Two issues will play out in the months ahead, both with major impact on the 2016 election.
Both involve Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Both will then shift the focus to President Barack Obama to make two monumental decisions—one to be made before the election; the other just before leaving office. Both, however, will have enormous impact on Hillary’s life after Obama’s presidency.
Investigations into two issues plaguing Hillary’s campaign—what she knows about the Benghazi attack and her use of a private internet server to transmit classified information—have had very long fuses. They will, hopefully, soon run their course—each either fizzling out or, more likely, igniting a new set of problems for her.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Getty Images)
Concerning Benghazi, we await the House Benghazi Committee’s report on the incident, in which Ambassador Chris Stevens, diplomat Sean Smith and former U.S. Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Ty Woods were killed. A most telling piece of evidence—an email only coming to light recently—suggests serious culpability by Hillary.
During her congressional testimony, when the focus turned to the attack’s motivation, an angry Hillary queried, “What difference at this point does it make?”
The difference is important as she gave out two contrary versions as to the motivation when the incident occurred. But, the more critical question is why a rescue effort was never approved.
The dangers facing Ambassador Stevens were known to his superiors. As such, if approval was denied because a reaction team was unavailable, someone was grossly negligent for failing to pre-position one. But, if a team was available yet no approval given, dereliction of duty has occurred.
In an investigative video, Full Measure News reveals “new information about what may be the most confounding mystery surrounding the Benghazi controversy: Why no outside U.S. military help came to the rescue as terrorists battered two compounds and the Americans inside over nearly eight long hours.” Shockingly, outside help was on the way until the unconscionable happened.
The video focuses on an email, originated by Jeremy Bash, the former chief of staff for the Department of Defense, which went out three-and-a-half hours into the attack to top State Department officials. It clearly indicated a U.S. military asset was available to conduct a rescue operation and was “spinning up as we speak.”
This meant the asset was taking all necessary actions to position itself for a rescue of the four Americans. It meant it only awaited final, high-level approval—from President Obama and/or Secretary of State Clinton—to proceed into Libyan airspace. That approval never came.
As Full Measure reports, “The White House has refused to detail the involvement of President Obama—the commander-in-chief—while Americans were under attack on foreign soil. Following a short briefing at the beginning of the assault, he basically disappears from the public narrative. The White House…has long denied any assets were available or ready and said that everything possible was done.”
FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2011, file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya. Clinton insists that if she pursues the presidency again, it will be different this time around. But revelations that she sidestepped the government email system as secretary of state suggest she may have a long way to go in making good on that promise. (AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, Pool, File)
An experienced former CIA officer, Gary Bernsten, suggests the email is very significant. Concerning activation of a reaction team in such a situation, he said, “Only political instructions from above would have stopped them…No one is going to wait” to go in.
Such teams maneuver as close as possible to the rescue site, not making foreign territory entry until civilian authority so authorizes.
The State Department claims, “The notion that (it) did not do everything possible to protect our people that night is as offensive as it is wrong.”
But, Full Measure reports, “There’s one piece of evidence that could help in the debate: the After Action Reports dissecting the military response, but the Pentagon has refused Congressional and media requests to see them.”
Meanwhile, the FBI’s investigation into Hillary’s private internet server should also be concluding soon.
Leaks about this report, if accurate, clearly reveal Hillary is guilty of transmitting classified material, including data beyond top secret. We now know why she made the brazen comment when use of her private server was first discovered, “Most importantly I never sent classified material on my email and I never received any that was marked classified.” Apparently, whenever such material was involved, she instructed her staff to remove classified designations.
The FBI investigation was later expanded to include possible violation of corruption laws during her stint as secretary of state.
It is believed these reports will be damning for Hillary. The FBI report will find she flagrantly disregarded the handling of classified information. Charges against U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus for transmitting classified information pale in comparison to Hillary’s transgressions.
Accordingly, Obama’s first monumental decision will be whether the Department of Justice should prosecute Hillary. In light of the 2015 Petraeus prosecution for much less serious transgressions, it will be very difficult for Obama to give Hillary a free pass.
Hillary may already be seeking to soften up Obama on this decision, recently suggesting, if elected, she might consider him for the U.S. Supreme Court.
But, should Hillary be prosecuted and convicted, a second monumental decision awaits Obama—whether or not to pardon her. It will be a decision rendered in the last few days of his presidency. If so pardoned, Obama—to make it more palatable to critics—might opt to pardon Petraeus as well.
But what will be most interesting to see is if Hillary has enough negotiating leverage with Obama to take a pardon deal a step further.
Obviously sensitive to the fate befalling Bill Cosby who is now being held accountable for numerous alleged sexual transgressions, Hillary may wish—should husband Bill Clinton have committed any federal sex crimes—to seek a pardon for him as well. In fact, Bill’s recent admission about buying votes when running for governor of Arkansas should prompt her to seek a blanket pardon for him.
As haunting questions remain about Obama’s role in possibly calling back the Benghazi rescue for purely political reasons—which Hillary would know—she may have the leverage to negotiate a presidential pardon “package.
Should Hillary be guilty of various criminal acts, Obama’s job in issuing pardons may become a Clinton family affair.
TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author