Here are three stashes of “Clinton crack” that are sure to keep political junkies like me thoroughly addicted in the days, months, and years to come.
1. Hillary Clinton’s exclusively using a personal email account while at the State Department
Excitement/Danger Level: A tsunami crashing on the D.C. Beltway and possibly drowning Clinton Inc.
Burning Questions: Will the revelations delay Clinton’s presidential announcement, which is now scheduled for April? How soon will the Republicans in Congress call for a special prosecutor?
Timetable: Will this scandal have legs in the mainstream media beyond a few news cycles? It’s hard to say.
Explosive Question: Could charges stemming from this scandal prevent Mrs. Clinton from entering the race?
What we know so far:
First reported (ironically) by the New York Times was the bombshell that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state.” And, according to State Department officials, she “may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.”
Republican junkies are hyperventilating because it was Clinton aides who determined which emails to turn over to the State Department for retention. Apparently only 55,000 pages of emails, out of hundreds of thousands, made the cut.
This is a bonanza that could last as long as the stains on Monica’s blue dress! Conceivably, every one of Clinton’s personal emails might eventually be examined by a bipartisan select congressional committee, or even a special prosecutor, to determine which emails have State Department archival value in accordance with federal requirements.
Examining the registry information for ‘clintonemail.com’ [the domain name the hacked messages were sent to] reveals that the domain was first created on Jan. 13, 2009 — one week before President Obama was sworn into office, and the same day that Clinton’s confirmation hearings began before the Senate.
Proving beyond a reasonable doubt that there is a God and He is a Republican, it was Rep. Trey Gowdy’s much-maligned House Select Committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks that brought this email tsunami crashing down on Hillaryland.
2. Release of IRS Form 990 for tax year 2014 from the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation
Anticipation Level: How high is the sky?
Burning Question: Are there any indications that the Clinton Foundation is masquerading as a Clinton PAC?
Timetable: Most likely the foundation’s IRS Form 990 for 2014 will be filed sometime in November 2015.
Explosive Question: Are Clinton Foundation shenanigans the real reason that Hillary used a private email address while Secretary of State? (This question makes me tingle!)
What we know so far:
Form 990 is officially called “Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.” The Clinton Foundation has been in the headlines because millions of dollars have been donated from major players such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Kuwait, just to name a couple. Donors, especially countries, obviously were anticipating that Mrs. Clinton would run for president with a good chance of winning (at least up until Scandal No. 1 broke).
The foundation’s last Form 990, filed on November 17, 2014, covered the year 2013. It revealed $8.4 million in travel expenses, which is extremely high for a charity. As a result, America Rising PAC called for the Clinton Foundation to release records on its spending practices, saying: “The Clinton Foundation has raised hundreds of millions that it claims is for charitable causes, but clearly overlaps with Hillary Clinton’s political ambitions.”
As a Republican, I want this line of questioning to continue.
3. The release of Hillary Clinton’s tax returns
Excitement/Danger Level: Off the charts with anticipation.
Burning Questions: How many years of returns will the Clintons release? What was Hillary’s salary from the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation? Do the Clintons file a joint return or married filing separately? (Imagine that can of worms if they file separately.) How much money do the Clintons give to charities other than their own? Are there any sleazy offshore investments? How much did the Clintons pay in taxes — the actual amount and as a percentage of their adjusted gross income?
Timetable: When the New York Times demands their release.
Crazy Explosive Question: Are these the Clintons’ real returns, or were they doctored with help from overzealous Clinton supporters within the IRS?
What we know so far:
Remember back in 2012, when there was all that clamoring for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to release his tax returns? The tax-return heat index on the Clintons will be determined by how well they handle this inevitable request and whether their tax returns reveal anything noteworthy that Republicans can use in 2016.
There you have it, three pipes chock-full of enough Clinton crack to keep junkies like me buzzing until Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017. And the first one might ensure that Hillary Clinton is nowhere near that podium.
Or maybe not, because, according to Michael Tomasky reporting at the Daily Beast, there are plenty of holes in this email story big enough for the Clintons to wriggle through.
A political junkie’s high never ends when the Clintons are involved.
Cross-posted at National Review Online