- - Wednesday, July 25, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A year and a half after the fact, we are seeing photographs of Hillary and Bill Clinton at a cozy dinner just weeks after her failed presidential campaign, with accused serial rapist Harvey Weinstein. Having powerful friends like the Clintons is a reminder of not only how someone as disgusting as Mr. Weinstein remained in power, but why people were afraid to act against him.

At the Clinton table at the very popular Rao’s restaurant in New York in early December 2016 were Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton, Harvey Weinstein, his wife fashion designer Georgina Chapman, and Weinstein lawyer David Boies. The New York Times reported last year that the pals were discussing making a documentary about her loss to Donald Trump. The Daily Mail reported it received exclusive access to the never-before-seen photos of the Clintons with Mr. Weinstein.

This reminds people of the sort of individuals she has chosen to surround herself with. In the immediate aftermath of the 2016 loss, one would guess she’d have her closest friends with her, the people she could trust. And in early December, that apparently was Mr. Weinstein, with whom the Clintons had been friends for decades.

According to the New York Police Department, Mr. Weinstein is charged with rape, a criminal sex act, sexual abuse and sexual misconduct involving two women. More charges could follow.

It was less than a year after his best friend’s failure to gain the presidency and a mere 10 more months after that dinner at Rao’s, for the boom to be brought down on Mr. Weinstein.

Mrs. Clinton still insists she had no idea about Mr. Weinstein’s alleged actions, so her friends and supporters have two options when it comes to her decades-long friendship with the accused rapist: Either she was the only Friend of Harvey in both Hollywood and politics who didn’t know, which makes her unqualified to hold any public office; or she did know and didn’t care. Either way, this is a woman whose judgment was and remains compromised.

Some did try to warn her about the association. In one instance, the Daily Mail noted The New York Times had revealed “… Clinton’s campaign had been warned about the rumors swirling around about Weinstein. Actress Lena Dunham — one of Hillary’s biggest celebrity endorsers — emailed her campaign’s deputy communications director in 2016. The email stated: ‘I just want you to let you know that Harvey’s a rapist and this is going to come out at some point. I think it’s a really bad idea for him to host fund-raisers and be involved because it’s an open secret in Hollywood that he has a problem with sexual assault.’ “

Thus, the dinner photographs are a reminder about just how big a disaster America averted in 2016. If Mrs. Clinton had prevailed in 2016, consider the individuals who would now have more power than they ever did before. Then contemplate the sort of Cabinet a President Hillary Clinton would have assembled. Eric Schneiderman, the disgraced former New York attorney general who resigned after the Ronan Farrow/New Yorker expose on multiple women accusing him of abuse, very easily would have expected to become U.S. attorney general.

And what could BFF Harvey Weinstein have expected? Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, of course. Mrs. Clinton’s election would likely mean the #MeToo movement never would have materialized. His close relationship with the Clintons would continue, and he would be a frequent visitor to the White House. Who could have stopped him then?

Certainly then-FBI Director James B. Comey would have to be rewarded. Director of National Intelligence? After all, even with his renewing the investigation into her email server, he declared she would not be prosecuted, taking Attorney General Loretta Lynch out of the picture, clearing the whole thing up. Mrs. Clinton was president and Mr. Comey’s action probably saved the election. That’s likely what they thought, and would tell themselves if she succeeded.

Now, let’s see … How does FBI Director Peter Strzok sound to you? Andrew McCabe and Lisa Page would have plum jobs reporting to their new boss at the bureau, no doubt. John Brennan would love being the National Security Adviser. James Clapper, head of Homeland Security? Of course. Not to mention Glenn Simpson, the head of Fusion GPS and source of the phony Russian dossier, as the White House director of communications?

And then there’s the Supreme Court of the United States. So many to choose from: Barack Obama. Eric Holder. Former Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren.

Everyone had the next eight years planned, imagining the Hillary Clinton presidency as their final act prior to amazing retirements and gigantic pensions, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.

Until Donald J. Trump. As you observe the continuing “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” know that it is from those who took too much for granted and held you in so much contempt. Like Hillary Clinton, those still trying to undermine the president simply refuse to take responsibility for their own failure, and be grateful every day that the American voter decided enough was enough.

• Tammy Bruce, president of Independent Women’s Voice, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk show host.

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