05/04/2016 09:38 am ET
- H. A. Goodman Columnist published in The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Baltimore Sun, The Hill, Salon, The Jerusalem Post www.hagoodman.com
Millions of Democrats are voting for a presidential candidate linked to an FBI criminal investigation. These voters either don’t know there’s been a year-long FBI investigation of Clinton’s emails, don’t care, or would vote for Clinton even she faced Espionage Act indictments. Potentially our next Commander in Chief will be interviewed by the FBI soon, as will her top aides. This state of affairs would never take place in any other leading democracy, but American politics is unique.
Bernie Sanders has political momentum, grass roots support throughout the nation, and defeats Donald Trump by a wider margin than Clinton. Sanders has surged to within several points nationally of Clinton, despite being over 50 points down not long ago. In contrast, Clinton lost astronomical leads to both Obama and Sanders, and doesn’t keep polling leads. Furthermore, Trump won’t watch his tone about emails, and every other scandal associated with both Clintons. The pedestrian polling lead Hillary Clinton currently holds over Donald Trump isn’t set in stone; Trump is already ahead of Clinton in a recent poll.
Don’t be certain Trump can’t defeat Clinton in a general election, even if the FBI doesn’t recommend indictments. Once he pivots towards being a semi-normal human being, and distances himself from the bigoted stances he utilized to gain power within the GOP, Clinton would face a more “likable” Trump. In a battle of two individuals with negative favorability ratings, the person who might have jeopardized national security with a private server could easily lose.
In the best case scenario, Clinton doesn’t face indictments, but the FBI confirms that she jeopardized national security. Thus, Republicans would make even the best case scenario for Clinton’s campaign a major political liability. America isn’t a closed Democratic primary, and Clinton would be on the defensive during every televised debate against Trump.
This dynamic doesn’t exist with Bernie Sanders against Trump. All Bernie has to do is point and explain to America that Trump embodies everything wrong with money and politics. Bernie doesn’t have any controversies, or hidden Wall Street transcripts. Bernie also didn’t accept money from Donald Trump, but Hillary Clinton did take Trump’s money. While Bernie can distance himself completely, Clinton is too closely tied to the eventual GOP nominee, especially through their social networks. There’s a reason Trump invited the Clintons, and not Bernie and Jane Sanders, to his wedding. There’s also a reason Trump goes golfing with Bill, and not Bernie.
However, the biggest reason Clinton should concede to Bernie Sanders involves the political repercussions of the FBI’s email investigation. The long-term future of the Democratic Party rests upon whether or not the FBI discloses its findings before, or after the contested Democratic convention. While I believe Bernie Sanders will win the Democratic nomination, there’s a major issue few people have addressed in progressive circles.
What happens if Clinton wins the nomination, and the FBI recommends indictments after July 25, 2016?
If the FBI recommends indictments, and the DOJ indicts Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party would be handing Donald Trump the White House by nominating the former Secretary of State. I explain in this YouTube segment why Clinton should concede the Democratic nomination to Bernie Sanders, before the political ramifications of a contested convention, and before the FBI discloses its findings.
First, there used to be a time in American history when Bernie Sanders would be the only choice for Democratic nominee. Not long ago, an FBI investigation meant the end of a presidential campaign. Clinton would have been forced to conceded at any point in U.S. history before 2016, linked to a criminal FBI investigation.
Unfortunately, the inept Republican Party, combined with Bill and Hillary Clinton’s uncanny ability to circumvent scandal, have made even FBI investigations morally relative. Because of Ken Starr, Benghazi hearings, and the notion that anything Republicans advocate must either be a conspiracy, or some plot to harm Hillary Clinton, voters simply roll their eyes at controversy. I addressed why only Hillary Clinton is capable of enduring these issues during my CNN New Day appearance.
Second, millions of loyal Hillary supporters would still vote for Clinton, even if the FBI recommended Espionage Act indictments. Since “gross negligence” can be used to prosecute Clinton under the Espionage Act, and since convenience wasn’t the reason for owning a private server, indictments are likely. Also, if indictments become a reality, the fracture within the Democratic Party, caused by people who’d still vote for a candidate facing criminal indictment, would be irreparable. The rest of the world would either be laughing, or in disbelief, that Clinton decided to continue her campaign for the presidency (with supporters still loyal), even with the threat of jail time. Rest assured, even more Bernie supporters would refuse to vote for Clinton, if her campaign continued its quest for the White House, alongside criminal indictments.
Then there’s the likelihood of criminal charges. Every “legal scholar” or pundit defending Clinton assumes that merely convenience, or absent-mindedness, was the reason for a private server. Since there was almost certainly political utility involved in circumventing U.S. government networks, the DOJ has intent and motive to indict Clinton.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed titled Clinton’s Emails: A Criminal Charge Is Justified, former attorney general Michael B. Mukasey states the case for Clinton’s prosecution:
Like former attorney general Michael Mukasey explains, any other individual would have already been charged with several crimes. Also, it’s almost certain foreign intelligence agencies and hackers compromised Clinton’s server.When asked whether she had her server “wiped,” she assumed an air of grandmotherly befuddlement: “What, like with a cloth or something?” she said. “I don’t know how it works digitally at all.”
...Whatever the findings from that part of the probe, intelligence-community investigators believe it is nearly certain that Mrs. Clinton’s server was hacked, possibly by the Chinese or the Russians. This raises the distinct possibility that she would be subject to blackmail in connection with those transactions and whatever else was on that server by people with hostile intent against this country...
The simple proposition that everyone is equal before the law suggests that Mrs. Clinton’s state of mind—whether mere knowledge of what she was doing as to mishandling classified information; or gross negligence in the case of the mishandling of information relating to national defense; or bad intent as to actual or attempted destruction of email messages; or corrupt intent as to State Department business—justifies a criminal charge of one sort or another.
The most important element of this story is how Hillary Clinton transferred classified data from a secure State Department network to a private server. I need to ask this question of my friend Tim Black, especially since he has an IT background, and made this comprehensive analysis of the email story.
Finally, if you don’t believe H. A. Goodman, then take the word of President Obama’s former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. On CNN with Jake Tapper, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn explains why Clinton should drop out of the race:
If Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn believes he’d be in jail for doing what Clinton did with a private server, why are millions still voting for Clinton?“If it were me, I would have been out the door and probably in jail,” said Flynn, who decried what he said was a “lack of accountability, frankly, in a person who should have been much more responsible in her actions as the secretary of state of the United States of America.”
“This over-classification excuse is not an excuse,” Flynn said Friday. “If it’s classified, it’s classified.”
I trust Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn more than Brian Fallon.
The FBI will eventually disclose its findings. To pretend like this will never happen, or that these revelations won’t have an impact, is ludicrous. Democrats will need Bernie Sanders, when Clinton faces the political ramifications of this scandal. If criminal indictments hit, rest assured that many of her supporters will argue that she should still be Commander in Chief, even risking possible jail time. This depressing state of affairs could be on the horizon, which is why Clinton should concede to Bernie sooner, rather than later. Finally, I explain here why the FBI’s reputation is at stake, and how the Clinton campaign views the FBI, in the following YouTube segment.