Hillary: Say, I notice there's a double standard when it comes to Clintons and corruption

Wow — she’s noticed it too? As in, would anyone who had blatantly hid her communications from Congress and the courts, mishandling highly classified information as a consequence, while making $57.5 million as Secretary of State escape indictment if their name wasn’t Hillary Clinton? If she means that double standard, then yes, Hillary’s statement in yesterday’s 60 Minutes interview with Scott Pelley makes all sorts of sense. The way she does mean it, though, makes as much sense as believing that it’s just a coincidence that Bill Clinton got $500,000 for a speech from a bank connected to the Uranium One deal while Hillary’s State signed off on it:


PELLEY: I was speaking to a young African American man just the other day in a Democratic state. And he said, and I’ll quote, “You know, I guess I would vote for Hillary except for that corruption problem,” end quote. As I talked to him further, he didn’t quite know what he meant by that. But that was his impression and concern. Why do you think people say that about you?

CLINTON: Well first, I will take responsibility for any impression or anything I’ve ever done that people have legitimate questions about. But I think that it’s fair to say there’s been a concerted effort to convince people like that young man of something, nobody’s quite sure what, but of something. I often feel like there’s the Hillary standard and then there’s the standard for everybody else. And —

PELLEY: What’s the Hillary standard?

CLINTON: Well, it — it is — you know, a lot of as you at the Republican convention — unfounded, inaccurate, mean-spirited attacks with no basis in truth — reality, which take on a life of their own. And for whatever reasons — and I don’t want to try to analyze the reasons. I — I see it. I understand it. People are very willing to say things about me, to make accusations about me that are — I don’t get upset about them anymore, but they are very regrettable.

Aaron Blake thinks this is, at the least, a political mistake:

First, it’s fine for Clinton to believe that she’s held to a higher standard than others, and it’s surely something that her supporters believe too. In that way, it is completely unsurprising to find out that a presidential candidate feels this way.

But believing it is one thing; saying it is another. And in bringing up this alleged double standard while also taking “responsibility” for her problems, Clinton is trying to have it both ways. …

As with that quote, you can bet “the Hillary standard” will be used against Clinton with gusto. It will be used to paint the picture of a candidate who thinks Americans’ reservations about her are overblown and based on misinformation. It will be used to suggest Clinton doesn’t actually plan on reforming her ways.

But it’s only a political mistake because it’s clearly such a brazen lie. The episode with James Comey makes that spectacularly clear. The only reason Hillary didn’t get a referral for prosecution was that Comey was convinced that no prosecutor at the Department of Justice would take it. His claim that 18 USC 793 (f) violations require intent before filing is absolute nonsense; the text of the statute explicitly refutes it. Further, although actual trials on 18 USC 793 (f) are rather rare, they have occurred — and beyond that, prosecutors more often use that statute to pressure violators into accepting a plea bargain on other charges. Comey clearly wanted to avoid having the FBI put in the position of changing a presidential race.

And what about the reason for using the private e-mail system in the first place? As the FBI report made clear, it certainly wasn’t about convenience, nor about using one device to access her e-mails, both of the excuses Hillary has publicly used. It’s no coincidence that the State Department had rebuffed requests from Congress and the courts about Hillary’s official e-mail correspondence on multiple issues, claiming that she had none until the Benghazi Select Committee finally exposed its existence. The private e-mail server was designed for that purpose — to thwart legitimate oversight by Congress and courts handling FOIA lawsuits over the executive branch. That’s an explicit corruption of the Constitution’s design for coequal branches and the checks and balances to ensure against corruption and aggrandizement of power.

Rather than facing prosecution, or even aggressive media scrutiny, Hillary’s on her way back to the White House. If this happened to anyone not named Clinton — and especially if it happened to a Republican — there is no way that would be the case. That’s the Hillary Standard, and in large part it’s the media that enforces it.

Addendum: The RNC reminds voters of the Hillary Standard in their brief new campaign video, “Hillary’s Baggage”: