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Political effect of FBI results on Clinton emails? My hunch is that it’ll be small

REUTERS/Carlos Barria
FBI Director James Comey

I’m pretty sure I have nothing brilliant or original to add on the Hillary Clinton private server/e-mail matter, but if anyone wants my take, here goes:

She shouldn’t have done it. It was a bad, wrong decision to use her personal account for official email traffic, some of it involving sensitive material. The various reasons/excuses she gave over time — that it was for personal convenience, that she didn’t want to have to carry an extra device — seem lame. We are left to wonder and worry about whether she had other reasons and what insights this provides into her character, judgment and fitness to be president. Politically, it was an unforced error.

It doesn’t strike me as the worst thing in the world. Luckily there is no clear evidence that any sensitive government information fell into dangerous anti-American hands as a result of her decision, although FBI chief James Comey went to lengths to specify that he could not rule out that this may have occurred. I fear the current level of polarization makes it hard for most Americans to seriously filter this matter and the latest information about it into a reasoned decision-making context.

Comey, in case you didn’t pick up on this, is a registered Republican. All of his previous high government appointments were under George W. Bush. He donated to both of President Obama’s opponents, John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. All of these are good things in a case like this and are helpful in deciding whether the investigation was, as Mr. Trump adorably put it in several tweets, rigged.

Trump believes that anything that doesn’t help him is rigged or biased. Comey has an excellent reputation for probity and it’s a credit to Obama to have appointed him, notwithstanding his Republican credentials. Whatever else you think of Comey’s report, it’s a good thing that they came from someone with his background and reputation.

Trump owes Comey an apology for the “rigged” tweets, an apology that will not be forthcoming. Trump has made never apologizing into some kind of test of strength. To me, it is the opposite.

Clinton has said it was a mistake, which strikes me as at least better than refusing to say so. At a certain point, she decided to stand on the statement that nothing that came into or out of her email account was marked classified at the time that it was received or sent. I had assumed that this statement would hold up. Why would you make it, and repeat it over and again, unless you knew it to be true? And if it was true, it struck me as, while not perfect – since it leaves open the possibility that secret information was flowing across an unsecured server because it was improperly marked – a pretty good start toward limiting the negative characterological aspects of the case.

Now Comey says it was not true. Some of the emails were classified as secret, a few of them at high levels of classifications. This is especially troubling because Clinton had built the opposite into her defense. I wonder if we will ever hear from her how she came to make the false assurance about classification.

As far as the political impact of this latest event on the race for president goes, my hunch is that it will be small. We are so polarized that few of us can even consider a development like this outside of pre-existing partisan lenses. Trump’s supporters will continue to believe that Clinton did something terribly wrong and that, if the system exonerates Clinton, the system is rigged. It’s a closed loop.

By the same token, although Comey was harshly critical of Clinton, it’s hard to picture the Clinton supporter who is going to vote for Trump over this matter. I fear that we are beyond the point (if there ever was a point) where facts are very relevant to the outcome.

Perhaps, ’twas ever thus. But in the age of Trump, ’tis even more so.

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Comments (43)

  1. Submitted by Roy Everson on 07/06/2016 - 11:06 am.

    Elect her so we can impeach her

    The Clinton haters’ expectations were raised to accept nothing less than the hangin’ judge for Hillary. She’s been charged, tried and convicted already, just waiting for the law to catch up. Failing that they should be demanding the firing of the FBI chief. Or high-level impeachment hearings, or something. They forgot to find a credible candidate to oppose her, all the more important to re-elect Ryan’s majority so that we’ll have Hillary’s impeachment in store for next summer’s entertainment.

  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 07/06/2016 - 11:28 am.

    I agree with your basic point.

    To provide specifics, Comey was a Deputy Attorney General in the Bush administration; as you point out he has an obvious political bias.
    His job as head of the Federal Bureau of INVESTIGATION is to ascertain whether a crime has been committed. He found that it had not. His job ended there.
    It is NOT his responsibility to criticize how well a member of the Administration is doing her job; that is the purview of her immediate supervisor; the President.
    Obviously as a private citizen Comey has a Constitutional right to criticize the performance of any member of the Administration (including the President).
    However, when he does so as the FBI director he is exceeding his job mandate. One might even argue that his actions are grounds for being dismissed as FBI director.

    • Submitted by Mark Kulda on 07/06/2016 - 03:20 pm.

      The FBI’s role

      I think you are mistaken in what the FBI should be ascertaining. The FBI does not prosecute crimes. That’s up to the U.S. Attorney’s office. The FBI ascertains whether there is sufficient evidence to suggest a charge be filed. Not that a crime has been committed. Only a jury can decide whether a crime has been committed. What is clear is that the FBI says that they’ve found several instances in this case where what Clinton has said was simply not true. And that they weren’t accidental lies but deliberate mistruths.

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 07/06/2016 - 03:45 pm.

        I don’t think that we are in disagreement

        I didn’t say that the FBI should prosecute — I said that it should find out whether there was evidence of a crime sufficient to support a prosecution (by an attorney general). In this case the Director of the FBI determined that there was not evidence of criminal activity sufficient to support a prosecution. And that’s the truth.

      • Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 07/06/2016 - 09:05 pm.

        Actually, it’s the Grand Jury

        which decides which crimes are to be prosecuted or whether even a crime has been committed. That’s in Amendment V to the Constitution. Granted, the joke is usually that a prosecutor can get a Grand Jury to indict a ham sandwich. But the operating theory and function of the Grand Jury is to serve as an independent agency of the courts that determine whether there’s probable cause a crime has been committed and at the same time serve as a shield against malicious, groundless and arbitrary prosecutions. If Comey or the FBI thought a crime had been committed, whether it be lying to an FBI agent, obstructing justice or leaking classified information, they should and could have submitted their evidence to a Grand Jury. That this was not submitted presumably means that they did not even think there was enough evidence to establish probable cause or to make it worth the trouble of presenting it to a Grand Jury.

  3. Submitted by Brian Simon on 07/06/2016 - 11:43 am.

    Tone deaf

    It’s a reminder of Sec Clinton’s tone deafness. But tone deafness is not akin to illegality. I’ve seen some criticisms that not prosecuting her for failure to adequately protect sensitive info amounts to different rules, because the gov’t has been particularly focused on leaks in recent years. But Sec Clinton has not leaked classified info, unlike Gen Petraeus, for instance.

    In the end it was a stupid decision, on her part, that will at this point do little to change minds. Certainly for my part, it reinforces my skeptical opinion of her while doing nothing to convince me Trump is a viable alternative.

  4. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 07/06/2016 - 12:04 pm.

    We hate ambiguity

    “No criminal wrongdoing” is not the same thing as “innocent,” nor is it the same thing as “treason!” For what it’s worth, I think Eric’s judgment is likely pretty close to the truth. Given current levels of polarization on both sides, a Trump voter is merely going to have his prejudices confirmed by the FBI’s decision, and a Clinton voter will similarly have her prejudices confirmed. “See? The system is rigged!” vs. “Move along folks, nothing to see here.” As someone on Slate has already said, if the presumed GOP candidate were someone else, the email affair might well have wrecked the Clinton campaign. As it is, the level of bad judgment/corruption displayed by Mrs. Clinton is pretty minor league compared to the presumptive Republican candidate. What a remarkable – sad, but remarkable, nonetheless – sentence that previous one was to write. Comparing the levels of bad judgment and/or corruption of the two major-party candidates is something it never occurred to me I’d find myself doing in a presidential election year.

    Times have changed, eh?

  5. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 07/06/2016 - 12:36 pm.

    A Clinton Presidency will give us a thoroughly opaque

    …government. She is UNABLE to be truthful. Does anyone think she is suddenly going to transform into a forthright person, once elected?

    She has long and successfully skated right on the very edge of criminality. It’s working for her and Bill, for whom the ordinary rules are shelved. Why would they change now?

    Aside from Mr. Black’s minimizing comments, I expect it WILL affect some voters. But those same voters have been given such an obnoxious choice by the two party system, it appears the duopoly (and the oligarchy) has got us right where they want us.

  6. Submitted by Bunnie Watson on 07/06/2016 - 12:36 pm.

    Hillary 4, Publicans 0

    I think it is telling that legal commentators on yesterday’s news are dissing Comey for taking his criticism of the Clinton State Department to such a public forum. It is highly unusual for an FBI director to hold a press conference about an investigation that had no grounds for criminal prosecution. Why did he choose to stand up in front of a ravenous press corps to announce the FBI findings? Perhaps he should have just submitted a report to his bosses at the DOJ and gone on to his next to-do item. But of course not! This is Hillary Clinton after all, mastermind of Whitewater, Vince Foster’s suicide, and Benghazi – and all those other investigations, including ones involving only Unbuckled Bill.

    Sorry, but this was always a non-issue, just like the dual e-mail accounts of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice in the past. Most of us who are not foaming over the lost opportunity to “Get Hillary” agree with Bernie: “The American people are sick and tired about hearing about your damn emails.”

  7. Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 07/06/2016 - 12:54 pm.


    We don’t know that, as you say, “Trump believes that anything that doesn’t help him is rigged or biased”.

    What we know is that anything that doesn’t help him he claims is rigged or biased. I don’t believe there’s a strong correlation between his beliefs and his words.

  8. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 07/06/2016 - 03:35 pm.

    Why did he choose to stand up in front of a ravenous press corps to announce the FBI findings?

    I think is a significant and important question that we are more frequently asking of law enforcement officials. In Minnesota, the Jamar Clark case is brought to mind where, for better or worse, the Hennepin County Attorney gave a pretty extensive explanation of his decision not to prosecute. Did he need to do that? Did his decision to do that serve the public interest? Am I correct in thinking that many of the reasons that motivated his action were also applicable to the email situation?

    I come down on the side of transparency and disclosure. In matters of strong public interest, I think we need and are owed an explanation.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 07/06/2016 - 05:39 pm.


      I am thinking that Lynch pretty much handed the ball to him when she decided to go hang out with Bill right before the decision was to be announced. Maybe there was a method to her collusion visit…

      It sure passed the hot potato to the FBI.

      • Submitted by Hiram Foster on 07/07/2016 - 06:47 am.


        The Clinton campaign’s decision to communicate with Lynch directly, certainly had the effect of shifting the burden within the chain of command. Like a lot of things the Clintons do, that little maneuver seems inexplicable to non Rhodes Scholars who did not attend Yale.

        Hillary got what she desperately needed and wanted, a statement from the FBI which effectively ruled out prosecution. It would be expecting too much that without the exaction of a fairly heavy Karmic price.

      • Submitted by Joseph Skar on 07/07/2016 - 09:43 am.

        President Obama

        I struggle more with the quote from President Obama regarding classified material given his position. Saying, “there’s classified, and there’s classified”, contradicts “tone at the top” and “culture of compliance”. I could be mistaken but AG Lynch is effectively a peer of Director Comey so influence would seem to be mitigated somewhat by structure. The bigger influence in my opinion is when you have your superior directly downplaying the events in question and campaigning with the person you’re investigating. Obviously Director Comey needs to conduct the investigation with independence from his superior, but to think the actions of a sitting President doesn’t carry significant weight seems foolish.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 07/07/2016 - 01:13 pm.

          Because many agencies

          automatically stamp many things ‘classified’ when there is no real justification for it.

          • Submitted by Jim Million on 07/07/2016 - 06:20 pm.

            Says who?

            Cabinet members and their aids are supposed to recognize items as classified information even if not stamped. They should also know when other items are inappropriately stamped.

  9. Submitted by Gary Doan on 07/06/2016 - 04:19 pm.

    Hillary has a serious problem with honesty

    A year from now the average American will be able to recall verbatim at least a half dozen Clinton Lies. The media will be attacking Trump forever, but Americans will always remember that Hillary is a liar and dishonest. It is her legacy.

    “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” Thomas Jefferson

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/06/2016 - 05:11 pm.

      The Trump Legacy

      Trump will be remembered as a new low for presidential candidates. His easy outrages, his brutish demeanor, and his embrace of extremism and racism are going to outweigh any memory of Clinton lies.

      Trump has been compared–a bit too easily, for my taste–to Hitler. I think a better comparison is with Idi Amin. Trump is a thin-skinned narcissist who has no consistent views. He does not act, he reacts. While it may seem clownish to the casual observer, the consequences of his outbursts and lunatic obsessions are not so funny.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 07/06/2016 - 05:33 pm.


        Well I am happy you went after Trump rather than disagree with Gary’s view regarding Clinton.

        The unfortunate reality is that in the Fall we will be asked to choose between two people who manipulate, mislead and lie when they think it serves their personal best interests.

        It is a sad state of affairs that the primary process left us with candidates who have for decades shown such poor moral character.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 07/06/2016 - 08:03 pm.

          The difference is

          that one of them is competent and has spent her life working for the public (even if she herself may also have benefited).
          By and large, crooked mayors (such as Daly in Chicago) have done a better job running major cities than honest men with good intentions (think Lindsay in New York).

          • Submitted by Hiram Foster on 07/07/2016 - 06:49 am.


            As a Democrat, I want to make the competence and experience argument. But the email thing undermines that argument, it depresses what should be a Clinton advantage, while reinforcing the most prominent negative Clinton narrative, her lack of honesty and trustworthiness.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/07/2016 - 01:45 pm.

          If You’re Happy, I’m Happy

          As I read his comment, it was that Trump will always be picked on by the media (I’m guessing that would be a bad thing), but despite efforts to the contrary, we will all always know that the Clintons are evil personified. Perhaps I’m oversimplifying a tad, but that seems to be the gist of it.

          This is a prime example of irrational Clinton hatred. Republicans have always hated the Clintons. They hated the fact that Bill Clinton was elected, that he defeated a Republican President (even one they didn’t much like), and they hated that his election was about the economy. His entire presidency was defined by the buckets of ordure Republicans flung at him, but not only was he not removed from office, when he did leave office, his favorability rating was higher than that of any President since Truman (even higher than the sainted Ronald Reagan’s! How dare he?).

          Now, his wife is the presumptive nominee for the presidency. Her Republican opponent is Donald Trump, and it is the Republicans’ own fault. He is likely to lose, and may cost the Republicans control of the Senate. Again, it’s because the Republican Party created the atmosphere that allowed the rise of Donald Trump, and there’s nothing they can do about it now.

          No wonder they’re steamed.

  10. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 07/06/2016 - 05:57 pm.

    Voters have poor choices

    It is a very sad commentary on American politics when we have a population of 300,000,000 plus people and we end up with Trump, an unmitigated consummate liar, and Hillary who is part of the “careless” Clinton clan. It leaves the voter with two marginal candidates to choose from. You can’t convince me our political system isn’t corrupt and that it isn’t broken. During my career if an employee even left “confidential” material, lowest level classification, unattended at their desk it was reason to be fired. Here is Hillary mishandling Top Secret material, highest level classification, and no charges will be involved. I suspect Bill’s meeting with Attorney General Lynch, on her plane, was because the Clinton’s knew or expected the FBI investigation would culminate at it did. Out of 300,000,000 plus people there is no reason that the voters of America have the poor choices that they do for the Office of the President of America.

  11. Submitted by David Willard on 07/06/2016 - 06:38 pm.

    This was

    Predictable. The Clintons have been above the law from day one and since the progressives have been so berift of quality, moral, honest candidates, they’ve had to hang their collectivist hats on questionable characters. Since they sold their soul to abortion on demand, God is dead and Saul Alinsky, it’s obvious their hold on the poor and the minorities they continue to oppress is tenuous. Their control of education and media will begin to feed on itself and the good will win out. We always win guys!

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 07/07/2016 - 05:56 am.

      Surely Your Are Not

      Saying that “the good” is the same people that are working feverishly to deny ballot access to citizens through any contrivance they can come up with, continue to advocate the lowering of taxes on our most fortunate citizens despite a total lack of evidence that it trickles down to the rest of us, engage in illegal, ineffective and immoral torture of our enemies, and start wars of choice through lies to the world about WMD? Talk about selling one’s soul!

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 07/07/2016 - 09:35 am.

      ….above the law….

      Saying it doesn’t make it so.

      Wanting it to be true doesn’t make it so.

      The fact is that the 10’s of thousands of hours of investigations and failed prosecutions aimed specifically at catching the Clintons and Obama with their hand in the cookie jar should lead you to the conclusion they indeed did not have their hand in the cookie jar.

      But no, despite all of that–more specious investigations and prosecutions are demanded. Because you believe your thought leaders and not the outcome of legal processes (even though many of those legal processes have been politically driven by their political enemies).

      Perhaps you want mob rule–instant convictions and punishment without the bother of investigation and trial? Is that really the country you want to live in ?

  12. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 07/07/2016 - 08:17 am.

    The blatant exaggeration and distortion that form the core of Republican attacks against Clinton 1, Obama and Clinton 2 did not and do not meet legal standards for prosecution, let alone conviction. That’s it–period. The rule of law worked–people who wanted it different are outraged.

    Is it any wonder that a self-serving bloviator like Trum winds up as the Republican candidate. He attacks the “Mexican judge”, impugns the motives of Comey, etc, etc. He’ll say anything, do anything–including ripping down Constitutional structures–to gain his ends.

    Facts don’t matter–it’s all about the volume of outrage.

    The next time Republicans are outraged about Black Lives Matter outrage, they should look in the mirror–it’s not a pretty picture.

    • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 07/07/2016 - 09:59 am.

      Your last sentence says it all

      Both sides just want to be “outraged”. They want all the world’s problems to be the fault of the Other Guys. Whether it’s Dem vs GOP, Conservatives vs Liberals, BLM vs Law Enforcement, no one wants to look in the mirror. Every national election is decided by a razor-thin margin either way, yet every winner claims a “mandate”. Given how evenly divided this nation is, the only rational solution is compromise.

  13. Submitted by Logan Foreman on 07/07/2016 - 11:37 am.

    Prove that the emails caused

    Any harm to the country or its arm forces. Then apply the same standard to the absolute lies and fraud and deaths of military soldiers in the Iraq fiasco.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 07/07/2016 - 12:39 pm.

      No need to wonder


      Seven of the eight email chains dealt with CIA drone strikes, which are classified top secret/special access program—unlike Defense Department drone strikes, which are unclassified. The difference is that CIA drones hit targets in countries, like Pakistan and Yemen, where we are not officially at war; they are part of covert operations. (Defense Department drone strikes are in places where we are officially at war.) But these operations are covert mainly to provide cover for the Pakistani and Yemeni governments, so they don’t have to admit they’re cooperating with America. Everyone in the world knows about these strikes; nongovernment organizations, such as New America, tabulate them; newspapers around the world—including the New York Times, where some of the same reporters are now writing so breathlessly about Clinton’s careless handling of classified information—cover these strikes routinely.

      The other top secret email chain described a conversation with the president of Malawi. Conversations with foreign leaders are inherently classified.

      In other words, even if Russian, Chinese, Iranian, or Syrian spies had hacked into Clinton’s email servers, and if they’d pored through 60,000 emails and come across these eight chains that held top secret material, they would not have learned anything the slightest bit new or worthy of their efforts. The FBI’s discoveries should be viewed in that context.

      (end quote)

  14. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 07/07/2016 - 12:32 pm.

    Political crime

    We live a period in our history where, because of various Supreme Court rulings, and maybe some legislative over reach, the notion of criminal law in politics is in crisis.

    To begin with, the Supreme Court has come very close to defining money and it’s expenditure as a form of free speech protected by the first amendment. What that is coming to mean in practical terms is that bribery of public officials is being defined out of existence as a matter for the criminal law. Payments to politicians are no longer bribes in a criminal sense, they are merely another form of political speech protected by the first amendment, because money, in our current jurisprudence, is the equivalent of speech.

    So what does this mean? in our system of balances and checks, how does this change in the balance between money and speech affect the checks? One thing we need to understand to begin with is that changes in the legal balance, doesn’t affect the moral considerations involved. Crime or not allowing our politicians to dip their hands in the river of Rolexes flowing their way is just as morally reprehensible as it ever was. One thing I think this means is that our law enforcement agencies, deprived of their ability to prosecute pretty awful behavior, are going to assume a larger role as moral scolds. More and more, they are going to see it as their job to explain to the American people that certain behaviors, while not criminal, are really, really bad, and deserving of general moral censure. Maybe that’s a little of what we got from Comey’s press conference the other day.

  15. Submitted by Jim Million on 07/07/2016 - 06:13 pm.

    I heartily agree…

    “Moral Scolds” replacing Statutory Prosecutors. Like many following this latest HRC saga, I came to respect Director Comey–still do. Having been a pretty good student and practitioner of the English language, I immediately noticed his statute word parsing, “careless” as opposed to “negligent.”

    He has begun the process you describe so well. Since yesterday I’ve been mulling over the subtle continuum of “careless — reckless — negligent,” terms already in law. We all should find our best dictionary and check the nuances of these hyphens. Did he intend to make this matter of 3rd degree offense rather than 2nd or 3rd degree? I suppose statutory meaning would be helpful here, as well.

    When I first heard that HRC was to be formally questioned on Saturday of the July 4th three-day weekend, when everyone leaves town and the government essentially shuts down, my antenna extended another notch. Perhaps Director Comey simply wanted to minimize leaks at a time political reporters were away roasting hot dogs. Yesterday Comey made it clear to many of us he is not quite comfortable with definition constraints of statute, leaving the denouement of this saga uncertain.

    So, I’ve decided to let go of any residual questions. It’s 2016, the year of Clintons and Trump and fractured Republicans and disillusioned Sanders supporters. I almost really don’t care anymore, and that makes me a bit angry, because I usually do care about much. I’d hate to be a partisan now, thankful for the intuition that made me an Independent years ago.

  16. Submitted by Dave Seavy on 07/07/2016 - 06:58 pm.

    Comey’s Decision

    I’ve watched and read many interviews of James Comey, and each time, I’ve come away with a sense that he has the utmost belief in our justice system, and wants to make certain the FBI is operating within the law. I believe he’s a man of impeccable character.

    He doesn’t say Hillary Clinton is innocent. He says he can’t meet the standards for recommending a prosecution, because he doesn’t believe the case rises above proof beyond reasonable doubt. I am in no way a Hillary supporter, but if Comey says there’s not a case for prosecution, I take him at his word.

    It is true that he obviously must watch his political back, but we must remember – he wasn’t seeking the job when it was offered to him. He wasn’t trying to climb the political ladder, and all he really must worry about is whether the next president will relieve him of his duties. Again, duties he wasn’t seeking in the first place.

    This is why we have investigators, prosecutors, and courts. It’s a system designed to try to prevent innocent people being wrongly convicted, while hold those who break our laws accountable. He was asked to investigate; he investigated; and now he’s delivered his opinion. He says clearly that Ms. Clinton used no common sense, but that he doesn’t believe she broke the law. Better this than an renegade FBI director that ignores our standards and ends up accusing innocent people of wrongdoing. He did his job, and for this, I commend him and his staff.

    • Submitted by Jim Million on 07/08/2016 - 01:09 pm.

      Here Here!

      The cleanest and clearest comment on the page. Without Director Comey’s vocal footnotes, too many of us would be left with suspicions of integrity regarding one branch in which we must retain faith; otherwise, our nation is forever lost to corruption of seminal principles, corruption we cannot bear.

  17. Submitted by DENNIS SCHMINKE on 07/07/2016 - 10:30 pm.


    Here it is in a nutshell:

    1) Rules are for other people
    2) Politics is for personal enrichment–and for my friends, too, if they help me
    3) Many people justify (1) and (2) because they think that (a) it helps us win, or (b) we somehow gain from this personally (the government is my friend and will help me).

    Hillary cares about (1) and (2).

    Anyone–including people who fall into (#3) are taking some very bad advice. If you think the government is going to take your sad life and make it better–or happy–you are going to wait a LONG TIME, and go to your grave disappointed.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 07/08/2016 - 08:09 am.

      You, of course are entitled to your opinion.

      But, the FACT is that after 10’s (or maybe even 100’s) of thousands of hours of investigation targeted specifically at “catching” her in illegality/personal enrichment there is nothing worthy of prosecution.

      Most people would have little hope of passing that level of scrutiny.

  18. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/10/2016 - 11:04 am.

    “Small” is all it will take

    Hillary Clinton is an awful candidate that the democrats are simply determined to run. Instead of choosing the most popular and trusted candidate in the field by choosing Clinton we have a guarantee that this will be a competition between the two most distrusted and disliked candidates. This is why instead of running double digits ahead of the outright train wreck that is Trump, she’s only 4 points ahead in polls. Any decent candidate would be super double digits ahead and gaining more distance every day.

    There’s nothing Clinton can do make herself more trustworthy, it’s just not who she is. The fact is that the e-mail controversy strikes at multiple flaws, it’s not just about e-mail. As a candidate and a leader she has completely bungled the handling of this issue, apparently thinking it would just go away. For a candidate who’s still being dogged by Arkansas land deals in the 1980s to assume that ANY controversy would just go away is frankly stupid. For a candidate who’s been dogged by political controversy her whole adult life to set up a private server in the first place was not smart. Clinton controversies do not just “go away”, bad decision.She should have been super duper extra extra careful regarding her handling of tippy top secret information but instead she was more concerned about her privacy, bad decision. Then she lied and refused to cooperate with the State Department investigation, another dad decision.

    O.K. did she actually lie? Unless she’s claiming that she didn’t notice the documents labeled “Top Secret” were labeled “Top Secret” when she sent them through her private server, she lied when said she never sent “sensitive” e-mails through her private server. She never said she didn’t “remember” ever having done so, she flat out declared she’d never done so, in fact she routinely used her private servers. She never said: ‘Well I don’t remember sending sensitive stuff through my private servers but I might have because no one told me that could be a problem and I hear Condi Rice did the same thing.” No. She sent tens of thousands of State department e-mails through her private servers and when asked of some of them were classified she said: “No”. Why would she say: “No”? Did she think if she said: “No” republicans and everyone else would just drop it? The most likely scenario is that she sent what sent and just didn’t think it was a problem at the time, and then tried to “manage” perceptions when it later became an issue. Look, her behavior simply doesn’t cry out: “Integrity!” Bad Bad Bad decisions all. And then there’s the fact that she actually mishandled top secret information, that’s not an insignificant fact.

    The truth is we don’t actually know how big a problem the mishandling of classified information is or was because we don’t and may never know if anyone hacked into her private servers. So is it a “big” deal? It doesn’t have to be a “big” deal, it just has to confirm the distrust 50% of the population already feels towards Clinton and tip a couple more off the fence.

    Yeah, republicans did this stuff before Clinton but you gotta remember people like me think Condi Rice, Kissinger, Rove, etc. etc. are war criminals and wanted them to be impeached, charged, and at least fired at the time. The Bush presidency was the most incompetent and malfeasant regime in American history. So now you’re telling me that someone who’s just little less incompetent deserves a promotion? You actually want me to vote for someone who did the same crap people I want to impeach and imprison did… only a little so? Good luck with that.

  19. Submitted by Jim Million on 07/13/2016 - 05:15 pm.

    Not Sworn??

    Is it true that HRC was not sworn under oath by Director Comey? If so, doesn’t that go to less credibility in this process for all concerned? Perhaps someone can offer a professional opinion on this. Perhaps untruthful answers to the FBI incur their own particular penalty; however, I’d certainly like to see pain of perjury apply here as well.

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