They say it’s not the crime, but the coverup. But sometimes it’s the crime and the coverup. Hillary Clinton’s metastasizing email scandal is beginning to look more and more like a case of both.
Back in the seventies, Charles Colson of Watergate fame boasted he would “walk over my own grandmother” to assure the election of Richard Nixon. Hillary Clinton — who cut her teeth on the very Watergate investigation before she was “let go” by the House Judiciary Committee under disputed circumstances — now may have to demand the same kind of loyalty from longtime “girl Friday” Huma Abedin. From Politico:
Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s most trusted confidante, is increasingly becoming a central figure in the email scandal that’s haunting her boss on the campaign trail, as Republicans and federal judges seek information about Clinton’s communications while she was running the State Department.
The 2016 Democratic front-runner on Monday told a federal judge that Abedin — long considered her boss’s keeper and even dubbed her “shadow” — had her own email account on Clinton’s now infamous home-brewed server, “which was used at times for government business,” Clinton acknowledged. That’s an unusual arrangement, even for top brass at the State Department.
Unusual? How about extraordinarily unusual? Clinton controlled the entirety of her government email correspondence on her unsecured family server to which, as far as we know now, only she and Huma had access. Bill has assured us he doesn’t do email. Cheryl Mills is still a possibility, though less direct.
Now we have learned, despite Hillary’s initial protestations, that of the first forty (of tens of thousands) emails to be examined, if they have not been permanently erased, an inspector general found four (one out of ten) contained classified intelligence material. Two of those were considered TOP SECRET and included satellite photos from government, presumably NSA, sources.
Mrs. Clinton, as she is quaintly known in the NYT, is now suddenly claiming she wasn’t aware these emails were classified. This was all an accident. She was just a poor, ignorant (daffy?) secretary of state, overwhelmed with detail. Or perhaps the classification markings were expunged from the emails by some eager acolyte anxious to give the former secretary what is known in the parlance as “plausible deniability.”
Whatever the case, we don’t know yet how many more of these emails existed on her unsecured server or what they say — and certainly not which foreign intelligence agencies and independent hackers (other than Guccifer, who has made known a small amount of his trove) had access to them. We can assume quite a few. One can safely say if Hillary were a Republican, she would be halfway to prison by now. Maybe she is anyway.
Like Nixon before her, Hillary is in bad need of a firewall, someone to take the heat for her, someone to say her boss didn’t know anything, someone willing even to go up river for the former secretary of state, a Colson of her own. Who else could really do that but Huma? But will she? The Politico article continues:
Abedin has hired a team of lawyers, one of whom is a former Clinton aide, who are responding to information requests from the courts and State. They’ve denied any wrongdoing on the part of their client and said Abedin is cooperating with requests for official emails in her possession, aiming to turn over all her correspondence by the end of August.
But her lawyers — Karen Dunn and Miguel Rodriguez — didn’t respond to questions about emails on Clinton’s separate server. Dunn is a partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner, and she served as a senior advisor to Clinton when she was in the Senate.
After an inspector general found that Clinton had at least two “top secret” emails stored on her unsecured computer network, Abedin is likely to face more questions from congressional investigators, and perhaps others, about her access to Clinton’s system.
Abedin had been granted “special government employee” status, allowing her to work both for Clinton and the private sector — and it’s unclear if she continued using the server that appears to have held classified information following her departure from her full-time State gig.
One thing is clear — in Clintonland, security was never a serious issue to be concerned with. Abedin is still married to Anthony Weiner, a man notorious for having exposed his genitals to random women over the Internet on multiple occasions. Whatever you think of Abedin’s decision to stay with the pseudonymous “Carlos Danger,” the idea that she still has security clearance for classified material while married to such a person, or even if not, borders on the insane. Or maybe she didn’t have security clearance at all but still had access to the Clinton server that had such information. Who knows?
The question remains, however, what will Huma say or do when interrogated. Her legal troubles are not just limited to protecting Hillary, as this article at National Review indicates. She is being investigated for improprieties, again multiple, surrounding her work for Teneo Holdings. Will she think of herself first? What will her attorneys advise her to do? At least one of them, Karen Dunn, works with and for David Boies, whose involvement at the highest reaches of government goes back to being Al Gore’s lawyer in Bush v. Gore. As will be recalled, he lost that one. Will they be on the side of their client or Mrs. Clinton? Time will tell.
Or maybe it won’t, because increasing numbers of Democratic leaders are trying to figure out ways to usher Hillary offstage before its too late for their party in 2016. I wouldn’t be surprised if a quiet compromise is worked out, a sudden illness discovered, as Joe Biden is rushed in, riding on a whitish horse while Huma disappears mysteriously from the scene.
Roger L. Simon – an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and award-winning novelist – is the co-founder and CEO Emeritus of PJ Media. He blogs about the 2016 presidential election at Diary of a Mad Voter.