Nonsequitur: FBI Director Comey Explains
July 7, 2016
Today FBI Director Comey offered testimony before Congress explaining his recommendation NOT to indict former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
His argument, it seems to me, is that although Clinton was negligent, she did not intentionally break the law. Gross negligence in handling classified materials is against the law, but Comey believes it is not sufficient reason to charge Clinton based on precendent. (He cites that only one case has been brought forward under gross negligence in 99 years.)
Representative Gowdy, however, pointed out that “false exculpatory statements” can be used to determine intent and consciousness of guilt. His exchange with Director Comey demonstrates a pattern of these “false exculpatory statements.”
Gowdy shows, it seems to me, that Director Comey could demonstrate intent if he wanted to. And if that is the only reason not to charge Clinton, he should have done so and indicted.
Even if Comey’s argument of intent is valid, his argument about gross negligence is not. Former Superior Court judge Andrew Napolitano points out that the US government has prosecuted multiple times recently for gross negligence:
The espionage statute that criminalizes the knowing or grossly negligent failure to keep state secrets in a secure venue is the rare federal statute that can be violated and upon which a conviction may be based without the need of the government to prove intent.
Thus, in the past two years, the Department of Justice has prosecuted a young sailor for sending a single selfie to his girlfriend that inadvertently showed a submarine sonar screen in its background. It also prosecuted a Marine lieutenant who sent his military superiors a single email about the presence of al Qaeda operatives dressed as local police in a U.S. encampment in Afghanistan — but who inadvertently used his Gmail account rather than his secure government account.
And it famously prosecuted Gen. David Petraeus for sharing paper copies of his daily calendar in his guarded home with a military colleague also in the home — someone who had a secret security clearance herself — because the calendar inadvertently included secret matters in the pages underneath the calendar.
- Source: “The Department of Political Justice,” The Washington Times