The teen at the center of Anthony Weiner's most recent sexting scandal — which has launched not just a federal investigation into him, but attracted further FBI attention to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's emails — has some harsh words for FBI Director James Comey. In an open letter published by BuzzFeed Wednesday, she admonished Comey for using her, in her words, as "political propaganda."
"It's time that the FBI director puts his victims' rights above political views," she wrote in the open letter.
The 16-year-old berated Comey for his surprise letter to Congress from Friday, in which Comey announced that the bureau was revisiting the previously closed subject of Clinton's private email server. In unspecific terms, he explained that, in the course of a separate investigation, the FBI had come across emails that could be "pertinent" to the Clinton case.
That separate investigation, it turned out, came in answer to the months-long texting relationship Weiner allegedly conducted with a teen. On Weiner's laptop, investigators found tens of thousands of emails to and from Huma Abedin, Weiner's estranged wife and Clinton's top aide. So far, the only connection that's been established between these emails and Clinton's server is Abedin's status as a crucial part of the candidate's campaign — leading many, including Clinton herself, to criticize Comey for blindsiding the nation and possibly influencing the outcome of the election.
The 16-year-old is criticizing Comey for dragging "this whole matter back into the media spotlight" and for providing scant details upon doing so. He piqued reporters' interest, she said, prompting them to dig. Thanks to Comey's vagaries and Weiner's big mouth, the teen wrote, media outlets have uncovered her identity and are now hounding her.
"I can only assume that you saw an opportunity for political propaganda," she wrote, continuing:
I thought your job as FBI director was to protect me. I thought if I cooperated with your investigation, my identity as a minor would be kept secret. That is no longer the case. My family and I are barraged by reporters' phone calls and emails. I have been even been blamed in a newspaper for causing Donald Trump to now be leading in some polls and costing Hillary the election.
In a separate interview with BuzzFeed, the teen said that the FBI had asked her to stay away from the media — but Comey's blindsiding letter "upset" her, so she decided to write one of her own. Her father added that members of the FBI did not seem to know Comey's letter was coming, and that his daughter only found out about the "October surprise" when the media contacted the family after conducting a lengthy FBI interview on Friday.
The teen originally told her story to the Daily Mail in September, sharing myriad screenshots of incriminating conversations conducted on social media. She did so out of concern for other girls whom Weiner might have targeted.
"I may have been Weiner's victim, but the real story here is that I am a survivor," she wrote in her letter. "I am strong, intelligent and certain that I will come out from under this nightmare, but it will not be as a result of your doing your job to protect me. I hope that by making my letter to you public, you will think about how your actions affect the victims of the crimes you are investigating."