The New York Times reported on October 31 that FBI officials spent weeks examining computer data showing an odd stream of activity to a Trump Organization server and Alfa Bank, which is one of Russia’s biggest banks and whose owners have longstanding ties to Mr. Putin. The logs show that two servers at Alfa Bank sent more than 2,700 “look-up” messages– a first step for one system’s computers to talk to another — to a Trump-connected server beginning in the spring of 2016. But the F.B.I. “ultimately concluded that there could be an innocuous explanation, like a marketing email or spam, for computer contacts”(3).
The New York Times article makes it clear that F.B.I. investigators did not confirm the 2,700 messages were marketing emails or spam; they simply concluded that it was possible that they were. In the case of Hillary Clinton’s emails, the F.B.I. clearly took a different approach. The evidence suggests the FBI was more interested in investigating whether Clinton was using her private server to exchange classified information than they were in investigating whether the Trump team was conspiring with Russian oligarchs with ties to Putin to undermine our democracy.
- The FBI took the time to confirm the content of Clinton’s emails; they did not do this in the case of Trump’s Russian emails.
- The FBI announced to congress and the public they were investigating Clinton’s emails; They did not inform congress they were investigating Trump’s emails.