Earlier this month, Hillary Clinton attempted to significantly downplay the seriousness of the investigations being conducted into her email scandal. The former Secretary of State is being investigated by federal authorities for maintaining a private mail account hosted on a private, unsecured server over which she transmitted thousands of classified and top-secret documents. When discussing the federal investigations into her conduct, Clinton called the FBI’s investigation a “security inquiry.”
FBI Director James Comey was quick to clarify that he does not even know what a “security inquiry” means. “We’re conducting an investigation… That’s what we do.”
Clinton has worked to downplay the seriousness of the investigations since the earliest days of questions concerning allegations that she maintained the email account in order to obscure shady dealings with foreign nationals to sell them influence in exchange for contributions that would help finance her inevitable bid for the presidency.
However, Clinton has augmented her denial efforts in recent weeks after the release of a damning Inspector General (IG) report that maintains that Clinton did, in fact, break federal law in refusing to “comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.“
In essence, the report clarifies that whatever the DOJ decides to do, the evidence shows unambiguously that Clinton had pledged to conduct State Department business in accordance with the department’s policies for protecting sensitive materials and that she failed to do so thousands of times.
In this matter, intent is irrelevant. Even if we accept that it was a supposed mistake, the end result is the same: she violated the law and has continually insisted that she did not, in fact, violate the law. Her actions were not merely violations of the Federal Records Act, but also of the Espionage Act’s 18 USC 793, known by many as the “gross negligence” statute.
The Clinton Campaign has attempted to downplay the damage of the IG report. However, according to an intelligence source close to the FBI investigation, the IG report was significantly more damaging than Clinton has let on as the report increases “the likelihood and pressure” that the DOJ will indict Clinton.
The source, who was not authorized to speak of the matter on the record, explained,
“It is very harmful to her and increases the likelihood and pressure on DOJ to indict. [The IG report] is not evidence in itself, but it clears up confusion [about] Department of State rules and makes the IG a witness, and the people they interviewed, to her computer antics being done without permission.”
Ultimately, the decision on whether or not to prosecute Clinton rests with the Attorney General- an Obama Appointee. Obama’s DOJ has a sordid history of selective prosecutions and manipulations of the law to protect political cronies.
However, if Comey recommends indictment, Attorney General Loretta Lynch will have a hard time explaining why the Obama crony is escaping prosecution.