by Ari Lieberman
Email scandal continues to claim victims, placing Democrats on the defensive.
Hillary Clinton will be remembered for many things but being a gracious loser is not one of them. Ever the narcissist, Clinton blamed Russia, fake news, wikileaks, Comey, anyone but herself for her humiliating defeat. The bare truth is that Clinton was a supremely flawed candidate who was perceived as untrustworthy. Her flirtations with identity politics while hobnobbing with the bicoastal elite did nothing to enhance her image among blue collar union folk and the middle class.
But perhaps most damning for Clinton was her email scandal which dogged her campaign like a bad rash that wouldn’t go away. Clinton believed that her troubles were behind her when Comey announced in July 2016 that “no charges are appropriate in this case.” But her hopes were soon dashed when her emails once again popped up, this time on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. Clinton’s emails now had the stench of Anthony Weiner all over them. She was furious but there was nothing she could do. This was a problem of her own making.
The emails were transferred by Clinton aide and confidant, Huma Abedin to her husband’s laptop. They were inadvertently uncovered by FBI agents during their probe of Weiner for sending sexually explicit emails to a minor. The timing of the revelation could not have been worse for Clinton – just 11 days prior to the election.
If you thought that Clinton’s loss in the general elections put her email scandal to rest, you thought wrong. Clinton’s emails continue to ricochet like exploding shrapnel, tarnishing the Democratic Party and hampering its objectives.
The latest victims to succumb to the malignant email scandal are former attorney general, Loretta Lynch and current acting FBI director, Andrew McCabe. In open testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey stated that Lynch asked him to refer to the FBI’s criminal investigation as a “matter,” tracking the language employed by the Clinton campaign.
Behind closed doors, Comey told the committee that he confronted Lynch with a sensitive document further implicating Lynch in a scheme to derail the FBI probe. It appears that Lynch may have been colluding with Democratic Party insiders on ways to decisively dispose of the investigation on terms favorable to Clinton.
Adding to the cloud of suspicion that surrounds Lynch is the now infamous half-hour meeting she had with Bill Clinton on a Phoenix tarmac, just days before Hillary was scheduled to testify before the FBI. Lynch alleged that she merely discussed innocuous things like “grandchildren” and “golf.” Sure she did!
Calls for her to recuse herself from the investigation or alternatively, appoint a special counsel, were ignored. Apparently, special counsel appointments apply exclusively to Republicans.
Comey stated that Lynch’s unscrupulous conduct during the email investigation forced him to publicly disclose his findings in July to protect the investigation’s integrity. Of course Lynch was free to conduct her own investigation and pursue her own course of action but she nevertheless blindly chose to accept Comey’s recommendations.
In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last year, Lynch refused to directly address any question relating to how she arrived at her decision except to note, ad nauseam, that she discussed the matter with “her team.” Members of the Committee asker her repeatedly if she reviewed any emails or testimony and she continuously demurred and deflected.
Lynch’s disquieting evasiveness on such a simple matter likely means that she had no interest or desire to review the evidence. All that mattered was that Clinton was exonerated and she had secured a cushy spot for herself in the next administration.
But Lynch’s days of obfuscation are numbered. The Senate is now actively investigating her actions pertaining to the email probe. On June 23, the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Lynch directing her to disclose any communications she had with the Clinton campaign or DNC staffers in connection with the email investigation. Letters were also sent to other Democratic Party insiders named by Comey including Clinton staffer Amanda Renteria as well as Leonard Benardo and Gail Scovell of George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
According to Judge Andrew Napolitano, “Comey laid out a case for misconduct in office for Loretta Lynch.” The felony, if proven, could land her 5 to 10 years in prison.
Clinton’s email scandal has claimed other victims as well including acting FBI director Andrew McCabe. McCabe is now the FBI’s point man on various aspects of the Russia investigation including claims of collusion between Trump staffers and Russia. In a strange turn of events, McCabe has revealed himself to be a deeply problematic figure who is currently the subject of at least three separate investigations which include massive conflicts of interest and possible violations of the Hatch act.
One of those investigations centers on his deep involvement in the Clinton email probe. According to the Wall Street Journal, McCabe “was part of the executive leadership team overseeing the Clinton email investigation.” While McCabe was ostensibly investigating Clinton, his wife Jill was accepting $500,000 for her state senate campaign from long-time Clinton ally, Terry McAuliffe. McCabe failed to disclose this critical piece of information. Insiders believe that it is likely that McCabe will be relieved of his duties in the not too distant future.
The Clinton email scandal has proven itself to be the gift that keeps on giving. It has taken on a living, breathing dynamic of its own, leaving a trail of carnage wherever it goes and destroying the reputations and careers of anyone it touches. It’s safe to assume that Democrats are not too pleased with Clinton these days.
Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.
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