Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's statement at the United Nations Tuesday was vintage Hillary: She was self-righteous, secretive, arrogant, angry, stubborn, legalistic and unconvincing.
But underscoring her comments is the fact that her entire defense rests one implausible premise: that she can be trusted.
Clinton said she won't allow an examination of her private email server. We have to trust her that none of the emails on it concerned classified material.
She said she wouldn't consider allowing an outsider to review the emails and decide if the correct ones had been turned over.
She also would not tell who made the decision as to which emails would be turned over to the State Department.
In addition, she revealed that she destroyed half of the emails, the ones she, not an impartial reviewer, considered unrelated to official State Department business.
Normally, this strategy of concealment and delay would be effective; it has proven to be in all past Clinton scandals. Our patience with the questions and the prosecutor become frayed and we move on and forget it ever happened.
But this scandal has a time limit, unlike all her others. If it is not resolved until after the summer, the American public will not simply wait longer.
Democrats will demand that there be an understudy to Clinton for the party's presidential nomination in 2016. Facing the possibility that the emails, when fully disclosed, and the server, when subpoenaed, will prove incriminating is too dangerous a gamble to play during a presidential election. Democrats will demand certainty, and will only have confidence in her candidacy if she has met that standard. Otherwise, the pressure to put Elizabeth Warren, at least, on the ballot as an alternative will mount.
Clinton contended in her press event that she complied with State Department regulations because the recipients of her emails kept their correspondence on government servers. This belies the fact that in so doing, she made it almost impossible to discover what was in the emails. What's a congressional committee to do, subpoena every government employee to determine if they received any of Clinton's emails?
Previously, Clinton's office had indicated that 90 percent of the emails had been sent to State Department employees, where they would presumably be stored in State Department systems. But what about the other 10 percent? If they were sent to non-State Department employees or even foreigners, there would be no record.
And her claim that she was motivated by convenience to consolidate all her personal emails with those concerning State business was not at all credible. It is very simple to maintain two email accounts in one device. No extra space in her pocketbook needed.
Was this performance designed to make us trust her? Is there anyone in the United States who believes that Clinton, alone among the Cabinet, chose to email on a private server because she didn't want to carry around two devices? She who travels with aides on special planes and rarely carries her own luggage or even her large designer purses?
Who would not harbor suspicions that convenience was not her priority and that secrecy was?
How will this affair play out? The State Department will turn over the selected emails to Rep. Trey Gowdy's Benghazi committee. He will find that many of those emails that had been deleted were relevant and should have been produced. A push-pull will ensue, and eventually we will see all the emails and Clinton will take an enormous hit.
And, if Warren isn't on the ballot, so will the entire Democratic Party.