Tuesday, July 5, 2016

After Reaming Out Hillary Clinton For "Carelessness," FBI Chief James Comey Nixes Any Criminal Charges

Well, it's hardly a shockeroo.

It's not like her name was, say, Petraeus, or anything. 

It is, however, a sign that something is seriously rotten in D.C.

Here are Glenn Reynolds' initial thoughts on the Comey statement:
Although he said that there was extreme "carelessness" in handling classified information, the lack of intent to violate the law precluded prosecution. That's a bit of a surprise given that the Department of Justice is currently prosecuting Petty Officer First Class Kristian Saucier for a similar crime where no intent was involved. This gives rise to suspicions, verging on certainty, that the law is different when your name is Clinton, that laws are for the "little people" and not those in charge. As Kurt Schlichter has recently warned, the sense that there's no such thing as rule of law in today's America is likely to be quite corrosive. If Hillary can do this much damage to America's fabric now, how much worse will things be with her in the White House?
They will be so much worse that both my head and heart ache to contemplate it.

Update: Andrew C. McCarthy writes:
There is no way of getting around this: According to Director James Comey (disclosure: a former colleague and longtime friend of mine), Hillary Clinton checked every box required for a felony violation of Section 793(f) of the federal penal code (Title 18): With lawful access to highly classified information she acted with gross negligence in removing and causing it to be removed it from its proper place of custody, and she transmitted it and caused it to be transmitted to others not authorized to have it, in patent violation of her trust. Director Comey even conceded that former Secretary Clinton was “extremely careless” and strongly suggested that her recklessness very likely led to communications (her own and those she corresponded with) being intercepted by foreign intelligence services.  
Yet, Director Comey recommended against prosecution of the law violations he clearly found on the ground that there was no intent to harm the United States.  
In essence, in order to give Mrs. Clinton a pass, the FBI rewrote the statute, inserting an intent element that Congress did not require...
McCarthy concludes:
I think highly of Jim Comey personally and professionally, but this makes no sense to me.  
Finally, I was especially unpersuaded by Director Comey’s claim that no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case based on the evidence uncovered by the FBI. To my mind, a reasonable prosecutor would ask: Why did Congress criminalize the mishandling of classified information through gross negligence? The answer, obviously, is to prevent harm to national security. So then the reasonable prosecutor asks: Was the statute clearly violated, and if yes, is it likely that Mrs. Clinton’s conduct caused harm to national security? If those two questions are answered in the affirmative, I believe many, if not most, reasonable prosecutors would feel obliged to bring the case.
The whole thing reminds me of how, in order to rule Obamacare constitutional, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts reconceived it to be a "tax".

Update: Consider this--if Condoleezza Rice were the Republican candidate for president, and if, following an intensive investigation, it was revealed that she had engaged in the same sort of "extremely careless" e-mail shenanigans when she was Secretary of State, would the head of the FBI have let her off the hook?

Well, maybe in an alternate universe he would.

In the one we're stuck with, you know she'd have been indicted quicker than you could say "Richard Milhous Nixon."

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