Here’s what we know about Clinton’s emails, the scandal that never ends

In between Halloween parties and regular weekend napping, you might have heard that there’s a new Hillary Clinton email scandal. Or, there’s kind of a new email Clinton. Or, there’s no scandal at all, really, but there are more emails. Believe me, I feel your pain in trying to figure out just what in the hell is going on with Hillary Clinton, her emails, and the FBI. In reality, it’s not anything very new, but it is kinda a big deal and could impact next week’s election (or have no impact at all, depending on who you talk to).

To really wrap our heads around this whole thing, we have to time travel back to July, when there was still hope for humanity and you had rosé in your fridge (you might want to go grab a drink now, BTW). Back then, FBI Director James Comey testified to Congress that after long-ass interrogations with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a review of all the emails on her private server, the FBI found she didn’t do anything criminal by mishandling confidential or classified emails while she was serving in the Obama administration. Comey said there was no way to press charges and essentially implied that the case was closed.

Remember, this is the main reason Donald Trump has been campaigning on the caricature of “crooked Hillary” and an allegedly corrupt relationship between the Democratic nominee and the FBI. But now, Comey has turned all of that around.

On Friday, Comey wrote a letter to Congress saying that while investigating Anthony Wiener for allegedly sexting a minor, he and his team came across new Clinton emails that might be pertinent to his testimony in July.

Here’s what we know.

The FBI has no idea what’s in the emails.

The “new” emails (all 650,000) do not belong to Clinton. They were on a computer that top Clinton aide Huma Abedin shared with her gross husband, Weiner. (Seriously, this man is so unfortunate.) According to Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, Abedin didn’t even know the emails were on her husband’s device. They may be copies of emails the FBI already saw in the prior investigation, but they aren’t Clinton’s emails; they are her aide’s emails. They might hold a smoking gun, like Clinton giving Abedin permission to give away nuclear codes to Germany’s Angela Merkel in exchange for a pretzel. But they probably aren’t. They’re probably more of the same shit that’s already been released by WikiLeaks.

The timing is suspect.

Comey’s new letter to Congress was very vague and made it sound like he was just doing the right thing by coming clean to Congress that there are more emails and he didn’t want to hold back any evidence from his prior investigation. But coming out with a vague “we have more emails but haven’t read them yet” letter less than two weeks before the election is akin to like, a drunk Orange County Real Housewife threatening to expose someone’s deep, dark secrets but not following through on the threat (and then it turns out that there is no deep, dark secret).

It’s very unlikely the bureau is going to be able to go through the emails in a week and find out if there is, in fact, anything new or criminal in them. Also, according to CNN, the FBI knew about this little trove of emails weeks ago, yet Comey wrote his letter on a Friday afternoon, 11 days before a heated presidential election.

Democrats are pissed.

Politicians are pissed off. The Clinton campaign wrote a letter to Comey demanding that the FBI come forward with the content of the emails so voters could know what was up (and so they could cover their asses). Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and other leading politicians are hinting that Comey may have violated the Hatch Act, which essentially says government officials can’t use their position to mess with elections, the implication being that Comey might have been influenced by some Congress members to raise doubts about Clinton. Or he’s a putz. Or both.

Really, this is all politics, but it’s still a big deal. 

Clinton’s email scandal has always been “just politics” — or a super serious indiscretion on the candidate’s part, depending on where you come down on this thing. One thing is very likely, though: the “new” emails (remember, they might be copies of ones already investigated) probably don’t contain any totally new information about Clinton. Comey’s letter was really just a big gift to Trump, who is now saying that maybe the election “isn’t as rigged” as he thought a few weeks ago. Clinton was starting to make serious gains in the polls, and this confusion about what’s in the emails and whether or not she can be trusted could push her back. Or maybe not.

It probably won’t affect the election too much.

The thing is, we won’t know anything about what’s up with the emails before the election, because the FBI just got a warrant Sunday night to legally look through them and see what’s up. So, the announcement just cast doubt on Clinton. Some political analysts believe that voters’ minds are pretty much already made up about the candidates and that this newest email probe won’t hurt Clinton at all. At this point, millions of people have already cast their vote in states that have early voting.

ICYMI, there was already a ruling in September about other emails actually belonging to Clinton that blocked the release of emails until after Election Day. So voters who care about the Clinton email scandal were already screwed. Which brings us back to the beginning of this “new” email scandal — it’s more of the same and mainly about political maneuvering.

This is the scandal that never, ever ends. If Trump does win next week, America will have Weiner’s penis to thank for it, because although these emails might not be new, all the noise surrounding Comey’s letter gave Trump more “corruption” talking points.