It appears that, with only one week left until Super Tuesday, the mainstream media are content with the slow pace of the various investigations into Hillary Clinton’s malfeasance. Come March 15, over half of the states will have voted for their favorite primary candidates. Yet the FBI investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email server and her handling of classified material, along with the House Select Committee’s Benghazi investigation, may be going nowhere.
“[Republican Congressman Trey] Gowdy [SC] has said he hopes to wrap up interviews with witnesses in February,” reported Sarah Westwood for The Washington Examiner on February 18. “His committee will then release a highly-anticipated report on its findings.”
But that report may not effectively tell the story of Benghazi if, as Gowdy says, he is going to allow his audience to draw their own conclusions. “It’s not my job to tell you what happened,” said Gowdy on the Don Smith radio show. “It’s my job to tell you what the witnesses say. I wasn’t there.”
Gowdy also said that he was “pleased and frankly proud” of the effort his committee had made that revealed to the public that Clinton was using a private server for all of her emails.
However, the Select Committee wasn’t established so that its report would be issued by a stenographer. It was established to get to the truth of what happened, even if reporters and broadcasters alike dismiss the search for the truth as a “phony scandal.” So far, the committee does not appear to have interviewed outside experts—authoritative figures who could shine some light on the testimony of bureaucrats with ulterior motives.
This committee also has a greater responsibility than to simply report what the witnesses said; it must also connect the dots, and draw conclusions. Then the Democratic minority on the committee can include a minority report.
Similarly, it is the FBI’s job to compile evidence that could lead to an indictment of Hillary Clinton—not to let the evidence speak for itself, but to be woven into a convincing narrative outlining the case for legal action. If there is no such evidence, then Mrs. Clinton deserves that the government lift that cloud of suspicion while primary voters consider their options.
It remains important that the Select Committee tell a true and convincing story about the events in Benghazi without getting bogged down in the unnecessary search for additional smoking guns.
The Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB) laid out the big picture of what happened in Benghazi—and the period leading up to it—nearly two years ago in its April 2014 interim report, and additional evidence has since validated our findings. It has been made abundantly clear that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama deceived the public by blaming the attacks on a YouTube video while knowing these attacks were perpetrated by terrorists; it is also readily apparent that the United States failed to send available military forces to aid those in Libya. And that is just scratching the surface.
We understand that the Obama administration has stonewalled and slow-walked the Select Committee’s investigation. But at some point the Select Committee must go with what they’ve got. When will Congressman Gowdy release his committee’s report? Will it be after more than half of the United States loses the opportunity to cast an educated vote?
Worse still is the Obama administration’s ongoing interference into the FBI investigation of Clinton’s email server and possible corruption. Fox News’ Catherine Herridge reported in January that the FBI and Justice Department became “super pissed off” when the White House made public comments about Clinton not being a target of the investigation.
“What I know that some officials over there have said is that she is not a target of the investigation, so that [an indictment] does not seem to be the direction that it’s trending,” announced Press Secretary Josh Earnest at the time. “But I’m certainly not going to weigh in on a decision or in that process in any way. That is a decision to be made solely by independent prosecutors but again, based on what we know from the Department of Justice, it does not seem to be headed in that direction.”
This isn’t the first time that the Obama administration has improperly prejudged an ongoing investigation. The Associated Press (AP) has previously compared Obama to former President Richard Nixon, citing examples of both of them speaking out and declaring defendants guilty of murder. In Nixon’s case it was Charles Manson; in Obama’s it was Khalid Sheikh Mohammad.
President Obama has also come very close to endorsing Mrs. Clinton. “She is my friend. She would make an excellent president,” said President Obama last year, according to The Washington Post. In his February 16 remarks, the President referred to former Secretary Clinton as “an outstanding secretary of state” without making a similar compliment about socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Just last month the White House had insisted it wasn’t going to endorse a Democratic primary candidate.
That Post article fails to mention the gravity of a president nearly endorsing a candidate who may face criminal charges.
This comes at a time when, as the Los Angeles Times is reporting, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign is struggling financially, writing, “Clinton finds herself under financial stress.” Maybe the Clinton Foundation could loan the campaign a billion dollars, thus cutting its size in half. Or the campaign could draw on the other billion the Clintons have collected, as reported by The Washington Post, for “the Clintons’ political races and legal defense fund.” The Post article is titled, “Two Clintons. 41 Years. $3 Billion.”
Some on the left are starting to panic that Mrs. Clinton will win the nomination and take the Democratic Party down to defeat. Salon, one of the far-left’s favorite websites, argued in a piece this past weekend titled “Hillary Clinton Just Can’t Win,” that “Bernie Sanders is the only Democratic candidate capable of winning the White House in 2016. Please name the last person to win the presidency alongside an ongoing FBI investigation, negative favorability ratings, questions about character linked to continual flip-flops, a dubious money trail of donors, and the genuine contempt of the rival political party. In reality, Clinton is a liability to Democrats, and certainly not the person capable of ensuring liberal Supreme Court nominees and President Obama’s legacy.”
With 150 agents working on one of the FBI’s cases against Mrs. Clinton, it seems incumbent upon the Bureau to push the Justice Department to indict Hillary Clinton if it finds the corruption it is searching for. And, given recent evidence, it seems unlikely that the agency could do anything but charge her with mishandling classified information.
Mrs. Clinton’s main defense has been that the information from her emails now deemed classified wasn’t marked as classified at the time. However, in 2011 Secretary of State Clinton instructed an aide, Jake Sullivan, to remove the classified markings before sending information to her private, unsecured email. Besides, it doesn’t matter legally whether this information was marked classified or not. That is a smokescreen. It is her professional obligation to recognize classified material.
Yet President Obama has already put his finger on the scale of justice, asserting that Clinton’s email server “is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.”
FBI Director James Comey faces a politically untenable choice—to pursue a case against the President’s wishes or to tarnish the impartiality of the law. Comey has a reputation as a straight-shooter to the extent that if he makes a criminal referral to the Department of Justice and they don’t act on it, he might well go public, or resign. Time will tell.
These two investigations—along with the State Department’s probe into potential conflicts of interest between the Clinton Foundation and Mrs. Clinton’s actions as secretary of state—should have been done by the end of last year, well before we got this far down the road of the presidential primaries. In both cases these investigations reflect upon the Obama administration as well as on Mrs. Clinton. Yet as each entity—the Select Committee and the FBI—wait to issue their reports, the findings in both cases will be seen by large segments of the population as primarily political. That is, unless Hillary is somehow exonerated. Then the mainstream media will assure us that they knew all along that these investigations were nothing but politics from the start.
Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at [email protected]