BY DIANE DIMOND
I’ve got two people I’d like to bring together on behalf of the voters of the United States of America. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Preet Bharara.
Clinton of Chappaqua, New York, wants to be president. She has already served as a U.S. senator and secretary of state, but there is no doubt that for years she has been positioning herself to be president. First time around, a little-known U.S. senator named Barack Obama got in her way. These days, even though Clinton still hasn’t officially declared she’s running for president, she seems like a shoo-in to be the next democratic nominee.
But oh, all those Clinton controversies! The latest, of course, is the uproar over how, as secretary of state, she hid her government emails from both the government and public scrutiny. Clinton insists that she used her personal email account, routed through a server at her home in Chappaqua, simply because it was “more convenient.” She has refused to relinquish that server for outside inspection. She insists the 30,000 emails she already deleted were personal in nature — all about yoga appointments and her daughter’s wedding plans.
Ms. Clinton is no stranger to controversy. There was the spectacular profit she made from trading cattle futures as her husband campaigned for governor of Arkansas in the late 70s. Her $1,000 investment netted nearly $100,000 in 10 months, and charges of conflict of interest disguised as bribery were leveled. During her husband’s presidency, she weathered scandals called Whitewater, Travelgate and Filegate. There was her husband’s infamous infidelity with a White House intern and lies that led to his impeachment. Hillary said it all stemmed from a, “vast right-wing conspiracy.”
Under Secretary of State Clinton’s watch, there was the Benghazi tragedy, where three Americans were murdered at our embassy in Libya. She was harshly criticized for not arranging tighter security there, and her comment to a congressional committee, “What does it matter now … ?” rubbed people the wrong way. Her statement to ABC’s Diane Sawyer that she and her husband left the White House “dead broke” caused many to wonder if that could possibly have been true.
But through all the ensuing investigations — and there were many of them, some lasting years — no official charges have ever been filed against Ms. Clinton.
So how do we, the voters, get at the truth surrounding this latest email controversy? Is Hillary Clinton a master political manipulator who skates on the edge of legality to get what she wants, or is she a dedicated public servant who is the beleaguered victim of critics who never liked her family’s politics?
Introducing Preetinder Singh Bharara — just the man to clear up all the questions.
Bharara, born in Firozpur, India, moved to America with his family and grew up in New Jersey. Pursuing the American dream Preet, as he came to be nicknamed, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and then Columbia Law School. He worked for a democratic U.S. senator and became an assistant U.S. attorney in Manhattan, where he brought cases against organized crime bosses. In 2009, President Obama nominated him to become the U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York. Bharara’s domain includes Chappaqua, New York.
You may see where this is going, but don’t get ahead of me.
Bharara’s office has prosecuted nearly 100 Wall Street executives in wildly complicated schemes. He reached historic settlements with three of the country’s largest banks. Bharara has emerged as the nation’s most aggressive top cop in pursuing and prosecuting corrupt politicians.
As she stands at the precipice of what will surely be her last run for the presidency, there is no better person for Hillary Clinton to embrace than Preet Bharara. In the scrum of this latest controversy, he would be the perfect outside investigator to independently comb through the Clinton’s email server and get at the truth. He is a New Yorker and a Democrat, just like the Clintons. He is a flag-waving seeker of truth and justice with an impressive record of unravelling complicated scenarios to get at facts. Every honest politician would welcome a stamp of approval from Preet Bharara.
So, Ms. Clinton, how about it? Quiet your critics. Invite in an outside prosecutor who is beyond reproach and let him scour those emails and decide which ones should be revealed as government business and which are truly of a personal nature.
Then, Ms. Clinton, run for president with a fully informed electorate.
Rockland resident Diane Dimond is a syndicated columnist, author, regular guest on TV news programs, and correspondent for Newsweek/Daily Beast. Visit her at www.DianeDimond.net or reach her via email Diane@DianeDimond.net