Joe DiGenova, the former U.S. Attorney, sure thinks so. Whether he’s an outlier or way off-base, we’ll find out.
DiGenova was on Laura Ingraham’s radio show yesterday and in an interesting segment said some very interesting things about how much trouble she’s in.
As Clinton’s campaign progresses, DiGenova made a shocking prediction, claiming “Hillary will not make it to the finish line. She’s not going to be able to complete her campaign.” Following her interview with the FBI, which will be the final step of the Clinton investigation, DiGenova says the Bureau will make a recommendation that people be charged, leaving Attorney General Loretta Lynch with the “decision of a lifetime.” Though Ingraham expressed skepticism over Lynch’s willingness to indict Hillary Clinton, DiGenova pointed to “vitriol of an intense amount” developing among the intelligence community who he claims will “fight to the death” to ensure Hillary and her senior staff are adequately punished for their mishandling of classified information. If Lynch did, however, buries this case, DiGenova warned, the intelligence community “will never be able to charge another federal employee with the negligent handling of classified information.” And, DiGenova “the intelligence community will not stand for that. They will fight for indictment.” Further, he claims that, according to two sources in the FBI, “they are already in the process of gearing themselves to basically revolt if she refuses to bring charges.”
The clip is available for listening here, though the link is a little complicated to navigate.
Here’s what’s fascinating about what DiGenova is saying: if he’s right about the FBI’s recommendation that people be charged, and if the FBI recommends that Hillary Clinton be charged – and how can they not, given the number of classified e-mails on that private server, each one of which represents a violation of federal law – then he’s correct that we’re talking about a Watergate scenario.
The difference being that the mainstream media, which ginned Watergate up into a massive scandal when the fact was it amounted to regular campaign dirty tricks (the Clintons had James Carville rifling through the FBI files of all their political enemies, after all, which is far more obnoxious than the 1970’s equivalent of hacking into the opposing party’s database – something we’d be surprised if the GOP and Democrats don’t both regularly do), would be a little less than exuberant about treated the Hillary e-mails as that kind of scandal.
But DiGenova is, objectively speaking, correct. If the FBI recommends charges against Hillary Clinton after they bring her in for questioning, which he says is the final step in the investigation, then it really does become crunch time for the Obama administration. We already know that they refuse to investigate their own; this administration is more insular and mobtastic in its treatment of its own criminal behavior. But Clinton? First of all the Obamas and Clintons hate each other. Second, Obama has a candidate waiting in the wings in Joe Biden, who many thought would run against Hillary before he begged out a few months ago. Third, to say it would look bad for the Obama DOJ to neglect to prosecute on a legal violation which harmed its own administration (those classified docs on an unsecured private server have unquestionably been hacked) AFTER THE FBI HAS DEMANDED IT is a vast understatement. Why would Obama want to have that hanging over his head?
Politically, Hillary is dead as soon as the FBI recommends she be charged with violating the Espionage Act. It’s not like Obama would be helping the Democrat Party by trying to cover this up; if the FBI recommends charges, that’s a public matter and it’s all anybody will talk about for weeks. Once that happens, letting her be the Democrat nominee is essentially conceding the election. No chance she wins; how is a persuadable independent voter going to pull the lever for somebody under indictment?
Not to mention the question of the intelligence community. You can’t get those people any more hacked off than to make an open statement that treating classified documents containing the work product of that community, put together in many cases at personal risk to members of that community, with the same care as “yoga routines” or, probably more likely, cocktail recipes, will produce no consequences. They will retaliate, and they traffic in information. If they decide to turn not just on Clinton but also Obama, things could get very interesting indeed, and this is by no means unforeseeable.
And the timing of this really couldn’t be worse. Today is January 6. In 60 days, you’re at March 6. By that day you’re at 18 states with either primaries or caucuses that will have already taken place (Maine’s primary is on March 6). If Clinton is cleaning up all the early primaries and then this blows up according to the schedule DiGenova lays out, this becomes an unmitigated disaster for the Democrats – they’re stuck with Bernie Sanders, who has a few delegates, and Martin O’Malley, who has none, and Hillary, who’s holding all the delegates but has no way forward.
One takeaway from all this – if DiGenova is correct, how stupid is Bernie Sanders going to look for saying he’s “tired of hearing about your damn e-mails?” That was a moronic thing for him to say at the time of the first Democrat debate, and that was before a potential indictment. Once she’s indicted, Sanders is going to look weak – when had he been hammering her for those e-mails and presenting himself as an honest socialist in contrast to her as a dishonest one, he might have already been gaining traction on her.
Instead of being the one holding the bag the FBI would be pouring goodies into should the charges come, Sanders will instead watch as the “establishment” on the Democrat side rallies around a new hero like Elizabeth Warren or Biden riding in to save the day – and because he didn’t use this issue to rack up delegates before the crash, he won’t be able to prevent himself from being passed over.
This all presupposes DiGenova is correct, of course. Even Ingraham was skeptical about that. But the FBI investigation does continue, and the longer it goes the more apparent it becomes that somebody is going to get charged with something. That it hasn’t been concluded yet is a massive dark cloud hanging over Hillary Clinton.