Hillary Clinton’s ongoing private email server scandal is not an engineered right-wing smear. Even though Bernie Sanders hasn’t made Clinton’s server and corresponding ethical questions an issue during his anti-establishment campaign, that doesn’t mean that Clinton’s server and lack of transparency isn’t a legitimate issue to the American people.
We are all “sick and tired” of the damn emails, but the real scandal is a lack of transparency
Regardless of one’s political persuasion, American citizens should be concerned about the lack of transparency from former Secretary of State Clinton, and all of our government officials. As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was helping negotiate arms deals with Saudi Arabia; broker fracking deals around the globe; push regime change in Libya; and determine the U.S. government’s decision to back an illegitimate government in Honduras following a military coup that ousted the rightfully democratically-elected president.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a progressive publication that endorsed Barack Obama for president and doesn’t have warm feelings for Republican front-runner Donald Trump, believes that, “the only believable reason for the private server in her basement was to keep her emails out of the public eye by willfully avoiding freedom of information laws.” Wisconsin’s largest newspaper also wrote:
Nothing matters more to leadership in a democracy than support for an open, honest government in which citizens are informed and in charge. It is the foundational building block of the republic upon which all else rests. And any candidate vying for the votes of the American people needs to have demonstrated a firm commitment not only to the ideal but to the reality of open government.
As we noted Tuesday, Republican front-runner Donald Trump is not one of those candidates. But neither is Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. Her horrible track record on transparency raises serious concerns for open government under a Clinton administration — so serious we believe they may disqualify her from public office. We hope Wisconsin voters give this issue the consideration it deserves when they go to the polls on Tuesday.
Clinton has a long track record of public service but an equally long record of obfuscation, secrecy and working in the shadows to boost her power and further her ambition. We encourage voters to think long and hard about that record when choosing the next president.
While conducting international business on behalf of the American people, the Clinton Foundation was accepting donations from businesses and countries that were dealing with our government. Millions of dollars were donated by seven governments to the Clinton Foundation and one of those donations violated the foundation’s ethics agreement with the Obama Administration. Seventeen countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, that donated to the Clinton Foundation garnered bigger defense contracts with the United States during Clinton’s tenure than under the previous administration.
Not only did the Clinton Foundation accept a foreign donation from Algeria in violation of its ethics agreement with President Obama’s Administration, but Secretary of State staffers also violated ethics rules by not properly disclosing outside income. Close confidante Huma Abedin and Bryan Pagliano, who set up the now-infamous private email server, both received outside income arranged by, or paid directly, by the Clintons. Pagliano has received immunity by the FBI and has long been cooperating with the federal agency investigating the latest Clinton scandal while Ms. Abedin is expected to be interviewed by the FBI soon. The FBI is likely to also interview Hillary Clinton herself.
Despite Hillary Clinton’s denial to even think that there may be a federal indictment due to the email scandal, can she, or the American people, be so confident that nothing will come out of the investigation that has employed the services of dozens of FBI agents? Can Clinton, her staffers, and the American people be 100% confident that the FBI interviews don’t catch staffers, or Clinton herself, in a false statement?
It does seem unlikely that President Obama’s Justice Department would proceed with an indictment of the president’s first secretary of state, but can everyone be so confidant that a staffer won’t be indicted? Or that an indictment won’t recommended by the FBI? With Democrats heavily favored to win the 2016 election, this ongoing email scandal is one of the few matters that could lead to a Republican occupying the White House.
In addition to any potential indictment, is the private email server, the millions of dollars donated by foreign governments and defense contractors, and the various ethical violations really the type of behavior that the American people should be excusing? While many progressives and Democrats are calling into question the propriety of the private email server and lack of transparency from Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, too many are ignoring, excusing and even defending this type of unethical behavior.
Would these same progressives and Democrats excuse this type of behavior from a Trump, Cruz or Kasich Administration? Excusing Hillary Clinton’s latest scandal virtually gives a green light to future administrations to conduct similar activities and we will always have a government that operates with a supreme lack of transparency.