Opinion: Clinton not yet in the clear | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 06.07.2016
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Opinion: Clinton not yet in the clear

Even if the FBI has recommended that Hillary Clinton not be charged, she has not yet survived the ongoing email controversy. The label of "careless" is something that could be hard for her to lose, says DW's Ines Pohl.

It was meant to be a day of exoneration for Hillary Clinton: the day on which the FBI finally, finally confirmed that it would not be recommending that the Department of Justice pursue charges against the former Secretary of State. The FBI Director James Comey eventually came to this conclusion after a surprisingly detailed statement.

But, Clinton won't be able to forget this issue in the election race so quickly. Comey's harsh criticism will be the thing that the voters remember. It will be brought up again and again by her opponents in the coming months, and they have every right to do so.

Pohl Ines Kommentarbild App

DW's Ines Pohl

The FBI investigation came to the conclusion that Clinton and her team had engaged in "extremely careless" behavior and that "any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton's position or those with whom she was corresponding should have known the system was no place for those conversations." These statements could seriously endanger Hillary Clinton's chances. After all, this was her main advantage over Donald Trump: that she had the experience that would her make a better president. But what's the benefit of loads of experience, if you still act with a worrying level of carelessness?

Do special rules apply for the Clintons?

Clinton's opponents will probably be more critical of the fact that the Clintons play by their own rules and manage to get away with it. For many, this is just confirmation of how unfair the political scene in Washington really is. Sensing a chance to attack, Donald Trump has already echoed this feeling when he gave his first reaction on social media saying that others have been in trouble for "far less" and that the decision was "very, very unfair."

Strategists might have thought that it made sense for President Obama to join Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail on the same day that the FBI gave their decision. The exact opposite could now be the case. Pictures of the two together will be just further proof for many voters of how close the power brokers in Washington are to each other, whether they are FBI, the Department of Justice or the President himself. Only a real, independent, courageous and strong outsider will be able to clean up the corrupt system, they will think. At least in his own opinion, Donald Trump is the only person that matches that description.

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