It Took 19 Tortured Interpretations of the Law to Let Hillary Off the Hook

FBI Director James Comey engages in doublespeak as he ignores and dismisses piles and piles of obvious felonies.

Hillary Clinton and FBI Director James Comey.

By Rachel Alexander Published on July 7, 2016

FBI Director James Comey announced on Tuesday that he won’t recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton, despite detailing her wrongful behavior in a lengthy speech. He didn’t believe any of her actions rose to the level of crimes, he said — a claim he could only make by employing tortured interpretations of the law. Nineteen of them.

One of the most unbelievable interpretations of law was Comey’s statement that Clinton and her colleagues were “extremely careless” in how they handled highly classified information. The applicable felony she was facing requires that the subject show “gross negligence” in handling classified information. How is “extreme carelessness” different from “gross negligence?” They sound like the same thing. Comey didn’t explain.

Even if Comey didn’t think her conduct rose to the level of gross negligence in handling classified information, that is not the only charge he could have brought. In 2009, Clinton signed a non-disclosure agreement as secretary of state, agreeing not to reveal classified information. It included “unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention, or negligent handling.” If she was “extremely careless,” that would easily qualify as at least a basic standard of negligence, a much lower standard to prove than “gross negligence.” Comey could thus have recommended a low-level misdemeanor charge, like knowingly removing classified information from appropriate, secured storage. However, he didn’t offer a tortured interpretation of the law to explain why he didn’t do this — instead he didn’t mention it at all.

A “Reasonable Person” Should Be Prosecuted

19 Tortured Interpretations
1. “Extremely careless” is not “gross negligence”
2. Clinton not held to the “reasonable person” standard
3. Clinton said she didn’t know she was handling classified information (not true)
4. Clinton said there was no classified information (not true)
5. Release of Top Secret emails causes “serious harm” to national security
6. Clinton deleted emails improperly
7. Clinton removed classified information from a properly secured environment
8. Clinton did not request clearance to remove the classified information
9. Clinton not even slapped with a misdemeanor like General Petraeus
10. No evidence of hacking — yet Guccifer accessed her emails through her crony
11. Clinton failed to turn over all the emails
12. Clinton lied many times
13. Prosecutor Loretta Lynch met privately with Clinton’s husband
14. Clinton ordered a book on how to delete emails
15. State department and Clinton dodged subpoenas
16. Violated state department policy on email
17. Lied about preferring only one smartphone
18. Lied about deleting emails with her husband since he doesn’t use email
19. Clinton signed a non-disclosure agreement in 2009

Another tortured interpretation of the law  is Comey’s refusal to invoke the “reasonable person” standard, even though he showed clearly that any “reasonable person” would have known he or she was dealing with classified information. Incredibly, he defended his decision not to recommend charges to Congress, by saying that Clinton just did not realize the 110+ emails were classified.

Clinton and her colleagues didn’t just send one email with classified information. Comey admitted the investigation found 110 emails were sent — some may have been received or responded to by Clinton, not necessarily sent, the record is not clear — containing classified information at the time, which made it into 52 email chains. Eight email chains included Top Secret information, 36 included Secret information, and 8 contained Confidential information. All higher intelligence levels than regularly classified levels.

In fact, as Sen. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), a former prosecutor, told Comey during questioning today, Clinton would have been much more knowledgeable than the law’s “reasonable person.” “This is no average person: this is a former First Lady, a former United States Senator, and a former Secretary of State that the president now contends is the most competent, qualified person to be president since [Thomas] Jefferson.” Clinton reportedly has a 140 IQ.

Additionally, the fact she hid her private email server from anyone in government except a handful of aides shows intent.

Perhaps the most tortured interpretation was Comey’s conclusion that Clinton should not be charged when the evidence he presented showed that she clearly violated the law. He claimed that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” Several reputable prosecutors and former prosecutors responded and said that is not accurate. Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who served in the Justice Department and as a US Attorney, said he was “shocked” by Comey’s decision not to recommend charges. 

There are plenty more violations of the law by Clinton that Comey chose to explain away with twisted interpretations of the law, listed in the box to the right.

Others Prosecuted For Far Less

Others Who Were Harshly Prosecuted
Federal employees and officials have been criminally prosecuted under The Espionage Act for far less grievous offenses. One former CIA agent was recently sentenced to three years in prison for destroying a single top-secret email. The Wall Street Journal reports, “prosecutors have used the law to charge a Naval reservist who admitted to storing classified briefings and digital records on his personal devices, as well as a machinist’s mate who pleaded guilty to taking photos of the submarine he served on, according to the Justice Department.”

1. Disclosed one classified report on North Korea to a reporter, sentenced to 13 months in prison
2. Revealed classified information about the CIA’s effort to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program, sentenced to 3.5 years in prison
3. Leaked classified information on anti-Israel blogger Richard Silverstein to a blogger, sentenced to 20 months in prison
4. Leaked the name of a former colleague who interrogated detainees using harsh practices including waterboarding to journalists, sentenced to 2.5 years in prison

Source: The Lid

Clinton is being treated differently than 4-star General David Petraeus, who was prosecuted for a misdemeanor for giving classified information to his mistress and for lying to the FBI about it. He accepted a plea deal of two years probation and a $100,000 fine. Clinton’s defenders have claimed that Petraeus providing his mistress and biographer Paula Broadwell with some classified information was worse than Clinton’s actions.

Yet none of the classified material ever made it into his biography or anywhere else, so no damage was done. In contrast, Clinton transmitted the classified information electronically, to multiple people — including some like her friend Max Blumenthal who were hacked — and in the electronic sphere it may have gotten into the hands of hundreds of hackers.

Now, even if Petraeus’s actions were “willful,” the law is still the same if the actions involved “gross negligence.” But he was prosecuted and she wasn’t.

What’s next?

Several members of Congress are now calling for a special prosecutor to be appointed. The FBI is still investigating the Clinton Foundation. Also, remember what Comey said Tuesday? “This is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences.” His words may be coming to pass. Thursday evening, the State Department announced it was reopening an internal investigation of possible mishandling of classified information by Hillary Clinton and her top aides.

If Clinton was really that unknowledgeable about highly classified information as secretary of state, at a minimum, maybe she is not qualified to be President. And let’s not forget what Clinton herself has said, “There should be no bank too big to fail and no individual too big to jail.”

Read more from Rachel
SERVERGATE: Hillary’s Emails are the Gift that Keeps on Giving
SERVERGATE: Hillary Clinton’s Ever Changing Story
The Hillary Servergate Scandal Just Got Bigger

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