It Was Never Really about Emails and Email Servers
For those not keeping score, Hillary Clinton is on scandal seven hundred and forty-three1 of her (over)long political career. The scandal du jour (at this point, du mois or de l'année might actually be more apropos) is the fact that Hillary Clinton kept a private email server in her closet and used it to send emails concerning private and public matters, and that some of the emails that transited2 that server contained classified information. At least this is the narrative that most news outlets have been pushing. In reality, the emails and the email server have very little to do with the intense voter backlash Clinton has experienced subsequent revelations about her numerous email scandals3. In reality, it is the scandals themselves, numerous and often heinous as they are, that are the source of this abiding interest in the email shenanigans.
The wild-eyed (and wilder-haired4) Socialist from Vermont may yet prove to be Clinton's downfall. The massive cache of DNC emails dumped by WikiLeaks has proven a treasure trove for those who were claiming that Sanders was defrauded and that the election was rigged. As it turns out, they were right. Not only did the DNC rig elections to favor Hillary, they even went so far as to manipulate the media5 and suggest that attacking Sanders for being Jewish (or an Atheist) might be a good course of action.
Sure, politics is dirty and these things happen6, but in Clinton's case, such revelations feed a fact-supported narrative that she is corrupt and will do anything to win. It's not about the emails. It's about the corruption.
The Clinton Foundation and the State Department
To say that Clinton Foundation is entangled with Government would be like saying that fish are "involved" with water. It wouldn't take the average Internet user more than twenty minutes and a few Google searches (even for the innocuous term "Clinton Foundation"7) to find damning evidence concerning the Clinton Foundation8. In essence, Clinton, as Secretary of State, set up a massive pay-to-play operation, which she ran out of the State Department.
How it worked was fairly simply: if someone wanted access to the State Department (or to someone else in Government, which Clinton, as Secretary of State, could facilitate), that person would donate a large sum of money to the Clinton Foundation and then, *poof*, a meeting would be arranged for that person at the State Department, with Hillary Clinton, or wherever else was desired9101112. Some have tried to excuse this behavior by stating that all that the emails show is that meetings were arranged13, and that meetings alone are not proof of corruption. However, this misses a vitally important point: the Clintons became quite wealthy and all they've ever done is 'serve' in public office14. What were they selling? Access, of course, the only thing they had to sell.
Of the numerous scandals involving the Clinton Foundation, a number of them stand out as particularly odious:
1. Selling Access to the State Department
As discussed, supra, Hillary Clinton consistently sold access to the State Department via the Clinton Foundation.
"At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million."
— "Many donors to Clinton Foundation met with her at State" (Associated Press)
2. Receiving Donations from Foreign Nations
Numerous foreign Governments have donated to the Clinton Foundation. This is problematic for a number of reasons. As Secretary of State, Clinton was head of the Government's foreign affairs bureaucracy and supposedly represented the interests of the United States abroad. At the very least, it raises questions of loyalty and ethics when the Secretary of State is receiving donations from Government before whom she is supposed to be representing US interests. To make matters worse, the Clinton Foundation received funds from international malefactors such as Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Morocco. Even funds received from Austria, Germany, and Canada raise legitimate questions concerning whether or not someone running for President of the United States should be receiving foreign funding.
3. Aiding Foreign Entities that Donated to the Clinton Foundation
Have you heard of Rosatom? Well, you should have. Rosatom is the Russian nuclear agency that purchased a large percentage of US uranium stocks. The owners of Rosatom gave $31,000,000 to the Clinton foundation and pledged $100,000,000 more.
Then there's the case of UBS. While the IRS was suing UBS to obtain the information of Americans holding money in offshore accounts, Hillary Clinton was busy at work intervening on UBS's behalf. In exchange for this intervention, USB 'donated' $600,000 to the Clinton Foundation, granted the Clinton Foundation a $32,000,000 loan, and paid Bill Clinton $1,500,000 for a Q&A session.
These are hardly the only scandals involving the Clinton Foundation and foreign entities. At its core, the Clinton Foundation exists to act as conduit for the Clintons. Whether the favors flow first and the payments second or the payments (i.e., bribes) flow first and the favors second, it's always the same: the Clintons provide favors in exchange for cash. Quid pro quo.
4. Using the State Department to Facilitate Bill Clinton's Speaking Engagements
When Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, Bill Clinton's speaking fees skyrocketed. Where once he had commanded a measly $150,000 per speech, he began to rake in $500,000-$1,000,000 per speech. These speeches made the Clintons more than $100,000,000 over the course of fourteen years. The best part? The State Department had to approve these speeches. Unsurprisingly, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton never turned down the opportunity to approve her husband's speeches, speeches that lined both their pockets15.
To say that the Clintons have an aversion to the truth would be an understatement16. From Bill Clinton's questioning the meaning of the word "is" to Hillary Clinton's publicly blaming the Benghazi attacks on a YouTube video17 (while privately admitting in emails that she knew better), the Clintons have a long history of outright lying to the American people, to the media, and to anyone who has the audacity to ask them questions. It is these 'inconsistencies' and 'mistakes' that make the email scandal what it is. Again, it's not about the emails or the email server, it's about the corruption and the lies.
Entire books have been written about the Clintons and their insistence on avoiding telling the truth whenever possible. Recounting all of the lies here would be pointless (and virtually impossible). Suffice to say that the email scandal has only proven what so many already knew: Hillary Clinton is a pathological liar and cannot be trusted.
The Emails and the Email Server
Given all the foregoing, do the emails and the email server really even matter? In a word: No. For those who haven't been living under a rock, the Clintons' corruption and mendaciousness has been on display for decades. Anyone voting for Clinton on election day simply doesn't care.
The email scandal owes its staying power to two things: 1) it keeps Clinton's corruption and untruthfulness in the spotlight and 2) it makes a good media story (which drives clicks, which drive revenue). For those who know the Clintons for what they are, the story simply confirms everything they've believed for years. The emails fill in gaps and confirm facts.
Are the emails and the email server a 'true' scandal? Yes, absolutely18. Clinton maintained a private email server that she used to conduct State business and through which she knowingly exposed classified information and then lied about all of the foregoing to the American people, to the media, to the FBI, and to Congress19. This is indictable at least, and almost without a doubt convictable.
In his announcement of the decision not to recommend prosecution, FBI Director James Comey laid out in excruciating detail the case against Clinton and then created a new standard out of thin air in order to justify his recommendation not to prosecute. Virtually anyone else who did what Clinton did would be in prison today, likely for many years. Clinton got away not just with violating the law, but with perjuring herself in later defending her actions20; that she, in fact, perjured herself, was confirmed by Comey21 in his testimony before Congress. This is unconscionable, inexcusable, and disqualifying.
Again: This isn't about the emails and this isn't about the email server, it's about corruption and it's about lies. It's about a Secretary of State who left four Americans to die while lying that the attack that claimed their lives was the product of a YouTube video (a claim later backed by President Obama); it's about a family attempting to turn themselves into a political dynasty and the American people into their private piggy bank; it's about political corruption at the highest levels of Government; it's about entanglements with foreign entities that call both loyalty and ethics into question; it's about a rigged primary election and collusion; it's about the use of a private server, not because it was a private server, but because its use was intended to avoid the Freedom of Information Act and the harmful disclosures it might bring; and it's about constant, pervasive, ubiquitous, and unending corruption and lies.
The email scandal isn't about emails and it isn't about email servers. It's about keeping Hillary Clinton's true nature on display in the, perhaps vain, hope that she can be prevented from seizing the most powerful position in the world. It's about justice and its about the election. It's the last gasp of our dying Republic.
- I kid, I kid. It's surely in the thousands by now. ↩︎
- Transited and sat there waiting for hackers to steal and then to release them. ↩︎
- And there are about six of them now: 1. the emails and the server; 2. the confidential information; 3. repeatedly lying to Congress, the FBI, and just about everyone else; 4. constantly blaming Russia without proof; 5. the DNC emails; and 6. the Podesta emails. ↩︎
- If the election were about crazy hair instead of the electoral college, it would have been a close competition between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Unlike Trump's hair, though, Sanders' hair seems to have been more successful in its escape attempts. ↩︎
- On the count of three, everyone collectively act surprised that the Left and the media collaborate. 1... 2... ↩︎
- The RNC shut down a delegate revolt at its convention earlier this year, and the methods employed to do so were questionable at best. ↩︎
- Google's ongoing attempts to scrub or down-rank material critical of Democrats notwithstanding. ↩︎
- Including profiting from the eqarthquake in Haiti in 2010. ↩︎
- New Abedin Emails Reveal Hillary Clinton State Department Gave Special Access to Top Clinton Foundation Donors ↩︎
- Emails reveal how foundation donors got access to Clinton and her close aides at State Dept. ↩︎
- Emails Raise New Questions About Clinton Foundation Ties to State Dept. ↩︎
- Many donors to Clinton Foundation met with her at State ↩︎
- External evidence clearly indicates that these meetings were 'productive', so the contention is false and misleading that these were "merely" "meetings". ↩︎
- Except that one time Hillary Clinton got a child rapist off, whom she knew was guilty, and then laughed about it. ↩︎
- And resulted in large donations, to the tune of eight or nine figures, to the Clinton Foundation. ↩︎
- Even Left-leaning Politifact cannot help but call Hillary Clinton out on some of her lies. ↩︎
- Meanwhile, President Obama apologized that Americans aren't nice enough to Muslims, just hours after a Muslim terrorist attack claimed the lives of four Americans, including an ambassador. ↩︎
- And at least one person has lost his life as a result of the intrusion into Clinton's unsecured server and the subsequent release of the emails it contained. ↩︎
- She even took the laughable position that she didn't understand what the markings indicating classification meant, which is a lie or an admission that she isn't fit to hold any public office. ↩︎
- Bill Clinton was 'suspended' (i.e., given an alternative to disbarment because he's a Clinton) for his perjurious testimony. Perhaps Arkansas will get around to 'suspending' Hillary Clinton, too. (Or, perhaps, Arkansas will realize that attorneys who perjure themselves before Congress or the FBI do not deserve to hold a law license in any State.) ↩︎
- Even if only reluctantly under intense questioning by Representative Trey Gowdy. ↩︎