For the Hillary Clinton email story, keep in mind important points that become more and more apparent as the story unfolds. As you read these points, keep in mind the president’s power as party leader, political operator, and politician who would like to have some influence over who succeeds him.
Reports were common when the story first broke that Valerie Jarrett – special assistant to the president, and the president’s hatchet woman – leaked the story about Clinton’s personal server to the right people in the media. No one in the administration, including Jarrett, denied those reports, at the time or since.
Also consider that everyone who worked with Clinton knew about the personal server while she was in office. Her personal domain was built into her address, for heaven’s sake: clintonemail.com. The domain for an official state department address is state.gov. So why does a report about the personal server come out long after she has left office, shortly before the long awaited date that she makes her candidacy official? Don’t you think that if people in the administration objected to her personal server, they would have addressed the issue while she was secretary of state? Instead, the leaker times the leak to coincide with her presidential campaign.
Second, President Obama has influence over how the feds handle the case. If he wants to spare Clinton a public, FBI investigation of this case, he tells his attorney general he’d like the Department of Justice to back off. Instead, the FBI opens an investigation under the Espionage Act! Obama has threatened every national security whistleblower he can get his hands on with prosecution as a spy. Edward Snowden lives in Russia because he doesn’t want to go to prison for life under the Espionage Act. Yet Obama gives his tacit blessing to an investigation that suggests his former secretary of state was a spy. Talk about putting his party’s presumptive nominee under a cloud.
If that’s not enough, President Obama encourages Joe Biden to run, even as he withholds any expression of support at all for Hillary. People said that Barack Obama developed sharp political elbows in Chicago politics, where former White House hatchet man Rahm Emanuel currently rules as mayor. Hillary knows Chicago: her parents raised her in the Chicago suburbs. Did she ever expect, when she resigned as secretary of state to prepare her run for president, that she would meet with such treatment from her former boss? Does anyone think that Joe Biden would even contemplate a run for the White House without his current boss’s encouragement?
Hillary may not have been a brilliant secretary of state, but she worked hard and served the president loyally. She even accepted some degree of responsibility for Benghazi when the president would not. Obama seems incapable of taking responsibility for anything unless it helps him brush up his own fingernails. If Obama wanted to reward Clinton’s loyalty after she left the State Department, he had it within his power to do so.
Instead, he treats her Chicago style, where rivals don’t meet but they do communicate. I suppose Hillary should consider herself fortunate she’s not in prison. If Obama’s Department of Justice prosecutes her as a spy, she may wind up there, too. After next summer’s Democratic convention, though, Clinton’s legal worries may be past. Once the Democrats have selected their presidential nominee, Obama’s people will no longer have a reason to investigate her treatment of classified material.