A shockwave rocked the presidential election Friday when a fresh batch of emails found on former congressman Anthony Weiner's electronic devices seized during an FBI investigation pressed the agency to make new inquiries into the usage of Hillary Clinton's private email server.
FBI Director James B. Comey told congressional leaders Friday that "appropriate investigative steps" would be taken to decide whether those mails contained classified information and whether they were critically related to the server investigation.
The emails were found on a computer used jointly by both Weiner and his wife, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, according to a report by the Washington Post.
Weiner is the disgraced former New York congressman who had a history of sexting with young women on social media. In August of this year his wife Abedin separated from him after it was discovered he was at it again, this time with a sext that included an image of Weiner's crotch as he lay next to the couple's 4-year-old son.
Clinton's campaign quickly reacted, going on the attack against the federal agency via campaign chairman John Podesta, who balked at the reopened probe, demanding Comey give them a full explanation and saying it was "extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election."
Clinton's Republican rival Donald Trump upon hearing the news told supporters at a New Hampshire rally said he had great respect for the FBI's decision to "right the horrible mistake that they made."
"Perhaps, finally, justice will be done," he said.
This is a bombshell that helps Trump in a few key ways, says Bruce Haynes, a Washington-based GOP media consultant and founding partner at Purple Strategies.
"First, it puts the spotlight back on Clinton, all her faults and all the truckloads of baggage she brings," he said.
Haynes said this has been the central strategic failing of the Trump campaign – the ability to make the race about her. "Now it's on her at the crucial juncture, it's a referendum on her."
Second, for every American who wants to drain the swamp in Washington, they have a clear target for their ire.
Haynes said voters will see headlines all weekend with the words "Clinton," "sexting," "Weiner," "FBI" and "Classified."
Its ugly, its salacious and it's what everyone hates about politics said Haynes. "It becomes a focal point for people who want change."
It also could be decisive. Clinton has not had a good week, and recent polls have the race narrowing as parts of the GOP base and some independents that were previously undecided have consolidated around Trump.
His problem was that Clinton was holding steady with her vote, said Haynes. "What he needed was something wicked that had the ability to fracture her base, and now, something wicked this way comes."
One of the big differentiators in this race has been the voter's view that Clinton's judgment and temperament were superior to Trump's.
"But if the emails that possibly contained classified information related to national security matters were found on a device that was used to send sexting messages to a 15-year-old girl, then that raises enormous questions about Clinton's judgment and the judgment of her top associates," said Haynes.
That can erase that advantage.
Haynes said if the candidates are seen on an even footing, and voters go to polls wanting to drain the swamp and make change, "that's a race that Trump can win," he said.
Salena Zito covers national politics for Newsmax.
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