Possible Successors Should Hillary Clinton Face Criminal Indictment

Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is getting closer to being the Democratic party nominee. She may also be getting closer to a criminal indictment over the use of her private email server.

Democrats say this will never happen. Republicans think it is more than a remote possibility. If Republicans are right, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey would request an indictment from the Department of Justice (DOJ). The Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, would be the one to order that – or sit on it.

This is only one part of the current Democratic National Committee (DNC) nightmare, as Debbie Wasserman-Schultz operates as an out-of-touch dictator, who doesn’t see the need to talk to her colleagues.

If the FBI makes it known that there are criminal findings against Hillary Clinton, whether officially or through leaks, there will be some chaos in the Democratic race. Just as the GOP doesn’t want Trump, the DNC elite don’t want Bernie Sanders as their nominee. They expect his nomination would cause a massive shift in general election votes.

If Hillary were forced to drop out, Democrats would need to produce an alternative candidate, and to beat Bernie Sanders, that person would need to have instant national recognition. Such a new candidate could only come from a very small field.

Two names come to mind. One is two-time Vice President Joe Biden and another is Secretary of State John Kerry. Both should have national name-recognition and facial-recognition – but some voters could be too young or too out-of-touch to know either of them.

hillary clinton, with john kerry and joe biden looming over her shoulders.
Possible successors if Hillary drops out of the presidential race

Biden was formerly a long-time senator from Delaware and Kerry formerly a long-time senator from Massachusetts. Some would say both men have been feeding at the government trough longer than most other lawmakers in Washington.

The switching of horses could happen at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, but that is in August. It all depends on timing. We could expect the DNC would decide who Hillary’s replacement would be.

Difference in GOP and DNC Voting

The Republican Party is bound by ‘Rule 40‘ which stipulates the presidential nominee must have won at least eight state primaries, unless they change the rules to block Donald Trump. On the other side, Democratic candidates have input on who represents them on the convention floor. Speaking to The Hill, delegate expert and University of Georgia professor Josh Putnam said “There are no Clinton-bound delegates who would prefer voting for Sanders, for example. Those folks are essentially hand-picked to be loyal. They are unlikely to stray.” Also, the Democrats have 712 ‘super-delegates.’ The super-delegates are Democratic Party leaders, and they are free to support any candidate they want at the convention.

The elite super-delegates include members of congress. It is suspected they would abandon Hillary Clinton if her candidacy imploded after an indictment. A drastic change would then be on the cards.

A few months ago, Joe Biden said he was disappointed he did not run, but he had other things on his mind, because his son Beau died tragically in October last year. John Kerry might also be a contender. He lost the 2004 election to George W. Bush, but that was 12 years ago, so there may be a lot of voters who don’t know that.

It is hard to see who another nominee could be, if not Biden or Kerry. If Hillary falls and those two do not stand up, is it possible delegates pledged to Hillary would support behind the socialist Bernie Sanders? It is hard to see the DNC allowing that to happen.

Even if Bernie Sanders did receive the 2,383 delegates to win the nomination Democrats say Sanders is virtually un-electable in the general election, even if he was up against the controversial Donald Trump.

Democrat delegates are probably suffering from nightmares right now, with one scene playing out, over and over again, as they try to sleep. What they see is Trump versus Sanders in national debates this fall.

Nobody really knows what will happen if Hillary Clinton is forced out of the race. The 4,765 democrat delegates will assume much more importance. We can be sure of one thing, though. If Hillary is indicted on criminal grounds, the smoke-filled back rooms at the Philadelphia convention will be buzzing. It would be great to be a fly on the wall!

Dwight L. Schwab Jr.
Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. He has written more than 3500 national political and foreign affairs columns. His BS in journalism from the University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.


Dwight has 30-years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. His first book, "Redistribution of Common Sense - Selective Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014," was published in July, 2014. "The Game Changer - America's Most Stunning Presidential Election in History," was published in April 2017.


Dwight is a native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.