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Image: Email from computer
How hard is it to check hundreds of thousands of emails? Not that hard. (© Gajus via Fotolia)

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and his supporters are questioning whether the FBI could have sifted through 650,000 emails quickly enough to clear his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, just nine days after they were discovered.

But the FBI and cybersecurity experts say it can be done with database scanning software – and one of those experts is none other than Edward Snowden, the fugitive whistleblower who’s hoping to get a presidential pardon.

The debate unfolded today in the wake of FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that a search through a laptop used by Clinton aide Huma Abedin turned up nothing to change “our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.”

In other words, the FBI investigation into Clinton’s emails remains closed, with no charges sought.

The news was met with relief from the Clinton campaign, and disbelief from Trump’s advisers – including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and retired Army Gen. Michael Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency:

Trump himself voiced skepticism during a campaign stop in Michigan.

“Right now, she is being protected by a rigged system. It’s a totally rigged system,” he said. “I’ve been saying it for a long time. You can’t review 650,000 new emails in eight days. You can’t do it, folks.”

However, The New York Times quoted an unnamed law enforcement official as saying that the FBI was able to finish scanning the emails over the weekend. Many of the emails were personal messages or duplicates of messages that had been examined previously, the Times quoted the source as saying.

How easy would it be to cull out the duplicate emails? Outspoken journalist Jeff Jarvis posed that question to Snowden in a tweet, and got a quick response:

Other Twitterers were equally as eager to set Trump and his supporters straight on the matter. Here’s a sampling:

Does this bring the campaign’s cyber-shenanigans to a close? Almost certainly not. Today Snowden called attention to yet another thing to worry about on Election Day:

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