The age of the internet has placed a premium on instant responses, but sometimes it's better to take some time to consider the entire situation before offering an opinion.
My previous post was based on a combination of sentiment and a belief in fair play - which is to say emotions. What I did not consider was the full slate of logical considerations.
Let's go through them together.
No one disputes that the evidence was there to charge her. Indeed, one of things people remarked on was how thorough FBI Director James Comey was in outlining the strong case against her. As everyone capable of sentient thought now knows, she's been lying about the whole affair from the beginning. Those facts are not in dispute.
What we don't know (but Comey may) is how many of those classified emails came from the White House.
The Clintons always play hard ball and always have a backup plan. I'd put the odds at roughly 100 percent that the Clintons had top secret emails from the White House in their possession that would be leaked in the event she was indicted. In fact, I'd bet she made a point of cc'ing the White House numerous times just for that purpose. Under no circumstances was she going down alone.
Two things flow from this. The first is that close staff of the President would be compromised, which would not under any circumstances be allowed to happen. Given that, the President would assert Executive Privilege over the entire thing, and would effectively stop the thing in its tracks.
Comey knows both of these things, and that's why he used the language about how difficult it would be to prosecute.
Finally, he also knew that if he recommended charges and the Justice Dept. shot them down, morale in the FBI would collapse. He would probably be forced to resign and Hillary would still have walked.
But let's say the DOJ agreed to prosecute. What guarantee would we have that they wouldn't lose the case on purpose? In many ways, that would have been a far worse outcome.
Think about it.
If Hillary is under indictment, she gets to play the victim and Comey will get completely trashed. At the same time, she would refuse to answer any and all questions even near it because it's a legal question and she can't comment.
The Obama administration would do the exact same thing. "We never comment on pending litigation." It would effectively disappear as an issue until such time as the DOJ blows the case on purpose. For those that doubt this would happen, just look at how many times the government loses cases on purpose to environmentalists and are forced to impose penalties on themselves that they could otherwise never get through Congress. Happens all the time.
Given the obstacles in front of him, Comey did the unexpected and in the process hammered home three potentially lethal points that Hillary won't be able to deny:
- She got special treatment. Comey came right out and said it. She can't say she's for the little guy when everyone has indisputable proof that other people are in jail for what she did.
- She screwed up royally. The only case that the NeverTrumpers have is that she is more competent than Trump. That case has just been destroyed. She tried to hide behind the "tech-challenged granny" defense and Comey threw it back into her face.
- The is a blatant, bald-faced liar and the supercuts of her lies are all over the place. These aren't just any lies, either, they are lies about her performance on the job. She lied about her core competence.
The beauty here is that there's really no way out of those last two points because the instant she says she knew what she was doing, she's confessing to the crime.
This is why Comey's emphasis on "intent" was so clever. Hillary has to suck up the next four months of jokes about her incompetence and how the Russians and Chinese read all her email because the instant she disputes that she was clueless, Comey and change his tune.
As Scott Adams would say, I was thinking two-dimensionally. Comey was operating in three.
Maybe the Republic's got some hope after all.