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Twilight of a Republic?

Sebastian expressed his amusement over the news that a Clinton staffer was offered an immunity deal as part of the email brouhaha. I can’t say I didn’t feel some schadenfreude when I heard the news, but I’ve had time to think it over since. And now I’m actually a little worried. This ups the ante for Ms. Clinton. Someone on her team believes not only that a crime occurred (Pagliano has already invoked his 5th amendment rights in testimony before Congress), but that there is a substantial risk the FBI can prove he himself was involved. The thing is, though, the FBI would only offer immunity if they believed he can tee up someone bigger. There aren’t a whole lot of bigger frogs in the pond, though. Ms. Clinton is very close to a scenario where she either becomes president or suffers a catastrophic disgrace when the whole mishandling of classified information scandal crashes down on her inner circle, and herself.

That worries me, if there is no graceful exit option for her. The underlings now have one – negotiate a deal with the FBI (while they still can, anyway). But that’s not available to the head of the organization. Neither is resigning to avoid prosecution. Accepting a pardon from this or a future non-Clinton administration is barely an option, I suppose, but it still leaves her “brand” badly tarnished. I don’t really want to see what Ms. Clinton might do on deadly ground (to quote Sun Tzu).

27 Responses to “Twilight of a Republic?”

  1. Cemetery's Gun Blob says:

    Bah….don’t worry, nothing will happen to Billary, just you watch.

    • Ian Argent says:

      The immediate investigation is in the hands of a group not known for their vulnerability to political pressure. The DoJ as a whole is part of an administration whose leader is decidedly not an ally of the Clintons.

      Not saying that the investigation can’t choke on the enormity of indicting a candidate for President or a central member of her staff. Just saying that Bad Things start happening when people panic, and that the pucker factor in the Clinton HQ has got to be pretty high right now.

  2. Bram says:

    I wonder if Barry would pardon her before the election.

    • Ian Argent says:

      That’s not really a good ending for Ms. Clinton. It didn’t do Nixon a bit of good whatsoever. Pardoning Clinton is the “quit before being fired” door. It keeps anyone pardoned out of prison, but it also reinforces the scandal via “if there’s smoke, there must be fire.”

    • Archer says:

      Pardons, like commuted sentences, aren’t available to people not yet convicted.

      And even if they were, it requires both the pardoning authority (the President, in this case) and the pardoned party (Ms. Clinton) to acknowledge that yes, she committed the crime for which she’s being pardoned.

      Even then, it’s not clear whether all the criminal consequences can be removed, or just jail/probation/fines. The crime for which Ms. Clinton would be convicted carries, in addition to prison and fines, a lifetime prohibition on holding any government office, at any level, anywhere in the United States. Would a pardon lift that prohibition?

  3. Ollie says:

    No one in the IRS was punished for attaching the Tea Party groups. No one in the BATFE was even fired for sending guns to Mexico, resulting in the deaths of over 400 people.

    Nothing will happen to her.

    • The_Jack says:

      Was anyone in those organizations formally offered immunity?

      If this was the “standard”, as you’ve said before, the DOJ would do as they’ve done before, that is stall and do nothing.

      So the immunity thing is differnt… which could be troubling.

      • Ian Argent says:

        This too. The investigation has been given plenty off opportunities to softly and silently slip away. And it’s still going.

        • Bill Twist says:

          So was the investigation into New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (D) for violating the laws against structuring payments to avoid reporting requirements, right up until the morning after Barack Obama (D) was elected president. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/07/nyregion/07spitzer.html

          Then, in their statement saying they were dropping the investigation, they studiously avoided any mention of those charges and focused on the prostitution allegations.

          Didn’t want to offend the new boss, I guess.

    • Ian Argent says:

      The Clintons aren’t members of the permanent bureaucratic class. They’re not allies of the current administration. And, for what it’s worth, Ms. Clinton’s political head would look mighty impressive on the trophy wall of a federal prosecutor. Great risks, but great rewards.

  4. RAH says:

    Comey is PO at the administration and he insists this is going forward. I expect the search for blackmail stuff has been intensive. Since he has not stopped , he must be clean.

    This very bad for the Democrats They will be left with Sanders if she is indicted. I expect she will get a pardon from Obama. I really wonder what hold the Clinton’s have on Obama. He really protected her on Benghazi.

    • Archer says:

      I expect she will get a pardon from Obama.

      Obama has less than a year left. An investigation and prosecution of this magnitude will likely take longer than that.

      Besides which, as I said above, granting a pardon requires both parties (the President and Ms. Clinton) to acknowledge that she is, in fact, guilty of the crimes for which she’s being pardoned.

      IOW, never gonna happen.

    • Patrick says:

      In exchange for “The Full Nixon” pardon, she will exit the race after Bernie has no more shot at reaching the required delegate count, but before the nominating convention. Biden will step in.

      Everyone is talking about the GOP convention being a clusterfuck. Wait until the Socialists find out that they got screwed out of Bernie in favor of the guy who never ran

      Everyone keeps saying Obama will protect Clinton. No way. They hate the Clintons.

      An indictment gets the Clintons off the stage forever. She won’t talk because of the pardon offer. Biden is a better bet at this point, anyway. Obama gets to prove himself the king maker, and he can argue that he didn’t know how traitorous Hillary really was. He also looks good taking down his own SecState for misdeed (integrity check).

      Win/Win for Team Obama.

      • Jake says:

        “Everyone keeps saying Obama will protect Clinton. No way. They hate the Clintons.”

        What are the odds that the President never sent his Secretary of State an email with classified information? Especially since he probably hit “reply” to something she sent him that had classified info in it, at some point.

        I suspect he will, in the end, protect her. Out of enlightened self-interest, if nothing else. What he thinks of them will have nothing to do with it.

        • Patrick says:

          Clinton wasn’t invited to – or even aware of – full Cabinet meetings. She would read about them in the paper and her staff would check, only to be told she had not been invited (to a “full” cabinet meeting).

          I doubt Obama sent her secret messages via email. From what we know, he barely sent her anything at all.

          I don’t know any more than you, but I am pretty sure Obama is not going to take a bullet – or even a papercut – for Clinton, Inc.

  5. RAH says:

    My main regret is that Obama the tyrant will not be arrested for his misdeeds. The GOP should have impeached him but it would have been futile if the Democrats would not support that. I don’t think that the Clinton’s will resort to murder especially while running for President.

  6. Ian Argent says:

    No president has been successfully impeached*. Thinking this one would be is a fantasy.

    (* Nixon probably would have been, had he not resigned. One of the reasons he did resign)

    • Garrett Lee says:

      Well, technically, Clinton and Andrew Johnson were impeached by the House, but the Senate did not convict. (Yes, it’s splitting hairs.)

      • Archer says:

        An “impeachment” is the equivalent of an indictment. Nothing more.

        For there to be a trial before the Senate, a president must already be successfully impeached.

        It’s not “splitting hairs”, it’s understanding the legal definitions and processes you’re working with. “Impeached” and “convicted” mean different things; using them interchangeably marks someone as either ignorant or a mainstream journalist (but I repeat myself).

        • Ian Argent says:

          Sorry, sloppy language on my part. I did of course mean impeached and convicted.

  7. Patrick says:

    IANAL but ones I know have agreed with Fox’s Napolitano: a federal judge does not sign an immunity agreement unless a grand jury is already seated and hearing evidence.

    That strongly suggests prosecutors are far ahead of where we thought they were. It also implies that Lynch gave the green light for some kind of indictment.

    The shared password info that came out in the last few days is a slam dunk and not necessarily small potatoes. If Hillary knowlingly allowed access to her account to people who were not briefed and approved for the SAP data (especially humint programs) then this is not an IT infraction. It’s knowingly releasing classified information, and in the case of humint data it is especially onerous.

    Just the tip of an iceberg, but it’s a really sharp tip.

    I think we’re going to see this thing explode. It’s bigger than email and I think it could go as far as seeing Clinton, Inc. using classified info for personal gain. Specifically, it looks like they were funneling the info to uncleared CGI employees in order to “brief” Bill Clinton right before he met with African warlord leaders…who happened to donate to CGI after the meeting.

    We got that in email already. How much further does it go?

  8. Countertop says:

    The recommendation to prosecute will come down in June or early July. After the primaries are over. Obama, who utterly despised Clinton (and doesn’t want to hand his full control of the Democrat party to them, and all the wealth and power that carries for him and his people) holds the cards on whether Hillary is prosecuted or not. That decision isn’t made by the FBI, but rather by the Attorney General, who reports (and represents) Obama. And was hired by Obama.

    Hillary has had some health issues speculated about. So they provide an easy exit for her, she pulls out of the race for “health reasons”. Now the Democrats are stuck with Bernie Sanders (whose base is actually Obamas. They know Bernie will never get elected, and they know Joe Biden wants to run – but couldn’t because he didn’t want to deal with the massive fight he would have with Hillary over it : usually a sitting VP has no opposition in the primary). So Obama takes his best friend, Joe Biden and inserts him in the running. And the powers that be nominate Biden. Who goes on the crush Trump since he’s a pretty likeable guy and can directly appeal on a personal level to the folks that make up a large part of Trumps base and he also picks up all the Obama supporters cause Biden really is a 3rd Obama term. Oh yeah, Obama has already said he will be staying in DC for at least 3 or 4 years, until his daughter graduates high school. Where he can effectively have a third term working closely with Biden.

    • Bill Twist says:

      “Shotgun Joe” Biden is a gaffe machine. The only reason he gets away with it is he has a D behind his name. If it was an R, he’d get savaged on all his comical (and even dangerous) misstatements by the media.

      • Axe says:

        Biden, as stupid as he is, isn’t nearly as much of a gaffe machine as Trump. If you will recall, Trump talked about the size of his reproductive organ in the last debate, for crying out loud.

      • Whetherman says:

        “Shotgun Joe” Biden is a gaffe machine.

        I’d submit that gaffes are only gaffes to a pol’s enemies, who tend to hear almost everything that pol says as a gaffe, while the pol’s base is effectively deaf to them. That is enhanced by, the pol’s enemies telling their camp that everything he/she says is a gaffe, in case they wouldn’t have thought so themselves.

        The bottom line is, gaffes are usually irrelevant, unless the pol says something so gross it offends everybody. But, it is hard to imagine a Trump fan being offended by much of anything he would say.

  9. emdfl says:

    Ask Vince Foster(and lots of other former Clinton friends and enemies) what the Clintons will do in death ground. Oh that’s right you can’t – unless you know a really good medium.

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