Andrew McCarthy of National Review aptly summarizes the FBI “investigation” of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server emails with the headline: “The fix was in.”
He makes the point that the criterion on which FBI Director James Comey based his decision not to prosecute her was a high bar, but a false one.
McCarthy, a former assistant U.S. attorney, writes that the Obama administration distorted the Espionage Act, “falsely implying that it required proof of intent to harm the United States before someone could be convicted of mishandling classified information.”
He corrects the error by actually quoting the statute saying that a person can violate the law if she “willfully causes the unauthorized transmission of classified information — meaning if she understands the wrongfulness of the action and intentionally performs it anyway or (2) if through ‘gross negligence’ she permits the information to be removed from its proper place or to be otherwise mishandled (Section 793(d (e) and (f) of Title 18, U.S, Code).”
Under either standard, Hillary should be prosecuted.
(She still can be. Since she was never prosecuted, much less acquitted, double jeopardy does not attach).
The Democratic presidential nominee clearly understood that she was “willfully causing the unauthorized transmission of classified material” and certainly understood that it was “wrong.”
The original report made by the FBI staff used the phrase “gross negligence” to describe Hillary’s actions but, on pressure from above, changed it to “extreme carelessness,” likely just to avoid coinciding with the language of the statute.
Who first promulgated and propagated this blatant misinterpretation of the statute’s clear meaning?
President Barack Obama himself.
In April 2016, McCarthy notes, “the president publicly stated that he did not want his party’s inevitable nominee charged with a crime.”
In doing so, McCarthy says, “Obama distorted the Espionage Act, falsely implying that it required proof of intent to harm the U.S.” to be invoked.
Comey dutifully copied the president’s interpretation, despite the clear reading of the statute and then spread it to the media.
So, when there was no indictment of Clinton, the public and the media accepted that her conduct did not merit prosecution because there was no intent to harm the country.
Through this deliberate misreading of the clear language of the law, the disinformation was spread that Hillary could not be called to account for her actions.
The fix was, indeed, in!
Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant.
His most recent book, “Rogue Spooks,” was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.
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