Hillary Clinton reportedly mused to State Department staffers about assassinating Julian Assange with a drone strike. Some people think she wasn’t kidding as they blithely refer to the Clinton “body count.”
Conspiracy theorists went into high gear when Seth Rich, a DNC staffer who had ties to the Clintons, was shot dead in Washington, D.C. on July 10. The homicide is being investigated as a robbery, though none of Rich’s valuables were taken. Some speculate that Rich may have leaked the DNC emails to WikiLeaks that exposed efforts to undermine Bernie Sanders.
Rich was one of three individuals who could have embarrassed the Clintons who died this past summer under peculiar circumstances. Shawn Lucas, 38, a lawyer who had recently served the DNC with a summons alleging fraud on behalf of Sanders’ backers, was found dead in his home. So was former UN diplomat John Ashe, 61, who was set to testify against a Chinese businessman who allegedly had funneled money to the DNC through Bill Clinton and a third party in the 1990s, the so-called “Chinagate” scandal.
Coincidence? Tin-hat conspiracy theorists? Probably. But not to the millions of Americans who have come to suspect the worst of Hillary Clinton. Forget her disastrous economic ideas or unfounded assault on law enforcement or even her apparent pay-to-play activities with the Clinton Foundation while Secretary of State. The greatest danger of a Hillary Clinton presidency could well be this: further erosion of Americans’ trust in our government and our institutions.
Imagine -- half of Trump’s supporters suspect that the election will be rigged, according to a new poll. That shocking figure dovetails with many that show collapsing faith in our country. Only about one third of the nation has confidence in the presidency; similar or lower numbers describe how people feel about our criminal justice system, the Supreme Court, our public schools and Congress. Hillary Clinton would drive those figures lower. According to one NBC poll this summer, only 11% of the country considers Clinton honest and trustworthy -- an unprecedented blight on a likely presidency.
To crush the country’s confidence would not even require more Clintonian scandals. Hillary would enter office beholden to special interests who have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to her campaign. How will she reconcile the demands of those idealistic Sanders-supporting millennials who count on her to keep her word and oppose the TPP trade deal? Or with the demands of the 250 billionaires who have coughed up $44 million for her run? How can she pretend to oppose Big Money in politics when she is scarfing up unprecedented amounts of cash by “doing an end-run around contribution limits,” as The New York Times reports?
Imagine Hillary’s White House, staffed with several people who have been given immunity from prosecution by the Justice Department in a criminal investigation. Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s former Chief of Staff and lawyer, and Heather Samuelson, a top aide, were both among those granted immunity by the FBI in its investigation of the former Secretary of State’s careless handling of classified information.
Bets are that loyalist Huma Abedin will be appointed Hillary’s Chief of Staff. Abedin was not granted immunity by the FBI, but her testimony raised eyebrows. She appears to have lied when she denied knowledge of the personal system; she was subsequently contradicted by former Bill Clinton advisor Justin Cooper, who told the FBI that Abedin came up with the server plan. Abedin also had her own Clinton email account, further undermining her testimony.
Abedin also on numerous occasions told the FBI she couldn’t remember important details of Hillary Clinton’s communications procedures. She did not know, for instance, the incognito email address of President Obama, who has claimed no knowledge of Hillary’s unusual and possibly illegal server set-up, but nonetheless emailed her at her personal address. Given her pivotal role in the former first lady’s life, that claim is simply not credible. But, the fact that President Obama was emailing with Hillary explains why FBI Director Comey might have decided not to recommend indicting Clinton. So much corruption; so much suspicion.
Hillary Clinton had memory lapses too when talking to the FBI. In fact, she told investigators 40 times that she could not recall whether she had received security training, how her department went about targeting a drone strike, or whether she had received any emails that should not be on an unclassified system.
As Huma emailed to a colleague in 2012, Hillary is “often confused.”
Clinton loyalists can circle the wagons with the precision of goose-stepping North Korean soldiers. When Clinton is hit with charges of corruption or duplicity, she and her aides trot out imaginative rationales and seamlessly deflect inquiries into new channels as smoothly as water flowing around a pylon. When hacked emails reveal the DNC undermining Bernie Sanders in order to bolster the Clinton campaign – a serious breach of our democratic process – Hillary’s Status Quo Guard takes over the narrative, which becomes all about Donald Trump’s supposed affection for Vladimir Putin. It’s a tour de force.
A taste of what might come was revealed this week when a tape recording surfaced in which Hillary appears to mock Sanders’ policies and his millennial followers saying, “There's just a deep desire to believe that we can have free college, free health care… that we just need to, you know, go as far as, you know, Scandinavia, whatever that means, and half the people don't know what that means.” How will young voters respond when she fails to follow through on her campaign pledges?
They will be disillusioned and lose confidence in our political system. Americans’ trust in and respect for our government is at a low ebb, and it could get significantly worse – a high price to pay for a Hillary presidency.