House Republicans announced Thursday that they will hold hearings in September on whether Hillary Clinton committed perjury while testifying on Capitol Hill.
At issue are four specific statements Clinton made under oath which appear to be false.
Clinton had claimed insistently that none of the material she sent or received from her private email account was marked classified. This is not true. The FBI has dug up at least three emails from her privately hosted account that were marked classified. According to House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, some are so highly classified that he isn't even allowed to read them.
Clinton also claimed that her legal team had read her emails to determine which ones were work-related and thus the property of the federal government. They did no such thing. FBI director James Comey revealed that the lawyers relied on simple keyword searches.
As a result, Clinton failed to turn over thousands of work-related emails, even though she claimed, again under oath, to have turned over all of them.
Finally, Clinton claimed she used only one server in the unsecured homebrew network she created for her work correspondence. The truth was, rather, that she used several servers, and several devices.
Clinton, of course, told plenty of other lies, but these were the ones under oath to Congress. They create the (slim) possibility that she will face legal consequences for her dishonesty. Republicans are right to push the issue because no one else will.
Clinton's facile dishonesty, telling easy-to-check lies under oath, is part of a troubling pattern. She disregarded freedom of information laws because she doesn't think the rules apply to her. She ignored rules on handling classified information because she doesn't think the rules apply to her. She broke her agreement with the Obama administration to disclose certain donations to the Clinton Foundation during her tenure as secretary of state and to refuse other donations, because she doesn't think the rules apply to her.
Like a child who misbehaves because no adult disciplines her, Clinton keeps crossing line after line without paying a price. Now she expects to get away with lying to Congress. And she probably will.
Her campaign is spinning like a top, accusing her Republicans of mounting a partisan witch-hunt. There's a grain of truth in this, but only because not a single Democrat has the courage or integrity to stand up to Clinton and hold her accountable for breaking the rules and the law.
Will the Obama administration do its legal duty? Hardly. The media? Some news outlets are doing a decent job, but many others are content to treat Clinton's lawbreaking mendacity as though it were no worse than the venial falsehoods of Donald Trump.
Unfortunately, no one other than the GOP will try to hold Clinton to account. Republicans are right to hold perjury hearings. They are unlikely to trip her up on the way to the White House. But to state that lamentable truth is not to say that doing the right thing is a waste of time.
The public, dismayed with the political class, needs to see that at least some lawmakers will do their duty. They don't like Clinton's lying. As few as only 11 percent of registered voters and 23 percent of Democrats think her honest and trustworthy. The trouble is, those same polls show her beating Trump.
Which is probably why she can keep smiling, for example in her Fox News interview with Chris Wallace, while lying yet again. If you're winning the presidency, you have something to smile about. As Prince Hamlet noted, "one my smile, and smile, and be a villain."