Hillary Gets Away with Violating the Espionage Act – For Now

The FBI declares Clinton guilty, but refuses to push for charges.

FBI Director James Comey said in essence yesterday that Hillary Clinton’s email adventures violated the Espionage Act but refused to recommend the former U.S. secretary of state be prosecuted for her crimes.

With her hacker-friendly private email servers that appear to have been penetrated by foreign intelligence agencies, Clinton is now in the company of Aaron Burr, Bradley Manning, and Edward Snowden all of whom betrayed the public trust. The failure to hold her accountable is yet more proof that the Clintons are above the law. No matter what they do the legal system always treats them with kid gloves. 

The congenitally corrupt Clintons created the private email system to frustrate Freedom of Information Act requesters, shield Hillary's correspondence from congressional oversight, and steer money to the international cash-for-future-presidential-favors clearinghouse known as the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, which, amazingly enough, still enjoys tax-exempt status.

“She's laughing at the stupidity of our system," presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump said at a campaign rally yesterday. "Today's the best evidence that we've ever seen that our system is rigged."

"This is one of the most crooked politicians in history," Trump said. "She can't keep her emails safe, and I tell you, folks, she sure as hell can't keep our country safe."

The illegal, insecure private email servers Clinton used while at the State Department are at the heart of the scandal over her mishandling of an Islamic terrorist attack in militant-infested Benghazi, Libya on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 that left four Americans, including U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens, dead. Even now, four years after the assault, the Obama administration has failed to provide an autopsy report about Stevens who was initially reported to have been ritualistically sodomized before being murdered by Muslim terrorists.

At a press conference where no questions were taken from the press, Comey carefully explained that the presumptive Democrat presidential nominee committed all the elements of the crime of improperly handling national security secrets. (Comey’s full prepared remarks are available here.)

“There is evidence that [Secretary Clinton or her colleagues] were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” Comey said.

For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. … None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government—or even with a commercial service like Gmail.

Despite all of this Clinton shouldn’t be prosecuted, Comey said, because there is no “clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information.”

Except that “gross negligence” – not whatever Clinton or her underlings may have intended – is the relevant legal test here.

To help Clinton worm her way out of this legal pickle, “the FBI rewrote the statute, inserting an intent element that Congress did not require,” former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy wrote.

Adding this new intent element makes no sense, he wrote.

The point of having a statute that criminalizes gross negligence is to underscore that government officials have a special obligation to safeguard national defense secrets; when they fail to carry out that obligation due to gross negligence, they are guilty of serious wrongdoing. The lack of intent to harm our country is irrelevant. People never intend the bad things that happen due to gross negligence. [emphases in original]

McCarthy interpreted Comey’s remarks to amount to an informal indictment of Clinton.

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.

According to McCarthy, the FBI director “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.”

Insulting the intelligence of Americans, Comey declared that there was no evidence of “efforts to obstruct justice.”

This is pure nonsense. As I’ve written before, this protracted quest for a smoking gun in the email saga was arguably unnecessary. 

The fact that Mrs. Clinton destroyed email evidence -- evidence subject to a congressional subpoena, no less -- is already evidence in itself that she obstructed justice through spoliation of evidence. Spoliation means you can take as evidence the fact that evidence has been destroyed. Courts are entitled to draw spoliation inferences and convict an accused person on that basis alone.

But a long-running investigation of an obviously guilty celebrity reprobate is far more interesting to reporters than the said reprobate being imprisoned after a quick slam-dunk prosecution. The media and the Left – but I repeat myself – were more than happy to ignore the spoliation evidence and work with the Obama administration to needlessly drag this thing out, knocking down every good piece of inculpatory evidence along the way.

The FBI and State Department repeatedly dragged their heels, resisting information requests throughout the investigative process.

There was that suspicious meeting last week between former President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch onboard an airplane at a Phoenix, Ariz. airport. Lynch’s FBI bodyguards tried to prevent any filming of the meeting, local media reported.

Lynch claimed no official business was discussed during the 30-minute conversation. 

"Our conversation was a great deal about grandchildren, it was primarily social about our travels and he mentioned golf he played in Phoenix," Lynch said later that day.

Donald Trump rejected that explanation. “I love my grandchildren, but if I talk about them for more than nine or 10 seconds, after that, what are you going to say?” Trump said July 1. “I love golf, but after speaking about golf for a couple minutes, it’s tough.”

Of course the mere appearance of bias is unacceptable. It is not enough for justice to be done: it must be seen to be done. But the Clintons believe they are above the law so they don’t worry much about perceptions and adverse inferences.

The cloak-and-dagger meeting June 28 came hours before the House Select Committee on Benghazi released its damning investigative report detailing the Obama administration’s incompetent handling of the deadly saga and its efforts to cover-up wrongdoing.

If Clinton becomes the nation’s 45th president, we will never hear of Benghazi or her email problems again.