by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Andrew McCarthy of National Review Online reminds us of the contrast between the federal government’s treatment of alleged misdeeds involving the two main 2016 presidential candidates.
Hillary Clinton checked every box for a violation of the Espionage Act. So much so that, in giving her a pass, the FBI figured it better couch her conduct as “extremely careless,” rather than “grossly negligent.” The latter description was stricken from an earlier draft of then-director James Comey’s remarks because it is, verbatim, the mental state the statute requires for a felony conviction. It wouldn’t do to have an “exoneration” statement read like a felony indictment.
In point of fact, the careless/negligent semantic game was a sideshow. Mrs. Clinton’s unlawful storage and transmission of classified information had been patently willful. In contemptuous violation of government standards, which she was bound not only to honor but to enforce as secretary of state, she systematically conducted her government business by private email, via a laughably unsecure homebrew server set-up. …
… While Clinton’s mishandling of classified information got all the attention, it was just the tip of the felony iceberg. Thousands of the 33,000 emails she withheld and undertook to “bleach bit” into oblivion related to State Department business. It is a felony to misappropriate even a single government record. The destruction of the emails, moreover, occurred after a House Committee investigating the Benghazi massacre issued subpoenas and preservation directives to Clinton’s State Department and Clinton herself. If Andrew Weissmann and the rest of the Mueller probe pit-bulls had half as solid an obstruction case against Donald Trump, the president would by now have been impeached, removed, and indicted.
And that dichotomy is the point, isn’t it?