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The FBI Fix Was In on EmailGate

From the moment Hillary's EmailGate scandal went public more than a year ago, it was obvious that the FBI never had much of an appetite for going after her. Under President Obama, the FBI had become so politicized that it couldn't do its job – at least when it came to going after high-ranking Democrats.

When Director Comey announced that the FBI wouldn't be seeking prosecution of anyone on Team Clinton, the Bureau in effect announced to the world that it had turned its back on its own traditions of avoiding partisan politics in the pursuit of justice.

Just how much Comey and the FBI punted on EmailGate has only grown painfully obvious since then. Redacted FBI documents from their own investigation, dumped on the Friday afternoon before the long Labor Day weekend, showed that Hillary Clinton either willfully lied to the Bureau, repeatedly, about her email habits as secretary of state, or she is far too stupid to be our commander-in-chief.

Worse, the FBI totally ignored the appearance of highly classified signals intelligence in Hillary’s email, including information copied verbatim from above-Top Secret NSA reports back in 2011. This crime, which is the worst compromise of classified information in EmailGate – that we know of anyway – was somehow considered so uninteresting that nobody at the FBI bothered to ask Clinton or anybody who worked for her about it.

This amazing omission appears highly curious to anyone familiar with counterintelligence matters, not least since during Obama’s presidency, the FBI has prosecuted Americans for compromising information far less sensitive than that which Clinton and her staff exposed on her infamous “unclassified” email server.

This week, however, we have come to find out that there's actually no mystery at all here. The FBI was never able to get enough traction in its investigation of EmailGate to prosecute anybody since the Bureau had preemptively granted immunity to key players in the scandal.

Granting immunity is standard protocol in investigations, and sometimes can't be avoided. Giving a pass to Bryan Pagliano, Hillary’s IT guru who set up her server, was understandable since he understands what happened, technically speaking, and is otherwise low on the Clinton food chain. But giving him a pass now seems debatable, because Pagliano has refused to testify before Congress about his part in EmailGate, blowing off subpoenas twice. Just this week the House Oversight Committee recommended that Pagliano be cited for contempt of Congress because of this. The committee vote was on strictly partisan lines, with not a single Democrat finding anything wrong with Pagliano’s flouting of Congressional subpoenas.

Now we learn the FBI gave immunity to much bigger fish in the Clinton tank. Three more people got a pass from the Bureau in exchange for their cooperation: Hillary attorney Heather Samuelson, State Department IT boss John Bental, and – by far the most important – Cheryl Mills, who's been a Clinton flunky-cum-factotum for decades now.

Mills was the State Department’s Chief of Staff and Counselor throughout Hillary’s stint as Secretary of State. But granting Mills immunity in EmailGate, given her deep involvement in that scandal – including the destruction of tens of thousands of emails so they could not be handed over to the FBI – now seems strange to say the least, especially because Mills sat in on Hillary’s deposition with the Bureau regarding EmailGate.

This was in fact so highly irregular that Jason Chaffetz, chair of the House Oversight Committee, said he was “absolutely stunned” by the FBI’s granting of immunity to Cheryl Mills. “No wonder they couldn’t prosecute a case,” Chaffetz said of Comey’s FBI: “They were handing out immunity deals like candy.”

Not to mention that Mills has a well-deserved reputation in Washington for aiding and abetting the Clintons as they dodge investigation after investigation, bullet after bullet. When Bill and Hillary need a fixer to help them bury the bodies, trusty ol' Cheryl Mills is always on call.

She played a key role in the Whitewater scandal way back in the 1990s – as did James Comey. Fully two decades ago, when he was a Senate investigator, Comey tried to get Mills, then deputy counsel to Bill Clinton’s White House, to hand over relevant documents. Mills went into full dog-ate-my-homework mode, claiming that a burglar had stolen the files, leading Comey to the conclusion that she was obstructing his work.

Such behavior would ordinarily be a career-killer for people in Washington, but it wasn't for Cheryl Mills, who over the last several decades has followed the Clintons everywhere they go. Time and again has proven her loyalty to Clinton Inc., and that loyalty has been amply rewarded.

Nor can we overlook that as chief of staff at Foggy Bottom, Mills in no way functioned as Hillary’s personal lawyer, as Clinton advocates contend. Even her other title, State Department Counselor, has nothing to do with legal issues, despite the name. That role is traditionally assigned to an esteemed foreign policy guru who is supposed to offer sage counsel to the secretary of state. Mills’ predecessor as Counselor was Eliot Cohen, one of the country’s preeminent scholars of international relations. Leave it to the Clintons to turn that job over to one of their trusted flacks, translating Counselor, mafia fashion, into consigliere.

“The whole thing stinks,” said a retired FBI senior official who expressed dismay at the state of his one-time employer. “This was impossible in my time, unthinkable,” he rued, expressing shock that the FBI allowed Mills to remain involved in the investigation, including acting as Hillary’s personal lawyer, despite her own immunity deal.

How exactly Cheryl Mills got that immunity, and what its terms were, is now a much sought-after “smoking gun” in EmailGate, the clear indication that, despite countless man-hours poured into the year-long investigation, James Comey and his FBI never had any intention of prosecuting Hillary Clinton – or anyone else – for her gross mishandling of classified information while she was secretary of state.

Why Comey gave Mills a get-out-of-jail-free card is something that needs to be looked at. This is raw, naked politics. "Corruption" is but the tamest word for this sort of dirty backroom deal, which makes average Americans despise politics and politicians altogether.

How high in this administration EmailGate went is the key question, now raised yet again by the latest tranche of redacted documents released by the FBI. There are lots of tantalizing tidbits to be found, including the fact that early in Hillary’s term at Foggy Bottom, State Department officials had raised delicate legal questions about her highly irregular email and server arrangements.

Most provocative, however, is the revelation that Hillary had been communicating with President Obama via personal email, and he was using an alias. The alias he used with Hillary, and apparently others, was withheld by the FBI, and let it be said the fact that the president wanted to disguise his identity in unclassified email is perfectly understandable.

What is not, however, is the fact that Obama previously told the media that he only learned of Hillary’s shady email and server arrangements from “news reports.” How Obama failed to notice that he was emailing his top diplomat at her personal, clintonmail.com address, and not a state.gov account, particularly when they were discussing official business, is something Congress may have an interest in – since the FBI apparently won’t.

When she was being interviewed by the Bureau, for instance, Hillary’s faithful lackey Huma Abedin was asked about President Obama’s emailing to Hillary with an alias. “How is this not classified?” asked the mystified Abedin.

Good question, Ms. Abedin.

The fact that the FBI redacted the contents of that email is a clear indication that it was classified, even though it was sent to Hillary’s personal email and transited her personal server.

This, like so many other things about EmailGate, will probably remain a mystery, at least for the time being. The State Department refuses to release the full collection of Clinton’s emails until after the election. Just this week a Federal judge blasted them for their blatant slow-rolling tactics: “The State Department needs to start cooperating to the fullest extent possible. They are not perceived to be doing that.” Nonetheless, the public won’t get to see all of Hillary’s emails until after Americans have decided who the next president will be.

For Hillary Clinton, winning the Presidency may be a legal necessity to protect her from prosecution. Congress, roused to anger by these latest revelations of illegality and corruption, will likely pursue her with passion and vigor, while an FBI in the hands of Donald Trump will be transformed with an infusion of interest in EmailGate.

Regardless, this story has emerged yet again to tar Hillary Clinton’s already terrible reputation at the worst possible time, with her campaign languishing in the polls, and enormous numbers of previously uninterested voters tuning in for the first time to watch the upcoming debates.