The new WikiLeaks Democratic National Committee e-mail dump seems certain to keep alive the issues of Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of a private server while secretary of state, the probability that her e-mails were hacked by those acting for foreign governments, her dubious responses to investigators, her failure to provide subpoenaed documents, and the extraordinary non-prosecution pass she nevertheless received from the FBI.
Not only did the 20,000-plus e-mails sent or received by top committee officials contain information about attempts, despite committee neutrality rules, to scuttle Bernie Sanders’s campaign for the party’s presidential nomination, but they were apparently obtained through hacker penetration of the DNC computer system.
In addition, the FBI announced on Monday that it is investigating whether hackers had penetrated or tried to penetrate the e-mails of senior Clinton aides. This, despite the statement by FBI Director James B. Comey last month that there was no “direct evidence” that any foreign power had “successfully hacked” Mrs. Clinton’s computers – although there was evidence that attempts had been made and that highly skilled hackers would not have left any traces.
Among the released e-mails were some messages that describe the efforts of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to run interference for Hillary Clinton at the expense of Sen. Sanders. But what was particularly intriguing was a somewhat garbled discussion about using Mr. Sanders’s faith – or lack thereof – to dilute support for him.
The discussion went as follows in an e-mail exchange involving DNC CFO Brad Marshall, Mark Paustenbach, a DNC communications official, and Amy Lacey, DNC CEO:
Mr. Marshall initially said,
It might may [sic] no difference , but for KY [Kentucky] and WVA [West Virginia] can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.
A few minutes later, Mr. Marshall e-mails Ms. Lacey: “It’s these [sic] Jesus thing.”
Several hours afterward, Mr. Dacey responds with “Amen.”
Unclear though the exchange may be, it seems they wanted to somehow make the “Jesus thing” work for them in terms of how the “peeps” would view Sen. Sanders – preferably through the prism of his perceived atheism (for the record, he denies being an atheist) but at the very least by putting, however subtly, the issue of Sen. Sanders’s Jewishness on the table.
The possibility that Mr. Sanders’s ethnic background might become a public issue for at least some of Mr. Marshall’s “peeps” did not seem to suggest to the DNC officials involved in the e-mail exchange that perhaps they should abandon the effort.
We would think that Mrs. Clinton, with all her talk of diversity, freedom of thought, etc., would quickly condemn the very notion of attempting to capitalize on a candidate’s alleged atheism. She has yet to do so.Editorial Board