May 26, 2016

JOHN SCHINDLER: Game Over: EmailGate Just Crippled the Clinton Express. This isn’t a right-wing conspiracy—the FBI will unravel it all.

Any foreign intelligence service worth its salt would have had no trouble accessing Ms. Clinton’s emails, particularly when they were unencrypted, as this column has explained in detail. Yet Hillary was more worried about the American public finding out about what she was up to via FOIA than what foreign spy services and hackers might see in her email.

What she was seeking to hide so ardently remains one of the big unanswered questions in EmailGate. Hints may be found in the recent announcement that Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, the former head of the Democratic National Committee and a longtime Clinton intimate, is under FBI investigation for financial misdeeds, specifically dirty money coming from China. In fact, Mr. McAulliffe invited one of his Beijing benefactors over to Ms. Clinton’s house in 2013. Not long after, Chinese investors donated $2 million to the Clinton Foundation.

That an illegal pay-for-play-scheme, with donations to the Clinton Foundation being rewarded by political favors from Hillary Clinton—who when she was secretary of state had an enormous ability to grant favors to foreign bidders—existed at the heart of EmailGate has been widely suspected, and we know the FBI is investigating this case as political corruption, not just for mishandling of classified information. That certainly would be something Ms. Clinton would not have wanted the public to find out about via FOIA.

As is their wont, Hillary’s loyal defenders are denouncing the State IG report as yet another “nothingburger,” adding with customary conspiratorial flair: “there are some real questions about the impartiality of the IG.” In this take, we are supposed to believe that the head of State’s IG office, appointed by President Obama, is a clandestine GOP operative.

Such escapism masquerading as hot takes won’t work anymore. Even The Washington Post, hardly a member of the VRWC, has conceded that EmailGate is a certifiably big deal, and “badly complicates Clinton’s past explanations about the server.” Its editors went further, issuing a blistering statement castigating Ms. Clinton’s “inexcusable, willful disregard of the rules.” They minced no words: “Ms. Clinton had plenty of warnings to use official government communications methods, so as to make sure that her records were properly preserved and to minimize cybersecurity risks. She ignored them.”

Although Post editors were at pains to state that Ms. Clinton had not broken any laws with her gross negligence at Foggy Bottom, the issue remains open.

Yes, the Post editors pulled their punches, and it was still damning. The reality will be moreso.

Here are some related thoughts from Austin Bay. And here are some more.

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