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Hillary Clinton is unfit to serve

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Hillary Clinton put national security at risk to hide potentially politically embarrassing information from the American public. When this was exposed, she lied about it. Now she is seeking a promotion. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

In a typical election year, the American people are presented with the question of whether presidential candidates meet the basic threshold of being fit to serve in the nation's highest office.

But this election year is different, because we already know the answer to that question. We know, unequivocally, that Hillary Clinton is not fit to be president.

Clinton, to escape scrutiny of her actions as secretary of state, set up a private email server that put highly classified information at risk. She went to greater lengths to keep public information from the American public than she did to keep state secrets from China and Russia.

Though the FBI investigation into Clinton's use of a private server as secretary of state concluded without an indictment, even the more charitable interpretation of her actions should be disqualifying.

FBI director James Comey, in announcing the findings of the bureau's investigation, said that while there wasn't sufficient evidence that Clinton and her aides intentionally exposed classified information, "there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information."

Clinton argued previously that she didn't handle any classified information through her private email account, but Comey said, "110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received."

Subsequent defenses that the emails weren't clearly marked at the time are no excuse. The whole point of making sure those with the highest levels of security clearance follow the proper protocol and use official email for official business is that at any given time, emails containing classified information may be sent or received.

Clinton also claimed that her lawyers, "went through a thorough process to identify all of my work-related emails and deliver them to the State Department." But the FBI was able to recover work-related emails among those that Clinton claimed were personal and thus withheld from the State Department. Furthermore, Comey testified before Congress that by providing her lawyers access to the emails, she exposed highly classified information to individuals without security clearance, further endangering state secrets.

Even though the FBI recommended against indicting Clinton, Comey said that, "To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions."

A lower-level agency official that violated protocol and carelessly put highly classified information at risk would not be allowed to remain in a position requiring such a high level of security clearance. Yet Clinton is not only being let off the hook, but she is running for an office that would require an even higher level of security clearance, giving her access and control over the nation's most protected secrets, which only a handful of people know.

To sum up, Clinton put national security at risk to hide potentially politically embarrassing information from the American public. When this was exposed, she lied about it. Now she is seeking a promotion.

Previously in this space, I have detailed why the temperamentally unsound presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump is unfit for high office. But one need not excuse him to recognize that Clinton, too, cannot be trusted with the power of the presidency.