FBI: Hillary Clinton Broke the Law, But Don’t Prosecute Her, by Eric Schuler

Here is an exhaustive chapter-and-verse analysis of FBI Director James Comey’s decision to recommend that no charges be filed against Hillary Clinton concerning her handling of emails. From Eric Shuler at antiwar.com:

The latest in shocking but not surprising news came yesterday as FBI Director Jim Comey formally recommended not indicting Hillary Clinton for her alleged mishandling of classified information.

Given America’s less-than-stellar track record of prosecuting the powerful, this outcome has been a virtual certainty for some time. Even so, the event is still important. It offers the clearest evidence to date that the rule of law does not exist. One set of rules applies to the politically connected, and an entirely different set applies to everyone else. Nothing could illustrate this fact better than the Clinton email scandal.

Invalid Defenses

Before getting into the details on this issue, it’s worth addressing a few of the common counterarguments that are offered in defense of the good Secretary.


The idea here is that a lot of information in government is classified for no reason. Thus, some defenders of Hillary Clinton – including President Obama himself – implicitly acknowledge that Hillary may have mishandled classified information. But, to borrow Obama’s phrase, “There’s classified and then there’s classified.” In other words, since almost everything in government is classified at one level or another, it’s not really that big of a deal that Hillary may have sent and received a few emails on an insecure server. Would-be hackers might have been able to access the lunch menu on Capitol Hill, but that’s about it.

Of course, it is true that too much information in government is classified. However, this is beside the point. The relevant question here is whether there is evidence that Hillary Clinton broke the laws as they are, including whatever system of classification exists. And if those laws are found to be absurd and unjust and her conduct is deemed harmless, then a jury could find her not guilty on those grounds. That is not a decision for the FBI, or the Department of Justice.

It could be argued that not indicting Clinton is just, if it marked a shift towards leniency in the government’s handling of these cases. That is, maybe the Clinton scandal drew so much attention to the absurdly aggressive prosecution of others who have mishandled (questionably) classified information that the government has discovered the error in its ways. If this were really true and were accompanied by an imminent pardon of Chelsea Manning and/or a lifting of threats against Edward Snowden, the Clinton recommendation could almost be cause for celebration. But there’s no reason to believe this is going to happen. As we’ll see later, the FBI’s decision was not based on a reevaluation of the justice of these laws. The laws are just as bad as ever; the FBI simply determined that Clinton did not violate them.

A final strike against the overclassification defense is that it appears that some of the classified information in Clinton’s private email really was supposed to be classified. This is why the State Department refused to publicly release 22 of the Clinton emails because the underlying information was determined to be Top Secret. Even if overclassification accounted for most of the classified information in Clinton’s private email, it would not excuse these. And obviously, since the Democrats are still in power in the Executive Branch, it would make no sense for the non-release of these 22 emails to be politically motivated.

To continue reading: FBI: Hillary Clinton Broke the Law, But Don’t Prosecute Her

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