Iowans voted tonight in the first primary of the U.S. presidential election achieving historic results. Senator Ted Cruz won the republican Iowa caucus beating out businessman Donald Trump. Perhaps, the biggest surprise of the evening for republicans was Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s showing.
Rubio’s poll numbers surged beyond expectations today and he nearly beat Trump. Following Rubio’s triumph it is clear that the republican nomination is down to three candidates: Cruz, Rubio, and Trump.
As for the democrats, the winner is still unclear. The Iowa democratic caucus is a virtual tie between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. This is a catastrophic setback to the Clinton campaign because Sanders is a self- declared socialist and not considered a viable candidate in the general election. It appears Clinton’s email scandal is beginning to take its toll on her campaign.
Since last summer, Clinton’s email scandal has gripped the American media and been the subject of a lengthy FBI investigation. For the first time this past week, the Obama administration confirmed that Clinton’s private unsecured email server did indeed contain ‘top-secret’ information. Clinton has repeatedly said that she did not send nor receive classified material on her private email server. Which begs the question, “How did the top-secret information get there?”
Congressman Darryl Issa (R-CA), who led an investigation into Benghazi, indicated that FBI Director James Comey would like to indict both Clinton and longtime aide, Huma Abedin. The Espionage Act holds those entrusted with information related to national defense liable if “through gross negligence” they “permit” the information “to be removed from its proper place of custody.”
Thirty-seven pages from seven email chains found on Clinton’s private server will not be released to the public at the request of the intelligence community because they are too sensitive in nature, even if redacted, to reveal. The FBI is currently leading the investigation into Clinton’s emails, and will soon likely make a recommendation to the Department of Justice whether or not to prosecute her.
If the Obama administration subverts the scales of justice, perhaps the next president will hold Clinton accountableCaitlin Miller
On Friday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told the American people that based on what the White House knows Clinton will not be indicted as she is not a target of the investigation. Obama weighed in regarding the FBI’s investigation in October, “This is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.” It is highly unusual for the White House to comment on an ongoing FBI investigation, so this rhetoric from the administration is certainly troubling.
Even though the Obama administration has used the Espionage Act to prosecute more people than each of the previous administrations combined, it is not likely that Clinton will be indicted. If the Obama administration subverts the scales of justice, perhaps the next president will hold Clinton accountable for her behavior.
Chris Christie, New Jersey Governor and former prosecutor, did say that he would be willing and ready to prosecute if he was in the White House, “There is no one on this stage better prepared to prosecute the case against Hillary Clinton than I am.”
Middle East policy
Clinton’s email scandal is not the only issue on the minds of the voters. According to Google, a co-host of the Republican debate on Thursday, ISIS was the most searched for foreign policy topic over the last year. With approximately 3,000 fighters, Libya is ISIS’s newest base of operations. On Friday, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, told reporters that military leadership is looking into taking action against ISIS in Libya.
Clinton was not only a staunch advocate, but the architect, of U.S. intervention in Libya. Poignantly, she touted her policy in Libya during her time as Secretary of States as a success story. Since Muammar Gaddafi fell from power in 2011, Libya has spiraled into a failed state ripe for breeding terrorism.
ISIS is using the same brutal tactics in Libya that they employ in Syria. The terrorist group intimidates local populations using a lethal combination of widespread fear and cultivating relationships with homegrown criminal organizations. Such strategies, allow ISIS to devastate communities and take territory at a rapid rate.
In less than one year, the number of internally displaced persons in Libya has more than doubled, which leaves no shortage of potential recruits for ISIS. It is clear that Clinton’s greatest foreign policy “achievement” is a failure.
To ensure that Clinton is not permitted back into the White House to repeat past failures, it is imperative that the GOP selects a candidate capable of defeating Clinton in a general election. In numerous polls the only GOP candidate that is victorious over Clinton one-on-one is Rubio. Rubio told Iowans, “we'll defeat Hillary Clinton and we will turn this country around once and for all, after seven years of the disaster that is Barack Obama.” Rubio’s star is rising because his message of nationalism, economic prosperity, and conservatism resonates strongly with the American people.
Caitlin Miller is a strategic communications consultant based in Washington, D.C. She has worked for the International Institute for Strategic Studies - Middle East, and Republican members of Congress in both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. Caitlin received her Juris Doctor with a concentration in International Law from the Duquesne University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Loyola Marymount University. You can follow her on Twitter here: @cait_elizabeth1