Hillary Adviser Recommends She Consider Cutting A Deal On The E-Mail Scandal
BY EDWARD KLEIN / SEPTEMBER 8, 2015
With the FBI, Congress and the courts all closing in on Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified material on her private email server, one of her longtime advisers has recommended that she hire an outside legal counsel and consider cutting a deal to avoid criminal charges.
According to this adviser, who spoke to ED KLEIN CONFIDENTIAL, time is of the essence. Contrary to published reports that the FBI investigation could drag on for months, he believes it could wrap up as soon as the end of this year.
At the same time, the House Benghazi Committee is reaching the final stages of its own investigation. Two of Hillary’s former aides at the State Department—chief of staff Cheryl Mills and policy guru Jake Sullivan—were hauled before the committee last week. A third—Bryan Pagliano, who worked as an adviser on Hillary’s home- brew computer setup —was subpoenaed by the committee and plans to invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions.
And Hillary herself is scheduled to testify before the committee next month.
“This thing is spiraling out of control,” Hillary’s adviser said, “and to paraphrase John Dean of Watergate fame, it’s potentially a cancer on your candidacy.”
In conversations with Bill and Hillary Clinton, the adviser urged her to hire outside legal counsel, preferably someone from the Republican side of the aisle like Theodore B. Olson, a former U.S. solicitor general, or another lawyer with an equally irreproachable standing in the legal community.
“Hillary needs counsel to let Congress, the Justice Department, the FBI, and all the authorities involved know that she’s taking this very seriously,” the adviser said. “And she needs to get some discovery as to where the investigation is going so that she can make plans how to deal with it.
“By joking about her email problem, pretending it is some conspiracy by her political enemies, and treating it like a PR issue, she is only hurting herself, maybe mortally, with the prosecutors,” he continued. “You don’t want to be blindsided. And if you ignore it, pretend it is a partisan ploy, and act scornfully, it will blindside you.”
The adviser said that he and the Clintons discussed the fate of two other high-ranking officials—former CIA directors David Petraeus and John Deutch—who avoided criminal charges for mishandling classified material by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor.
According to the adviser, Hillary pointed out that there was no comparison between her situation and the Petraeus and Deutche cases. Neither of them was running for president when they cut a deal. She feared that any admission of guilt—even of a minor wrongdoing— would sink her chances of winning the Democratic nomination.
But the adviser argued that she had to take that chance.
“From what I know of the case,” the adviser said, “Hillary is extremely vulnerable, and there is going to be blood in the water. The investigators are looking for weak links to get to the bottom of what went on with national security emails. And they will find one.”