As Donald Trump prepares to assume the duties of the office of President of the United States, I’m certain that he is becoming increasingly aware of the multitude of issues with which he will be forced to deal. One of which may be the problem of what to do about Hillary Clinton. Now, in a sane world, this would be a total non-issue, something not really worth a second thought. After all, she lost, she’s finished, and she’s not likely to be a factor in anything of significance going forward. Best to just forget about her. Unfortunately for all involved, it appears that extraterrestrials have quietly invaded our world and pilfered our supply of sanity.
The problem that Trump has is that, during one of the debates, he told Hillary, and the world, that he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate and hold her accountable for her misdeeds. His supporters absolutely loved that idea. And, since a cornerstone of his campaign was that he, unlike your typical professional politician, was somebody that would keep his promises and could get things done, he may find himself expected to deliver. But does he really want to? Let’s look at this from a Simple Facts of Life perspective. As usual, it starts and ends with:
Simple Fact of Life: People can just about always be counted on to act in their personal self-interest.
So, just what is in the self-interest of the players involved?
For Hillary Clinton, it’s pretty simple. Let’s just forget about the whole thing. Unfortunately for her, she really doesn’t have a whole lot of say in the decisions that will be made.
For President Trump, it’s a bit more complicated. It would seem to be in his interest to put this matter behind him as quickly as possible, and not allow it to become the national distraction that a special investigation would certainly become. But it would be against his interest to start out his administration by wimping out on one of his key promises, and thereby demonstrating, to supporters and critics alike, that he’s just another all talk, no action politician. And there are other considerations, which I’ll get to.
And what is in President Obama’s self-interest? Might it be to grant Hillary a pardon on his way out the door?
Here’s the way that I see it. If it was just about Hillary, then it wouldn’t matter, because she doesn’t matter. But, as is usually the case with her, she’s only a minor player in her own drama. The real issue is that any serious investigation would almost certainly get into the financial dealings of the Clinton Foundation. And, from what I’ve been able to gather, there may well be a whole lot of dirt to dig up there. And, it appears that several tons of this dirt is set to land right on top of Bill Clinton. It might be hard to charge Hillary with a crime without charging Bill.
I believe that it would be against the personal self-interest of Presidents Obama and Trump to allow a former president to be held to too much account. Obama will be a former president in a very short while, and there are plenty of angry people who would like to see him investigated. And, if he lives to a ripe old age, Trump expects to someday be a former president. Or maybe he won’t even have to make it to a ripe old age, since most liberals seem to consider it “settled science” that he’ll never make it four years without being forced out of office. Remember, in the early days of the Obama administration, all of the talk about how George W. Bush should be tried as a war criminal? I knew that President Obama would never let that happen. Not in his interest to start that precedent. And so it remains.
So here’s what’s gonna happen. Trump and Obama will strike a deal. On his way out, Obama grants Hillary some kind of blanket pardon. Might not be exactly legal, seeing as Hillary hasn’t actually been charged, much less convicted, of anything. But there is some degree of precedent, as when Ford pardoned Nixon for crimes that he had never officially been charged with. This will allow Trump to save face by grousing a little about some miscarriage of justice, while saying that he has more important things to concern himself with than whether or not one little old grandmother goes to jail, and just letting the matter fade into oblivion. And Obama can ride off into the sunset, secure in the knowledge that no matter what dirt the next administration finds, it will be swept right back under the rug.
Ha, ha, woman, what you gonna do,
You destroyed all the virtues that the Lord gave you.
It’s so good that you’re feelin’ pain,
But you better get your face on board the very next train. Jeff Lynne
And so, Mrs. Clinton, I have some good news, and I have some bad news.
The good news is that I can confidently predict that you will get away with no repercussions for any past (or future) indiscretions.
The bad news is that every one of my predictions has been dead wrong.
Note: If you haven’t already (and I know that you haven’t, you never do), check out the link at Jeff Lynne . It’s a performance of what is, in my extremely humble, completely uneducated, and totally biased opinion, the single greatest piece of rock and roll ever committed to vinyl. And the title of the song is so, so, SO appropriate.