LOS ANGELES, July 2, 2016 — For Hillary Clinton, every day is Independence Day. She is free to do whatever she pleases whenever she pleases. She is Marie Antoinette without the consequences.
Clinton met with the FBI for over three hours on Saturday. That will be forgotten before the long Independence Day weekend ends. The meeting was just a formality. Statisticians have calculated her odds of being indicted at 0.00, give or take an epsilon.
Republicans hoping for Clinton’s pantsuits to be exchanged for an orange jumpsuit are in deep denial. She is too big to jail.
It is time for the Grand Old Party to face reality. Clinton could fly to the Middle East today, join ISIS, burn some children alive, be back by Monday for some vegan tofu dogs at her female dependence day barbecue and still not be indicted by the FBI.
She could even eat the children, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch would explain it away.
Clinton will escape punishment for the same reason her husband breezed through impeachment in 1998: They have the political infrastructure to get to anybody. Their political apparatus is more powerful than anything a Western nation has ever seen.
In 1998, Republicans had the evidence. The law was on their side. Democrats had the political optics. They demonized the previously respected Judge Kenneth Starr and discredited his entire case. Politics trumped the law.
The next target to be demonized is FBI Director James Comey. He has been universally praised as a straight arrow who is above politics. He also is a Republican who in 2012 voted for Mitt Romney over President Obama. If Comey were to recommend an indictment of Clinton, her attack machine would wreck his reputation. James Carville, Paul Begala and the rest of the old gang are already licking their political chops and waiting for their orders.
Comey can refuse to recommend an indictment, becoming a darling of the New York Times, or he can follow the law and get crushed by politics. Lynch will shut him down before Bill Clinton has time to visit her again to say “thanks.”
Hillary is not going to jail. Republicans had better figure out a winning November strategy, because relying on the rule of law is not going to work. The GOP is a political party. It had better learn to start playing politics. The Clintons have a 25-year head start on them, and they play for keeps.