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Hillary Clinton Gets a Pass

Kate O'Keeffe and Byron Tau report for the WSJ:

FBI Director James Comey said Tuesday that Hillary Clinton was "extremely careless" in handling classified information while secretary of state and said scores of emails on her personal server contained highly classified information--but he said the FBI won't recommend criminal charges against her.
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While the announcement is a major positive development for the Clinton camp, Mr. Comey's comments were hardly uncritical of the presumptive Democratic nominee, saying she and her State Department colleagues were irresponsible in their handling of national secrets.

"Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information," Mr. Comey said.
Director Comey's statement is here.


So much for the "independent" Comey.

"Extremely careless"="gross negligence".

If it was a nobody CIA desk jockey, there would have been charges.

What mens rea was required for the charge(s) that FBI was investigating?

Extremely careless in handling national security information is per se disqualifying to be a CIA typist, much less President of the United States.

Kent supplied it (thanks!) but I would also recommend:


If I were Petraeus or Nishimura, I would not be a happy man today.

I'd be interested in hearing Bill's thoughts on how this whole process worked. It seemed rather odd to me that the FBI director made a public announcement of the Bureau's recommendation. It also seemed odd to me for Comey to frame things in terms of what a "reasonable prosecutor" would do. The FBI is not the prosecuting entity, it is the investigating entity. The FBI shouldn't be considering what a reasonable prosecutor would or would not do. The FBI should be conducting a factual investigation, compiling the results of that investigation, along with a recommendation on whether there is probable cause to support charges. It is then the prosecutor who should be examining the facts as reported by the FBI and determining whether a prosecution is warranted under the law and appropriate DOJ policies and guidelines. For example, with the Michael Brown case the FBI conducted an extensive investigation, they turned the results of that investigation over to the DOJ prosecutors, then the DOJ prosecutors wrote an extensive memo explaining why there was no legal basis for presenting the case to the grand jury. The DOJ then released the prosecutors' memo to the public. This whole Clinton thing was handled in an abnormal way, in my opinion. But, I would love to hear what Bill thinks based on his many years of experienced with DOJ.

Thanks, Kent.

I would really like to know what element(s) of any charge(s) being investigated Comey believes could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt?

Hopefully, these details will be revealed in the days to come so that the legal validity of his statement can be carefully evaluated.

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