Why Hillary Clinton always seems to have an inbox full of scandal

Hillary’s presidential race will be over an obstacle course

14 March 2015

9:00 AM

14 March 2015

9:00 AM


 Washington DC

To the trained eye something is up on the Clinton front. Of course, there are the stories, often one a day, that make her more newsworthy here in the United States than Ebola. There are the usual Clinton tales about her staffing problems, problems between competing fundraisers, her public appearances for hundreds of thousands of dollars, often at state universities where the money is tight. There are sightings of her having lunch, a latte, buying a book at a local bookstore. But now there are these other stories.

In the last several weeks there have been stories about the Clinton Foundation, rechristened the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, accepting millions of dollars in foreign donations from faraway governments during her tenure as Secretary of State. At least one donation was clearly athwart the Obama administration’s ethics standards. There are the stories about Bill Clinton hanging around with the billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein on his secluded isle and Bill and Hillary accepting at least one donation from Epstein after his arrest.

Hillary was even ensnared a few weeks back in NBC anchorman Brian Williams’s bogus war stories about flying in a helicopter under enemy fire in Iraq. Hillary, we were reminded, had war stories of her own involving a landing under enemy fire in Bosnia and skedaddling across the tarmac ‘with our heads down’. The major networks ran tapes of her utterly peaceful landing back in 1996, looking as serene as the Queen might look at the Ottawa airport.

Now come the reports that she conducted her State Department work between 2009 and 2013 on a private email account. It was completely controlled by her. She apparently had no State Department account.

What is going on? Well, Hillary is about to declare her candidacy. If we have learned anything about the Clintons over the past 25 years of their public life, it is that scandal follows them. They may blame it on ‘the vast right-wing conspiracy’ or they may blame it on sunspots, but the scandals keep accumulating.

On Tuesday, Clinton admitted that it ‘might have been smarter’ to have used a separate mobile phone for her work, but said that her email system had not been breached. It is odd, however, that Hillary would use an external email account rather than the more secure State Department accounts, that she deleted almost half of the emails she sent as Secretary of State, and that she should now insist her private server ‘will remain private’.   Was she more confident in her own server than her government’s? Was she being her usual secretive self? Has she not learned from experience? Enough comes out that her behaviour only invites greater suspicion.

The Clintons have a long history of botched intrigues. On the utterly silly side, I recall reporting, in The Clinton Crack-Up, Bill having telephone sex with Monica Lewinsky on an unsecured White House line at all hours of the night. Naturally French, Israeli and Russian agents listened in and had a rollicking good time — but their tapes are presumably out there. Then on a more serious matter, there were the subpoenaed Whitewater papers, from the inquiry into Bill and Hillary’s real-estate dealings. They disappeared for years from the White House despite repeated calls by Congress and the Independent Counsel. Then, all of a sudden, they appeared inexplicably on a table in the First Lady’s residence, bringing back to life all the questions about a deputy White House counsel’s death, his relationship with Hillary, and the Whitewater inquiry itself.

As to why Hillary would want to conduct her State Department business on a personal account and whether any laws were broken, not much is clear. Hillary and Bill have long been given to secrecy. And if recent history is anything to go by, they could have more to hide. Hillary dealt with people on her personal account that the White House did not approve of, for instance Sidney Blumenthal. She may have been inveigling foreign governments to support the Good Causes of the Clinton Foundation. She may have been telling off-colour jokes. I incline toward the last.

As to the matter of the law, the State Department and, for that matter, the entire federal government are in constant flux as to how to handle emails and archived documents in general. One federal law allows government employees to act as Hillary did but to transfer materials back to the government within 20 days to preserve records. Hillary took years, and it is not clear how her private account was discovered. It appears that late last year a Congressional inquiry, looking into the terrorist attack in Benghazi that left ambassador Christopher Stevens dead, discovered Hillary’s personal email and demanded an explanation from the State Department. Which brings up another cause for suspicion. The American Spectator reported last year that Hillary had rejected ambassador Stevens’s repeated requests for heightened security. You can see why she’d want to keep this sort of correspondence hidden.

With this scandal over Hillary’s personal email account, Democrats and their apologists in the media who have stood by her for decades are again wondering if she has gone too far. Such voices have been heard before. Remember, after the Clintons’ riotous departure from the White House back in 2001, such figures as Joe Biden judged Bill as ‘totally indefensible’, and the New York Observer said of Hillary that she ‘is unfit for elective office. Had she any shame she would resign [from the Senate].’

I am not saying she is finished. Yet I am saying she has a race on her hands. One former governor, Martin O’Malley, headed to New Hampshire last weekend to stake his claim as a presidential candidate. There will be more following him.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr is the founder and editor in chief of the American Spectator.

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Show comments
  • Obermann

    So many lies, so much deceit.

    • Jody Taylor

      …which started with the Whitewater scandal years ago. That and the fact that she cannot keep her dog on the porch should keep her out of the running in 2016.

  • Peter Stroud

    Yet among the Left worldwide, the general consensus is: Democrats – Good, Republicans – Bad.

    • JeanClaudeCameron

      One will be inclined wanting to reassess that assertion not before the baby is actually thrown out with the bathwater.

    • Uncle Brian

      No, not worldwide. In Europe, quite likely, but not here in Latin America, for a start. Republicans are in favor of free trade while Democrats, with their labor union connections, are always under pressure to keep foreign products out. A Republican administration is always a brighter prospect for third-world economies.

  • zanzamander

    In their haste to elect their first black President, the Americans elected Barack Obama, lets hope that they do not repeat the same mistake in their haste to elect their first female President and plump for Hillary Clinton.

    Vote in haste, repent at leisure.

    • Ed  

      Yes, exactly. This is so sad. They could have had Colin Powell, or Condoleezza Rice (who would have been a twofer!). Instead, they elected Barack Chamberlain. What a shame.

      • Jody Taylor

        I think Colin Powell a man of huge stature and intellectual heft. But he wouldn’t run. Seems he understood the fickle electorate too well.

        • jatrius

          Damaged goods after he was chosen to give the flawed exposition at the UN. People outside of the US tend to have longer memories than US citizens themselves. This is why Hillary (whence came that 2nd ‘l’ btw ) would be a disaster too.

          • Jody Taylor

            I can’t speak for the additional “l” for Hillary. And I’d forgotten about Powell’s tainted evidence re WMDs. But he’s a Republican – that makes him undesirable enough for contemporary US voters!! Remember that only about 35% of them vote. Perhaps more voted for MaObama (as a US friend refers to him), I really don’t know.

    • Jody Taylor

      Why is he identified as black when he is actually half white?

  • goodsoldier

    ‘What difference does it make?’ she screeches. I’ll say one thing, she hires the best plastic surgeons. You can barely see the neck scar. I can promise you that she will be the next president of the United States. It has already been decided. The Republicans don’t want to do anything about it. Mark my words: she will be president whether anybody likes it or not. It’s called post-democracy, modeled on the EU.

    • Vladimir_Svareff

      Billary is deeply conflicted and a practiced liar… remember the “under fire in Bosnia” whopper. Plus her feminist stance is beyond hypocritical. She accepts $millions from Gulf misogynists (easier when you have private email and your own server located in your private barn) with no apparent sense of conflict-of-interest. She also was like an attack dog for Bill, going after women who accused Big Dawg of going what Big Dawg does best.

  • James Conan

    The left would rather support someone than no one – even if the joke’s on them and that someone is Republican-lite at best: see Clinton, Obama or the up-and-coming Clinton mark II.
    I guess it’s easier than admitting that you lost the ideological fight.
    Neoliberalism has won.
    As have the shifty careerists on the ostensible left who have the nerve to attempt to distinguish themselves from their conservative equivalents.

  • trace9

    Clintys come & Clintys Go
    As Half their emails Do.
    But whether to address a Dress
    Or keep it out of View;
    Or puff a Toke
    Or cigars ‘Smoke’ –
    He’s a girl’s-own-Bloke
    & She’s a fu*ker, Too.

  • CraigStrachan

    Bold R. Emmett, back on Clinton “scandal” even after the sad passing of Richard Mellon Scaife. Who’s going to pay for it all now, I wonder?

  • Ed  

    So…… other than staying married to the man who cheated on her, what has she done?

    • milford

      Lied, lied and lied.

  • MacGuffin

    For goodness sake, Senator Warren, get your skates on.

  • Roy

    You don’t need to study American politics very deeply to wonder how in hell a president they now have, and has done so much damage, was ever voted into office. You also have to wonder at political leaders in the world who wonder over to the White House for a chat, can stand being in his company. Every morsel of American policy, home and abroad has been turned on its head. This man hates the present make-up of the American population. He would like to see every man Jack of them all in his image. For him to be leader of the free world makes you shudder. For America to assume a continuing leadership of the free world make you wonder how it can conclude when the present crackpot Democrats show such daft incompetence.

    • Vladimir_Svareff

      Roy said: “This man hates the present make-up of the American population. He would like to see every man Jack of them all in his image.”

      Why don’t you just say “darkies” Roy… or coin a neologism… “commiedarkies.” Why not just call a spade a spade – no pun intended. Course maybe I’m just reading closet racism into your loaded remarks and your best friends are in fact the Jamaican Ganja Boys from Brixton, but I wouldn’t put my life savings on it.

      You’re a bit murky also when it comes to what Obama is really about. He isn’t close to the agent-of-change he pretended to be. After the crash he would have sent Wall Street crooks on paid vacations, would have bombed Pakistan to smithereens, kissed Dubya’s rear-end and pulled any other Cheney-like move you care to mention if… if only… the Republicans had got onside and become bi-partisan buds. If only they had played the game and allowed him to ascend between the ranks to become a latter-day Lincoln… lauded and extolled throughout the world, an icon in our time. But the Republicans wouldn’t come to his party, or even play his game. Now Barry is paying them back with obstructionism, executive orders, pseudo-lefty initiatives and acting like the civil rights hero (Selma speech aside) he never really was.

      Obama isn’t as many Americans nuttily suggest a “Marxist”… nor is he a “Socialist”… he is as much of a capitalist and imperialist as his detractors in the Republican Party. It’s just that when he gets all touchy feely, goes on social media and hangs out with rappers a lot of people get blinded by the act.

      Obama might be politically craven and opportunistic in ways that seem to escape his fans, but he’s no pacifist or unifying agent of change. His predator drone attacks in Pakistan upped the anti from the Bush days and took out hundreds of women and children in the interests of targeting “bad guys” Barry had on his kill list. No bleeding heart on that front. But he knows the world is complex, the stakes high and his legacy too important to do dumb things in the name of flag and country. Don’t let any of that fool you though… Obama isn’t as much of a change from what went before as some imagine.

      • Roy

        “Obama isn’t as many Americans nuttily suggest a “Marxist”… nor is he a “Socialist”… he is as much of a capitalist and imperialist as his detractors in the Republican Party.”
        Pull the other one.

        • Vladimir_Svareff

          Washington was behind the putsch in Kiev last year Roy, and Barry has been okay with lining up with oligarchs and Nazi sympathizers to push Brzezinski’s imperial vision of so-called “spheres of influence” in eastern Europe. Fairly imperialistic I would say.

  • davidofkent

    I laughed when she did that ‘pointy thing’ onstage as if to pretend that there was somebody in the audience that she knew well. If the Americans elect her, they will be even more stupid than I thought they were when they elected Barack Obama (twice).

  • Ivan Ewan

    Hillary Clinton would be George Soros’ third consecutive term. Possibly Saul Alinsky’s, too.

    Well, America, you’ve got a basic choice here. You can vote for someone who:

    Covered up for al-Qaeda so she could imprison a YouTuber whom Obama didn’t like.

    Lied in court, stole documents, was kicked out of Watergate proceedings for perverting the course of justice.

    Knowingly acquitted a rapist, slandered the under aged victim, and laughed hysterically about it.

    “Misspoke” about having been under sniper fire in Bosnia.

    Was so obsessed with clinging (heh heh, Clington) on to power that she remained married to the serially unfaithful Bill.

    Illegally and unconstitutionally kept state communications in private records and then somehow “lost” a whole heap of them.

    Of course there’s more. How could there not be? This is just what I can immediately remember.

    Of course, America, you’re going to do your hardest to elect the unelectable, aren’t you? I can see the New York Times already, triumphantly proclaiming the old hag’s inauguration.

    • TimeandtheRani

      To the left, all of this is entirely unimportant compared to how historic and patriarchy-smashing it’ll be to finally have a female president

      • Ivan Ewan


        With a mixed race man in the White House, we endured six (to be eight) years of hearing what a racist country the USA is.

        When Hillary is elected (because who are we kidding, the powers that be with their ballot stuffing ways have decreed her victory), how many years of hearing that the USA is also fundamentally sexist?

      • Jody Taylor

        And they regard her as a “feminist” – the woman whose dog wouldn’t remain on the porch and when he had his assignation with Lewinsky old Hillary launched a public attack on the woman.

    • Don’t forget that she orchestrated the Travelgate scandal which put the entire Dale family through hell by basically SWATting them with the IRS. Caused so much stress that Mrs. Dale suffered a stroke that she never did fully recover from. No apologies, no restitution. And all so she could have an “excuse” for replacing an outstanding civil service manager with a nearly impeccable career with one of her private cronies.

  • john

    When did the Right give up political discussion and devote itself totally to promoting endless phony “scandals”? Don’t they notice that this strategy doesn’t win? Spending the next 18 months digging up scandals against Hillary will only ensure another Dem President..

  • scampy

    Like the low life greedy Blair;s the low life Clinton;s attract sh#t?