by Graham Pierrepoint
It can hardly be said that last year’s US Presidential election occurred without barely anyone noticing – after all, not only did it usher in one of the most divisive and talked-about candidates of all time into political office, but it also broke new ground for media-based drama. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, between them, fought for what they believed in. As Trump battled accusations of sexism and even sexual assault while campaigning for the Republicans, Clinton, too, had work to do behind the scenes. This largely revolved around a rather sizeable scandal that related to her email use while working for Barack Obama.
Clinton was a Secretary of State under the outgoing President, and it was revealed that an FBI investigation had taken place into why Clinton had chosen to send a number of emails related to her role through a private email server. The scandal went away as no further action was taken – but then, only days before the election took place (11 to be precise), FBI Director James Comey sent a notification to Congress that advised new evidence had been unearthed regarding Clinton’s case. It took a further week before such claims would be quashed once more, leaving the Democrats with only three days to recover from further negative media attention incurred as a result of the new report – and it is something that the party has continued to claim in light of their monumental defeat against the Republicans on all sides in November 2016.
It doesn’t stop there – anyone interested in political affairs and, indeed, the drama surrounding the US election in 2016 will be intrigued to know that an independent source in the form of the Department of Justice will launch its own investigation into Comey and other officials’ conduct during this time. The investigation, launched by inspector general Michael Horowitz, will look closely into whether or not Comey and FBI and justice officials violated policy by disclosing information they found to Congress. Some commentators have argued that the decision made by Comey and officials to disclose the information, which later turned out to not be pertinent to the previous Clinton investigation, may well have swung the election. However, the investigation will focus more on whether or not conduct undertaken by Comey and his team was justified.
US politics seems to get more and more dramatic by the day – with President-elect Trump fighting details relating to a secret dossier and Russian hacking just days away from his inauguration, we may be in for one of the most interesting Presidential terms of the modern age.