Hillary Clinton

The Clinton Investigation Enters a Dangerous Phase

The presumptive Democratic nominee faces a prudent legal but treacherous political decision.

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The FBI investigation of former Secretary of State

A legal or political choice?
Dreamstime.com/Americanspirit

Hillary Clinton's failure to protect state secrets contained in her emails has entered its penultimate phase, and it is a dangerous one for her and her aides.

Federal law enforcement sources have let it be known that federal prosecutors and the FBI have completed their examination of raw data in the case. After the FBI acquires raw data—for example, the nature and number of the state secrets in the emails Clinton failed to protect or the regular, consistent, systematic nature of that failure—prosecutors and agents proceed to draw rational inferences from that data.

Then they proceed to corroborate those inferences, looking for other sources to support or even to contradict them. With one exception, all of this work has been done with neutral sources of evidence—documents, email metadata, government records and technical experts.       

The exception is Bryan Pagliano, the one member of Clinton's inner circle who, with either a written promise of non-prosecution or an order of immunity from a federal judge, began to cooperate with federal prosecutors last fall.

Pagliano has explained to federal prosecutors the who, what, when, how and why he migrated an open State Department email stream and a secret State Department email stream from government computers to Clinton's secret server in her home in Chappaqua, New York. He has told them that Clinton paid him $5,000 for his services.

He has also told some of the FBI agents assigned to this case that Clinton herself was repeatedly told by her own State Department information technology experts and their colleagues at the National Security Agency that her persistent use of an off-the-shelf BlackBerry was neither an effective nor an acceptable means of receiving, transmitting or safeguarding state secrets. Little did they know how reckless she was with government secrets, as none were apparently then aware of her use of a non-secure secret server in Chappaqua for all of her email uses.

We know that the acquisition and corroboration phase of the investigation has been completed because the prosecutors have begun to ask Clinton's top aides during her time as secretary of state to come in for interviews. This is a delicate and dangerous phase for the aides, all of whom have engaged counsel to represent them.

Here are the dangers.        

The Department of Justice (DOJ) will not reveal to the aides or their lawyers what it knows about the case or what evidence of criminal wrongdoing, if any, it has acquired on each of them. Hence, if they submit to an FBI interview, they will go in "blind." By going in blind, the aides run the risk of getting caught in a "perjury trap." Though not under oath, they could be trapped into lying by astute prosecutors and aggressive FBI agents, as it is a crime—the equivalent of perjury—to lie to them or materially mislead them.

For this reason, most white-collar criminal defense lawyers will not permit their clients to be interviewed by any prosecutors or FBI agents. Martha Stewart's lawyers failed to give her that advice, and she went to prison for one lie told in one conversation with one FBI agent.

After interviewing any Clinton aides who choose to be interviewed, the DOJ personnel on the case will move their investigation into its final phase, in which they will ask Clinton herself whether she wishes to speak with them. The prosecutors will basically tell her lawyers that they have evidence of the criminal behavior of their client and that before they present it to a grand jury, they want to afford Clinton an opportunity blindly to challenge it.

This will be a moment she must devoutly wish would pass from her, as she will face a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't dilemma.

Here is her dilemma.

If she were to talk to federal prosecutors and FBI agents, they would catch her in many inconsistencies, as she has spoken with great deception in public about this case. She has, for example, stated many times that she used the private server so she could have one mobile device for all of her emails. The FBI knows she had four mobile devices. She has also falsely claimed publicly and under oath that she neither sent nor received anything "marked classified." The FBI knows that nothing is marked classified, and its agents also know that her unprotected secret server transmitted some of the nation's gravest secrets.

The prosecutors and agents cannot be happy about her public lies and her repeated demeaning attitude about their investigation, and they would have an understandable animus toward her if she were to meet with them.

If she were to decline to be interviewed—a prudent legal but treacherous political decision—the feds would leak her rejection of their invitation, and political turmoil would break loose because one of her most imprudent and often repeated public statements in this case has been that she can't wait to talk to the FBI. That's a lie, and the FBI knows it.

Some Democrats who now understand the gravity of the case against Clinton have taken to arguing lately that the feds should establish a different and higher bar—a novel and unknown requirement for a greater quantum of evidence and proof of a heavier degree of harm—before Clinton can be prosecuted. They have suggested this merely because she is the likely Democratic presidential nominee.

The public will never stand for that. America has a bedrock commitment to the rule of law. The rule of law means that no one is beneath the law's protections or above its requirements. The DOJ is not in the business of rewriting the law, but the Democrats should get in the business of rethinking Clinton's status as their presumptive presidential nominee, lest a summer catastrophe come their way.

COPYRIGHT 2016 ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO | DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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  1. “He has told them that Clinton paid him $5,000 for his services”

    Holy shit. Seriously, holy shit. A single low-level tech that only got paid $5K to setup everything at Clinton’s house? I would have put the chances of her server being compromised at 98-99%, but this makes it 100%. I’m willing to bet he had zero experience with a mail server, and even less with network security. He just went to a local BestBuy and bought an outdated version of Outlook, probably needing to read the installation instructions.

    HRC considered him a “computer guy”.

    This means there are 100’s of entities that had access to every single packet of data coming and going from her server.

    1. I believe he actually got put on the State Department payroll as well.

      Seems that Hillary puts a lot of her personal henchmen on the Fed payroll. I think Huma was pulling down 3 paychecks as flunky in chief.

      1. Four paychecks. Employee of the Clinton Foundation, employee of the State Department, personal servant employed directly by Hillary, and employee of a consulting group set up by Hillary to pay her assistants.

    2. “Holy shit. Seriously, holy shit. A single low-level tech that only got paid $5K to setup everything at Clinton’s house? I would have put the chances of her server being compromised at 98-99%, but this makes it 100%”

      I don’t think there was ever a chance that the data on that server wasn’t in the files of Moscow, Bejing, London, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Cairo, Jerusalem/Tel Aviv, Warsaw, Tokyo, Seoul, Pyongyang, and probably the files of every Nigerian prince who ever offered you a great deal, one day after it was fired up.
      As soon as the first ‘watcher’ noticed that her emails weren’t going the normal channels, the intel services world-wide licked there chops and cleaned that sucker out to the last Martha Stewart recipe.

      1. Undoubtedly. The Chinese and Russians have been very good about exploiting the vulnerabilities of far more secure and low-profile entities than Cabinet official communications. The odds that they missed Clinton’s jury-rig set up is zero.

        It would go a long way towards explaining why Vladimir Putin seemed multiple steps ahead of Obama over Syria and foreign policy in the last year of Clinton’s tenure. Granted, Obama’s not that bright, but Putin seemed unusually well-informed and prescient when making him look foolish. I suspect that he had access to every communication that passed through her, which would tell him most of what he needed to know.

      2. Then she couldn’t even have gotten a good price for selling secrets.

    3. Rule of law. How quaint.

  2. The public will never stand for that. America has a bedrock commitment to the rule of law.

    I think A-Nap? just won the “back to back sentences of delusional optimism” award for 2016. Hell maybe even the entire 2010s.

    1. Those two sentences jumped out at me as well.

      I’d like a hit of whatever he’s smoking.

      1. Fucking seriously. I read that and went “on what fucking planet?”

        I mean honestly how many mayors/governors, etc that have literally been convicted and served YEARS of jail time for illegal as fuck shit like taking bribes, giving favor, contracts, etc. Gotten out of jail, and IMMEDIATELY gotten re-elected in landslide victories?

        Democrats have proven time and again that the rule of law means fuck and all to them. Narrative over fact. That is ALL that matters.

        1. Pretty much this. We all know Leeland Yee is going back into office as soon as he gets out, for an example.

          The public simple don’t care about these manufactured scandals from Rethuglikans.

      2. Crack, heroin, or both? Maybe PCP.

    2. I started laughing at the first and never got to the second.

    3. That’s where I snapped out of it. I so want it to be true but know the chances are equivalent to my being the first woman on Mars (I’m a man [presently]).

      1. Wait, you don’t identify as an attack chopper?

        1. Or a Hellfire missile.

    4. No shit, that even beats out Nick’s constant blathering about “The Libertarian Moment.”

    5. I had to double-check the publication date to make sure it didn’t say April 1 when I read this!

    6. It’s adorable that he thinks Hillary is accountable to the US Government.

  3. Trump vs Sanders! Seriously that’s not bad for libertarians if we make a push to get to 5% and pick up some congressional and state level seats. Maybe if reason wrote a little more about that and a little less about trump it would help

    1. +1 stick it up your ass

  4. 2016 is going to be one hell of a year.

    1. Yes! All the crazy Q1 campaign shit is just a warm-up. I’m convinced that the FBI will recommend an indictment. What the DoJ decides will just determine which direction that shitstorm blows.

      Trump and Cruz have to be digging for dirt on each other furiously. Kasich’s a little weasel so he’s up to something. And both conventions are probably going to end in rioting and chaos.

      1. Yup. This Cataclysm-a-Day thing going on right now is gonna be Jerry Bruckheimered to eleventy.

  5. The public will never stand for that. America has a bedrock commitment to the rule of law.

    Literally, I laughed out loud.

    It’s sweet, but rather sad that the judge could write this. He’s living in fantasy land. The bold, Putinesque criminality of the current administration leaves Obama with an approximate 50% approval rating.

    A good half the country will not only stand for it, they will give it a standing ovation.

    The Progressive Theocracy uses the Rule of Law as a club against it’s enemies. It’s a superstition that they can use against the Rubes. It never applies it to itself.

    1. That stood out to me as well. If the last 25 years have taught us anything, it is that team trumps all.

      The same feminist leaders who insisted that a Republican politician who merely had his assistant typing up his lurid memoirs be roasted on a spit were passionate in their defense of Clinton using his position of power to get blowjobs from an intern. When Hillary’s billing records from the Rose Law Firm miraculously appeared at the White House the day after the expiration of the statute of limitations ran out, there were no members of team D calling for her prosecution for obstruction of justice.

      No, America does not have a bedrock commitment to the rule of law. We are happy to see “the bad guys” roasted alive, even if the state doesn’t have the evidence. And we are perfectly happy to have members of our team skate free, even if the crime is committed right out in the open for all to see.

      Heck, even our Supreme Court lacks a commitment to the rule of law. They spend as much time trying to back into the decision that supports their personal policy preferences as they do trying to follow the actual letter of the law.

      1. Exactly this. Particularly in regards to the SCOTUS. I’ve been saying for years that for the vast majority of the left, and a significant portion of the right, they hold narrative over fact. Someone could have molested a school bus full of children, but if they support the right narrative, people will give them a pass.

      2. -1 Constitution and Bill of Rights.

  6. One could only hope justice comes to her. Ask any DoD employee what would’ve (already) happened to them had they done this. She should be behind bars (though I fear she won’t ever get there.)

    1. I have said it before, I’ll say it again. I work in an area that deals with classified data every day. Occasionally we have issues with spillage (classified info improperly exposed to an unclassified system or environment). Someone mentions a classified number on their regular email. Someone leaves a classified document on their desk without the proper cover sheet. If you screw up and send classified info over your unclass email your laptop is getting wiped. You’re losing your computer access. It’s possible the entire email server will be going down to get inspected. If you’re lucky you get away with some sort of reprimand and retraining.

      If me or any of my coworkers did 1/1000th of what Hillary and her cronies did we’d be in fucking jail awaiting trial. Intentionally improperly handling classified information would, if very, very, very lucky result in only a couple years in jail and 5 figure fines.

      The info Chelsea Manning gathered and released was no where near as damaging as what Hillary has made available. She’s got, what, 30 years left in Leavenworth? The info Snowden gathered and released is probably a bit worse (I’m talking as far as classified info goes, not whether he was right to do so) and he probably can’t go out in public without a legitimate fear of being kidnapped and extradited (if lucky) or killed.

      1. If you’re lucky you get away with some sort of reprimand and retraining.

        Retraining for the first offense, more retraining and formal reprimand for 2nd, and debriefing, termination, and probably criminal charges for the 3rd, IIRC. Unless the first offense was deliberate, at which point they skip straight to “strike 3”.

      2. SFC B, what you say is completely true. I have also worked with secure systems. It doesn’t even really matter what level of classification Clinton’s communications had. At her level, ALL communication must be considered sensitive and confidential.

        The very existence of a server in a private residence outside of a secure and locked-down server room, connected to a public and insecure network, is utterly mind-boggling to me.

        1. but she would have us believe that NONE of the communications that crossed her desk, as Secretary of Defense, was sensitive or confifential

      3. Ya. Accidentally bringing your phone into the SCIF and then ratting yourself out would have more repercussions than Hillary has seen so far (i.e. zero)

        Makes it pretty clear that there are two sets of rules. One for regular people, to be applied with much arbitrary discretion. And one for the TOP MEN, to be applied as political tool by other TOP MEN.

      4. I worked for the DoD, too, I have tried, repeatedly, to explain this to people, and am just amazed at the responses. “Really, what she did wasn’t that serious, I thought it was all just stuff the republicans were saying to try and make trouble”, and variations thereof. The sheer scale and arrogance of it boggle the mind.

        1. Run clips of her saying proven falsehoods about the emails, stamp “LIE!” on the screen for each, then lastly run “No one is too big to go to jail!” and then throw “LIE!” on top of that, to show how corrupt the system is to protect her.

      5. How true! For people not of the protected class like Hillary a single mistake handling that kind of sensitive material could get you into huge trouble. An officer in my division was stripped of his TS/SCI clearance, reprimanded and transferred to non-cleared duty for ONE SINGLE VIOLATION of mishandling top secret classified satellite intel; he ended up with a formal reprimand on his fitness report and was almost court martialed. He was a Naval Academy graduate and a fine young officer and this effectively ended his career.

        Hillary and her staff have committed hundreds (maybe thousands) of violations as bad or worse and they deserve to burn for it.

      6. Yep, I have two buddies with clearances, one secret, the other TS/SCI. Some of the shit they’ve told me, just stuff as simple as walking into the SCIF with a flash drive in your pocket. Not even that you plugged it in, just literally BRINGING it into the SCIF… you can kiss your career goodbye. Something literally that simple.

    2. Eric Holder disagrees. Or does he?

  7. The only Question Mark is in the alt-text! Who are you and what have you done with the judge?

    1. OH NO!! The Judge is trapped inside the Alt Text!! He’s been replaced by his doppleganger and is asking us for help the only way he knows how!!

  8. if Clinton declines to be interviewed

    wait, that’s an option?

    1. Repeat after me: “I invoke my fifth amendment right against self-incrimination”

      1. Awesome campaign slogan – should really help her in the debates.

    2. Why would she refuse? After all, as she has said herself, the FBI is just “conducting a review.”

      / sarcasm

      1. Another self-inflicted wound. There was no need to brag about how eager she is to meet with the FBI and clear her name. She should have realized that they were likely to call her bluff. She shows a limited capacity to think ahead and choose a strategy that accounts for her opponent’s likely response. Typical of your pathological narcissist.

        1. Well, she’s grown accustomed to getting away with pretty much anything, possibly up to and including literal murder.

          1. Well that’s assuming you don’t lay benghazi at her feet, which i do. However, i wouldn’t even be remotely surprised if it came to light that she ordered assassinations on people, etc.

        2. Clinton strategy: Lie. Tell another lie to cover first lie. Tell another lie that covers lie #2 and contradicts lie #1. Tell another lie insisting that you did not utter lie #1 and point out what you said in lie #3 is all you’ve said about the matter. Tell another lie stating lie #2 and #5 were taken out of context. After getting your va-jay-jay licked by the host in the green room, go on Ellen and tell another lie that it’s just a right wing witch hunt and have celebrity host confirm this lie…. It’s all very simple actually. No?

  9. I bet $20 against a stale gingersnap that nothing of consequence comes from this.

    1. stale gingersnaps are unrepentant gambling addicts though.

    2. We may see a lot of excrement versus fan incidents this year, but an indictment will not be one of those.

  10. Keep hammering her Judge. Keep hammering away. Prison is almost too good for her. I think if we had the whole truth about what she did and the consequences of her actions the nation would be appalled and call for her head.

    1. I think if the public understood what’s happened it would be different than simply knowing. Most have so little understanding of the domain and ascribe to the Top. Men. Theory of government so they expect and accept that she would be held to a different standard

    2. You know what would literally make me explode out of the front of my pants? If she was indicted, convicted, and then King Obama granted her a Royal Pardon.

      Just to show the US and the world how truly corrupt these fuckers are.

  11. After interviewing any Clinton aides who choose to be interviewed…

    And suppose the number is “zero”?

    If she were to decline to be interviewed — a prudent legal but treacherous political decision — the feds would leak her rejection of their invitation, and political turmoil would break loose…

    Among Team Blue? No way. The narrative will change to “that brave woman defying the nasty men who are deliberately distorting the truth to trap her.”

    She’s skating.

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama has already written out and signed her pardon and keeps it in his jacket pocket.

  12. No thing can happen to her at all. From the way I understand it if any one knew she was using a non-secure email, and did not report it they to are up for a felony as well. That should be that every single person that sent her a email is guilty as well. She cant go down because the application of the law would require large number a state dept and other upper management from other departments would have to face hard time too. Did any one from the WH send her email, POTUS, DOD, DOJ, ect? in no way is any of this going to be prosecuted at all.
    Woot lets get feudal with the new and improved High and Low law! The government we deserve and have is a corporate republic with some serfs who think their vote has any value besides symbolic lie.

    1. I don’t think anyone is going to be prosecuted to assuming the Secretary of State knew how to handle classified material.

    2. From the way I understand it if any one knew she was using a non-secure email, and did not report it they to are up for a felony as well.

      It would be pretty hard to prove that random people knew it was non-secure email, wouldn’t it?

      1. Not really. My understanding is government emails have something like hildog@sos.gov, her email was @clinton.com

        1. That doesn’t inherently mean it isn’t secure, does it?

          1. Everyone has to have a .gov email for it to be part of the high security government network. Even at the VA you have to use your government email for official business and a separate personal email for personal business. Hell, I work for a private business and I’m required to use work email for work related stuff.

            1. Which, again, has nothing to do with whether random people knew whether the server behind Clinton’s email address was or wasn’t secure.

              The people sending the emails presumably were using their work emails, right? Is anyone claiming that the people sending emails to Clinton weren’t using their work emails?

              If you’re not claiming that these rank and file employees who sent Clinton emails were using something other than their own work emails, what’s the relevance of your reference to the VA or your own work?

              1. If you know all classified information has to be on .gov servers and you send the classified information to a .com account, you know it is not on the secured server.

                1. No, you know it’s not on a .gov server.

                  Do any of the relevant statutes make the equivalency between “.gov” and “secure” you are making?

                  1. Anyone sending to her knew that *they* weren’t on a secure network. There is no way anyone with access to classified information could claim they thought any part of the process was secure.

                    1. Anyone sending to her knew that *they* weren’t on a secure network.

                      How did they “know” that? Based on the domain? Really?

                    2. Based on the workstation they’re using. It is not possible to send email directly from a classified machine to the internet.

              2. Is anyone claiming that the people sending emails to Clinton weren’t using their work emails?

                As a matter of fact, some of her emails discussing government business were discovered to be exchanged with other private accounts. Sorry can’t remember which, can’t remember where, but that one also happened.

                1. As a matter of fact, some of her emails discussing government business were discovered to be exchanged with other private accounts. Sorry can’t remember which, can’t remember where, but that one also happened.

                  I was referring to the “every single person” comment because “every single person” who sent Clinton an email probably didn’t, or couldn’t, know the status of the server.

                  If others were using personal email accounts, then they should be busted for that, regardless of the status of Clinton’s server.

                  1. If others were using personal email accounts, then they should be busted for that, regardless of the status of Clinton’s server.

                    And that is yet another reason people say Hillary will skate; the number and rank of the other conspirators make the whole criminal enterprise too big and too prominent to fail.

                    How did they “know” that? Based on the domain? Really?

                    Yes, really. I guarantee the training and regulations include warnings to be very careful to whom you send email. You are apprised and trained that you yourself are prohibited from using any account except your .gov to communicate government business because of FOIA requirements, records-keeping requirements, and security requirements. You know you are not supposed to use any private or .com domain for these reasons; if someone else is using it to conduct government business, you should be suspicious and report it.

                    1. You are apprised and trained that you yourself are prohibited from using any account except your .gov to communicate government business because of FOIA requirements, records-keeping requirements, and security requirements. You know you are not supposed to use any private or .com domain for these reasons; if someone else is using it to conduct government business, you should be suspicious and report it.

                      This. They are very, very clear about that when working for government. Even if you’re a private contractor working on government projects, you have to use the .gov address that the agency you’re working for assigns you. When I worked for NASA subcontractor I was required to use my …@ jsc.nasa.gov email for anything work related. And I wasn’t even dealing with anything classified at that job. Anyone who sent government work related email to QueenBitch @clintonfoundation.com instead of hildebeast @state.gov should have known better.

                      The biggest lesson from all of this isthis: if you make your crime big enough that you would literally take the entire house of cards down with you if busted, you can get away with pretty much anything.

            2. Didn’t she have staff who transfered classified material from the secure network to ClintonMail.com? This could narrow the number of people involved in her conspiracy.

              1. That’s one of the big questions. How did that material jump the air gap? Who was in the SCIF when? Compare that to the senders and dates on the emails containing that material.

                The lack of security still blows my mind.

                1. How did that material jump the air gap?

                  That’s the part that blows my mind. The unclassified stuff is easy to explain. She could have just set up an auto-forward rule on her unclassified state.gov email account to forward all those emails to her private server and then delete them and empty the deleted emails folder (although there’d probably still be a copy on the email server itself). Then anyone sending emails to her state.gov address would be none the wiser.

                  But how the fuck did she get classified data out of the classified area? That had to involve multiple co-conspirators, all of whom had to have known what they were doing was very, very illegal.

                  1. multiple co-conspirators, all of whom had to have known what they were doing was very, very illegal.

                    Yup, those people are inarguably criminal. If the FBI has a rock-solid case against anyone, if will be these folks.

                    If those people get some serious charges flung at them, how will they proceed? Will they confess that they independently decided to take materials from the SCIF and place them on Hillary’s unsecure system? Or will they say they were obeying instructions from a very high-ranking government official who was their boss?

                    Jake Sullivan is recently married (June 2015) and only 40 years old. Huma Abedin has a little kid and is also only 40. I imagine they have a lot to lose if they go down. On the other hand, they could spill the beans on whoever ordered them to take that material and hope for maybe 18 months in prison instead of 20-30 years (wildly guessing on the 20-30 years; I don’t know if there are mandatory minimums for their probable crimes).

                    1. Or they can run out the clock until next January, when President Hillary Clinton gives them a full pardon and a ‘thank you for your service’.

                      Of course, then the media will turn on her for pardoning her criminal co-conspirators, and the public would demand that the Democrats join with the Republicans in impeaching her…wait, why are you laughing?

                      No, Hillary will just say “This is all part of the vast right wing conspiracy! It’s time for us to put this behind us and stop sullying the good names of these dedicated public servants” and the media Hallelujah Chorus will give her a standing ovation.

                    2. “Yup, those people are inarguably criminal. If the FBI has a rock-solid case against anyone, if will be these folks.”
                      And HiLIARy will be held as a victim of these miscreants. THEY should have known better to have allowed HiLIARy to do these things and she is blameless.
                      The question will be how these criminals will be allowed to get away with it, as they must be, for them to accept this blame.
                      In the case of the IRS scandal “investigation”, the low-level employees who targeted conservative applicants for tax-exempt status, were judged to be incompetent and “incompetence is not a crime”.
                      Can they use the same, here?

              2. Clinton sent an email to her deputy Jake Sullivan instructing him to, despite his protest, strip of any classified labels and fax the document to her.

                That alone should be enough for a conviction.

          2. It means it’s non-regulation, and that right there means you are obligated to report it.

            1. Do you have a cite to that statute?

            2. The Clinton email couldn’t be some sort of redirect to / from government email and secure? I’m asking because I have no idea and wouldn’t have given it a second thought if I was replying to an email from the Secretary of State.

              1. And who the hell still has to type out email addresses in a work environment, anyway? The actual address is very likely obfuscated behind a contact name, anyway.

                1. I don’t have a cite to the statute, but I do know that Sarbanes-Oxley, local and state laws, virtually every corporate Code of Conduct, and government regulation requires you to report criminal or non-regulation activity if you know about it or even suspect it.

                  Contact names get obfuscated only if you use particular email clients.

                  As for the re-direct, that would mean she was actually using her .gov account, which she never did. It was provisioned for her and she never sent a single email from it according to what I’ve read.

                  Honestly, it all reeks of inconceivable sloppiness at State’s IT department. All my employers have provisioned me with email accounts, and if a certain number of days passed without me activating it, or if my employment proceeded along with zero volume going across my email account, an Information Security guy would be at my elbow asking what was going on.

                2. Please, just stop. You have no idea what you’re talking about. The citations are all listed in forms necessary to request access to classified information. Ignorance is not only no excuse, it isn’t possible in this case with the possible exception of those who might have exchanged information securely and exclusively with her aides without knowing the aides were moving the information across the air gap. Even for them, plausible deniability may be difficult to maintain.

                  1. Well, if ignorance is no excuse and it’s strict liability then, yeah, it’s going to require a lot of prosecutorial discretion or immunity.

                  2. No, not strict liability.

                    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793

                    (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge

                    1. Seriously, you haven’t a fucking clue. Stop digging the hole.

                    2. Some people will dig a hole to China if it means protecting their meal ticket or their access to “social justice”.

                3. In Microsoft Outlook, all I have to do is click on the email and the address is shown at the top of the preview pane.

    3. If nothing happens to her it will be because Obama’s political apparatchik running the (In)Justice Department runs interference for her and flat out refuses to prosecute her.

      1. Oh you glibertarians like prosecutional discretion when it comes to pot and illegal immigrants and just because he’s not letting them railroad a woman, now you have a problem with it. Disgusting!

        1. how is it glib to suggest hillary be held accountable to the same laws she used to hound Snowden & Manning?

      2. This of course seems likely, but imagine Obama’s dilemma. If he fails to indict her, given incontrovertible (to the public) evidence, he will go down in history as the man who failed to prosecute one of the century’s greatest political criminals. Think Gerald Ford pardoning Nixon. On the other hand, he would catch a lot of shit from democrats who support her. I’m thinking he goes with his Legacy.

        This all boils down to public opinion, though.

        1. And I’m thinking the Clintons have dirt on enough people, including Obama, to successfully fend off indictment.

          1. Obama is untouchable at this point. Does he care who goes down in his wake?

            1. Obama is irrelevant at this point. When the other party captures the presidency, they never go after the previous administration. They are looking forward to working the levers of power, not backwards to causing trouble for people who have lost power anyway.

              1. That moreover.

          2. But they don’t seem to have the dirt on Comey who will make it all public if the DoJ blocks him. Maybe not as bad as an incitement, but pretty damn bad.

        2. This is how I’m thinking.

          He knows how Bill Clinton’s presidency is defined: BLOWJOB

          He knows how his presidency will be defined if the final months, weeks, and days of it are dominated by him getting entangled in Hillary’s scandal.

          She’s put him between a rock and a hard spot. He’s got to either pardon an obvious criminal and inflict her on the DNC and the Democrat voters, or he’s got to be the guy who destroys the candidacy of the first Vagina Candidate.

          I don’t think he appreciates that, especially considering other things like her end-run the Sid Blumenthal ban and probably other promises she made and broke in that secret powwow they had after she lost to him in 2008.

        3. As a narcissist even by Washington, D.C. standards, I can’t help but think that Obama would prefer to be succeeded by a Republican. If Hillary wins, then she immediately supplants him as the top Democrat. And, of course, since she is running as his third term, when the economy goes into recession, the Middle East implodes, ISIS lands a major terrorist attack inside the U.S., etc. he can’t say it has nothing to do with him or his policies.

          On the other hand, if a Republican is in office, he can lay all of the blame on them: “Obama kept a steady hand on the tiller for 8 years, and then the Republicans drove it all back into the ditch! Iran was willing and ready to rejoin the Community of Nations, but now thanks to President Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric, they just nuked Tel Aviv!”

          Of course, Obama also likes to style himself as ‘the Left’s Ronald Reagan’, so it would also gall him to not match Reagan’s achievement of being the only President since World War 2 to pass the White House on to a member of his own party after two terms.

    4. Let’s get as many people to break the law that way they can’t arrest us all!

      You can’t trade an entire team so it’s easier to fire one person – the coach.

      Who will be the “coach” here?

    5. It would not shock me in the least if a bunch of non-Clinton State Department folks wind up getting fried for not properly reporting their suspicions about Madam Secretary not properly securing data. Clinton and her cronies skate of course because they’re untouchable, but all those little people who should have known better? Toast.

      1. Hillary could even pile on by using the Animal House excuse: “You fucked up! You trusted us!”

    6. Not really. If they really wanted her, they’d use that threat to arm twist all of those folks into testifying against her in exchange for immunity. I’ve seen such a “we need to make an example” case up close, and it was kind of disgusting how culpability was really irrelevant, the US Attorney basically only cared about how high up the management chain he could take a scalp; the people that actually made the meaningless pencil whipping error walked away clean and because they testified that they were implicitly coerced it stacked more charges on the person at the top.

      That said, Hillary could give a press conference standing next to a wood chipper during which she’d toss puppies, babies and bald eagles into said chipper to punctuate her answers and it wouldn’t get her prosecuted or lose her a single vote.

  13. As Hillary is a well-documented serial liar, the FBI takes a very dim view of being told lies, and are very good at rooting out lies – Clinton’s Lawyer would have to be crazy to let her near an FBI interview.

  14. America has a bedrock commitment to the rule of law.

    Exactly. That’s why Trump is not getting pilloried for saying that, given abortion is a crime, the woman should be punished.

    1. I haven’t found the text yet, but on the radio I heard a clip of Clinton saying close to “Trump came dangerous close to the limits of what we’re allowed to say, under the constitution”

      Hillary thinks the constitution ALLOWS the people to speak?

  15. One thing that could come of this is that the DNC might choose not to support her in the general election should public opinion turn against her. That’s a big IF, to be sure. But it would be sweet to see her out on her own surrounded by critics.

  16. Don’t assume the ‘public’ would never stand for imposing a higher standard for indicting Clinton, at least not the public who consistently votes for whomever has a ‘D’ next to their name. To too many people, getting the ‘D’ or the ‘R’ into office (or, perhaps just as accurately, keeping the other side out of office) trumps (yes, on purpose) any concern about a candidate’s honesty and character. The ‘D’s didn’t care when Bill Clinton abused his office by taking advantage of Lewinsky (heck, some of them claimed she took advantage of Clinton, the poor guy), they don’t care when their nominee sits in church while the preacher goes on about how evil white America is. All that matters is that they have the right letter.

  17. There are so many ways to game this out. She skates, she fries, she gets crippled . . .

    It’s all up to Obama in the end, so never mind Hillary. What does HE want? What motivates him?

    I say he’s a man who seeks revenge, who’s motivated by his grievances and resentments rather than his appetites, which are actually pretty thin. He applies his energy and ingenuity to destroying things he doesn’t like.

    Now, where does that leave Hillary? Maybe he, like so many American voters, is in the position now of choosing a lesser evil — entrust his precious legacy to the greedy and avaricious Clintons, or take her down risk it on a Biden/Kerry/Warren/Whomever ticket.

  18. A) Nothing will happen to her. She’s too encrusted and protected.
    B) Imagine this person with total power the irresponsible behavior.

    Man oh man, it’s beyond slim pickings this time around for the American voting public.

    1. *Imagine this person with total power. The irresponsible behavior would be epic.

      1. You’re in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down…

        1. And mumble, “Damn, forty years out here and all I asked for was a moment. One fucking libertarian MOMENT!”

          1. I lolled and then frowned.

    2. The feds may fail to indict her, but the people would punish her by denying her the presidency, if the alternative seemed reasonably sane, which it may not be.

  19. As Martha Stewart can attest, lying to federal investigators is a crime, and even an unwitting misstep can be prosecuted.

    What a country. No difference between lying and being wrong. So what is the advice, kids? Never ever talk to the pigs.

    1. fucking tags

  20. IF Hillary Clinton is not indicted, there is no rule of law.

  21. The public will never stand for that. America has a bedrock commitment to the rule of law.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!1!!!11!!!!!! Good one, Judge… Oh man, I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. Thanks, I needed that.

  22. My guess is that the reason this is taking so long is because the case has to be absolutely unassailable. This could very well be the biggest case in American history. If I was anyone in that chain of command I would be a complete asshole in making sure that every single i was dotted and t was crossed and that every single shred of paperwork was in order.

    I think they are planning to go after her, but I wouldn’t give her one iota of information more than was necessary in order to prevent her from weaseling out of it somehow. That necessitates keeping the public in the dark too, just to keep her from getting a single straw to grasp.

    1. From what I have read, the FBI is not just investigating the email security violations. They are going after the root cause – the Clinton Foundation money laundering / bribery schemes. Bribery or racketeering charges could be in the mix, which really would destroy her.

      1. I was just thinking about this too. Depending on what is in the emails, there could be a huge amount of other criminal activity. They really need to have that investigation on lockdown.

      2. Under racketeering charges, couldn’t they take down Bill and Chelsea, too?

        1. For being made members of the Clinton Crime family? Hey, they put John Gotti’s brothers away under RICO, so why not.

      3. Why do you think she scrubbed the servers before handing everything over?

    2. I hope you’re right. She’s got to be the most deserving crony criminal of the century–so far.

    3. That would be incredibly cool, but it seems like a fantasy. She’s so entrenched. Can the FBI file without permission of the AG?

      1. Only if the director of the FBI doesn’t want to stay director of the FBI for much longer.

        My suspicion is the administration will keep a close eye on things, and the moment they catch a scent of movement toward prosecution, they’ll replace the director and maybe a few other higher ups, and keep working their way down the line until they find someone to put in charge who has the right priorities. Nothing illegal in that either. It will stir up some controversy, but not nearly as much as the leading Democratic candidate being charged with a crime would.

  23. Pagliano, the “IT guy” paid $5k to set up the server was designated a Class C employee (like an aide to the Secretary); there had never been a Class C employee in the IT department at State before. So strange was this set-up was they had to make special arrangements for who was going to be his supervisor – ended up being Patrick Kennedy, the under Secretary of State for Management. Does THAT seem a little strange?

    1. According to the fedsdatacenter.com website, Brian M. Pagliano was a GS-15 IT Management employee of the Department of State, making $136,134.00 in 2012, the last year for which his salary data is published.

      1. GS-15 is most exclusively a management position, though there are a handful of “technical 15” positions out there. $136,134.00 was the maximum salary for the grade in 2012.

        1. Well, let’s try to guess why he got that high a rank. My wild guesses:

          1 – mo money = betta bribery

          2 – higher management = fewer levels of oversight

    2. Does THAT seem a little strange?

      Yes, it does. Kennedy is one of the little pukes I want to go down in flames. Here he is asking Clinton’s attorney to delete Benghazi-related emails:

      http://www.judicialwatch.org/p…..onths-ago/

  24. Obama really is on trial here, and if he tries to protect a criminal Hillary, it could escalate into a broad condemnation of his entire administration. And if Loretta Lynch refuses to present the evidence to a grand jury, she could be guilty of obstruction of justice, which is what brought Nixon down. That won’t happen to Obama, since he is so close to the end of his presidency, but if he cares about how he is seen by historians, he just might do the right thing. I doubt it, since he has just about never done the right thing, and Democrats almost never do (remember the Marc Rich pardon?), but there is an outside chance, particularly if some are right that he hates the Clinton’s anyway. It’s getting interesting.

    1. I agree. What would you do if you were a ruthless, conniving king on your deathbed, and your sneaking, ambitious, greedy eldest son — who maintained ties to a rival family and who had once tried to poison you — put you in a spot like this?

      Would you —

      1 – save his hide and trust that he would maintain your dynasty?

      2 – give the crown to your meek and stupid second son who always worshiped at your feet?

    2. I still think it’s wishful thinking bordering on delusion to expect Clinton to be prosecuted. They’re only even doing an investigation to make a show of it, that they ‘did their jobs’, not to look too derelict. It would look like pure sabotage. Plus, not many people care about her emails; it’s generally dismissed as some right wing obsession, so it’s not like there’s significant public pressure (from anyone who matters). Not to mention that there are plenty of important people who have done worse things than what she’s done with her servers who know that if they scrutinize Clinton about this, their own successors may scrutinize them. Not pressing charges is what the higher ups in the justice department must call ‘paying it forward.’

  25. Clinton’s male server = Lewinsky

  26. RE: The Clinton Investigation Enters a Dangerous Phase

    Hitlery will not be prosecuted.
    She can do no wrong.
    It says so in “Mein Kampf.”

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  28. “If she were to talk to federal prosecutors and FBI agents, they would catch her in many inconsistencies, as she has spoken with great deception in public about this case.”

    Sadly, lying to the public isn’t actually a crime in this instance. Yeah, they can catch her in public lies but I don’t believe there’s a punishment for that one and the recordings of these interviews will never see the light of day.

    “If she were to decline to be interviewed?a prudent legal but treacherous political decision?the feds would leak her rejection of their invitation, and political turmoil would break loose because one of her most imprudent and often repeated public statements in this case has been that she can’t wait to talk to the FBI.”

    As if constantly flip-flopping has somehow hurt her credibility this far? All she needs to do is say she’s too busy to be bothered with it while campaigning since it’s such a non-issue.

    As for the leak angle, you think that’s going to fly during the Obama presidency? They would be under the microscope and in prison so fast it would make their heads spin. Ironically, this would be because of the very same laws that Clinton broke. This is because, as has been noted a billion times, there are two sets of the law and she’s a member of the ‘slap on the wrist’ caste.

  29. Even if the FBI’s investigation implicates Sec. Clinton in the Lindbergh kidnapping, Hillary knows – to a metaphysical certainty – that she won’t be indicted by Obama’s DoJ. Worst-case scenario, a misdemeanor plea deal (for her aides) will be proffered. If Hillary wins in November, there’ll be Presidential pardons all ’round. If she loses, her fate instantaneously becomes a matter of complete indifference to Pres. Obama. There’s no substitute for a Clinton “W,” and neither the chagrin of ducking an FBI interrogation nor the hazards of participating in one hold any terror for Hillary. The fix is in.

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  31. They will delay the indictment till the day after the election, and Obama will then issue blanket pardons for EVERYBODY in the government who has committed security infractions from 2008 till 2016, all in the interest of fairness. Including Chelsea Manning and Snowdon. The justification will be that everyone really needs better training, which will start some time in the future, maybe when Chelsea Clinton runs for the presidency.

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  33. my guess is in obama’s mind he genuinely believe it would be against the national interest to indict her. i don’t think he’s psychologically capable of distinguishing between political self interest and actual criminal activity in this case.

  34. Perhaps it all depends on the meaning of the word “is”?

  35. Favorite wikileak ever…

    HilLIARy expressing suprise that a State Department employee would be using a personal email account:

    https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/12751

  36. Andrew – If you seriously believe that someone who has spent her entire life acquiring the support of powerful people will ever be indicted for anything, then you’d better move to a state where it’s legal to smoke what you’re smoking.

    There is absolutely no way that a presidential candidate who is clearly on her way to the White House will be charged with a crime. No politician, Democrat or Republican, will ever allow that to happen. They are all in thrall to someone whom they think will someday be president and being president means more than never having to say your sorry. It means absolute power of life and death. It is the closest thing to a god that humans will ever know.

    They will not sacrifice their gods on the altar of the law.

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  40. RE: The Clinton Investigation Enters a Dangerous Phase

    One has to wonder when Hitlery will employ the Arkansas Mafia to “take care of some problems.”

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