Of all the scandals that have defined this presidential election, Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server during her tenure as Secretary of State is probably the second most important (the first being Donald Trump’s demeaning comments about women and minorities).
After all, we need to be able to trust the President of the United States to keep national secrets secret, and if Hillary Clinton really did purposefully mishandle classified information that is a major issue.
That is why the FBI carried out a thorough investigation into Clinton’s use of the private server, examining tens of thousands of emails from Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State for classified data, which ought not be on non-Department of State servers.
What they found, after an exhaustive investigation, was indeed “extreme mishandling,” according to FBI Director James Comey.
Clinton’s private server was against Department of State policy, and she did not turn over all her work-related emails until 21 months after she left office, as required by the National Archives and Records Association. Moreover, she did store classified emails on her private server.
However, Comey and the FBI found no evidence that this mishandling was done with intent, but was simply the result of carelessness. Thus, he did not feel the need to recommend that charges be pursued.
In a normal election cycle this may have been the end of the road for Secretary Clinton, but not in this one, and rightfully so.
Although Clinton’s use of a private email server is concerning, it pales in comparison to the many, many issues Donald Trump presents.
First of all, Clinton’s mishandling of emails clearly wasn’t that severe, since the FBI decided not to pursue charges. Now, the Republican party would have everyone believe that charges weren’t pursued because of an elaborate conspiracy in which the Clintons have the power to dictate the actions of the FBI.
According to right-wing politicians and pundits, Bill Clinton can have a short chat with the Attorney General on her private plane, and everything will disappear, while Obama, an unofficial member of the Clinton cartel, can tell Director Comey what to do and face no repercussions. Such claims require significant evidence to back them up – evidence that is sorely lacking.
As of yet, no one has come out with any solid proof that Attorney General Loretta Lynch or Director Comey were unduly influenced by the Clintons or Obama.
Instead, all we have is conjecture based on the assumption that Clinton is guilty, and so anything besides indictment must be a cover-up.
If Comey really was under Clinton control, would he have been as public and transparent about reopening the case as he was? It’s doubtful.
When, just recently, more emails were found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop which may be pertinent to the case, Comey did not hesitate to begin the investigation again, and alert Congress that he was doing so.
This transparency and willingness to reconsider an earlier decision in light of new information doesn’t mesh well with the Clinton tool Comey is portrayed as by the right.
So if we don’t buy into the conspiracies of far-reaching Clinton power, all we’re left with is accidental mishandling of classified information. Again, in any other election this might be a worthwhile worry, but when the possibility of a Trump presidency looms, it’s the least of ours.
Compared to a man who considers climate change a Chinese hoax, actually asked Russia to hack an American presidential candidate’s emails and is under active litigation for child rape, it doesn’t seem so severe.
We can stand a president who once made a mistake handling classified data; we can’t stand one who hasn’t the faintest understanding of how to run a country. Little else besides the emails plagues Hillary. Trump, however, has shown he is unfit for the office.