Justice and the Obama Administration

Richard Fernandez, in his Belmont Club piece, cited Ross Douthat of the New York Times:

Ross Douthat, writing in ruefully writes “I simply do not believe that the Obama Justice Department is going to indict the former secretary of state and Democratic front-runner for mishandling classified information, even if the offenses involved would have sunk a lesser figure’s career or landed her in jail.” The observation is almost tantamount to arguing that the rule of law no longer exists; that the political class can literally do whatever it wants. What is worse, he argues the electorate has accepted it, a point he makes in the succeeding paragraph.

I think Douthat is right; that’s the level of integrity all of the members of President Barack Obama’s administration—every single one of them—has demonstrated these last nearly seven years. I disagree, though, with Fernandez’ characterization of the situation.

The electorate plainly hasn’t accepted it, or at least that part of the electorate farther right than an Elizabeth Warren. That’s why Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers keep falling on questions of integrity, does she lie, did she mishandle classified information, even whether she’s qualified to be President.

Also, absent a preemptive pardon by Obama—which I wouldn’t put past him—the statute of limitations on the crimes Clinton (may have) committed won’t run out before the next President, and a new set of leaders for the DoJ, get installed. At that point, the charges can, and likely will be, filed and the trials held.

The cynic in me suggests an alternate scenario: the Obama DoJ might, at a suitable time, file a trivial charge and hold a show trial in an attempt to protect Clinton from serious charges from actual wrong-doing. The show trial wouldn’t protect her in any legal sense, but it could well provide enough of a distraction to achieve protection. And it might not. There are more bulldogs like Congressman Trey Gowdy (R, SC) than there are lapdogs like Eric Holder or Loretta Lynch or James Cole or Sally Yates or John Carlin.

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