- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 20, 2016

A fair, balanced, and independent Justice Department. Neutral diplomats, who serve the public over politics, at the State Department. An unbiased, honest, mainstream media.

These are just some of our core Democratic values that have eroded under Barack Obama’s presidency, and will continue to decay under Hillary Clinton’s watch.

The FBI’s investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s home-brewed email server was rigged from the beginning — for if the FBI actually did its job, Mr. Obama may have been implicated.

Disclosures from WikiLeaks, and the FBI’s own notes released this week, show Mr. Obama had been emailing with Mrs. Clinton on her private server as early as 2009.

Two days after The Associated Press broke the story that Mrs. Clinton was using a private server in March 2015, John Podesta sent an email to her attorney Cheryl Mills, asking if they should decline to turn over emails between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama to Congress, invoking “executive privilege.”

The email clearly implies Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton had been exchanging emails on her private server — a huge potential security threat, given everything the president sends or receives is highly classified.

As her team scrambled to delete her personal emails and diffuse the scandal, Mr. Obama did an interview with CBS, saying he only learned of Mrs. Clinton’s private server after the news broke.

That appears to be a blatant lie.

After The New York Times published an article titled “Obama says he didn’t know Hillary Clinton was using a private email address,” the following day, Mrs. Clinton’s team — sensing that she and the president weren’t on the same page — leapt into action.

“One of us should connect with the WH just so they know that the email will show his statement to not make sense,” Clinton aide Phillipe Reines wrote to senior staffers, signaling emails had been exchanged by Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton on her private server.

FBI notes also signal Mr. Obama was indeed aware and had corresponded with Mrs. Clinton on her private server long before the news broke.

In an April 2015 interview with Huma Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide, the FBI alerted her of an exchange between Mr. Obama — using a pseudonym — and Mrs. Clinton from 2012, where she exclaimed: “How is this not classified?” the report says.


There’s no wonder why the FBI agreed to sweetheart deals with Mrs. Clinton’s staff, and were amendable to other demands by Mrs. Clinton’s lawyers during its investigation — the administration wanted their hands tied from the get-go, lest it implicate the president.

The cozy relationship between Mrs. Clinton’s staff and career diplomats at the State Department are equally swampy.

The FBI’s documents expose there was a “shadow government” at the State Department that tried to protect Mrs. Clinton throughout the email probe.

“There was a powerful group of very high-ranking State officials that some referred to as ‘The 7th Floor Group’ or ‘The Shadow Government.’ This group met every Wednesday afternoon to discuss the FOIA process, Congressional records, and everything Clinton-related to FOIA/Congressional inquiries,” the FBI’s interview summary said.

This is in addition to revelations that Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary of State, asked an FBI agent’s assistance in altering one of Mrs. Clinton’s email’s classification in exchange for a “quid pro quo.” If the agent down-classified the email, then Mr. Kennedy would grant the FBI the overseas outposts it requested.

The agent, Brian McCauley, who has since retired from the FBI, told The Washington Post he turned down the request when he learned that the email Mr. Kennedy was trying to reclassify had to do with Benghazi.

Unbelievable. A banana republic I tell you.

The media has responded to these scandals by largely ignoring them — they’re too concerned with Donald Trump’s rhetoric than they are with anything that would impugn Mrs. Clinton’s or Mr. Obama’s record.

Instead, Yahoo’s Katie Couric was looking to do pieces that “would showcase her [Clinton’s] personality and has a lot of viral potential,” according an email she sent to Mr. Podesta.

And CNBC’s John Harwood openly pontificated in September 2015 why the press was harping so on the email scandal.

“Amazing,” Mr. Harwood wrote in the subject line of an email to Mr. Podesta, continuing in the email text, “that some people still think it’s worth burning so much interview time with person most likely to be next president on her emails.”

Oh, the horror of questioning everything and digging into the truth as a journalist.

Banana republic.

Kelly Riddell is a columnist for The Washington Times.

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