Politics & Policy

Clinton’s Attempt to Laugh Off the FBI Investigation of Her Falls Flat

(Isaac Brekken/Getty)

Hillary Clinton may fantasize about becoming America’s first comedienne-in-chief. Too bad she is not funny.

“By the way, you may have seen that I have recently launched a Snapchat account,” Clinton told Iowa voters on August 15. “I love it. Those messages disappear all by themselves.”

Wow! Hilarious. Nothing like laughing about being investigated by the FBI for abusing state secrets. Does it get any funnier than that?

Actually, Clinton tried to squeeze humor out of the notion that her infamous private computer server reportedly has nothing on it. Asked Tuesday by Fox News Channel’s Ed Henry if she wiped her server clean, Clinton scoffed, “What, like with a cloth or something?”

How terribly droll.

Rather than amusing, Clinton looked agitated, evasive, and severely defensive as she faced journalists in a Las Vegas school gymnasium.

Clinton may style herself after Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, or the late, great Joan Rivers. However, she cannot hold a melted candle to those side-splitting women of comedy.

Instead, Clinton recalls Nathan Thurm, a character portrayed by the mighty Martin Short on Saturday Night Live. Thurm appeared several times in the 1980s as an embattled executive trying to explain away the misbehavior of his shady company. With a cigarette dangling precariously from his fingers, the sweaty, slippery Thurm nervously laughed off journalists’ questions, dismissed their inquiries, and suppressed straight answers.

Clinton seems to study Thurm’s old videos on YouTube before she steps before the news cameras.

But Clinton’s problems are far more than stylistic. She is in deep substantive trouble, and perhaps legal jeopardy. Why? Few of her words or actions in this matter resemble those of a normal secretary of state.

Clinton said in Iowa last Saturday: “I did not send, nor did I receive, material marked ‘Classified.’”

So what?

As secretary of state, Clinton should have had an inkling that the director of national intelligence, the head of the National Security Agency, the defense secretary, and other top foreign-policy actors would e-mail her with things other than restaurant tips and requests for Washington’s best yoga studios. Why on Earth did she think these people would e-mail her?

RELATED: The Comical Dishonesty of Clinton’s E-mail Press Conference

Clinton claims that among the roughly 60,000 e-mails on her server, about half were strictly personal, and the other half official. If among these 30,000 “work” e-mails none was classified, then she must not have been doing her job. A secretary of state who spends four years getting zero classified e-mails on her one and only server must have stayed busy reading pulp fiction.

It would be bad enough if Clinton’s very first government position were as secretary of state. In fact, she had been a U.S. senator for eight years — six of them on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Clinton was first lady of the United States for eight years. In 1973, Clinton was a staff attorney on the House Judiciary Committee during its Watergate-era investigations into the highest echelons of American power. So much time as part of, or close to, U.S. national-security leadership should have instilled in Clinton an almost innate respect for state secrets.

RELATED: House Dem: Clinton May Have ‘Disqualified Herself’ With E-mail Scandal

She knows better. “I didn’t see the markings” doesn’t cut it.

Clinton also claimed, “What I did was legally permitted.”

City University of New York law professor Douglas Cox disagrees. As this controversy started, the records-preservation expert told PolitiFact.com, “The argument that Clinton complied with the letter and spirit of the law is unsustainable.” By using a private e-mail server exclusively, and never using a State Department e-mail address for official business, Clinton apparently broke numerous federal guidelines and statutes.

RELATED: Hillary, Stop — No One Thinks You’re Funny

Clinton also violated her own instructions to State Department personnel. A June 28, 2011, memo sent in Clinton’s name told U.S. diplomats around the world: “Avoid conducting official Department business from your personal email accounts.”

Even worse, what began last week as four classified e-mails — among a sample of 40 previously on Clinton’s server — quickly grew to some 63 by Monday and, by Tuesday, mushroomed to 305 e-mails that are being scrutinized as potentially classified. This is from a search of roughly 20 percent of Clinton’s 30,000 e-mail messages turned over to the State Department. All else being equal, this would extrapolate to some 1,500 potentially classified e-mails. This would pulverize Clinton’s March 10 claim that “there is no classified material” on her server.

Clinton breezily dismissed the tightening scrutiny around her as “whatever this inquiry is.”

Clinton breezily dismissed the tightening scrutiny around her as “whatever this inquiry is.” Actually, this inquiry is an FBI criminal probe of Clinton and her actions, not just her server. The FBI does not examine inanimate objects in a vacuum. Yes, it analyzes guns, torn garments, surveillance videos, and other non-living things. However, it does so to understand whether or not human beings have committed crimes. Never mind Team Clinton’s happy talk. That is what’s happening here.

Clinton is in deep denial over these facts.

“I won’t pretend this is anything other than what it is: the same old partisan games we’ve seen so many times before,” she told a crowd in Clear Lake, Iowa, on August 14. “I don’t care how many super PACs and Republicans pile on.”

She also recently said: “This is the usual partisanization, which I may have just made up a word, of everything that goes on.”

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So, the FBI director, the inspector general of the intelligence community, and his State Department counterpart are all puppets of the Republican National Committee? Really?

In fact, these people are all, right now, members of the Obama administration — the most left-wing American government since LBJ’s. Clinton’s “partisanization” claims are unintentionally uproarious.

#related#So is the news that Denver-based Platte River Networks moved Clinton’s server from her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., to a secure data center in New Jersey four months after she left the State Department. Odd timing, indeed. Moreover, as the Daily Mail reported, Platte River Networks was a small company that was started in a loft apartment and once stored its servers inside its bathroom closet. Shockingly, “Platte River is not cleared” to handle classified material, Cindy McGovern, spokeswoman for the U.S. Defense Security Service, told the Daily Caller.

This is all stunning. More jaw-dropping revelations surely will follow.

Clinton and her acolytes love to say, “Everybody does it.” But has any secretary of state or other cabinet official been involved in such extraordinarily reckless, surreal misconduct?

Too bad that Hillary Rodham Clinton does not see state secrets as worth shielding from the prying eyes of those who dislike or even hate America. Instead, for her, it’s all a giant, knee-slapping, cosmic joke.

Deroy Murdock — Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

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