The results of investigations into both the use of an unauthorized email system and the Benghazi disaster have Hillary Clinton confidently steaming toward victory in November.
In the Clinton tradition of dealing with scandals, she has always been supremely sure that she would escape any serious consequences from either of these contentious issues.
Voters will be the final arbiter of that assumption, and we have lots of things to consider about her suitability for the presidency that both these matters have so clearly revealed.
In making his announcement of no criminal charges being brought, FBI Director James Comey told us that Clinton left evidence of potential violations of statutes — as just about anyone following this saga already knew.
Amazingly, he said agents did not find clear evidence that she “intended” to violate laws. If setting up a unique system outside of the government’s protocols to conceal her communications was not intentional, then what was it?
Comey also acknowledged that other government employees “in similar circumstances” would, indeed, likely face consequences.
But not Clinton? No wonder the most frequently heard criticism of the decision is that of her being in a class by herself, above the law and immune from prosecution.
And then, in the case of Benghazi, we have the traditional liberal media declaring nothing new from the two-year congressional investigation led by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.
Almost all of the headlines and summary characterizations of the report were the same. It’s as though they coordinated their coverage.
The leftist Media Matters for America trashed it all as a hoax sponsored by Fox News.
When responding to questions from reporters, Gowdy enumerated a list of people, events and activities that had not been discovered before and challenged the journalists to read the report.
An interesting but not featured aspect of “nothing new” was the certainty that there now can no longer be any equivocation of the facts regarding the two most discussed and argued findings.
First is the failure to provide the protection for our ambassador and his staff that he had repeatedly requested. Although Secretary Clinton has said she was not aware of those requests, she should have been — and she should have provided it.
Second is the end of any more cover-up of the concocted and ridiculous lie that the attack that cost the lives of four Americans was caused by a stupid video.
While it is unimaginable that the woman in charge of the State Department, who now wants to be president, would stand among victims’ coffins and tell that lie to their family members, she could point to the current president standing there with her doing the same thing.
Regardless of how condemning of her leadership and blatant her lies, Clinton claims an actual boost from the end of the exhaustive study of what was done, not done and lied about.
It’s how the Clintons roll when dealing with a lifetime of public scandals. Their response is as consistent as it is successful: Time to move on, nothing to see here.
Looking back, a case could be made that Republicans should have just accepted her denials and lies in both the Benghazi affair and the email scandal and focused instead on working harder to nominate someone who could beat her in November.
However, Donald Trump is surely going to keep the woman he calls “Crooked Hillary” surrounded with claims of unsuitability for the highest office in the land.
Regardless of the FBI decision not to prosecute and the combination of failure and lying in managing Benghazi, the election is still months away, a lifetime in political context.
Early outrage from many in government and citizens responding to the exploding news coverage would suggest that Clinton’s history of getting out of trouble she arrogantly creates for herself may, finally, have run its course.
Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor and served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.