If you listened to the first 13 minutes of FBI Director James Comey’s press statement regarding his agency’s investigation of Hillary’s home-brewed email operation while she was secretary of state you would think that she was guilty of multiple crimes for her mishandling of classified material found on her private email server. The FBI director raked Hillary over the coals for having top secret information on a nonsecure server.
He went on to say that it is possible that foreign actors could have hacked her various private email accounts. He said her conduct was “extremely careless.”
Yet, in spite of the damning “indictment” Comey said that the FBI would recommend no criminal charges to the Department of Justice.
The federal criminal law is clear: “Whoever, being entrusted with . . . national security documents . . . through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from it’s proper place of custody . . . shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.” The FBI director’s initial statement seemed to be exactly on point to Hillary’s behavior.
Hillary cannot subcontract to others i.e., staff, attorneys, etc. official responsibilities personal to her. She is directly responsible. Delegation, mistake, sheer incompetence or malfeasance is no defense to a crime.
Hillary convinced the FBI that she was clueless or that she relied on others and they bought it. The buck should stop with her. Before she took office as secretary of state she was sworn into office and was required to sign a declaration wherein she agreed and acknowledged knowing all the rules and regulations with regard to the handling and dissemination of classified communications.
Contrary to her public statements, the State Department Inspector General stated that at no time did Hillary receive permission to exclusively use a personal email and server for all her official emails.
She claimed ignorance and that should have sealed her fate. Some of the criminal statutes the government was looking at do not require intent — gross negligence is enough to convict. Some statutes are strict liability; that is to say if a top secret document appears on your personal server either sent or received it is a crime. This is why I believe the FBI to the Justice Department should have referred Hillary for prosecution.
While it is true that Hillary will never be tried in a criminal court — she will be tried in the court of public opinion. It is now up to Donald Trump to prosecute Hillary for her criminal behavior, gross negligence, incompetence and malfeasance and the American people will judge her at the polls in November.
There is no doubt in my mind that justice was not “blind” in the Hillary case — it was blind, deaf, and dumb. Any other person who had security clearances who acted in the same manner as Hillary with regard to the handling, dissemination, and storage of classified materials would be indicted and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Hillary got a pass because of who she is, period.
The FBI’s determination is inconsistent with the evidence and defies common sense.
Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of politics and public policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion. Read more reports from Bradley Blakeman — Click Here Now.
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