Not Guilty, but Not Innocent
Thursday July 7, 2016
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There is an old saying in politics: The best validator is a third party. And, the best third party validator is a grand jury.
Hillary Clinton's misdeeds regarding her server didn't get to the point of being presented to a grand jury but, if you want a validator of wrong doing, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is not a bad second choice.
I am not going to go through Director James Comey's litany of Clinton's lies, concealments, mis-directions, and disdain for the American public. Those are Clinton family traits.
Either you think she should have been led away in handcuffs and leg irons, or you don't. You have probably read all of the coverage of what Comey said she did (or did not do) and you don't need me to recount.
That Comey held his press conference a couple of hours before Hillary Clinton climbed aboard Air Force I with President Barack Obama for their first joint campaign appearance was clumsy, but you could almost hear the White House begging the Director to announce the "no indictment" decision before they climbed on stage together.
There is no question that Clinton's attorneys were informed of the FBI's decision in advance of Comey's presser. The only question was when. Comey (a Republican, by the way) apparently decided he would announce the decision rather than have the Clinton campaign leak it anyway.
This isn't BBQ Pitmasters where you have to wait until after the commercial to see who had the best pork butt.
The howls of outrage from GOP sources was not unexpected and not unreasonable.
As is always the case, Members of the House and Senate - none of whom had seen all the evidence and not all are lawyers in any event - lined up to be interviewed quaking with righteous indignation at the miscarriage of justice they had just witnessed.
That these were all Republicans was happenstance. Had a similar series of events befallen a Republican, the Democrats would have been howling for a scalp.
The parts and the players, alas, are interchangeable.
The GOP can't blame the Department of Justice and the FBI for not indicting Clinton. What they can do is to begin pumping out - day after day - the litany of Clintonian crimes and misdemeanors that she has been accused of - and probably guilty of - since her days as First Lady of Arkansas.
There's no shortage of accusations by her political opponents which have generated equal and opposite denials, demurrals, and objections by the Clintons and their supporters.
Isaac Newton's Third Law of Illegalities.
As usual, Donald Trump managed to tramp all over the story of the day by wading into a re-litigation of the Iraq war during an hour-long harangue at a rally in North Carolina that evening.
Not only did he talk about the war being the wrong thing to do, but Trump managed to applaud Saddam Hussein for his handling of terrorists. He neglected to mention, or didn't know, that Saddam had killed up to 200,000 Kurds in chemical attacks in the 1990s.
Actually, I believe that if Clinton had been indicted and dropped out of the race, the Democrats would not have turned to Bernie Sanders as their political savior, but to Vice President Joe Biden.
And, Joe Biden would be a lot tougher for Donald Trump to beat than Hillary Clinton.
Sanders, for his part in this Shakespearian drama, succeeded in getting booed by the House Democrats while he was trying to explain why he was not endorsing Clinton during a private meeting.
As things stand, Hillary Clinton is in political purgatory. She was not indicted, but she was certain not found to have been innocent. She will, like Marley's ghost, have to drag these chains around until November 8.
Another classic political aphorism: Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
LAD LINK: @ReedGalen's take on this week's events in his Singularity column.
On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Bio of FBI Director Comey, the Fact Check on Hillary, Trump's praising Saddam, Bernie Sanders being booed, and a loose translation of that Plus ça change business.
Also a Mullfoto that I've been giggling about since I took it last week.
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