Breaking News: Obama’s Latest Attempt to Save Clinton From Indictment

 

The Jeffrey Epstein Affair Imperils Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Prospects

The case of the high-flying (alleged) pedophile reveals a broken American political process

Opinion
Obama’s Latest Attempt to Save Clinton From Indictment
POTUS delays critical email release to protect Entitled Establishment Darling

“I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department, or the FBI—not just in this case but in any case,” President Obama said in an interview with Fox News this past April. Despite his repeated claims of not influencing the Department of Justice and FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton‘s private email server scandal, Obama has helped shield her throughout the fiasco.

The White House has protected Clinton’s emails with the most potential to incriminate or impugn Clinton’s self-portrayed public image. In October 2015, the Obama Administration blocked the release of emails between Clinton (while she served as secretary of state) and the president, citing the need to keep such communications confidential. Recently, the Obama Administration also blocked the State Department’s release of emails from Clinton regarding the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership after it had promised to fulfill a Freedom of Information Act Request to IBTimes earlier this year. The request will now allegedly not be completed until after the general election in late November.

“The delay was issued in the same week the Obama administration filed a court motion to try to kill a lawsuit aimed at forcing the federal government to more quickly comply with open records requests for Clinton-era State Department documents,” reported David Sirota of IBTimes.

Hillary Clinton’s involvement with the Trans-Pacific Partnership is riddled with hypocrisy. As secretary of state, Clinton helped move TPP negotiations along. However, she avoided taking a position on TPP for the first few months of her 2016 presidential campaign—until Bernie Sanders’ staunch opposition to the deal forced Clinton to risk losing highly coveted endorsements from labor unions who strongly oppose it. Politifact rated Clinton’s switch as a full flip-flop.

Despite holding back an endorsement during the Democratic primaries, Obama hasn’t made much effort to hide where his favoritism lies. The Clinton campaign recently claimed Obama will be releasing an endorsement for Hillary Clinton very soon. This came shortly after Obama reaffirmed his endorsement of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who faces growing calls for resignation from Sanders supporters and a strong Democratic primary opponent in Tim Canova.

In January 2016, Obama condescendingly referred to Sanders and his unexpected challenge to Clinton’s coronation as a “bright, shiny object,” in an interview with Politico.

“If Bernie Sanders’ campaign has proven anything, it is that there are millions of citizens who are engaged, invested and closely scrutinizing the policy positions of all of the candidates in the electoral field,” countered Harry Jaffe for The Guardian. “If Sanders can bring new voters to the polls with his message of authenticity and empowerment—as he seems to be doing—that’s a testament to the power of his words rather than their shiny quality.”

If Bernie Sanders was under investigation by the FBI and Department of Justice, it is doubtful Obama would be jumping to his defense as he has repeatedly done for Hillary Clinton. “She would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy,” he told Fox News in April 2016, while simultaneously guaranteeing he wouldn’t interfere with the investigation. But by making a judgment at all on Clinton’s private server use, he is intervening—especially by affirming Clinton had no intent, which is vital to determine criminal liability in this case.

Obama, like many of his Democratic colleagues who overwhelmingly support Clinton, were downplaying the private email server investigation as frivolous, until the recent report from the State Department Inspector General illuminated the blatant lies Clinton has been telling the public for over a year. She never received authorization for using a private email server and broke federal record laws by not preserving and turning over her records to the State Department when she left office. Shortly after the report was released, Obama dodged a question at a press conference in Japan, refusing to provide an answer at all, instead telling reporters such questions should be directed to the Clinton and Sanders campaigns—which is what he should have been doing all along.

Just as Hillary Clinton has depended on Obama whenever she was cornered in a debate and needed help diverting an issue, she is now depending on him to get through the FBI and Department of Justice investigation long enough to get to become president—at which point there will be no chance of serving the indictment her actions certainly warrant.

“What we already know about her security infractions should disqualify her for any government position that deals in information critical to mission success, domestic or foreign,” wrote Philip Jennings in an op-ed for USA Today. “But beyond that, her responses to being found out—dismissing its importance, claiming ignorance, blaming others—indict her beyond anything the investigation can reveal. Those elements reveal her character. And the saddest thing is so many Americans seem not to care.”

Filed under: 2016 elections, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, democrats, EmailGate, fbi, Hillary Clinton, State Department, TPP, Trans Pacific Partnership

The case of the high-flying (alleged) pedophile reveals a broken American political process

WASHINGTON—Why is no one in the D.C. political class and media bubble talking about the Jeffrey Epstein affair? Well, it’s not true that they’re not talking about it at all; they’re just not (for the most part) talking about it honestly or asking the right questions. And the right questions are:

Disgraceful Hillary Clinton is ready now for more sex, drugs and rock & roll. She doesn’t realize she is an old woman, fat, with a terrible taste for dressing competing with young girls of 13 yrs old.

Why is the Left-Wing Media Machine pretending that anyone who asks questions about the Epstein-Clinton connection is a paid stooge of the Right-Wing Media Machine? And why is the Right-Wing Media Machine, which would normally be gleefully talking about this or any sordid affair involving the Clintons, being unusually reserved in hyping the case? (Hint: Because some notable conservatives and prominent supporters of Israel — a constituency that used to reside solidly in the Democratic camp but which the GOP in recent years has been wooing, with some notable success— have been implicated in the Epstein scandal too.)

How did our political and media elites ever become so hopelessly corrupt?

?, Jeffrey Epstein== IMPERIA U.S. LAUNCH PARTY AT THE STATUE OF LIBERTY== Liberty Island, NYC== September 7, 2005== ©Patrick McMullan== Photo-Billy Farrell/PMc== ==

?, Jeffrey Epstein==
IMPERIA U.S. LAUNCH PARTY AT THE STATUE OF LIBERTY==
Liberty Island, NYC==
September 7, 2005==
©Patrick McMullan==
Photo-Billy Farrell/PMc==
==

For those of you who haven’t heard much about the Jeffrey Epstein, he is a 62-year-old billionaire and major donor to the Democratic Party. The story erupted after Virginia Roberts gave a sworn statement in a federal court filing that claimed (as reported here by Radar) that that under Mr. Epstein’s tutelage she “was a teen sex slave forced to have sex with Prince Andrew” and that she also saw Bill Clinton on Mr. Epstein’s “orgy island.”

Mr. Epstein’s current predicament is hardly a shock. Back in 2008, at a time he had also been indicted (he was subsequently jailed for about a year) in Florida for sex crimes, Philip Weiss wrote an astonishing story about Mr. Epstein in New York magazine that showed that his legal problems back then had not, surprisingly, made him more “sober and reserved.” Much to the contrary, the allegations against him (from, among others, a 14-year-old girl) had made him more “sparkling and ingenuous.”

SEE ALSO: Servergate Doesn’t Matter: Hillary Was Never Going to Be President Anyway

This earlier investigation of Mr. Epstein, led by the FBI, was reportedly closed and the evidence sealed after Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty to two “minor” counts related to charges that he was involved in underage sex. (How crimes involving sex with underage girls can be deemed “minor” is something of a mystery.) Mr. Epstein has reportedly been a significant donor to the Clinton Foundation, before and after he was implicated in sex crimes.

Bill Clinton is not running for president now but Hillary Clinton is. She must love him at some level but it seems clear she stayed in the marriage at least in part because she believed it would further her own political ambitions.

So OK, let’s acknowledge that there really is a right-wing media and political machine that will attack Bill and Hillary Clinton for any alleged crime, even jaywalking. It’s also true, in my view, that Ken Starr, who sought to impeach Bill Clinton in the mid-1990s, is a twisted zealot and that it’s probably a bad idea to impeach a president for sexual misconduct, because that has nothing to do with his or her ability to govern effectively, keep the country out of needless wars, and help make life better for the American people, especially the growing underclass, and do something about police violence against African-Americans and other manifestations of institutionalized racism.

But Bill Clinton’s conduct, in and out of office, suggests he is a sexual predator without a conscience and has used his power—even the power of the Oval Office—to win sex from many women. That doesn’t mean Bill Clinton has no appeal to women and every woman who ever had sex with him was a “victim.” But some of them were.

It’s complicated in some cases and I don’t know precisely how Monica Lewinsky feels about it, but at minimum Bill Clinton lied to her shamelessly, and in my view, took advantage of her even though she was not a passive participant in the “relationship” they had. And while Monica Lewinsky very unfairly became a joke on late night TV (and sadly I probably laughed at some of those jokes), a lot of people, especially men, respected Bill Clinton more after the Lewinsky scandal because it showed that he could get laid and/or fellated.

It’s great that Lewinsky worked through all of this and has become quite an impressive person. And as noted in this recent New York Times story, some feminists “who had stayed silent on the first go-round” have more recently defended her, deploying terms that have emerged since the 90s like ‘slut-shaming’ and ‘media gender bias,’ and that late night hosts who once mocked her, like David Letterman and Bill Maher, have now expressed remorse for having done so.

To understand just how cold and calculating Bill Clinton is, consider that he reportedly interrupted one sexual encounter with Monica Lewinsky to take a call from a Cuban-American sugar baron from the crucial battleground state of Florida. The narrator of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita ultimately admits to himself that he was a sexual predator: “Unless it can be proven to me—to me as I am now, today, with my heart and my beard, and my putrefaction—that in the infinite run it does not matter a jot that a North American girl-child named Dolores Haze had been deprived of her childhood by a maniac, unless this can be proven (and if it can, then life is a joke), I see nothing for the treatment of my misery but the melancholy and very local palliative of articulate art.” Bill Clinton is incapable of thinking anything like that, and indeed stories heard by every Washington reporter, but which would be hard to independently confirm, he has learned nothing from his past mistakes. Someone else who comes to mind in this context is former Congressman Carlos Danger, aka Anthony Weiner, whose long-suffering wife, Huma Abedin, happens to be Mrs. Clinton’s closest aide.

Bill Clinton is not running for president now but Hillary Clinton is. She must love him at some level but it seems clear she stayed in the marriage at least in part because she believed it would further her own political ambitions. And in the end, her marriage may kill her political ambitions because her husband may be subpoenaed to testify about Jeffrey Epstein. And that probably won’t help Ms. Clinton’s poll numbers (in swing states or anywhere) because most Americans understand that a potential first gentleman should probably not be consorting with pedophiles.

screen-shot-2015-03-24-at-3-11-06-pm

Bill and Monica ( Illustration: Victor Juhasz)

Media coverage about the Epstein case has been sadly predictable. The New York Times and other “mainstream” outlets have reported on the case—of course, it’s too salacious and marketable to ignore—but none as of yet has pointedly and persistently asked important questions about it. The Times is a great newspaper, but it is generally on the liberal side when it comes to national politics and is probably afraid to look at the story too carefully and draw the obvious conclusions.

Mother Jones and other liberal outlets—which pretend to be independent and sometimes criticize Democrats but, just like the union movement, will end up voting for Hillary Clinton or anyone else who becomes the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee—are generally pretending that this is just the right-wing media machine ganging up on the poor Clintons. See, for example, a Mother Jones story last January, “Republicans Are Pushing a New Clinton Sex Scandal.”

I’m not even going to mention David Brock, the former right-wing hatchet man turned liberal hatchet man who now is Ms. Clinton’s pathetic attack dog. Once Mary McCarthy said about Lillian Hellman (who I sort of admire), “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’” That’s David Brock for you.

Meanwhile, the right-wing media has been unusually reserved about the Epstein case. That’s probably because defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, who is an Obama supporter but sufficiently noisy in his pro-Israel stance to pass for conservative, has been deeply implicated in the whole story and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak reportedly might be a material witness in the case. So you’ve got right-wingers and Likudniks who may get into trouble too. The whole story is unpredictable so everyone is afraid of it.

Weirdly, three of the only media outlets asking interesting questions about the whole story are Radar (cited above), Gawker and the Daily Caller. Writing in the latter, Nixon acolyte Roger Stone, a well-known Republican political consultant and the Daily Caller’s men’s fashion editor, recently asked, “Is this [the Epstein affair] the scandal that ends Ms. Clinton’s campaign?” Which is one of many good questions the media should be asking more.

For its part, Gawker recently wrote an interesting story titled, Flight Logs Put Clinton, Dershowitz on Pedophile Billionaire’s Sex Jet.” It discussed Mr. Epstein’s “predatory past, and his now-inconvenient relationships with a Who’s Who of the Davos set,” and reported that Bill Clinton had repeatedly flown on the “Lolita Express,” Mr. Epstein’s private jet, “with an actress in softcore porn movies whose name appears in Mr. Epstein’s address book under an entry for ‘massages’.”

WashingtonBabylonIcon (1)

What all this means is that Hillary Clinton’s husband has already been implicated in the Epstein scandal and that his dubious private behavior, which has already once distracted the entire nation from more important business, could do so again if Ms. Clinton does indeed run for president.

What’s worse, at least from my personal standpoint, is that if Ms. Clinton were to become the Democratic nominee I still might vote for her because the likely Republican candidates have retrograde and vile public views about race, class, gender and gay rights, and those are important to me, and especially because the two main parties are virtually indistinguishable when it comes to fundamental economic policy. Because both are bought and paid for by Wall Street and financiers like Jeffrey Epstein, as well as other powerful interests who overwhelmingly fund our political campaigns.

Actually, I still might not vote for Hillary Clinton if she becomes the nominee, but I probably will if my college-age daughter asks me. Even though I don’t think she likes Ms. Clinton all that much—and I expect she likes her husband less—she is appalled and outraged by the GOP’s stone age social politics and because she would like to see a woman become president. And that’s a good enough reason for me. Maybe.

This is why the Epstein affair is a national disgrace and shines a bright light on the current tragedy of American democracy and this country’s abysmal national political and media elites.

Read more about Hillary Clinton’s email controversy here.

Ken Silverstein has been a staff writer at Harper’s Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. He has authored several books, including The Secret World of Oil (Verso) and The Radioactive Boy Scout (Random House). His primary obsessions are politics and media, and his reborn “Washington Babylon” column be buttering up and skewering both about every three weeks in the New York Observer and on Observer.com.

Why is the Left-Wing Media Machine pretending that anyone who asks questions about the Epstein-Clinton connection is a paid stooge of the Right-Wing Media Machine? And why is the Right-Wing Media Machine, which would normally be gleefully talking about this or any sordid affair involving the Clintons, being unusually reserved in hyping the case? (Hint: Because some notable conservatives and prominent supporters of Israel — a constituency that used to reside solidly in the Democratic camp but which the GOP in recent years has been wooing, with some notable success— have been implicated in the Epstein scandal too.)

How did our political and media elites ever become so hopelessly corrupt?

For those of you who haven’t heard much about the Jeffrey Epstein, he is a 62-year-old billionaire and major donor to the Democratic Party. The story erupted after Virginia Roberts gave a sworn statement in a federal court filing that claimed (as reported here by Radar) that that under Mr. Epstein’s tutelage she “was a teen sex slave forced to have sex with Prince Andrew” and that she also saw Bill Clinton on Mr. Epstein’s “orgy island.”

Mr. Epstein’s current predicament is hardly a shock. Back in 2008, at a time he had also been indicted (he was subsequently jailed for about a year) in Florida for sex crimes, Philip Weiss wrote an astonishing story about Mr. Epstein in New York magazine that showed that his legal problems back then had not, surprisingly, made him more “sober and reserved.” Much to the contrary, the allegations against him (from, among others, a 14-year-old girl) had made him more “sparkling and ingenuous.”

SEE ALSO: Servergate Doesn’t Matter: Hillary Was Never Going to Be President Anyway

This earlier investigation of Mr. Epstein, led by the FBI, was reportedly closed and the evidence sealed after Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty to two “minor” counts related to charges that he was involved in underage sex. (How crimes involving sex with underage girls can be deemed “minor” is something of a mystery.) Mr. Epstein has reportedly been a significant donor to the Clinton Foundation, before and after he was implicated in sex crimes.

Bill Clinton is not running for president now but Hillary Clinton is. She must love him at some level but it seems clear she stayed in the marriage at least in part because she believed it would further her own political ambitions.

So OK, let’s acknowledge that there really is a right-wing media and political machine that will attack Bill and Hillary Clinton for any alleged crime, even jaywalking. It’s also true, in my view, that Ken Starr, who sought to impeach Bill Clinton in the mid-1990s, is a twisted zealot and that it’s probably a bad idea to impeach a president for sexual misconduct, because that has nothing to do with his or her ability to govern effectively, keep the country out of needless wars, and help make life better for the American people, especially the growing underclass, and do something about police violence against African-Americans and other manifestations of institutionalized racism.

But Bill Clinton’s conduct, in and out of office, suggests he is a sexual predator without a conscience and has used his power—even the power of the Oval Office—to win sex from many women. That doesn’t mean Bill Clinton has no appeal to women and every woman who ever had sex with him was a “victim.” But some of them were.

It’s complicated in some cases and I don’t know precisely how Monica Lewinsky feels about it, but at minimum Bill Clinton lied to her shamelessly, and in my view, took advantage of her even though she was not a passive participant in the “relationship” they had. And while Monica Lewinsky very unfairly became a joke on late night TV (and sadly I probably laughed at some of those jokes), a lot of people, especially men, respected Bill Clinton more after the Lewinsky scandal because it showed that he could get laid and/or fellated.

It’s great that Lewinsky worked through all of this and has become quite an impressive person. And as noted in this recent New York Times story, some feminists “who had stayed silent on the first go-round” have more recently defended her, deploying terms that have emerged since the 90s like ‘slut-shaming’ and ‘media gender bias,’ and that late night hosts who once mocked her, like David Letterman and Bill Maher, have now expressed remorse for having done so.

To understand just how cold and calculating Bill Clinton is, consider that he reportedly interrupted one sexual encounter with Monica Lewinsky to take a call from a Cuban-American sugar baron from the crucial battleground state of Florida. The narrator of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita ultimately admits to himself that he was a sexual predator: “Unless it can be proven to me—to me as I am now, today, with my heart and my beard, and my putrefaction—that in the infinite run it does not matter a jot that a North American girl-child named Dolores Haze had been deprived of her childhood by a maniac, unless this can be proven (and if it can, then life is a joke), I see nothing for the treatment of my misery but the melancholy and very local palliative of articulate art.” Bill Clinton is incapable of thinking anything like that, and indeed stories heard by every Washington reporter, but which would be hard to independently confirm, he has learned nothing from his past mistakes. Someone else who comes to mind in this context is former Congressman Carlos Danger, aka Anthony Weiner, whose long-suffering wife, Huma Abedin, happens to be Mrs. Clinton’s closest aide.

Bill Clinton is not running for president now but Hillary Clinton is. She must love him at some level but it seems clear she stayed in the marriage at least in part because she believed it would further her own political ambitions. And in the end, her marriage may kill her political ambitions because her husband may be subpoenaed to testify about Jeffrey Epstein. And that probably won’t help Ms. Clinton’s poll numbers (in swing states or anywhere) because most Americans understand that a potential first gentleman should probably not be consorting with pedophiles.
Bill and Monica ( Illustration: Victor Juhasz)

Bill and Monica ( Illustration: Victor Juhasz)

Media coverage about the Epstein case has been sadly predictable. The New York Times and other “mainstream” outlets have reported on the case—of course, it’s too salacious and marketable to ignore—but none as of yet has pointedly and persistently asked important questions about it. The Times is a great newspaper, but it is generally on the liberal side when it comes to national politics and is probably afraid to look at the story too carefully and draw the obvious conclusions.

Mother Jones and other liberal outlets—which pretend to be independent and sometimes criticize Democrats but, just like the union movement, will end up voting for Hillary Clinton or anyone else who becomes the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee—are generally pretending that this is just the right-wing media machine ganging up on the poor Clintons. See, for example, a Mother Jones story last January, “Republicans Are Pushing a New Clinton Sex Scandal.”

I’m not even going to mention David Brock, the former right-wing hatchet man turned liberal hatchet man who now is Ms. Clinton’s pathetic attack dog. Once Mary McCarthy said about Lillian Hellman (who I sort of admire), “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’” That’s David Brock for you.

Meanwhile, the right-wing media has been unusually reserved about the Epstein case. That’s probably because defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, who is an Obama supporter but sufficiently noisy in his pro-Israel stance to pass for conservative, has been deeply implicated in the whole story and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak reportedly might be a material witness in the case. So you’ve got right-wingers and Likudniks who may get into trouble too. The whole story is unpredictable so everyone is afraid of it.

Weirdly, three of the only media outlets asking interesting questions about the whole story are Radar (cited above), Gawker and the Daily Caller. Writing in the latter, Nixon acolyte Roger Stone, a well-known Republican political consultant and the Daily Caller’s men’s fashion editor, recently asked, “Is this [the Epstein affair] the scandal that ends Ms. Clinton’s campaign?” Which is one of many good questions the media should be asking more.

For its part, Gawker recently wrote an interesting story titled, Flight Logs Put Clinton, Dershowitz on Pedophile Billionaire’s Sex Jet.” It discussed Mr. Epstein’s “predatory past, and his now-inconvenient relationships with a Who’s Who of the Davos set,” and reported that Bill Clinton had repeatedly flown on the “Lolita Express,” Mr. Epstein’s private jet, “with an actress in softcore porn movies whose name appears in Mr. Epstein’s address book under an entry for ‘massages’.”

WashingtonBabylonIcon (1)

What all this means is that Hillary Clinton’s husband has already been implicated in the Epstein scandal and that his dubious private behavior, which has already once distracted the entire nation from more important business, could do so again if Ms. Clinton does indeed run for president.

What’s worse, at least from my personal standpoint, is that if Ms. Clinton were to become the Democratic nominee I still might vote for her because the likely Republican candidates have retrograde and vile public views about race, class, gender and gay rights, and those are important to me, and especially because the two main parties are virtually indistinguishable when it comes to fundamental economic policy. Because both are bought and paid for by Wall Street and financiers like Jeffrey Epstein, as well as other powerful interests who overwhelmingly fund our political campaigns.

Actually, I still might not vote for Hillary Clinton if she becomes the nominee, but I probably will if my college-age daughter asks me. Even though I don’t think she likes Ms. Clinton all that much—and I expect she likes her husband less—she is appalled and outraged by the GOP’s stone age social politics and because she would like to see a woman become president. And that’s a good enough reason for me. Maybe.

This is why the Epstein affair is a national disgrace and shines a bright light on the current tragedy of American democracy and this country’s abysmal national political and media elites.

Ken Silverstein has been a staff writer at Harper’s Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. He has authored several books, including The Secret World of Oil (Verso) and The Radioactive Boy Scout (Random House). His primary obsessions are politics and media, and his reborn “Washington Babylon” column be buttering up and skewering both about every three weeks in the New York Observer and on Observer.com.