Hillary Clinton's latest lie is her claim that the only reason for the flap over whether she emailed classified documents was her "desire to have transparency and make everything public." Except for her insistence on disclosure, "we would not be having this conversation."
Seriously? It's hard to even use the words Hillary and transparency in the same sentence - because she's anything but transparent; she's secretive and paranoid. And she thinks she can outsmart us. That's what started this problem in the first place.
Why did she lie? As always, Hillary's lie has two motivations:
a. to kindle a debate that distracts from the basic question of whether or not she sent classified information on her private server; and
b. to try to show how she is the victim of her own good intentions and integrity.
Start with the first point. Hillary Clinton sent at least four emails that contained classified material over her private server in violation of federal law. This is the charge made by the two inspectors general for the State Department in their referral to the Justice Department and the FBI. But Hillary defiantly claims that she never sent any email containing classified information.
To her, it's just some bureaucratic squabble. "What I'm hearing from the discussion that's going on is that something that wasn't classified should have been or maybe now should be," she said. "That's a very different issue." The inspectors general disagreed and noted that the material in question "was classified then [when Hillary emailed it] and is classified now."
So it boils down to a question of trust. Two presidentially appointed professional civil service inspectors general vs. Hillary. So which one should be trusted? That one's not too hard to call.
And on the second point, to distract and redirect the debate, Hillary claims that she was transparent to a fault and that this caused the current scandal. Incredibly, she says:
"If I just turned it [the emails] over, we would not be having this conversation. But when I said, 'Hey, I want it to be public,' it has to go through the FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] process. That's what's going on here. And I am going to continue to say that I want it to be made public as soon as it possibly can. And we will do whatever we can to try to get the process to move along."
What a whopper!
Hillary didn't just wake up one day and decide to turn over her emails. She spent five years hiding them on her secret Chappaqua server - for the sole purpose of thwarting the Freedom of Information Act.
And she succeeded.
Indeed, throughout her tenure as secretary of state, dozens of FOIA requests for emails from Hillary and her top aides were consistently turned down because the State Department found no relevant emails. Of course they didn't - they were safely concealed in her home, where no one could access them. Now, after the discovery that her emails were never searched in response to FOIA requests, most of those cases have been re-opened, and numerous federal judges have ordered the State Department to respond to the requests. That's why her emails are going through the FOIA process now. It is despite Hillary that the documents are being made public, not because of her.
For Hillary to claim now that she is the one who insisted that her emails had to "go through the Freedom of Information process" is a flat out lie. She would have kept them secret forever, but the State Department requested their return. She had no choice. So, in one last arrogant step, she decided herself what to turn over and deleted the rest.
Hillary had no role in subjecting her emails to the FOIA process. They were public records that were automatically subject to review for FOIA requests. Once she stopped hiding them, the automatically went through the process. That is a far cry from her statement, "When I said, 'Hey, I want it [her emails] to be public,' it has to go through the FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] process. That's what's going on here."
And this scandal is a gift that will keep on giving. Each month, the courts have ordered the State Department to turn over another batch of Hillary's e mails. And each month, the inspectors general, the Justice Department and the FBI will have to report any that concern classified material.
Can we trust them to do their jobs and determine if Hillary broke the law and prosecute her if she did?
Certainly, we can trust the inspectors general. By their actions in referring four emails to Justice and the FBI, they have shown their integrity and independence.
How about Justice and the FBI? Under former Attorney General Eric Holder, the answer is obvious: The Justice Department would join in the cover-up and instruct the FBI to do likewise.
But how about under the new Attorney General Loretta Lynch? As the new kid on the block, she may be anxious to enhance her reputation for integrity and actually do her job.
But what will President Obama do? If he lets the process unfold, he will likely severely hurt Hillary, perhaps knocking her out of the presidential race. But if he intervenes, he risks disclosure and even possible grounds for impeachment.
Remember that the Obamas don't always like the Clintons. Despite her huge lead in the polls, Obama has refused to endorse Hillary. In fact, an argument can be made that the entire email scandal stems from leaks from an unfriendly White House.
Is Obama determined to get a Democratic nominee who will be committed to pursuing his agenda and will not be tempted to move to the center as the Clintons have often done?
Now Obama can achieve this objective by doing nothing and just letting the process run its course.
And that may be just what he will do.