Hillary Clinton recently editorialized about the second volume of special counsel Robert Mueller’s massive report. She concluded of the report’s assorted testimonies and inside White House gossip concerning President Trump’s words and actions that “any other person engaged in those acts would certainly have been indicted.”
Psychologists might call her claims “projection.” That is the well-known psychological malady of attributing bad behavior to others as a means of exonerating one’s own similar, if not often even worse, sins.
After 22 months of investigation and $34 million spent, the Mueller report concluded that there was no Trump-Russia collusion — the main focus of the investigation — even though that unfounded allegation dominated print and televised media’s speculative headlines for the last two years.
While Mueller’s report addressed various allegations of Trump’s other roguery, the special counsel did not recommend that the president be indicted for obstruction of justice in what Mueller had just concluded was not a crime of collusion.
What Mueller strangely did do — and what most federal prosecutors do not do — was cite all the allegedly questionable behavior of a target who has just been de facto exonerated by not being indicted.
What Mueller did not do was explain that much of the evidence he found useful was clearly a product of unethical and illegal behavior. In the case of the false charge of “collusion,” the irony was rich.
Russians likely fed salacious but untrue allegations about Trump to ex-British spy Christopher Steele, who was being paid in part by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to find dirt on Trump.
The Russians rightly assumed that Steele would lap up their fantasies, seed them among Trump-hating officials in the Barack Obama administration and thereby cause hysteria during the election, the transition and, eventually, the Trump presidency.
Russia succeeded in sowing such chaos, thanks ultimately to Clinton, who likely had broken federal laws by using a British national and, by extension, Russian sources to warp an election. Without the fallacious Steele dossier, the entire Russian collusion hoax never would have taken off.
Without Steele’s skullduggery, there likely would have been no Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court-approved surveillance of Trump aide Carter Page. There might have been no FBI plants inserted into the Trump campaign. There might have been no subsequent leaking to the press of classified documents to prompt a Trump collusion investigation.
Given the Steele travesty and other past scandals, it is inexplicable that Clinton has not been indicted.
Her lawlessness first made headlines 25 years ago, when she admitted that her cattle futures broker had defied odds of one in 31 trillion by investing $1,000 from her trading account and returning a profit of nearly $100,000. Clinton failed to report about $6,500 in profits to the IRS. She initially lied about her investment windfall by claiming she made the wagers herself. She even fantastically alleged that she mastered cattle futures trading by reading financial newspapers.
To paraphrase Clinton herself, anyone else would have been indicted for far less.
The reason that foreign oligarchs are no longer donating millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, and that Bill Clinton is not being offered $500,000 for speaking appearances in Moscow, is simply because Hillary Clinton is not secretary of state. She is no longer in a public position to hector her colleagues into approving pro-Russian commercial deals, such as the one that gave Russian interests access to North American uranium.
As secretary of state, Clinton also sidestepped the law by setting up a home-brewed email server. She transmitted classified documents over this insecure route and lied about it. And she destroyed some 30,000 emails that were in effect under subpoena. Anyone else would have been indicted for far less.
In truth, Clinton was at the heart of the entire Russian collusion hoax. Even after the election, she kept fueling it to blame Russia-Trump conspiracies for her stunning defeat in 2016. Unable to acknowledge her own culpability as a weak and uninspiring candidate, Clinton formally joined the post-election “resistance” and began whining about collusion. That excuse seemed preferable to explaining why she blew a huge lead and lost despite favorable media coverage and superior funding.
For much of her professional life, Hillary Clinton had acted above and beyond the law on the assumption that as the wife of a governor, as first lady of the United States, as a senator from New York, as secretary of state and as a two-time candidate for the presidency, she could ignore the law without worry over the consequences.
For Clinton now to project that the president should be indicted suggests she is worried about her own potential indictment. And she is rightly concerned that for the first time in 40 years, neither she nor her husband is serving in government or running for some office, and therefore could be held accountable.
Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author of the soon-to-be released “The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won,” to appear in October from Basic Books. You can reach him by e-mailing [email protected].
(C) 2019 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.