I’m firmly in the camp that says Hillary Clinton will skate on the espionage and corruption issues hanging over her head. That’s right, I said espionage. The very act of setting up this secret e-mail system puts that into the discussion simply because there are only a few reasons to be spiriting away classified data and all of them are against the law.
Allowing unauthorized people access to this server, which has been established, means she violated the Espionage Act. 18 U.S. Code & 793 subsection f reads:
“Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”
That’s the technical aspect, but there is the question no one is willing to ask and that is why she was removing classified data and storing it off-site? Why was she working with a civilian, Sydney Blumenthal, on national security matters? The most obvious answers is he was a street agent, arranging contributions to the Clinton slush fund in exchange for useful information culled from the American security services. Bubba would show up and give a speech so it looked like the money was for the speech.
That’s my hunch. Talk to people familiar with these types of investigations and they will say the same thing. A standard scheme in public corruption is to disguise kickbacks as something else. A pol may have a company hire a relative or friend in exchange for getting a contract. Maybe the company arranges for the pol to make a killing on a real estate deal or perhaps a futures contract.
This is all very serious and in a better age Clinton would be in leg irons waiting for the hangman. Of course, in a better age she never would have gained access to the position. The Clintons should never have made it out of Arkansas. In our current age, nothing will come of it other than a drag on her quest for the White House. Civilian justice is for chumps, not managerial class types. The beautiful people handle their issues internally.
I was talking with someone the other day that used to work at Justice in the Public Integrity Section. I think he was also with the FBI, based on some things he said, but I did not ask. He’s “retired” now, working for a government contractor, but I got the impression he worked a lot of these sorts of cases.
He said something interesting that I’ve been mulling over ever since. “The FBI has 150 agents working this case and they have expanded this to be a public corruption case. That means they found much more than just mishandling of classified information. At some point, she will have to suspend her campaign and the party will be forced to find someone else.”
While I remain skeptical about this, it’s not out of the question. Even if she avoids prosecution, the steady drip of bad news seems to be dragging her campaign down to the point where even a clown like Bernie Sanders can beat her. I feel pretty confident that the Democratic Party will not let Sanders win the nomination by default. They will find someone respectable to try to salvage some dignity. Bernie Sanders makes Jeremy Corbyn look like a sober realist so he cannot be allowed to win.
Thinking about it further, I can’t think of a plausible alternative. Joe Biden is the only guy who comes close to being respectable. Fake Indian is not giving up her safe Senate seat to run. There’s no one in the Senate that is famous enough to make it work, unless someone is willing to run just to help the party avoid embarrassment.
That leaves governors and there are a few who could be thrown to the wolves as they are nearing the end of their careers. Mark Dayton from Minnesota comes to mind. He hates Americans and has nothing else going on. Jerry Brown would be entertaining, but he’s basically Bernie Sanders with an interesting life. There are no good options so they may be stuck with some old fool like Brown.
All the attention has been on the Republicans due to Trump, but also for their buffoonery and corruption. Most of the chattering classes are snickering at how they have staggered around trying to find an alternative to Trump. The result is no one is paying much attention to the collapse of the other party. Look at their elected members and it is all geezers and wackos who are marginally less crazy than Bernie Sanders. Their one “fresh” face is Lizzy Warren and she’s a year away from a pension.
The way it is shaping up, the Democrats may not have a choice but to run with Hillary, even if she has to run her campaign from the penitentiary.