The Clinton campaign has made no secret of its displeasure over FBI Director James Comey disclosing, just 11 days before Election Day, that the bureau was looking into more Hillary Clinton emails.
But, are they saying it was just a poor decision or something more sinister? Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, wagered Monday that it could be the latter, suggesting that “forces within the FBI” might have been working against Clinton.
In an interview with John Heilemann hosted by NewCo, Podesta said the following:
I think there’s sort of two possibilities. There are at least forces within the FBI that wanted her to lose. I’m not sure they really understood the alternative, but they wanted her to lose. I think that’s one possibility. I think the other is it’s just become a cover-your-ass organization, and there was pressure coming up from underneath him, and he succumbed to that pressure. But he made a bad judgment, and I think virtually anybody who has opined on the topic — including Republicans who served in both Bush administrations and the Reagan administration — have said it was a terrible mistake of judgment. And I think it did terrible damage to us. If you look at the polling at that period time, that’s when the race began to tighten in that week.
This isn't the first time there have at least been whispers about this possibility, of course. Some have suggested elements within the FBI close to Trump confidant Rudy Giuliani may have pushed for the disclosure to help Trump. Other reports have described internal discord and resentment over the decision not to recommend charges for Clinton with regards to her use of a private email server.
But this appears to be the first time that someone directly connected to the senior leadership team of the Clinton campaign has suggested on the record that there were perhaps people within the FBI deliberately working to defeat Clinton. Yes, Podesta throws it out there as one of two possibilities for why Comey did what he did. But, it's likely to further foment the idea — common among Clinton supporters — that there was something more nefarious and political at work in Comey's massive October announcement.