I. indictment after the Democratic convention, by which time she would have presumably won enough delegates to capture the nomination, but before the actual election, when such an indictment would render her candidacy toxic, with no other option to replace her.
Should be an interesting summer.
Update – 9:10 pm
The Post has issued a correction on its story, reducing the number of agents investigating the emails to “fewer than 50.”