Presidential

Hillary Clinton In Trouble, Again: Are we watching a cheap spy movie or a presidential campaign?

Feb. 24, 2015: Hillary Rodham Clinton  jokes with the crowd during a keynote address at the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women, in Santa Clara, Calif.

Feb. 24, 2015: Hillary Rodham Clinton jokes with the crowd during a keynote address at the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women, in Santa Clara, Calif.  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

At what point do Democrats give up on Hillary Clinton?  

We must be getting close. The most recent revelation – that Hillary used an untraceable personal email account during her tenure as Secretary of State --  should be a tipping point. Details of the under-the-radar communications are just emerging, and sound more like a cheap spy novel than a presidential campaign.

According the New York Daily News “Mrs. Clinton “had her own computer server and private email that she used for official business while working as secretary of state. The server was registered at the Clinton’s Chappaqua home under an apparent pseudonym, ‘ Eric Hoteman.’”

Democrats are in trouble. They don’t have a second-string candidate and the front-runner is already flailing. They should have seen this coming.

That name is curiously similar to long-time financial adviser Eric Hothem who has been involved with the Clintons for decade.  Like so many Clinton loyalists, Hothem is linked to various controversies, including suspected pay-to-play pardons issued by Bill Clinton during his presidency and the controversy over the removal of family of furniture from the White House. Classy folks, those Clintons.

Democrats are in trouble. They don’t have a second-string candidate and the front-runner is already flailing. They should have seen this coming.

This purposeful obfuscation was not an “oops” moment. This was a calculated effort (everything Hillary does is calculated) to conceal her communications from, well, everybody.

Was it accidental that the news broke in the midst of the Netanyahu frenzy, when the media and right-wingers were otherwise occupied? It might be a coincidence but then, as noted, there are few unscripted moments Hillary’s life.

The Federal Records Act requires officials to keep records of all communications related to their position. They did not add electronic communications to the requirement until this year. This requirement will presumably enable investigations undertaken by watchdogs or the press, such as the Congressional inquiry into what went wrong in Benghazi. That Mrs. Clinton kept no such records – that her emails were not downloaded onto government servers for safekeeping and that she did not even have a government email account, is shocking. It is equally amazing that this dereliction – described as a “serious breach” by government record-keepers -- has gone unnoticed until now. How did Congress not detect what must be a glaring gap in the thousands of documents submitted by the former first lady to various committees looking into the murder of Christopher Stevens?

Worse, perhaps, than the initial failure to comply with the spirit of federal law, Mrs. Clinton just two months ago took extremely dodgy steps to comply after-the-fact. She allowed her aides to select from her thousands of emails those that would be submitted (finally) to the federal record.

In reporting on this story, the New York Times quotes a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration saying that “short of nuclear winter” there would be no scenario in which an agency would be justified in permitting this end-run around the law going forward.  Jason Baron also noted that he had never encountered a “high-ranking” federal employee using only a personal email for official business.

Though some of the Secretary’s emails sent to other federal bureaucrats would have been preserved, assuming that they were not skirting the law, emails sent to foreign heads of state, corporate types or people working in the not-for-profit sector would not have been kept. As the Times dutifully notes, it is unclear how Mrs. Clinton’s aides determined which emails to include in the new records. We can guess.

This latest Hillary eruption follows the revelation just a few weeks ago that the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation received millions of dollars in donations from foreign countries while she served as Secretary of State. One gift, from Algeria, was given during a period when that nation was lobbying in hopes of establishing a closer relationship with the Obama White House. This shocker appalled even devout Clintonites. That there would have been no expectation of quid-pro-quo is laughable. 

The current flap is not going away any time soon. Republicans in the House have subpoenaed Mrs. Clinton’s emails, and rightly so. These communications were meant to have been disgorged years ago, when Congress began investigating the Benghazi tragedy. It is high time that the former Secretary of State is subjected to the kind of scrutiny that anyone else in her position would expect.

Amusingly, Mrs. Clinton has responded to the furor by tweeting “I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.”  Yes, let’s have some more “reviews.”

Democrats are in trouble. They don’t have a second-string candidate and the front-runner is already flailing. They should have seen this coming.  Mrs. Clinton’s credibility has been strained ever since that memorable TV interview years ago in which she blamed the “vast right-wing conspiracy” for reports that her husband had been unfaithful. It has been in the process of unraveling as she faked it as an Obama loyalist, dodged and ducked the truth about the Benghazi attacks, took in money from countries wanting special attention, and now as she tries to explain why she never used a secure government email address.

We know why. She didn’t, and doesn’t, want people to know what she’s up to. For good reason, as it turns out. 

Liz Peek is a writer who contributes frequently to FoxNews.com. She is a financial columnist who also writes for The Fiscal Times. For more visit LizPeek.com. Follow her on Twitter@LizPeek.

 

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