I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life — not just political, but also personal — last night.
During my weekly show on the “Fox Report” hosted by Harris Faulkner with Pat Caddell and John LeBoutillier, I indicated that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for me to vote for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe dangerous erosion of Democratic Party foundations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat Left laughs off floated changes to 2024 ticket MORE on November 8.
Why did I say this?
Not for any small reason.
FBI Director James Comey’s decision to make public the fact that more emails potentially pertinent to the Clinton probe had been found on Anthony Weiner’s computer changes the impact of this election on the future of the country.
I say this because regardless of what Secretary Clinton did or didn’t do or what her aide, Huma Abedin, did or didn’t do or even what Anthony Weiner did or didn’t do, I am now convinced that we will be facing the very real possibility of a constitutional crisis with many dimensions and deleterious consequences should Secretary Clinton win the election.
In the best case scenario, there will be at the very least a criminal investigation of President-elect Clinton. And there will be a criminal investigation of Huma Abedin, which is apparently ongoing. Furthermore, there will be potential investigations into the actions of the Justice Department and most of all the FBI and its director, James Comey.
After the past eight years wherein America has become progressively more and more divided and a campaign season that has magnified these divisions, I fear for that we will not be able to withstand this kind of continued scandal.
Let me contextualize this point a bit more as the term “Watergate” gets thrown around alot these days.
Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPredictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure A review of President Biden's first year on border policy Hannity after Jan. 6 texted McEnany 'no more stolen election talk' in five-point plan for Trump MORE likes to say that the Clinton email scandal is worse than Watergate. I remember Watergate very well.
What troubled me most, other than the crimes committed, was that the United States was paralyzed and unable to act. President Nixon and the government were rendered impotent, unable to govern and meet its responsibilities to the American public.
I worry that the same thing could happen after a victory by Secretary Clinton and could carry on into her term of office. There will be no goodwill or honeymoon period for Clinton. Her first 100-days agenda will take a backseat to partisan divisions and polarization with little chance of constructive legislative action occurring.
We have seen that a hyper-partisan, gridlocked Washington is bad for the country. There is no reason to believe that Clinton’s tenure will be anything but more of the same in this way and, most likely, a lot worse.
Further, Russian President Vladimir Putin said (tongue-in-cheek) that we are not a banana republic. I greatly fear we could become one if Secretary Clinton is elected president. Our national security will continue to be jeopardized by ongoing investigations by the FBI, and potentially the Justice Department and Congress, putting us at immediate risk of more assertive actions in Europe, Middle East and Asia by the Russians and Chinese.
Moreover, we simply cannot face a situation where the president elect may need or want a pardon from the president to govern. Or worse yet, need to pardon herself after she takes office.
As of now, I have no confidence that either of those questions will be answered by Election Day or that we will have full clarity on an investigation into what could be as many as 650,000 emails that found their way to Weiner and Abedin’s computer.
However, in good conscience, and as a Democrat, I am actively doubting whether I can vote for the Secretary of State. I also want to make clear that I cannot vote for Donald Trump as his world view and mine are very different.
I remain a Democrat and proud of the work I did for six years for President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonPerdue proposes election police force in Georgia To boost economy and midterm outlook, Democrats must pass clean energy bill Could the coming 'red wave' election become a 'red tsunami'? MORE between 1994 and 2000 and I write with extreme sadness. But I cannot in the waning days of the election make the case that Secretary Clinton should be elected.
I still share her worldview and am much closer to her approach to policies than I am to Donald Trump. That said, with America facing a potential constitutional crisis after her election, I am not able, under the circumstances we are now facing, to vote for Secretary Clinton.
Douglas E. Schoen served as a pollster for President Bill Clinton. A longtime political consultant and pollster, he is also a Fox News contributor and the author of 11 books. His latest book is Putin's Master Plan: To Destroy Europe, Divide NATO, and Restore Russian Power and Global Influence (Encounter, 2016). Available at Amazon. Follow him on Twitter @DouglasESchoen.
The views of Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill