Hillary Clinton's email scandals probably send most people to sleep, but they are far more important than Donald Trump boasting to a friend about his shagging proclivities.Trump was just shooting a line with a crony; Clinton woes are legal and the two should not be confused.
There are two sets of Clinton emails. The first are what we might call the Podesta mails which Wikileaks has got hold of and which are being released in batches. John Podesta was the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and someone hacked into his Gmail account and then uploaded the contents to Wikileaks. Clinton is blaming the wicked Russians, but it is just as likely to have been some kid in his bedroom. How anyone of Podesta's standing could use a Gmail account for sensitive inner-party matters is beyond me, but that is what the man did.
What the mails show is the shear level of fixing that went on to ensure that Clinton got the Democratic nomination for the presidency. In a nutshell, the National Committee that was supposedly running a free and fair set of primary elections to choose a candidate was actually working hand in glove with one candidate, Hillary Clinton.
None of that is illegal, but it is so wonderfully sleazy that it makes Latin-American politics look as pure as the driven snow by comparison. When you add to it the vast amounts of money that were shovelled into the Clinton Foundation courtesy of her State Department links, then you can add African politics to the sleaze equation.
However, where the illegality comes in is via the Clinton server scandal, which does seem to show illegality on a vast scale. As Secretary of State Clinton should have used a protected, American government server and email account for her official business. Instead, she chose to set up her own system, based on her own server, where she mixed public and private emails together.
When the story of that server broke in 2015, Clinton handed over all the emails which she said were of an official nature, and deleted the ones that were purely private. The problem is that few people believe anything that she says, so the hunt is now on for the so-called private emails. The problem for Clinton is that if the mails were purely related to family matters why did she delete them?
One of the people who had an e-mail account on that sever was Huma Abedin, a senior political aide who was married to Anthony Weiner, who was forced to resign due to his own sex scandals. It turned out recently that Weiner had been sexting a 15 year old girl, so the FBI got involved in the case and found that the computer that he had been using for his sex chats also contained some of the deleted Clinton e-mails. If those deleted mails were purely related to family matters, why are they now turning up on the computer of a political aide?
It all sound horribly complicated and a bit trivial, bit it is far from that. Clinton was obliged by law to use a government approved e-mail account and server and she didn't. She then deleted thousands of e-mails which she claimed were purely personal and some of them are turning up on an aide's computer which suggests that they were actually official.
That leads to the final question: if these e-mail are official, what did Clinton have to hide by trying to delete them?
Clinton is a byword for sleaze and corruption, as the Podesta mails show, but these mails may show far more: they may show illegality that is far more important than the technical one of using a non-approved server.