Hillary Clinton skates – (Disclosure: I’m a former assistant state attorney.)
I listened to FBI Director James Comey make a strong case against Hillary before doing a U-turn and letting her off the hook. His ‘no prosecution’ recommendation was a tough but reasonable decision.
My only beef? Comey said, “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” I strongly disagree.
A LOT of prosecutors would have been ready to take on the best lawyers the Clintons can buy in what would be a career-making case.
I believe Hillary was “grossly negligent,” and experts like the ones quoted on the Page A1 story would testify as such. There’s a potent argument to be made about how national security rules seem to apply to the “little people” – but not to her.
I think there were two key factors in Comey’s decision. First: millions of Americans voted for Hillary in the Democratic primary, and his decision could have made “the will of the people” meaningless. Best to trash her as careless and paranoid, let Republicans and Clinton haters rant and rave, then let the voters decide.
It’s similar to what U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts did. Rather than kill “Obamacare” after millions of people were able to get health care coverage for the first time, Roberts let the Affordable Health Act live on until either Congress repeals it or it dies of its own defects.
Neither Comey nor Roberts, both Republicans, wanted to go down in history as destroying the electoral chances of America’s first female president, nor of wrecking the country’s first attempt at universal health care.
So is the system rigged, as Donald Trump said? Yes. How? MONEY and POWER.
•MONEY: If this was anyone else, the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) would have forced them to plead guilty to SOMETHING – a federal misdemeanor – and made sure they never worked for the government or had a security clearance again in life. Most people would take that plea rather than pony up hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend themselves against the DOJ.
•POWER: Here’s what Bro. Prez said in October 2015 to “60 Minutes” about the FBI investigation: “…this is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.” In April, he said, “…Hillary Clinton…would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy… and she has acknowledged – that there’s a carelessness, in terms of managing emails, that she has owned, and she recognizes.”
Bro. Prez is a lawyer. He ‘told’ Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch (also both lawyers) exactly what to do. (Later, Lynch ‘inconveniently’ bumps into Bill, then says she’ll accept whatever recommendation she gets. Keeps her hands clean that way.)
Obama knows that if anyone but Hillary wins, the destruction of the Obama legacy will begin on Inauguration Day.
The desperation shows.
No one has ever been convicted of breaking the “gross negligence” secrecy law. Comey didn’t want to take on Hillary and try to convince a jury that she should be the first person ever convicted – especially since the FBI can’t prove that “hostile actors” (hackers) were able to access her e-mail.
Still, let’s assume Hillary was prosecuted. Her defense lawyers would also trash her as technologically inept, overly concerned about her privacy, careless, sloppy, stupid. “But that’s no violation of federal law!” they would yell.
And if the case was tried in the Washington, D.C., area in front of a jury of mostly Black Democrats – with Bro. Prez as a witness on her behalf – it’s lights out for the DOJ.
For prosecutors, “no reasonable chance of successful prosecution” is always a back door to decline a case. “Nothing to see here! NEXT!” That’s how the DOJ will close the Clintons’ latest legal file.
Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.