FBI lifts Clin­ton email cloud but Trump re­mains on her heels

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE FBI lifted the threat that Hillary Clin­ton could face charges over her emails, leav­ing White House ri­val Don­ald Trump to de­mand that US vot­ers pun­ish her at the bal­lot box.

FBI di­rec­tor James Comey un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously closed down his probe into the former sec­re­tary of state’s pri­vate server, a de­ci­sion which came as a re­lief to the Demo­cratic camp.

But Mr Trump came back fight­ing, and ex­perts said the re­newed scan­dal had al­ready dam­aged the 69-year-old former first lady’s chance of be­com­ing America’s first fe­male pres­i­dent.

Ms Clin­ton’s lead dropped from 5.7 to 2.9 per­cent­age points in the week since the scan­dal re­turned, ac­cord­ing to in­flu­en­tial data jour­nal­ist Nate Sil­ver of FiveThir­tyEight.com.

Ms Clin­ton had booked a star-stud­ded ros­ter of sup­port­ers – head­lined by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and rock star Bruce Spring­steen – for her fi­nal events yes­ter­day.

Mr Trump is also tour­ing key swing states and was de­ter­mined not to let Ms Clin­ton off the hook over her email, a sym­bol for his sup­port­ers of the cor­rup­tion of the Wash­ing­ton elite.

“Right now she’s be­ing pro­tected by a rigged sys­tem. It’s a to­tally rigged sys­tem. I’ve been say­ing it for a long time,” he de­clared at a rally in Michi­gan, as his sup­port­ers chanted “Lock her up!”

Late last month, with Ms Clin­ton seem­ingly on a glide path to vic­tory, Mr Comey sent shock­waves through both cam­paigns by an­nounc­ing a re­newed FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion in Ms Clin­ton’s email use.

In July, the Jus­tice De­part­ment, act­ing on the FBI’s rec­om­men­da­tion, had de­cided not to pros­e­cute Ms Clin­ton for ex­pos­ing State De­part­ment se­crets on an un­se­cured email sys­tem.

But, af­ter an undis­cov­ered batch of emails was found on a lap­top be­long­ing to the hus­band of one of Ms Clin­ton’s key aides, Mr Comey warned he was re­vis­it­ing the case.

Ms Trump, the 70-year-old ty­coon and Re­pub­li­can flag-bearer, seized on the open­ing, con­demn­ing Ms Clin­ton’s “crim­i­nal scheme” and ar­gu­ing that she is un­fit to be pres­i­dent.

Opin­ion polls tight­ened as Mr Trump be­gan to re­cover ground he lost af­ter sev­eral women ac­cused him of sex­ual as­sault, and the race looked headed for a photo fin­ish.

Not touch­ing on the FBI de­ci­sion to drop the case, Ms Clin­ton ham­mered her op­po­nent over his some­times ugly rhetoric and, im­plic­itly, the al­leged covert Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence that have poi­soned the race.

“There are pow­er­ful forces in­side and out­side of America that do threaten to pull us apart,” she said.

If Ms Clin­ton wins, she will seek to build on Mr Obama’s cau­tious but pro­gres­sive legacy, in­clud­ing his con­tro­ver­sial health in­sur­ance re­forms.

Mr Trump has vowed to tear up the re­form along with America’s free trade agree­ments, to re­build a “de­pleted” mil­i­tary and re­view US al­liances. –

Photo: AFP

Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Hillary Clin­ton speaks dur­ing a cam­paign rally at The Ar­mory in Manch­ester, New Hamp­shire, on Novem­ber 6.

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