Hillary Clinton’s new book, “What Happened,” makes an egregious oversight explaining why she lost the 2016 presidential campaign. It would have come into better focus, for her, if titled “What ‘Didn’t’ Happen.” After all, it was that which did not happen that most likely caused her loss of the presidency but, ironically, kept her campaign alive.
As voters went to the polls to elect a new president, independent observers knew several questionable issues should have sunk her bid but failed to do so. It was as if hidden hands had been working to polish an image Hillary continuously tarnished either by underhanded party politics or personal ineptness concerning national security.
Everyone supporting Hillary anticipated a dominant run through the Democratic Party primaries, easily solidifying her crowning as their presidential nominee. But Sen. Bernie Sanders made her journey a bumpy one – becoming a target of her attacks in her new book.
Even before the presidential election, it became clear Hillary supporters and Democratic Party operatives had worked behind the scenes to tilt the playing field toward Hillary. By the time of the Democratic National Convention, Sanders’ supporters were licking their wounds but tasting resentment over how the party’s cards had been stacked against their candidate.
While Hillary blamed the eventual election loss on Donald Trump supporters voicing a “cry from the white nationalist gut,” one wonders if she includes among them Sanders’ supporters reviled by her manipulation of intra-party politics, causing them either not to vote, or, to vote for Donald Trump. Resentment can run deep to generate feelings an opposition candidate may be preferable to their own who has brazenly and unfairly manipulated the party system.
Nor does she address why these Trump supporters, many whose votes obviously were cast in 2008 and 2012 to elect President Barack Obama, failed to materialize to carry her to victory in 2016. Could she have possibly “shot herself in the foot,” preventing her from winning an election that was really hers to win? The answer, were it addressed honestly in her book, would necessitate inserting the word “Didn’t” in its title.
Any bettor – prior to former FBI Director James Comey’s announcement Hillary would face no criminal charges concerning her using a private email server – would have bet otherwise. All elements necessary for an indictment were present. Others committing far less acts under the same law were prosecuted and convicted.
We now know hidden hands were at work to salvage Hillary’s presidential bid. Those hands included Obama’s, making his marching orders clear to Comey. That was why Comey worked on his announcement exculpating Hillary weeks before the investigation had been concluded or Hillary even questioned.
What didn’t happen to generate an indictment against Hillary was for those involved to act independently, allowing the wheels of justice to run without interference. Obama pressured Comey on the investigation’s outcome, and former President Bill Clinton inappropriately met on the tarmac with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, leading to Comey’s exoneration of Hillary.
Sans such high-level interference, Hillary may well have been, at a minimum, a presidential candidate under indictment on Election Day. The indictment alone would not have prevented her from running, although a conviction – were the wheels of justice capable of moving so quickly – would have.
However, just the dark shadow of an indictment against Hillary may well have turned a significant number of voters against her or, prior to the election, resulted in tremendous pressure from the public and possibly her own party to resign.
Had Hillary still won the election despite an indictment, a conviction before taking office would have barred her from doing so. Such a conviction could have then generated an effort for her to be deemed incapacitated, possibly leaving the door open for the vice president-elect to replace her.
Had conviction occurred after Clinton had taken office, a 2000 Department of Justice memo suggests a sitting president should be immune from an indictment and prosecution while serving in office. Thus, Hillary would have been untouchable by prosecutors as long as she occupied the Oval Office. Nor could she be impeached as “the House of Representatives determined in 1873 that Presidents could not be impeached for offenses committed before they took office.”
Ironically, as president, Hillary would have had authority to pardon herself and escape prosecution altogether. Issuing a questionable pardon, granted on the last day of her presidency to limit any political fallout, was done by her husband years earlier.
President Bill Clinton waited until his last day in office before pardoning international and FBI most-wanted fugitive Marc Rich, in what later would be described as “the most condemned official act of Clinton’s political career.” Rich made billions of dollars illegally trading with anti-U.S. rogue states and was pardoned only after the Clinton Library received a $450,000 donation from Rich’s ex-wife. It caused the New York Times to write the pardon was “a shocking abuse of presidential power.”
Meanwhile, years after Rich’s death, the Clintons continue receiving funds from Rich’s friends and business associates. One is Russian investor Sergei Kurzin who worked for Rich in the 1990s and was involved in the Uranium One deal approved by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It involved her husband and resulted in a flow of cash being made in three separate transactions to the Clinton Foundation as Russia assumed control of Uranium One between 2009-2013. Of course, back then Russia was our friend.
Thus, as president, Hillary would have had no problem meeting her husband’s pardon standard by granting herself one.
Justice for Hillary should have been allowed to run its course unimpeded. It was not.
Hidden hands are still at work today trying to polish Hillary’s image as Amazon quietly deleted numerous uncomplimentary reviews of her book.
Interviewed by Matt Lauer, Hillary rejected any responsibility for self-inflicted wounds sinking her presidential bid. It is unconscionable she still fails to accept personal responsibility for her failed campaign, including recognizing what didn’t happen only helped keep it alive.