Obama may be Ensnared in the Clinton Email Scandal
Perhaps President Obama’s involvement is the reason that the FBI has not yet referred charges to the Justice Department in the Hillary Clinton email case. It may be metastasizing so quickly and so dangerously that not only are agents and lawyers within the agency having trouble keeping up with new evidence of wrongdoing, but that the scandal itself now threatens a constitutional crisis. The Department of State’s refusal to release 18 emails exchanged between President Obama and Clinton through her unsecured home server at best creates a conflict of interest for Obama while at worst it raises the likelihood that the President has run afoul of national security laws and ought to be impeached.
(Obama had originally said he learned about the private email through new reports -- a typical Obama story -- but backtracked later.)
... It seems quite likely that in the eighteen emails classified information was discussed as conceived under federal statutes, and (under) one of Obama’s own executive orders regarding dissemination of foreign intelligence...
Beneath all Clinton’s implausible denials and claims of right wing persecution, behind Josh Earnest’s improper insistence that nothing really serious is going on at the FBI, is the very real possibility that Clinton has now enmeshed the President into her scandalous intrigues, with serious constitutional implications. Obama cannot ethically continue to preside over this investigation (which, effectively, he does as the chief executive.) But removing himself would require Obama to actually care about the ethics of the matter, and secondly potentially expose himself to criminal liability. The situation is quite akin to the Watergate scandal at this point, in that government officials have hidden or erased potentially damaging documents, and the President effectively presides over investigations that could subject him, aides, and former aides, to criminal liability.
FBI Director James Comey appears to long have had sufficient evidence to charge Clinton, but seemingly has so far been stayed by countervailing influences. On the one hand there are obvious political concerns and pressures. On the other is a continuing flow of evidence against Clinton that only makes the case against her stronger. But the Obama emails now complicate the case to an extraordinary degree. Does Comey have them, and if not, has he demanded them? If Obama refuses, then the President is effectively hiding probative evidence.
If Comey were to get the emails, and they did contain born classified information (as is likely) it would be difficult for Comey to proceed against Clinton without implicating Obama. Almost certainly, the Obama Justice Department would never pursue a prosecution that exposed him to criminal liability.
... the only other way to achieve a semblance of justice might be through Congressional action. Obama would then have to formally invoke executive privilege to hide the emails, which would strongly echo Nixonian tactics and be politically damaging, though Republicans would be at risk too. Hillary would certainly claim that Congressional hearings prove the whole affair is political after all, and the Democrats would try to stymie matters and use the mainstream media to vilify Republicans as they always do.
Just to make things more interesting, all of this is taking place during a presidential election campaign. I know it's highly unlikely, but thinking about the possibility of hillary winning the democrat nomination and then getting indicted brings a huge smile to my face. The fact that obama might get dragged into the whole mess makes that smile even wider.
All this makes FBI Director Comey’s situation increasingly untenable. He knows now that there is no way Attorney General Loretta Lynch can fairly and properly evaluate the evidence his agents are fast compiling. If he continues to hesitate, due to political pressure or in hopes of building the perfect case, the situation will fester and worsen. If Comey is really the stand-up guy that many say, he will act soon, in order to force the hands of Lynch and Obama, put Hillary in the legal peril that she has earned, and Obama in jeopardy too if that is where the evidence leads. In the probable event the administration does nothing or pushes back against an FBI referral, Comey will have to resign, and Congress will have to act.
As an added bonus, that smile makes my wife wonder what I've been up to...