I had a fleeting moment of respect for Hillary Clinton’s despicable advisor, Sid (“Vicious”) Blumenthal, the other day when I read his description of John Boehner in one of the newly released Hillary emails. “He is louche, alcoholic, lazy, and without any commitment to any principle.”
In response, Boehner’s office replied, “The fact is the only reason that the mishandling of classified information by Hillary Clinton and her staff has been exposed is because of Speaker Boehner’s decision to create the select committee [on Benghazi] and our members’ diligence and hard work.”
Only that is so not true. As I wrote earlier this year, it was hacker Marcel-Lehel Lazar, calling himself Guccifer, who in May 2013 revealed that Clinton had been using a personal email address for official business. We learned of other information only through Freedom of Information Act lawsuits filed against the State Department by organizations such as Vice News, Citizens United, and Judicial Watch.
Some of these FOIA emails, it seems, were already in the possession of Trey Gowdy’s select committee, for it leaked hundreds of them to the New York Times only hours before the State Department published its first batch. Why had the select committee done nothing but sit on these? And why leak to the New York Times?
Which leads one to wonder about Trey Gowdy. Why is he allowing Hillary to run the clock on these emails? More importantly, why is Boehner instructing him to do so? Is it cowardice? It can be rough going up against the Clinton machine. Or is it that the Republicans are pulling their punches today because they think Hillary would be easier to beat than another Democratic nominee? As Donald Rumsfeld once observed, when you see your opponent digging himself in a hole, don’t stop him.
If that is what is going on, that looks like a nice Machiavellian ploy. Let the email scandal fester until Hillary is the nominee, then unload on her. As a former prosecutor, I could credit Gowdy with those kind of smarts. Not Boehner, though. And there’s a problem with this analysis. It doesn’t explain why the Republicans sat on the story at a time when Hillary looked far more formidable.
Maybe Sid Vicious had it right.
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