If not, it’s well worth three minutes of your time to check out this clip of a segment he did with Stuart Varney on Fox Business Tuesday.
Most people don’t seem to put too much weight behind the Hillary e-mail thing as it involves her future – political or otherwise. Folks in the legal community, and particularly those with a knowledge of federal criminal law, seem to appreciate the situation as a bit more serious. They don’t share the assumption that politics will protect Hillary, that Loretta Lynch will just make this thing go away and that it won’t be an issue by this fall.
Not so, says Napolitano. He lays out the latest developments not in the FBI’s investigation but a civil case that predates it and actually sprung loose some of the material the FBI used to open their probe of the e-mails. That case would be a Freedom of Information lawsuit by Judicial Watch against Hillary and the State Department seeking to force disclosure of her e-mails as public records – which is a fascinating controversy given that she had public record documents on a private server designed to keep them from being public, and so far her position has taken a beating.
And Napolitano says as this Judicial Watch case goes further and Hillary’s lieutenants are being deposed or forced to testify things are going to start becoming very complicated for Hillary. He doesn’t think she can escape the consequences of what she’s done. Federal subpoenas are in her future.
As an aside, Donald Trump was the first Republican candidate out of the gate suggesting that as president he’d prosecute Hillary over the e-mail mess – though his statement on Monday was largely goaded out of him by Sean Hannity. There can be little question that Ted Cruz would similarly prosecute Hillary.
Here’s the thing – if Lynch won’t appoint a special prosecutor or empanel a grand jury to seek an indictment after the FBI recommends she do so, the FBI is going to make the products of their investigation public. That will happen. Either those products will leak, or James Comey will go out in a blaze of glory and deliver them amid a grandiose resignation in protest. And the political damage of that will make Hillary toxic, probably even within her own party but if not certainly among the general electorate.
And if Hillary doesn’t win in November, you’ll have a Republican-run Justice Department which will empanel that grand jury in January.
It might not stop there. That Republican-run Justice Department is quite likely to open an investigation into the Obama administration over the question of whether it engaged in a cover-up of federal crimes by its Secretary of State. A paper trail in which various members of the administration deliberate how to execute that cover-up could well mean Lynch and/or individuals in the Obama White House are dragged into that investigation.
The point being that for Lynch to squelch this FBI investigation is a pretty big gamble carrying an enormous downside, with the only upside coming if Hillary wins the election – and it’s entirely likely that the act of refusing to prosecute the case would render Hillary unelectable in front of a public which has had it with elite privilege and special treatment for the rich and powerful, not to mention dishonest politicians. You’re only delaying Hillary’s legal issues for a few months at most, and you’re exposing the Obama White House and the DOJ to potential legal scrutiny in the bargain.
There hasn’t been a lot of deep analysis into this case yet, largely because we’re not quite far enough along for any of this to become immediate. But it’s not going away, and as Napolitano says there is no real prospect that this thing is going to work out cleanly for Hillary.