Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton's Extreme Carelessness Sure Seems Like a Federal Felony

Why did the FBI recommend against prosecuting her for gross negligence in handling classified material?



Explaining why he decided not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton in connection with her use of an unsecured private email server as secretary of state, FBI Director James Comey contrasts her "extremely careless" handling of "very sensitive, highly classified information" with the "clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information" that has prompted federal prosecution in other cases. But that distinction does not really explain why Comey decided "no reasonable prosecutor" would bring a case against Clinton, since one of the statutes guiding the FBI's investigation, 18 USC 793, makes it a felony to "mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way" (emphasis added), as Comey himself notes at the beginning of yesterday's statement. Maybe Comey perceives a difference between extreme carelessness and gross negligence, but if so he never bothered to elucidate it.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Donald Trump supporter who was the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York during the Reagan administration, says Comey's description of Clinton's behavior plainly qualifies as a violation of 18 USC 793(f). "I'm shocked," Giuliani told NBC's Brian Williams yesterday, "because he clearly found a direct violation of 18 United States Code, Section 793, which does not require intent. It requires only gross negligence in the handling of anything relating to the national defense. He determined that she was 'extremely careless.' The definition of gross negligence under the law is extreme carelessness. It's the first definition that comes up in the law dictionary. It's the definition the judges give to juries when they charge injuries on gross negligence. Negligence equals carelessness. Gross negligence equals extreme carelessness. So that is a clear, absolutely unassailable violation of 18 United States Code, Section 793, which is not a minor statute. It carries 10 years in prison."

Maybe Comey agrees that what Clinton did amounted to gross negligence but thinks it would be hard to prove. That explanation also seems unsatisfying, since a jury might reasonably conclude, based on facts that are mostly uncontested, that Clinton violated 18 USC 793(f), although that conclusion might depend on expert testimony regarding the security risks created by her email choices.

More plausibly, Comey thinks that a case could be made but that attempting to do so would be unfair because the Justice Department has not previously treated this sort of carelessness as a felony. "Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information," he says, "our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person's actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past."

The reference to intent is confusing, because it could be interpreted as describing the Justice Department's burden if it decided to charge Clinton with violating 18 USC 793, which (as Giuliani notes) does not require proof of intent. More likely Comey is referring to the DOJ's discretion in deciding whether to prosecute a case it would have a good chance of winning. "In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information," he says, "we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here."

The question, in other words, is not whether Clinton broke the law, or even whether federal prosecutors could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she broke the law. The question is whether the Justice Department has chosen to prosecute similar cases in the past, and the answer depends on how you define similar. Wherever you come down on that issue, Comey's recommendation illustrates the vast discretion that sweeping laws like this one give federal prosecutors, empowering them to imprison people who even they think do not deserve that fate. 

Addendum: In a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey—who, for what it's worth, is a prominent conservative critic of Trump—agrees with Giuliani that the facts outlined by Comey support a charge under 18 USC 793(f). He adds that a charge also would be justified under 18 USC 1924, which makes it a misdemeanor to "knowingly remove" classified material "with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location." Like the other statute, 18 USC 1924 does not require an intent to break the law—only an intent to keep classified material where it should not be. Comey seems to think Clinton's actions met that criterion. Regarding "seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received," for example, he says, "There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton's position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation."

NEXT: Brickbat: Georgia Justice

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  1. You know, as libertarians, we give the government a lot of crap because they never do things efficiently or theyre as innovative as the private sector. This whole debacle really shows that the government is truly innovative when it comes to finding new, even contradictory meanings, to legally defined words.

    1. *theyre NOT as innovative as the private sector.*

      1. But government is acting on behalf of the private sector. This is why certain forms of speech that nobody likes are regularly criminalized, despite any so-called “free-speech” nonsense. Who would dare to defend the “First Amendment dissent” filed by a single, isolated, liberal judge in America’s leading criminal “satire” case? See the documentation at:


        In fact, 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.'”)

        Or take the various individuals who 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 know what’s best, and in this regard they’e clearly acting on behalf of the private sector.

        Or again, take the author of a shocking Mohammed parody film who was jailed in California, after Hillary Clinton appropriately assured the Muslim community that he would be punished. Again, this was clearly done on behalf of the private sector. Heck, Hillary Clinton is the private sector. No surprises there.

    2. “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”–Bill Clinton

      1. ^—– This just won the Internet.

  2. ‘The most qualified person to ever run for president’?

    1. Given that the current office-holder has redefined the skills required to extreme dishonesty and arbitrary pronouncements, she may well be the most qualified.
      She’s got, at best, a passing acquaintance with honesty and she’s a nasty harpy who can scream orders left and right.

  3. Comey’s statement that “no reasonable prosecutor” would indict reflects only one fact: Hillary Clinton is Too Big To Jail. The elements of the crime may be there, but she would insist on a jury trial, neither side’s lawyers would be allowed to inquire about potential juror’s political views, and there would be at least one partisan on the trial who would vote against conviction. As a consequence, she would be acquitted, and the outcome would be even more corrosive than not prosecuting her.

    1. It’s kind of unreasonable to prosecute with a red laser spot following you around

      1. When Clinton was speaking to the attorney general, he was speaking about hers and Comey’s grandkids and if they ever wanted to see them alive again.

  4. Just remember the last time a Clinton faced a trial. You can impeach and even though it’s an admitted fact he committed perjury you still don’t get a conviction with a hostile jury you don’t even need a unanimous verdict from.

    Also, isn’t this how Unbreakable started out, with our hero finding out he’s bulletproof? Except this time Samuel L is the good guy.

    1. And we’re the ones that end up with all the broken bones.

  5. Former prosecutor on the radio yesterday: “This is a slam-dunk case that any first year prosecutor could make in his sleep. What they have done is make it very difficult to prosecute these violations going forward. It is an absolute disgrace.”

    The first thing that struck me when he said that was this prediction – If this execrable bitch gets elected there will be aggressive prosecutions for even lesser violations of this statute under her watch.

    There was also some discussion about the sentiments of those in the military and LE who are held to very strict liability, do all of the grunt work and are watching this unfold. If she ever slips, even a little, she will have a thousand knives in her back.

    1. And she could be in charge of the justice dept. overseeing these people. Wait till they try to sue the oil companies.

      1. And the gun compnies. If we elect her, America, as a republic, is over.

        1. This. Comey just declared Hillary untouchable. Anyone who votes for her is voting in favor of tyranny.

          1. “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”

            ~ Thomas Sowell

          2. “Nobody is untouchable.” -Abraham Lincoln

  6. Also, maybe what Comey meant was that ‘reasonable prosecutors’ are ones who don’t like wearing cement shoes. Welcome to the Banana Republic.

  7. To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.

    So, there’s that. If you aren’t royalty, you will be subject to the law.

    1. Forget it Jake(ob), it’s ClintonTown.

  8. Come on, we all know that a “reasonable prosecutor” would just tack on a capital offense or two and then offer a plea deal. 100% conviction rate, bitches!

    1. Wouldn’t be that hard; tie it to the death of a US ambassador who happened to die because of security leaks…

      Fuck you, Comey. You just might make me vote for Trump. And hate myself, forever.

  9. There is a huge difference between prosecuting some random whistleblower and prosecuting a major party’s candidate for President. Indicting Hillary at this point would have brought down the wrath of the entire Democratic party… 45 sitting Senators, 187 sitting Representatives, etc, who would have the long knives out for the FBI for years if not decades to come.

    Nobody makes it to a high place in Washington without a sharp facility for political calculation, and Comey has lasted a long time. He knew what he had to do and he did it. Perhaps if she had murdered someone on camera, on camera from several different angles, then they would have indicted her. But I’m sure they would have given her every possible benefit of the doubt.

    The only possibility left for anything remotely resembling justice is for the people to deny her the office that she so desires. Too bad the alternative is Trump. Interesting times, interesting times…

    1. Yeah, I’m really fond of all that verbiage in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that explains how “there are two different classes of people”…

      1. That’s part of the penumbra and emanations surrounding the commerce clause.

        1. “Penumbra” and “emanations”. Mighty fancy way of saying the smell of shit.

    2. “…45 sitting Senators, 187 sitting Representatives, etc, who would have the long knives out for the FBI for years if not decades to come.”

      The party of big government would not go to war with big government.

      1. You’d be surprised. However they would just come to a “compromise” that benefits the two and screws over Americans.

    3. Kinda like Obamacare and perhaps his Kenyan birth?

      “Not my job to protect the American people from their choices”?

  10. This case sounds mighty similar. The FBI press release includes the statement: The investigation did not reveal evidence that Nishimura intended to distribute classified information to unauthorized personnel.


    1. And thy didn’t even drop the hammer that badly–the worst that happened is that he can never get a security clearance. Of course that would immediately disqualify Heil Hitlery from holding just about any federal job, but we can’t have that.

      1. I think probation and loss of security clearance would have been acceptable.

  11. The question, in other words, is not whether Clinton broke the law, or even whether federal prosecutors could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she broke the law. The question is whether the Justice Department has chosen to prosecute similar cases in the past

    This seems to be the core of Comey’s position, and I don’t think I’ve seen such tortured reasoning since the penaltax. The FBI is making a recommendation to the DOJ based on… the FBI’s perception of what the DOJ is probably going to decide?

    1. Shorter Comey: The DOJ isn’t going to get (or even try to get) a conviction, so why should I commit career suicide?

      1. Actually, Comey did commit career suicide. He laid out plain as day the many violations Hillary committed. You think the Clintons are going to forgive that ? He called her a lying POS in public and said, the system is rigged for her, I gained some respect that he threw her under the bus.

        1. I think he split the baby pretty well, actually. From his career perspective.

          Both sides get to see what they want to see. He gets to sell himself as a man of integrity who didn’t subvert the political process. blah blah blah

    2. The core question was whether a reasonable federal prosecutor would prosecute this case.

      The obvious answer is, “NO!”

      Hillary certainly had no intent to violate the law. She knew full well that, if a Clinton does it, that means it’s not against the law. And any reasonable prosecutor understands that he could never get a a jury to convict a Clinton. Their progressive partisans forgive any crime committed by one of their own, and feel no duty to genuine justice.

      1. Seems like a huge flaw in the concept of jury-based trials…

      2. “Progressive”? You moron. Progressives LOATHE Clinton.

    3. That’s a pretty big tell, isn’t it? Comey’s release seems to be a passive-aggressive way of saying, “We just wasted a ton of time investigating someone that my boss won’t bother prosecuting because she’s bought and paid for.”

      1. …but on a positive note, as long as they are wasting time and money investigating Mrs. Clinton, they won’t be using that time and money investigating normal people who committed nominal (at worst) offences and throwing the book at them.

        I figure Mr. Comey thought about depriving the world of the Glory of Mrs. Clinton, and figured he would be so despondent at doing so that he would commit suicide by shooting himself in the back of the head three times.

    4. The penaltax was not tortured reasoning. Those who tried to make it out as not a tax, that was torture.

  12. I’m not sure that I’ve ever heard an investigation reported out like this. “We found evidence that a crime was committed, but we are not going to recommend charges to the prosecutor because we feel like any reasonable prosecutor would use their prosecutorial discretion and skip bringing charges in this case.”

    I suppose something like that happens all the time – when the cops decide to give someone a break. They catch the high school kid throwing eggs at houses and take him home to Mama instead of booking him into jail. But this one seems like it is schemed and calculated.

    Comey is the perfect fall guy for this. The FBI took what is a decision for the US attorney and made it themselves. And out trots the Republican who was appointed by Obama to make the announcement. They effectively neutered all complaints. They “exonerated” her with a finding that she committed a boatload of crimes.

    Here’s the kicker…. He’s the guy who led the prosecution of Martha Stewart. One of those “we don’t have evidence that you actually committed the underlying crime we are investigating, but we are going to get a scalp anyway” cases. In the same investigation he went after the ImClone (the company in question) CEO and got him for failing to pay sales taxes when he sold $15 million in contemporary paintings.

    But this guy found Clinton to be completely unassailable. Uh, yeah. Not because he couldn’t prove it in court, I’ll guarantee that.

    1. The Martha Stewart case makes perfect sense. The Feds had to give the little people an example that demonstrated that they could not get away with perjury like Bill Clinton obviously did, or even less than full disclosure in response to a federal official’s questions. That is, they had reinforce the sense that the rule of law still applies to the little people, and even celebrities with high-priced lawyers couldn’t get away with crimes like perjury.

      Within a couple of years there with be an analogous case involving “similar circumstances” to Hillary’s violations of law to accomplish the same end.

    2. This obviously calls for a special prosecutor. Seriously. They got one for fucking Monica Lewinsky, and they can’t get one for Hillary Clinton mishandling classified data? Give me a fucking break.

    3. The Martha Stewart case is an excellent example. Stewart was a woman of exceptional character who built an empire from nothing. She was willing to go to jail while her appeal was still pending in order to protect her company and the people who worked for it. However, she wasn’t running for president, didn’t sell favors to foreign tyrannies and didn’t have an ex-president for a husband.

      By comparison, Hillary Clinton has a record of continuous failure with absolutely no accomplishments of her own. She rose by marrying a charismatic politician and riding his coattails.

      Stewart committed no crime and in no way endangered anyone. Clinton deceived the FBI and deliberately hid her incriminating emails. The very fact that she hid them shows knowledge of guilt and therefore of intent to break the law. She allowed classified data to be stored in a way that provided access to hostile foreign powers.

      Of course Stewart was prosecuted for a simple lie about how she didn’t commit a crime while Clinton, whose lips may never have passed a truthful statement that might cause her inconvenience, gets exonerated.

      1. You’d think they could have gotten Hillary for lying to the FBI.

        1. Well, the worst-kept secret in the US right now is that they could if they wanted to. Bill got Lynch to play ball knowing that Comey would come out against prosecution. How could he know that before the results of the investigation were released? Who knows? But there aren’t many possibilities that don’t involve corruption, dishonesty, threats, or influence-peddling. This was a blatant case of the Clinton machine using its power and influence to prevent Hillary from being held to anything like a reasonable standard of accountability.

        2. She never actually MET with the FBI. The FBI kept giving her an opening to come in and talk with/perjure herself, she told the public she couldn’t WAIT to meet with the FBI, but she never actually accepted her invitations. Every lie she told was to the American public, not the FBI.

          And so, she (carefully) never ACTUALLY lied to the FBI. She lied to the nation as a whole and lied about wanting to come in and talk to the Feds, while at the same time declining their invite.

          She’s also been careful to commit White Lies whenever possible, which are misleading but not /actual/ lies. Like “nothing I ever got was marked classified” because “classified” is not a marking the US gives to documents, instead it is “confidential”, “secret”, or “top secret”, or how she said the FBI never sent an invitation to meet with them to her campaign staff, as if they’d call her campaign staff for such a thing. She TECHNICALLY tells the truth whenever she can while still being a manipulative, dishonest shit.

      2. Clinton also got an ambassador killed. I keep wondering why so few people draw a connection between her not having a State Department email address, and her apparent lack of knowledge of the security problems in Benghazi.

        You think *just maybe* that her jury-rigged bullshit email filtering might be related to that?
        I mean her answer was basically “oops, I had no idea Ambassador Stevens was asking for more security”.
        Maybe the reason she had no idea is because his emails weren’t getting through? Maybe?
        Maybe she was fucking out of touch with shit that was actually happening because she put her own goddamn firewall between herself and State, because she was too lazy, incompetent, and corrupt to actually use the secure system properly?

        1. It’s amazing how her supporters can accept her “I wasn’t deceitful, I was incompetent!!” defense completely and yet see nothing wrong with electing her…

        2. Or worse, those pleas were getting thru, and ignored by her, but also being read in real-time by the Russians. Who tipped off the jihadis to the fact that the embassy was a sitting duck.

  13. You or I would have been prosecuted and rightfully so. She should have been prosecuted but, come on, we all knew she wouldn’t be because of who she is.

    We have a multiple tiered justice system in this nation with high level government officials being at the top tier. It’s shameful but that’s the way it is. She’s as guilty as sin and as free as a bird.

    1. Banana.Goddamnned.Fucking.Republic.

  14. Guess I’ll show my ignorance here and ask what’s been puzzling me since the announcement: why is it up to the FBI to take Hillary to court? Isn’t the FBI like our local police? Isn’t the DOJ like our local prosecuting attorney?

    That is, shouldn’t the FBI do it’s investigation and then give the facts to the DOJ and let *her* decide whether or not it is “reasonable” to prosecute and to to trial?

    1. The FBI can recommend indictment; it’s up to Lynch to decide whether to sign off on a prosecution. That’s why everyone knew the fix was in after she met with Bill, and then said she’d accept whatever the FBI recommended.

      1. It kind of worries me that they don’t even put on the masks any more. She has stopped even pretending to be anything other than a power-hungry authoritarian.

        1. The most pathetic aspect of this is Democrat partisans who know she fucked up but don’t like it saying, “She’s got to stop making these stupid mistakes!” without a hint of irony or self-awareness.

    2. Guess I’ll show my ignorance here and ask what’s been puzzling me since the announcement: why is it up to the FBI to take Hillary to court? Isn’t the FBI like our local police? Isn’t the DOJ like our local prosecuting attorney?

      That is, shouldn’t the FBI do it’s investigation and then give the facts to the DOJ and let *her* decide whether or not it is “reasonable” to prosecute and to to trial?

      “In the Criminal Justice System the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups. The police who investigate crime and the District Attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories…”

      1. +1 fictional police with integrity

  15. So just to see how the “team” oriented world was reacting, I headed over to Huffpo.

    Huge picture of Trump at the top, looking all angry. “Trump Praises Saddam’s Butchery!” the headline screams.


    Scrolling down, there’s stuff about the UK hating on the Iraq war, video of black guy getting shot by police, something bemoaning the sentence for Oscar Pistorious in South Africa, David Duke likes Trump, A Jewish employee calls out Trump’s son-in-law, Trump excuses for star of David tweet, post-recession job market, Pope consoles family of American killed in Italy…. Oh, here it is….. How Old Scandals Shaped Clinton’s Email Mess From Start To Finish. – a piece that frames the ’email scandal’ as just another in a long line of Republican conspiracies to get her, and explains how she deftly defeated them yet again.

    So that’s it. The other side is covering this as a defeated republican dirty trick. Here’s the pull quote:

    “The president is campaigning with her, Comey has closed the book on it and I think that people who try to keep the book open will now seem Benghazi-like, and life moves on.”

    Oh, and in the sidebar where they put all the entertainment news, another Trump story: Kidnapped by a Narcissist, The GOP’s Stockholm Syndrome.

    1. Slate is giving her a sloppy blowjob, as usual.

      1. Oh, and the take-home message in all of the stories is “Comey says she didn’t commit any crime”. Which is manifestly not what he said. He pretty much said she was guilty, but no reasonable prosecutor would charge her. Huge difference.

        1. They’re lying to their readers. The sad thing is their readers just don’t care.

          1. They’re telling their readers exactly what they want to hear.

        2. no reasonable prosecutor would charge her

          Unless they were really interested in that position opening up in Bismarck ND, covering government contracts on the porta-potty service at the oil fields.

          1. Or they want to commit suicide by shooting themselves in the back of the head twice.

        3. Look you RWNJ, did you care as much when BUSH deleted 30 MILLION EMAILS off the RNC servers? Huh? Didn’t think so! This is just another fake scandal like the Republicans have been pulling for years on the Clintons. MOVE ON!!! #ImWithHer

          1. You won’t find defenders of Bush here. Right now though we are talking about Hillary and Comey’s statement that there is evidence she committed criminal acts but he nonetheless is not prosecuting those criminal acts. It was also mentioned that huffpo is lying to their readers about those facts. Bush was a douche bag. That doesn’t make Hillary, her crimes, and her ability to escape justice because she is an important ice queen any less despicable or noteworthy. It also doesn’t make huffpo any less mendacious.

            1. Re-calibrate your sarcasm meter.

            2. I think you need to turn on your sarcasm detector.

            3. Apparently I do that was an absolute spot on imitation of a proggie. I mean really really spot on. My bad.

              1. it wasn’t parody. It was copy/paste from huffpo comments.

              2. You’re still an idiot though. Progressives despise Clinton.

                Not knowing that makes you an imbecile of the first order as regards U.S. politics.

                It’s like thinking the sky is red, or water is green.

          2. “Look you RWNJ, did you care as much when BUSH deleted 30 MILLION EMAILS off the RNC servers?”

            And you know full well that Lincoln would have done the same thing if he had a computer, so Hillary is just as good a president as Lincoln!
            So there!

          3. The great thing is the people who actually use that as a defense.

            Omar Mateen killed a bunch of people. Does that make it okay for me to kill a bunch of people, too??

            Also, how is it none of them realize that showing how Clinton is SIMILAR to BUSH is a BAD THING!?

            1. “Keep it under 49 and you’re golden.” -HRC

        4. And he said a strict liability crime lacked intent, so it wasn’t a crime (and she demonstrated . Reminds of the extreme bad faith it took for MNG to argue for two days over three threads that there was no difference between secured and unsecured debt.

      2. What the fuck is the point of blowing a strap-on?

        1. I dunno, but google finds plenty of examples…

        2. I assume it’s a hooded clitoris.

    2. But Trump owns part of that problem. He now should bs able to run with Comey’s statements to devastating effect. He should be able to get surrogates to prosecute this case for him IN the media.

      I’m not sure he has any surrogates.

      And no, I’m not defending her.

      1. Trump is the only force in politics that could allow the Clintons to survive this. Pretty much any other Republican who ran last year except for perhaps Ben Carson would be mopping the floor with her right now.

        1. You are correct.

        2. Very true. When they say the stupid party they have a point. On the other hand would Chris Christie really have been an improvement over Clinton?

        3. Are you on drugs?

          Trump is nearly the only one out there talking about her like real people do–liar, crook. All the pols–Johnson and Weld included– are dancing around the death of the rule of law in politicalspeak just like they always do.

          hemming and hawing.

          The entire Trump issue exists because the GOP can’t stop trying to kick the Dems football.

          1. I have to agree here. No one else would have made the anti-Clinton speech Trump made last month. It was brutal and deserved. The other Repubs would have their tails tucked between their legs and wouldn’t say a damn thing.

          2. It feels good to call people liars and crooks, but it doesn’t win elections.

            The entire Trump issue IS the GOP trying to kick the Dems football.
            The base is composed of fucking morons who keep falling for the same shit every time. They’re the ones who drive congress to play right into the Democrats hands every time.

            The only difference is this time the base decided to be extra stupid and demand the right to run straight at the fucking football full tilt.

            1. It feels good to call people liars and crooks, but it doesn’t win elections.

              Apparently being a liar and a crook does.

        4. Either Trump has stopped coming after Clinton, or the media has stopped covering his attacks on her, because I’m not seeing much.

          So much for supposed free coverage and Trump being able to penetrate through the media filter.

          1. He issued a response to this whole thing. He didn’t say anything construed as racist in his response, though, so that’s why you probably haven’t seen media coverage on it.

          2. I’m waiting for a Trump campaign promise to direct the DoJ to prosecute Hillary as his first official act as President.

      2. He might not need to look that far to find surrogates. Over at WaPo, usually a fairly reliable supporter of the establishment Democrats, has at least three less-than-favorable articles about Hillary above the fold. It’s supplanted Brexit, which I thought would never happen.

  16. It sure does.

  17. Why did the FBI recommend against prosecuting her for gross negligence in handling classified material?

    That was a rhetorical question, right?

    Cause we all know why. The fix is in.

    1. Yep. FYTY.

      Well we can all start breaking the laws we don’t like now I guess, right,

      If we allow this fucking bitch, everyone who did not vote for her will be treated as the enemy and punished as if they are living in occupied territory. Expect open persecution of gun companies, oil companies, prominent republicans, prominent libertarians.

      Hell Im willing to bet bogus charges will be filed by Hillarys DOJ against the Koch brothers, Rush Limbaugh, various Fox News anchors, and many Republican governors. All the while “American” progressives will cheer.

      I now understand what Michelle Obama meant about not being proud of my country…..

      1. Watch it. The right accused her of being a communist for that. Only they aren’t allowed to be proud of the USA.

      2. Well we can all start breaking the laws we don’t like now I guess, right,


      3. “Yes, your honor, I did drive through a school zone at 100 mph but I never intended to break the law.”

        Somehow, I don’t think that will win in court unless you’ve got serious political connections.

  18. So here is the day I wish Rand would have jumped to the Libertarian Party and secured the nomination there. Trump always seems to let these moments go by with some kind of gaffe.

    Rand Paul would have been able to prosecute this case against Clinton in the media. I’m not sure Johnson will be able to. We will see.

    1. I wish Johnson would, but I’m afraid he’s too concerned with seeming likeable.

    2. Of course you do–that way he’d be a loser in a loser party–he’d be utterly ruined.

      1. Yes, I’m conspiratorial.

      2. He’d have no chance with Trump voters, that’s for sure.

    3. @Jackand Ace: THIS

      Johnson doesn’t hesitate to say that Trump makes bigoted statements (no disagreement here in most cases), yet I haven’t heard him say anything bad about Corrupt Clinton — hell, he called her a “wonderful public servant” on CNN.

      I don’t want to say he’s a pussy–wait, no, I kinda do. What I will say is that he’s choosing an easy target that is not nearly as consequential. Rand would be cutting her down any chance he got while pointing out Trump’s lunacy. Hell, Austin would probably have been more aggressive.

      1. Y’all missed a big opportunity in the Libertarian Primaries.

        Half the country wants a crazy person to win.

        The other half wants a criminal to win.

        Logically, the Libs needed a crazy criminal to take the votes. And yet did McAfee win?? Nah.

  19. Stop trying to parse this out or find rational legal explanations. She clearly broke the law. Comey said as much without actually crossing the line.

    clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information

    She clearly, intentionally and willfully set up a server that she knew would receive classified information in violation of State department rules and the law.

    Comey is right that no reasonable prosecutor would take this case, but not because Clinton didn’t clearly break the law, but because no reasonable prosecutor would want to ruin their career by going after Clinton.

    Comey got up on stage and declared as loudly and clearly as he could while still keeping his job that there is a double standard at play here because Clinton is powerful.

    1. …there is a double standard at play here because Clinton is powerful.

      Nonsense! Like any other modern feminist, Hillary just wants treatment equal to any other man. Except when she doesn’t.

  20. “In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information,” “we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved” – people who weren’t major-party candidates for President.

  21. Too bad Congress doesn’t have any balls, since he basically contradicted the testimony she gave under oath. And was practically begging for a special prosecutor.

    Anyway, it’s clear that the DOJ had already told him flat out that there would be no prosecution, it’s clear that he more or less said that the FBI considered her guilty, and it seems likely that with all the work invested in this case, a lot of people will be pissed off and looking to undermine DOJ and leak evidence of her corruption for the next few months.

    1. I think you’re giving him too much credit. He’s not a helpless pawn here. If he was pressured into not recommending prosecution he should have made his case and resigned which, obviously, he didn’t do.

      1. If he resigned, people like Lynch would have control over the feebs. Plus, this is just the email investigation, so there’s a possibility he is trying to salvage the Clinton Foundation investigation by sacrificing this one. I mean, he could also just be a craven DC piece of shit, but we’ll see.

    2. Maybe they’re waiting to find out who her vice president will be.
      If she picks someone more palatable than herself – boom!

    3. Isn’t that ultimately what most of us were expecting? That Hillary would obviously skate because of her position, but Comey would recommend indictment and then resign out of principle when Lynch refused to follow through. Hell, Bill even gave him an opening to do so when he met Lynch in Phoenix–he could have easily resigned and come out smelling like a damn rose because he really would have been seen in that case as being objective. He’d have book deals lined up and media consultant offers for years, so he wouldn’t even have to worry about making money to support his family after the fact. Instead, we get a passive-aggressive statement that will make the Hillarybots and the Team Blue tribalists happy but sicken everyone else and actually make the whole situation look worse because of the obvious double-standard.

      From what I understand he’s only 55 years old but he’s been in the government since 1987, so he’s got one more year until he hits 30 and probably doesn’t want to fuck up his retirement paycheck. So much for principle.

  22. Read the entire statute. Gross negligence isn’t enough. It had to lead to either the server being hacked or the emails being intercepted. Director Comey stated that he couldn’t find proof of either.

    1. Well, according to paragraph (d) she violated the statute by failing to release all of the email to investigators, and according to (f)(1) and (2) she violated the statute by causing the emails to be removed from their “proper place of custody”, to use the phrasing of the statute, and by not informing her superior of the removal once she had knowledge of it. And by paragraph (g) she’s equally guilty even if she didn’t directly set the server up herself because she entered into a conspiracy.

      For what it’s worth, if you read the text of the statute, gross negligence is more than enough. If the server was hacked or emails were intercepted (both of which would be difficult to prove as foreign intelligence agencies won’t volunteer the information and, being removed from DoD networks, there was no monitoring that would allow investigators to look for any unauthorized access) I would think stronger charges would also apply, but the fact that by accident nothing bad happened as a result of this that we know of does not mean she isn’t guilty.

      18 USC 793

      Now, IANAL, but that seems pretty damn clear to me.

      1. (d) requires intent and Comey said he couldn’t prove she intended to withhold the emails.
        (f)(1) and (2) again Comey said that there was no proof of hacking or interception so they can’t prove she or the proper recipients lost custody.
        (g) doesn’t apply since no violation can be proved.

        1. Actually, dumbass, “gross negligence” is named right in the fucking statute. Here it is for your edification:

          through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody

          Permitting classified information to be removed from SCIFs or passed over unsecure networks doesn’t require intent to be prosecutable. It’s all there in black and white, and Comey even said that they’d be hammering anyone else that did this. Your mendacity speaks volumes.

          1. He said they’d be subject to “security or administrative sanctions”. That means the State Dept would handle it, not the FBI. And given that he said “the State Department in general, and with respect to use of unclassified e-mail systems in particular, was generally lacking in the kind of care for classified information found elsewhere in the government” it would probably have led to nothing.

            1. Whatever administrative sanctions she’d be subject to would be in addition to any legal penalties. She broke a federal law, she didn’t leave leftovers in the break room refrigerator too long or show up late to meetings. Regardless, Comey does not determine State’s employee discplinary policies nor does he decide whether or not the DoJ prosecutes a case, nor does he have the authority to single-handedly rewrite or reinterpret federal law, as he appears to have done in this instance.

            2. He said they’d be subject to “security or administrative sanctions”.

              Which is wrong. He’s trying to cover his own ass here, but the law is pretty damn clear. You can parse it all you want, but you’re just spewing bullshit.

        2. (f)(1) says “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.” No interception or hacking required. Putting in on the personal server was enough.

          1. Added to the fact that she destroyed evidence under subpoena. She’s a felon who should be, at best, out on bail.

        3. (d) Whoever, lawfully having possession of, access to, control over, or being entrusted with any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it on demand to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or

          The relevant bit is in bold. Failing to deliver the item(s) in question on demand and lying about withholding same, as was the case, demonstrates intent.

          As for (f), it doesn’t matter whether or not there was interception; the removal itself is the crime.

          (g) therefore follows. It’s all pretty clear if you read the statute.

          1. Comey addressed that and stated there was no evidence of a willfull failure to deliver the emails.

            We disagree on “removed from its proper place of custody”. I, and apparently the FBI, would say that classified information on the private server was still in the custody of the Secretary of State, else printing an email would be illegal. Removal from its proper place of custody in this case would be thru hacking or other means of compromising the data.

            1. Printing classified information, email or no, is illegal if it means that it is removed from a secure facility. And the Secretary of State does not project an aura of security wherever he or she goes upon attaining the post, at least for classification purposes. And her private server was obviously not considered a proper place of custody by anyone involved, including her, or else she wouldn’t have gone outside of normal channels to have it set up.

              As others have said, people who aren’t married to Bill Clinton have gone to prison on far less under this very administration.

            2. I, and apparently the FBI, would say that classified information on the private server was still in the custody of the Secretary of State, else printing an email would be illegal.

              Except the State Department’s IG said that the private server was *never authorized,* which means she and her staff illegally spilled classified information to a non-siprnet, non-JWICS network. So the question of custody doesn’t apply here, even as an originating classification authority, which goes back yet again to “gross negligence.”

            3. Holy shit, you couldn’t be more wrong about the issue of “removed from its proper place of custody”. As such a custodian for several years, I and my colleagues would have known we were in deep fucking shit if something classified (marked or not) ended up on a private server and to lessen the impact we would have to report it IMMEDIATELY.

              In fact, this happened when something made it onto our SECURE, BUT UNCLASS e-mail system. We had to call the FBI field office late on a Friday afternoon to figure out what to do about it.

              1. I was replying to idiot Shamus, BTW, not Red Rocks.

        4. Shamus, (f)(1) and (2) don’t NEED there to be proof of hacking. All that needs to happen is for the emails to be stored outside the “proper place of custody”. A private server is indeed outside the “proper place of custody”.

    2. People have been prosecuted for having classified papers in their homes. Not in electronic form, not kept in a public place, not even sitting visible in the window. Just for having them outside the proper place.

      At the very least, it is an offense that will permanently prevent the offender from ever again holding a clearance or a position of public trust in the government or one of its affiliates.

      1. Judging by what Comey said, they didn’t look at whether it was legal to use a private server. Perhaps he will clarify that before the House committee tomorrow.

        1. The obtuseness is reaching epic proportions. They can build a case against an illegal file sharer with dozens of charges filed in under a month. They throw people in prison for “not cooperating” all the goddamn time. They’ve had almost 4 years, and we’re expected to believe they’ve only looked at one facet of one statute, and they can’t possibly use their usual tricks against her?

          1. I have a hard time understanding how a person being totally honest with themselves can look at this, including the Lynch-Clinton meeting and everything else, and not see this as a blatant and massive case of political corruption. The mental gymnastics required to avoid acknowledging that this is charitably an example of dangerous cockiness and ineptitude, and more reasonably a criminal act that is probably tied to other malfeasance, must be exhausting.

    3. Does Guccifer have the emails?

  23. My Facebook feed is full of pissed off people because of this – mostly millennials that are would-be Sanders’ voters.

    1. I have some wonderful but super-derpy friends and there’s a total blackout on this subject on FB for me. It’s as if they are all somewhat ashamed.

      1. ^This.

        The usual suspects are being pretty quiet today for me as well, except for one dude who is so partisan I think he has to get permission from a Democrat to breathe. He’s been doing victory laps on FB for a day and a half now because the witch hunt failed.

        (of course, even if it IS a witch hunt; that doesn’t mean there are no witches).

      2. Don’t worry… After they read what their betters are writing over at Media Matters and Slate, they’ll have their #I’mWithHer talking points updated in unison tomorrow morning.

  24. Evvveryones a Libertarian until they can imprison someone they don’t like for politics.

    1. It’s more of an equality under the law thing. Good try though.

      1. I don’t know, if I want that kind of pedestrian trollery I can go to Slate. I expect more here.

    2. But I’m so intimidated by her womanliness!

    3. The only thing political about this is the part where she isn’t being prosecuted. Almost anyone else would be for the same acts, and Comey said as much.

    4. Every Progressive believes in equality unless it implies one of their own being subject to laws or held accountable for their actions.

      Hey, that really was fun!

  25. I mean this is pretty simpleton stuff. 1. Are there any past cases that are similiar? (Yes. Deutch) 2. What was penalty? (pardoned beofre misdemeanor plea signed)

    The Deutch case was actually far worse than Clinton – the man was head of CIA, had a ton of very highly classified material on his home pc and said pc was not only internet connected, was used for gaming by the kids. Clinton may be scum but if precedents are to guide, there was no way they could go to anything beyond misdemeanor.

    1. Head of CIA, Sec State… as far as high levels of government go both qualify.

      I would take a misdemeanor plea down from felony charges. Would love to see how the spin machine tackled that one.

  26. My guess is Comey wants to continue drawing a government Top. Man. paycheck, with all the perks and privileges that implies, and it was likely made very clear to him that recommending against charges would be a condition of his continued employment as a Top. Man. You can’t expect him to give all that up and go get a job in private sector and be just another prole.

  27. Isn’t is great that the Republicans nominated such an obviously slam-dunk candidate?
    Now when she loses we can make sure she is prosecuted.

  28. Aside from the legal issues, I never cease to be amazed at how the Clintons can always successfully play these things. All through the ’90s they argued “we’re not criminals, we just idiots”. This was not only sufficient for them to avoid legal sanction; it was good enough to convince the electorate that they’re great leaders fit to rule. I keep wondering how the fuck it makes sense to put an idiot and a proven liar in charge, and why anyone with a scrap of self-respect would gladly surrender his/her life to such people.

    1. But now that everyone knows they are criminals, they somehow managed to rig the Republican primary, to make sure that she was running against a mentally ill fascist.

      Or something.

      1. I see you’re being sarcastic, but what are you actually trying to say? That Hillary is innocent?

        1. No. That Republican voters are either really fucking retarded, or the whole system is a giant scam.
          How the fuck did Trump get to be Hillary’s opponent? It’s like the powers that be had to find someone unelectable to run against her.

          1. How the fuck did Trump get to be Hillary’s opponent?

            A lot of people voted for him in primaries. Mostly because they’re fed up with the PC bullshit coming from the other side of the Ruling Party.


  29. Between this and the FBI’s handling of the Orlando shooting, I sure feel secure their ability to protect us from bad guys.

  30. Rome is clearly burning.

    Time to stock up on ammo, fuel, and food.

    Winter is coming.

  31. The FBI is an investigative organization. Its purpose is to dig out the facts and present them to a prosecutor. Protecting Obama’s Attorney General required someone to fall on his sword. Comey was chosen.

    Comey’s career is now over. He will be seen as either corrupt or cowardly for the rest of his life. His supposedly sterling reputation is destroyed. At least he’s getting what he deserves even if it enables a corrupt, lying, scheming, misanthropic tyrant to become president.

    1. Why wouldn’t Hillary want him running the FBI?

  32. Lying to the FBI is a crime in and of itself. What really bothers me is why everyone constantly talks about the emails when the Clinton Foundation is the 800 lb gorilla in the room.

    1. Not that I don’t take everything that the Clinton’s say at face value because they’re such honest people, but a more suspicious mind than my own might think that if I were Sec. of State Clinton it’d be much easier to erase any communications I might have made in a semi-official capacity with anyone who might coincidentally have made donations to the Clinton Foundation. Of course, it would be crazy and paranoid to think that there might be a conflict of interest there, or that a politician might use an office to deliver favors for personal gain…

  33. Are we supposed to believe that nobody on Clinton’s team was aware that using a private email account through a private email server was not allowed? Because if not, then how could it not be intentional and willful mishandling of information?

  34. I believe the fbi director was influenced by threats to his immediate family not by any amount of money but his wife and children, really knowing the Clintons and their criminal past and their criminal ways what would you do?

  35. “There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters , should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.” [Emphasis added.]

    Comey is saying a lot of other people should have known about it and they did nothing. Who knows how many other people they would have to prosecute if they indicted Hillary. Too Big To Fail, indeed.

  36. The FBI just handed Trump his new #1 campaign issue. He can forget about immigration altogether and run on the slogan “Vote Trump if you don’t want her to get away with it.”


    1. ..and let me tell you about how great a guy Saddam Hussein was!

      1. And yet Blue Tribe politicians can heap praises on Al Saud with impunity…

  37. “Why did the FBI recommend against prosecuting her for gross negligence in handling classified material?”

    Because Comey has 5 children, and agreed with Hill that it’d be a damned shame if one or more of them was to slip and hit their head on an icepick?

    1. The Clinton’s would NEVER do something like that!! Not their MO at all!!

      One of the kids would’ve committed suicide by shooting themselves in the head twice with two different guns.

      1. Maybe two of them would be run over by a freight train after smoking weed and passing out after lying down perfectly parallel across the tracks and covering themselves with a tarp…


  38. You know, uhh, the reason he couldn’t find a case like this is because there never has been a case like this.

    1.) Because the technology involved is relatively new (as in, like, the last 20 years)



    Generally speaking, most people when they become secretary of state – or take any other government job – treat it seriously and at least put up the pretense of doing whatever is in the best interest of the country (even if there are political disagreements about what that is).

    Comey probably started looking at the evidence and went, “HOLY SHIT” as soon as he realized what was going.

    Hillary Clinton: Go Big or Go Home!

  39. DOJ only charged Petreaus with a misdemeanor and he admitted to both 1. Knowingly passing classified material to his mistress/biographer and 2. Lying about that to the FBI. Given that precedent it was impossible to charge Clinton with any crime.

    1. Petraus was presented with felony charges and plead.

  40. The above article and a whole bunch of other commentary, in my jaundiced view, ignore one key factor. The Fix Was In. Yes, that is perhaps the darkest possible view of things, it remains my view. The government is completely corrupt.

  41. Doesn’t it seem plausible that Comey is trying to telegraph that yes they found her doing what she was suspected of doing but that he either knows or strongly suspects that no one would win such a prosecution.

  42. Felony or not, Giuliani’s not a guy I trust.

  43. indications of disloyalty to the United States

    Plenty of those, no?

    or efforts to obstruct justice.

    Deleting tens of thousands of E-mails, many of which were classified, doesn’t count?

  44. Looking for criminal behavior from the Clintons is like looking for sand in the desert. Where do you start?

  45. James Comey TOOK A DIVE,….he was either bought or coerced into this inaction.
    He is dishonorable,as crooked as Crooked Hillary herself.

  46. Don’t forget Crooked Hillary also passed those emails containing classified information to people unauthorized to possess it; her server maintenance guy,and her lawyers,neither of which were cleared for such material.

    Those are ADDITIONAL felonies.

    1. *she passed a thumb drive containing her emails to her server guy,and then to her lawyers.

  47. Why is Hillary not prosecuted? My theory is that a prosecution would lead to the inconvenient fact that many other members of the federal administration are guilty of the same crimes. The people who are deciding not to prosecute are protecting their bosses, colleagues, party-members, future employers, fellow-conspirators.

  48. Obama needs to be impeached. Comey needs to be fired. Hilary Clinton needs to be sent to prison.

  49. The beatings will continue until morale improves. Or until these pukes start paying some consequences for this shit.

    I don’t know this guy Comey but observing his press conference I was struck but the lack of conviction in his voice and on his face. He appeared to me to be a man reading a speech he was handed, not one he wrote and certainly not one he believes in.

    As for Lynch, a couple of days before Comey’s announcement she announces an unequivocal commitment to accept whatever recommendation the FBI were to make in the case. A skeptic would say she did this because she already new the recommendation. A cynic would connect the dots from the meet up with Clinton on the plane, the announcement by Lynch a couple days later, and the Comey announcement a couple of days after that, to wit: Clinton bribes Lynch and threatens Comey when he and she meet on the plane, Lynch then passes along the threat to Comey and, voila, recommendation of no action. Throw in, for good measure, Obama’s comments of a month or two ago to the effect that there is no there there on this email thing.

    Yeah, I know, all speculation but given the evidence it sure seems like one of the simpler explanations.

  50. As Lord Acton observed “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    Director Comey tells us that Hillary is guilty of all the misconduct she’s been accused of. Given that, I’ve got to seriously question the mental capacity of anyone who would even consider making this career criminal the most powerful person on earth. What could possibly go wrong?

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