Thursday, April 2, 2015

Hillary to Testify?

My article in today's FrontPage magazine:

Hillary to Testify?

By Matthew Vadum

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will have to give evidence in federal court because she clearly knew her surreptitious private email scheme violated U.S. law, legal experts say.

The bungler of Benghazi deliberately sought to do an end-run around the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) by establishing a private email server to handle her government email while serving at Foggy Bottom, they added.

Clinton’s use of her own personal server for her official State Department electronic correspondence “has stopped the clock on accountability,” Joseph diGenova, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia said during a Judicial Watch panel discussion.

“The basic facts cry out for a formal investigation by the Justice Department,” he said.

“Clinton is going to have to testify in a federal court,” said diGenova. “She has admitted that she has destroyed, theoretically, government documents under subpoena by the House of Representatives and under subpoena in civil litigation.”

“There are going to have to be affidavits filed under oath” by many government officials, including Clinton, he said.

It is impossible to overstate the seriousness of Clinton’s bad behavior in an office of such power and importance, DiGenova said.

“This is the secretary of state,” he said. “This is not somebody over at EPA, who is working in a bureau, trying to figure out carbon dioxide problems.”

“This is the secretary of state, a historical figure in terms of the operations of the U.S. government,” said DiGenova. “For anybody that cares about government—whether you are a Democrat or a Republican—she destroyed history with no supervision, no accountability, no supervision.”

Self-described liberal Democrat Daniel Metcalfe, who created the Department of Justice’s office of information and privacy, said that the system Clinton established was a “prescription for blatant circumvention of FoIA.”
FoIA officials attempting to fulfill requests pertaining to Clinton’s emails had “nothing to search through,” he said.

Clinton and her attorney, Cheryl Mills, must have been aware of what they were doing.

“I know enough to know that Clinton indeed had knowledge of how the FoIA worked,” Metcalfe said. “I worked with members of the White House, including Cheryl Mills, and based on first-hand experience, she knew exactly what she was doing.”

What Clinton did constituted a “flouting, if not an outright violation” of the Federal Records Act, he said. “By not having an official account at all, she acted utterly contrary to the FRA.”

Clinton received preferential treatment, DiGenova said.

“Whatever the duties were of a whole bunch of people at the State Department, they didn’t perform them,” he said. “At a certain point, the information management people know that she is not using an official email account … it doesn’t take a lot for somebody to start asking questions.”

The attitude at State was that “you don’t get [Clinton] angry at you by asking tough questions,” DiGenova said, adding that he believes officials knew about the private server from the outset and helped install it in her house in Chappaqua, N.Y.

Clinton went through all this trouble because she didn’t want her performance in office to be an obstacle to her pursuit of the presidency. Eliminating a trail of documents that might have an adverse impact on her expected 2016 presidential run improves Clinton’s electoral chances. Clinton has turned over thousands of emails from her personal account to the Department of State in recent months but that doesn’t change the fact that the records were not available to the public the last six years by way of FoIA requests. The now-deleted trove of electronic correspondence might contain evidence of Clinton’s mishandling of the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead.

There could be evidence that the donations that foreign governments have been flooding the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation with in recent years are in fact anticipatory bribes given in advance of a second Clinton administration. The foundation itself serves as Mrs. Clinton’s de facto campaign headquarters and employs individuals likely to move over to her official campaign whenever she officially declares herself a candidate for president.

Conflicts of interest abound.

Mills, who was chief of staff to Clinton at the State Department, “was listed as a director at the Clinton Foundation in its corporate records for more than three years after joining the administration, highlighting concerns that Clinton’s aides were too close to the foundation during her tenure,” Alana Goodman of the Washington Free Beacon discovered. A foundation spokesman claims Mills’ inclusion on corporate filings was a mistake but that is hard to believe because when Goodman’s article was published Mills was still identified as a current member of the foundation’s board on the Clinton Foundation’s website.

As Clinton’s public approval ratings go into free-fall, Media Matters for America and other Clinton-friendly groups are ramping up their defense of Hillary. At the same time, some left-wingers are throwing Clinton under the bus.

Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) diplomatically called Clinton a liar, saying she does not believe Clinton’s claim that she refrained from emailing classified material through her private account and server.

“All of her official emails should be released to the American people,” said Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran. 

“They should be able to read them all. There are going to be some that are classified and those that are classified—then show those to a bipartisan group of members of Congress.”

Duckworth, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), said she was “going to hold [Clinton] accountable.” She said Clinton needs to testify before the Select Committee on Benghazi, of which Duckworth is a member.

Ari Melber of MSNBC criticized Clinton for breaking the FoIA statute.

“By merging her records and deleting 30,000 of her emails, that system basically routed around the goal of this transparency law,” Melber said.

FoIA is an important law, he said. “Citizens can decide what matters and if it matters, not the politicians. That’s just not a nice idea, it’s the law.”

“The Freedom of Information Act wasn’t designed to be convenient,” Melber said. “It was designed to be thorough.”

And the Clinton sleaze parade continues unabated.

Michael Halle, who ran a political action committee that offered access to longtime Clinton loyalist Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) in exchange for money, has joined Hillary’s still-undeclared presidential campaign.

A solicitation used by the Good VA PAC indicated that a $100,000 contribution would buy the donor “a private dinner with the governor and first lady, sit down at a roundtable discussion with the governor, and have monthly meetings with policy experts.”

Halle will fit right in at Team Hillary.

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