"Operational inconveniences for the Clinton Foundation or a reduction in donations.......are small prices to pay when balanced against......the security of every American."
Senator Richard Lugar at Clinton's Senate confirmation hearing 13 January 2009 - he wanted tighter controls on the Clinton Foundation before agreeing to affirm Clinton as Secretary of State (full quote in text below).
Background to the Clinton Email Investigation
The Hillary Clinton email investigation is not an end in itself.
It's bad enough that the US Secretary of State used insecure devices and private email servers.
The unanswered question is why?
In 2008 Clinton was running for the Democrat nomination for President against Barack Obama.
They reached a deal, she dropped out and Obama gave her the job she wanted - US Secretary of State (the equivalent of our Julie Bishop).
It was clear that putting Hillary Clinton into the USA's top foreign affairs role would create a conflict of interest with the Clinton Foundation. The Clinton Foundation was notorious for soliciting donations from foreign governments and Obama and others were clearly worried about the issue.
Clinton was not going to get the job without some written contract to clip the Clinton Foundation's wings.
During the weeks before his inauguration Obama's transitional team signed a detailed Memorandum of Understanding with the Clinton Foundation which should have severely restricted its activities while Clinton was at the State Department helm. Here are the first few paragraphs:
(There are particular worries for Kevin Rudd who donated $10M of Australian taxpayer money to the Clinton Foundation after going to New York for Clinton Global Initiative to sign an MOU over climate change. Rudd was later introduced by Bill Clinton as one of the smartest leaders in the world. So well did Clinton know him (they met at breakfast that morning and Rudd invited the cameras) that he mispronounced his name in the intro.)
Obama was right to be worried. The Clintons ignored the MOU. Clinton's subsequent conduct shows that she and Bill were acting in concert with favours doled out to donors (in Australia's case, we as taxpayers were the donors but Rudd and Gillard got the favours).
Then Senator John Kerry introduced Clinton to the Senate where she was examined for the Congressional right to affirm or veto a Presidential appointment as Secretary of State.
The Clinton Foundation appears 74 times in the document, conflict(s) of interest 22 times. She was before the committee for more than 5 hours. Many senators were worried about the Foundation.
Senator Lugar from Indiana summarised the issues well in his opening statement, here's an extract:
Clinton of course testified that there would be no problem, she'd never get involved in anything improper etc. All the while the planning was well advanced for her secret private communications channel which she thought was beyond the reach of the US Freedom of Information Act.
Clinton's private email server was an enabler for a much larger crime than just mishandling classified information. It was used to conceal serious crimes - crimes that were a long time in the planning.
Her long-term PA Huma Abedein was married to Congressman Anthony D Weiner at the time - we'll let the New York Times tell you what happened next:
In the summer of 2013, Hillary Clinton had just left the State Department and returned to New York. She planned a quiet year, basking in sky-high approval ratings and enjoying a respite from the media spotlight as she laid the groundwork for a second presidential run.
Then Carlos Danger happened.
Anthony D. Weiner, the husband of Mrs. Clinton’s closest aide, Huma Abedin, was running for mayor of New York when news broke that he had continued to exchange lewd messages with women online after the practice cost him his congressional seat. This time, he used the embarrassing Spanish-inspired moniker.
The tawdry story line and Ms. Abedin’s closeness to Mrs. Clinton made the events explode far beyond New York, dragging Mrs. Clinton’s name into messy headlines about penis pictures, Mr. Weiner’s descriptions of his sexual appetites and his online paramour named Sydney Leathers.
Now, with Mrs. Clinton seemingly on the cusp of winning the White House, Mr. Weiner, who once described himself as “a perpetually horny middle-aged man,” has pulled her into another drama. Federal investigators looking into his sexual messaging with an underage girl stumbled uponthousands of emails potentially pertinent to the F.B.I. inquiry into Mrs. Clinton’s private email server.The jolting development highlighted not only the intersecting lives of Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Abedin and Mr. Weiner, but also the pattern that has characterized the Clintons’ relationships with the sometimes oddly behaving inhabitants of their insular world: Even amid accusations of sexual or financial impropriety, the Clintons’ first instinct is to hunker down and protect those in their orbit, sometimes leading to more ugly eruptions later and, eventually, to messy public breakups.
The jail term for mishandling classified information may well be the last of Clinton's worries.
Here's the meaty bit of FBI director Comey's letter to the Congressional Chairmen sent last Friday.
Here's his internal email to his staff, same day.
And here are two birds of a feather flocking together. I'll bet they never touch another Weiner again.