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Brown: Clinton — ‘extremely careless,’ but not criminal. Oh boy

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, July 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

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We learned Tuesday that the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee probably will not be indicted in the middle of the election campaign.

So we’ve got that going for us. Oh, boy.

I suppose I should be relieved, as I have every intention of voting for Hillary Clinton in November, the Republican alternative being unimaginable from my side of the fence.

A vote for Clinton was going to be difficult to justify if she was under federal indictment, even if I never really understood what it was about her private email server blunder that rose to the level of a federal crime.

FBI Director James Comey now assures us that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring a case against Clinton given the facts uncovered by the agency’s investigation, which found no “clear evidence” of criminal intent.

Comey said he will advise Justice Department lawyers accordingly, and I expect that will be the end of it from a legal standpoint unless Americans elect Donald Trump as their next president, who no doubt could find an unreasonable prosecutor willing to file charges.


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Still, there wasn’t much cause for relief for Democratic voters in Comey’s comments about the case, most notably his reference to Clinton’s “extremely careless” handling of “very sensitive, highly classified information.”

Although Comey let Clinton off the hook legally, he left her dangling politically, ensuring that the emails will remain a campaign issue.

Clinton’s best selling point, especially given her Republican opponent, is that she’s been around the block a few times and that we can count on her experience to help her make sound decisions.

Unfortunately, experience is not a substitute for good judgment, and the email business is evidence of some very poor judgment.

There was never any sound reason for Clinton to have her own email server, and now the director of the FBI says it was susceptible to being hacked by foreign spies.

I’ve mellowed on Clinton in the years since the Sun-Times sent me to New York cover her 2000 election night celebration marking her victory for U.S. Senate.

That night I wrote:

“What bothers me is that Hillary will really believe that now that she’s made it here, she’ll make it anywhere — such as all the way back to the White House, with Bill in tow.

“Yes, it was up to you, New York.

“And, for my money, you blew it.”

In the years since, the former first lady paid her dues in the U.S. Senate and as secretary of state.

I realize the difficult road faced by women in politics and respect her for persevering.

But I had my fill of the Clintons’ drama the first time around, and if I’d seen a better option in the Democratic primary, I would have jumped at it. If Republicans hadn’t been hell bent serving up even worse options, I might still have something to think about.

Unfortunately, the Clintons come as a package deal. Putting Hillary back in the White House means having to deal with Bill for another four years.

Already he has insinuated himself back into the picture with his ill-advised decision to have a private chat with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who has the final say on whether to bring charges against his wife.

With the Clintons, it’s always something. Even when they shoot themselves in the foot, they blame their enemies.

Just contemplating four more years of them makes me weary. Only the potential disaster of a Trump presidency brings me back around.

Once Clinton has taken her turn as president, if she should be so fortunate, I propose we amend the Twenty-second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which limits presidents to two terms.

Can’t we also make it prohibit presidential spouses and children from following in their footsteps? Enough with the royal presidency.

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