This morning Hillary Clinton sat for a three-and-a-half-hour grilling with FBI investigators over her use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has said she’ll accept (i.e., won’t overrule or sidestep) the FBI’s recommendations in this matter, which are expected to be announced sometime before the Democratic convention in Philadelphia (7.25 thru 7.28) or within two or three weeks.

The FBI is not going to recommend a criminal indictment, of course, as director James Comey realizes this would significantly increase the chances of Donald Trump winning the general election, and who would want that on their head? Right now Comey holds the keys to the kingdom, but he didn’t get to where he is today by being indifferent to political reality.

And yet too much time and effort have been invested in this matter for the FBI to just say “okay, there’s nothing here.” They’re at least going to admonish Clinton for acting in a smug or cavalier fashion about the law and slap her wrist in some fashion.

When this happens the voters who long ago bought into Trump’s “Crooked Hillary” narrative will have more coal in that engine, and those who never thought the matter was worth this much time and attention will shake their heads and say “she can’t help herself…one way or another she’s always taking shots over the appearance of ethical failings and/or poor strategic thinking.”

Posted on 8.19.15: “I was surprised to read this morning that MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, who’s always struck me as a relatively fair-minded guy, now believes that Hillary ‘appears more vulnerable than ever.’ The FBI’s involvement is key, he said. ‘This is no longer…she can’t just say this is a partisan witch-hunt by the House Republicans…the FBI is now investigating regarding the classified info situation.

“’The best explanation still questions her initial judgment of why did she do this in the first place, and really was the only motivation to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests,’ Todd said. ‘It feels as if that’s the only reason she did this. So look, I think this is a problem for her ongoing. I don’t know if it’s a way to stop her from getting the nomination.’

“I suspect that wanting to avoid Freedom of Information act requests was largely a gut call as opposed to a devious and calculating one. Hillary is the sort of person who sees predators and serpents lurking around every tree trunk and under every rock. Couple this attitude with a less-than-sophisticated understanding of email protocol and that’s what has led her into this gulch, this gulley, this vale of troubles.”

“Like many boomer and GenX women I’ve known, Clinton is just a technical klutz. That’s all it boils down to. Coupled with her natural tendency towards secrecy and paranoid thinking about the people who are out to get her, that’s probably the whole thing. If she was more knowledgable about email accounts and had to do it all over again, she’d almost certainly not repeat this mistake. But she made it and now she’s stuck in it.”