- - Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The bad news has continued to cascade onto the Hillary Clinton for President campaign, and none of it has anything to do with Mrs. Clinton’s opinions on issues. It all is about her fitness for office.

Since Labor Day, we have learned that the folks into whose hands Mrs. Clinton reposed her computer server for safekeeping do not believe it has been wiped clean of all emails, as her lawyer told a federal judge it was. That means the 33,000 emails she thought she destroyed probably still could be recovered. What will they reveal?

And we learned earlier this week that of the emails released thus far — those Mrs. Clinton did not attempt to destroy — there is a five-month gap for which no emails were produced. For a government official who sent or received about 15,000 emails a year, five months of silence is not believable. Two of those months followed the assassination of the U.S. ambassador to Libya in Benghazi. Where are her emails from that time period?

Why should you care about this?

It is now well established that when she was secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton refused to use government computers or servers for any of her emails — governmental and personal. She kept all of her emails from the government. That constitutes theft of government property, as it violates a federal law that mandates that the government owns the emails its employees generate in their work, and if an employee commingles her personal emails with the government’s, the government owns those, as well.

Mrs. Clinton said she did this because she believed it would be easier to do all emailing from one handheld device, even though she eventually used four devices. Instead of accepting a secure government-issued BlackBerry, she had aides buy an off-the-shelf BlackBerry. We now know that she was trying to conceal her Middle Eastern escapades — secret wars and personal approvals of arms dealings to terrorists — from the president, from FBI investigators, from State Department colleagues and from history.

But her most serious crime is her failure to safeguard national secrets. The secretary of state is the nation’s chief diplomat. She deals with military, diplomatic and national security secrets every day. One of the reasons government employees are required by law to use a government-issued handheld device and a government-owned and -secured server for their official work is to safeguard the national security secrets that pass to and from them by securing their emails with government software and encryption.

Why should you care about this?

When she became secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton told the president she wanted to hire her friend Sidney Blumenthal — whom the press has nicknamed “the prince of darkness” and “grassy knoll” — to work as her senior adviser. The president himself blocked the toxic Mr. Blumenthal from working for the State Department, whereupon Mrs. Clinton had her husband’s foundation hire him. She then proceeded to engage with him as if he were a senior adviser and to share top secret emails with him. Mr. Blumenthal did not have any national security clearance, and it was a felony for Mrs. Clinton to share government secrets with him.

Why should you care about this?

You should care about this because Mrs. Clinton is running for president. Yet she is uniquely unqualified for the presidency because she is the moral equivalent of a common crook.

Like a crook, she breaks the law, lies about why she broke the law, sees no wrongdoing in her ways and expects to get away with it. Though millions of Democrats have dreamed of her in the White House, and are apparently willing to overlook her crimes, her support is beginning to erode.

How can a person with the morals of a crook be the chief law enforcement officer in the land, the commander in chief of the military, and the repository of more lawful power than any person on the planet? How can she be entrusted with national security secrets in the future when she has failed to safeguard them in the past?

Because Mr. Blumenthal lacked the government’s encryption on his email devices and server, he was hacked by foreign agents. Because he was hacked, Mrs. Clinton was hacked. Because she was hacked, some of the nation’s military, diplomatic and national security secrets in a dangerous world are now in dangerous hands.

A sailor faces 20 years in federal prison for taking a selfie in front of a radar screen and sending it to his girlfriend, and a courageous Marine who used his Gmail account in an emergency to warn his superiors of the near proximity of an assassin faces 20 years for failing to keep the email about the assassin in a secure venue. Then-CIA Director David Petraeus kept secrets in an unlocked desk drawer in his home, which was guarded 24/7, and he pleaded guilty to failure to safeguard secrets.

Mrs. Clinton’s crimes are far worse, but is she any different legally? Can she get away with her crimes because of her last name? She seems to think so. Last week she apologized for making poor choices — not crimes, but poor choices. And she has given no coherent legal justification for any of this.

While all this is going on, Vice President Joe Biden is dreaming about his boss’ job because he and many Democrats have come to the realization that Hillary Clinton is utterly unworthy of their trust, and power in her hands might be used for unlawful purposes.

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is a contributor to The Washington Times and Fox News. He is the author of seven books on the U.S. Constitution.

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