The Ticking Clinton Time Bomb: Hidden in Plain Sight - Part 3
JB: It could be that the timing will drag enough that all the primaries and even the election are over but the doubts remain. Then, what?
PT: Keep in mind that we live in an age where a big news story can come and go in 24 hours. But the legal system works on an entirely different timescale. Complicated trials, like any trial of Clinton would be, take years to resolve. Based on the facts I've seen about this scandal, I think it's something that's going to dog Hillary for years to come. And that's especially true because the Republicans hate her and Bill so very much. If she wins the presidential election, I'm sure the Republicans will start hearings leading to an impeachment trial literally from Day One. And since they're almost certain to retain control of the House, they can grandstand and run their own investigations as much as they want. Whereas, if she doesn't win, they'll almost certainly go after her just the same, because they hate her that much. And Trump would appoint an attorney general with the express purpose of convicting Clinton. He's already basically said as much.
I hate that political aspect, but that's the reality. There's no scandal involving the Clintons that the Republicans wouldn't try to use for maximum political advantage. That doesn't change whatever the underlying facts of the scandal. People need to come to their own conclusions.
JB: Agreed. According to your timeline, President Obama has weighed in several times to say that the importance of Hillary's emails is being overblown. But doesn't this scandal reflect poorly on Obama as well?
PT: Obama does bear some responsibility here. It's important to remember that one year before Clinton became secretary of state, there was a Republican scandal in which officials including Karl Rove were found to have avoided public scrutiny by keeping emails on a private server. The media outlet Vox has noted, "That [Bush administration email] scandal unfolded well into the final year of Bush's presidency, then overlapped with another email secrecy scandal, over official emails that got improperly logged and then deleted, which itself dragged well into Obama's first year in office. There is simply no way that, when Clinton decided to use her personal email address as secretary of state, she was unaware of the national scandal that Bush officials had created by doing the same... Perhaps even more stunning is that the Obama White House, whose top officials were presumably exchanging frequent emails with Clinton, apparently did not insist she adopt an official email account."
So, the Obama White House definitely dropped the ball by letting Clinton use only a private email address for all her government work, and on a private server too. But that's small potatoes compared to what Clinton actively did. What's more important in my opinion is what Obama does moving forward. Will he let the FBI and the Justice Department do their jobs based only on the evidence, or will he put pressure on them due to political considerations? Based on his public comments on the scandal so far (especially when he never should have commented on an on-going investigation in the first place), I fear it will be the latter. But we'll see.
JB: Indeed. Who's your target audience for the timeline?
PT: Everybody! Seriously, if you consider yourself an informed voter, you need to know the facts about Clinton's email scandal and the Clinton Foundation. As I've said, it's going to be in the news for years to come in almost any future scenario.
JB: Aren't you walking a fine line?
PT: Yes, I am. I hate the idea of Trump being president. I hate finding myself in agreement with Republicans on this when I disagree with them on just about everything else. I definitely don't want my timeline effort to help elect Trump! That said, I think the worst thing the Democrats can do is bury their heads in the sand and pretend this scandal is a big nothing, because that's clearly untrue. This is not Benghazi Part 2; this is for real. The scandal needs to come to a boil BEFORE the Democratic Convention, while there's still time to make a change. Ignoring it until the general election is exactly what the Republicans are hoping Democrats will do.
JB: Let's hear your elevator pitch, Paul: In a nutshell, what does the timeline reveal, politically?
PT: Clinton could be a "dead woman walking." Meaning, her political future could already be doomed, it's just that she and her supporters don't realize it yet. The FBI could recommend her indictment. Nobody can predict the future, but I believe anyone who looks at the facts presented in the timeline has to conclude that is a very real possibility. And even if the FBI doesn't do that, those same facts won't go away, and more damning facts are bound to come out. Look at Chris Christie and his bridge scandal. He was never indicted for that, but I think it's safe to say that was a major reason why he didn't succeed with his presidential campaign. Clinton is far more politically wounded than most people realize, because many facts about the scandal have been reported but aren't widely known yet. The Democratic Party would be taking a massive risk running her against Trump in the general election. I think it's crazy to even consider doing that, based on what I now know, and what is presented in the timeline.
JB: I'm truly disheartened by this litany of ill-conceived behavior on the part of a person in high office, running for even higher office. Is there anything you'd like to add before we wrap this up?