When the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke in 1998, Hillary Clinton defended her husband by saying that the accusations were part of a vast right wing conspiracy, which quickly became known as the VRWC. Next, fast forward 18 years. If you listened to Brian Fallon’s interview with Alisyn Camerota, you’d swear it was still 1998. Ms. Camerota grilled Fallon when Fallon insisted that the information obtained by Fox News’s Catherine Herridge was part of “a very coordinated leak.” According to McClatchy’s article, Fallon “accused the Intelligence Community Inspector General … of working with Republicans to attack the Democratic presidential front-runner.”
During the interview, Fallon said “I think this was a very coordinated leak. Two months ago there was a…report that directly challenged the finding of this inspector general, and I don’t think he liked that very much. So I think that he put two Republican senators up to sending him a letter so that he would have an excuse to resurface the same allegations he made back in the summer that have been discredited.” Fallon’s problem with that theory is that Charles McCullough III, the Intelligence Community Inspector General, was appointed by President Obama.
Further, “he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate Intelligence Committee that October. The full Senate agreed by unanimous consent in November.” That means his appointment was so noncontroversial that none of the senators objected to his appointment.
Fallon dug an even deeper hole by characterizing the emails as “an inter-agency dispute.” That’s false because the originating department or agency has jurisdiction over what stays classified or is declassified. Further, the emails in question had a special classification, which is called special access programs or SAPs. According to Ed Morrissey’s report for HotAir.com, the operations are “so secretive that their classification can only be assigned by certain Cabinet members or their chief deputies.”
That means that the only people who can view this information are people like the Secretary of State, the director of the CIA, the director of National Intelligence (aka the DNI) and their chief deputies. The people allowed to view this information is microscopic because the information is so sensitive that it might get secret operatives in the field killed if the wrong people got this information. Here are some of the positive statements made by Senate Democrats about Mr. McCullough’s qualifications:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat who used to head the intelligence committee, described McCullough as “well-qualified.” “He has long experience conducting investigations both as an inspector general and a FBI agent,” Feinstein said in a floor speech in November 2011. “He is an attorney and is well-familiar with the intelligence community.”
Other Democrats agreed.
“We’ve heard good things about you and I’m looking forward to supporting you when Chair Feinstein moves ahead with the vote,” Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon said in September 2011. “You clearly have been able to operate in both the civilian and the military sectors which will, I think, prove to be a very valuable set of experiences, if you’re confirmed,” Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colorado, said in September 2011.
Mr. Fallon is in a difficult position. Mrs. Clinton, his boss, might have just gotten caught committing a felony. Fallon’s job is to essentially tell the world that this is just a big misunderstanding and that sinister, and possibly evil, Republicans are just doing this to hurt his candidate. Mr. Fallon might have an easier time convincing people that Donald Trump is filled with humility than he has of convincing voters that Mrs. Clinton is honest and trustworthy.