The ongoing dumpster fire for Democrats that was Hillary Clinton’s insanely risky email security strategy – to put it in the simplest terms, she didn’t have one – has sparked a lot of concern, speculation, and cynicism. The concern is: What did Hillary Clinton’s incompetence reveal to our rivals and enemies? The speculation is: What will the FBI find? And the cynicism is: At what point will Barack Obama swoop in and derail the investigation?
Well, this latest report from Fox News suggests that the answer to the third question is The FBI is still being allowed to do its job. It looks like they’re going to be looking into perjury: “The FBI has expanded its probe of Hillary Clinton’s emails, with agents exploring whether multiple statements violate a federal false statements statute, according to intelligence sources familiar with the ongoing case.” …That’s always how the Feds get you, by the way: perjury. It is by far the federal government’s favorite way of getting somebody to trial. Doesn’t matter if what you did originally is or isn’t a crime (although, thanks to our current regulatory mess, it probably was); you can still go to jail if the Feds can make the case that you lied to them.
Now, whether this means that Hillary Clinton will go to jail… well, time for the cynicism to kick back in. I would not bet money that Hillary Clinton ends up being indicted. I would also not bet money that people on her staff are likewise immune to prosecution. In fact, the worse it looks for former Secretary Clinton – and, according to that Fox News report, the FBI investigation is keeping itself independent from any hypothetical State Department whitewashes – the more likely it is that she’ll have to offer up a scapegoat. Or scapegoats.
One last thing: this is not quite the same story as from two days ago. What Politico reported there was that the FBI probe was extending the range of the questions being asked, as well as the number of people who were being asked those questions. What’s happening here is a bit of a signal, honestly. If it’s getting leaked that the FBI is contemplating even the possibility of perjury charges, that’s an escalation in how seriously everybody should be taking things now.
PS: At some point, we really need reform elements of this process. Because while it’s not always inherently partisan, it can become partisan with dizzying speed, and with an utter lack of shamelessness to boot. I’d like to be able to have a process where we can tell a Martha Stewart situation from a Hillary Clinton one, if only because prosecuting the latter is so much more a proper use of our time than prosecuting the former. And, yeah, I’d also like a pony. I mean, really: who wouldn’t?