|THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA vs HILLARY R. CLINTON 5 Feb. 2016||| Print ||
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
5 Feb. 2016
Since the grand jury indictment, we’ve learned a lot about the Harris County D.A.’s office and their politics, and the prosecutor who presented the state’s case at the grand jury hearing. We know the D.A.’s office has ties to Planned Parenthood and at least one assistant D.A. sits on their board of directors. One would think recusals would be in order, but that didn’t happen. It’s easy to surmise the prosecutor slanted commentary on evidence to paint a picture of Planned Parenthood as a victim. It’s also easy to believe the grand jury was purposefully duped and didn’t quite understand their legal responsibilities. What resulted is a form of jury nullification, but perversely so. Have you ever heard of a grand jury returning an indictment against parties not in question?
Evidently the law means very little today. Even when there’s substantial evidentiary proof of misdeeds and laws broken you can’t trust that justice will be done. In this particular case it seems the grand jury was applying law not actually on the books. The fact that the Harris County D.A. not only allowed such a travesty, but participated in materially promoting it is an obscenity.
Be mindful of this case and think of the investigation now ongoing by the FBI; you know, the one involving Hillary Clinton’s E-mails. We should all be certain, just based on the publically released statements, the FBI isn’t tying up the time of 150 special agents to determine Clinton’s wrong-doings. They’ve already established the exact laws she’s broken, though they are still calculating the total number of counts. Their main undertaking is something different. They’re trying to understand the web of uncleared contacts who were privy to national secrets. They’re trying to do an assessment to understand the magnitude of potential damage to national security. They’re trying to understand which foreign hackers may have accessed Clinton’s servers and downloaded entire hard drives. It’s not what she did they’re investigating now, but the ramifications of it all.
The media is full of commentary about the potential of the FBI referring the case to the Attorney General with a recommendation to proceed to indictment. The smart money is on that referral happening in the very near future. What happens next, though, that’s going to be a fascinating play.
The Attorney General has three options. She can sit on the referral and see how long she can get away with it. Her second option is to proceed directly to indictment and start the long legal process that could lead to a trial. The third and most likely option is to punt the matter to a federal grand jury and deal with it there.
Why a grand jury? It lets Attorney General Lynch and President Obama get off their hot seats. Lynch can appear to be proceeding, while actually dragging her feet. Even more, the grand jury process could be compromised, just as in Houston.
Picture a grand jury faced with overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing, but also one incapable of understanding enough about the laws involved to render a reasoned judgement. If we see federal prosecutors who are bent on making the entire scandal go away, they may orient their pitch to the grand jury much like the Harris County prosecutors did in the Planned Parenthood case. They may find Hillary was a victim, not a perpetrator. She will be the victim of inadequate briefings, security staff that didn’t know their jobs, other staff who violated rules to facilitate Clinton’s need for information at her fingertips no matter where she was, or indecipherable rules and regulations, etc. In other words, it’ll be the fault of everyone and everything except Hillary. Watch also for an “everyone else did it, so why not Mrs. Clinton?” defense. After all, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell both had private E-mail accounts, too. Why is everyone picking on poor Hillary? The whole thing is only the old vast right-wing conspiracy up to old tricks.
Yes, if this case ends up before a federal grand jury you might be wise to expect the unexpected.
Think about this a bit more and you’ll realize it really doesn’t matter which of the three scenarios Attorney General Lynch chooses. If she stonewalls the President will eventually come forward with an executive pardon. If she proceeds promptly to an indictment in the case the pardon will only come that much sooner. If she refers the case to a grand jury the result may or may not be an indictment. Either way, Clinton gets off because an indictment by the grand jury will only result in the same executive pardon. You see, no matter what happens, Clinton is going to walk.
There’s another wrinkle to this whole thing. Not only can the president grant a pardon, he can also direct the Attorney General to permanently seal all the case files and issue an order of expungement. In plain English, by his order the Attorney General can erase the entire matter as if it never happened at all. That would pave the way for Hillary Clinton to continue to pursue the presidency. Of course, that seems unlikely, but it’s possible.
The entire Democratic Party is in an uproar over this. Their public statements echo Clinton’s own, that this is much ado about very little, a gentle breeze and not the raging storm Fox News and all those whacky Hillary Haters might make it out to be. Their pitch is the investigations have nothing to do with Hillary at all. In fact the probe is into who may have hacked into her servers, those are the bad guys the FBI is really chasing, not poor misunderstood and unfairly maligned Hillary Clinton. But, all those statements aside, the Democrats are terrified. They’re looking for a lifeline. They’re in a pickle because they don’t want to have Bernie Sanders carrying their banner in November. They can’t win with him, and they know it. They want all the Clinton scandal soap opera to go away. They’re casting about, seeking a White Knight. So far it appears they haven’t discovered one.
If the Democrats do find their White Knight it won’t change much about the current situation. It may make things a bit more acceptable going forward to Election Day, but they’ll still be stuck with what to do with Hillary. It’s almost a foregone conclusion the pardon will still be forthcoming. After all, the nation needs to get past this kind of scandal, not dwell on it. Remember, President Ford did much the same for Richard Nixon. Who could blame Barack Obama for sparing the nation the agony of watching Hillary Clinton be turned from one of the world’s most admired women of the past 50 years into nothing more than a nasty, graspy, greedy common crook? Haven’t we all suffered enough by having to watch poor Bill Cosby being dragged through the mud?
We live in strange times. It’s about to get even stranger. If this was a soap opera we’d have the option of ignoring it; just change the channel or turn off the radio and TV. Unfortunately, this is a major national event and we will be compelled to watch it to the very end. It won’t be fun or pretty. The saddest part of it all is that in the end there will be no justice. If this scandal continues to play out according to the script options defined Hillary Clinton will walk away completely unscathed. She’ll likely drop off the social rosters of a lot of rich, famous, and powerful people. The days of mega-buck speaking gigs might be over. But, other than that, she’ll go on her way and thumb her nose at all of us.
America deserves better.