Last week, a person was arrested for allegedly having classified documents at home without authorization. No, it wasn’t Hillary Clinton—but it makes you wonder, why not?
Police executed a warrant to search Harold Thomas Martin III’s home and found classified documents. Did police execute a warrant to search Clinton’s home? No, of course not.
What is the evidence against Martin? First, they found documents that “contained highly classified information of the United States, including Top Secret and Sensitive Compartmentalized Information (SCI).” Hillary Clinton’s server also contained eight email chains of Top Secret information and had emails classified as Special Access Programs an even more restricted subcategory of Sensitive Compartmented Information.
Six of the documents found in Martin’s house were “obtained from sensitive intelligence” including being produced “through sensitive government sources, methods, and capabilities.” Hillary Clinton’s emails contained spy satellite information on North Korean nuclear assets. It is hard to get more “being collected through sensitive government sources, methods and capabilities” than that.
The documents found in Martin’s home were marked classified, but so were the emails sent and received by Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton Got Special Treatment
The documents found in Martin’s home were currently and properly classified top secret according to an “original classification authority.” Clinton’s emails are also currently classified Top Secret according to an original classification authority, and that is the reason the State Department is currently refusing to release some of them.
Martin’s home and vehicle were not an “authorized location” for the storage of classified information. But neither was Clinton’s email server an “authorized location” for the storage of classified information.
Martin admitted three facts. First: that he took the documents. Second: that they were classified. And third: he said he knew he didn’t have authorization. Hillary Clinton also took the emails, they were also marked classified at the time she sent and received them, and she didn’t have authorization to retain them at that location.
According to Martin’s lawyer, “There is no evidence that Mr. Martin intended to betray his country,” and no further evidence of intent was provided by the criminal complaint. So the intent requirement for Harold Martin and Hillary Clinton is the same—both intended to keep the classified information in their home without authorization for that location.
So the question remains, why did Hillary Clinton get special treatment that a normal citizen like Mr. Martin would not get? Why wasn’t Hillary Clinton arrested and charged like Mr. Martin was?
Clinton Threatened More Than National Security
The sad thing is that the FBI’s treatment of Hillary Clinton may now bar any such treatment of someone like Martin. The Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment requires that everyone have “equal protection of the laws.” If the only material difference between Hillary Clinton and Harold Martin is that Clinton is the Democratic Party nominee, this means the FBI must treat them the same. If the FBI won’t charge Clinton with a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1924, the courts will not let the government charge other people under the same set of facts.
This means that Hillary Clinton’s reckless actions have not only endangered our national security. Because of the FBI’s special treatment of Clinton, she has potentially endangered every prosecution of the failure to properly protect classified information.
The FBI and the DOJ are left in the untenable situation going forward of either letting go other people that are reckless with national security secrets, or violating the rule of equality under the law by charging people differently based on the same set of facts. Either way, our country is in a significantly worse place today than before Hillary Clinton’s reckless protection of our national security secrets. Let us hope this never happens again.