Hillary Clinton

If You Want the Government to Forgive Your Criminal Mistakes, Run for President

Intent matters, but sometimes only when authorities decide it does, like if it turns out you're Hillary Clinton.

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Hillary Clinton
Michael Reynolds/EPA/Newscom

We know today that the FBI, despite determining that Hillary Clinton had more than a hundred emails on her private server that had information that was classified at the time, and despite her publicly making claims otherwise, has decided that she should not face federal prosecution.

The FBI determined that clearly seriously poor decisions were made here, describing the handling of classified information under Clinton's administration as Secretary of State as "extremely careless." But despite the violations of the law, the FBI determined no "intentional and willful mishandling" of classified information, and thus decided that an attempt to prosecute probably would not succeed.

How lucky for her. If only the same could be said for the rest of us. The Clinton case can be seen as an example of the concept of mens rea in action. Mens rea is the legal concept that in order to convict somebody of a crime, prosecutors should be required to show that the defendant knew he or she was doing something wrong.

The FBI's analysis may well be accurate: Maybe they had no intent to willfully mishandle information. But it's important to understand that there are many federal laws where mens rea is not considered when prosecuting somebody for violation of the law. Clinton is getting the mercy of a Justice Department that, in her case, cares about her intent. The rest of us don't get such of a pass, even in somewhat similar situations. Glenn Greenwald notes that those with lesser connections who get accused of mishandling classified information see much different responses from this administration:

NSA whistleblower Tom Drake, for instance, faced years in prison, and ultimately had his career destroyed, based on the Obama DOJ's claims that he "mishandled" classified information (it included information that was not formally classified at the time but was retroactively decreed to be such). Less than two weeks ago, "a Naval reservist was convicted and sentenced for mishandling classified military materials" despite no "evidence he intended to distribute them." Last year, a Naval officer was convicted of mishandling classified information also in the absence of any intent to distribute it.

We're also talking about a woman who thinks Edward Snowden didn't go through "proper channels" before leaking information about mass domestic surveillance to the public and should face legal consequences, though the whistleblowing channels she refers to probably wouldn't have applied in Snowden's situation. Despite deliberately not managing communications appropriately to make sure everything goes through "proper channels" with correct level of security, she wants to be treated differently.

For these reasons, it's extremely disconcerting to see the Department of Justice and some of the left decry attempts by conservative criminal justice reformers to increase requirements where consideration of mens rea should apply to federal law.  Their argument is that it makes it harder to prosecute people, particularly white-collar criminals, which is partly the point of mens rea. Some on the left and within the Justice Department want to be able to prosecute corporate actors for violating one of the thousands of federal regulations that they claim protects safety and the environment, and they want to be able to do so without having to prove that people knew that they were doing anything wrong.

The vast difference between how Clinton has been treated here and how us commoners are treated should be a wake-up call for any civil rights organization who resist the expansion of mens rea. It's already being applied unfairly so that the powerful are protected. That it's so much harder—and so very expensive—to fight back when we don't get the same consideration is an indication that it's the lack of mens rea that's the problem.

Obviously, this suggests the possibility that perhaps the FBI made the right call in Clinton's case, which probably does not sit well with many people. It also ignores the possibility that the Justice Department simply didn't want a fight against a powerful politician with unlimited resources to fight back during an election year and who may have control over their budget come January. Certainly many will believe that there are other considerations explaining why there will likely be no prosecution.

But Clinton supporters will want us to take this decision at face value, so do that as an exercise. Then turn and ask these people if they believe a similar mens rea standard should apply to everybody—even those dastardly Koch brothers—accused of violating federal laws.

More from Reason on mens rea here.

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  1. Then turn and ask these people if they believe a similar mens rea standard should apply to everybody?even those dastardly Koch brothers?accused of violating federal laws.

    That’ll get you unfriended in a hurry!

      1. Come now, as Comey said, “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring such charges. And what this means, is that the prosecutors of our great nation know what is reasonable.

        For example, individuals across the country have been appropriately charged with crimes for writing anti-bank slogans on the sidewalk with chalk, and one can imagine the complaints of various undesirable elements to the effect that such charges are not “reasonable.” But prosecutors knew what was reasonable.

        Or again, the author of a shocking Mohammed parody film was jailed in California, after Hillary Clinton appropriately assured our Arab allies that he would be punished. Some authors on this site have argued that that was not “reasonable,” but prosecutors knew what was reasonable.

        And, while we’re at it, let’s not forget America’s leading criminal “satire” case, documented at:

        https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

        There again, prosecutors knew exactly what was reasonable.

        Indeed, news items on that case reveal that it was prosecuted as a private favor to a well-connected NYU department chairman; the NYTimes even quotes the chairman himself as boasting of the special treatment he was given, on account of his contacts with the FBI (“You know how the F.B.I. says, ‘once you’re one of ours, you’re always one of ours?’ ” he said. “It’s totally true.'”) That’s how things have always worked in our land, and that’s the way they should work. No surprises here.

        1. P.s. and I might add, who would dare to defend the outrageous “First Amendment dissent” filed in the nation’s leading criminal “satire” case by a single, isolated, liberal judge? Even though so-called Constitutional rights are extremely antiquated, they are still considered to be the “law,” but I don’t see people complaining about some kind of problem with the “rule of law” when their reach, as in that case, is appropriately limited by the courageous prosecutors of our land.

    1. It’s a delusion that a partisan can be brought to your way of thinking through appeals to logic or consistency. They didn’t arrive at their perspective tthrough logic or consistency, and therefore will not be moved from it by the same.

      1. Well said Euphe. I’ve never heard it explained so succinctly.

        1. I’ve also heard it said as, “you can’t reason a person out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into.”

      2. I stole this. So well said.

  2. Clinton,Comey,Lynch,Obama,Huma, and all the other participants of this American tragedy should eat choke on a bag of dicks.

  3. Obviously, this suggests the possibility that perhaps the FBI made the right call in Clinton’s case,

    If only it wasn’t for that pesky “criminal negligence” statute that actually applied in her case, which means the bleating about her intent is pretty much legally irrelevant, and therefor is being done purely as a PR distraction from the royal treatment that Comey gave the woman who he fully expects to be his next boss.

    So, no, the FBI did not make the right call in this case. And, even if it was going to start imposing, for the very first time, a strict mens rea standard to all criminal cases, you don’t start with one of the wealthiest and most well-connected defendants around.

    1. Sure you do, if you are just faking it.

    2. Sure, and grand juries should not just charge everyone in front them. However, they exercise this discretion only when a cop kills someone.

      1. In many cases, this should be expressed as: “usually prosecutors only take cases to the grand jury if they – the prosecutors – want an indictment, but in hot-button cases like police shootings they don’t want to prosecute and they use the grand jurors as human shields to protect themselves (the prosecutors, that is) from accountability.

    3. And never mind that she wasn’t even being negligent. I’ll wager that training on how to properly handle classified material is mandatory for all State Dept. employees. So she either willfully exempted herself from that training or she received that training and willfully ignored it. Either way, her spillage was willful.

      1. Or her behavior was so very careless as to be criminal.

        1. I had nothing to do with it

      2. That is required training to be taken every year. She only took it once in four years as Secretary of State.

        From an earlier release of information.

      3. Hilary Clinton was held to the Gregory standard: “Yeah, we watched him on national TV in possession of a 30-round magazine he knew was banned in D.C. but he won’t be charged because he’s One Of Us.”

    4. The whole intent argument is specious. Clinton isn’t an idiot. She knew what she was doing, and she knew why she was doing it.

      Comey is a disgrace, continuing a 25-year history of disgrace at the famous but incompent FBI.

      1. Numerous emails have been released that demonstrate that she knew exactly what she was doing. That was the whole point, for fuck’s sake.

    5. I still take issue that there was no evidence of intent to mishandle classified info. The DOJ is going to have to explain how 2 emails from HRC to her staff with instructions to circumvent security procedures isn’t intentional.

      1. I underwent training in the handling of sensitive information, too, as part of jobs I held at several defense-related firms. I learned, among many things, that lack of intent is not an excuse for allowing sensitive information to escape the proper channels for handling it. Clumsiness or negligence would have gotten me arrested. The system is rigged, apparently in favor of Ms. Clinton. I am disgusted.

    6. ” you don’t start with one of the wealthiest and most well-connected defendants around.”

      I’m sure they’ll rethink their decision and decide differently the next time. 😉

  4. Martha Stewart
    That kind of says it all.
    #neverHillary

    1. You can bet that a semi-famous, semi-elite politician or bureaucrat “in similar circumstances” will get vigorously prosecuted by FBI/DoJ. Kind of like Martha Stewart did after Bill’s perjury.

      1. You’re mostly right, except that Martha Stewart went to jail for George W.’s insider trading, not for Bill’s perjury.

        1. She went for lying to the FBI.

          1. This is what lets you know that they had no intention of ever bringing charges.

            What did they do to Stewart when they figured out that there was probably no underlying crime? They laid a thicket of perjury traps and got their man.

            They did the same thing in the Valerie Plame case. Even though her “identity” as a CIA employee was something of an open secret, they proceeded as if they had Aldrich Ames on their hands. And once they found out who “leaked” the name to the press, and that there was indeed no criminal intent or crime….. they still went after Scooter Libby as if he were a master criminal. They interviewed him and made sure to catch him in an inconsistency so they could hit him with lying to a federal agent charges. Even though they knew he was not guilty of the crime they were investigating before they even interviewed him.

            But Hillary doesn’t get interviewed until after they’ve already decided not to pursue charges? WTF, why did they even interview her? Was it just to put on a show for the plebes? If so, why go so far out of your way to make sure it looks like you are participating in a coverup?

            Simply based on things that are already in the public domain, we know she did in fact have the mens rea required for a prosecution. There were emails directing people to strip off the classified markings and fax classified documents. There were repeated protestations by the IT staff that what she was doing was improper. etc. etc.

      2. or General

  5. Relevant.

    No matter how much classified material is found in her personal email server, Hillary Clinton will no doubt continue campaigning to become our next president.
    Meanwhile, a decorated Marine officer who has deployed four times faces being discharged from the corps he loves because he used his personal email to send a single classified report as an urgent warning when lives were at stake.
    The stateside message from Marine Reserves Major Jason Brezler to Forward Operating Base Delhi in Now Zad, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, went unheeded. Three young Marines were shot to death as they worked out in a gym by an Afghan teen brought on the base by the same corrupt and double-dealing pedophile police chief whom Brezler had declared to be an immediate threat.
    Yet the only person to be investigated in connection with the killings is Brezler, the Marine who sought to prevent them.

    1. Never having been in the military, it’s hard for me to imagine how they must view this whole Clinton thing. But I would think they would be promptly losing all respect for the person likely to become the new commander in chief. That doesn’t seem like a good thing to me.

      1. EVERY person I’ve spoken too who has or has had security clearance, absolutely affirms that Hillary did indeed break the law, and in fact massively break the law.

        1. I worked in a SCIF for four years, carrying a TS SCI+ clearance.

          She absolutely broke the law. That’s not my opinion, that’s reality. I could point out that I haven’t talked to a single person who worked with classified material who disagrees, but it feels weird even saying that. It’s so self evidently obvious, it’s absurd to even act as if it is a question. Anyone who has worked with classified material for the day-to-day course of their job knows full well that what she did was, at an absolute minimum, disqualifying for future access to classified material.

          If not outright criminal.

          1. Spot on. It’s very unlikely someone can unknowingly put TS on an unauthorized server. If they do, it is certainly grounds to question their competence and rationale for having a security clearance. This is not the case for Shackford to complain about mens rea.

          2. Can confirm. Signed the SF86. Little doubt she didn’t commit a crime.

          3. “If not outright criminal.”

            Look, there is little doubt that her actions were intentional, and criminal. I predict that very bad things are going to happen as a result of this lawlessness. Our government has taken a very dangerous step towards anarchy. They seem to forget that Americans are armed and capable and that certain factions may find this action to be the last straw. Moreso, they seem to have missed the fact that they have insulted every single military officer by creating this double standard with regard to national security. Imagine how an Eisenhower, Patton, Powell, or Washington might react to a failure of justice at this level. We are little better than a banana republic at this point, and could well suffer as a result.

        2. Anyone who’s ever had a security clearance knows that her actions were indisputably illegal and would have landed one of us lesser folks in prison over a year ago.

          1. Ah. I don’t think it would necessarily entail criminal charges. Your access to classified info would be done 100% forever no questions asked. But I think criminal charges would depend completely on the mood of the prosecutors/investigators. If they thought your real intention was to harm the US then they would. Or if they just didn’t like you, you might get charged anyways. But I could see just getting fired too.

            In other words, it’s principals, not principles, as usual.

      2. I was in the Navy during Nixon’s resignation, and was astounded by how many people supported his sorry ass. A zillion excuses. No different from civilians, really. And while Hillary would *seem* to be a natural enemy of anyone in the military, from a left/right point of view, she is also gung-ho on military adventures. I would not be surprised to find her military poll numbers match the civilian polls.

        1. The military tends to skew 65/35 to the right, +/- 5% or so depending on the year, but I have not yet come into contact with a single Clinton supporter. Maybe because I work in the military intelligence side of things, where everyone is appalled at the absurdity of anyone defending her actions, but that’s about how it is. Some Sanders supporters, some Libertarians, some Republicans who think Trump is ok, some Republicans who think a Trump’s an idiot, but ZERO Clinton supporters. Find a non-intel non-combat-MOS unit and you might have a closet Clinton supporter or two, but it is overwhelming to me how many can’t stand her. Even folks who voted for Obama once or twice.

          1. I also forgot to specify why I mentioned non-combat-MOS units as well: the grunts have not forgotten her complete LACK of response while Americans were taking fire in Benghazi.

          2. Thanks, a good update. I was appalled at how many stood by Nixon, but he wasn’t nearly as dangerous as Hillary.

      3. Well, as a former Marine who served under Bill Clinton I will say that I’ve never had any respect for HRC, or WJC for that matter.

      4. Do a search for the names Kristian Saucier or Jason Brezler.

  6. Depends on what the meaning of intent is

  7. In general, I think requiring mens rea is a good thing. But that’s not what this is about. Mens rea is satisfied because Clinton set up her own private email server that she knew was not certified for sending/receiving classified information, and then received that information anyway. She knowingly destroyed records that she had to preserve under FOIA laws, and she failed to comply with orders to turn over records because she arbitrarily and knowingly destroyed them. There is more than enough evidence that she acted intentionally. The only thing she may not have intentionally done was distribute classified information to people who weren’t cleared to see it.

    1. Yeah, the only think Hillary didn’t INTEND to do was get caught.

    2. Intentional ignorance shows mens rea. Yes, she is guilty. Like someone famous said about some other famous incident, either she knew what she was doing and is guilty, or she was intentionally ignorant and is guilty of intentional negligence.

    3. The only thing she may not have intentionally done was distribute classified information to people who weren’t cleared to see it.

      Nah, she did this, too. Sydney Blumenthal.

    4. Exactly. Her team turned over a tiny fraction of what it was supposed to turn over, and deleted tens of thousands of emails that it claimed were “personal,” and everybody’s just supposed to take their word for it. How is that fucking unintentional?

  8. To escape justice, it is not sufficient to run for president, or even to get elected. One must run as a Democrat. Otherwise, they may suffer Nixon’s fate.

    1. General Petraeus being the living proof.

      Of course, the typical modern dopey-ass American has already forgotten who General Petraeus is, if they ever even knew who the heck he was in the first place.

  9. Comey really beclowned himself with the intent excuse. National security laws were specifically written without any mention of intentions.

    Was his family being held at gunpoint? And how did they analyze Hillary’s testimony in 1 day during a holiday weekend?

    1. And how did they analyze Hillary’s testimony in 1 day during a holiday weekend?

      They didn’t. They had already made their decision what, over a year ago, and Hillary’s “testimony” was a formality.

      1. The meeting between Lynch and Bill Clinton, the “interview” with Hillary that was obviously purely for show given the timing of Comey’s announcement, the use of the obviously false “intent” excuse, combined with obviously false statements that they never prosecute for national security crimes without strong intent . . .

        I am increasingly convinced this was all a show, to demonstrate their total domination of the media and the justice system and demoralize their opponents.

        1. Why in the world would they do something that makes their turnout smaller and give Trump more ammo? Can you imagine the mailer? “Donald Trump says I’m a liar and crooked! Send money to help me show him I’m not!”

          1. Heh, its not even that. Likely Hillary would have the balls to send out “Donald Trump says I’m a liar and crooked! Send money to help me show him that at this point in time what difference does it make….”

          2. They’re demonstrating to the serfs that they’re going to do whatever they want to and they’ll answer to no one. I’m with RC on this one, this was all a show, they were never going to prosecute Hillary for anything. And much to the horror of the unsuspecting progs, this will set a precedent which means that future Republican administrations can do the exact same things and get away with it. After all, a Republican administration will pick their own AG, their own head of the FBI, etc, etc. They’re just doing a proof of concept that the people will not do anything to stop their lawlessness. They’ll notch this up a step at a time until we have marshall law and an unelected, unaccoutable oligarchy.

            1. One of the few things both parties can agree on is that laws are for the little people.

        2. Maybe Lynch was supposed to deliver the “no charges” message and was discussing it with Bill. After she was caught, it had to be Comey who did it under protest by laying out the charges he should have filed.

          1. If he was “under protest” he would have resigned.

    2. “I’ve decided not to resign. My boss has told me that she has no intent of prosecuting this case, so I am not recommending charges. However, let me lay out for everyone to see that the law was clearly violated.”

      What I heard when I ran Comey’s speech through my governmentese translator.

      1. Is that translator software based or some kind of appliance? Either way, I’d like to invest.

      2. Was he blinking out an SOS?

      3. Come == eunuch

        1. edit

          Comey == eunuch

      4. This. He basically, explicitly wrote into his statement that most people would be prosecuted, but in this case not. He’s making it clear that the decision was not his.

        1. Yep, he’s just telling the peasants that you now live in a new world, one where the rule of law applies only to who we say it does. Now sit down and shut up.

        2. I’m betting he’s really thinking:

          “I can’t disrupt a presidential election by indicting her. I’d be a pariah my whole life, which wouldn’t be long because someone would shoot me”

    3. While the intent excuse may look like it was thrown together at the last minute, the general outcome was probably determined months ago.

      1. Maybe the plan was for Lynch to give her the get-out-of-jail-free card but she couldn’t after her meeting with Bill was exposed.

    4. “…decided that an attempt to prosecute probably would not succeed.”
      Meaning, DoJ knows she broke the law, but that she’ll hire lawyers better than those employed by DoJ and, thus, DoJ will lose, so why bother.

  10. Today marks the death of “open government”. This decision renders the FOIA irrelevant. Everybody that’s anybody in government will be setting up private email systems to avoid government systems.

    Think of what fun The Donald is going to have with this.

    1. Progs don’t think “You today, me tomorrow” applies to them, just like supply and demand don’t apply to labor or health care costs.

    2. When Republicans start doing the same stuff, the progs will whine and screech to no end. However, it won’t do them any good, the damage is already done. We now have a government that is exempt from the rule of law. The corruption during the next 4 years in whatever new administration we get, is going to be like nothing we’ve seen before outside of 3rd world dictatorships. They’re not even going to try hiding it now. Why would they? They no longer fear the people. Tyranny is imminent. I only wish I was being melodramatic.

    3. Everybody that’s anybody in government will be setting up private email systems to avoid government systems.

      According to Hillary, everyone already does and has.

  11. It’s particularly laughable when you take into account the rather obvious, self-evident fact that the entire purpose of creating the home server was to circumvent the law. Intent to commit a crime is rarely as clear as it in this case!

    1. She accidentally / unintentionally contracted for the server – which Comey points out was less secure than GMail.

    2. ^THIS!

      1. I take it back. It was impossible that Hillary had intent to break the law because she knew in advance that she was above the law.

        It is well know that if a Clinton does it, that means that is is not illegal.

        1. It is well known that if a Clinton does it, that means it is not illegal.

  12. I has a TS/SCI clearance in the USAF (I was an eavesdropper).

    If i’d had been “careless” with codeword material I’d have spent 10 years very carefully making gravel out of big rocks in Kansas.

    1. On the plus side, I understand the crypto guys imprisoned in Leavenworth have a killer soft-ball team thanks to the large pool of talent they have to work with.

      1. We were yelled at for forgetting to put classified material into plain canvas bags when walking outside to our ops building 50 ft away–even though it had a cover sheet already–for fear there might be someone in the thick woods that surrounded our site who would see the SIGINT code word “Secret Spoke” printed on the cover.

    2. Yep – and you would have waited for trial in a brig somewhere, not on the campaign trail.

  13. “If You Want the Government to Forgive Your Criminal Mistakes, Run for President” and throw all the federal judges and agency chiefs who thwart your business ventures into the woodchipper.

  14. What I find funny about this:

    Progressives are the quickest group in this country to assert that the system in the US is biased toward the rich, powerful, and well-connected, and that these groups benefit from this and are regularly shielded from the consequences of their actions. They routinely decry racism and classism in the criminal justice system.

    And at the same time, they think that anyone who thinks that Hillary Clinton having all of these advantages might have played a role in shielding her from consequences that someone less privileged than her may have faced is a conspiratorial nutjob.

    1. And probably sexist. And in the tentacles of the Kochtopus.

    2. No, this is not progressives, but the establishment vs the rest of us. I just had to listen to my uber-progressive, Sanders loving brother spouting off about Hillary Clinton all weekend. Something about speeches at Goldman Sachs and the most corrupt person in the history of something or other…it almost made me want to vote for her.

      Point is, progressives hate her too.

      1. It is true that there are a good number of progressives (mostly Sanders supporters) who do not like Clinton, but at the end of the day she still won the nomination and all polls indicate that the vast majority of self-identified Democrats/progressives/liberals, etc. will vote for her. BernieorBust types might be the most hardcore believers in that narrative, but they’re far from the only ones on the left (or elsewhere).

        1. They’ll vote for her, but will they defend her? Progressives in the Democratic Party seem to be at a point similar to where libertarians were within the Republican Party in the near distant past. Disaffected, unhappy, and begrudgingly supportive, but looking to bolt. They’ll hold their nose and vote for her, but they won’t like it.

          1. All will be forgiven when she names Elizabeth Warren as her VP. progs all over the country will cream their panties all at once, and cry in orgasmic glee “I’M WITH HER!”

      2. Let’s see how they vote in November.

  15. From Rand’s facebook:

    Today the FBI announced Hillary Clinton violated classified procedures, carelessly and recklessly endangered national security – and had done so repeatedly, over 100 times.

    The FBI then announced she would face no charges. This is an outrage and the rule of law has been turned upside down.

    This weekend, we learned former President Clinton met with the Obama Administration Attorney general – the FBI director’s boss – in private.

    Three days later the FBI director announces no charges are being brought against Hillary Clinton.

    The appearance is terrible. The decision is astounding. People have gone to jail for less severe breaches of classified information and national security.

    Today Director Comey and the Obama Administration Department of Justice made it clear to the American people, and all those being unfairly prosecuted by the DOJ, that there is no accountability, no justice, and the Clintons are allowed to live by a different set of rules.

    This is a loss for the rule of law and further degrades Americans’ faith in the justice system.

    1. Please. She voted for a war where a million people died and all right-wingers can bitch about is that she turns out to be an entitled boss at a government agency. Piss poor.

      1. No, you fucking idiot. Pull your head out of your ass for a minute if you can and pay the fuck attention. There’s no one here, except for maybe you and Tony and the idiot shreek, who doesn’t care about her war mongering. There are thousands of post here about it. Dummy.

      2. Count on AmSoc to trot out the ever-reliable “But what about” to distract from the latest blow to the rule of law.

      3. Are you referring to Libya or Iraq? Either way, libertarians were against that, too. Those are just a few of the many reasons to not vote for Hillary.

        This article and the recent news, however, is about the server. I know you are incapable of independent thought and just get your talking points from copy-and-pasting Kos or whatever other libtard blogs are out there, but it’s kinda embarrassing when you are completely off-topic like this.

      4. american socialist|7.5.16 @ 4:05PM|#
        “Please. She voted for a war where a million people died and all right-wingers can bitch about is that she turns out to be an entitled boss at a government agency.”

        Please. Go post on a right-wing site if you have gripes with right-wingers, shitbag.

        1. It’s not his fault, he’s just retarded. The poor sap just can’t stop himself from throwing elbows at strawmen, he’s convinced they are a full of cake.

  16. Man. My hope is now that, someday, i too will turn out to be Hillary Clinton. It’d get me out of a lot of jams.

    1. Become friends with Chelsea Clinton. Then when she becomes president, she’ll pardon you.

      1. Whoa, whoa, whoa, dude. That’s a bridge too far.

  17. Boy, the right-wing internet is going insane on this one. Watching right-wingers smash their keyboards because Clinton is… Gasp!… an entitled politician of all things is almost just enough reason to vote for this wannabe war criminal.

    It won’t matter anyway since illegals in California are lining up 100 times at the voting booth to vote for Democrats who give them free shit. You right-wingers on Social Security shouldn’t even bother showing up because the fix is in. Poor you.

    1. Maybe when you’re done assfucking that strawman, you can pull the hay splinters out of your micropenis and go pay your mortgage.

    2. Only a complete idiot like you would sit and cheer on while our so called leaders strip the country of the rule of law. I’m sure you’re going to be ecstatic when Republicans get away with the same type of shit. You idiot, if you did this, you would be thrown in a fucking cage. It must be amazing to have such a complete lack of self awareness.

    3. Three cheers for rule of men, not law, when my party is the men doing the ruling!

      1. For now.

    4. I know. If only we had honest and legitimate elections like Iraq or Great Britain, maybe we could save the country from scumbags like you.

    5. AmSoc could give two shits about any of this because he lacks any sort of principles. As long as the people he likes have unlimited ability to do what they want and the people who he hates gets fucked with, all is well.

    6. Well, imagine my surprise! Commie kid trivializes a miscarriage of justice! ‘Cause it’s a lefty who skates…

  18. The FBI’s analysis may well be accurate: Maybe they had no intent to willfully mishandle information.

    Indeed. Perhaps when they specifically opined about their intentions to mishandle said information, they were lying.

  19. If You Want the Government to Forgive Your Criminal Mistakes, Run for President

    Who actually believes anything she did was a “mistake” other than getting caught?

    1. She intentionally set up a private server to handle her official government business because she’s corrupt as the day is long and wanted to hide all of her dirty dealings from both the government and the public. There’s absolutely no other reason to do something like that, none, and only a complete moron would believe that there is.

      1. and only a complete moron would believe that there is.

        I’ll clarify that to say both natural-born morons and willful morons.

      2. Her mistake was the assumption that State’s stonewalling of FOIA requests would be enough to keep anyone from asking questions.

        Her criminal acts were entirely separate from this ‘mistake’.

          1. Destroying evidence at minimum; criminal.

            1. I learned from you guys when I talked about GWB’s criminal war that you had to go to court and be convicted to be labeled a criminal. That’s changed now?

              1. american socialist|7.5.16 @ 6:05PM|#
                “I learned from you guys when I talked about GWB’s criminal war that you had to go to court and be convicted to be labeled a criminal.”

                Do you ever post honestly, shitbag?
                Cite from ‘you guys’ missing.

  20. Clintonistas will no doubt be celebrating and telling the rest of us how wrong we were, and how we should now come around an vote for the royal cunt.

  21. James Comey is a straight shooter.

    1. Would or would not?

      1. Must you even ask?

        1. I’m trying to stop thinking about this whole shit show. Clinton, Trump, Sanders, D’s, R’s…the entire FYTW that is currently going on. It’s beyond SugarFree’s fiction at this point. I might click on his sight so I can get my mind out of the gutter.

    2. James Comey (Like Loretta Lynch) would like to work again some day in DC.

      1. I thought the whole reason you become an slimy lawyer was to uphold the law, defend the innocent & uphold the Constitution? Silly me.

  22. is there a Statute of limitations for this. meaning IF the R’s win, can they prosecute?

  23. “Mens rea is the legal concept that in order to convict somebody of a crime, prosecutors should be required to show that the defendant knew he or she was doing something wrong.”

    Yeah, those briefings went right over her head; didn’t understand one word and didn’t want to.

  24. does this mean The Federal Bureau of Incompetence also dropped the GOVERNMENT FOR SALE investigation into the Clinton Foundation? yeah, probably. who are we kidding. laws are for the peons, not powerful Democrats.

  25. mens rea means a guilty mind. Negligence (or gross negligence) can be a level of mens rea. Strict liability means absolutely no guilty mind is required. Here, the standard was gross negligence and Comey made a clear case for that, but then pretended that only intentional conduct was the standard. What an absolute sham. The decision was made by the Clintons for the Clintons. He should resign and let someone with integrity who is both literate and competent and take over.

    1. These were essentially my thoughts (sans the resignation comment). I am utterly baffled as to why Reason appears to be conflating mens rea with the concept of ignorantia juris. Other writers around the web appear to be doing this too.

      Also, let’s not pretend for a second that HRC was unaware that what she did was illegal. That was the entire purpose of the separate server.

      1. Well, to be fair the entire purpose was to avoid federal open records act requirements. The whole mishandling of state secrets bit was incidental.

        Not that we don’t have ample evidence that she didn’t give a rip about that side effect – or about preserving proper security on state secrets – but that just shows how depraved her indifference was.

  26. The only takeaway is that she bought the Oval Office fair and square and nothing, of all the laws of the US are going to impede that. I suspect that the election will also be hoax if only to get one of the last regularly scheduled presidential elections out of the way for a generation.

  27. RE: If You Want the Government to Forgive Your Criminal Mistakes, Run for President
    Intent matters, but sometimes only when authorities decide it does, like if it turns out you’re Hillary Clinton.

    Don’t be stupid.
    Heil Hitlary will hire an attorney general that will investigate her supposed illegal activities which will prove fruitless.
    Then she will grant herself a pardon and blame the LP for all her problems.
    Sounds like a plan.

  28. Don’t you understand how mens rea is supposed to work?

    It should not be a standard to apply to white collar crime because those people are too important to ever miss a rule and get something wrong.

    It should be a standard to apply to high ranking government officials because those people are too important to know all the rules.

    Simple.

  29. How does setting up a private email server for the express purpose of circumventing federal policy regarding the handling of classified communications not qualify as intent?

  30. Mens rea is irrelevant. Negligence is sufficient to violate the statue in question (in reality, the main one of numerous statutes in question).

  31. Obviously Comey fidn’t want to end up like Vince Foster and the other 150 other people associated with the Clintons who have died under mysterious circumstances.

    1. Michael Corleone didn’t kill that many people in three movies.

  32. And anyone who believed that anything else was going to happen is a fucking idiot.

    1. Idiot or Patriot? Fine line these days, it seems.

  33. Hilary Clinton is the queen of the political-left aristocracy. Yes, aristocracy. The King, or in this case, the Queen, can do no wrong. Well, at least not wrong enough to prosecute. That would be unthinkable. Surely you weren’t expecting justice when it comes to the new aristocracy, were you?

  34. BREAKING: FBI director James Comey declares Omar Mateen “extremely reckless” with regards to firearm handling…

  35. Given the libertarian sentiment about Clinton and her server use, surprised at the reaction of Johnson and Weld. What’s their motivation for supporting Clinton?

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