Trend Watch

New Emails Possibly 'Pertinent' to Clinton Investigation

The FBI notes that newly discovered emails that might be pertinent to the Clinton email investigation.

On Friday, Americans got another October surprise: FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee noting that, due to an unrelated investigation, "the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation" of how Hillary Clinton handled emails during her tenure as Secretary of State.

News outlets were quick to note that, as of this writing, nothing is known regarding the content of those new emails, and there is no evidence that Clinton, her campaign, or the State Department had knowingly withheld the emails from the FBI. Nonetheless, the news came as a surprise to the Clinton campaign and to many—some of whom came to the dictionary to find what, exactly, pertinent might mean.

Pertinent itself is first attested to in written English in the 14th century. It refers to having decisive relevance to a matter, and it is, through its French root, related to the English word pertain.

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