The Case of Hillary Clinton's Emails

by Steve Adubato, PhD

With my newest book, Lessons in Leadership, coming out next month, which includes a major section on the

“leadership” styles of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, I thought it would be very appropriate to offer this perspective on yesterday’s historic announcement by FBI Director James Comey that the FBI is not recommending for criminal charges to be brought against former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton

for using a private email server. Make no mistake, avoiding criminal prosecution because the FBI Director believes it would be a tough case to prosecute or because he believes it wasn’t Hillary Clinton’s intent to do anything illegal is not my focus here. Nor was it the reason I heaped tremendous criticism on her in my book, Lessons in Leadership. Rather, it is because of Hillary Clinton’s appalling lack of judgment in this email scandal. First, she kept insisting that she never sent or communicated any classified emails. That’s simply not true. According to FBI Director Comey, over 100 emails were found to include classified information. Further, for the longest time, Hillary Clinton insisted she was simply following the rules or procedures for a federal official. Also, not the case.

Yet, the worst leadership failure for Mrs. Clinton, from my perspective, is that you don’t have to be tech savvy to know having a private email server in your home in Westchester County while Secretary of State clearly sends the message that you’re trying to hide something. She knew that. She had to be warned of it, but she never chose to fix it – to get it right or to acknowledge the mistake. And as of this moment, she has not apologized for any of this. Rather, she’s tried to point to other respected national leaders like Colin Powell saying he once did something similar. Again, not the case, and regardless it’s totally irrelevant to what Hillary Clinton did or didn’t do. To make matters worse, she campaigned at a rally with President Obama in North Carolina as if hours before the FBI Director for our country hadn’t said she did horrific things with top secret information while secretary of state.

So, while I agree with Mrs. Clinton that Donald Trump lacks the temperament as well as the emotional maturity and intelligence to be the leader of our nation, I also seriously question Mrs. Clinton’s leadership abilities when it comes to knowing the difference between right and wrong. And, when you’ve done something wrong, ultimately, having the humility and character to quickly own it and apologize for it instead of spinning and playing the game of deflection and distraction. So no, Hillary Clinton isn’t being brought up on charges by the FBI and likely will not be brought up on charges by the Department of Justice. However, it is important to never confuse that decision with a clean bill of health when it comes to the leadership it takes to be President of the United States. Once again, a graphic and very painful lesson in how NOT to lead, offered by one of our two candidates for the highest office in the land. Some choice huh?

NOW... YOUR TURN: Clearly I've expressed my thoughts about Hillary Clinton's shortcomings in this email fiasco as a leader and our potential future president. More importantly, what are your thoughts, particularly, on how she has handled this whole email mess? Write to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..