Impact of FBI decision to reopen Clinton email probe

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report with Bret Baier," October 28, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Now, as we mentioned earlier, that the FBI made this announcement that they are looking into additional e-mails, thousands of them, coming from the investigation into former Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner.

Now, back last year in August, Donald Trump when Abedin and Weiner were having problems in the press and talking about them, he had this statement to say. "Huma is making a very wise decision breaking it off with Anthony Weiner. I know Weiner well and she will be better off without him. I only worry for the country in that Hillary Clinton was careless and negligent in allowing Weiner to have such close proximity to highly classified information. Who knows what he learned and who he told. It's just another example of Hillary Clinton's bad judgment. It's possible that our country and its security have been greatly compromised by this."

This is August 29th of last year. He also tweeted a number of times that the quote "Perv sleaze bag Anthony Weiner was a major security risk as a collector of information."

With that let's bring in our panel: Steve Hayes senior writer for the Weekly Standard; Jonathan Swan national political reporter for The Hill, and Charlie Hurt political columnist with The Washington Times.

Ok, Charlie -- let's start on the blockbuster which is this announcement. And what does it mean?

CHARLES HURT, THE WASHINGTON TIMES: Well I mean -- and you know, what a better -- what else would happen on 11 days before the Election Day in the craziest election of our lifetime?

In terms of whether -- of course, it has -- it all goes back to Anthony Weiner. In terms of how much of an effect it will have, it's sort of hard to say, you know. Obviously, we have already had 20 million people have already cast ballots.

But I do think that it does hit that sort of sweet spot between -- you know, among Independents, among people who -- a lot of people are coming into this election voting against somebody. And something like this where it's so clear that -- it's so bad for one of them. It really could make a difference for those people.

BAIER: Now Democrats are saying, easy, hold your horses, there's nothing - - there might not be a lot to this. Here is the vice-presidential nominee on the Democratic side, Tim Kaine.


TIM KAINE, DEMOCRATIC VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: When you do this 11 days before a presidential election and you don't provide many details, but details are apparently being given by the FBI to the press, this is very, very troubling. And we hope that the director -- we really think that he should give a clearer accounting of exactly what's going on right now.


BAIER: Jonathan.

JONATHAN SWAN, THE HILL: Comey is actually being quite consistent. I mean it was interesting in your interview with Donald Trump, he is attacking Comey effectively or the FBI in your interview. He didn't name Comey but he is effectively saying this is an agency that's in the tank for Hillary Clinton.

BAIER: Yes. Two hours before --

SWAN: Two hours before this news broke. Now, of course, Comey is the evil Republican, you know, trying to subvert democracy.

I went back and read Comey's statement in September when he was getting huge amounts of criticism because he released the information on a Friday afternoon before Labor Day. It was part of a big conspiracy to help Hillary Clinton. He said I released it because I got the information that morning. And we want to be transparent and we want to do things quickly.

Well, what would happen if he covered this up? What happens if he gets stuff that's actually consequential and he buried it? You think that's not going to leak out? You think that's not going to -- after the election, come back?

BAIER: Right. But what about the substance of this decision? I mean would they go forward with this Steve, if there wasn't something substantial that they are looking at or think they are looking at? I mean is it just about making sure that they are transparent and nothing comes up after the election? Or do you think there is there, there enough to move this forward?

STEVE HAYES, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I think it's probably both. Jonathan makes a very good point. But it's hard to imagine that James Comey would have injected himself back into the election in this manner if sort of the preliminary review of this material didn't turn up something substantive.

I talked to one national security person (ph) who said it would be reckless if he did inject himself in without some understanding that what he was doing had some import.

Look, I think there are a number of things we could learn from these new e- mails. You know, she could have sent more classified e-mails than we though. There could have been more sort of on the server than we knew. There could be more work-related e-mails than we understood even though Director Comey said there were several thousand that were not turned.

It seems to me potentially the biggest thing that could come of this is if there are e-mails indicating intent. You remember when James Comey gave his initial statement he said, I can't prove intent. And therefore, for that and other reasons, no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case.

If there are e-mails that indicate some intent to hide this or some knowledge of what they did in setting up this outside server in a way that sheds new light on what certainly looked to be corrupt practices, that could be kind of a game changer.

BAIER: All right. Just to recue for people following this -- the e-mail investigation. Here is Secretary Clinton when she first talked about this and interspersed with the FBI director as he came out about the investigation.


HILLARY CLINTON, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Nothing was marked classified at the time I sent or received it.

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: Our investigation found that there was classified information sent.

CLINTON: There was nothing marked classified on my e-mails, either sent or received.

COMEY: There was classified material e-mailed.

CLINTON: I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal e-mails instead of two.

COMEY: She used multiple devices during the four years of her term as secretary of state.

There is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive highly-classified information. In looking back at our investigations into the mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts.


BAIER: Most importantly though, Charlie -- this now takes the oxygen of this race, at least for a couple of days one would think.

HURT: Yes, absolutely. And I think that Steve is exactly right about this. We already know that she has a hard time telling the truth. We already know that she's reckless with her e-mails and classified information. The thing that is new that could be new here is -- this is not to be resolved by the Election Day -- is the question about criminal -- a criminal probe into somebody running for president. That's a pretty big thing.

BAIER: And won't be resolved by Election Day.

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