Regardless of how you feel about Trump as a presidential candidate, I’m pretty sure you’re going to like what he just said about Hillary Clinton’s future prospects. As so many of us have been saying for some time now, it sure seems like rather than a move into the White House, the Democrat presidential candidate has a trip to the Big House in her future.
As the Daily Mail reports:
Donald Trump believes Hillary Clinton could face significant jail time – ‘up to 20 years in prison’ – as a consequence of storing classified information on her now-infamous private email server.
And a law that Clinton herself once voted for while she served in the U.S. Senate could come back to haunt her – and turn Trump into a criminal-justice prophet.
‘If you look at what’s going on with the emails, it’s a fraud if you think about it,’ the Republican presidential front-runner told The Hollywood Reporter in his first magazine interview since launching his unconventional White House bid.
‘This looks like Watergate on steroids, frankly,’ he said.’Watergate was about the cover-up more than the act.’
Trump, incidentally, joins a growing chorus of pundits drawing the comparison to Watergate, including one of the men who broke Watergate, Bob Woodward.
‘This isn’t something we’re going to solve tomorrow. This could go on for years. You can’t have a nominee who is under investigation. What are they going to do, run and then two nights before the presidential race she gets indicted?’
Sadly, we’re all afraid of an even worse option — which is a Hillary Clinton being elected president before all the damning facts come out. Reminiscent, for example, of how so many details of Benghazi were misrepresented and/or buried before the 2012 election — many of which remain so to this day.
Trump pointed to the legal saga of Gen. David Petraeus as a cautionary tale for Clinton, saying the former CIA director, who was prosecuted for sharing classified information with his biographer-mistress, was a choirboy by comparison.
‘General Petraeus, for doing 5 percent of what she did, his life has been destroyed,’ Trump said.
Again, the Petraeus comparison is being frequently made these days. The big question, of course, is whether Mrs. Clinton will be given a pass thanks to her connections in the right places. So far, it appears there’s good reason to fear that she will.
‘And it goes up to 20 years in prison. It’s from one to 20 years for what she did!’
The Hollywood Reporter noted that ‘it’s unclear what penalty Clinton might face if charged and convicted,’ but potential criminal charges could range from obstruction of justice to destroying documents, and even a long-shot bribery charge, according to a former federal prosecutor who asked not to be named ‘for political reasons.’
‘If she deleted a document – any document – “in contemplation of an investigation,” that’s a felony,’ the former prosecutor said. ‘It’s called tampering with evidence.’
‘And if anything in those deleted emails shows Clinton talking to people about donations for the Clinton Foundation in exchange for official acts, that’s bribery.’
The evidence-tampering statute, known in legal circles as 18 U.S.C. § 1519, carries a potential 20-year prison term.
It was part of the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate misconduct law, passed in 2002 – with a ‘yes’ vote from then-Senator Hillary Clinton.
Intended as an anti-shredding law, it makes a felon of anyone who ‘knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry’ in an official record ‘with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter … or in relation to or contemplation of any such matter or case.’
Clinton acknowledged directing her aides to destroy more than 30,000 emails before turning the remaining contents of her private server over to the State Department in late 2014.
At the time, Congress was investigating her actions related to the deadly 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya, and Clinton was the subject of a congressional subpoena for documents.
A Clinton spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
To be fair, we don’t know all the facts yet — in large part, thanks to the former Secretary of State’s foot-dragging and obstruction of the process. But with each passing day, as more facts do emerge, Mrs. Clinton’s dealings in this matter appear shadier and shadier. And Trump’s prediction appears more and more likely to come true.