‘Quid pro quo’ claim sets up Trump pivot…if he takes it

Chris Stirewalt, 

WikiLeaks has been mostly a bust for Donald Trump. The Russian-backed hacker site has been flinging out lots of emails purportedly stolen from Hillary Clinton’s top political adviser, John Podesta, but it’s really been more embarrassing than scandalous.

But the FBI has delivered for Trump, bigly. 

In the most recently released documents from the agency’s investigation into Clinton’s mishandling of state secrets, an agent is seen complaining about an aide to Clinton offering him a ‘quid pro quo’ deal to change the classification level on an email on Clinton’s secret server. 

The agent reported that senior Clinton aide at the State Dept. Patrick Kennedy was offering to give the agency much-sought-after placements at embassies overseas if the FBI could see its way clear to change the classification on an email marker ‘SECRET.’

Clinton’s campaign and the State Department have denied any misconduct, saying essentially that the agent was conflating two things. 

Now, it’s not entirely surprising that Team Clinton would have wanted classifications changed. And in fact, emails are often and quite appropriately declassified. 

Donald-Trump-pledges-to-drain-the-swamp_small 'Quid pro quo' claim sets up Trump pivot...if he takes it Politics

But it’s hardly helpful for her to have this sordid allegation drop just ahead of Wednesday’s third and final presidential debate, which will be moderated by Fox News colleague Chris Wallace

Trump is attempting to pivot to the issue as he deploys a new slogan: ‘Drain the swamp.’

The release does seem to cut against Trump’s argument of FBI and Justice Department corruption. After all, if the agency were as crooked as Trump says, why would it allow information harmful to Clinton to be released? It’s only mostly corrupt? 

Anyway, the release affords Trump a chance to stop talking about past sexual misconduct – a firefight with Clinton that he decisively lost. 

Of course, Trump has had many, better opportunities to get back on message throughout his campaign. 

But if this helps him further delegitimize the government and deepen his argument that corruption is so endemic that it requires rough justice from Trump and his supporters then this could be a serious asset. 

Melania Trump wants husband to keep up sex-scandal attacks on Hillary 

“Melania Trump, wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, sat down with ‘Fox & Friends’ host Ainsley Earhardt…’ Those words, they were offensive to me and they were inappropriate,’ Melania Trump said.

‘And he apologized to me. And I expect – I accept his apology. And we are moving on.’ The real estate tycoon’s wife said if Trump’s opponents can use his words against him, it is only fair for the Trump campaign to raise the issue of Bill Clinton’s well-chronicled sexual indiscretions, and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s efforts to suppress them.”