Clilnton FBI Investigation

One astonishing characteristic about this presidential race is that Democrats who were justifiably outraged about every violation of the rules and acts to obstruct government transparency under George W. Bush are willing to defend actions which were often worse when committed by Hillary Clinton. Even if they are willing to excuse her actions on partisan/tribal grounds, it is a risky proposition to nominate a candidate whose activities are under FBI investigation. It would be like the Republicans nominating Nixon after the facts about Watergate were known. The Hill considers Clinton’s problems in discussing The Chaos Scenario for Democrats:

It’s the scenario that Republicans dream of and Democrats believe is all but impossible: Hillary Clinton being forced to drop out of the presidential race due to criminal charges over her email server.

Any bombshell findings in the FBI’s investigation of Clinton could plunge the Democratic race into chaos…

In the event that Clinton stepped aside after winning the nomination at the convention, the Democratic National Committee could decide on the replacement on its own.

If an indictment came before the convention, the path would be more difficult.

Unlike the Republican Party, which binds most of its delegates to candidates regardless of delegates’ personal preferences, Democratic candidates have input on who represents them on the convention floor.

“There are no Clinton-bound delegates who would prefer voting for Sanders, for example,” delegate expert and University of Georgia professor Josh Putnam, told The Hill.

“Those folks are essentially hand-picked to be loyal. They are unlikely to stray.”

They discussed options including Sanders winning the nomination based upon his delegate strength, versus party leaders turning to a more establishment candidate:

“The superdelegates would flee first because they are politicians,” said one Democratic strategist who has worked on presidential campaigns.

“They are most likely to feel the pressure not to cast their ballots in favor of a nominee under indictment.”

If enough pledged Clinton delegates and superdelegates went to Sanders and delivered him 2,383 delegates, he would win the nomination.

But delegates could also coalesce around a new candidate not in the race. One likely fallback would be Vice President Biden, who came very close to running for president last year.

But denying Sanders the nomination could come with a heavy price, potentially alienating the millions of Democrats who cast ballots for him in the primary process…

Should the party be forced to leave Clinton, one thing that could work against Sanders is his late arrival to the Democratic Party. He’s spent his entire 30-year career in Congress as an Independent, and recently said he ran for president as a Democrat for media coverage.

“Most of these other politicians and political leaders in the community, they don’t really know Bernie Sanders because he’s never been a national Democrat,” the Democratic strategist said.

“They know Joe [Biden], they know John Kerry. It’s completely conceivable that they would turn from somebody they know and respect — Hillary — to somebody else they know and respect and bypass Sanders.”

This assumes a clear cut result should Clinton be indicted when there is time to chose another candidate. I suspect the outcome of the current investigations might not be so clear cut. The FBI could recommend indictment, but this does not mean that the Obama Justice Department would agree to prosecute. News of such an FBI recommendation would be huge if it were to come out. Is is quite possible that they might see Clinton as too big to prosecute, but she has three top aides in her campaign who also were involved in the handling of classified information under her at the State Department. Clinton might go on as the nominee if one or more of them were indicted, but it could greatly cripple her campaign.

It also must be kept in mind that, while the mishandling of classified information is the most dramatic complaint against her, with others prosecuted for doing less, this is only part of the entire scandal. Her actions included serious breaches of rules to promote government transparency, including new rules instituted under Obama in 2009 in response to the abuses under George W. Bush. Her claims, such as that what she did was allowed, have been repeatedly debunked by the fact checkers. She acted highly unethically in making decisions regarding parties who were either donating to the Foundation or paying unprecedented speaking fees to Bill. She also failed to abide by an agreement to divulge all donors while she was Secretary of State.

Reportedly the FBI has extended its investigation to such conduct at the State Department. Congress is also investigating, and I bet the Republicans will time matters to use this to embarrass Clinton during the general election campaign. It will not be as easy for her to respond to these legitimate concerns as it was to blow off the Benghazi nonsense from Republicans. All of this will provide a tremendous amount of ammunition for the Republican candidate this fall. If Donald Trump could destroy Jeb Bush by calling him low energy, imagine what he might do with actual evidence of unethical behavior by Clinton.

Democrats might wind up wishing that one of the scenarios play out early to allow them to pick a different nominee. Voters in the remaining primaries should also keep in mind that Bernie Sanders does better than Clinton against potential Republican candidates in the polls, and he is not under FBI investigation.

Originally posted at Liberal Values

Ron Chusid
Leave a replyComments (35)
  1. KP March 19, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    I used to get worked up about Hillary the same way Trump works me up now.

    Months ago I drew a line through their names.

    I am feeling a bit more desensitized with time.

    What to do?(!)

    In the end, I know I can make the biggest impact locally // through my actions.

    It is a losing proposition to wait for Clinton or Trump to change my quality of life or the quality of life in my community.

    I have always voted for what I thought was best for all of America. This cycle I am acutely interested in what is best for me.

    In another thread I asked an unanswerable question: ‘which candidate (Hillary, Trump, Bernie or Cruz) can provide me with more hours worked at a higher wage’.

    I have no idea.

    • Mike Miller March 19, 2016 at 9:52 pm

      Sanders can, simply by raising the minimum wage to $15. That change will ripple UP the wage ladder in a short amount of time, will NOT cause inflation (as historically proven), and will CUT your health insurance costs AND DEDUCTIBLES.
      He is the continuation of American Policiy from FDR to LBJ, INCLUDING EISENHOWER.

      • KP March 19, 2016 at 11:43 pm

        Thanks for taking the time. I appreciate the feedback.

        “simply by raising the minimum wage to $15. That change will ripple UP the wage ladder in a short amount of time, will NOT cause inflation (as historically proven), and will CUT your health insurance costs AND DEDUCTIBLES.

        Obama told me my family would save $2500 a year, but two years ago my insurance went up 45%. Last year it went up another 45%.

        Are you suggesting that paying entry level employees $15 an hour will solve all of this?(!)

        Mike, I am 60 years old and have run my own businesses since I was in sixth grade. I am not a newbie attending Columbia or the University of California Santa Barbara doing a bong at noon and protesting Trump around classes.

        I need to vote for somebody who will assist me, now. I am part of the middle class trying to keep their home. My wife and I work full time. Our income has decreased every year since 2010. As far as I can tell Bernie cannot increase my financial quality of life.

        The average voter (not you as I don’t know you) has _no_ idea what takes to run and maintain a business. The profit margins are small.

        The fed are the LAST in the equation when it comes to mandating wages.

        Neutered.

        • Lorie Emerson March 20, 2016 at 1:46 am

          The honest answer is that no president can. That would take legislation- state and federal.
          Even if min wage was raised- which it needs to be- the time line for it to get to $15 would still be about 5 years. National politics really has little in the way of immediate gratification except for going to war.
          If you want to discuss small business- then it’s universal healthcare. That, I believe, would be the biggest overall help- especially if it would rid us of work men’s comp and other ancillary insurances whose costs are largely based on medical expenses. Simplify the tax code- for us, compliance and unpredicted tax expenses are the true cost/ concern. Break up monopolies to increase competition. Consider our domestic workers when making trade deals and discontinue this idea that we need to compete against the lowest waged workers in the worst conditions in the world.- All Sanders positions.
          At the local/ state level- you support unions and enforcing e-verify. Even if you aren’t in a union, the union wages around you push up the wages of the area. E-verify with penalties can largely eliminate illegal hiring- which should aid employment numbers and relieve some of the downward pressure on wages.

          When it comes to Hillary vs Trump- just remember that Trump already thinks your wages are too high.
          http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/11/11/donald-trump-insists-that-wages-are-too-high/?_r=0

          • KP March 20, 2016 at 1:38 pm

            “National politics really has little in the way of immediate gratification except for going to war.”

            I completely agree.

          • KP March 20, 2016 at 1:49 pm

            “If you want to discuss small business- then it’s universal healthcare.” “Simplify the tax code- for us, compliance and unpredicted tax expenses are the true cost/ concern.”

            Lorie, I can tell you know small business!

            I am not sure we could be rid of worker’s comp but we could lower medical costs of workers comp, and perhaps better control fraud. There would still be the high cost of temporary totally or permanent partial disability. As well, permanent totally disability and vocational rehabilitation or training.

          • Lorie Emerson March 21, 2016 at 1:27 am

            Personally, I would say go the Australian route and roll those costs over to unemployment. We don’t need a bunch of different programs. We already have a set up for retraining and temporary loss of work and we already have a set up for permanent disability with SSDI. (Of course, if the employer is negligent that’s different).

        • Ron Chusid March 20, 2016 at 3:40 am

          You are right. While others will benefit, I doubt you will benefit from an increase in the minimum wage. (I’m speaking short term. Perhaps in the long run it will help by helping to revive the middle class). Medicare for All would help with health care costs, but we know that this is unlikely to pass through Congress in the next five years, and by then you will qualify for Medicare.

          If looking purely at your own bottom line, conceivably you could consider Trump or Cruz who promise lower taxes. Personally I don’t find it worthwhile when thinking of what damage they would do to the country.

          Realistically, I don’t think there is any good grounds to pick one over the other based upon your own short term financial interests. There are significant reasons to support Sanders over the three conservative candidates, but these would be over matters other than how much money you make in the next few years.

          • KP March 20, 2016 at 1:43 pm

            “If looking purely at your own bottom line, conceivably you could consider Trump or Cruz who promise lower taxes.”

            You nailed it Ron. I am not old enough or young enough to benefit from Bernie in the next five years.

            “Realistically, I don’t think there is any good grounds to pick one over the other based upon your own short term financial interests.”

            I see the same and that is why my question “what candidate will serve my immediate financial bottom line?” is almost unanswerable. None is the correct answer.

          • Lorie Emerson March 21, 2016 at 1:30 am

            Yes, but when you go to file for Medicare and SS… You better hope we haven’t been being run by people who think it should be cut or privatized.

    • Ladislavv Din March 20, 2016 at 8:22 am

      Drawing lines through names is a good symbolic act. Some time ago, I stopped watching both MSNBC and FOX News because of their intense bias and constant misinformation at opposite ends of the political spectrum. I also left the Democratic party, and became independent. All of this reduced my stress about politics, but offers no solutions.

      Gallup actually reports that a strong plurality of American votes — 43 percent — are now independents, the highest level in history, compared to 30 percent Democrats and 26 percent Republicans. I will did re-register as a Democrat, so I can vote AGAINST Hillary in the primary. That will be a source of great satisfaction for me.

      • KP March 20, 2016 at 1:56 pm

        Your comment almost mirrors my own experience. I have not affiliated with a party for years and years. California is a semi-closed primary so to keep all options open to me I would have to register as a Republican. Typically, California’s primary is so late it doesn’t have meaning. This year could be different. I still have a couple months to decide.

        • Ron Chusid March 20, 2016 at 4:24 pm

          California very well could be in play this year–in both parties. It could be very close as to whether Trump is able to win enough delegates to have an outright majority.

          Sanders would have to greatly exceed expectations. If the remaining large state and western states had gone first, it is possible that he might have obtained the 60+ percent margins he now needs, but I fear that he will actually do worse in the later states than he otherwise would have due to many people voting for the leading candidate. However, if there should be a turn in the campaign to favor Sanders (such as bad news regarding the FBI investigation for Clinton) then it is possible that it will get close enough for California to matter.

          • KP March 20, 2016 at 6:33 pm

            I can only vote against one candidate _or_ for one candidate :-)

    • Rachel Corey Katz March 20, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      KP- I turn 56 this year, I hear you. I am praying for all my life that Sanders wins. Here’s my answer to your question. You think it’s tough now, if Hillary or any of the GOP except Trump are elected the Fed will keep printing money and Wall St- who have already raped and pillaged our country and the world will will be completely unstoppable. this is our very last chance. The dollars you have may go the way of the Weimar Republic. Did you read Piketty and Galbraith and the other 170 economists report on how life would be under Sanders? My son needs therapy for Aspergers, health costs are killing us. Treasuries are marked on the hundredths of percents, they used to be 5%. If you do have a stock or bond they can only be held by an (unregulated) “bank” and they hold it in THEIR name, not yours! If and whe the bank goes down, they take your money with them and you have nothing. Hundreds of banks defaulting each year already. My friends husband died suddenly, they were already moving out of their home that would be foreclosed, she’s trying to stay so the kids can complete high school in their existing schools. No way can they afford college. We have become so inured to losing everything to banks we have forgotten what life could be like. Did you know the air quality at our national parks is as bad as it is in our cities? Are you tired of roads and bridges and railroad accidents due to weakened infrastructure? I just read that Nestlé uses the precious water of the San bernardino parks for their business 524 dollars, and the park is dying and the ranger in charge of that water just took a job- with Nestlé…. The status quo will rob and kill you.
      Imagine taking back your country, the dollar being worth something, maybe being able to take a swim or drink of water in a local park, driving on a safe road. Your children and the children of your neighbors looking toward college, a bright future. At our age, we have health concerns, friends with health concerns, our doctors are also suffering. Imagine not having to worry about how much it costs to stay healthy. That’s about quality of life. How about being able to put money in the banks SAFELY? Mark twain said it- I am less concerned with the return on my money that the return OF my money! The USA has had panics and recessions since its inception, Lincoln raised money to fund the civil war. The only period of economic stability in the USA was from 1933 to 1981- due to the Glass Stegall act to regulate banks. 1981 Regan started dismantling those protections and Clinton finished the job. If Clinton is elected, this world is going to be far worse than you can imagine. Same for any of theGOP except Trump. trump has plenty of faults but do you really think the GOP is trying to sabotage him because he’s a fascist, a racists or whatever other nonsense? The GOP and the DNC are puppets of the banks, bought and paid for. They hate Trump for the same reason they hate Bernie, they both want to investigate the Fed and stop the wars and the bad trade agreements, that’s why they are not acceptable candidate for their parties. One last thing… Our troops have been polled by military times guess who they want for commander in chief? Trump or Sanders. Hillary and the others are killing us.

      • Rachel Corey Katz March 20, 2016 at 6:06 pm

        Oh and Henry ford said that cars had to be priced low enough for theemployees to buy them. If our nation gets back to work they will have enough to buy things, and whatever your business is, it will do better because people could actually buy something.

      • KP March 20, 2016 at 7:07 pm

        Thanks, Rachel Corey Katzam …

        I am aware that our military supports Trump or Bernie. If I only listened to the small but loud older Vets around here I would be mal-informed. Having a brother who is an Annapolis grad, who was a RIO in F-14s, was a Captain on the air craft carrier Abraham Lincoln, CAG (CVG, CVBG, CSG), a veteran of Middle East wars and ended his 35 years as Rear Admiral (ret) I stay aware. As well, living in San Diego and running with NAVY and Marines for the last thirty-five years I have a good handle on what the military wants.

        I have seen it all economically since 1974. Good times, less good times, lost businesses, a lost home, a loss of all savings. I have come back a bit, but I fail to see support from any of the candidates.

        I appreciate you being a straight shooter.

        In the past I have been of a more local advocate politically and I think that is where my best interests and sway lay.

        I think I would vote Gov. Moonbeam (Jerry Brown) over any of the four left.

        gulp!

      • dduck March 20, 2016 at 8:02 pm

        Do you work for the Trump campaign?

        • KP March 20, 2016 at 8:15 pm

          @ddudck.

          Do you know what “Pacifico” is?(!)

          They serve it in Puerto Nuevo, Baja, with lobster.

          My tip to you, not that you needed it. Better late than never :-)

          • dduck March 20, 2016 at 8:35 pm

            Thanks. :-)

  2. Mike Miller March 19, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    You are surmising that the Democratic Party intends to deny a Sanders nomination under any circumstances. That would be cutting their throats! He is actually the ONLY TRUE DEMOCRAT in the race, based on his platform.

    • Ron Chusid March 20, 2016 at 2:23 am

      “You are surmising…”

      No, the authors of the article at The Hill are surmising.

      They could be right in that many party leaders would try to deny him the nomination. However we don’t know for sure what will happen as different delegates will act differently.

      If Clinton were forced to leave the race prior to the convention, then Sanders would have his delegates. The superdelegates and the delegates won by Clinton would all be free to vote as they want. Hopefully Sanders would then pick up enough of these delegates to clinch the nomination.

      If Clinton were to be forced from the race after the convention, then a replacement nominee would be chosen by the party, probably in back rooms and Sanders’ delegates would not longer be a factor.

      I think the more likely scenario is that the scandals harm Clinton, but she is not indicted, and remains in the race.

      Sanders is the only true Democrat based upon what the Democratic Party once was and based upon what we want it to be. Unfortunately it has fallen, for now, into DLC hands and has become a Republican-lite Party. Sanders campaign has also demonstrated that younger Democrats do want a more liberal party, giving hope that Clinton is a temporary aberration.

  3. Ladislavv Din March 20, 2016 at 8:11 am

    This is a very even-handed, informed, and troubling article. It is beyond belief that the Democratic Party Establishment would dare to give We the People Hillary Clinton as a nominee for President of the United States of America.

    The only remote parallel in history is Watergate. When it became known that Nixon had conceals, altered, destroyed evidence relevant to Congressional and criminal investigations, Attorney General Elliot Richardson and top deputy resigned when pressured to participate in the coverup. Republican leaders in Congress went to Nixon and said “this cannot continue.” Do Democratic appointees and Congressional leaders have that level of integrity and courage?

    IF it becomes clear that the FBI, NSA, Inspectors General, Congressional, U.S. District Court investigations have evidence on mishandling information and/or corruption by Hillary Clinton and/or top aides, she should seek a presidential pardon and go away, just like Nixon did.

    Unfortunately, this would spare the Clintons, and make President Obama the issue, likely damaging further his image, administration, and legacy. Permitting Hillary to continue her campaign spared indictment based on partisanship would not only damage the President and his legacy, but democracy and faith in the justice system.

    • KP March 20, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      @Ladislavv Din …. All of what you said x2.

    • Ron Chusid March 20, 2016 at 4:36 pm

      Ladislavv, We didn’t know the details about Watergate until after Nixon was reelected. I would hope things would have been different if we had known.

      We do know about Clinton’s conduct, but many Democrats still defend her.

      Democratic leaders have already shown less integrity than many Republicans did in response to Watergate. Of course things have changed, and under similar circumstances I think we would have 24 hour defense of Nixon from Fox and Senate Republicans these days wouldn’t turn against a Republican President as they did with Nixon.

      Most likely Clinton is too big to prosecute, especially with a Democratic-run Department of Justice. There might be a better chance that some of her aides take the fall instead, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Justice Department tries to bury the whole thing. If the Republicans win, then matters could be different, so there is a possibility that Obama might give her a full, free, and absolute pardon for all crimes she committed as Secretary of State in the Nixon/Ford model. He has already greatly tainted his reputation with how close he has become to the Clintons. I don’t know if he would issue a pardon, but she sure might need one if the Republicans win the election.

      Not only are elected Democrats showing less integrity in this matter than the Republicans displayed with Nixon. Also look at the blogosphere. Some liberal blogs are very critical of Clinton. Others are showing a misplaced loyalty to the party, regardless of what she has done.

      Same is true of blog readers. On the one hand, see the lack of outrage here, at a moderate site, to Clinton’s actions (with many people here defending her elsewhere in the blog). Compare this to the response to the original post on my far more liberal blog (link at the end of the post). There are over 5000 hits on the post, over 2,500 Facebook likes at this point, and multiple comments critical of Clinton.

      • JSpencer March 21, 2016 at 3:58 pm

        “On the one hand, see the lack of outrage here, at a moderate site, to Clinton’s actions”

        Outrage fatigue maybe. I’m sure there will be a lot more to be outraged by down the pike, so I’m saving mine.

        • Ron Chusid March 21, 2016 at 4:33 pm

          Hopefully it won’t be a matter of used saved outrage for things such as more wars and for influence peddling from the White House should she be elected.

          • JSpencer March 21, 2016 at 8:39 pm

            Still small potatoes compared to the big stuff, and I don’t even consider Trump to be in that category, although he’s certainly more dangerous than Clinton.

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2016/03/21/trump-is-not-just-a-risk-to-the-country-he-is-also-a-risk-to-the-planet/

            I just try to keep my own corner of the world sane, I don’t have any control over the rest, so yes, I’ll save my outrage.

          • Ron Chusid March 22, 2016 at 10:24 am

            Clinton doesn’t come out too well if held to the standards of that article.

            Her position on civil liberties is not all that much better than Trump’s, with Clinton having made statements quite similar to Trump in showing a lack of respect for freedom of speech. It is Clinton who has proposed legislation to imprison protesters who burn the flat.

            She is preferable on the environment in that she does not deny climate change, but her policies have been just as bad as the Republicans, probably due to the degree she is indebted to the petroleum industry.

            Clinton’s history on trade is hardly a point in her favor.

            Plus if we are looking at threats to the planet, Clinton’s support for neoconservative policy and nation building is a serious issue, with Trump opposing such nation building (not that I would trust him either on foreign policy).

            Trump very well might be the greater evil, but the lesser evil here is still quite a problem. I don’t expect the Republicans to put up a decent candidate, but I would hope that the Democrats would do better.

          • Bob Munck March 22, 2016 at 10:28 am

            the lesser evil here is still quite a problem.

            Fortunately for all of us, Clinton’s actual positions have very little in common with your descriptions of them.

          • Ron Chusid March 22, 2016 at 10:59 am

            Unfortunately for the planet, my descriptions of Clinton’s positions are quite accurate as I have documented in multiple posts.

          • Bob Munck March 22, 2016 at 11:12 am

            as I have documented in multiple posts.

            You’ve also documented that she lies all the time, but Politifact has (once again) blown that out of the water.

            I’m not going to argue with you, Ron; your obsessions are impenetrable. Feel free to add your standard disclaimers and rejoinders; you may have the last word.

          • Ron Chusid March 22, 2016 at 11:29 am

            Wrong. Politifact and Factcheck have both confirmed I have been right in descriptions of her lying. I have cited both many time as evidence of her lying

            You also confuse evaluation of lying with fact checking. Fact checking includes both outright lies and getting facts wrong–often with trivial errors. It is the major lies from Clinton which I am concerned about.

  4. chas March 20, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    The entire situation is a direct outcome of both parties control of the election process. The public is increasing aware the candidates with the parties “seal of approval” are not necessarily working on our middle class behalf. We are increasingly aware neither Democrats or Republicans will actually resolve the growing financial problems for us. So a Bernie Sanders or a Donald Trump become viable when once they were unthinkable. The Electorate may finally have “slipped ” their collective leashes. Change is in the wind.

    • KP March 20, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      THIS!