We surrender. Hillary Clinton is innocent.
For this to work, though, we now have to accept that the woman Barack Obama christened the most qualified presidential nominee in history can’t understand the most basic workings of an email account. Although she served as both a U.S. senator and as secretary of State of the most powerful nation ever, she’s incapable of following basic directions. And, despite extensive training in the proper handling of classified information, she probably couldn’t get clearance as a White House intern.
“One of the things I’ve learned in this case,” an unconvincing Comey ruminated during the hearing, “is that the secretary might not have been as sophisticated as people assume.” Then he took to the awkward task of convincing America that Clinton was Mrs. Magoo rather than a rock-ribbed veteran of decades of federal investigations.
Well, the now-famous 18 U.S.C. 793(f) states that if you mishandle classified information you can be fined or be thrown in prison or both. There is not yet an exemption for politicians with inhibited cognitive abilities, although perhaps such concessions should be made for future presidents. Still, gross negligence means extreme carelessness and nearly every answer Comey offered the House Oversight Committee regarding Clinton’s behavior would have sounded extreme and careless to a reasonable person sitting on a grand jury.
Hey, Director Comey, did Hillary Clinton’s unsanctioned email system, the one she attempted to conceal from the American people, make the United States more “vulnerable to hostile elements?”
Short of handing secrets over to a foreign agent, this is basically the most reckless thing a person could do with our secrets, but Hillary harbored no “evil intent,” Comey tells us. Good to know. And after giving the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee — which, by the way, is teeming with attorneys — a little lecture about mens rea, the FBI director was asked if Hillary knew she didn’t have any authority to put an unprotected server in her basement?
Did Hillary give people she knew had no clearance access to classified information?
Just an honest mistake, or 10. After the hearing, it was reported that the State Department would reopen the probe of how Clinton’s top aides handled classified information. Soon, God willing, we’ll find out which one of her handlers lied under oath to Congress.
You might be able to chalk this all up to carelessness if not for the lying. Yet Comey also informed us that the FBI had “no basis to conclude” Hillary was being untruthful. What did she say to convince him, exactly? Well, Comey acknowledged that he couldn’t recall exactly what she told her questioners during FBI interview because he wasn’t there. No recording or transcript of this conversation exists, so the American people will never be able to listen or read about it. Don’t worry, though, top men were on the case.
Rep. Trey Gowdy then had a few questions regarding Hillary’s reliability. Clinton said her emails either sent or received were not marked classified — was that true? No. Clinton said “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email, there is no classified material.” Was that true? No. Clinton said she used just one device. Was that true? No. Clinton said all work-related e-mails were returned to the State Department. Was that true? No. Clinton said her lawyers read every one of the e-mails and were overly inclusive. Did her lawyers read the e-mail content individually? No.
What was the Democratic Party’s answer to all of this: Sure, Hillary’s attorneys tried to scrub devices to prevent forensic recovery of thousands of emails, but why are you being such a conspiracy theorist?
Democrats have been framing the entire investigation as a GOP witch hunt, even after a secret server and a host of serious, and potentially illegal, activities had been unearthed. The “conspiracy theorist” talking point has codified within the liberal punditry. Every liberal questioner on the committee ran interference for Clinton, bringing up distractions and strawmen—including usage of private email accounts by congressmen and former secretaries of State, none of whom had been accused of transmitting state secrets through their accounts — rather than asking pertinent questions about the negligent transmission of sensitive state secrets. Instead, led by the histrionics of Elijah Cummings, Democrats acted like it was an affront to democracy to challenge the findings of the administration in the middle of a politically charged case.
Which specific question posed by Republicans in this case was out of line? It was odd, to say the least, that the FBI obliterated Hillary’s fiction in such public way, but then refused to recommend prosecution. Comey might be well-respected, but that doesn’t make him (or the FBI) immune from the political pressures of this election. And just because Republicans had nice things to say about him in the past shouldn’t impede them from grilling him now. Because the idea that Hillary Clinton didn’t have any intent to circumvent the law is as implausible as the idea that she was being honest after her system was discovered. The only way to believe that would be to believe Clinton has an IQ of about 50. And no reasonable person does.