- - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There is only one person who controls Hillary Clinton’s fate, and it isn’t Hillary Clinton.

Mrs. Clinton is careening toward possible criminal charges involving her alleged mishandling of classified material on her personal email server while she was secretary of State. And President Obama is driving the bus.

She and her team have, of course, reverted to form, blaming everyone but themselves: a “right-wing conspiracy,” The New York Times, overzealous investigators. What they are missing, however, is the one figure who wants her taken out politically, and who has the power to do it.

She and Mr. Obama have a long history as frenemies. Recall Mr. Obama’s rejoinder at a 2008 debate, when Mrs. Clinton touted her likability: “You’re likable enough.” Or recall President Bill Clinton’s famous put-down of Mr. Obama: “A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.”

Beyond the bad blood, however, Mr. Obama has a more important reason for doing her in. As I have written previously, he needs a successor he can control. Over the years, including recently, he has waxed rhapsodic over a possible third term to continue his “fundamental transformation of the nation.” Mrs. Clinton will not provide it; therefore, she must be sidelined.

If Mr. Obama does not want an investigation to go forward, it does not go forward. Witness the scandals involving the Internal Revenue Service, Benghazi, Veterans Administration and Operation Fast and Furious gunrunning. In each case, Mr. Obama claimed he learned about the scandal “from the news.” (That’s interesting coming from a guy who claims he only rarely watches or reads said “news.”)


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He then expressed his “outrage” and vowed to “get to the bottom” of each scandal. (Of course, it’s tough to “get to the bottom” of something when you are the bottom of it.)

In those cases, he protesteth too much. His faux outrage was a “tell” that he had no intention of investigating. In Mrs. Clinton’s case, he’s been quiet. Too quiet. That’s a “tell” that he wants this investigation pursued, likely to the point of charging her.

He has others talking, however. Each week, there are damaging new leaks about her personal email and server: that despite her denials, she did, in fact, have top-secret and other highly classified materials on the server, that the FBI is conducting a criminal probe and the bureau is “optimistic” it can retrieve the wiped data, that she may have had a second server, that her top aides — Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills and Jake Sullivan — are now also in investigators’ sights.

Mr. Obama is a clever dark knight: he’s not just going after the queen. He’s going after her court, too.

These leaks are not happening by accident.

Gen. David Petraeus, who was prosecuted for mishandling classified material in much more innocuous ways, claimed to a source of mine that Mrs. Clinton faces a “very tough legal environment.” Particularly, if Mr. Obama used the Petraeus prosecution to set the precedent to prosecute Mrs. Clinton: “I’m so sorry about this, but my hands are tied. The law is the law.” (It would be the first time in his presidency that the “law is the law,” but that’s another matter.)

It may be that Mr. Obama set her up from the start, giving her the green light to use a private server. The White House refuses to say whether she got prior approval, suggesting that they probably granted it. After all, a number of top administration folks had private accounts: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, among others. But they didn’t use private email exclusively for government business the way Mrs. Clinton did, nor did they expose classified material. They also weren’t likely presidential candidates. It could be that Mr. Obama gave her the OK knowing that he could use it against her at the opportune moment. Which would be now.

This brings us to the certain presidential candidacy of Vice President Joe Biden, the one person who can effectively give Mr. Obama that third term. Indications are that he is seriously contemplating it, making initial plans, reaching out to potential donors, and benefiting from the Obamaites whipping up Biden buzz. The White House is even floating the idea of one-term for Mr. Biden, to reassure voters that they wouldn’t be making a long-term commitment (even though, as an extension of Obama’s presidency, it would be.)

Like the Clinton investigation, this is not by accident.

Once Mr. Biden joins the race, he will enjoy the full backing of Mr. Obama. With Mrs. Clinton gone, however, Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden will have to make it up to Democratic women and the radical left, which is currently flirting with socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders.

There is only one person who kills both birds with one stone: Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

The Democratic ticket will be Joe Biden-Elizabeth Warren. That’s what Mr. Obama wants. And what Mr. Obama wants, Mr. Obama gets.

This is “Game of Thrones.” And Mr. Obama is winning.

Monica Crowley is online opinion editor at The Washington Times.

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