BY FRANK SALVATO

A recent exposé by FOX News Channel’s Bret Baier and his Special Report team, exposed and chronicled a damning timeline and some internal practices that prove the Clintons – both Bill and Hillary – did, in fact, have a “pay-to-play” scheme in place entangling the Clinton State Department and the Clinton Foundation. It also proves that senior staff within the Clinton campaign knew there was damaging information held within the emails trafficked over Hillary Clinton’s private unauthorized server, including correspondence between Clinton and President Obama.

These revelations alone, regardless of what FBI Director James Comey believes is actionable within either of the FBI investigations, had the potential to end Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations. Alas, the mainstream media is so intent on providing cover and refuge for all of Hillary Clinton’s unethical and criminal acts – by Comey’s own description in his first announcement, that she is getting the pass of the millennium.

Since the reinstitution of the original criminal investigation by the FBI and the revelation of a second investigation by multiple FBI offices targeting the Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton has dropped like a rock in the polls. This decline is especially felt in several of the critical swing states, including Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Comey’s statement today that he is standing by his earlier decision not to recommend prosecution of Hillary Clinton for additional instances of mishandling classified information will most likely have no effect on the polls at all, although it will give the Clinton team a closing argument centered on deflection and ambiguity. The fact remains – and it is undeniable – Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information and is being treated in the aftermath as being above the law.

One of the key issues in the email and unauthorized (read: illegal) server scandal is Clinton’s initial and consistent claims to transparency where her communications were concerned. In her first statement on the matter she insisted – in no uncertain terms – that she wanted to combine her personal and government devices for “convenience.” Since then we have learned that she had over a dozen communications devices, some of which her team destroyed…with hammers.

Also critical to establishing the conspiracy in this scandal is the fact that her senior most staff, including John Podesta, Robby Mook, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, not only knew of the unethical and criminal trafficking of email over the illegal server, they were integral in the destruction of over 33,000 emails that were never vetted for criminality by investigative authorities.

Through the forced transparency provided by WikiLeaks, we now know that the Clinton’s initially wanted to continue to receive huge donations to their corrupt foundation from foreign governments and interests even after – God forbid – Hillary Clinton were to be elected to the presidency. In fact, Hillary Clinton, herself, wanted to keep the spigot wide-open. It was her husband, impeached former-President Bill Clinton, who proposed establishing some sort of vetting process.

Regarding the deletion of Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 unvetted “private” emails by the Clinton team, WikiLeaks disclosures prove that the destruction of what is now considered material evidence in a criminal investigation was premeditated. One WikiLeaks email exposed  Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta writing to Chief Clinton aide Cheryl Mills: “…[W]e are going to have to dump all those emails so better to do so sooner than later.”

That email was dated March 2nd, 2015, on the very same day that The New York Times reported on Hilary Clinton’s unauthorized and illegal private email server. On March 4th, 2015, House Benghazi Select Committee chairman US Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), requested any and all emails that were trafficked on Clinton’s private server; not some of them, or only the ones related to the State Department, but all of them.

On March 7th, 2015, Mills wrote to Podesta, “[W]e need to clean this up – [Obama] has emails from her – they do not say state.gov,” referring to the use of Clinton’s Gmail account. Then, at some point between March 25th and March 31st, 2015, the Clinton team deleted the requested emails – the material evidence – and then acid washed the server with BleachBit.

Clinton had insisted on March 10th, 2015, that she had surrendered all of the emails that she had trafficked over her private server saying she wanted to “err on the side of providing anything that could be possibly viewed as work related.” We now know that to be a bald-faced and intentional lie.

The WikiLeaks emails – and the resulting timeline prove, without doubt, that Hillary Clinton and her team sought to deceive; to hide information from not only the FBI investigators, but the investigators working for the US Congress. These actions are crimes, and they are crimes that prove – solidly – a conspiracy; a cover-up.

They say the cover-up is always worse than the crime. This is true in the Clinton email scandal as well. While the emails in question expose the Clinton’s as greedy, opportunistic politicians only out to enrich themselves, the cover-up enacted in the aftermath of the discovery of her illegal email server is what is slaying her with the American public.

We will never know why FBI Director Comey acted so erratically in flipping, flopping, and then flipping again on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information. He, himself, admitted in his initial declaration that illegal acts occurred. We also know that better people have been sentenced to prison and fined large amounts for doing much less than what Clinton did. To that end, there is a grotesque double standard in how justice is being applied to Clinton.

But justice doesn’t always have to come through the judicial system. It is a rare moment when We the People can exact justice directly against someone who has abused our trust, and through that abuse of trust, our nation as a whole. Today we stand at that moment in time. We can exact a punishment to both Bill and Hillary Clinton for the criminal and unethical acts they have perpetrated against the American people by denying the one thing that means the most to them: power.

Democrats, ask yourself, do you really believe you are best served in electing someone who has proven contempt for the masses of every political vane? Is guaranteeing the country at least four more years of scandal, corruption and pain truly a victory? Is electing someone who has proven she will raid the treasury for her own selfish gain worthy of your vote?

We the People have to become, once again, jealous of our love of country. We have to stop electing politically opportune reprobates to office – on both sides of the aisle. While Donald Trump may not be the Statesman we would prefer be leading us in the world today, he is head and shoulders above the corrupt and devious alternative in Hillary Clinton. To that there can be no argument.

So, on November 8th, I ask you to go to the polls to protect the Constitution from the worst most damaging candidate our nation has ever elevated to major political party nomination. The Constitution is ours, we own it, and we must protect it from Hillary Clinton; a woman who has proven to hate everything about the document, what it stands for and its purpose.

In the voices of our Founders and Framers, God save the United States of America.

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Frank Salvato is the Executive Director of BasicsProject, a grassroots, non-partisan, research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy, and internal and external threats facing Western Civilization. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His opinion and analysis have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, The Jewish World Review, Accuracy in Media, Human Events, Townhall.com and are syndicated nationally. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and is the author of six books examining Islamofascism and Progressivism, including “Understanding the Threat of Radical Islam”. Mr. Salvato’s personal writing can be found at FrankJSalvato.com.