“How stupid do they think we are?”
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough asked the most important question we should be asking of 2016 presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and her former president spouse in the wake of the newest 21st century Clinton scandal.
Mrs. Clinton violated a federal regulation and quite possibly committed a misdemeanor or felony, and yet it seems she is still on her way to the Democrat coronation.
According to the New York Times, Politico, AP, a hacker and multiple legal sources, Hillary Clinton used a personal email account to conduct government business while she was Secretary of State.
Why is this significant? Well, according to Title 36, Chapter XII, Subchapter B, Part 1236, Subpart C, Section 1236.22(b) of U.S. Federal Code Regulation, agencies whose employees send and receive email using a private email server must preserve federal records “in the appropriate agency record-keeping system.”
This rule -- along with the general mission of the National Archives Association -- is to ensure transparency of government activity for Congress, the media, historians and private citizens.
However, recent records requests sent to the State Department turned up empty handed because they did not have access to Mrs. Clinton’s emails, keeping a significant amount of her correspondence from investigators and the public. At the Department’s request, she has turned over some 55,000 pages of government-related emails. The problem is that it was Clinton and her staff who exercised discretion over which documents to turn over.
Indeed, in a slap in the face move to the American public, she tweeted at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night: “I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them.”
Sorry, Mrs. Clinton, the law means the taxpayers have a right to your documents regardless of whether or not you want them to. Government officials do not get to ask their agencies to release what rightfully belongs to the public.
Moreover, Hillary faces the possibility of jail time, fines and disqualification from public office for violating Statute Title 18, Part I, Chapter 101, Section 2071(a&b) of U.S. Code.
This statute declares that if the former secretary retained classified information in a non-governmental, non-secure way – in this case, with her private email system – she faces the same misdemeanor that General David Petreaus was recently charged with in his mishandling of classified documents alongside his mistress.
In addition, she faces a felony if she “willfully and unlawfully concealed, removed, mutilated, obliterated, falsified or destroyed” any records related to her work.
One could argue that simply the act of her possessing the emails and deciding when they get released instead of State is a willful intent of withholding government records. How could a secretary of state conduct her job if she didn’t deal with classified information with her email?
The reason these legal ramifications remain a mere possibility is simply time.
Everyone knows the Clintons will stall investigations -- like they always have -- and use their Orwellian legal defense to keep the public in the dark, not leaving a dent in Mrs. Clinton’s presidential prospects.
It truly is remarkable to witness a House of Cards-style cover-up unfold in our real-life American democracy involving such a high profile public official. The hypocrisy of our government is amazing, especially in the wake of record-breaking espionage charges against whistle-blowers under the Obama administration, supposedly for compromising classified national security information.
So while whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden and government officials with no presidential prospects -- namely Gen. Petraeus and former U.S. Ambassador Scott Gration -- are facing the U.S. justice system, Clinton continues her nationwide fundraising trips for her upcoming White House run.
This kind of unethical, secretive behavior should disqualify her from the office of the presidency.