It is times like this words almost fail me, but, thinking about FBI Director James Comey, “coward,” “disgrace” and “cheap political hack” come to mind.
Other words like “hypocrite” and “double standard” are, in this case, equally appropriate.
The FBI investigated Hillary Clinton for alleged violations of U.S. Code Title 18 § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information, subsection (f):
“Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) 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, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer- Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”
On national television, Comey, describing his reasons for not charging Hillary Clinton with a crime, said:
“Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, 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. ”
First and foremost, U.S. Code Title 18 § 793 subsection (f) says nothing about “intent” as a requirement for indictment.
Secondly, recalling my days in the U.S. Army Reserve for which I had a security clearance, the classified computer system (SIPRNet) was neither connected to nor interactive with non-classified systems. Moving information from SIPRNet to a non-classified computer system was both a violation of U.S. Code Title 18 § 793 and could only be done physically and intentionally using a portable storage device like a thumb drive.
Somebody had to move that classified information, physically and intentionally, from the State Department’s classified system for delivery to Hillary Clinton’s non-classified account.
Will anyone be prosecuted or does everything surrounding this case get swept under the rug?
And what is the difference between the “extreme carelessness” Comey claims Hillary Clinton demonstrated and the “gross negligence” described in U.S. Code Title 18 § 793 subsection (f)?
And why didn’t Comey let the “prosecutors” in the Department of Justice decide not to indict rather than FBI, which really isn’t its role in the legal system?
Comey followed his appalling excuse for inaction with what one could consider an outright lie, stating:
“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.”
There was just such a similar case less than a year ago.
On its own website, dated July 29, 2015, the FBI boasts about the conviction of a Folsom California Naval Reservist, who was convicted and sentenced after pleading guilty to unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials:
“According to court documents, Nishimura was a Naval reservist deployed in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008. In his role as a Regional Engineer for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, Nishimura had access to classified briefings and digital records that could only be retained and viewed on authorized government computers. Nishimura, however, caused the materials to be downloaded and stored on his personal, unclassified electronic devices and storage media. He carried such classified materials on his unauthorized media when he traveled off-base in Afghanistan and, ultimately, carried those materials back to the United States at the end of his deployment. In the United States, Nishimura continued to maintain the information on unclassified systems in unauthorized locations, and copied the materials onto at least one additional unauthorized and unclassified system.”
Does that not sound like, in substance, what Hillary Clinton and her subordinates did?
Comey’s decision was nothing less than politically-motivated malfeasance, that is, the performance by a public official of an act that is legally unjustified, harmful, or contrary to law.
Thanks to Comey, it should now be clear to all thoughtful Americans that the U.S. Government, as an institution, is hopelessly corrupt, unaccountable to the people and unconstrained by the rule of law.
Comey obviously concurs with and has aptly demonstrated the political elite are immune from prosecution regardless of the damage done to our national security and the Constitution, specifically the concept of equal justice under the law.
James Comey has secured his place in U.S. History.
America has a new Benedict Arnold.
Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Sellin is the author of “Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution.” He receives email at firstname.lastname@example.org.