Roger L. Simon

Hillary's Watergate Looms

Photo courtesy AP Images.

Of all the welter of predictions for 2016, by far the most dramatic seems to have been given short shrift or swept under the rug — the possible indictment of Hillary Rodham Clinton while running for the presidency.  Were such an event to occur, it would dominate our culture as nothing since Watergate.  Yet most of us put it in the back of our minds, thinking it could never happen and focusing on the latest back and forth with Trump.

Nevertheless, as pointed out on PJM by Debra Heine, it very much could happen.  Heine cited Laura Ingraham’s Tuesday radio interview with former U. S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Joe DiGenova, some of which went as follows in verbatim transcription (you can listen to the full interview here):

DiGenova: Hillary Clinton’s going to have problems because of what’s in the emails, but also the classifications. Her biggest problem right now is the FBI. They’re not going away. They have reached a critical mass in their investigation of the Secretary and all of her senior staff. And, it’s going to come to a head, I would suggest, in the next sixty days. And, I predict Hillary will not make it to the finish line. She’s not going to be able to complete her campaign. The criminal investigation must focus on her and all the people around her. And, if Jim Comey, the FBI director, is doing his job, which I expect him to do as an honorable man, she cannot be the nominee of the Democratic Party. She’s going to have to be charged with the crime. It’s going to be a very complex matter for the Department of Justice, but they’re not going to be able to walk away from it. She and her staff have committed numerous federal crimes involving the negligent and improper handling of classified information. They are now at over 1,200 classified emails. And, that’s just for the ones we know about from the State Department. That does not include the ones that the FBI is, in fact, recovering from her hard drives.  (1:08)

[snip]

Ingraham: Do you have confidence that Loretta Lynch, from what we saw with her handling of the Baltimore riots and all that, is going to okay, green light an indictment of Hillary Clinton in an election year? (3:21)

DiGenova: I believe that the evidence that the FBI is compiling will be so compelling that, unless she agrees to the charges, there will be a massive revolt inside the FBI, which she will not be able to survive as an Attorney General. It will be like Watergate. It will be unbelievable.

I know DiGenova slightly and he is an extremely smart guy, but he’s also a dyed-in-the-wool Republican who would like nothing more than to see Hillary fall.  On the other hand, he’s a longtime Beltway player with a lot of friends at the top levels of law enforcement.  I wouldn’t for a minute dismiss what he is saying, nor, I’m sure are people at the upper echelons of the Democratic Party.  It’s not for no reason the Daily Mail is suddenly reporting “Candid Joe Biden says he ‘regrets’ his decision not to run for president ‘every day’ as he admits to having second thoughts.” Maybe he knows something.

Whatever the case, as the unthinkable becomes thinkable, several possible scenarios emerge, all with mind-boggling ramifications:  1. We learn the FBI recommends an indictment and Lynch goes forward. (What next? Trump versus Sanders? A brokered convention turns to Biden? Whoever is chosen the Democratic Party would be deeply wounded.)  2. Lynch does not go forward but word leaks out the FBI had recommended that she do. (A recipe for civil war — or something close).  3. The FBI doesn’t recommend but whistle blowers come out to say they should have. (Chaos with FBI Director Comey under attack.)  4.  Nothing happens — what Obama would call “transparency” but the rest of us might call stonewalling.

I was leaning to 4, but now something (respect for Comey? DiGenova’s knowledge?) tells me it’s 1 or 2, both of which mean buckle up and bucket up (on popcorn). If it’s 1, Lynch will have done us all a favor.  If it’s 2, there will be blood on the tracks all over Washington and our television sets may explode, as Lynch goes down in infamy, but we the people (probably) come out okay.  In either case, 1 or 2, we will be watching one of the greatest public exercises of karma in modern times.

One other development might be making it especially bad for Hillary. North Korea is back in the news with their recent explosion of a quondam H-bomb, reminding us that the insane NORKs are still there and also reminding us (and the FBI, we can assume) that top-secret satellite maps of North Korea appeared unauthorized on the Clinton’s personal email server. That would put the average citizen in jail in a heartbeat.