The number of scandals now surrounding Hillary Clinton is staggering. And her extraordinary ability to somehow cover her tracks is equally impressive. Albeit disgusting and infuriating.
There is no question the storm clouds of justice are beginning to swirl above the Clinton machine. The unfortunate truth, however, is that such a storm has brewed before and the Clinton machine got out without any damage.
Turns out a legal concept is in play here that, if embraced by those with the power to move forward with it, could completely destroy any chances Clinton has of becoming President. The legal concept is known as spoliation of evidence. Something Clinton is undoubtedly familiar with and probably quietly terrified of.
You see, spoliation of evidence might actually make Clintons potentially successful cover-up of her scandals and corruption the achilles heel of her machine. This because the legal point is that evidence itself is not always more powerful than the fact that potential evidence was hidden from the justice process. Even if the hiding of the evidence occurred through negligence instead of intentional action!
Specifically, applying the well-established legal evidentiary concept of spoliation of evidence to this matter actually allows a logical inference against her. As a Yale Law School graduate herself, its a concept with which shes surely familiar.
The evidentiary rule itself is fairly straightforward. When parties to a controversy destroy relevant evidence (whether intentionally, recklessly or negligently), or when they fail to produce evidence or witnesses presumably within their control, the law actually permits an inference to be drawn that the missing or destroyed evidence would have been unfavorable to the spoliating parties.
In other words, rather than exonerating someone due to absence of evidence, we rightfully presume that the destroyed or withheld evidence was damning to the party controlling it.
The logic of that rule is obvious. Absent paying some cost for the disappearance of evidence under suspicious circumstances, parties would be incentivized to either destroy or fail to properly preserve adverse evidence within their control. Not only would that be unfair to opposing parties, it would undermine our system of justice in a fundamental way. The spoliation rule also serves to offset the natural imbalance created when one party maintains superior access to pivotal evidence on a particular question.
Accordingly, as applied to Hillary and Bill Clinton, the absence of a smoking gun may thus be more damning than exculpatory.
This us stunning. Spoliation of evidence, as explained above, can come in to play if a party is negligent in maintaining evidence crucial to the justice process. In this case, Clinton knowingly and willfully destroyed email records on her private servers that were used for public (and classified) communications. Whether or not the servers contained damning criminal evidence we may never know. But the fact that we may never know in and of itself may turn out to be criminal due to spoliation of evidence.
Members of Congress and those in the justice community should be on this like white on rice. Its extremely relevant in this scenario and can put a close to Clintons run for the White House before it ever gets any meaningful traction.
What say you?