An unlikely critic of Hillary Clinton could pose significant problems for the Democratic front-runner for the White House.
Dan Metcalfe, who previously oversaw the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) at the Department of Justice, has been publicly ripping Clinton for her exclusive use of a private email account during her time as secretary of State.
But the soft-spoken academic who resembles Santa Claus maintains he’s not looking to derail Clinton’s anticipated 2016 bid. To the contrary, he says. Metcalfe notes he is a registered Democrat and will vote for the former first lady if she runs for the White House. That makes his criticism even more damaging.
While Democrats are largely rallying behind Clinton, Republicans have seized on the email uproar. And the matter isn’t going away anytime soon: The State Department has said it is reviewing the issue, congressional committees have launched probes and The Associated Press has filed a lawsuit.
Metcalfe isn’t a public figure, but he is a respected expert who has been asked to address legal groups, government agencies and Congress.
GOP strategist Ford O’Connell predicted that Metcalfe’s comments would be used against Clinton in the general election.
When it comes to the email controversy, O’Connell said Republicans “want to create a narrative about Hillary that may not necessarily bring voters over to their side but could potentially keep some of her potential supporters at home.”
“That’s why they’re not just jamming this down the throat as much as they could because they recognize they’re going to have to reintroduce this in the general election and [say] that she’s inauthentic; she’s willing to cut corners and acts in her own self-interest,” he added.