The Why’s of the Clinton Email Scandal

Right From the Start

Right From the Start

The Why’s of the Clinton Email Scandal

The Office of the Inspector General for the State Department released its report on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s (D) use of a private email account and server for official State Department business. The results were not good for Ms. Clinton. In essence it confirmed everything that we already expected – Ms. Clinton lied about every aspect of the inception and use of the private email account and server. Peggy Noonan put it best in a column in last week’s Wall Street Journal:

“Which brings us to the State Department Office of Inspector General’s report involving Hillary Clinton’s emails. It reveals one big thing: Almost everything she has said publicly about her private server was a lie. She lied brazenly, coolly, as one who is practiced in lying would, as one who always gets away with it could.

“No, she was not given legal approval to conduct her business on the server. She was not given the impression it was fine. She did not comply with rules on storage and archiving. Her own office told U.S. diplomats personal email accounts could be compromised and they must avoid using them for official business. She was informed of a dramatic increase in hacking attempts on personal accounts. Professionals who raised concerns about her private server were told not to speak of it again.”

But the Inspector General’s report and the pundits and politicians continue to be distracted by the underlying questions. So engrossed with the “how” and the “when” they have lost track of the “why.” If we continue on that minutia Ms. Clinton will once again slip away – blaming a “vast right wing conspiracy,” a confusion on the classification of emails, an uncertainty on the application of the rules of the State Department, and the age old favorite – other public officials have done it before.

So let’s turn our focus back to the “why.” Before anything else, Ms. Clinton is a money-grubber. She spent years in politics rubbing elbows with the rich and the privileged and recognized that she actually had nothing that wasn’t provided by the offices held first by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and subsequently by herself. Her history before entering politics herself was steeped almost exclusively in using the positions of her husband to enrich themselves.

It starts with the fact that she was fired from her first job with the Watergate Committee for lying and withholding information. She failed the bar exam in Washington DC and moved to Arkansas to live with Mr. Clinton. It was not until Mr. Clinton was elected Attorney General of Arkansas that Ms. Clinton was hired by Arkansas most prominent and politically connected law firm – the Rose Law Firm. It was not until Mr. Clinton was elected as governor, that Ms. Clinton was made a partner in the firm. Thereafter it became standard practice in Arkansas to engage the Rose Law Firm through Ms. Clinton in order to secure a positive outcome when dealing with state government. There is no record of any significant accomplishments by Ms. Clinton as an attorney with the Rose Law Firm despite which she became managing partner midway through Mr. Clinton’s terms as governor.

And along the way there was the land development deal known as Whitewater involving the Clintons, James McDougal and a small savings and loan bank owned by McDougal – Madison savings – which in the end contributes to a nearly $60 Million bailout by the federal government. And then there is $1000 cattle futures trade by Ms. Clinton which turned into $100,000 virtually overnight despite the fact that Ms. Clinton knew nothing about the cattle market, the futures market, or how either worked. Ms. Clinton’s trades were facilitated by an executive with Tyson Foods and included questionable practices by the actual broker.

But it was when President Barack Obama was elected president and appointed Ms. Clinton as Secretary of State that the tap for personal riches opened wide. All sorts of large businesses seeking to engage in foreign trade, foreign governments seeking largesse from the United States government, and foreign businesses seeking access to American markets require State Department contacts, information and approvals. Not surprisingly many of those businesses and governments began to engage Mr. Clinton as a speaker, began to make substantial contributions to the Clinton foundation (which is principally a repository for Clinton political aides to assist Ms. Clinton in her nearly decade long quest to become President herself) and after Ms. Clinton left office began to engage her personally in the same fashion.

During the time Ms. Clinton was Secretary of State, Mr. Clinton was paid nearly $50 Million in speaking fees – the majority of it from outside the country. The Clintons went from “dead broke” to a net worth in excess of $110 Million all without creating a product, an idea or a service. What is it that Mr. Clinton imparted that was worth over $100 Million? He never started or ran a business, he never created a product, and he never invented a thing. It was all for political influence – influence that was made all the more valuable when Ms. Clinton was Secretary of State. Government for sale should be the Clinton motto.

In the immortal words of “Deepthroat” about the Nixon Watergate scandal: “Follow the money.” And because Ms. Clinton was involved in the investigation of that scandal she was acutely aware of the dangers of leaving a trail for that investigation. But in this case it appears that Ms. Clinton has obliterated the trail.

According to witnesses being interviewed by the FBI and/or deposed by Judicial Watch, Ms. Cl;inton did not want her emails to be scrutinized as a public record – at least not until she was able to purge them of any embarrassing or incriminating information. And while Ms. Clinton has tried to convey the impression that such information was in the nature of planning her daughters wedding, we are left to accept her word that it did not include incriminating information about the relationship between her actions as Secretary of State and benefits received by those who contributed to Mr. Clinton and the Clintons foundation. (And given Ms. Clinton’s long record of lying, stonewalling and deception her explanation is more baloney.)

There is sufficient evidence that payments from individuals, companies and governments seeking favors from the State Department coincided with payments made by them to Mr. Clinton and the Clinton foundation to raise the specter of corruption. The fact that Ms. Clinton acted in a fashion to avoid disclosure and subsequently destroyed evidence of any such communications under evidentiary rules should be construed against her. In other words, by her acts in exclusively using a private email account and private and unsecured server, and destruction of tens of thousands of emails generated during her service as Secretary of State, the burden shifts to Ms. Clinton to demonstrate that she did not engage in corrupt and illegal activities.

In the end, excerpts from last Friday’s Wall Street Journal put the matter in lineal and absolute perspective.

“Hillary Clinton has said for more than a year that her use of a private email server as Secretary of State violated no federal rules and posed no security risk. Only the gullible believed that, and now everyone has proof of her deceptions in a scathing report from State Department Inspector General Steve Linick.”

The WSJ notes:

“The IG concludes that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee broke federal record keeping rules, never received permission for her off-grid server [in fact never sought permission] ignored security concerns raise by other officials and employed a staff that flouted the rules with the same disdain she did. [Bracketed words supplied]

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“One official suggested State set up a stand-alone computer from Mrs. Clinton in her office to check the internet and private email. That never happened. A different official suggested she have two mobile devices – one for personal use and the one with a ‘State Department email account’ that would be subject to [Freedom of Information Act] requests.’ Her team said no.”

Those staff members dumb enough to suggest means and conveniences that would meet State Department requirements and secure information appropriately were not only rebuffed repeatedly but told to “never mention it again.”

Trust me. This is about the money. And all of the energy should be directed towards demonstrating that.

But then Ms. Clinton has gotten away with it in the past and she is going to get away with it again. There is a less than zero chance the President Obama is going to permit his Justice Department to indict Ms. Clinton even though the facts as disclosed thus far demand it. The Clintons have corrupted everything they touch and it will continue unabated if she if elected President of the United States.