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Mitch Perry Report for 7.12.16 — Will the FBI open another investigation into Hillary Clinton?

While there should be smiles in Portsmouth, New Hampshire later today when Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have their unity rally, some things to contemplate about Clinton, a week after the FBI announced they will not indict her in the investigation of her email server while serving as secretary of state.

A majority of Americans think FBI Director James Comey let her off easily. Fifty-six percent of Americans disapprove of Comey’s decision to exonerate her, according to a Washington Post survey released Monday, while 35 percent approve.

This poll includes liberals who think that Clinton’s behavior here was a bit shady. Over three in 10 Democrats disapprove of Director Comey’s recommendation against charges for Clinton (31 percent), and the same percentage says the issue makes them worry about Clinton’s presidential responsibility. Over four in 10 liberals say the issue raises concerns about how Clinton might handle responsibilities as president, as do 36 percent of non-white Americans and 56 percent of those under age 40.

If you watched Comey’s four-and-a-half hour performance in front of the House Oversight Committee last Thursday, you saw how chairman Jason Chaffetz asked Comey if he had investigated whether Mrs. Clinton had lied under oath regarding her emails when she gave her 10-hour performance before a committee investigating her actions in the Benghazi tragedy last fall. Come said he needed a referral — Chaffetz immediately responded, “You’ll get one in a few hours.”

Well, it took a few days, but in fact, the Oversight Committee last night referred the matter formally to the FBI to investigate. The New York Times reports this morning that while legal analysts think it’s unlikely the bureau would ultimately find enough evidence to prosecute her for lying to Congress, “there might be enough to warrant opening an investigation. That alone could prove damaging to her campaign.”

To say the least. While supporters of Mrs. Clinton will maintain the Republicans should just let go of their obsession to go after her, another investigation will not help her out, folks. It won’t. This isn’t like the Republicans when they impeached Bill Clinton, and clearly overreached. The public knew the facts there, and saw the Republicans were being bullies. Here? The fact is she’s got serious trust issues.

In other news…

SD 19 candidate Augie Ribeiro pours in $300,000 of his own cash to kick-start his very late entrance into that race.

Jeb Bush emerged from exile last night to condemn Donald Trump once again, telling voters that they’ll only be disappointed if he actually gets elected in November.

Bush says he’ll “actively campaign for Pinellas County CD 13 Congressman David Jolly this fall.

House District 61 Democratic candidate Sean Shaw talks about working with the GOP if elected, guns in the Legislature, and getting “the talk” about how to handle issues with the police from his father, the late Leander Shaw, the first African-American named to the Florida Supreme Court.

The Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission is poised to raise the fines incurred by Uber and Lyft drivers in the county, much to the distress of state Senator Jeff Brandes, a leading PTC critic.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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