If you’ve been following along for the past several decades or so, you know the Clintons have a tried-and-true first line of defense for dealing with someone who gets in the way of their plans. Smear, baby, smear.
Think of the women who got on the wrong side of Bill Clinton, and more recently, the families of the Benghazi victims, to name just a couple top-of-mind examples.
In the wake of some of the most damning revelations yet about the former Secretary of State’s mishandling of classified information, it seems even Hillary Clinton is running out of excuses. So what better strategy than to deflect her own wrongdoing onto the person at the center of the investigation? Yes, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is now trying to discredit none other than the Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough III, suggesting he is coordinating with Republicans to attack the Democrat presidential frontrunner.
Of course, what the campaign neglects to mention is that McCullough is not only an Obama appointee, but he was also unanimously confirmed by the Senate and the recipient of high praise from high-profile Democrats.
So, tell me again how it makes sense that the Inspector General is colluding with Republicans to discredit Clinton?
Via McClatchy DC:
Hillary Clinton’s spokesman accused the Intelligence Community Inspector General Wednesday of working with Republicans to attack the Democratic presidential front-runner.
“I think this was a very coordinated leak,” Brian Fallon said on CNN. “Two months ago there was a…report that directly challenged the finding of this inspector general, and I don’t think he liked that very much. So I think that he put two Republican senators up to sending him a letter so that he would have an excuse to resurface the same allegations he made back in the summer that have been discredited.”
The comments came after Inspector General Charles McCullough III told senators that he believes at least several dozen of emails Clinton sent and received while she was secretary of state contained classified material at the highest levels, according to a letter obtained by McClatchy.
McCullough was nominated by President President Barack Obama in August 2011 to be the first inspector general for the 16 intelligence agencies and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. He was unanimously confirmed by the Senate Intelligence Committee that October. The full Senate agreed by unanimous consent in November.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat who used to head the intelligence committee, described McCullough as “well-qualified.”
“He has long experience conducting investigations both as an inspector general and a FBI agent,” Feinstein said in a floor speech in November 2011. “He is an attorney and is well-familiar with the intelligence community.”
Other Democrats agreed.
“We’ve heard good things about you and I’m looking forward to supporting you when Chair Feinstein moves ahead with the vote,” Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon said in September 2011.
“You clearly have been able to operate in both the civilian and the military sectors which will, I think, prove to be a very valuable set of experiences, if you’re confirmed,” Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colorado. said in September 2011.
Clinton has been under fire for months for exclusively using personal email routed through a private server while serving as the nation’s top diplomat. The FBI launched an inquiry into the handling of sensitive information after classified information was found in some.
At least 1,340 emails that Hillary Clinton sent or received contained classified material, according to the State Department’s latest update from its ongoing review of more than 30,000 emails.
None of Clinton’s emails was marked as classified during her tenure, State Department officials say, but intelligence officials say some material was clearly classified at the time. Her aides also sent and received classified information.
In a Jan. 14 letter sent to the chairman of the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees, McCullough said some of the information in Clinton’s emails was classified as “top secret/SAP” or “special access program.” That is a more restricted category than previously thought. The letter was first reported by FOX News.
“Their chief defense against accusations that Clinton improperly sent and received classified information on an unsecure device is that the independent intelligence community Inspector General teamed up with Republicans to take Clinton down,” said Jeff Bechdel, a spokesman for America Rising PAC, which is collecting opposition research on Clinton. “This level of paranoia is not just indicative of a desperate campaign, but of a deep mistrust in the federal government and the ability of public officials to be impartial.”