- - Thursday, November 3, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

President Obama repeatedly tells voters that Hillary Clinton’s use of a home-brewed server was an “honest mistake.” But her “mistake” is just one of many.

Her entire career is one long pattern of convoluted relationships with corrupt foreign governments and dictatorships, a mixing of politics and big money, and a level of political corruption that we have not seen in quite some time. The problem isn’t an isolated mistake — honest or otherwise — but multiple irreparable, irresponsible and damaging actions and episodes that erode trust in government itself.

And no one has been held accountable from the Clinton world for the mess created by Mrs. Clinton herself.

Mr. Obama continues to defend her, but it’s a difficult task. Mrs. Clinton and her team resolutely deflect the questions about the WikiLeaks email revelations, the latest FBI probes of the Clinton Foundation, and Huma Abedin’s emails on her estranged husband’s laptop. The information that has been released so far reveals the constant cover-up for Mrs. Clinton by her staff, as well as the sharing of information between the State Department and the Clinton campaign.

In response, the Clinton camp blames the Russians and hopes to run out the clock and win the election on Nov. 8. But even if Mrs. Clinton wins on Election Day, her problems are far from over.

Mrs. Clinton’s actions will taint Americans’ view of their government. We have seen the Department of Justice become the political arm of the Clinton campaign. The infamous tarmac meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and President Bill Clinton this summer is the perfect symbol for what is going on.

We’ve learned this week from the Wall Street Journal and Fox News that the Justice Department has stonewalled the FBI from pursuing an investigation of the Clinton Foundation, despite requests from four different FBI field offices. Justice officials did not allow the FBI to issue subpoenas or conduct interviews. One of the Justice Department senior officials were reportedly “pissed off” when he learned that the FBI was still investigating the foundation.

The department’s political playbook for the Clinton campaign did not stop there. Campaign manager John Podesta’s buddy Peter Kadzik was chosen by Justice Department to conduct a “thorough” review of the new emails from Ms. Abedin. WikiLeaks revealed that Mr. Kadzik also gave the Clinton campaign a heads-up about Mrs. Clinton’s email investigation.

The latest revelations will focus even more scrutiny on the Justice Department. Sources have revealed that the FBI has launched a probe into the Clinton Foundation where there appears to be an “avalanche” of evidence that could lead to several indictments, according to Fox News. Additionally, the FBI believes that there is 99 percent chance Mrs. Clinton’s emails were hacked and foreign governments may have obtained classified information. How will the Justice Department proceed?

The bigger problem is that Mrs. Clinton is carrying so much baggage, with little chance of shedding any of it, before the campaign ends. There are more questions than answers with little time left, and there are mounting fears that if Mrs. Clinton wins, she will surely mold her Justice and State Departments to ensure they protect her.

We may never know the full truth about the Clinton Foundation, the emails or the pay-for-play schemes because a President Clinton would shut down any investigation. She would cut off the legs of the FBI.

The more serious question that voters need to ask is whether they should elect a candidate who is under FBI investigation. What lasting damage will the Justice Department’s protection of Mrs. Clinton do to our trust in government? I, for one, will never view the government the same if that comes to pass. We have been down this road before with Mrs. Clinton, and it never ends well. The Clintons believe they can follow their own rules — even if, in their own minds, it was simply an “honest” mistake.

Mercedes Schlapp is a Fox News contributor, co-founder of Cove Strategies and former White House director of specialty media under President George W. Bush.

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