Election 2016: The FBI report on its investigation into Hillary
Clinton's use of emails, which it released publicly on Friday,
might not contain any smoking guns, but it does reveal the
lengths to which Clinton will go to deny responsibility or cover
up an obvious lie, even if it makes her look like an ignorant
Clinton's attempts to avoid responsibility became particularly
strained when the topic turned to classified material she said
never showed up on her email server. The report is replete with
so many different attempts to duck blame that we thought it
would be helpful to categorize them.
The Blanche DuBois Excuse: Like the character from "Streetcar
Named Desire" who famously says that she "depends on the
kindness of strangers," Clinton says that she depended on anyone
emailing her to know the rules of classification. If there was a
problem, it was their fault, not hers.
As the FBI relates her comments, Clinton "relied on State
officials to use their judgment" when emailing her and couldn't
remember anyone raising concerns with her regarding the
sensitivity of the information she received on her emails.
The Sesame Street Excuse: When the FBI pointed out that some
documents she had sent or received had a "C" marking denoting
the information was classified, she told the FBI that she
thought "it was referencing paragraphs marked in alphabetical
order." Apparently it never occurred to Clinton that if that
were the case, the "C" paragraph should have come after the "A"
and "B" paragraphs. But then again, Big Bird wasn't invented
until after she was adult.
The I Fell And Can't Get Up Excuse: When asked about briefings
she received about how to handle her emails as she transitioned
out of the government, Clinton said she couldn't remember
because she fell and suffered a concussion in 2012 and "could
not recall every briefing she received."
The Watergate Hearings Excuse: According to one analysis of the
FBI report, Clinton said things like "I can't recall," or "I
don't remember" 26 times in her interview with the FBI.
The Al Gore Excuse: Many years ago, when Al Gore was confronted
with evidence that he'd made campaign calls from his White House
office, his defense was to robotically repeat that "no
controlling legal authority" said it was against the law.
Hillary's version, when asked about a classified email she
received on Dec. 27, 2011, was to say that "no policy or
practice existed relating to communicating around holidays."
The Alfred E. Neuman Excuse, aka, The 'What, Me Worry?' Excuse:
Clinton told the FBI that she didn't think conversations about a
planned drone strike were a problem. As the FBI put it, "Clinton
stated deliberation over a future drone strike did not give her
cause for concern regarding classification."
The 'Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer' Excuse: Years ago, Saturday Night
Live featured a character played by the late Phil Hartman, who,
although he was a sharp and sophisticated lawyer, would pretend
at key moments not to understand something, saying "I'm just a
In her interview with the FBI, Clinton said that she couldn't be
held responsible for letting classified information slip into
and out of her unsecured private email server because she didn't
know how such things were determined.
"Clinton could not give an example of how classification of a
document was determined," the FBI said in its interview notes.
As Clinton might say, at this point, what difference does it
make? None, except that FBI report makes it clear that Clinton
is either a liar or she's incompetent, or she's an incompetent
In any case, she's ill-suited to hold the highest office in the