What Comey did- some might call it obstruction of justice

Posted by Jimmy Minnish on November 12, 2017 under Links | Be the First to Comment

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James Comey let a criminal escape. In fact, he facilitated her escape:

An early draft of former FBI Director James Comey’s statement closing out the Hillary Clinton email case accused the former secretary of State of having been “grossly negligent” in handling classified information, newly reported memos to Congress show.

The tough language was changed to the much softer accusation that Clinton had been “extremely careless” in her handling of classified information when Comey announced in July 2016 there would be no charges against her.

The change is significant, since federal law states that gross negligence in handling the nation’s intelligence can be punished criminally with prison time or fines.

Spokesmen for the FBI and Clinton did not immediately return phone calls or emails seeking comment.

The original assessment:

“There is evidence to support a conclusion that Secretary Clinton, and others, used the email server in a manner that was grossly negligent with respect to the handling of classified information,” reads the statement, one of Comey’s earliest drafts from May 2, 2016.

It was about the same time that Comey had already decided to exonerate her:

“According to the unredacted portions of the transcripts, it appears that in April or early May of 2016, Mr. Comey had already decided he would issue a statement exonerating Secretary Clinton.  That was long before FBI agents finished their work.  Mr. Comey even circulated an early draft statement to select members of senior FBI leadership.  The outcome of an investigation should not be prejudged while FBI agents are still hard at work trying to gather the facts,” the letter, signed by Chairman Chuck Grassley and Committee member Lindsey Graham states. “Conclusion first, fact-gathering second—that’s no way to run an investigation.  The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy.”

On June 29, 2016 Loretta Lynch met with Bill Clinton to give him the heads up that Hillary would not be facing charges. Somewhere along the line Lynch directed Comey to call the investigation a “matter” and not an investigation.

Then on July 3, for the sake of appearances, the FBI interviewed hillary clinton. It was a sham. Clinton was neither placed under oath nor recorded and Comey was nowhere near it.

On July 6, Comey announced that he was recommending that no charges be filed against Clinton.

The Clinton interview was a sham. In fact, the entire investigation was a sham:

Just how much Comey and his Bureau punted on EmailGate has become painfully obvious since then. Redacted FBI documents from that investigation, dumped on the Friday afternoon before the long Labor Day weekend, revealed that Hillary Clinton either willfully lied to the Bureau, repeatedly, about her email habits as secretary of state, or she is far too dumb to be our commander-in-chief.

Worse, the FBI completely ignored the appearance of highly classified signals intelligence in Hillary’s email, including information lifted verbatim from above-Top Secret NSA reports back in 2011. This crime, representing the worst compromise of classified information in EmailGate – that the public knows of, at least – was somehow deemed so uninteresting that nobody at the FBI bothered to ask anybody on Team Clinton about it.

Now it turns out the FBI granted immunity to much bigger fish in the Clinton political tank. Three more people got a pass from the Bureau in exchange for their cooperation: Hillary lawyer Heather Samuelson, State Department IT boss John Bental, and – by far the most consequential – Cheryl Mills, who has been a Clinton flunky-cum-factotum for decades.

Mills served as the State Department’s Chief of Staff and Counselor throughout Hillary’s tenure as our nation’s top diplomat. Granting her immunity in EmailGate, given her deep involvement in that scandal – including the destruction of tens of thousands of emails so they could not be handed over to the FBI – now seems curious, to say the least, particularly because Mills sat in on Hillary’s chat with the Bureau regarding EmailGate.

This was in fact so highly irregular that Jason Chaffetz, chair of the House Oversight Committee, pronounced himself “absolutely stunned” by the FBI’s granting of immunity to Cheryl Mills – which he learned of only on Friday. “No wonder they couldn’t prosecute a case,” Rep. Chaffetz observed of Comey’s Bureau: “They were handing out immunity deals like candy.”

Clinton aides made side deals with the FBI to destroy evidence:

This was just your average FBI investigation, you see, in which the same woman was: (1) a subject of the probe, (2) a key witness in the probe, (3) a dubious immunity recipient, and (4) a lawyer to the primary subject — who was allowed to sit in on her quasi-client’s interview with investigators. And if that wasn’t enough, the FBI reportedly agreed to permanently destroy two pieces of evidence after reviewing them. I’ll defer to law enforcement experts as to whether or not this sort of thing is remotely standard practice, but to a layperson, it seems like yet another peculiarity surrounding this case.

And more:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department permitted Hillary Clinton’s aide Cheryl Mills — the subject of a criminal investigation, who had been given immunity from prosecution despite strong evidence that she had lied to investigators — to participate as a lawyer for Clinton, the principal subject of the same criminal investigation. This unheard-of accommodation was made in violation not only of rudimentary investigative protocols and attorney-ethics rules, but also of the federal criminal law. Yet, the FBI and the Justice Department, the nation’s chief enforcers of the federal criminal law, tell us they were powerless to object. Seriously?… Just as Director Comey rightly objects to being regarded as a weasel, I don’t much like being regarded as an idiot — which is what I’d have to be to swallow some of this stuff. The FBI absolutely has control over who may be present at an interview with a subject of an investigation. There are a variety of reasons for this, but the most basic one is that an interview never has to happen unless the FBI consents to it.

Comey’s argument for recommending charges was an alleged lack intent:

“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of the classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” Comey said at the time.

As we have previously noted, intent is not mentioned in the statute:

Section 793 of federal law states, “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.”

Others have been prosecuted for far, far less. When the FBI cripples is own investigation this badly there is no way it could prove the sun is shining on a day you see your own shadow, let alon prove intent.

An even cursory consideration of Clinton’s public statements, i.e. lies, makes intent as clear as can be.

1. Hillary said she set up the private server for convenience, not to shield her communications from public scrutiny.

2. Hillary told the public over and over again that her personal server was secure.

3. Hillary stated repeatedly that she had been helpful and transparent in this investigation.

4. Hillary stated that she had turned over all relevant emails.

5. Hillary said she used a Blackberry for convenience.

6. Hillary said she was cleared by the State Department to use her personal server.

None was true.

What is very clear is that James Comey has been less than truthful about his actions and the actions of the FBI. Comey’s legacy is that he created a two tiered system of justice– one for us and one for the Clinton’s. He so impaired an investigation that it could not be properly conducted.

Some might even call it obstruction of justice. The appointment of another special prosecutor is imperative.

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