Of all the absurd things written and said during the 2016 election cycle, former New York Times editor Jill Abramson’s statement that “Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest and trustworthy,” has to be in the running for the most ridiculous. Even most Democrats didn’t believe that whopper.
In perhaps the least surprising news of the day, Hillary Clinton’s legal team is now facing a new investigation into whether they intentionally destroyed evidence in an active investigation. A Maryland judge ruled on Monday that the state bar must investigate three of Clinton’s lawyers, citing credible allegations that the three destroyed thousands of pages of Clinton’s emails.
So much for “fundamentally honest and trustworthy.”
The investigation was launched against Clinton lawyers David Kendall, Cheryl Mills, and Heather Samuelson.
The court ordered the state bar, which had declined to pursue the allegations, to investigate, saying that the case against the lawyers “appears to have merit.”
According to the Washington Times:
Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Paul F. Harris Jr. said the complaints lodged against David E. Kendall, Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson were egregious and the state bar couldn’t dismiss them as frivolous.
The complaint against Clinton’s lawyers was filed by Ty Clevenger, a Texas attorney with a reputation for crusading against political corruption. Clevenger is perhaps best known for his takedown of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican.
In his complaint, Clevenger alleged:
All three attorneys represented former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and were responsible for deleting thousands of emails that had been stored on a secret email server that Mrs. Clinton used in lieu of a government email account.
On December 2, 2014, the chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to Mr. Kendall requesting all emails from Mrs. Clinton’s private account that were related to Benghazi….At that point, there is no question that Mr. Kendall knew that at least some of the emails were evidence.
Nonetheless, he and Ms. Mills and Ms. Samuelson began deleting Mrs. Clinton’s emails some time in the following two months. In a July 5, 2016 public statement, FBI Director James Comey indicated that his agents recovered some of the deleted emails, further stating that “several thousand” of the deleted emails were work-related.
It should shock no one that Hillary’s lawyers were busy obstructing justice by deleting emails and destroying evidence during an active investigation. What is shocking is that they (and their boss) have largely escaped unpunished.
This isn’t a coincidence. Rather, it’s a sordid example of political corruption. Put simply, Hillary was treated as above the law, due to her standing as a major political candidate for office.
Recent transcripts from the Office of Special Counsel, a government watchdog agency, revealed that FBI Director James Comey drafted a statement rejecting criminal charges against Clinton two months before the agency interviewed her, a clear case of “prejudgment.” As Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham put it: “Conclusion first, fact-gathering second—that’s no way to run an investigation.”
That’s exactly the approach taken by the Maryland State Bar, which initially dismissed Clevenger’s complaint against Clinton’s lawyers as “frivolous,” and refused to investigate further. Monday’s court decision is a sharp rebuke to that kind of politically motivated “see no evil” approach.
Will justice be served this time?
It remains to be seen whether the ordered investigation will be conducted in an evenhanded and unbiased manner.
It may be wishful thinking to hope that this is the investigation that finally brings Mrs. Clinton and her lawyers to account for their blatant obstruction of justice and flouting of the law.
But as Mr. Clevenger notes, the potential for disbarment exists and “Whereas Ms. Mills and Ms. Samuelson are primarily political hacks, Mr. Kendall practices law full time and presumably needs his law license more than his co-conspirators colleagues.”
If just one of Hillary Clinton’s corrupt legal team faces the consequences for destroying evidence, obstructing investigations and flouting the law, it’s a small victory for justice in America.