Based on an intriguing plea deal, a targeted extradition, Hillary Clinton's known conduct, and the legal standards in play, an indictment shouldn't even remotely be out of question here. The real questions are whether the FBI will have the cojones to recommend a criminal prosecution, given the immense political implications -- and more importantly, whether the Obama Justice Department would act on that recommendation. Color me dubious, at least on the latter half of that equation. But one never knows. I mean, how is this not grossly negligent behavior at a bare minimum, given the mountain of highly classified material she put at serious risk? In any case, here's Bernie Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver wondering aloud on Fox News (!) about how Hillary could justify soldiering on in her pursuit of the presidency if she's slapped with a federal indictment. He says that Sanders hasn't shifted away from being sick and tired of the "damn emails," then encourages viewers to read the damning State Department IG report and speculates that it would be very difficult for an indicted candidate to maintain her campaign:
If Rasmussen is to be believed, Weaver's opinion isn't shared by a slim majority of voters, 50 percent of whom recently responded that Clinton should not immediately end her presidential bid if a felony indictment is handed down. Nevertheless, Hillary's muddled messaging and perennial unpopularity is reportedly worrying some top Democrats. If you missed Christine's post yesterday, feel free to peruse former Clintonista Doug Shoen's roadmap to how someone other than Mrs. Clinton emerges from Philadelphia as the Democratic nominee. Before you get too excited, remember that she has earned millions more raw votes and hundreds of more pledged delegates than Sanders; she's also just 70 delegates shy of wrapping up the nomination, assuming her super delegates remain firmly on board. Thanks to her party's proportional allocation system, she could lose every single state next Tuesday and still easily eclipse her magic number -- although a loss in California would undoubtedly deliver an embarrassing blow to her image.
Clinton has more or less pivoted to the general election at this point, hitting Donald Trump today on new revelations emerging from the Trump University fraud trial. They're pretty ugly, folks, and they dovetail with Team Hillary's recent highlighting of pre-2008-crash comments from Trump, which Democrats say portray a greedy billionaire gloating over the handsome profit he'd turn off of working people's misfortune. The presumptive Republican nominee has tried to minimize the damage from the Trump U trial by habitually pointing out that the "biased" Indiana-born judge is "Spanish" or "Mexican" -- an unsubtle, racially-tinged non-sequitur. Trump has taken to whining that media coverage of his veterans fundraising is unfair, self-serving framing that Jim Geraghty dismantles in a sharp Wednesday post. The bottom line is that Trump bragged publicly that he'd donated $1 million to veterans groups at an event he held opposite the January presidential debate he was boycotting over his fury at Megyn Kelly. When the Washington Post went digging into that claim four months later, Trump attacked the newspaper, but finally ponied up the cash...which he had not yet donated, contra public boasts from the candidate and his campaign manager, vindicating the line of inquiry. The good news in all of this for Trump fans is that Hillary is so inept at being a politician that she "royally flubbed" her response to the controversy. Townhall alum Amanda Carpenter explains:
It wasn’t until Trump held a press conference, carried by all the networks, where he went through a long list of checks given that Hillary Clinton finally decided to say something. She was only a few months too late. Her response makes Jeb Bush look high-energy. The military has a code name for this: AWOL. The time to capitalize on Trump’s failure to be transparent about the gifts he promised veterans would have been before he cut the checks. Not after. Then, perhaps, she could have, along with the media, taken some credit for guilting Trump into finally doing it, while dinging him for skipping a debate to boot. But no. Lucky for Trump, Clinton bungled this beyond belief....At the press event Trump told reporters to “Find out how much Hillary Clinton has given to the veterans, nothing.” And so, Clinton was asked how much she has given. Clinton, and her aides, should have seen this question coming a mile away and still (still!) walked directly into Trump’s trap. She told Tapper that, “Well, I, of course have given money to veterans charities” without listing a single one.
As I wrote the day after The Donald effectively locked down the 2016 GOP crown, perhaps his top asset in the fall campaign will be 'Crooked Hillary' herself. She's so bad at this that even a breathtakingly unpopular guy like Trump is within spitting distance of her in national polling. Add in that aforementioned indictment, and who knows what might happen?