By Jim Edsall

You care about loving your neighbor and improving your country. You are a good person. You want to be part of electing the first woman President. I want to be part of that, too. But, I can’t vote for Hillary Clinton. You believe she shares your social, economic, and political concerns, so you assume she is a good person, too. You need to know her record …

Private Email Server

Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State for the first four years of Barack Obama’s presidency. During that time, she used a personal email address on a private email server kept in the basement at her home in Chappaqua, NY. She refused to use a government email server and .gov email address despite “very specific guidance” from the White House. She insisted on using her private Blackberry for all email communications, even while overseas in nations potentially hostile to the United States.

She at first denied having sent or received any emails that were classified. Then she changed her story, contending that none of the emails she sent or received were “marked classified.” She deleted nearly 32,000 of her emails before turning over her private server to the FBI — roughly half of all emails she had sent and received — claiming they were all personal in nature, regarding yoga classes, vacations, and her daughter’s wedding.

The FBI conducted an investigation to determine whether her use of a private email system, and her deletion of emails, were violations of federal law. FBI Director James Comey announced the following findings:

  • Hillary Clinton had been “extremely careless” in using a private email address and server;
  • She had used questionable judgment in using a private email system;
  • Several thousand work-related emails had not been turned over to the State Department, despite her claims that all such emails had been submitted;
  • At least 110 emails contained classified information at the time she sent or received them;
  • A small number of her emails sent and received on the private system were marked classified;
  • As a government employee entrusted with classified information, she should have been able to recognize when email content was classified, with or without markings;
  • Hostile foreign governments likely gained access to her email account; and
  • She would be subject to disciplinary action if she were still a government employee.

Gross Negligence

Comey chose not to indict Hillary Clinton on criminal charges, saying he did not find “intentional misconduct or indications of disloyalty to the United States or efforts to obstruct justice.” However, intent is not required for criminal liability in the mishandling of government records. Section 793 of Title 18, “Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information,” states, Whoever, being entrusted with information relating to the national defense … through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody … or destroyed shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”

The legal definition of gross negligence is “extreme carelessness.” Comey declared that Hillary Clinton had been extremely careless in using a private email server and Blackberry, risking exposure of classified information to our nation’s enemies, and that she had deleted classified emails. This qualifies as gross negligence, meeting the requirement for indictment.

Not being indicted does not make her innocent. In fact, by using a private server, and by deleting tens of thousands of emails, Hillary Clinton appears to have violated at least three federal laws including the Federal Records Act, and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which require government employees to preserve a complete record of all correspondences involving official business while in government service.

Unauthorized Retention and Deletion of Classified Emails

Section 1924 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code, “Unauthorized retention and removal of classified documents or material,” states, “Whoever, being an officer … of the United States, and, by virtue of their office … becomes possessed of documents or materials containing classified information of the United States, knowingly … retain[s] such documents or materials at an unauthorized location shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.”

Hillary Clinton stored classified emails on an unauthorized private email server in her basement. The private tech company she hired, Platte River Networks, kept the backup server in their office bathroom.

Section 2071 of Title 18, “Concealment, removal or mutilation generally,” states, “Whoever, having the custody of any such record [or]… document … willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.”

If Hillary Clinton knowingly deleted or authorized the deletion of classified emails this disqualifies her from holding any federal office, including the presidency. Her tech company, Platte River Networks, deleted classified emails even after the Congressional committee investigating Benghazi had subpoenaed them.

James Comey opted against indictment just days after his superior at the Department of Justice, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, met with Hillary Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, on her plane in Phoenix, AZ. When this meeting was discovered, Lynch admitted that it had “cast a shadow” over the investigation, but claimed that the meeting was merely to discuss personal matters such as golf and grandchildren. Borrowing words once used by Ms. Clinton — believing that requires “the willing suspension of disbelief.”

On the Campaign Trail

On the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton has continued to claim that she did not send or receive any emails that were classified, or marked classified, despite this being directly contradicted by the FBI. On the July 31, 2016 edition of Fox News Sunday, Clinton bizarrely claimed that Director Comey had called her public statements about her emails “truthful.” PolitFact.com rated this statement “pants on fire”, and the Washington Post rated it “four Pinocchios”, their worst scores. She later said that she had “short circuited” in giving that answer, but then promptly began making the same false claims again.

The Clinton Foundation and the State Department

Prior to her term as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton and her husband, Bill Clinton established the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative, a charitable organization which the Washington Post recently called a “$2 billion global empire.” While she served as Secretary of State, Middle Eastern nations donated millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. Saudi Arabia alone contributed nearly $25 million. In January 2013, a Russian company, Uranium One, gained the rights to 20% of U.S. uranium production after its founders gave over $2 million in contributions to the Clinton Foundation. Just prior to that deal being approved by the State Department, Bill Clinton was paid $500,000.00 for a speech to a Russian investment bank that was promoting Uranium One stock. In fact, Bill Clinton has received over $26 million in speaking fees from countries and companies that have donated to the Clinton Foundation.

Emails obtained from the records of Secretary Clinton’s assistants, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, show that they assisted Clinton Foundation donor Gilbert Chagoury, a Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire, with contacting the U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon in order to expedite a business deal. They also assisted an unnamed Clinton Foundation donor in the process of seeking a government job. And, they frequently arranged meetings between Secretary Clinton and Clinton Foundation donors, including the crown prince of Bahrain who had contributed $32 million. In fact, more than half of all non-government individuals who received personal meetings with Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State had made or pledged financial contributions to the Clinton Foundation.

This has all the appearances of “pay for play”, the purchase and sale of priority access. While this may not be illegal, it is far from ethical. The wealthy should not have greater access to government officials simply because they can pay for it.

The overlap of Clinton Foundation and State Department business created a dangerous conflict of interest, giving foreign governments and other financial contributors a degree of influence that potentially compromised America’s national interests.

Hillary Clinton’s defenders say there is no clear quid pro quo between the Clinton State Department and contributors to the Clinton Foundation, that there is “a lot of smoke but no fire.” They claim that there have been no special favors granted, only access. They contend that Secretary Clinton met with thousands of people during her four years as Secretary of State, so her meeting with 85 Clinton Foundation contributors is insignificant. But, priority access to the Secretary of State is itself a special favor. It was her job as Secretary of State to meet with thousands of people on behalf of the United States. Giving priority access to persons from outside of government who contributed or pledged financial contributions to the Clinton Foundation was a misuse of power.

The Trustworthiness Question — Wall Street

Since completing her term as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has received hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches given to Wall Street banks and securities firms.  She was paid $225,000.00 by Goldman Sachs for one 20-minute speech. She has refused to release the transcripts of those speeches. People on both sides of the political spectrum are concerned about the degree of influence that has been secured by those special interests.

The Trustworthiness Question — Trans-Pacific Partnership

Hillary Clinton issued 45 public statements in support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — a trade deal that would compromise United States sovereignty and shift thousands of jobs overseas — before reversing her position, which she did only after being criticized by Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. She now claims to oppose it. It remains to be seen whether American workers will trust her not to reverse her position again.

The Honesty Question – Benghazi

On September 11, 2012, the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked by terrorists. Four Americans were killed including Ambassador Chris Stevens, whose requests for increased security forces had repeatedly been denied. While the attack was still underway, the State Department released an official communique stating that the attack was spontaneous and had been inspired by an anti-Islamic internet video. However, on the night of the attack Hillary Clinton emailed her daughter, Chelsea, saying that embassy had been attacked by an “al-Qaeda like group.” Within 24 hours of the attack, she had told the President of Libya and the Egyptian Prime Minister that a terrorist group, Ansar al-Sharia, had claimed responsibility. According to the parents of Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods, three days later, when their sons’ bodies were returned to the United States, Hillary Clinton told them at Andrews Air Force Base that the internet video was to blame, despite her knowledge to the contrary. Clinton justified this before Congress, saying “some people were still blaming the video.” Yes, cynically some still were — U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, and other members of the Obama Administration, who, like Secretary Clinton, were trying to preserve the narrative that “al Qaeda was on the run,” that Libya was stable after the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi, and that the Clinton State Department had not carelessly risked the lives of the Americans at Benghazi just two months before the 2012 presidential election.

Bill Clinton’s Accusers

 At least four women have alleged that former President Bill Clinton sexually abused them, and that Hillary Clinton responded by attempting to destroy their reputations. Paula Jones claimed that Bill Clinton had exposed himself to her. At trial, he denied under oath having sexual relations with Monica Lewinski, a White House intern, until she produced the blue dress soiled with his semen. He was then convicted of perjury for lying under oath. Kathleen Willey claims that Bill Clinton repeatedly pressured her to have sex with him, kissing her against her will, despite her resisting because she was married. Juanita Broderick claims that he raped her twice. When Hillary found out about the accusers, according to Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post, she coordinated a group of surrogates to stomp out the “bimbo eruptions.” Bill Clinton’s lead campaign strategist, James Carville, said of the accusers, “If you drag a dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find.”  Hillary declared that the sexual harassment claims were part of a “vast right wing conspiracy,” until Monica Lewinsky produced the infamous blue dress. She recently declared that all women who allege sexual abuse “have a right to be believed.” Apparently, she only means those who don’t threaten her husband’s political career, or hers.


Through the FBI email investigation, and subsequent email releases, the American people have learned that Hillary Clinton endangered national security by sending, receiving, and storing classified information on an unauthorized private email system, and then deleted much of her email record in apparent violation of federal law. Many of the emails recovered under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that special access was given to Clinton Foundation financial contributors while she served as Secretary of State. And she has repeatedly lied to the American people about it. She has taken massive fees from Wall Street banks while claiming to be the champion of the people.  She promoted TPP, a job killing trade bill, and now claims to oppose it. She has disparaged the women who claim her husband abused them.

If you can’t vote for Donald Trump, please prayerfully consider voting for Jill Stein, or write in Elizabeth Warren. We can’t reward Hillary Clinton with highest office in the land when she has so thoroughly proven she does not deserve it.

*  *  *

 About the author. Jim Edsall is an attorney in Banner Elk, NC. He graduated cum laude in 1996 from Regent University Law School in Virginia, where he received the Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in Public Laws as the top student in Constitutional Law, Common Law, International Law, and Legislation, served as class president, and was an editor of the Law Review.

For source references, see the extended version of this article below, entitled, “Hillary Clinton – Honest and Trustworthy? Why the Polls Say No.”

Bending the Law Until It Breaks – Part 2. Hillary Clinton – Honest and Trustworthy? Why The Polls Say No

By Jim Edsall

On Monday, September 6, 2016, CNN released a national poll showing Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton 45% to 43%, confirming that her post-convention bounce has evaporated. The poll’s internal numbers show Trump’s support increasing among Republicans as he stays on message and avoids making negative news. But, Trump’s most significant gains have been in the category of who is more “honest and trustworthy.” Trump now rates at 50%, while Hillary Clinton has fallen to 35%.[1] This parallels a devastating New York Times/CBS News poll from July 2016 showing that 67% of Americans believe Hillary Clinton is not honest and trustworthy.[2] Her numbers are historically low for one main reason — people are reacting to the findings by the FBI that Hillary Clinton placed national security information on a private email system and then was not honest about it. The fact that she was not indicted is not seen as exoneration. It is viewed as special treatment for a powerful political insider. And, new information is being released almost daily regarding the content of the emails, which show that wealthy donors to the Clinton Foundation received priority access to the Clinton State Department.

Private Email Server

Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State for the first four years of Barack Obama’s presidency. During that time, she used a personal email address on a private email server kept in the basement at her home in Chappaqua, NY. She refused to use a government email server and .gov email address despite “very specific guidance” from the White House.[3] She insisted on using her private Blackberry for all email communications, even while overseas in nations potentially hostile to the United States.[4]

The existence of her private email server was only discovered when the State Department reported it in 2014 to the House Select Committee investigating the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.[5] She at first denied having sent or received any emails that were classified. Then she changed her story, contending that none of the emails she sent or received were “marked classified.” She had deleted nearly 32,000 of her emails before Continue reading

Bending the Law Until It Breaks – Part 1. Barack Obama Disregards the Constitution and the Law

By Jim Edsall

On August 2, 2016, President Obama declared Republican nominee Donald Trump “unfit to serve as President.” He called into question Trump’s temperament, preparedness, and knowledge of “our constitutional traditions and the rule of law.” Trump will certainly have to convince the voters regarding his temperament and preparedness. That was fair game. But, there was palpable irony in the President’s condescension regarding the Constitution and the law. During his presidency Barack Obama has egregiously disregarded both the Constitution and the law, and Hillary Clinton has expressed a desire to do the same, and worse.

The U.S. Constitution is renowned for its system of checks and balances between three branches of government – Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. It requires the Congress and the President to work together to make the nation’s laws. The Supreme Court decides whether those laws are Constitutional. This was designed to prevent the concentration of power in one branch of government, or one person. Post-Revolutionary War Americans did not want another king, and they saw to that in the drafting of the Constitution.

The President’s chief duty under Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution, is to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” In taking the oath of office, a president swears to faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States and to the best of their ability “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Over the past seven-and-a-half years, President Obama has sought to expand executive powers far beyond those granted in the Constitution, and has failed to faithfully execute the laws. He has issued executive orders unilaterally changing the laws, circumventing the constitutional role of the Congress. His defenders say that he has issued fewer executive orders than many of his predecessors, but the number[1] is not the chief concern – his executive orders have all too often been unconstitutional. He has refused to enforce laws, and on his watch one federal agency unfairly targeted his political opponents, while another issued regulations that infringed on the jurisdiction of the States. This is a dangerous abuse of power.

Even if you believe that Barack Obama is advancing social, economic, racial, and environmental justice, and want Hillary Clinton to do the same, the ends do not justify the means when they endanger our system of government, and our freedom. 

The President Circumvents Congress — ObamaCare  

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as “ObamaCare”, was signed into law in March 2010. Since that date, the Obama Administration has made over thirty changes to the law without the consent of the Congress, including Continue reading

Good Intentions, Wrong Solutions – Progressives Legalize Pot

by Jim Edsall

Progressives, you have good intentions, not wanting people to be imprisoned for recreational use of marijuana (“pot”), which you see as a victimless crime. But to counter that you propose the wrong solution, advocating legalization. Legality is society’s imprimatur. It is society’s way of saying, “it’s okay, there’s nothing wrong with it, great, do your own thing, no harm-no foul.” But that is not true. There is harm.

First there is the smoke itself. You oppose cigarette smoking and declare the manufacturers evil because they produce an addictive product that causes lung cancer. Fine, but guess what, most pot is consumed by smoking. And it’s not even filtered. According to the American Lung Association, one “joint” of pot has four times more tar than any tobacco cigarette, not to mention thirty-three cancer causing chemicals. Yet, President Obama says pot is no more harmful than alcohol? Maybe that’s true, if you breathe some booze into your lungs.

Many claim pot is not a gateway drug. I say, “Poppycock”, which means, your statement is patently false (it is also a great munchie – popcorn covered in light golden caramel with pecans, cashews or peanuts – mmmm). Pot is habitual at its best, and addictive at its worst. It is just one of many ways to get high. I, and many teenage cohorts of mine, said of pot, “Hey, I liked that drug, let’s try another!” So, we did, and we often mixed in unhealthy quantities of alcohol. By God’s grace alone, I survived it.*

Stoned is the opposite of sharp. You are not at your best or most productive. I can attest from personal experience, and enough observation of friends to count as a clinical study, that pot blunted our motor skills, gave us artificial feelings of confidence and power, adversely affected our ability to concentrate, and made us inclined to simply lie around listening to music or jamming on our guitars.

You want kids to be sharp in school so you give them drugs that fight ADD and ADHD. But, then you legalize pot, making it far more accessible to kids, who then smoke it and come to class in a pot-induced haze. You recognize the dangers of impaired driving and support heavy sentences for DUI. Then you legalize pot and send even more impaired drivers out onto the streets risking other peoples’ lives (see “More Colorado Drivers in Fatal Crashes Positive for Pot, Study Says”, Denver Post, 5/15/14). How can you not see the inherent problems with this? Are you stoned or something?

You don’t have to legalize all pot use to keep people out of prison. Simply lighten the sentences to fines or community service. Prove you care about young peoples’ mental development and the safety of people on the road. Discourage the use of pot by keeping it illegal in most instances. Only legalize pot for medicinal purposes, in pre-cooked edibles or capsulized form, requiring a doctor’s prescription.

I am sure some potheads will hear of this former user’s change of heart and call me “Traitor”. Here’s my rejoinder: “Sharper”, “Clearer”, “Safer Driver”, “Got No Lung Cancer.” Let’s encourage people to get high on life, not on pot. Society will be better for it. And you will, too.

*Author’s Note: I could feel God drawing me to Him when I was age 20, the Good Shepherd seeking a lost sheep. I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life, and the change in me was instantaneous and miraculous. I no longer desired any of the drugs I had used habitually. Instead, I was on the highest of highs being friends with the Creator of the universe! When you ask Jesus to be your Savior, you will become a brand new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17 ), and you will be set free indeed ( John 8:36). If you are struggling with a drug habit or addiction, call out to Him. Ask Him to be Lord of your life. He will dwell with you, and you with Him, forever.   

Georgette Forney and Anglicans for Life

Hey, All,
An article of mine has been published in the most recent issue of WORLD magazine, along with a companion piece at their online magazine, worldmag.com. The articles are about Georgette Forney and her ministry, Anglicans for Life. Here is the link:


The first paragraph includes a link to my “short item” article published on February 8, 2014, in the print magazine. Click that link and it will take you to the “Lifestyle” page, and then scroll down to the bottom of the page to the article entitled, “Abortion Regrets”. Thanks for reading.

Jim Edsall

Dear Chris Matthews, My Opposition to President Obama is Not Based on Hate

Today, I sent this message to Chris Matthews of MSNBC to counter the claim that he made on last night’s Rachel Maddow’s show that opposition to President Obama is based on hate…
October 15, 2013

To: Chris Matthews of MSNBC  

Dear Chris, 

Last night, on Rachel Maddow’s show, you came to the conclusion that southern conservatives oppose President Obama because of hate. I am a 52 year-old white male from the south, who generally votes conservative, but I am not a racist — I was baptized by an African-American pastor, who also presided at my wedding — and I don’t hate the President. I just disagree with him on many of his policy positions.   

You came to your conclusion while discussing Sunday’s Million Vet March at the World War II memorial, where there was one man with a confederate flag. Many who own such flags say they keep them as a symbol of heritage and independence, not in support of slavery and racism. I’m not saying that is right or wrong, just that we don’t know the man’s heart on that issue. Either way, he was only one of thousands of people who attended the rally. His flag doesn’t justify condemning the rest of the crowd, let alone everyone who opposes the President.

The anger that you saw among others at the event was not driven by hate but by indignation. The National Park Service, a department of the Executive Branch under President Obama, had erected barriers at an open air memorial. It was an apparent attempt to create a backlash against the Republicans over the government shutdown. Those barriers did not have to be erected. The public outrage was understandable, especially when coupled with the Defense Department’s recent refusal to pay death benefits to families of soldiers killed in action in Afghanistan. This should have been the story. Instead, the story centered only on the one guy with a confederate flag, and the anger of the crowd as if it had no justification.

The shutdown itself occurred because we have divided government. Many in the media have expressed dismay that there is opposition to the President and his health care law, since he was elected not once, but twice. A majority of House Republicans were also elected twice, in 2010 and 2012, chiefly due to a majority of the American people being opposed to “ObamaCare.” Those of us who voted for Republicans were concerned that the new health law would hurt middle class people. The facts are bearing that out.

I am a self-employed attorney. My wife worked nights as a nurse while I was in law school. I took on $65,000.00 in school debt to make it through. The reward: I don’t have to answer to a boss, just my clients. That used to be the American dream. However, it feels less and less like a dream since I pay for my own health insurance. I just received a letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield telling me that my current plan has been canceled and my monthly premium will go up from $588 to $897 for a plan with a high deductible. The letter stated that the increase was due to the Affordable Care Act, and that I have to pay more to help cover the uninsured and those with pre-existing conditions. Essentially this is a tax on the middle class, a redistribution of what wealth I have. Maybe NBC pays your health insurance. I have to pay my own. What happened to the President’s promise that I will save $2500.00 and be able to keep my current plan?

There are so many other ways we could have addressed the uninsured and pre-existing conditions: expanding Medicare with full federal funding for the states, direct government subsidies helping everyone pay their premiums as they do in Germany, and why not throw in some good GOP ideas for keeping costs down like interstate competition between insurance companies and reasonable tort reform? We could have paid for health care reform through tax reform. A frank national discussion in tough times might even have gotten the majority to support an increase in the amount of income that is subject to payroll tax. Instead, the Democrats imposed a massive new bureaucracy, with individual mandates, enforced by the IRS, without a single Republican vote. If I hate this, does it mean I hate the President? No. I hate the fact that he addressed a real problem with a bad solution.

The House Republicans wanted to defund the Affordable Care Act. I appreciated that, as I want it repealed and replaced, but that was an over-reach since the Democrats control the Senate. The GOP soon backed off that position, attempting merely to delay the individual mandate for one year. Prior to the shutdown there was bipartisan support for such a delay. Once the shutdown began, the left labeled that position “terrorism” and “insanity” borne by “hate” and “racism”.

It is all too easy to dismiss the reasonable grievances of the opposition by vilifying them personally. Not only is it unfair, it’s unproductive. If you really want the country to come together: acknowledge the real concerns of those you don’t agree with, engage them in dialogue without condescension, consider their recommendations, try to win them over, attempt to find reasonable common ground, and don’t attempt to judge hearts — that is God’s province alone. I will do my best to do the same.

Jim Edsall

Banner Elk, NC

Facts Correcting Liberals’ Misconceptions

by Jim Edsall

MISCONCEPTION 1: Tax revenues are down because the rich don’t pay enough.

FACT: Tax revenues are down because 46% of Americans pay NO federal income tax

The biggest reason that government revenues are relatively low compared to GDP recently is NOT that the tax rate on the rich is “only” 35%. It is because Bush got so progressive with his tax cuts that 46% of Americans now pay NO federal income taxes:


Yes, all who are employed pay payroll taxes (“FICA” toward Medicare and Social Continue reading