Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
I suppose that The Washington Post would give OpEd space to any major party losing presidential candidate . . . except perhaps Donald Trump, if he had lost in 2016. But let’s face facts: to Hillary Clinton, the only serious crime Mr Trump and his campaign committed was not letting her become president!
By Hillary Clinton | April 24, 2019 | 4:44 PM
Our election was corrupted, our democracy assaulted, our sovereignty and security violated. This is the definitive conclusion of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report. It documents a serious crime against the American people.
The debate about how to respond to Russia’s “sweeping and systematic” attack — and how to hold President Trump accountable for obstructing the investigation and possibly breaking the law — has been reduced to a false choice: immediate impeachment or nothing. History suggests there’s a better way to think about the choices ahead.
Obviously, this is personal for me, and some may say I’m not the right messenger. But my perspective is not just that of a former candidate and target of the Russian plot. I am also a former senator and secretary of state who served during much of Vladimir Putin’s ascent, sat across the table from him and knows firsthand that he seeks to weaken our country.
I’m pretty sure that if I were to search for Mrs Clinton’s condemnation of President Barack Obama’s interference to try to stop Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s 2015 re-election bid, I’d fail to find it.¹ And I’d guess that she’d never say anything bad about her own beloved husband’s attempt, in 1996, to help Shimon Peres defeat Mr Netanyahu. And, as Ishaan Tharoor noted in the Post on October 13, 2016, Russia has “also bristled at perceived U.S. meddling in the politics of countries on Russia’s borders, most notably in Ukraine.”
Mrs Clinton writes in moderate, lawyerly terms, mentioning her (small) role in the Watergate hearings and commending the House Judiciary Committee’s work:
During Watergate, the House Judiciary Committee also began a formal impeachment inquiry that was led by John Doar, a widely respected former Justice Department official and hero of the civil rights struggle. He was determined to run a process that the public and history would judge as fair and thorough, no matter the outcome. If today’s House proceeds to an impeachment inquiry, I hope it will find someone as distinguished and principled as Doar to lead it.
Mrs Clinton also complained that President Trump was not taking any actions to protect the United States from similar interference in our elections in 2020 and beyond, though she gave us no specifics on what she believes should be done.
The purported Russian interference, as documented in the Mueller Report, primarily took two forms.
- Russia’s Internet Research Agency made serious spying attempts, and succeeding in hacking into the emails of John Podesta, Mrs Clinton’s campaign chairman, and the Democratic National Committee. The IRA then gave the stolen emails to WikiLeaks, which published them.
- Various Russian actors created spoof identities and posted things aimed at criticizing Mrs Clinton and propping up Mr Trump on social media.
Espionage is, of course, already against the law, and the FBI does what it can to prevent it, but naturally they don’t succeed in every instance. The targets were not the United States government — though the Russians and everybody else, friend and foe alike, are always trying to get more information — by private organizations. How is it, I have to ask, the government’s duty to protect private campaign and party organizations from foreign espionage?
As Secretary of State for four years, Mrs Clinton might not have known the details, but she was very much aware that we were spying on the Russians, and everybody else; the United States was caught spying on our ally Germany, and had intercepted Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone conversations, an action which President Obama was reported to have approved personally, during the time Mrs Clinton was his Secretary of State. That Mrs Clinton didn’t like being spied on is obvious; it’s also monstrously hypocritical.
How, I would like to ask, can foreign agents be prevented from spoofing identities and posting on our social media? Russia and China and other authoritarian regimes could prevent us from doing so to them, because they don’t have the freedom of speech, and o have tightly controlled media. How the United States could so so, without violating our own laws and culture and Constitution, seems a lot more problematic.
But, as Mrs Clinton concluded, a tiny bit of her still seething rage sneaked out:
Of all the lessons from our history, the one that’s most important may be that each of us has a vital role to play as citizens. A crime was committed against all Americans, and all Americans should demand action and accountability. Our founders envisioned the danger we face today and designed a system to meet it. Now it’s up to us to prove the wisdom of our Constitution, the resilience of our democracy and the strength of our nation.
What crime was committed against all Americans? What the Russians did, assuming all of the claims in the Mueller Report are accurate, was not to spread false information about Mrs Clinton and her campaign but to tell the truth about it. The Democrats did not want the American people to know that then-CNN contributor Donna Brazile gave Mrs Clinton advance notice on primary debate questions, and the Democrats certainly didn’t want it known that Jennifer Palmieri felt the need to email Mr Podesta and tell him to “sober (Mrs Clinton) up some.”
If the woman who was asking people to vote for her to become President of the United States needed to be sobered up between 1:55 and 4:31 in the afternoon, isn’t that something the American people should know?
Well, it’s the kind of thing the Democrats certainly didn’t want us to know! And WikiLeaks publishing it led to what Mrs Clinton saw as the greatest crime of all: her not being elected President.
¹ – Mrs Clinton was already out of government at the time, and thus she bears no responsibility for it.
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