Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By David Ganezer
Observer Staff Writer 

Hillary Clinton's Meeting with the FBI Means She Will Soon Be Indicted and Plea Bargain Guilty

Clinton was reportedly 'Cooperative" today as 3 FBI Agents grilled her for 3 hours.


Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was grilled for 3 hours Saturday over the use of her private e mail server, her aides confirmed.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton met agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigations on Saturday. When investigators meet with the "target defendant," it generally means their investigation is swiftly coming to a conclusion, legal experts say.

The investigators were ready to meet her because they’ve met with everyone else on her staff, and now they know what questions to ask. Depending on Mrs. Clinton's responses, they will recommend to the prosecutors whether or not charges are appropriate. They questioned the target defendant, while of course video-taping her, to try to trip her up. And to see how she might look to a jury after 3 and a half hours of questioning.

After her now infamous meeting with former President Bill Clinton at Sky Harbor tarmac on Thursday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that she would accept whatever the FBI agents working on the case decided. In other words, she'll file charges if the FBI wants to proceed, and not file charges if they advise her to instead just close the file. So it's OK that she met with the FBI target's husband--she's not the decision maker. Besides, no ethical rule applicable to attorneys forbids it.

So where do we go from here? Mrs. Clinton will probably have to appear in Federal Court and plead Not Guilty at an arraignment. At that time, her attorneys and Justice Dept. attorneys might discuss resolution of the matter. In fact, they may have already agreed to a plea arrangement, which may be put on the record the afternoon of the morning Clinton is arraigned.

The Justice Department's goal is to complete the investigation and make recommendations on whether charges should be filed before the two major party conventions take place toward the latter half of July, sources said.

Why? Because at the end of the day, they're all Democrats. It's in the interests of everyone involved in the Clinton Email matter, for the American electorate to choose Clinton Continuity over Trump Disruption. I'm not saying the system is rigged, I'm just saying everyone with any power or interest in this, is wearing blue not red. And they all know it.

From the perspective of the investigators and the US Attorney's office, it is in the interest of the Clintons, the Attorney General, President Obama, and the greater American public, to get this thing out of the way ASAP, n'est-ce pas? Not to mention in the Interests of justice.

How Did We Get Here?

Last year, it was revealed that Clinton had exclusively used her family's private email server for official communications during her tenure as secretary of state. The officials communications included thousands of emails that were later marked classified by the U.S. State Department.

In March 2015, it became publicly known that Hillary Clinton, during her tenure as United States Secretary of State, had exclusively used her family's private email server for official communications, rather than official State Department email accounts maintained on federal servers. Those official communications included thousands of emails that would later be marked classified by the State Department retroactively.

Debate continues as to the propriety and legality of various aspects of Secretary Clinton's arrangement. Some experts, officials, and members of Congress have contended that her use of private messaging system software and a private server violated State Department protocols and procedures, as well as federal laws and regulations governing record-keeping. In response, Clinton has said that her use of personal email was in compliance with federal laws and State Department regulations, and that former secretaries of state had also maintained personal email accounts.

Nearly 2,100 emails on the server were retroactively marked as classified by the State Department, including 65 emails deemed "Secret" and 22 deemed "Top Secret". Government policy, reiterated in the non-disclosure agreement signed by Clinton as part of gaining her security clearance, is that sensitive information should be considered and handled as classified even if not marked as such. After allegations were raised that some of the emails in question fell into this category, an investigation was initiated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regarding how classified information was handled on the Clinton server.

In May 2016 the State Department's Office of the Inspector General released an 83-page report about the State Department's email practices, including Clinton's, but the FBI did not do so. The controversy continues against the backdrop of Clinton's 2016 presidential election campaign and hearings held by the United States House Select Committee on Benghazi.

A plea bargain (also plea agreement, plea deal, copping a plea, or plea in mitigation) is any agreement in a criminal case between the prosecutor and defendant whereby the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a particular charge in return for some concession from the prosecutor. This may mean that the defendant will plead guilty to a less serious charge, or to one of several charges, in return for the dismissal of other charges; or it may mean that the defendant will plead guilty to the original criminal charge in return for a more lenient sentence.

A plea bargain allows both parties to avoid a lengthy criminal trial and may allow criminal defendants to avoid the risk of conviction at trial on a more serious charge. For example, in the U.S. legal system, a criminal defendant charged with a felony theft charge, the conviction of which would require imprisonment in state prison, may be offered the opportunity to plead guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge, which may not carry a custodial sentence.

The Precedent: The Strange Case of David Petraeus

Former CIA director David Petraus is a man of exceptional skills and service to his Country. Like Clinton, four years ago he was an Obama cabinet member with Presidential potential. But one day in 2012, he basically invited a biographer of his, Paula Broadwell, to enter his private office alone and review classified documents. It was a momentary lapse of judgment--a favor for his mistress.

The interviews purpose was to get her answers, then compare them to those of Clinton's aides, who have already been interviewed.

In January 2015, the New York Times reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department had recommended bringing felony charges against Petraeus for providing classified information to Broadwell. Petraeus denied the allegations and was reported to have had no interest in a plea deal. However, on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, the U.S. Justice Department announced that Petraeus agreed to plead guilty in federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina to one misdemeanor count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified information. On April 23, 2015, a federal judge sentenced Petraeus to two years' probation plus a fine of $100,000. The fine was more than double the amount the Justice Department had requested.

The Clinton Email case is somewhat similar. But unlike Petraeus, Clinton allowed access to her private, classified e mails to any hacker with the skills of Russian hacker Gucifer. Nevertheless, the resolution of People v. Hillary Clinton, will probably resemble the People v. David Petraeus resolution. Her intent is probably less clear than Petraeus', and intent is important in criminal matters.

Note: A misdemeanor conviction is not the same as a felony conviction. The former does not bar one from holding public office.

Do you think Hillary Clinton should be allowed to plea bargain out of this? Post this story on Twitter or Facebook, and let us know what you think!


Reader Comments

FactsMatter writes:

More fake conspiracies. You turned out to be pretty spectacularly wrong. There was never intern, which is what legal experts have said for months. It is also the big difference between Hillary and Patreus. He intended to divulge classified information.

Disgusted writes:

Hilary feels the laws only apply to others. She is arrogant, a liar, and has broken many laws with no remorse. She has conned her way up by deception. Read the new book by the Secret Service detail assigned to the Whitehouse.

otherson writes:

This article contains a few factual errors an one important logical one. Not surprisingly: Go to Mark Dice on YouTube and watch his interviews of Santa Monica residents. Most of the Hillary backers are loyal to her even if she wants to impose Sharia law and eliminate the Bill of Rights !

StellaB writes:

So if what you say is true that the FBI is ready to indict HRC, why did they not interview her under oath? Wouldn't that have been a smart thing to do if you are trying to trip someone up and especially if you already think you have evidence she is guilty? Sorry but this conjecture makes no sense.

retiredFed writes:

Wikileaks will unleash the Kraken in the next couple of weeks. Look for the new 'hacked' mail from her server.

Knowing writes:

Easy to track the team of Clinton Foundation , Bill,Hillary, the daughter. Money,favors, and outcomes. Emails do link the above mentioned. There is no way this is or was legal at any point in time. If the FBI does not indite then its a monopoly of agencies , collaberation and reporting for a predetermind outcome.

sceptic writes:

Barack Obama doesn't want to be a nobody. Hillary ascending the Presidency effectively removes his authority from both the government and the party. Obama wants to control the heavily African-American Democratic party. He does not want to play Driving Miss Daisy for Hillary or DW Schultz. Hence, Barack will 'campaign' for Hillary only to provide cover for the fact that he is going to hang her out to dry. The Clinton gang comes down this summer. Best political thriller we'll ever see.

KenLuskin writes:

Overwhelming Evidence + Basic Logic = Hillary Clinton INDICTMENT Before Democratic Party Convention Hillary INDICTMENT means her political career is OVER! FBI's Comey will bring FELONY charges, and will NOT settle for misdemeanor settlement!

Penny writes:

I think that her intent was much more clear than David P. She didn't want anyone to see what she was doing. That is also apparent in the fact that she did not turn in all of the emails when requested and intentionally withheld emails that have turned out not to be personal in nature.

stephenmwyatt writes:

This whole article is just wishful thinking. While I want to see here drawn and quartered on prime time TV, all you get to read now is wishful thinking on one side or the other, and they talk like they have real knowledge to relay. When you watch Meet The Press or any of the Sunday morning shows, they are filled with people who try to define a narrative instead of actually talking about something they know. The whole question dodging techniques are all that happens now.

TiredoftheBS writes:

If it was you or I we would have been already in jail.... I'm tired of all the corruption in our government. All a bunch of liars and crooks. Hillary is guilty yet all the smoke and mirrors. What a joke!!!

Tex writes:

No, SMOB, thousands of emails were not 'retroactively' marked as classified. Hill and her staff dismissed classification as not affecting them. If any of the rest of us would have done this, we'd be in the federal pen.

Scott writes:

Nice op ed pretending to be journalism.

Selfstarter writes:

She will be indicted on many charges and will be barred from holding political office again.

LG1337 writes:

Not happening. A plea deal that results in a Felony conviction for the mishandling of classified material would revoke Hillary's security clearance. This would not allow her to be President.


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