Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Never Changes and Always Skates

The Democratic nominee's problems with personal honesty are a feature of her personality, not a bug.

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Hillary skates again
Americanspirit/Dreamstime.com

When FBI Director James Comey publicly revealed his recommendation to the Department of Justice last week that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton not be prosecuted for espionage, he unleashed a firestorm of criticism from those who believe that Clinton was judged by different standards from those used to judge others when deciding whether to bring a case to a grand jury.

The FBI investigation had a bizarre ending to it. FBI recommendations are never made public as this one was. Attorney General Loretta Lynch had been compromised by her politically disastrous but legally consequential meeting out of the view of the media with Bill Clinton just one week before Comey's announcement. Whatever they discussed, the overwhelming public impression was such that Lynch removed herself and her senior aides from the case, effectively leaving the FBI to have the final say. This is unheard of in the post-Hoover FBI.

The Comey announcement itself gave two reasons for recommending against indictment. One was that "no reasonable prosecutor" would take the case. That is not a judgment the FBI gets paid to make. The FBI's job is to gather, present, and evaluate facts and evidence, not predict what prosecutors might do with it. The other stated reason for recommending against indictment was that though Clinton may have been "extremely careless" in handling state secrets, she was not "grossly negligent," which is the standard required by the espionage statute.

Yet Comey also acknowledged that Clinton sent state secrets to nongovernmental colleagues who lacked national security clearances, that those people were hacked by hostile intelligence services, and that she used her numerous non-secure mobile devices recklessly while inside the territorial borders of those hostile governments. If all that is somehow extremely careless but not grossly negligent, then many who have done far less than Clinton — and have been prosecuted and convicted — were wrongly prosecuted.

Since Comey's announcement last week, several new factors have come to light. One is that the DOJ never presented any evidence to a grand jury. It never sought subpoenas from a grand jury. This is unheard of in major criminal investigations because the FBI alone has no subpoena power and needs a grand jury to issue subpoenas for it.

The absence of a sitting grand jury also makes one wonder about the circumstances under which and the purpose for which the DOJ obtained immunity for Bryan Pagliano, Clinton's internet technology adviser. She paid him $5,000 to migrate her public and her secret State Department email streams from the government's secure servers to her own non-secure servers. Immunity, which is essentially the pre-indictment permanent forgiveness of criminal behavior, cannot be given lightly and can only be given in return for testimony — usually to a grand jury or a trial jury. Strangely, that was not the case here.

Nevertheless, Clinton's persistent problems with personal honesty have brought her face to face with three more criminal investigations. One is for public corruption. The second is for perjury. And the third is for misleading Congress.

The public corruption investigation has been underway for a few months. The allegations are that she exercised the powers of her office as secretary of state to enrich her husband and herself. The evidence here is ample. There are dozens of documented instances in which foreign governments and individuals received beneficial treatment from her State Department — usually exemptions from compliance with American laws or — and then collectively gave hundreds of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation at a time when it was not a registered lawful charity.

The second investigation Clinton faces is for perjury. This arises out of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) civil lawsuit during which she swore in writing and under oath, citing the phrase "under penalty of perjury," that she surrendered all of her work-related emails to the State Department. When she left the State Department, she effectively took all of her emails with her. Then, when the FOIA cases began, she returned about half of what she had taken, claiming that the other half was personal.

The FBI found that she failed to return thousands of work-related emails, some of which she and her lawyers attempted to destroy and some of which they succeeded in destroying. Who ordered the destruction?

Finally, Clinton will most likely be confronted with charges of misleading Congress. Misleading Congress consists of intentionally creating a false impression in response to material congressional questions. She did this when she denied to the House Select Committee on Benghazi that she had sent or received emails via her home servers that contained state secrets.

The FBI found 110 emails in that category, at least two dozen of which were at the highest level of protection that the government accords its secrets. She also told that same committee that she had surrendered all her work-related emails to the State Department.

Former New York Yankees pitching great Roger Clemens was tried twice (after a trial that ended with a hung jury, he was ultimately acquitted) for misleading Congress when he was forced to speak to a House committee about the contents of his blood and urine as a baseball player. Clinton has misled Congress about her lawful obligations as secretary of state, and she skates free.

Back in the Whitewater days, when the propensity of both Bill and Hillary Clinton to lie routinely and naturally first became apparent to the media and the public, the late, great New York Times columnist William Safire referred to Mrs. Clinton by a moniker that enraged her husband. He became so fearful of the truth and so furious with Safire that he publicly threatened to punch Safire in the nose.

Safire called Hillary Clinton a congenital liar. He was right. That was 20 years ago. Some people never change.

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

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49 responses to “Hillary Clinton Never Changes and Always Skates

  1. Hillary Clinton is not a congenital liar, because to be a congenital liar you must be a mortal being.

    Hillary Clinton, rather, is a timeless entity of pure malice, spite, corruption, and vulgarity. In short, Hillary Clinton is a demon.

    1. Lord Sitri objects to your comparison of his infernal grace to Helldog.

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  2. What amazes and stuns me is that so many people think Trump is actually worse. From what I hear, her supporters often acknowledge that she is “ethically challenged” but they quickly add that Trump would be very likely to start a war. I’m always left shaking my head in disbelief. Other than a certain German leader, I can’t think of a single modern day official who has shown a more consistent track record of actually fomenting war.

    1. And yes, “modern day” to me can be as far back as 80 years ago.

    2. You are right. Trump is a rather base huckster. Hillary is a putrid combination of corruption, malice, and incompetence.

      1. Don’t forget to mention greed and power-lust.

    3. I have concerns about how Trump may use the power of the federal government if he gets his hands on it, but I have no doubts whatsoever about what Hillary will do. She has already proven that she can’t be trusted with that power.

      1. From my point of view, it’s certain that Trump would make a bad president even if Hillary would be somewhat worse. Just as Hillary doesn’t even come close to acceptable enough for a vote, Trump doesn’t either.

        1. Agreed.

      2. But if Trump is elected Congress will actually rein in executive powers. If the government functioned as it was supposed to, before Bush started the overreach and Obama put it on steroids, then Trump would have little power to do anything. All he should be able to do is advocate positions and sign laws. A Trump presidency might actually shock people into realizing that the government, and especially the executive branch, has too much power. That being said, #FeelTheJohnson.

        1. The one positive about a Trump presidency is that large numbers of Congresscritters from both parties would rediscover the value of limiting executive power.

          I can’t think of any positives about a Hillary presidency. All those foreign hackers who now have lots of classified emails from her server are just waiting for her to get elected to see how much blackmail they can get. I predict that odd-looking “grants” from the Clinton Foundation, in large amounts, will suddenly start being awarded to obscure groups.

  3. Whatever they discussed, the overwhelming public impression was such that Lynch removed herself and her senior aides from the case, effectively leaving the FBI to have the final say.

    We’ll know for sure when she’s asked to stay on with the Clinton Administration as AG or finds herself nominated for something higher.

  4. She and Bill are the ultimate grifters.

    It wasn’t enough to loot the White House on the way out and live off his pension. When Obama thought he had her out of the way as Secretary of State, they immediately set up a racket to monetize U.S. foreign policy, launder the money through their “foundation”, and hide the whole thing with a personal email server.

    I cannot image the level of greed and absolute absence of morality to takes to be a Clinton.

  5. Comey didn’t recommend an indictment because if he did the entire Democratic party would be out to get the FBI. That’s bad for the budget, bad for their plans for warrantless surveillance, etc, and bad for James Comey. She is literally too big to jail. Comey made that as clear as he could. The fix is so in that all the agents involved had to sign non-disclosure agreements about the case. Her lawyers were in the middle of it the entire time, pushing, objecting, limiting, informing.

    There is a metacommunication to the entire populace, though, and it is toxic. Why bother following the rules when our leaders don’t even pretend to?

    1. Why bother following the rules when our leaders don’t even pretend to?

      Comey was point-blank asked that during his congressional testimony over the non-indictment.

      IIRC, he said something like it’s an interesting question for every American.

    2. Why bother following the rules when our leaders don’t even pretend to?

      Because we’re just peasants, not the nobility. I’m thinking the tree of liberty may need some fertilizin’ soon.

      1. I contend that the weeds of government needs a large dose of industrial strength Roundup, then maybe the tree of liberty would have all the fertilization it needs.

    3. “the agents involved had to sign non-disclosure agreements about the case.”

      And yet they keep telling us that this was done just like every other criminal case.

      1. Not just your ordinary
        Non-Disclosures for 3-5 years,
        either, huh?

  6. Judge Andy . . . so boring . . . must . . . warn . . . . others . . . . . .

    1. Must…spell….name…correctly.

    2. Andy Hardy was the son, not the judge.

    3. Anal is all butthurt that there’s still one or two real libertarians left here.

  7. Essentially, she has immunity. No Matter What

    1. “It’s been revoked”

      Ha, wishful thinking.

  8. If all that is somehow extremely careless but not grossly negligent, then many who have done far less than Clinton ? and have been prosecuted and convicted ? were wrongly prosecuted.

    IANAL, but it seems like those people may have grounds for appeal now(?) At the very least it would be “fun” to see whatever judge ends up ruling in the appeals case confirm for us, once again, that there’s one set of laws for us little people, and none for people like Cankles.

    1. Then maybe we could see some judge try to define the difference between being extremely careless and grossly negligent. I suspect the difference is related to whether a person is Hillary Clinton or not, but a judge would have to come up with something a little less obvious.

  9. Few things brighten my day quite like a piece from The Judge. It’s always an especially refreshing relief from the scum like Chapman.

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  11. Attorney General Loretta Lynch had been compromised by her politically disastrous but legally consequential meeting out of the view of the media with Bill Clinton just one week before Comey’s announcement. Whatever they discussed, the overwhelming public impression was such that Lynch removed herself and her senior aides from the case, effectively leaving the FBI to have the final say.

    I believe this was done intentionally: i. e. they figured out a way for the plebs to demand that the AG does not make an independent evaluation of the FBI’s findings. Lynch managed to evade her duty to make a decision, and with the same strike, passed her lawful authority over to the FBI (Comey in particular) unlawfully.

    A pretty smooth operation, this was.

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  13. judge sounds like the fed was only concerned with doing damage control and obviously wanted to avoid creating case law. does this sound reasonable???

  14. She’ll undoubtedly figure out a way to cheat her way into the Presidency, so dare we hope she’s as “extremely careless” about observing the law while she’s occupying the Oval Office, so maybe somebody who’s halfway competent and honest can impeach her sagging ass?

  15. Yes, it’s such a good thing Trump’s such a paragon of honesty (rolleyes).

  16. New York Yankees pitching great Roger Clemens? You mean Boston Red Sox pitching great, don’t you, Judge?

  17. That was some real Kabuki theater going on between Lynch and the FBI — a charade to fool the rubes into thinking there was an honest process going on. Actually, the cronies and henchmen were never going to indict one of them.

    Hillary is singing:
    I’m Evita Banana,
    And I’m here to reveal,
    We’re a banana republic,
    So shut up, peasants!

  18. I can think of 4 distinct reasons why Hillary Rodham Clinton should never be
    President of this United States of America.

    Tyrone Woods
    Glen Doherty
    Sean Smith
    Christopher Stevens.

  19. “Clinton has misled Congress about her lawful obligations as secretary of state, and she skates free.”

    Oh, what a surprise, Andrew! Cripe.
    You didn’t see this coming for the last year, forecasting her indictment and campaign destruction while she would sit behind bars?
    Anyone with a pulse saw this coming.

  20. http://thehill.com/opinion/lan…..relessness

    So I guess your’e just a political hack, Judge!

  21. The problem with congenital liars is that this gives them two conflicting versions to remember, one which actually happened and the other which they insist actually happened although it didn’t. Their insistence that a lie is true makes remembering what actually happened difficult if not impossible. They persuade themselves the lie is true, which enables them to convincingly repeat the lie.

    You can see this in politicians whose delivery is very, very convincing, yet mendacious. Not all of them female…

  22. Andrew Napolitano: The Comey announcement itself gave two reasons for recommending against indictment.

    Neither of the reasons provided by Napolitano are correct. Comey said an indictment was not warranted because in a century no one has ever been prosecuted for negligence without some evidence of intention.


    Comey: That would be treating somebody differently because of their celebrity status or because of some other factor that doesn’t matter. We have to treat people, the bedrock of our system of justice, we have to treat people fairly. We treat them the same based on their conduct.”

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