Attorney General Loretta Lynch officially closed the long F.B.I. Investigation on July 6, after F.B.I. director, James Comey, reported that the bureau would not recommend any charges in Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information. The Justice Department brought an end to a cloud that had been hanging over her presidential campaign for over a year since her use of a private server became known.
Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, has been calling Clinton, “Crooked Hillary who should be in handcuffs”. However, Mr. Comey said the F.B.I. did not find any evidence that Secretary Clinton intentionally sent or received classified information. “Our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” he said at a news conference on July 5.
Hillary Clinton has made clear that the use of a private server was “a mistake” and she would not make that choice again. When she took office, she knew other Secretaries of State had used personal computers and chose to do the same. Colin Powell had described his use in one of his books. Madelyn Albright and Condolezza Rice had also used private servers for some of their emails. They were never questioned about this. Of course, they never ran for President of The United States.
In her four years as Secretary of State, Clinton traveled to 112 countries and rebuilt the reputation of the United States around the world. Our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, launched during President George Bush’s years, had brought our reputation to a new low in Asia and North Africa, especially with Muslim nations. She worked ceaselessly to better women’s and children’s lives in the countries she visited. She supported efforts to broker peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians. She built the coalition among European countries through skillful diplomacy that led to the significant Iran Nuclear Deal.
During the disastrous attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Clinton worked tirelessly through the night, seeking help from all possible forces to assist our beleaguered ambassador and staff. Their tragic deaths became the focus of Republican critics. The House Select Benghazi Committee was formed; Secretary Clinton was sworn in and sat alone at a table facing the committee. She answered hostile questions from Republican members with calm dignity, referring to her notes at times for specific facts. Democratic members reviewed her actions aimed at saving Ambassador Stevens and his staff. Most observers in the Press and the public concluded that she won the day with strong responses after a marathon eleven- hour hearing.
After Director Comey held his press conference on Tuesday, July 6, Donald Trump immediately tweeted that “The system is rigged” since she was not indicted on any criminal charge. He was involved in a furor that had erupted when his campaign posted an ad with Clinton’s picture within a six pointed star placed against a sea of money. Most critics recognized the Star of David that Jewish people in Europe had to wear when the Nazis reigned. Hillary Clinton is a Methodist, but that was not the point. Trump insisted the star was a “sheriff’s star or any star.” Objectors showed sheriff’s five stars with five points. He refused to back away from the ad.
On Thursday, July 7, Director Comey appeared before the House Oversight Committee, where the Republican members unleashed a barrage of criticism of his decision. They pounced on his words that Clinton and her team had been “extremely careless” in handing classified emails. He went to great lengths to explain the two different legal statutes where the F.B.I. could find “criminal” behavior. One was “gross negligence” that he said had only been used once in 99 years and unsuccessfully. The other was “intent”. A person would have to have been intending to subvert the United States government. He stressed that Secretary Clinton, who was not “sophisticated in internet technology” did not display gross negligence. He also said that It was clear from her forthright testimony that there was no intent involved in the relatively few errors found in 30,000 emails. The Republican members and Chairman Chaffetz were not satisfied. However, Elijah Cummings, the Democratic leading member praised Director Comey and the entire F.B.I. investigators for their service.
By the end of the week, other shocking events burst into the headlines and the minds of all Americans. Two fatal shootings of black men by police , first in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and next in Minneapolis, Minnesota overwhelmed the nation. President Obama , who had flown to Warsaw for a meeting of NATO, spoke immediately about the terrible tragedies and the “American issue of black men being killed by police.” Peaceful protests took place across the country. Large crowds, black and white men and women in New York, Washington, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle. Next came the third awful news from Dallas Texas, an ambush of police who were working to control a huge protest: five officers killed and seven wounded. One aggrieved army veteran had became a sniper to “avenge the deaths of black men by the police”.
The political campaigns contine to move forward. The Republican Convention opens in Cleveland the week of July 18 followed by the Democratic Convention the week of July 25. There are still some Republicans who want to “ Dump Trump” at the convention. In the Democratic race, Bernie Sanders has said he finally will endorse Hillary Clinton. There is no doubt that this presidential race has become the most unusual contest most of us have ever witnessed. There is agreement that Donald Trump is the most unlikely candidate ever nominated by a major party. He has a cohort of devoted followers who will not be swayed by any arguments or ads. They refuse to recognize his “racist” attacks on individuals (Judge Cruel) , groups (Mexicans) or the entire Muslim religion as dangerous in a prospective president. We will find out in November what the entire American electorate of women and men decides. The latest Pew national poll in June gave Hillary Clinton a nine point lead over Donald Trump – 51 percent to 42 percent.