Hillary Clinton appears confident that nothing will come of the FBI investigation into her private email server.
After all, it was her husband who gave the sitting Attorney General Loretta Lynch an important presidential appointment in the late ’90s that launched Lynch’s career as United States Attorney in New York. Knowing this, will Lynch indict the former president’s spouse now, who is poised to be the Democrat party’s nominee for president of the United States?
Secretary Clinton’s longtime confidant Sidney Blumenthal says no way. He recently stated on television that he already knows the outcome of the investigation. He’s probably right, when you consider that President Obama and White House staff have said on multiple occasions that Secretary Clinton did nothing wrong.
Setting aside everything wrong with the bizarre picture I just painted – such as the President himself prejudging an ongoing investigation and then Congress not having the guts to call him out on it – is there any chance Hillary Clinton will face criminal charges for her self-inflicted email fiasco? The odds of the Democrat National Department of Justice charging their all-but-certain presidential pick five months before the general election are extremely small.
In my opinion, the only way Loretta Lynch seeks a prosecution of Secretary Clinton is if the evidence presented by the FBI is so overwhelming that it renders her unviable as a candidate. Remember, Clinton is already no more than a 50-50 bet versus Republican nominee Donald Trump in November as it is.
In this scenario, the Obama Administration could make the big move and indict Clinton and set the stage for the dramatic last minute entry of a Biden-Warren ticket to enhance the prospects of a third term for the President (because Bernie Sanders is unelectable). A political scientist’s dream come true, but as I said highly unlikely.
The much more likely scenario – which should be clear to anyone paying attention – is that there will be no indictment. The Obama Administration and their dangerously politicized Justice Department will probably opt to try to win a tough slog with flawed candidate Clinton as their standard bearer. This would pave the way for FBI brass and field agents testifying before Congress all summer about everything they know about the investigation.
What about some different variations of a third possible outcome?
The Justice Department could be feeling enough public pressure that they feel obliged to indict someone. Perhaps a well-known senior aide will be the fall guy? What about a current or former State Department official? Let’s remember, Bryan Pagliano wasn’t given immunity for nothing. Another possible escape route for Justice Department officials would be a slap on the wrists for Secretary Clinton. In this scenario, she would admit to some sort of vague technical violation and attempt to wash her hands and move on.
Anyone who believes that presidential politics isn’t playing the central role in this case is being naïve.
This Justice Department makes former Attorney General Janet Reno look somewhat reasonable. If you recall, Reno appointed seven impartial special prosecutors (they were called Independent Counsels back then) to probe various Clinton Administration officials, included President and Mrs. Clinton themselves.
For all her shortcomings, Reno understood that conflicts of interest and the appearances of conflicts are dangerous to our justice system and must be handled appropriately. Fast-forward to today and you have a Justice Department that has literally laughed off discussions of a special prosecutor for the Clinton email case despite the obvious conflicts of interest.
To make matters worse Congress is largely ignoring the situation, due to a healthy mix of dysfunction, incompetence, and cowardice. Donald Trump would be wise to assure the American people that if he’s elected, he will work to rebuild the reputation of the Department of Justice. This would be a positive step in salvaging some trust in government.