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

By David Ganezer
Observer Staff Writer 

FBI: Clinton was "Extremely Careless," but her conduct was not "Gross Negligence." Whatever.

Yet another pass for the Clintons in Careers of Controversy


She knowingly sent mutliple e mails from her private e mail server that contained classified information while she was Secretary of State. You or I would go to jail for much less. Hillary Clinton's going to the White House instead. But you and I, we're not Clintons are we?

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said last week that she would follow the recommendations from the FBI team investigating Clinton. So any chance of a criminal prosecution is now removed from the 2016 Presidential race.

Comey said that "although there is evidence of potential violations, no reasonable prosecutor would file charges." He confirmed that at least 7 of Clinton's email chains contained "Top Secret" information.

"That is excluding any later up-classified emails... None of these emails should have been on any unclassified system, but the presence of these emails is especially concerning," Comey said.

"There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton's position... should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that information," Comey continued. "There is evidence that they were extremely careless," he said, referring to Clinton and her aides.

The statute in question reads: “Whoever, being entrusted with… any document relating to the national defense… through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody… shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.” (18 U.S.C., section 793-f)

Comey also noted that individuals in a similar situation would not necessarily be let off the hook with no charges, but would probably face penalties. "But that's not what we're deciding now," Comey said. "We are expressing to Justice our view that no charges be made in this case."

Comey said that "no outside influence of any kind was brought to bear" on the investigation, even though Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently held a secret meeting with President Bill Clinton.

Comey said the investigation was conducted in an "apolitical and professional way... I couldn't be prouder to be part of this organization."

He thanked the press and walked away without answering questions.

The Clinton Camp did not respond. It would be unusual for the target of an investigation to thank a prosecutor for not filing charges. Her Republican rival Donald Trump immediately blasted the FBI's recommendation.

“FBI director said Crooked Hillary compromised our national security. No charges. Wow! #RiggedSystem” he tweeted.

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 recordkeeping. 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. 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.

On July 5 2016, the FBI recommended no charges to be filled against Clinton. Full statement from the FBI:


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