The good news for Hillary Clinton is that charges won’t be brought against her for her handling of government emails. The bad news is she definitely looks guilty of being dishonest and incompetent regarding those emails.
According to FBI Director James Comey, she and her associates were “extremely careless” in the handling of sensitive information. She also appears to have lied a number of times in public statements about passing around a number of emails that either were marked classified or should have been interpreted as classified by someone in Clinton’s position, including eight considered Top Secret. She also used several servers and mobile devices over the years which were less secure than a gmail account, which made it quite possible, though not proven, her emails were hacked by a number of nefarious actors.
Though a stretch, I ponder if it would have been better for the Democrats if she had been indicted; hence opening the door for Bernie to get back in.
This is likely to be a reoccurring nightmare for the Clinton campaign, something the splintered Republican party can gather around like a shark frenzy in bloody water. Besides the usual “crooked Hillary” Trump tweets, House Speaker Paul Ryan is trying to bar her from receiving the secret intelligence normally accorded the two major candidates. Also, Director Comey was called into a House hearing today for questioning about his decision not to press charges, while I have heard Attorney General Lynch will be called in next Tuesday.
The Comey hearing is on my TV as I write and the Republicans are doing a great job of portraying Hillary at her worst. And, unlike their last Benghazi hearing, they are making valid points in their questioning of Comey. For example, one Republican asked whether someone with Hillary’s email history would be accepted to join the FBI. Resisting hypotheticals, Comey would only say it would be one important criteria, but to most of us, I think the answer is simply “no.”
The one point that Comey made in Hillary’s defense, although in a backhanded fashion, is that some of the issues may have evolved because of her lack of sophistication about the internet to the point that she did not recognize one common way of marking classified emails cited by Comey. Frankly, I have had the thought for some time that maybe Hillary, like me and many others in our general age range group, just doesn’t want to think much about the internet, as long as it works. Not exactly something a presidential candidate would want to publicize though.
So far Hillary’s approach has been to just stonewall the issue and focus on Trump’s own weaknesses. Fortunately for her there is plenty to focus upon, as was the case yesterday when she made a speech at Atlantic City trashing Trump for his business failures there along with his pattern of often not paying contractors and engaging in over 3,000 lawsuits over the years, often just as a form of intimidation.
That was a strong attack, but my enthusiasm was sapped by thoughts of the email scandal and how hard it is for her to now stand solidly on the moral high ground in any sphere.
However, she still has the advantage of whom she is running against for president. I agree with Ben Carson when he asks: “Are Americans willing to place everything in the hands of somebody with such poor judgement?”
Given Trump as the alternative, I still say Hillary. Or, as Jon Stewart sardonically said awhile back, he would take Mr. T. over Donald Trump.