See if you can spot the difference between these two sentences: I didn’t do it. There’s no evidence I did it. Now Google this: Hillary no evidence.
Notice anything? Never in the history of world has a human being been so completely buried under a mountain of no evidence. Hillary Clinton can say there’s no evidence she sent classified emails until the evidence shows up, at which point there is no evidence she knew they were classified, until evidence of that shows up, at which point there is no evidence anyone got hold of it, until 400 people are willing to stake their lives that it was certainly compromised by sophisticated bad actors, at which point there is no evidence that it mattered.
This came to mind listening to FBI Director James Comey’s interesting phraseology, carefully formulated, no doubt: “We found no evidence” and “We did not find clear evidence” and “[Hillary’s lawyers] deleted all emails they did not return to State, and the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery” (emphasis mine).
A few years ago I was running a company and we caught a couple of people embezzling. A top tech guy with complete access to our computer system got in cahoots with the financial controller. An affair was involved. Federal prosecutors will tell you this kind of nasty collusion is rampant these days. They were systematically looting our cash flow, and, given their respective positions, able to cover their tracks. When they found out I was bringing in more financial oversight (the tech guy had tapped into my email) they knew the jig was up.
If You’re Going to Commit a Crime, Destroy the Evidence
Unknown to anyone, they began destroying evidence as fast as they could. They ordered a shredder (yes, at company expense) and had it shipped to the controller’s apartment, where they furiously disintegrated satchels full of documents they had spirited from the office: financial records, expense reports, receipts—everything incriminating. The tech guy, a long-term, highly trusted employee, wiped everything, including backups.
The new oversight people came in, saw what was happening, and blew the whistle. The “perps” were arrested, as they knew they would be, and thus began my painful education in the surprisingly fragility of “evidence.”
If you are going to commit a crime, destroy the evidence, even if it’s flagrantly obvious that you are doing so and why you’re doing it. No matter how glaringly guilty your behavior and demeanor, prosecutors need evidence to present in court to hold you accountable for it, and if they don’t have it, their hands are tied. (You know, like Comey’s “We cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges.”)
All kinds of laws on the books make these secondary things criminal activity—destroying evidence, guilty demeanor—and you might be threatened with prosecution for it, but it’s feckless. It won’t happen, because there’s a catch: To prove you destroyed evidence, it has to be proved that it was, indeed, evidence, not just some random, innocuous paper. But it doesn’t become evidence until the crime itself is demonstrated, of which it is then evidence, but they can’t do that, because there’s no evidence. Get it?
Theoretically, someone could gather evidence that you were destroying evidence, and that you therefore give off all kinds of evidence you are guilty as all-get-out, but it’s an ever-receding goal line with diminishing rewards that most prosecutors aren’t going to sacrifice time and effort on. In fact, when you get really good at being a crook, you’ll realize there’s no reason to wait until the cops are at the door to start managing evidence availability—you do it as you go along. (How many private servers did Hillary have and sequentially destroy, again?)
How Criminals Get Away
That’s what the people stealing from me knew. One even had some prior expertise in these matters and was getting sage advice from some dark hacker group whose members prided themselves on their outlaw bona fides. Bottom line? As a direct benefit of having destroyed the evidence, they came within a hair’s breadth of getting away with it.
They didn’t deep-six all that history to pretend innocence or finger someone else, they did it because they knew it would work, that no matter how obviously guilty they were, the authorities can’t do diddley if they don’t have hard evidence.
I was absolutely astonished that people so clearly guilty of crime number one, and who so openly destroyed the evidence of that guilt—crime number two—would be greatly rewarded for crime number two by having made it difficult or impossible to prosecute them for crime number one, which, in turn, would make crime number two moot. Criminals seem to know this stuff, somehow.
Fortunately, we drew a prosecutor who was tough, determined, and had been around the block a few times, and she wasn’t having any of it. But it took four years, and when they went to jail, it wasn’t for the main crime, because they had destroyed the evidence of that. Prosecutors found enough evidence to get them convicted for ancillary things, sort of emanations from the crime. They left just enough traces, essentially things they forgot about, to nail them on mail fraud and tax evasion (you know, the Al Capone approach), and that induced them to provide a full confession.
That’s why Comey’s construct—“we found no evidence”—resonated. It’s also why there’s a big difference between “I didn’t do it” and “There’s no evidence I did it.” There could be any number of reasons for no evidence, only one of which involves the target not having done it; it could also be because someone got rid of the evidence. Or maybe the evidence is buried in such a mountain of irrelevancies that it can’t be teased out, or the dog chewed it up.
A Long Career in Disappearing Evidence
Of course, it’s entirely possible Hillary reeks of no evidence because she didn’t carry out the avalanche of criminal, quasi-criminal, or merely morally reprehensible acts she’s been accused of over the last several decades, from being thrown off the Nixon/Watergate panel for lying, to the financial improprieties (and improbabilities) of the Whitewater scandal, the overreach of authority in Travelgate, the grotesque savaging of the victims of Bill’s “Bimbo Eruptions,” and all the other sorry episodes.
Maybe all this doesn’t represent a preponderance of guilt so much as a preponderance of accusations, with the fault lying not so much in Hillary as in her stars (the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and anyone who doesn’t share her worldview).
But maybe not. It’s not like there’s no reason to believe the Clintons are familiar with how to create magical evidence that disappears when it could be problematic then reappears when the danger has passed, or that their minions are above stuffing their socks with top-secret documents in an almost comically brazen evidence-tampering caper.
How liberating might it be to learn over the years that the important thing isn’t cramping your style by trying to cultivate an aura of scrupulous innocence, it’s making sure along the way that whatever evidence might prove troublesome remains elusive. There’s no need to be Caesar’s Wife if you can be The Artful Dodger.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars for inane 20-minute speeches? She was selling something. There was no product, no enterprise, no goods. She was supposedly selling her words, but, unless the words come from a newly unearthed voice recording of Jesus Christ himself, no words on earth are worth the tens of millions of dollars Hillary Clinton, Inc. has raked in. No, she wasn’t selling a product, she was selling a service, and, as Ross Perot was fond of saying, you know it, I know it and the American people know it. There is just no evidence…
It is almost impossible to imagine that anyone could look at the Clinton Foundation in parallel with the arc of Hillary’s curriculum vitae and fail to see it is probably the most bloated influence-peddling criminal enterprise in history. But they will, so long as they have a “no evidence” hook to hang their hat on. There is “no evidence” associated with these things not because there is no evidence, but because those in her thrall wish it to be so, and, with the essential help of a complicit media, it becomes so when they declare it so.
This is the world we live in. Let’s just call it “Hillary World.”