WEEKLY STANDARD — Where you come down on the Hillary Clinton email scandal is likely a matter of political—or at least candidate—preference.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus believes Hillary Clinton will get indicted. So does former attorney general Michael Mukasey, a Republican who served in the George W. Bush administration, as does the Senate majority whip, John Cornyn of Texas.
Many—perhaps even most—Republicans believe the former secretary of state will face some sort of legal consequence for keeping classified information on her private email system.
Republicans cite the cases of national security adviser Sandy Berger, CIA director John Deutch, and General David Petraeus to show clear precedent for prominent officials facing consequences for mishandling classified information. They point to the preponderance of public evidence clearly and indisputably showing a bevy of classified information was stashed on Clinton’s home-brew server.
Democrats, no surprise, are curious to know what Republicans are smoking. Bernie Sanders famously declined to make an issue of the emails in his campaign against Hillary Clinton for the party’s presidential nomination. Clinton herself recently said in an interview that Republicans “live in that world of fantasy.” She added, when an interviewer raised the possibility of a perp walk: “There is not even the remotest chance that it’s going to happen.”
Perhaps Clinton’s opinion is not uninformed—her ties to the Department of Justice are deep, a benefit of being married to an ex-president, being a former U.S. senator, and serving as a cabinet member in the Obama administration. Her key spokesman, Brian Fallon, was the top press wrangler at Justice, and Eric Holder, the former attorney general who is believed still to be close to the president, is a big booster of her presidential candidacy.
Or perhaps her opinion reflects a political calculation that it is better to show steely resolve and to insist nothing wrong was done than to reveal true concern.
Regardless, there is no public explanation for Clinton’s confidence in being exonerated. But surely it helps to have the president of the United States—the boss of the top cop, Attorney General Loretta Lynch—in your corner. Even if Barack Obama maintains the investigation is being done without political interference.