So far, the email scandal reveals just as much about Mr Trump as about Mrs Clinton
Hillary Clinton has been pushed on the defensive by a letter from the director of the FBI, saying that her case has been reopened because of new information found in the Weiner investigation – that may or may not be significant.
The vagueness of the letter has triggered intense speculation. Many say the FBI would not do this – certainly not at this stage – unless they had found something really troublesome. Others say that the letter is unprecedented and wrong, even if there were no election ongoing. The FBI director now acts as a prosecutor, which is not his role, and it is impossible to defend oneself against unknown allegations.
Mrs Clinton demands more information and her campaign questions the FBI director’s motives. Mr Trump is having a field day and says that the US has become a third world country. How can Clinton regain control in this chaotic situation?
She may point out that so far, this latest development does not yield new information about her, but it does about mr Trump – because of the way he reacts to it. Having previously severely criticized the FBI and calling the system rigged, mr Trump now praises the FBI director. He cannot know if the new information is significant, but has already sentenced his opponent, saying she her server was illegal and that she should be in jail. In other words, Mr Trump does not care much about the separation of powers and only accepts decisions by judges, prosecutors and lawmakers that he likes. This is not the only example, it is a pattern. In this respect Mr Trump acts much like the man he seems to admire, president Putin. Mr Trump’s response to the email scandal is an indication that, if elected, he may move the United States into the direction of states like Russia or Turkey, where political opponents, judges and journalists are intimidated.
The Clinton campaign might regain control if they go on the offensive – however not attack the FBI director, but Trump. They should point out to the American public that his reactions show once again that a Trump presidency may change the country in ways that may be difficult to repair.