The Friday document drop, a staple of former President Bill Clinton's scandal-plagued administration, is back just in time for his wife's potential presidency.
The FBI's pre-Labor Day release of embarrassing details from its investigation of Hillary Rodham Clinton's State Department emails and her once secret email server also is just the latest sign that the Obama administration is working to protect her from drowning in media criticism.
"It seems pretty clear that the Obama political appointees at the FBI are doing everything they can to bury the news on these Clinton emails in order to help her win in November. This was a direct middle finger given to the news media when a savvier move would have been to dump it all yesterday," said Republican strategist Ron Bonjean of Rokk Solutions.
The timing of the release was straight out of the Bill Clinton White House, when his team of scandal lawyers in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House would release details about various Clinton scandals such as Whitewater, Travelgate, and nearly a dozen more.
The goal was to push the troubling findings in those documents into the weekend — especially long holiday weekends — when the public wasn't paying much attention.
But in the current 24/7 news environment, there appears to be no rest and people have caught on to the trick.
In fact, on the website Law Newz By Dan Abrams, columnist Rachel Stockman drew attention to the document drop and called it "total B.S." She also noted that it's happened before.
Despite the overall inconvenience/bitterness from us journalists, today's document dump ensures that pretty much no one from the public will focus their attention on what the FBI found–including revelations about how Clinton apparently doesn't remembering going through training regarding the handling of classified information or — how she didn't know that "C" meant classified. By Tuesday, all of that will be old news.
This isn't the first time that the FBI's timing as it relates to the Clinton investigation has drawn scrutiny. You might recall reporters scrambling as Clinton went to FBI headquarters July 4th weekend for her interview. Many pundits were not too pleased that they allowed her such a convenience.
And then just as everybody was getting over their holiday weekend hangovers, on July 5th, FBI Director James Comey notified the public that he would not be recommending charges against Clinton for her use of a private email server.
Those timing decisions were all certainly questionable, but defensible on the FBI's part. But from an optics perspective, what the FBI did today was just total B.S.
Another Friday, before Holiday, document dump. Any person reading must CONCLUDE "unfit for office." #HillarysHealth pic.twitter.com/5QQqpoVsTM— Boston Bobblehead (@DBloom451) September 2, 2016
Twitter was also on fire with complaints and criticisms of the Friday Labor Day drop, showing that it will be watched nonetheless.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org