Peggy Noonan writing in the WSJ
* * *
Bernie Sanders keeps refusing to hit Hillary Clinton over her email.
Or so it seems...
But maybe the Vermont senator’s relentless assault on Mrs. Clinton’s corporate ties is about her email after all.
Maybe Mr. Sanders is betting that Hillary has a bigger problem than classified information.
The question hanging over the Clinton campaign is whether she will be indicted for mishandling state secrets. Under the heroic grilling of Jorge Ramos at the Univision Democratic debate Wednesday, Mrs. Clinton was again forced to roll out a trail of misdirection, to insist (with astonishing brazenness) that an indictment is “not going to happen.”
Classified information matters, and Mrs. Clinton stands accused of sloppy handling.
The former secretary of state didn’t set up a home-brew server with the express purpose of exposing national secrets — that was incidental.
Mrs. Clinton went to elaborate lengths to build a secret, private system for some other reason.
She says it was for “convenience.”
Others speculate she did it out of the Clintons’ longtime paranoia over paper trails.
Mr. Sanders is likely hitting closer to the truth. Lost in the classified kerfuffle is the other, lately ignored but still potent, scandal: the Clinton Foundation, and the unethical mixing of Mrs. Clinton’s public work and her personal fundraising/speech-giving/favor-doing.
The more evidence that comes out, the more it looks as if that server was set up to provide an off-the-grid means for those two worlds to interact.
* SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT...
Take Bryan Pagliano, now reported to have received Justice Department immunity in return for talking about his email services rendered.
Mr. Pagliano has long ties to the Clintons. He ran Mrs. Clinton’s IT shop during her 2008 presidential campaign and then worked for her political-action committee. He was important enough that she custom-built a job for him at the State Department. He arrived only a few months after her in 2009, and he left when she left.
Mr. Pagliano maintained Mrs. Clinton’s server in her New York home. The State Department paid him, but a Clinton official confirmed to the Washington Post that the Clintons paid him in addition.
Mr. Pagliano did not report that outside money on disclosure forms — as he was required to do.
And the State Department claims to have been "unaware" that Mr. Pagliano was getting personally paid by the secretary of state.
So Mr. Pagliano gets added to the list of insiders who were compensated to work simultaneously for the government... and the Clintons.
* NICE WORK - AND "COMPENSATION" - IF YOU CAN GET IT!
Huma Abedin at one point worked for the State Department, the Clinton Foundation, Mrs. Clinton and a private company tied to the Clintons — all at the same time.
Cheryl Mills worked for Mrs. Clinton at State while also holding a position at the Clinton Foundation.
* DOES THE WORD "FRAUD" COME TO MIND?
Sidney Blumenthal secretly assisted Mrs. Clinton at State (unpaid), while on the foundation payroll.
* "UNPAID" IN MONEY... FROM THE CLINTONS... BUT DOES THAT TELL THE WHOLE STORY? SOMEHOW I DOUBT IT!
While in government, Ms. Mills was paid by an outside entity to negotiate with a foreign country (the United Arab Emirates) that had donated to the Clinton Foundation. She was also among those who reviewed Bill Clinton’s speaking events.
Ms. Abedin held her own clintonemail.com account. We recently found out that the State Department’s inspector general issued a subpoena to the foundation last fall, demanding documents about projects it engaged in while Mrs. Clinton was the nation’s top diplomat. That subpoena specifically asked for records related to Ms. Abedin.
* AKA: MRS. ANTHONY "THE FLASHER" WEINER!
Mrs. Clinton would have us believe that the 31,830 emails she deleted from her server pertained to yoga and weddings. And yet look at what the press has gleaned even from the few emails and Foundation details that were released.
Foundation cash after Russian mining approvals...
More than a dozen speeches by Bill to corporations and governments with business pending before Hillary’s State Department...
Dozens more donations to the Foundation from companies that were lobbying the State Department...
Checks to the Foundation from a Swiss bank after Secretary of State Clinton...
(*SMIRK*) (KEEP READING!)
...solved its IRS problem.
An email to Ms. Abedin, while she was at State, asking for help winning a presidential appointment for a Clinton Foundation donor....
What else? Plenty, surely.
* NO DOUBT!
The Clinton Foundation existed in recent years to serve as an unofficial PAC for Mrs. Clinton’s expected presidential run. And Mrs. Clinton’s "job" at State was designed to serve the same end. Of course the business of the two was intertwined. And here’s to betting the server was maintained to facilitate that intertwinement.
Mr. Sanders started ramping up his attacks on Mrs. Clinton for her ties to “billionaires” and “Wall Street” in mid-January. That’s almost precisely the time that news organizations reported (without garnering much public attention) that the FBI had expanded its email probe to examine the “intersection” between Mrs. Clinton’s State Department and the foundation.
What is Mr. Pagliano now telling as part of his immunity deal?
* LET'S HOPE... LOTS AND LOTS!
Mr. Sanders knows that his corporate-special-interest line already plays well with crowds; it reminds people of the stench of the Clintons’ ethics. But he may also be betting that the FBI finds more to peg on Mrs. Clinton than simply classified emails. And he may be right.