Hillary Clinton is currently the subject of the highest-profile national-security investigation in recent memory. She is also the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. She is also the wife of a former president (a Democrat). She is also a former member of the (Democratic) presidential cabinet whose attorney general, Loretta Lynch (a Democrat), is conducting the investigation and will determine whether to prosecute.
Someone who doesn’t know any better might wonder about a conflict — or conflicts — of interest.
If it was not already clear, it most certainly is now: It’s not simply that our highest officials are above the law. It’s that they know they are, and they can’t even be bothered to hide it.
An attorney general capable of feeling even an ounce of shame would have nixed the meeting with Clinton in the interest of projecting some modicum of objectivity.
Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence, Loretta Lynch is almost certainly not going to prosecute the former secretary of state. The Democrats’ hold on power is at stake. Failure to prosecute would be a grievous blow to the rule of law, but it seems that Democratic higher-ups don’t much care.
And, what is more, they can’t even be bothered to pretend. An attorney general capable of feeling even an ounce of shame would have nixed the meeting with Clinton in the interest of projecting some modicum of objectivity. Even Bill Clinton, for whom being alone with a woman on a private plane is just an average Monday, might have been persuaded that this particular rendezvous was bad optics.
But apparently not.For years, Democrats have decried the “appearance” of impropriety among officeholders. When the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United that independent expenditures “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption,” New York governor Andrew Cuomo called the reasoning “either naïve or Machiavellian.” Democrats have long contended that even the appearance of impropriety — let alone actual corruption — undermines public confidence in the government. Just imagine if Alberto Gonzales had had a private pow-wow with Scooter Libby’s wife in 2006.
But Democrats are, as always, exempt from their own rules. What has changed is that they’re no longer even pretending otherwise.
— Ian Tuttle is a National Review Institute Buckley Fellow in Political Journalism.