Hillary Clinton argues FBI director James Comey gave the election to president-elect Donald Trump when he renewed the inquiry into her use of a private email server days before the election.
“There are lots of reasons why an election like this is not successful,” Clinton told top donors on a farewell conference call Saturday.
“But our analysis is that [FBI Director James B.] Comey’s letter raising doubts that were groundless, baseless, proven to be, stopped our momentum,” she said.
While the second letter cleared her of wrongdoing, Clinton said that reinforced to Trump's supporters that the system was rigged in her favor and motivated them to mobilize on Election Day.
Considering Trump's victory came down to thin margins in a few key battleground states, Clinton is likely correct. According to the Tyndall Report, evening Network Newscasts covered the email non-scandal more than any policy issue. Matt Yglesias at Vox.com said it the most eloquently: "The real Clinton email scandal is that a bullshit story has dominated the campaign."
We'll never know for sure if Comey was Clinton's downfall, but there's little question his actions were out of line. Democrats accused him of breaking the law and trying to influence the election—even Republicans were shocked when Comey broke with the protocol of not disclosing information about a political candidate close to an election.
With Republicans set to control the Presidency and both houses of Congress though, Comey likely won't have to answer for his transgressions.