Hillary's Smoking Gun

Hillary's email scandal reveals the real crooks - and not just her.

We've abruptly realized that there is indeed a "smoking gun" in the Hillary email case, but it wasn't what we thought it would be.

Ever since Hillary's email scandal came to light, we've been reminded over and over that Judicial Watch, a small "conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, [which] promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law" played the lead role in forcing all the sordid, self-serving details out into the open.  Their motto is "Because no one is above the law," a sentiment which we share and which the New York Times claims is shared by the President of the United States:

I've got to own up to my mistake, which is that ultimately it's important for this administration to send a message that there aren't two sets of rules.  You know, one for prominent people and one for ordinary folks who have to pay their taxes.  [emphasis added]

  - President Barack Hussein Obama, New York Times quote of the day, Feb. 3, 2009

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

FOIA is designed so that anyone can request information from any federal agency.  The law states that all documents created by any government employee are owned by the US Taxpayers and, with a few exceptions, are to be turned over promptly and completely to any interested citizen on request.  Despite promising to run the "most transparent administration ever," the Obama administration has stalled many FOIA requests for years.

In Hillary's case, Judicial Watch used the federal Freedom of Information Act to force the State Department to disgorge information about Hillary's communications while she was Secretary of State.  The link gives an account of the illegal delays, obfuscation, lies, and noncompliance that have characterized the State Department's response to Judicial Watch's FOIA lawsuits.

Judicial Watch was surprised to learn that the State Department didn't have very many Hillary emails: they were told that it was not physically possible for the Department to turn them over because they didn't have them.  After a lot more legal digging, Judicial Watch discovered that the State Department wasn't lying; they really didn't have any of Hillary emails.  That's because Hillary hadn't used the secure State Department network; she and her associates had used her now-famous private, insecure email server instead.

The FOIA law states that when a federal employee leaves government "service," the government document registry staff decide which of their emails were relevant to their employment and which can be destroyed.  Instead of letting the State Department staff decide that, Hillary had her own personal staff print out 30,000 emails and "destroyed" the rest.  This was completely illegal.

After this illegal behavior came out, Judicial Watch asked for emails sent to various Hillary associates and found emails sent to Hillary that hadn't been turned over to the State Department.  Had these emails been among the emails on her server which Hillary believes were destroyed?  If the FBI has been able to recover them, someone knows, but we don't.

Much later, the State Department admitted that other Hillary emails had been found on other department employees' computers but it somehow took them many months to make this admission and months more before they turned any of them over.  Their delays were so egregious that the judge gave Judicial Watch the right to interrogate some of Hillary's associates under oath.

This is unprecedented.  Only in this FOIA matter associated with Hillary has a judge ever had to allow participants to be questioned under oath.  A judge will only break this kind of new ground when he's really, really angry at somebody's illegal behavior.

Illegal stonewalling and misdirection isn't unique to the State Department.  The IRS has refused to turn over emails relating to their illegal harassment of conservative organizations, the NOAA doesn't want to turn over emails showing how they tweaked temperature data to argue that temperatures really are going up, and many of the EPA staff used private emails for illegal discussions.  Judicial Watch saw that the Department of "Justice" had refused to turn over records relating to the "Fast and Furious" fiasco which led to the deaths of several American law enforcement agents and to hundreds of Mexicans and filed a lawsuit which opened up the scandal.

Judicial Watch wasn't the first organization to request information about Fast and Furious, and certainly not the most nominally powerful: The US House of Representatives asked the administration for the information, but were refused! Attorney General Eric Holder first denied knowing anything about it, then, when evidence showed that it was a longstanding administration program, he admitted knowledge but refused to share it.

The "Justice" Department's withholding of the relevant documents was so egregious that even the Washington Post called for Mr. Holder to be fired.  The House voted to hold him in Contempt of Congress but did nothing about it, even though the House controls a police authority called the Sergeant-at-Arms who has the power to arrest and lock people up to enforce a Congressional contempt finding.  The New York Times promoted this solution when a Republican administration held a Democratic Congress in contempt, but is strangely silent now.

The Smoking Gun

And so we arrive at Hillary's smoking gun:

Judicial Watch is a small organization whose budget is tiny compared to what our House of Representatives spend on staff.  Despite their occasional gaffe, we know from their public utterances that our reps aren't stupid.  Yet, our Republican Congress and its Republican leadership let Hillary and Mr. Holder ignore their subpoenas until Judicial Watch pried a lot of the information out of the government.

If a tiny organization could use the FOIA to get information, why couldn't our Republican representatives, to whom we gave a majority in the house as soon as we could after Mr. Obama took office, get the information?

Democrats complain that the House's Benghazi investigation spent millions of dollars and found nothing.  It wasn't quite nothing - they forced Hillary to admit that she'd lied about the attack on our embassy being caused by a video - but that's about all.  Judicial Watch did the heavy lifting.

Some House members helped write the FOIA.  Why didn't they use it as Judicial Watch has done?  They held Mr. Holder in contempt, but why didn't they have the sergeant-at-arms arrest him and lock him up?

One could argue that individual Congresscritters were worried about the media shellacking they'd receive and feared for their next election.  In that case, what about the Republican National Committee which doesn't run for office and which the media hates already?  The RNC budget is many times that of Judicial Watch, their lawyers are legion, and they're certainly better-connected to judges.  Yet they didn't even try.

The only reason we can think of is that they don't want to rock the establishment boat.  Hillary's smoking gun is that, in failing to pursue her effectively, the Republicans demonstrated vividly that they are as corrupt as the Democrats: they care more about keeping the Establishment in power regardless of nominal party than they do about honesty or responding to the people's well-founded concerns.

We agree wholeheartedly with both Mr. Trump and with Mr. Sanders: our ruling elites are irredeemably corrupt and need to be dethroned post haste.

That is why we have come to support Mr. Trump, despite his aggressive, destructive, demolition-derby style of campaigning: we actively hope that Mr. Trump turns out to be a wrecking ball.  He's already hurt the Republican Establishment.  As he hurls the Clinton scandals through the MSM shield wall around her, he may very well blast down their establishment too.  And he has removed the final fig leaf from the mainstream media; there's nobody non-senile left in America who trusts anything they say.

A plague on both their houses!  Only once both parties are left in ashes in a smoking crater (metaphorically speaking, of course) can we even attempt to rebuild a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for Scragged.com and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments

Democrats are better politicians than the conservatives, they will win.

June 12, 2016 6:49 PM

Yes, bassboat, a Democrat will definitely win. After all, the only two people running are both Democrats.

It is an utterly illogical notion that Trump is somehow forcing the press to go after Hillary.

Trump supporters routinely say the MSM hates Trump and lies about him. Now they're saying that his blustering has made the MSM go after his enemies? Which is it?

If anything, it's the exact opposite. Because Trump is so widely written off as a loon, his accusations and assertions are immediately ignored. If he claims it (birth certificate!) It must be false, and so he provides cover for those he attacks. It's like being attacked by the KKK or ISIS - good people immediately respect you more. Trump's attacks inherently give credibility and respect to Hillary.

June 12, 2016 7:14 PM

Ifon, Trump isn't a conservative. Even though both Republicans and conservatives lack political skills he has the better chance than a conservative. A shame!

June 12, 2016 7:27 PM

Our only hope is that he get elected and doesn't sink the Congressional majorities.

June 25, 2016 7:29 PM

Our only hope is that he get elected and doesn't sink the Congressional majorities.

June 25, 2016 7:30 PM

Democrats and Republicans.....they all suck...both are rotten and corrupt to the core.

August 27, 2016 8:53 PM

@Chuck Steak - you got that right! I forget who said there isn't a dime's worth of difference between the parties, but he wasn't exaggerating.

It's interesting to note that Mr. trump isn't saying nearly as much about Hillary's crookedness as we'd expect, and that Mr. sanders didn't either.

I wonder why. Is the fix in?

August 28, 2016 4:00 PM
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