Here’s the Simple Truth About the FBI and the Hillary Clinton Email ‘Scandal’

While the topic clearly isn’t going away any time soon, after over a year, the FBI announced on Tuesday that it would not be recommending criminal charges against Hillary Clinton over anything related to her use of a private email server while she served as Secretary of State.

Naturally, this announcement was met with quite the reaction from both pro and anti-Clinton individuals.

After reading probably over 500 comments on Tuesday, I felt the need to just be blunt about this entire situation because the reaction has been, as expected, completely ridiculous.

Since the news broke, I’ve found it absolutely fascinating to watch people who really couldn’t care less about any of this, act like they do simply because:

  • They’re Republicans or someone who doesn’t like Clinton looking for any reason to try to bash her, hoping this email “scandal” would keep her from becoming president. – or – 
  • They’re Bernie Sanders supporters who were hoping she’d get indicted because the candidate they wanted to win the nomination, didn’t win it.

And the thing is, there’s no evidence anywhere that anything nefarious or deceitful was going on with Clinton or her staff using this server. In fact, there’s no proof that her having this server did anything but raise the possibility that someone might have been able to gain access to sensitive information.

Now, has she been completely forthright explaining her “side” of this? No, she hasn’t. That’s completely on her. I’m not here to say she’s walking away from this unscathed. It’s clear she made some rather poor choices using this sever and wasn’t completely honest with talking about it this past year.

I’m a Clinton supporter, but let’s be honest here. She’s a politician, they all offer half-truths (if not outright lies), while trying to sidestep being completely forthright about something they know isn’t reflecting positively on them or their campaign. President Obama does it, Bernie Sanders does it, Donald Trump does it, Paul Ryan does it, Elizabeth Warren does it… they all do it. It’s called being a politician. If you’re someone who doesn’t think the person you support is ever lying, you’re incredibly naive.

The truth is, and I’m sure I’m going to get crushed for saying this — I just don’t care. To be honest with you, I wouldn’t care about this even if it were a Republican, because it’s really mostly pointless and kind of meaningless. This is a “gotcha” issue that anti-Clinton people have seized on because they’re trying desperately to build it into something much bigger than it actually is, hoping it will derail her chances of becoming our next president.

Last time I checked, Colin Powell doesn’t have any of his old emails, and he had classified information pass through a private email address, yet nobody cares. There aren’t calls from the same people trying to paint Clinton as a “traitor who made the country less safe” to investigate him, or charge him with any crime. If this was really about holding someone accountable for risking our national security, then Powell would be in a decent amount of hot water as well.

Furthermore, I’m sure I’m not the only one who remembers the millions of missing emails from the Bush administration. Where are the Republican calls to indict everyone responsible for millions of emails disappearing?

Hillary Clinton made a stupid mistake, she has since repeatedly admitted that it was a mistake, and has dealt with the headache of this issue for over a year. She’ll continue to deal with it for much longer, as well. No matter what, I can promise you this much: anti-Clinton people are going to run this into the ground just like they did Benghazi.

What she did was clearly wrong, and it was something that she probably shouldn’t have done, but there was nothing “indictment-worthy” about what she did. That’s pretty much exactly what the FBI said when they made their statement. Sure, she broke some protocol rules, while her and her staff acted far too carelessly with how these emails were handled, but the FBI found no evidence where Clinton or her aides intended to break any laws.

The only reason why this is even an issue is because she’s running for president. If she weren’t, nobody would even be talking about this, because they wouldn’t care. Like I said, I don’t see anyone throwing a hissy fit over Powell’s missing emails or whether or not his use of a private email address might have jeopardized our national security.

Yet in the grand scheme of things, these folks who are “outraged” (or pretending to be, anyway) because the FBI isn’t going to push for criminal charges are only claiming that they’re upset by this because they don’t like her, and that’s really what all this fake “outrage” is about. This is just like Benghazi where, no matter what the facts are, those who don’t like her aren’t going to believe anything that doesn’t tell them “she’s guilty, she’s horrible, she’s corrupt.”

This was a witch hunt by these folks who wanted this to be the thing that “took her down.” These individuals who lost their minds on Tuesday weren’t out there objectively analyzing the facts, they were rooting for an indictment as if they were fans cheering for their favorite sports team.

Want proof of what I mean?

Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have refused to release their tax returns (Sanders released one year’s worth), yet their supporters couldn’t care less. I’ve brought up the tax return issue with people who support each candidate and have yet to find one who think it’s a big deal. In fact, they’ll feverishly defend their candidate’s choice not to release their returns, downplaying the significance or importance of doing something basically every presidential candidate for the last 40+ years has done.

Yet I can guarantee you if it were Hillary Clinton who was refusing to release her tax returns, those same folks would be going batshit crazy, accusing her of trying to hide something. Just look at how much many of these people obsess about speech transcripts — could you imagine if she were refusing to show her tax returns?

So, at the end of the day, this is nothing more than a conniption fit being thrown by people who, no matter what, were going to be “outraged” if she wasn’t charged with anything. In their minds, because they hate her, nothing short of the FBI bringing her up on charges was going to satisfy their anti-Clinton fervor. Unless she was indicted, these people were always going to claim the investigation was “rigged,” “fixed” or that Clinton paid someone to avoid being charged with anything. They wanted her to be guilty; not even the FBI saying there’s no rational reason to charge her with anything is going to change their minds.

For most of these individuals, their minds were already made up the moment they heard about this story.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • strayaway

    Mr. Clifton wants you to vote for a candidate the FBI director has deemed exceedingly careless and who possibly jeopardized national security. There are also a bunch of videos on Youtube of Hillary telling lies and the FBI director making statements contradicting her. Bernie hasn’t conceded yet. Democrats don’t have to vote for a lying, exceedingly careless, jeopardizer of national security. Even Jill Stein came out and lambasted Hillary after the FBI Director’s assessment. Look up the article, “Stein: Prosecute Clinton for Reckless Abuses of National Security” as found on Counterpunch. We can’t afford to elect someone who’s darkest secrets might be on Putin’s desk.

    • AJMile

      Heard it all, Bot. Stein lost all credibility when she made that stupid, Trump style comment, cheering Brexit and then erased it from the front page of her website. I think she’s nice and has some nice ideals. But she shouldn’t be anywhere near the head of a party. Even a tine inconsequential one.

      Bernie is just tired and stroking his ego. No one cares anymore. He’s becoming nearly as irrelevant as his cult.

      • strayaway

        Bernie and Stein are still alternatives to voting in Hillary. The Democratic convention isn’t over and Bernie hasn’t yet dropped out. Meanwhile Hillary’s lies are becoming more obvious to more people. The FBI director listed a few. You still have options to preserve your integrity.

    • reginald wilson

      What the fuck are you doing on this Liberal site anyway? We have heard it all from the likes of you long enough. They need to block yo ass.

      • strayaway

        Advocating censorship is about right for liberals who lost their argument; in this case realizing they are supporting an exceedingly careless jeopardizer of national security and world class liar. I’m not trying to save your ass so much as my own as Hillary’s instincts seem proven to get us into every war possible. No good will come from that.

      • Samira Burkett

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      • noodles

        So because liberals want to stop hate speech it is censorship. All speech is not free…some speech is not allowed (SCOTUS said so). What should be outlawed is stupid fact free uninformed speech otherwise known as propaganda and FAUX Noise is the leading purveyor.

      • strayaway

        Calvin Coolidge (R) let Eugene Debs and other dissidents out of prison. Woodrow Wilson (D) put them in prison because he disagreed with them. Politically, Eugene Debs had more in common with Democrats than Republicans. Coolidge, though, had more in common with the Constitution than Democrats so he let them out. What the 1st. Amendment says is, “Congress shall make NO law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” What is it about “NO” that you don’t understand? Thank you for validating what I previously wrote about liberals.

      • noodles

        SCOTUS has ruled yelling fire in a crowded theater is not free speech. You are not allowed to threaten to kill elected officials. There are many thing not allowed. So what is it you do not understand?

      • strayaway

        “”Shouting fire in a crowded theater” is a popular metaphor for speech or actions made for the principal purpose of creating unnecessary panic. The phrase is a paraphrasing of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.’s opinion in the United States Supreme Court case Schenck v. United States in 1919, which held that the defendant’s speech in opposition to the draft during World War I was not protected free speech under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

        The paraphrasing does not generally include (but does usually imply) the word “falsely”, i.e., “falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater”, which was the original wording used in Holmes’ opinion and highlights that speech which is dangerous and false is not protected, as opposed to speech which is dangerous but also true.” -wikipedia

        You forgot the word “falsely” but in your world one can’t even let other people know that there actually was a fire. But it doesn’t stop there. You apparently also think that its ok to put people in jail for opposing policies such as the draft. That brings us to back to Calvin Coolidge (R) who Wilson’s (D) political opponents out of prison. Hillary just came out in support of registering women for the draft. Do you want to imprison anyone objecting to registering women for the draft? It would be consistent with Oliver Wendall Holmes ruling. What don’t you understand about “Congress shall make NO law…abridging the freedom of speech.”

      • noodles

        When I was in the military after the Israeli 6 day war the fighter pilots were invited to the US to give a debrief. There was one woman and the rest were men. Our guys only addressed the men leaving the woman out. When they were asked who the top Ace was all the men pointed at the woman. I spent 20 years on active duty and have seen macho men turn weak in the knees and small women with no fear at all. I do not judge by first impressions. I served with several gay men maybe a few gay women (hard to tell with them) and everyone was top notch. As I said all speech is not free and the first time you make a threat of violence against a pol see how free you are.

      • strayaway

        And your story about the women pilot is related to free speech how? You must have missed the part of the Constitution that allows or requires our country to defend itself. What is the difference if our President is threatened by foreign or domestic assassins? They aren’t being arrested for free speech. They are being arrested for threatening violence.

        People who yell ‘fire’ in a theater, assuming there is no fire, similarly get arrested and/or sued for disturbing the peace, harming the business, or for damages caused to other patrons. There are all sort of laws discouraging such behavior. Fraud, lies, defamation also carry penalties and are subject to lawsuits and civil penalties unless maybe you are Hillary Clinton. Constitutionally, you can say anything but if one causes harm with lies, threats and the like, there are often penalties.

    • noodles

      Vote Clinton or vote for another rich republican frat boy. The last frat boy republicans elected just about sank this nation….can not wait to repeat that again. If you told me Clinton kill someone I would still vote for her. Every recession in the last 40 years was caused by republicans presidents. So I vote for a good economy and very Dem has been better than any rethuglican. Look it up. I am a single issue voter.

      • strayaway

        Trump is a poor choice and Hillary has proven to be a worse choice. We just learned that she was excessively careless in her handling of the nation’s secrets. That, by itself, disqualifies Hillary for any government job. You can follow her slime trail through Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Ukraine, and Syria to find death, destruction, the rekindling of the cold war, the build up of ISIS, and refugees. You would, indeed, be voting for more of that. I rank Obama down with Bush for creating war and debt. Both doubled the nation’s previous debt. After almost $10T of new Obama debt, the 1% are richer then ever and the rest of us are poorer. If you liked Bill Clinton’s NAFTA, you’ll love Obama’s and probably Hillary’s TPP. WW1. WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War all began under Democratic presidents by the way.

      • noodles

        Repubs are not just careless they are mendacious. There was no classified on the server when she left the SOS office. The email were UPclassified later or did you not watch the hearing. As for Ukraine, it is not part of Russia but under Georgie boy Georgia (the country) is part of Russia. Obama did not create the tax cuts or the depression that caused the US revenue to drop almost to nothing, it was your boy georgie. Obama did not increase spending from the 2009 budget passed by Bush…spending has been FLAT for 8 years….look it up. If Obama had cut spending, you would be homeless now instead of pushing right wing lies about Democrats. NAFTA was H.W. Bush doing and he was to chicken shit to sign it so he left that to Clinton. You are right prior all the racist leaving the Democratic party we had a lot of evil pricks. Now they are on your side. GO HILLARY

      • strayaway

        According to FBI Director Comey, there were at least 100 secret and 10 top secret things conveyed by Hillary on her illegal private server. He said she was extremely careless in er handling of government information as it could have, and may have been intercepted by unfriendly third parties. Any other government worker who did the same would have been fired and/or jailed. One set of rules for the 1% and another for the rest of us. She, in my opinion, thoroughly disqualified herself for the presidency doing so. There are even better reasons why she should not be president but lay outside of this discussion.

        It’s lame to bring up George Bush who hasn’t been President for 7.5 years. Obfuscation is often a sign that one’s argument is so weak, it is necessary to change the topic. Bush, Obama, and Hillary should all go to jail. Under Hillary, money was spent to help overthrow the the elected leader of Ukraine. That was both a wrong and incredibly stupid policy that thoroughly backfired and instigated a renewal of the cold war.

        Whether or not spending has been flat for 10 years, the federal debt has almost doubled during the last 7.5 years. Everything I said about Obama’s economy is correct. Obama’s debt is a ball and chain he is attaching to our children. He offered hope and change but gave us more wars and chains. No high speed trains were built, the infrastructure is still crumbling, the mail is slower, government computers don’t work, and US military personnel are seen crying on Iran TV, and, for all that, Obama froze half of Bush’s tax cuts for the rich in place permanently and increased the national debt over $31,000 for every man, woman, and child, in the US.

      • noodles

        You write a lot but it is mostly the same talking point… BLAH BLAH Obama bad…republican good….It is lame to tell the truth about the cause of economic collapse since Obama did not fix it fast enough. Dems controlled the south 60 years ago so dems caused the problem…but don’t bring up the frat boy and his tax cuts or economic collapse. And more BLAH BLAH BLAH.