Brady Deflates, Hillary Skates

That the standards of transparency are seemingly higher for an NFL Super Bowl quarterback than for a former Secretary of State and presidential wannabe does not bode well for our republic nor speak well of the state of the so-called mainstream media. But the double standards regarding media treatment of Tom Brady versus Hillary Clinton are many and troubling.

We should all be asking ourselves just why there is more concern and angst over Tom Brady’s use of slightly deflated footballs to get a better grip and improve his chances of winning a football game than regarding Hillary Clinton’s use of private email accounts on a private server and her deleting of 30,000 emails to improve her chances of winning the White House in 2016.

Do we hold NFL quarterbacks to higher standards than presidential contenders? He used deflated footballs against NFL rules but he did not leave our diplomatic mission in Benghazi with inadequate security and then blame the deaths of four Americans after the September 1, 2011 terrorist attack on an Internet video. Nor did he try to enhance his reputation by claiming to have dodged sniper fire in Bosnia.

In the end, the undoing of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots came from text messages between two individuals who handled game day footballs for Brady and the Patriots, text messages suggesting, in the words of the Ted Wells report, that it was “more than probable” Brady was aware of the scheme. So why do we have these text messages and not copies of Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails?

As Daniel J. Flynn notes over at Brietbart.com:

No law decrees that a quarterback must turn over his texts and emails to the NFL the way that the Federal Records Act demands that the Secretary of State turn over correspondence to the government. Yet the failure of the four-time Super Bowl winner to share his iPhones, computers, and other gadgets and gizmos with NFL investigator Ted Wells sends the Fourth Estate into a frenzy.

Indeed, under the Federal Records Act, according to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD), you don’t get to have a private email server and email accounts:

Hillary Clinton insists she did everything by the book, that she broke no laws and heeded all regulations. That book is obviously not the State Department records management handbook.

The government's book says that you don't get to keep materials, classified or unclassified, in your personal possession and then get to sift through them at your leisure to decide which ones the government that paid you gets to see.

All documents are the property of the government. The State Department determines which ones are returned to you.

Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails were the property of the federal government and the American taxpayer and may hold the answers to questions regarding Benghazi and the activities of the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of state. The Clintons now claim there is not a “shred of evidence” of a conflict of interest between the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. Of course not – they shredded the evidence.

As Ron Fournier of the National Journal has observed, Hillary’s missing emails would help us “follow the money” that has flowed into the Clinton Foundation coffers from individuals, businesses, and governments involved with the U.S. government, a story of “pay for play” involving unspecified actions in exchange for foreign donations:

Hillary Clinton's secret communications cache is a bombshell deserving of full disclosure because of her assault on government transparency and electronic security. But its greatest relevancy is what the emails might reveal about any nexus between Clinton's work at State and donations to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation from U.S. corporations and foreign nations.

Some have dubbed her “Hillary Rodhan Nixon”, a former Watergate committee staffer who obviously took note of the observation that if Richard Nixon had destroyed the incriminating tapes, he might have finished his presidency and survived impeachment as her husband, Bill Clinton, did.

Then there’s the question of form OF-109, a form used when State Department employees depart, a form signed to attest that the employee has returned all official department records or correspondence in their possession. Failure to return these records, having signed OF-109, is a felony. So far, no one can say Hillary signed or was asked to sign OF -109 or, if not, why not. As IBD notes:

On leaving, the official must sign Form OF-109, a formal separation statement, certifying under penalty of law the departing official has "surrendered to responsible officials all unclassified documents and papers relating to the official business of the government acquired by me while in the employ of the (State) Department"….

If an employee violates the terms of the Form OF-109 she or he has signed, that act is punishable by Section 18 U.S.C. § 1001 of the criminal code, which makes it a crime to knowingly and willfully falsify or conceal facts made in statements to federal agencies concerning matters under their jurisdiction.

We, and the media, should be demanding of Hillary and Team Clinton, the same transparency and truthfulness that we are demanding of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Both should suffer the consequences of their actions. We shouldn’t accept as an answer in either case, Hillary Clinton’s infamous protest before Congress, “At this point, what difference does it make?”

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.               

That the standards of transparency are seemingly higher for an NFL Super Bowl quarterback than for a former Secretary of State and presidential wannabe does not bode well for our republic nor speak well of the state of the so-called mainstream media. But the double standards regarding media treatment of Tom Brady versus Hillary Clinton are many and troubling.

We should all be asking ourselves just why there is more concern and angst over Tom Brady’s use of slightly deflated footballs to get a better grip and improve his chances of winning a football game than regarding Hillary Clinton’s use of private email accounts on a private server and her deleting of 30,000 emails to improve her chances of winning the White House in 2016.

Do we hold NFL quarterbacks to higher standards than presidential contenders? He used deflated footballs against NFL rules but he did not leave our diplomatic mission in Benghazi with inadequate security and then blame the deaths of four Americans after the September 1, 2011 terrorist attack on an Internet video. Nor did he try to enhance his reputation by claiming to have dodged sniper fire in Bosnia.

In the end, the undoing of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots came from text messages between two individuals who handled game day footballs for Brady and the Patriots, text messages suggesting, in the words of the Ted Wells report, that it was “more than probable” Brady was aware of the scheme. So why do we have these text messages and not copies of Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails?

As Daniel J. Flynn notes over at Brietbart.com:

No law decrees that a quarterback must turn over his texts and emails to the NFL the way that the Federal Records Act demands that the Secretary of State turn over correspondence to the government. Yet the failure of the four-time Super Bowl winner to share his iPhones, computers, and other gadgets and gizmos with NFL investigator Ted Wells sends the Fourth Estate into a frenzy.

Indeed, under the Federal Records Act, according to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD), you don’t get to have a private email server and email accounts:

Hillary Clinton insists she did everything by the book, that she broke no laws and heeded all regulations. That book is obviously not the State Department records management handbook.

The government's book says that you don't get to keep materials, classified or unclassified, in your personal possession and then get to sift through them at your leisure to decide which ones the government that paid you gets to see.

All documents are the property of the government. The State Department determines which ones are returned to you.

Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails were the property of the federal government and the American taxpayer and may hold the answers to questions regarding Benghazi and the activities of the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of state. The Clintons now claim there is not a “shred of evidence” of a conflict of interest between the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. Of course not – they shredded the evidence.

As Ron Fournier of the National Journal has observed, Hillary’s missing emails would help us “follow the money” that has flowed into the Clinton Foundation coffers from individuals, businesses, and governments involved with the U.S. government, a story of “pay for play” involving unspecified actions in exchange for foreign donations:

Hillary Clinton's secret communications cache is a bombshell deserving of full disclosure because of her assault on government transparency and electronic security. But its greatest relevancy is what the emails might reveal about any nexus between Clinton's work at State and donations to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation from U.S. corporations and foreign nations.

Some have dubbed her “Hillary Rodhan Nixon”, a former Watergate committee staffer who obviously took note of the observation that if Richard Nixon had destroyed the incriminating tapes, he might have finished his presidency and survived impeachment as her husband, Bill Clinton, did.

Then there’s the question of form OF-109, a form used when State Department employees depart, a form signed to attest that the employee has returned all official department records or correspondence in their possession. Failure to return these records, having signed OF-109, is a felony. So far, no one can say Hillary signed or was asked to sign OF -109 or, if not, why not. As IBD notes:

On leaving, the official must sign Form OF-109, a formal separation statement, certifying under penalty of law the departing official has "surrendered to responsible officials all unclassified documents and papers relating to the official business of the government acquired by me while in the employ of the (State) Department"….

If an employee violates the terms of the Form OF-109 she or he has signed, that act is punishable by Section 18 U.S.C. § 1001 of the criminal code, which makes it a crime to knowingly and willfully falsify or conceal facts made in statements to federal agencies concerning matters under their jurisdiction.

We, and the media, should be demanding of Hillary and Team Clinton, the same transparency and truthfulness that we are demanding of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Both should suffer the consequences of their actions. We shouldn’t accept as an answer in either case, Hillary Clinton’s infamous protest before Congress, “At this point, what difference does it make?”

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.