Political observers of a certain age will remember Watergate, where men affiliated with the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CRP) — that would be Nixon — were financed by the CRP to break in to the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), housed in the Watergate hotel, for the purpose of installing listening devices on phones to spy on the DNC. One of the pertinent questions surrounding that event, which ultimately led to Nixon's resignation, was: what did the president know and when did he know it? It also gave us the infamous political adage: it's not the crime, it's the coverup.
Well, in Hillary Clinton's case as it relates to the new Durham filing, it's both. And what the lady may have known and when is also a pertinent question this time around. The media, unable to ignore the story any longer as indictments continue with the threat of more to come, is beginning to ask the former Secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate exactly those questions. And she's not talking.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused to answer questions as to whether or not her presidential campaign spied on former President Donald Trump.
“Did you pay to spy on the Trump campaign,” Hillary was asked by a Daily Mail reporter in New York City on Tuesday. “When are you going to comment on the spying allegations, Hillary?”
Clinton declined to answer both questions as she simply waved at the reporter while continuing to walk inside a building.
Clinton's lack of comment comes after special counsel John Durham's Feb. 11 filing alleging that lawyers from Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2016 had paid to infiltrate servers belonging to Trump Tower, and later the White House, in order to establish an “inference” and “narrative” to bring to federal government agencies linking Donald Trump to Russia.
Durham alleged in the filing that Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, who has been charged with making a false statement to a federal agent as part of the special counsel's investigation, brought Trump-Russia allegations — which Durham said “relied, in part” on the “traffic” that had been “assembled” from the servers — to the FBI and a second government agency, which has since been identified as the CIA.
What makes the latter-day scandal worse is that it wasn't simply confined to spying — successful spying, it should be noted — on a rival's campaign. The spying, as Durham's newest filing makes clear, continued after the election of Donald Trump and took place inside the oval office. That makes it, as the Wall Street Journal notes, “one of the dirtiest tricks in U.S. political history.”
White House communications are supposed to be secure, and the notion that any contractor–much less one with ties to a presidential campaign–could access them is alarming enough. The implication that the data was exploited for a political purpose is a scandal that requires investigation under oath.
The disclosures raise troubling questions far beyond the Sussmann indictment. How long did this snooping last and who had access to what was found? Who approved the access to White House data, and who at the FBI and White House knew about it? Were Mrs. Clinton and senior campaign aides personally aware of this data-trolling operation?
Along the way the Clinton campaign fed these bogus claims to a willing and gullible media. And now we know its operatives used private tech researchers to monitor White House communications. If you made this up, you'd be laughed out of a Netflix story pitch.
Hillary may be able to dodge reporters on the street, but if Republicans make the expected gains in 2022, there most certainly should be investigations into the spying on a sitting president (who, by the way, was adamant his campaign was being spied upon, and was laughed at just as if he was pitching a spy story to Netflix).
None of this is to suggest that Lady Clinton will ever cop to what she may have known, or how this dirty plot was financed. But the American people deserve to know what Durham has uncovered about what she knew, and when she knew it. We already know the crime was worse than the coverup.