The five stages of grief are
It is normal for a human being to go through the five stages of grief, and indeed, to jump back and forth between them as they progress to the fifth stage. So it is for Hillary. She has now gone through the first three stages at least, and, given the latest from her campaign, is likely near stage four. Here are her defenses to date:
1. Denial: There was no classified material.
2. Anger: This is just a partisan witch hunt.
3. Bargaining: Technically I didn’t violate the law. Nothing was marked classified.
4. Depression: The law is stupid. Everything was over classified.
According to her campaign, Hillary now intends to claim that everything is regularly over classified, and thus it is unfair to apply the same standards to her that apply to everyone else who handles classified information. Her campaign tweeted out a link to the Toobin article I addressed here. This from her campaign, via Hot Air:
To get in front of these headlines, the Clinton campaign is plotting a three-pronged pushback strategy. The first, described by Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri in an interview with The Huffington Post, is an end-of-summer effort to educate the public on the classification process for national security material. The second, coming when Congress returns from recess, is to aggressively pivot to policy announcements, from economic and women’s issues to President Barack Obama’s Iran deal, which will receive a vote in September. The last is to “go on offense” on Clinton’s record as Secretary of State, which the campaign sees as the ultimate target of her Republican critics
Unfortunately for Hillary, the over classified argument as well as the “not marked classified” arguments are, by any rational standard, foreclosed to her. This from Reuters:
The new stamps indicate that some of Clinton’s emails from her time as the nation’s most senior diplomat are filled with a type of information the U.S. government and the department’s own regulations automatically deems classified from the get-go — regardless of whether it is already marked that way or not.
In the small fraction of emails made public so far, Reuters has found at least 30 email threads from 2009, representing scores of individual emails, that include what the State Department’s own “Classified” stamps now identify as so-called ‘foreign government information.’ The U.S. government defines this as any information, written or spoken, provided in confidence to U.S. officials by their foreign counterparts.
This sort of information, which the department says Clinton both sent and received in her emails, is the only kind that must be “presumed” classified, in part to protect national security and the integrity of diplomatic interactions, according to U.S. regulations examined by Reuters.
“It’s born classified,” said J. William Leonard, a former director of the U.S. government’s Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO). Leonard was director of ISOO, part of the White House’s National Archives and Records Administration, from 2002 until 2008, and worked for both the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. . . .
That being the case, Hillary’s last line of defense can only be, as her supporters in the USA Today argue, that she was too stupid to recognize classified information. Good luck selling that one to the voting public or a jury.
If everything stops now, there is no way Hillary survives this politically. Less than one person in three considers her trustworthy even now. After six months of super-pac ads pointing out how she is guilty and that she is getting the benefit of a double standard no one else would get, no one who is not a committed prog. will vote for her. Moreover, the only way she survives this criminally is if the Obama administration orders the DOJ to stop its investigation. With the Reuters report, Hillary could be charged today with numerous separate violations of 18 USC 793 and 1924.
And still to be answered:
1. Did she, intentionally or through gross negligence, allow anyone else to have access to these e-mails who did not have an adequate security clearance.
2. What other classified information exists in the 30,460 emails she provided to the State Dept?
3. Are the emails she destroyed recoverable or still available on back-up? If so, can any be considered legitimate Government Records? Do they contain classified information? Are any responsive to the subpoenas provided to the State Dept. in 2013 and her attorney in March 2015?
4. Is there any evidence that her server or e-mail was successfully hacked and, if so, by who?
The answers to none of those questions will exonerate her. They can only make her situation far worse, adding more separate violations of the laws governing the handling of classified information as well as potential counts of obstruction of justice and destruction of government records. That ought to be enough to put her away for life plus another century or so.
That said, if Democrats can rally around Ted Kennedy, ignore the butchery of Planned Parenthood, and elect Marion Barry and Buddy Cianci after their prison stints, then Hillary and the progressives can take heart. There is nothing in the Constitution to prevent her from taking office while in prison. Keep hope alive, my prog friends, keep hope alive.