Hillary Clinton Gets a Writ of Mandamus from the D.C. Circuit

Yes, they are still litigating over her emails.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a writ of mandamus to prevent a court-ordered deposition concerning her infamous private email server. Cheryl Mills, her former Chief of Staff at the State Department, was not so lucky.

This decision is the latest development in Judicial Watch's ongoing Freedom of Information Act litigation concerning the Obama Administration's response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. In March, the district court ordered Secretary Clinton and Ms. Mills to sit for depositions concerning Clinton's reasons for using a private e-mail server, her knowledge of applicable State Department records-management practices, and communications related to the Benghazi attack. This prompted Clinton and Mills to seek a writ of mandamus blocking their depositions.

In an opinion today, the D.C. Circuit granted the writ with respect to Secretary Clinton, but not with regard to Mills. From Judge Wilkins' opinion for the court:

The common-law writ of mandamus, codified at 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a), is one of "the most potent weapons in the judicial arsenal," see Will v. United States, 389 U.S. 90, 107 (1967), and mandamus against a lower court is a "drastic" remedy reserved for "extraordinary causes," Ex parte Fahey, 332 U.S. 258, 259-60 (1947). Mandamus lies only where the familiar tripartite standard is met: (1) the petitioner has "no other adequate means to attain the relief"; (2) the petitioner has demonstrated a "clear and indisputable" right to issuance of the writ; and (3) the Court finds, "in the exercise of its discretion," that issuance of the writ is "appropriate under the circumstances." Cheney, 542 U.S. at 380-81. Although these hurdles are demanding, they are "not insuperable," id. at 381, and a "clear abuse of discretion" by a lower court can certainly justify mandamus, Bankers Life & Cas. Co. v. Holland, 346 U.S. 379, 383 (1953).

Applying this standard, we find the petition as to Secretary Clinton satisfies all three prongs, while the petition as to Ms. Mills fails to satisfy the first. Since the "three threshold requirements are jurisdictional," regardless of Ms. Mills' petition's merit on the other two inquiries, we are bound to deny the writ and dismiss her petition for lack of jurisdiction. Am. Hosp. Ass'n v. Burwell, 812 F.3d 183, 189 (D.C. Cir. 2016).

One alternative means to obtain relief in cases likes this is to refuse to comply with the court-ordered deposition, and then challenge any resulting finding of contempt. As Judge Wilkins notes, this is understood as an adequate alternative means to obtain a remedy for a nonparty respondent, such as Ms. Mills, but not for a party-litigant, such as Secretary Clinton.

As for the other prongs, the court was none too impressed with Judicial Watch's need to depose Secretary Clinton.

The circumstances under which this particular discovery order arises only buttress our finding of the appropriateness of mandamus. Judicial Watch does not in fact want for the information it purports to seek and has already been afforded extensive discovery related to the proposed deposition topics. In this FOIA case alone, it has taken eighteen depositions and propounded more than four times the presumptive maximum number of interrogatories. . . . In its parallel FOIA case before Judge Sullivan, Judicial Watch received sworn interrogatories from Secretary Clinton herself as well as a lengthy deposition of Ms. Mills and seven other witnesses, traversing the proposed deposition topics and resulting in the identification of no additional records responsive to the instant FOIA request. . . . As discovery progressed, Judge Sullivan invited Judicial Watch to seek leave to serve even more interrogatories if there were "follow up questions" it had been "unable to anticipate," . . . an avenue Judicial Watch did not pursue.

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  1. One continues to wonder why Hilary won’t answer simple questions about the mail server. What is she trying to cover up?

    1. And what about the cattle futures? Don’t forget the cattle futures.

      1. How anyone can waste time on anything below the level of Pizzagate is inexplicable.

        Carry on, birthers. For another few months, anyway.

        After that, you’ll be so busy swallowing progress that you won’t be able to remember the Clintons, birtherism, or the two Corinthians.

        1. AK – don’t you think it is odd that so many people at the DNC used nomenclature that is regularly utilized by people who traffic minors? That isn’t some Facebook social media conspiracy either. Check out law enforcement manuals on the practices of child trafficking. Then read the DNC emails that talk about “slices of cheese pizza” and tell me there isn’t something slightly off about it.

          1. Apparently no one ever told you that over-consumption of tribal conspiracy theories can turn you into an idiot. There ought to be a warning label.

            1. Or ignoring obvious logical connections because someone called it a “conspiracy theory” shows that you are a guidable idiot.

              1. Stop doing this, Jimmy. It makes you look like an idiot to every serious person, left and right. Anyone who tells you different is not being your friend.

                Unless of course you know this is complete bullshit, and you’re doing it because you think it annoys the libs. In that event,

                1. No, it doesn’t. Nobody cares. You aren’t owning anybody but yourself; and

                2. I refer you to Popehat’s Rule of Goats.

                1. Your ignorance is showing.

                  1. But yours positively glows in the dark.

          2. don’t you think it is odd that so many people at the DNC used nomenclature that is regularly utilized by people who traffic minors?

            What about the nomenclature routinely used by leprechauns who raise unicorns for a living?

          3. Jimmy — Two words: Orgy Island.

            1. Those certainly are two words.

        2. Kirkland, you need to worry about Orgy Island and what G. Maxwell knows.

          1. I wish her well!

      2. You do know that the trader, Red Bone, and Tyson Foods counsel James Blair with whom he was parking each “losing” trade in order to give the winner to Clinton – both were busted for that, right?

        1. I’d personally find the whole conspiracy theory absurd, were it not for Rotherham in England. And how long Epstein was walking around free. They make it hard to dismiss such theories out of hand.

          1. The Birch is strong with this one!

          2. Which consumes more of your attention these days, Brett — Pizzagate, the search for Obama’s birth certificate, QAnon, or the Epstein connection to every prominent Democrat?

    2. Not sure if serious, but “[I]n its parallel FOIA case before Judge Sullivan, Judicial Watch received sworn interrogatories from Secretary Clinton herself….” Seems like she’s answered simple questions about the mail server, and Judicial Watch is maybe not all that serious about email security best practices.

    3. She did. From the opinion:

      “In its parallel FOIA case before Judge Sullivan, Judicial Watch received sworn interrogatories from Secretary Clinton herself as well as a lengthy deposition of Ms. Mills and seven other witnesses, traversing the proposed deposition topics and resulting in the identification of no additional records responsive to the instant FOIA request. . . . As discovery progressed, Judge Sullivan invited Judicial Watch to seek leave to serve even more interrogatories if there were “follow up questions” it had been “unable to anticipate,” . . . an avenue Judicial Watch did not pursue.”

    4. I can answer that question.
      Hillary Clinton could not login on a computer to check emails, she only knew how to do emails on her phone.
      That’s why she couldn’t use SIPRNet or NIPRNet (Snipper Net and Nipper Net)
      She was so upset that the President was allowed to use his iPhone and she was denied that ability, that she had a server installed in her home office so she could use email on her iPhone.
      She can’t actually answer many questions directly about the server, because she lacks even the most remote knowledge of the subject. GMail was too hard for her, seriously.
      It’s why the computer in her office was NEVER used, because Hillary Clinton did not know how to use a computer.

    5. “One continues to wonder why Hilary won’t answer simple questions about the mail server.”

      Sure, Why don’t you set an example and detail every interaction you’ve ever had with an email server? You haven’t got anything to hide, do you?

      1. State Department Employees are required to conduct all official business on either SIPRNet or NIPRNet.
        NIPRNet is for non classified communications that are not part of discussions with foreign leaders.
        SIPRNet is for classified communications or discussions with foreign leaders.
        It’s a much different standard than whether or not someone can remember which email account was used in the past.
        The idea that the Secretary of State would use any email outside of the two official email servers is ridiculous and no reasonable person would agree that was proper.
        Before you reply back with some remark about past Secretary of States using Gmail or other email system, they didn’t have access to SIPRNet or NIRPNet because they didn’t exist yet, SIPRNet dates from 2005.

        1. “The idea that the Secretary of State would use any email outside of the two official email servers is ridiculous and no reasonable person would agree that was proper.”

          Your theory runs counter to the fact that running non-official email servers was common at the time, having been widely undertaken by the W administration.

          I notice that you chose to answer the challenge indirectely, rather than by answering the question. I, on the other hand, have no problem admitting that I managed and maintained a private email server on several occasions, because I know that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having done so.
          On the other hand, I complained at the time that the W administration was using private email to get around federal government records-retention policy, and back then, I was informed by partisan supporters of the W admininistration that it was no big deal. I reluctantly accepted that it was no big deal, and it continued to be no big deal when the subsequent administration did the same thing as the previous.

  2. The DC Court only goes after people who do not have Democrat Privilege, see Flynn.

  3. Considering the extent to which she has been investigated over the past 25 years, and the fact that she has never even been indicted, an outside observer would conclude that she is an exceptionally honest and transparent politician.

    1. No, she’s a total grifter. The Right would love to generate a similar level of scandal around Obama, but they can’t, because he’s not a sleaze.

      1. Citations needed for “she’s a total grifter”.

        1. Crooked Hillary has many descriptions; honest and transparent are not among them.

          1. That’s an opinion, not citations.

            1. The mouthbreathers don’t know what a citation is.

              1. Prof. Volokh gets cranky when you describe his fans as “mouthbreathers” or anything similar. If you wish to avoid being censored, be careful.

                1. As I said the other day, Rev — 700+ instances of “carry on, clingers” on this site, on Google, right now today for the world to behold. Such oppression is frankly hard to fathom.

                  Maybe you should stop… erm, “clinging” to the one instance many moons ago where you went over the top.

                  Maybe even try to pick up the shattered pieces of your life and Move On.

                  1. Your argument is founded on falsehood, Life of Brian.

                    There have been at least five instances of viewpoint-based censorship by the Volokh Conspiracy. Your “one instance” assertion is a lie. If you wish to continue your slobbering sycophancy, Life of Brian, you need to stop lying.

                    Ditching the bigotry, while you’re at it, would be a fine grace note.

                    1. What is it about those five instances that stands out? Because as I’m sure you recall, in the pre-Washington Post VC days when Eugene and Orin were actively moderating threads, hundreds of comments, maybe more, were deleted, and dozens of commenters banned. As far as I could tell, the ideological valence of those affected was pretty evenly divided. If anything, owing to there being more right wing commenters than left, those deleted or banned tilted right. That even handedness was one of the things I most appreciated about how they ran the site.

                    2. There have been at least five instances of viewpoint-based censorship by the Volokh Conspiracy.

                      F-f-f-f-IVE? Even giving you the benefit of the doubt that you’re not trying to cheat and are talking about five widely separated incidents rather than a cluster, exactly how many thousands of posts of your cut-and-paste spew are in the denominator at this point? Eight? Ten? Do you even know?

                      My point about your feckless whining squarely remains.

                      Ditching the bigotry, while you’re at it, would be a fine grace note.

                      Scanning my post, I’m left to understand that by “bigotry” you mean calling your sorry shtick into question. I’ll wear that as a badge of honor.

                2. Perhaps you should stop saying “open wide” to “mouth breathers” unless you want to be accused of homicidal threats?

                  1. I say “open wider” in the context of the liberal-libertarian mainstream shoving even more progress (and science, inclusiveness, education, reason, and modernity) down the throats of those who prefer ignorance, superstition, backwardness, and bigotry.

                    I do not recall using “mouth breathers.”

                    I have been known to use “sl@ck-j@w” periodically, but have been warned that the term violates the Volokh Conspiracy’s ostensible and largely illusory civility standards.

            2. Yes bernard11, it is an opinion, informed by 25 years of observation.

              1. ” informed by 25 years of observation.”

                That, plus a vivid imagination, gets you to where you are today.

        2. The DEMS fired her from the Watergate Committee for ethical issues.

          1. At least, that’s something you firmly want to BELIEVE is true, and that’s close enough to being true, right?

      2. He led the illegal political spying on a political opponents campaign.

        Obama is human trash.

        1. Former Pres. Obama is black.

          That is why the conservative bigots who are fans of the Volokh Conspiracy describe him as “human trash.”

        2. “He led the illegal political spying on a political opponents campaign.”

          This is an interesting theory based on the fact that routine monitoring of a foreign government’s known intelligence operations turned up some communications with the political opponent’s campaign.

          It’s not quite on the same level as holding up funding approved by Congress to try to get an “investigation” by a foreign government of a political opponent. But that’s what YOUR guy did, so it’s OK, right?

    2. An outside observer would conclude that she is exceptionally Machiavellian. But honest and transparent – no.

      All catalogued here:
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/hillary-clinton-who-tells-dreadful-lies/2016/09/19/cd38412e-7e6a-11e6-9070-5c4905bf40dc_story.html

      1. Well there’s one more not listed. That she claimed she was named after famous climber Edmund Hillary. Who was famous for climbing Mt Everest after she was born.

        1. Glad to see you accepting the WaPo’s lie tabulations.

          1. When even the WaPo is forced to admit something damning about a lefty, you can take it to the bank.

            The technical term is an admission against interests.

            1. Admissions against interest. Except Trump critics who were lifelong Republicans until 2016. They’re just filthy liars, right?

              1. It’s also an opinion piece by a Bush admin guy so…

        2. “she was named after famous climber Edmund Hillary. Who was famous for climbing Mt Everest after she was born.”

          You mean MOST famous for climbing Everest. He was an accomplished climber before that, or the effort to summit Everest would have ended poorly.

      2. A handful tucked into a much longer opinion piece. Some of which weren’t lies and some of which were trivial. If that’s all he can list after her 30 years in the public eye, my observation as to her honesty stands.

    3. Considering the extent to which she has been investigated over the past 25 years, and the fact that she has never even been indicted, an outside observer would conclude that she is an exceptionally honest and transparent politician.

      Or, particularly given stories like this one, an outside observer might equally conclude that she is exceptionally good at achieving deus ex machina interventions to prevent information from coming to light that might call her purported exceptional honesty and transparency into question.

      1. I’ve long said that the Clintons’ biggest weakness is that, although they had world class obstruction of justice skills, they were only interested in escaping legal consequences, and didn’t really care if it was obvious they were guilty, so long as the legal system was kept from reaching that conclusion. Maybe they even liked it that way, enjoyed baiting their enemies into impotent fury.

        The result was that they stayed out of jail, but gradually accumulated more and more people who knew them to be crooked. Which finally came home to roost in 2016.

        1. “if it was obvious they were guilty, so long as the legal system was kept from reaching that conclusion”

          A champion of due process here…

          1. Look, due process may say that if you mysteriously find documents under subpoena a couple days after the statute of limitations expires, the statute of limitations HAS expired, and you’re off the hook.

            What it doesn’t say is that people have to believe that you didn’t find the papers until after the statute of limitations expired by accident.

            1. The timing of Hillary’s billing files discovery is a reasonable basis for suspicion. That you’re persuaded by it tells us no more than the sun rising in the east. Were it not for your reliable ability to find left wing criminality and bad faith in any evidence void while denying Trumpian culpability despite mountains of proof, these threads might long ago have collapsed like the core of an iron-fusing star.

          2. There is obvious guilt, such as Bill Clinton lied under oath when he was asked if he was ever alone with Ms. Lewinsky and his reply was “I don’t remember”
            Of course, he remembers, there is a 0% chance he forgot he got a blow job from her, but he knew that when you say, “I don’t remember” that this is essentially never prosecuted even when it is a known lie.
            Due Process means that the prosecution would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that at that moment in time, Bill Clinton didn’t have a memory lapse and actually forget getting a blow job in the Oval Office. That’s actually very hard to prove, but everyone knows he lied.

        2. “The result was that they stayed out of jail, but gradually accumulated more and more people who knew them to be crooked. Which finally came home to roost in 2016.”

          Well, now it’s 2020, and Trump’s turn. The switch is that his supporters KNOW he’s crooked, but they don’t CARE he’s crooked.

          1. Where’s the switch?

            1. new to reading, are you?

      2. “Or, particularly given stories like this one, an outside observer might equally conclude that she is exceptionally good at achieving deus ex machina interventions to prevent information from coming to light that might call her purported exceptional honesty and transparency into question.”

        Depends on one’s tolerance for (and gullibility to) conspiracy theories.

    4. Or she and Billy Bob are just really good at cleaning up which I think is more likely than her and Slick Dick being honest.

      1. Clinton Death List, eh?

        1. If all those people who were associated with the Clintons died of “normal” causes then being friends with the Clintons must give you some bad mojo. That is a lot of people who had untimely deaths.

          1. Seriously dude….

            1. So all 200+ people associated with the Clintons on that list just happened to have untimely deaths as a matter of due course….? Seriously dude….

              1. I can’t tell if you’re serious or not; you understand that most of the list is a fabrication, right?

                1. Snopes is run by the DNC. Take a look at their funding. Hardly any kind of “fact check” service.

                  1. Doesn’t change the fact that you’re an idiot.

                  2. Snopes is not run by the DNC.

                    I don’t know what “funding” you’d be taking a look at. They’re not a charitable organization; there’s no 990 for them.

                  3. You cannot possibly be as stupid as you’re pretending to be. Any theory that involves the Clintons murdering random Arkansas state troopers and Little Rock drug dealers, but not Monica Lewinsky or Linda Tripp is self-evidently stupid

                    1. “Any theory that involves the Clintons murdering random Arkansas state troopers and Little Rock drug dealers, but not Monica Lewinsky or Linda Tripp is self-evidently stupid”

                      To say nothing of the fact that both Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh are still breathing.

          2. Awesome, he runs with it! The Right has really collapsed into a John Birch Society caricature.

            1. Please by all means go hang out with the Clintons. Learn a few of those secrets and then we will see what happens to you.

          3. That is a common mistake people make, because people do not understand how closely related everyone is in the United States, no person in the US is more than 4 people away from any other person.
            The number of people you personally know, who personally know someone else is so staggeringly large that a large number of people die mysterious deaths that you know, or know someone who knows them. This applies to everyone in the US.

    5. Every. Single. Person. Ever in business with her wound up in jail, in prison, or both.

      1. Both jail and prison? Wow.

        1. If you cross the Clintons, first they kill you, then they work you over, then they send your ass to jail and prison.

        2. Most people get booked into a jail but when convicted end up in a prison. Doubt that was the distinction he was trying to make but nonetheless is an accurate one.

          1. I know the distinction. My point is that saying both of them isn’t actually scarier or more dramatic than saying one of them.

          2. “Most people get booked into a jail ”

            Your associates may not be a representative sample. Most of the rest of us do not get booked into a jail.

    6. The words honest and politician do not belong in the same sentence.

      Saying someone is an “exceptionally honest” politician is a very low bar.

      So, Hillary only lies every other time she opens her mouth?

      1. So, Hillary only lies every other time she opens her mouth?”

        Half the rate of the current prevaricator-in-chief.

  4. (1) A link to the Wilkins opinion would be nice.

    (2) In In re Flynn, last month, Wilkins dissented strongly against the majority’s granting Flynn’s mandamus petition. Is his current approval of mandamus in the Clinton case consistent with that?

    1. Ha! I truend to Twitter to find the opinion, and there was a Jonathan Adler tweet right at the top of the search results, with the opinoin. Here it is:
      https://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/F42F409E274D267D852585C40053AAA8/$file/20-5056-1856559.pdf

      1. It gets better and better. One of Clinton’s lawyers helping ask for mandamus: Beth Wilkinson, who was Judge Sullivan’s lawyer arguing against mandamus in the Flynn case. Everybody’s everywhere.

        1. You just can’t make this stuff up.

          1. You mean to tell me the same lawyer argued with a straight face that mandamus was appropriate in one case but not another?

            I’m convinced. The Clintons killed Seth Rich.

            1. The conspiratorial mind is equally baffling and fascinating, isn’t it?

            2. You mean to tell me the same lawyer argued with a straight face that mandamus was appropriate in one case but not another?

              In two extremely high-profile cases, with the proceedings in very close proximity if not overlapping, where the positions you take in each case might well affect your ability to zealously represent your other client who needs you to take exactly the opposite position?

              I actually know a lot of lawyers who would think long and hard about taking on that sort of powder keg.

        2. That is an interesting situation. Wilkinson had to be arguing, before the same judge (as one of three in each panel) in the same year, on whether DC Circuit practice regarding mandamus. She wanted mandamus to be easy for Clinton, and hard for Flynn. Are there any ethical rules about representing clients with adverse interests in precedent?

          1. ” Are there any ethical rules about representing clients with adverse interests in precedent?”

            there’s one about not misleading the court about relevant precedents. Rule 3.3.

    2. (2) In In re Flynn, last month, Wilkins dissented strongly against the majority’s granting Flynn’s mandamus petition. Is his current approval of mandamus in the Clinton case consistent with that?

      Yes. Each opinion by Wilkins simply applies the long-established mandamus test.

  5. Wilkins wanted to deny mandamus to Flynn: it was OK for J. Sullivan to be suspicious of AG Barr and hold a hearing. Here, he grants it, saying J. Lambeth can’t be suspicious of Hillary Clinton’s emails concealment and make her show up to a deposition.

    Lamberth had found State and Clinton had violated FOIA and acted in bad faith, and, as everyone knows, she was hiding her emails. Sullivan just felt something was suspicious about Barr dropping charges but couldn’t say what exactly.

    I found the Wilkins opinion in the Clinton case hard to read, but haven’t I got it right here?

    1. Wonder if they ordered from the same “pizzeria” as all those DNC officials…

      1. And used Epstein’s jet to deliver them.

    2. I found the Wilkins opinion in the Clinton case hard to read, but haven’t I got it right here?

      No. He didn’t say that Lamberth “can’t be suspicious of Hillary Clinton’s emails concealment.” He said that any such suspicions are irrelevant to the case before Lamberth. It’s a FOIA case; all that’s relevant is whether the State Department did an adequate search for records. Hillary’s personal motives for using a private server shed no light on what searches the State Department did years later.

      Clinton, incidentally, did not “violate FOIA.” Clinton had no role in FOIA. She might have violated the Federal Records Act, but this is not a FRA case.

      The other distinction is that you must have no other adequate grounds for relief. Flynn did. Clinton (here) did not.

    3. “as everyone knows, she was hiding her emails.”

      You gotta watch out for those things everyone knows, because so many of the just aren’t true.

  6. Mr Adler,
    Is there a convenient link to the opinion?

      1. Why yes. But the operative word was ‘convenient’. At the time of writing, I did not have access to an internet device which would allow me to touch-type. And thank you for the link.

        1. Then, um, how did you write the comment?

          1. On my new Samsung smartphone. First one I’ve ever owned. Replaces my very dumb 2G flip phone. In a former life I was a network security engineer and would not have touched one with a ten-foot bargepole. But I have been blackmailed by family into this. Tap. Think. Tap. Think. Tap. I’m sure I will get used to it. Failing that this thing promises it will eventually recognize my voice, but right now has trouble, probably because my accent is definitely not American.

  7. One alternative means to obtain relief in cases likes this is to refuse to comply with the court-ordered deposition, and then challenge any resulting finding of contempt

    That seems risky. If you don’t win, you get a penalty. How is that adequate?

  8. I have never understood the right’s near-pathological hatred of Hillary Clinton that predates any even semi-plausible reason to hate her. The right’s hatred of her pre-dates Whitewater, cattle futures, her emails, Benghazi, pizzagate. If its hatred of her were a new thing after some of those things had happened I could at least understand it even if I did’t agree with it. But no, they’ve always hated her since she was first lady of Arkansas, long before she’d given them any reason.

    I remember from the 1992 campaign Republicans circulating a three dollar bill with her picture on it, implying that she was a phony. Not Bill’s picture, but her picture, and she wasn’t even running. And this was long before the idea that she might have her own political career at some point. For all the talk about Trump derangement syndrome, the raw fury the right has always felt toward Hillary simply makes no sense to me.

    1. I can’t think of any politician who is so widely and viciously hated and with so little actual reason. It shocked us when my daughter’s finance, who is otherwise a sober and sensible person, called her a “c**tface” on Facebook.

      Her being an assertive, ambitious female surely has something to do with it. Or the fact that she is unusually hardworking, prepared, and knowledgeable. She is a lot tougher than many “tough guy” politicians. Maybe she makes men feel inferior.

      She is no more “ambitious”, “shifty”, “grifter” or “dishonest” than many politicians, and a lot less so than many more. She gets criticized for changing her positions but she’s no more guilty of that than anyone else. She is basically a centrist Democrat.

      1. Your daughter’s fiance sounds like a gem. My condolences, with my hope your daughter improves her decision-making.

        1. My daughter’s pretty tough. This is her second time around. She knew this going in, and will only let him go so far with us.

          “Who knows how my love grows?” — Sandy Denny (gone far too soon)

    2. She was fired BY THE DEMS from the Watergate Committee.
      My guess is that is where this started.

    3. “I have never understood the right’s near-pathological hatred of Hillary Clinton that predates any even semi-plausible reason to hate her.”

      Trump, Donald says “hi”

      1. Timeline doesn’t check out. Antipathy for Trump is while he’s using his Presidency to wreck stuff in service of his own electoral and personal gain, while fueling partisan fires in an unprecidented way.

        Hatred for Hillary started the moment her husband became President.

        1. Well, no – as Krychek-2 remarked that hatred for Hillary started the year before that,. during the 1992 campaign. In relevant part: “I remember from the 1992 campaign Republicans circulating a three dollar bill with her picture on it, implying that she was a phony. Not Bill’s picture, but her picture, and she wasn’t even running. And this was long before the idea that she might have her own political career at some point. “

          1. I remember that.

            From the first, Hillary was not a “stay in the kitchen” First Lady of Arkansas. In the South that offended a lot of people. This was back in 1980, mind you. From Arkansas, it grew.

    4. “I remember from the 1992 campaign Republicans circulating a three dollar bill with her picture on it, implying that she was a phony. Not Bill’s picture, but her picture, and she wasn’t even running.”
      Bill suggested that his voters were getting a 2-for-1 deal, because if they got him, they’d get her, too.

      ” For all the talk about Trump derangement syndrome, the raw fury the right has always felt toward Hillary simply makes no sense to me.”

      Republicans like to run against the government, so the specter of someone competent occupying a government office bugs the hell out of them. The fact that a lot of them are sexist just adds fuel to that fire.

      1. Well, Hillary must be super competent, having made tens of millions just off of government jobs and ran a super profitable charity right until she no longer had any power to sell.

        Just weird timing there.

        1. She wrote a book, dude. Also she has a husband whose been getting some pretty sweet speaking gigs for quite a while.

          Stop intimating stuff without actual evidence.

          1. “Stop intimating stuff without actual evidence.”

            Everything I wrote was 100% factual. But keep on pimping for the Clintons, as all lefties do.

            1. Look up what intimation means and then get back to me.

              I can take or leave the Clintons – Bill is almost certainly a sexual predator. But that doesn’t mean I’m cool with the fictional world the right has created about them.

              1. I’m not intimating anything.

                I’m openly saying it.

                They made a fortune peddling influence. Plain and simple.

                1. You have no proof. *All* you have is intimation.

                2. “I’m openly saying it.”

                  Which amounts to proof to some people. However, saying things without evidence to back your claims gets you ignored by people who can think for themselves, and rightfully so.

                  Since you have nothing to add, go away.

  9. “The right’s hatred of her pre-dates Whitewater,…”

    You’re listing events spanning decades. You do realize that, right?

    You’re assuming that the Republicans inexplicably decided to hate the Clintons, and then ginned up all sorts of phony reasons for that hate. That’s pretty close to Clinton’s conspiracy theory explanation for all her scandals: That the Republicans identified her as Presidential material while she was just the wife of a local politician, and decided to poison her reputation preemptively.

    The reality is that the Clintons had a reputation as corrupt going back to their beginnings in Arkansas because they started out corrupt and stayed that way.

    1. But if the issue were having a reputation for corruption then the same Republicans who hate the Clintons should be in total apoplexy over Trump. Granted, ideology and tribalism have something to do with that. But if you make a list of all the corrupt politicians of both parties that the right doesn’t hate, it makes no sense to single out the Clintons for special vilification. No, there’s something else goi g on here.

      1. “But if the issue were having a reputation for corruption then the same Republicans who hate the Clintons should be in total apoplexy over Trump.”

        I’ll note that the Dems who loathe Trump’s “character problems” still stump and champion the Clintons. Any reason why?

        1. Because it’s not an apples to apples comparison.

          Even if I agreed with your unstated premise that the Clintons and Trump are equally crooked, which I don’t think I do, his raw brazenness takes his corruption to a whole new level. It’s not just that he steals, it’s that he expects public applause for being a thief and doesn’t seem to understand why it’s not forthcoming. It’s as if I were to burglarize your house and then be offended when you declined my invitation to go have a beer. To the extent that the Clintons did lie cheat and steal, they at least paid public lip service to ethics and standards. Trump doesn’t even bother.

          1. “Because it’s not an apples to apples comparison.”

            True. Trump didn’t make his fortune peddling political influence. One cannot honestly deny the Clintons did so.

            “his raw brazenness takes his corruption to a whole new level.”

            …like stealing money from Haitians? Running a “charity” that made tons of money right until they didn’t have any political power to sell and it went belly-up in just a few months? You REALLY want to compare corruption here? Trump has, literally, nothing on the Clintons.

            “To the extent that the Clintons did lie cheat and steal, they at least paid public lip service to ethics and standards. Trump doesn’t even bother.”

            Or, in other words, you’d rather have a lie told to you. Got it. Super consistent standard there.

            “Sure, the Clintons were corrupt as shit. They PRETENDED to not be, though, so that makes them not as bad as a guy who made his fortune WITHOUT having to peddle political influence”

            1. Trump didn’t make his fortune at all; he inherited it. So that’s sort of a bizarre argument.

              like stealing money from Haitians?

              Didn’t happen.

              Running a “charity” that made tons of money right until they didn’t have any political power to sell and it went belly-up in just a few months?

              Also didn’t happen.

              In fact, the Clinton Foundation got very high marks from Charity Navigator. On the other hand, Trump repeatedly embezzled from the Trump Foundation and is now, with his spawn, barred from operating a charity.

              1. “Didn’t happen.”

                Very much did so. The Clintons stole relief money intended for the Haitians.

                “In fact, the Clinton Foundation got very high marks from Charity Navigator. On the other hand, Trump repeatedly embezzled from the Trump Foundation and is now, with his spawn, barred from operating a charity.”

                Again, odd that such a high ranked charity died within months of her losing the election. Just really, really weird that the charity had massively reduced donations right after she couldn’t peddle influence.

                Odd timing.

                1. You need to stop taking nonsense published in Breitbart of quoted by Rush Limbaugh as true.

                  DMN provided counterveiling information and you just brushed it off with circumstantial speculation based on not even evidence.

                2. Very much did so. The Clintons stole relief money intended for the Haitians.

                  It really really really did not.

                  You know that the Foundation has been investigated extensively, including an investigation instigated by Trump after he took office, and no wrongdoing has been found, right?

                  Again, odd that such a high ranked charity died within months of her losing the election.

                  Yeah, that didn’t happen either. The Clinton Foundation is still operating.

                  What I suspect you’re thinking of, twisted through the lens of Alex Jones or The Federalist or their ilk, is that the CGI — the Clinton Global Initiative — shut down. But the CGI was not an independent charity; it was just a program within the Clinton Foundation. And its planned shutdown was announced in September 2016 — i.e., before the election.

                  1. It’s entertaining watching a Trump apologist complaining about the way the Clintons operated their charitable organization. It’s almost as funny as the Trump campaign running ads calling Biden “weak” when their guy needs two hands to operate a glass of water.

            2. “Or, in other words, you’d rather have a lie told to you.”

              An odd line of argument to take in defense of Donald Trump.

        2. “I’ll note that the Dems who loathe Trump’s “character problems” still stump and champion the Clintons. Any reason why?”

          Hillary was never recorded advocating grabbing women by the pussy, nor applauding that women would let her do it because she was famous enough. Trump got caught paying off his porn star, as well.

          1. “Hillary was never recorded advocating grabbing women by the pussy, ”

            Nor was Trump. But, unlike the Clintons, he has actually promoted women in both his private enterprises and in his government service.

            “nor applauding that women would let her do it because she was famous enough.”

            Stating reality is hard, huh? I guess noting that celebrities have few problems getting fucked routinely is just me championing rape and not, you know, recognizing reality for what it is.

            “Trump got caught paying off his porn star, as well.”

            …now do Monica Lewinsky.

            You’re a fucking hypocrite. Enjoy it and embrace it, son.

            1. So have you heard the tape Pollock is talking about? I’m sure you have, but you keep saying stuff like it doesn’t exist.

              1. You’re confusing “Advocating” for “stating reality”.

                Didn’t say “Hey, you should do this.”

                He said “If you’re famous, they let you do this”.

                Try and actually listen to what was said.

                1. Oh, wow. One does not boast about things you think aren’t worth boasting about.

                  Jesus, man, don’t be such a tool.

                  1. If I said “You know, Hitler killed a lot of Jews”, it’s not boasting about Jews being killed. Just as a heads up.

                    1. It can be. Depends on context.

              2. Yes, everyone has heard the tape. If you conclude that Trump was advocating grabbing pussy, then you were predetermined to make that conclusion.
                It’s a simply fact that if you are famous, powerful, rich or appear to be anyone of these things, a certain percentage of people will literally throw themselves at you and engage in sexual behavior that is outside the norm.

                1. ” If you conclude that Trump was advocating grabbing pussy, then you were predetermined to make that conclusion.”

                  He brags about doing it, then goes on to describe a method by which other people can get away with it, too.

            2. “‘Hillary was never recorded advocating grabbing women by the pussy, ‘
              Nor was Trump.”

              Unless you count that time he was. You must have been under a rock, it was in all the news at the time.

              “‘Trump got caught paying off his porn star, as well.’
              …now do Monica Lewinsky.”

              Monica didn’t get paid.

              1. Ah, another person who didn’t listen to the tape. Good to know. I will try and simplify my responses since you’re uneducated.

                “Monica didn’t get paid.”

                …just got jobs she wasn’t qualified for to silence her

                And, technically, Trump wasn’t, you know, THE PRESIDENT when he was involved with the porn star. Clinton was very much President when he was involved with Lewinsky and then worked to suborn perjury.

                1. ” I will try and simplify my responses since you’re uneducated.”

                  Not just because you’re simple? That’s reassuring.

                  “And, technically, Trump wasn’t, you know, THE PRESIDENT when he was involved with the porn star.”

                  As far as we know.

                  “just got jobs she wasn’t qualified for to silence her”

                  speaking of not listening to the tape, have you ever heard Ms. Lewinsky talk about her life post-scandal? She refers to being unemployable, despite an expensive private-college education.

            3. “You’re a fucking hypocrite. Enjoy it and embrace it, son.”

              And you’re a fucking Trump apologist. Enjoy your circle of Hell.

              1. My circle of Hell doesn’t involve defending somebody who took lots and lots of flights to an island with underage girls having sex with known pedophiles.

                1. LOL, I have bad news about Trump, dude.

                  1. Trump took numerous flights to pedophile island with Jeffrey Epstein? Like more than 2 dozen?

                    No, he didn’t?

                    Well, I guess that’s just as bad as a prime time speaker at the DNC who, in fact, did do so. And was credibly accused of rape. And got disbarred due to perjuring himself…

                    1. “And was credibly accused of rape”

                      Your standard for credibility may differ from other people’s standard for credibility.

                      “And got disbarred due to perjuring himself”

                      He got maneuvered into that. It was a question he shouldn’t have been asked, and shouldn’t have answered at all.
                      He voluntarily surrendered his law license in Arkansas, in part because he no longer lived in Arkansas and in part because he no longer practiced law.

                2. “My circle of Hell doesn’t involve defending somebody who took lots and lots of flights to an island with underage girls having sex with known pedophiles.”

                  No, you prefer defending somebody who was photographed at parties in his own homes with the known pedophiles.

                  Clinton was proven to have had an affair with an adult woman, as was Trump.was recorded bragging that he could walk up to women, and grab them in their personal regions. Neither of these is admirable behavior. If marital fidelity is your standard of qualification for politicians, there are no claims of infidelity about Obama…

        3. I’ll note that the Dems who loathe Trump’s “character problems” still stump and champion the Clintons. Any reason why?

          Because the Clintons lie like politicians. Trump lies like a sociopath.

          1. This is what Trump does.

            It’s called gaslighting, and yes, it’s sociopathic.

          2. Sociopaths suffer from mental illness, politicians lie for personal aggrandizement and venality. Remind me now, which is worse (morally)?

            1. Good luck selling the argument that an impaired conscience should be exonerating.

              1. He’s not bad, he’s just misunderstood. COVFEFE

          3. David: “The difference is I LIKE the Clintons lies”.

            1. That’s me. A yuuuge fan of the Clintons.

              1. Exactly what I’d expect a Clinton fan to say.

        4. “I’ll note that the Dems who loathe Trump’s “character problems” still stump and champion the Clintons. Any reason why?”

          Clinton successfully managed the federal government. That’s something Trump can only imagine doing. Which he does.

    2. “The reality is that the Clintons had a reputation as corrupt going back to their beginnings in Arkansas because they started out corrupt and stayed that way.”

      Which explains why the special prosecutor who looked into all these financial dealings found all those impeachable crimes from way-back-when, and wasn’t limited to finding an offense that was manufactured two years after he started investigating.

      1. And Trump’s collusion accusations? More time was spent and less was found. Weird, huh?

        1. “More time was spent and less was found.”

          You went 0 for 2. That is weird.

          1. 3 years. Literally nothing found — well, except the whole lying in numerous FISA applications (a court with a near 100% approval rating for applications)…

            1. “3 years.”

              Which is less than, not more than, the 4 years that Ken Starr spent. An investigation that was started to look into financial transactions involving real estate, and settled for an accusation of perjury that didn’t even happen until two years after the investigation started. And all those financial transactions didn’t turn up any illegalities that could be proven, to people who weren’t already convinced they MUST be guilty. You know what they call people accused of crimes that can’t be proven to an impartial jury? Acquitted.

        2. “And Trump’s collusion accusations? ”

          He went on national TV to say that if it happened again, OF COURSE he’d consider doing it.

          The fact that the Russkies didn’t want their operation ruined by allowing Trump to get involved with it doesn’t actually exonerate him.

    3. “You’re assuming that the Republicans inexplicably decided to hate the Clintons, and then ginned up all sorts of phony reasons for that hate.”

      It wasn’t inexplicable. Bill showed up in 92 and ended the Reagan-Bush era of Republican control of the White House. They’d kind of gotten the idea that it should just be theirs, and then it wasn’t theirs (see also D’s and control of Congress around the same period.)

  10. I don’t know what Prof. Adler expected.

    This kind of commonplace paranoid delusion doesn’t come from a party that’s in a healthy or viable place.
    And it’s not just the Internet effect – y’all are electing QAnon folks to Congress.

    Encouraging those who break with reality does not end in small government values triumphing.

    1. Y’all support antifa. Just sayin’.

      1. False whattaboutism. Hope it made you feel better, because that won’t convince anyone but you.

        Now I can tell you have a problem with reality, but in this thread you have Pizzagate, the Clinton Death List, and scandals from the 1990s that died despite the best GOP attempts.

        And in Congress you will soon have QAnon.

        What do you think about that batch of crazy your side has incubated?

        1. “Now I can tell you have a problem with reality, but in this thread you have Pizzagate, the Clinton Death List, and scandals from the 1990s that died despite the best GOP attempts.

          And in Congress you will soon have QAnon.

          What do you think about that batch of crazy your side has incubated?”

          All better than antifa. Far, far better than antifa. Which your side utterly supports.

          1. What. The. Christ.

            1. Hey, you vote for people who side with antifa. Tell me more about how bad I am, please.

              1. “Tell me more about how bad I am, please.”

                You seem to already know how bad you am.

      2. Yes, the nonexistent organization has lots of support around here.

        1. David supporting antifa. As I said.

          Tell me more, please.

  11. Seems like a certified letter that read, in entirety, “5th amendment, bitch!” would have been cheaper.

  12. The Volokh Conspirators figured this blog would make movement conservatism more popular.

    Instead, it seems destined to make movement conservative professors less popular among strong law faculties. What legitimate law school would want to hire someone who attracts this blog’s right-wing audience?

    1. Do you think they’d want anybody who would attract, well, you?

      1. That’s two strikes for the Conspirators…

  13. Suffice it to say, commenters asserting the existence of a Clinton operated child prostitution ring may not be as receptive as one would hope to criticism of the GOP’s QAnon candidates.

    1. You have a gift for understatement.

    2. Leo, can you name the commenters claiming a Clinton operated a child prostitution ring?

      Noting that Bill Clinton went to pedophile island REPEATEDLY (which is a fact) and hung out happily with a known pedophile (which is also a fact).

      Nobody says Clinton RAN it. Just that he banged underage girls. I guess that’s OK with Democrats.

      1. Did you read the thread? Jimmy the Dane has made and defended that claim in more than one place, without contradiction by a single Trump supporter.

        As for what’s OK with Democrats, I know of none that are OK with Bill Clinton’s behavior toward women. The Trump Cult and Trump’s behavior on the other hand….

        1. “None are OK with it…we’ll just give him a prime time speaking gig at the DNC. Like, you know, we ALWAYS do.

          Because we disagree with it so”

          1. Right, because giving an ex-president a speaking slot is the exact same thing as making him your current presidential nominee. I doubt even you believe someone with Bill Clinton’s sexual history could win a Democratic nomination for dog catcher in 2020. Trump, on the other hand, is the GOP’s Greatest of All Time™ man-baby-god-king.

            1. Shall we discuss Biden’s history of being a wee bit handsy?

              Far more credible accusations were made against him than against, say, Kavanaugh.

              1. Umm, no. They weren’t.

              2. “Shall we discuss Biden’s history of being a wee bit handsy?”

                If you insist. Senator Packwood blamed his history on alcohol abuse, which surprisingly didn’t keep him electable.
                Call back when he gets recorded bragging about being allowed to grab genitals because he’s famous.

      2. “Nobody says Clinton RAN it. Just that he banged underage girls. I guess that’s OK with Democrats.”

        The same way that Republicans are blase about all the photos of Trump attending parties hosted by Epstein.

        fact is, Clinton relied on his personal charisma to keep his illicit affairs quiet, Trump tried to use dollars, and still they slipped out.
        It’s almost like men TRY to become rich and powerful so they can have more sexual opportunities. The rat-bastards.

      3. “Noting that Bill Clinton went to pedophile island REPEATEDLY (which is a fact) and hung out happily with a known pedophile (which is also a fact).”

        Where’s your citation that Bill Clinton was happy to hang out with Mr. Trump?

  14. Great we are back to ‘But Benghazi!!!!’

    strategy for a post trumpski Republican party

    1. “Great we are back to ‘But Benghazi!!!!’”

      Sure, there’s never been an explanation for why Americans were killed at Benghazi, unless you count the time the President at the time said it was an act of terrorism, that we now know was successful because our envoy was confident that he was popular enough with the people of the country he was in, and didn’t anticipate that foreigners might/could show up to attack the facility. Other than that, they refuse to explain anything!

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