Less than two weeks before Election Day, then-FBI director James Comey announced that he would be reopening the probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The reason? The Bureau had uncovered emails it deemed potentially “pertinent” on a laptop belonging to New York Congressman Anthony Weiner.
At the time, Weiner was embroiled in his second sexting scandal and was under investigation for inappropriate exchanges with a minor. He was married to Clinton’s close aide Huma Abedin (she filed for divorce this past May).
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“When we heard this Huma looked stricken,” Clinton wrote in her election memoir What Happened, which became widely available Tuesday. “Anthony had already caused so much heartache. And now this. ‘This man is going to be the death of me,’ [Huma] said, bursting into tears.”
“After more than 20 years working with Huma, I think the world of her and seeing her in such distress broke my heart,” Clinton wrote. The former presidential candidate also wrote about the pressure to let her aide go, writing: “Some people thought I should fire Huma or ‘distance myself.’ Not a chance.”
After “nine days of turmoil,” Comey announced there was nothing new in this batch of emails and that the FBI would not seek charges against Clinton. “Well, great. Too little, too late,” the former Secretary of State wrote.
Clinton consistently counts the so-called “Comey letter”—a letter to eight congressional committees announcing that the FBI had uncovered emails on Weiner’s laptop—as one of the biggest reasons she lost the presidential election to Donald Trump.
According to news analysis site FiveThirtyEight, the letter “might have shifted the race by 3 or 4 percentage points toward Donald Trump, swinging Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida to him, perhaps along with North Carolina and Arizona…because Clinton lost Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin by less than 1 point, the letter was probably enough to change the outcome of the Electoral College.”