Democrats are worried that the furor surrounding Hillary Clinton’s private email server will be prolonged and intensified after her sudden move to hand it over to the FBI…
 
Coupled with new polls that suggest Clinton is vulnerable, Democrats are nearing full-on panic mode
 
“I’m not sure they completely understand the credibility they are losing, by the second,” said one Democratic strategist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “At some point this goes from being something you can rationalize away to something that becomes political cancer. And we are getting pretty close to the cancer stage, because this is starting to get ridiculous.”…

“It’s hard to imagine Americans in the heartland wondering about whether Hillary Clinton gave up an email server or not,” he said. “But [it adds to] this constant battering she’s taking, which is that people don’t trust her. It increases the feeling that something is not being told to them.” 

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“They’re worried about it,” said a longtime Clinton adviser and confidant who agreed to discuss the mood of the campaign team only on the condition of anonymity. “They don’t know where it goes. That’s the problem.”

John Fitzpatrick, head of the Information Security Oversight Office within the National Archives, said agencies train officials with security clearances to spot sensitive material and then to look up the proper classifications — such as “confidential,” “secret” or “top secret.”

“If you write an e-mail , you are expected to distinguish the classified from the unclassified,” Fitzpatrick said. “If you say ‘the CIA reports’ something — writing that sentence should set off alarm bells.”

Fitzpatrick said the dispute is somewhat academic given Clinton’s unique system. Officials shouldn’t rely on private systems for work e-mails, he said, and they should never talk about classified matters on a private system.

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F.B.I. agents investigating Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private email server are seeking to determine who at the State Department passed highly classified information from secure networks to Mrs. Clinton’s personal account, according to law enforcement and diplomatic officials and others briefed on the investigation.

To track how the information flowed, agents will try to gain access to the email accounts of many State Department officials who worked there while Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state, the officials said. State Department employees apparently circulated the emails on unclassified systems in 2009 and 2011, and some were ultimately forwarded to Mrs. Clinton…

The F.B.I. is also trying to determine whether foreign powers, especially China or Russia, gained access to Mrs. Clinton’s private server, although at this point, any security breaches are speculation.

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton entrusted her email server to an IT firm that was not cleared to handle classified materials, according to the chief spokesman for the Defense Security Service.

The DSS is an arm of the Defense Department and is the only federal agency authorized to approve private sector company access to sensitive or confidential material…

“The revelation that Secretary Clinton used a private company, Platte River Networks, to maintain her personal server raises questions about what steps the company took to preserve and secure sensitive information in Secretary Clinton’s email,” Johnson said.

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Security experts say that if Hillary Rodham Clinton retained her government security clearance when she left the State Department, as is normal practice, it should be suspended now that it is known her unprotected private email server contained top secret material.

“Standard procedure is that when there is evidence of a security breach, the clearance of the individual is suspended in many, but not all, cases,” said retired Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin, who was deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence in the George W. Bush administration. “This rises to the level of requiring a suspension.”

“You have a massive spill, a massive leak of classified information,” the former official said. “The responsibility for that server is on Hillary Clinton directly.”…

“In my opinion, not only should she have any clearances rescinded, she should be prosecuted to a greater extent than Petraeus,” Mr. Bechtel said. “This blatant disregard for regulations and security is egregious. If she does not suffer severe consequences, it will demonstrate how corrupt the entire Obama administration is.”

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Voters think former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flat-out lied about not having classified information on her private email server — and that she put the United States at risk by mishandling our secrets. 

A Fox News poll released Friday finds a 58 percent majority thinks Clinton “knowingly lied” when she announced in a March press conference that no emails on her private server contained classified information.  A third says there is “another explanation” for internal government investigators determining secret info was in fact on Clinton’s server (33 percent).

Moreover, by a 54-37 percent margin, voters feel Clinton put our national security at risk by using a private email server. 

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In a poll of voters in the six make-or-break swing states, Hillary Clinton now trails a generic Republican opponent by 13 points – a jump from last month’s 8-point deficit…

The reason for Clinton’s decline with the swing-state general electorate is not hard to discern. Trust for Clinton waned notably since last month’s survey. In July, 41 percent of respondents expressed at least some degree of trust for the former secretary of state. This month, that’s fallen to 37 percent.

Distrust of Clinton, which clocked in at 56 percent last month has climbed all the way to 60 percent. It’s bad enough to be 23 points underwater on trustworthiness in general but maybe worst of all is that 47 percent this month said they “completely distrust” Clinton.

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This is her fault, all of it.

Including her no-win situation. If the FBI is able to recover deleted email from her server, it’s almost certain that more classified documents will be discovered (given what has already been found in the tiny sample size). That would raise more questions about her judgment.

Furthermore, a thorough autopsy of the deleted email might lead to details about other embarrassing topics, such as Benghazi (a GOP fetish), or the intersection of Clinton Foundation donors and State Department business (“Follow the money,” a Democrat close to Clinton told me in March). Though this is pure speculation, her closest allies worry about what might be found.

If the deleted emails can’t be recovered, Clinton will never be able to clear her name. Only the most blindly loyal and partisan voters will accept her word and ignore the serial deception. Even people like me who have known and respected Clinton for years will walk into the voting booth asking ourselves, “What is she hiding?”

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The Democrats desperately need more serious, viable candidates in the race, or at least poised to jump in at a moment’s notice. (And it sure would be great if they were more appealing than Al Gore.) The point wouldn’t be to catch up to her in a mad dash. The point would be to serve as a strong back-up for when the nearly inevitable happens.

What’s the nearly inevitable? The scandal that, sooner or later, is bound to sink Hillary Clinton’s campaign

At the moment, the ongoing email imbroglio is the time bomb that seems to pose the greatest risk to the campaign. It’s hard to know which is most alarming: the way the candidate and her team have handled the scandal since it broke in March; the latest swirl of half-truths, denials, reversals, and revelations; or what new explosive information might come to light a month, six months, or a year from now…

Oh, that server we wouldn’t give to you? You can have it now, cleaned up all nice and tidy. There certainly weren’t any classified documents on there. Oh, there were? Oops, well, only those two — oh, I mean four — and don’t worry about how that’s just a “limited sample” of 40 emails out of tens of thousands; the inspector general of the Justice Department just got lucky. And hey, we deleted them, so who cares? (Freedom of information is for suckers.) Yes, of course, my “shadow” had access to that server and those classified emails, too. Why is that a problem? What, are you a member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy?

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It’s high time for a special prosecutor to be named to conduct a full investigation into Ms. Clinton’s likely commission of multiple felonies, including a conspiracy with Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, and possibly others, to violate multiple laws.

While the FBI and Department of Justice have willfully ignored Hillary Clinton’s outrageous conduct, they didn’t hesitate a minute to investigate and prosecute former CIA Director and national hero, General Petraeus. He was just tarred, feathered and ridden out of the CIA on a rail for sharing some information (his own notebook) with his biographer who was both in the military and had a top secret clearance. Yet, Petraeus did not have a secret server set up to house his classified and top secret information or digital satellite imagery; he destroyed nothing; and, there was no “leak.” But that’s not all…

Ms. Clinton, however, established her entire system to avoid the law and in violation of the Espionage Act—as she and her co-conspirators removed all records from the State Department from its inception. Compounding her crimes, she knowingly and willfully destroyed whatever she wanted to destroy—despite or more likely because of—the incriminating information it contained and in the face of the Benghazi investigation…

Until there is a massive change in this country, justice is a game.

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Hillary Clinton is a scandalous candidate for president of the United States. Most people acknowledge this, at least judging by her plummeting poll numbers. A raft of stories gives the distinct impression that she and her husband have been running an elaborate pay-to-play operation. Donations to the Clinton Foundation may have produced favorable State Department policies dealing with Russia-owned U.S. uranium deposits, Haitian relief efforts, and foreign banking interests. Her use of a personal email server while at the State Department, moreover, strongly suggests she has something to hide…

[W]ith Clinton, there is a wide array of questionable practices, dating back decades. There is Russia, Haiti, and UBS. There is the millions donated to the Clinton Foundation by a Ukrain­ian oligarch just before the Crimea crisis. There is the strange disappearance of the Rose Law Firm billing records. There is her huge windfall in the cattle futures market. There is the shady nature of her private email server. With each item, there could have been an unlikely accumulation of causes that made an innocent person look guilty. But it strains credulity to believe that such bizarre circumstances have conspired against her again and again and again.  .  . and again and again and again. Instead, one cannot help but return to William Safire’s judgment in 1996 that Clinton is just “a congenital liar.”…

[I]t is hard to argue that ethics alone will upend Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. But American pragmatism may sink her still. This is not a good time, after all, to be suspected of cronyism. There is widespread belief that the “game is rigged” against average Americans in favor of an elite caste, a sentiment that unites the otherwise disparate Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements. Clinton’s scandals give the unmistakable impression that she and her husband, with their vast fortune, sit at the apex of this American oligarchy.

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Even for a Clinton, this is all very low and unseemly. Worse than that, it has jeopardized national security. Hillary has no explanation or valid defense. This should be “game over” for her presidential campaign. Her entourage of advisers and toadies should now focus on hiring an adept criminal-defense team.

But I very much doubt that will be the case. Her e-mail system was reckless, but her hubris surely arose in part from the knowledge that Hillary can expect dispensations from the sort of people who sit in federal prosecutors’ offices. This is particularly true of the grotesquely politicized Obama Department of Justice. They will bury this scandal, alongside the carcasses of the investigation into the IRS’s tea-party-targeting scandal, Operation Fast and Furious, and everything else this administration has suppressed.

As with her husband’s transgressions during his time in office, Hillary’s obvious violations of the law will probably be wiped away and largely forgotten. She is too important to the apparatus of governing elites and to the Left. The seized e-mail server, thumb drive, and whatever else the investigation sweeps up will disappear into the flabby folds of bureaucracy at the DOJ. There it will linger under a perpetual “review” that will stretch well beyond the 2016 election.

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What Clinton needs most of all is a way out, a means of escape. Before she can recover politically, the legal uncertainty must end. And the only way to end it is a presidential pardon. Clinton’s future isn’t only tied to President Obama’s job approval and economic performance. It’s also tied to his compassion. Obama alone can resuscitate Hillary’s campaign…

Not only would a pardon have legal consequences. It would have political ones. It would be a tacit endorsement of Clinton, a message to Biden not to run. Scrutiny of Clinton would fade. A few news outlets might continue to dig around—we at the Washington Free Beacon will never, ever stop—but most reporters, who’d rather not be writing about this scandal anyway, would turn elsewhere.

Obama would look magnanimous. The country would be spared years of Clinton drama it doesn’t want. A pardon would be a final display of Obama’s moral superiority to the woman he defeated long ago—exactly the sort of self-righteous gesture that most appeals to him. As David Geffen put it in 2007, “I don’t think anybody believes that in the last six years, all of a sudden Bill Clinton has become a different person.” Nobody believed that about Clinton’s wife, either. They still don’t.

Pardon Hillary now if you want to save her campaign. If not, if you let the investigation proceed, then you may have no choice but to pardon her later.

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