The Latest Clinton October Surprise: A Violation of the Hatch Act?

The Latest Clinton October Surprise: A Violation of the Hatch Act?


Leonard Zwelling

         It seems like poetic justice that Hillary Clinton may be undone by emails, not on her computers, Blackberrys or servers, but on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, a man with the sexual constraints of, say, Bill Clinton when it comes to young girls.

Weiner was the Congressman from New York who was drummed out of office for texting lewd images of himself to young women. He tried to restart his career by running for mayor of New York only to be undone by another sext.

He is married (as of this writing) to trusted Clinton advisor Huma Abedin (although they are estranged now due to his behavior and her running out of patience) and emails from Ms. Abedin were on his computer. That machine was being rifled through by the FBI because the agency was investigating more of Weiner’s texting shenanigans and happened on 650,000 emails according to the Wall Street Journal that may involve communications between Hillary and Ms. Abedin, some of which MAY contain classified material. Lots of Mays for an October surprise. Boo, Hillary, Happy Halloween!

         FBI Director Comey notified Congress of this new finding without listing any findings. The unfound findings may (there’s that word again) impact on his decision to free Mrs. Clinton from prosecution. He did this 10 days before the election in direct opposition to Department of Justice policy about releasing such information this close to an election. He may well have violated the Hatch Act that prevents public servants from influencing elections ( (

         However, what would have happened to him, his credibility, and that of the FBI if he withheld the information from Congress now and it proved not to be exculpatory a month after Mrs. Clinton won the election? Or if it leaked? He would have been accused of covering up. He was between the proverbial rock and a hard place and so he dribbled out the facts, perhaps breaking the law and surely violating DOJ policy, throwing the media into a feeding frenzy and the Clinton camp into its usual defensive posture when her emails surface, even if the new ones have not surfaced.

         The chances are that there is nothing new in these emails, but who knows?

         Furthermore, should Mrs. Clinton still win and the GOP hold onto the House, count on a swift move after January 20, 2017 to impeach the new President. After all, as Bill Maher noted, you can’t impeach her if you don’t elect her. It is likely that this will go on for months—even longer than Gore v. Bush. Washington is likely to be tied up in knots for the next four years setting the stage for a Trump-like figure (The Donald would be too old to run, but don’t tell him that) to sweep into town in 2020. Look out for the Cruz Missile as both Mike Pence and Paul Ryan will be discredited by the next general election and it could be a battle of the Texans in 2020, a Castro (not Fidel) and a Cruz, two Hispanics who are not fluent in Spanish. Wonderful!

         This has got to be the low point in the federal government since Watergate and at least that was a stupid crime. This is just stupid! But, of course, if stupidity, the most powerful force in the universe, were a crime, we would all be in prison.

         Even though I voted for Mrs. Clinton, I find her a very damaged candidate who may well find any form of governing impossible. If this latest flap does not undo her fate, it may well finish off the Democratic challengers in the down ballot races whose victories would have allowed recapture of the Senate or House by the Blue Team. Thus, we are in for more divided government and probably no progress for another four years.

         The ACA will likely stay as it is leaving health insurance rising in price and slipping away from the grasp of many Americans that ObamaCare was established to help.

         Education and infrastructure, both needing major investment in this country, will probably go unaddressed as the new President promotes policies that every Republican will oppose simply to prevent their incumbency from being challenged from a far right primary opponent.

         In foreign affairs, a clear strength of Mrs. Clinton, it is possible that some progress might be made. But where? The Middle East? Russia? China? Korea? What would that look like? Not all that likely, especially if the new President is being constantly plagued by her Capitol Hill GOP opposition on the domestic front.

         In conclusion, even if Hillary wins, we all lose. Both parties let us down by nominating hopelessly flawed candidates, neither of whom will be able to heal the tear in the fabric of American democracy promulgated by war, economic downturns, and the widening of the gap between the haves and have-nots. That healing couldn’t happen once we got these two nominees.

         I wish I had better news on some front. I don’t. As readers know, I see no light at the end of the tunnel that has been MD Anderson or the one that is American medicine or the one that is American politics. Clinton, Bush and Obama have all been “less than” Presidents. Clinton would have been successful if he could have curbed his prurient appetites instead of acting like a 13-year old. Bush got us into holy wars that we are still in and Obama, the first black President, is leaving office with race relations in America at their lowest point since the 1960s.

         There can be no doubt that American politics, medicine, and the cancer center on Holcombe all need new leadership. When will we see it?

         The likely answer is no time soon, unfortunately.

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