Last Friday, Hillary Clinton stood in the center of a hurricane and whispered her response to FBI Director James Comey’s non-indictment indictment of her. Like a political ad run during Saturday morning cartoons or a confession of sin to a deaf priest, it lacked an audience.
With every American eye on the tragedy in Dallas, the presidential election was on the back burner. Few voters heard her response, and the media — through no fault of their own — didn’t have the time or the inclination to scrutinize it.
Even Donald Trump's Twitter response to Hillary's Friday interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN was abnormally subdued: "Isn't it sad that on a day of national tragedy Hillary Clinton is answering softball questions about her email lies on @CNN?"
America simply didn't have time for Clinton's behavioral issues that day.
But as the presidential election climbs its way above the fold again, Clinton — who hasn't held a press conference in over 220 days — owes the voters a proper explanation after the FBI investigation of her email server exposed that she's been lying to the American people for an entire year. And her interview with Wolf Blitzer on a rare, turn-to-back-page-for-election-coverage day won't cover the bill.
The first 7.5 minutes of the interview didn't even contain a question about her emails, and when the subject finally did come around, Blitzer made the question savory with this thick candy-shell of a statement: "He [Comey] clearly said you did not break the law."
So before Clinton even has the chance to start lying, the CNN anchor is already doing it for her. In reality, Comey said no such thing. What Comey actually said was, "We did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws." Intended. It's an undisputed fact that classified information was illegally stored by Clinton on a private server in an unsecured location. The law was broken.
All Comey said was that there wasn't enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she broke the law on purpose, a standard Comey described to Congress as "intense."
So the creamy chocolate center of Blitzer's question wound up being, "Do you acknowledge you were extremely careless?"
Clinton answered, "I think the director clarified that comment to some extent. Pointing out that some of what had been thought to be classified apparently was not." As if Blitzer's question had been: What do you wish had happened?
Comey made no such clarification during his public statement or before the House Oversight Committee. His actual clarification on the word "careless" during his testimony was that the word is synonymous with "negligent." He was very clear that the only thing standing between Clinton and an indictment was the ability to prove criminal intent. To put it in "Where's Waldo" terms, the mens rea may have been the elusive Waldo, but the actus reus was the rest of the illustration — one need only glance to find it. At least 113 emails were confirmed by the FBI to have been classified at the time they were sent, and in his congressional hearing all Comey did was reiterate and confirm her "carelessness" over and over.
"I think she was extremely careless." Comey told the committee. "I think she was negligent."
Here are some questions Wolf Blitzer didn't have time to ask:
1.) Why did you lie to the American people for a year?
2.) Why did you lie under oath to Congress?
3.) Why did you allow your lawyers access to classified information when they lacked the proper clearance?
4.) Is a secretary of state who isn't "sophisticated" enough to understand what's classified and what isn't qualified to be president?
5.) If elected president, would you allow persons who the FBI had determined to be extremely careless handle classified information?
6.) Did you tell the FBI the same story you've been telling the American people for a year?
Now that she's spoken about the situation with a disinterested, softball-lobbing Blitzer — and received no scrutiny for her answers from a news media that had bigger stories to deal with — she can now forever claim that she's already answered these questions and wants to move on.
Only the American voters can hold her accountable by demanding a proper explanation.
Last Modified: July 12, 2016, 11:25 am