May 26, 2016

A Washington Post editorial: "Clinton’s inexcusable, willful disregard for the rules."

"While not illegal behavior, it was disturbingly unmindful of the rules. In the middle of the presidential campaign, we urge the FBI to finish its own investigation soon, so all information about this troubling episode will be before the voters."

ADDED: From The Hill: 
The potential for any of this to end Clinton’s White House campaign, while slim, is real. And it clearly fuels Sanders’s hope that a noxious legal cloud will cost Clinton the nomination. What Sanders signals to his voters in the weeks to come could be critical to Clinton’s ability to win them over later. Taking a victory lap now could cost her victory in November.

66 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Can I comment on the photo of Hillary that accompanies that Editorial online?

It's a horrible picture of her and I think underscores her poor campaigning skills. Are there similar bad images of past Presidents or Trump on the campaign trail?

chuck said...

Legality is for humans, Hillary self identifies as G*d.

MadisonMan said...

Caption Contest: Help Me! This Voter is touching Me!

dreams said...

"While not illegal behavior"

Yeah, Because Hillary is a Dem.

madAsHell said...

How is this any different than Bradley "Chelsea" Manning?...or Edward Snowden?
The only difference I can see is that Hillary made a hell of lot more money, and didn't post her stuff to wiki-leaks for free.

Amadeus 48 said...

"While not illegal behavior..."
Are they sure about that?

Quaestor said...

That's WaPo struggling to rescue their integrity without severing their partisanship.

It's an opinion piece and therefore not strictly factual. The editors stretch the truth with "while not illegal behavior". The State Department's IG is not empowered to investigate crimes. The IG must refer suspected law-breaking to the Justice Department. If the IG's report doesn't cite laws broken, that's is far from evidence that none were broken.

Roy Jacobsen said...

How the Hell do they figure it waste illegal? Handwaving and wishful thinking?

Roy Jacobsen said...

"wasn't," not "waste."

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The game here is for Bernie Sanders to win big on June 7 and get himself within the margin of the persuadable superdelegates. If he can, his supporters in the Justice Department will get an indictment. If he can't, they likely won't.

David Begley said...

But it IS ILLEGAL.

Hillary makes Nixon look like the JV of political crime. Nixon was never rich.

Henry said...

Inexcusable. You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

Nonapod said...

Roy Jacobsen said...

How the Hell do they figure it wasn't illegal? Handwaving and wishful thinking?


Well, from their own description, transmitting information that's marked "sensitive but unclassified" (SBU) isn't technically illegal, just frowned upon. I have know idea how solid that case is though.

traditionalguy said...

When you have lost the WaPo you have lost the nomination.

Biden is warming up in the BullShit Pen. He as an emotionally appealing personality curve ball. And Warren has the fighting attitude that never surrenders fast ball.

robother said...

"While not illegal...." So, violating regulations implementing a law (in this case the Open Records Act, and numerous laws protecting national secrets) is not illegal. Good to know that we can all ignore the Code of Federal Regulations--IRS, EPA, OSHA, etc.-- without fear of legal consequence.

Fernandinande said...

The potential for any of this to end Clinton’s White House campaign, while slim, is real.

Federal corruption is too deep and broad to worry about that.

PB said...

Not illegal?

By not turning over government records (her emails) on her departure she clearly violated the Federal Records Act.

By doing all her work emails via private server and with her subordinates knowledge of the same and not knowingly not searching those emails to respond to FOIA requests, she violated FOIA and they did so, which comprises an illegal conspiracy.

By not having a department records officer review her emails to determine what she could take with her and performing that act herself (or authorizing other non-federal employees to do so) she violated the Federal Records Act. By maintaining these un-reviewed government documents for herself, she remains in violation of the law.

Each government email comprises one count of violation of the law. With the counts of violations of the law numbering in the tens of thousands, this constitutes gross and willful violation of federal law.

The fact that these emails contain classified and top-secret information that didn't need to be marked to be classified or top-secret to be classified or top-secret this constitutes gross and willful negligence and misconduct, a violation of federal secrecy (espionage) laws.

Claiming others before her did so is not a valid position. If they violated the law, they need to be prosecuted, too.

All of this demonstrates her unfitness for office and when prosecuted, they represent legal disqualification for any federal office or employment.

Tommy Duncan said...

While not illegal behavior...

Can we get a second opinion from someone who is actually knowledgeable in these matters?

robother is on the right track. Hillary violated State Department regulations that were designed to follow established laws. The regulations aren't the law, instead they are the practical implementation of the law.

I anxiously await the Clinton spin...

Rick said...

How is violating the FOIA "not illegal"?

Hagar said...

The MSM is trying very hard to pretend it is all about arcane bureaucratic "rules," but it wasn't; it was flat out knowingly breaking well-established law.

Nonapod said...

From The Hill: The potential for any of this to end Clinton’s White House campaign, while slim, is real.

These guys really are delusional. Slim? I'd say they're better than slim. I'd put the potential of all this ending her campaign at close to 50% at least.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Wait, what? It's inexcusable, except they're happy to accept Clinton's many excuses.

They've concluded that nothing illegal was done, but then urge the FBI to finish their investigation...an investigation that has to be at least partly about whether anything illegal was done, right?

Anyway it wasn't "unmindful" of the rules. It was a knowing, willing, conscious breaking of those rules. A number of positive actions had to be made (including hiring a guy to set up and maintain her own personal server, something NO ONE else has ever done).

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Get 'er, Bernie!
Oh man, do you think he regrets that whole "I'm tired of hearing about the damn emails" move now??

Dan Hossley said...

I think the "while not illegal" statement is a bit of a stretch. The IG found she failed to turn over her records as required by the Federal Records Act. They worded it a bit differently in the report, something like, "she failed to follow State Department guidelines pursuant to the Federal Records Act". The bottom line is she hid her emails from FOIA requests. Sounds illegal to me.

Will said...

It was illegal.. Hillary is in peril she does not yet fully comprehend

Michael The Magnificent said...

A very long time ago, my job was to write white and black box tests for the computer code that controlled the nuclear reactor that was to be used on the Seawolf submarine.

We all had to get background checks before being granted the necessary clearance for the job. We were all issued photo ID badges, and had to go through multiple guarded doors on our way in.

The steel door to the room we worked in was locked, and required you to enter a code to open the door. The first person you saw upon entering was a very nice and sweet secretary, who we were informed (true or not) had a gun in her top drawer with which to shoot intruders.

We were not allowed to bring in or remove any papers, pens, electronics, or any other recording devices. We were not allowed to talk to anyone outside of this room about the details of we were doing. Any paper generated stayed in the room. If any paper needed to be discarded, it was to be put in a burn box.

While the computers were on a network, the network was not connected to the outside world. Likewise for the phone system. I could send and receive emails and take and make phone calls, but only to a very limited number of people in the building, all of whom were behind locked and guarded doors, and who had a security clearance such as mine.

These were the rules, which were backed up with some pretty serious laws.

There were no bureaucrats standing over our shoulders with an ink pad and stamp to mark our documents as classified, and yet if I had been caught taking even one of those documents out of that room, regardless of my intentions, I'd have been prosecuted and sent to jail.

Hillary is counting on the fact that very few of her potential voters have ever had to get a security clearance to work on a secret government project, so they are ignorant of the fact that it's the content of the document, not the classification stamp on it, that makes a document classified.

boycat said...

Hillary's candidacy amounts to her running for her life, because with a 5-year statute of limitations, if she wins, she can run out the clock.

Brando said...

Anyone running against Clinton needs to repeat the following refrain--"what was she trying to hide?" There's no other point to having that server setup, and it gets right to the point of her trustworthiness.

Brando said...

And whether it's "illegal" misses the point--counting on her being indicted is a fool's game (nice if it happens, but free pizzas for a year would also be nice--don't plan your year around that). The point is she was trying to hide something, and it had to be big enough to justify that much effort to violate policy and set up a private server.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

Of course it was illegal behavior. In fact there were multiple felonies.

The Scope of the IG report was about violations of the DoS regulations and policies. But those policies (Which Clinton acknowledged by signature on her first day on the job), provide additional responsibilities (not fewer) to the heads of agencies, and are driven by the Law of the Land. The Federal Records Act, which provides Felony punishment of up to three years in prison for each felonious act and Congress, when it passed the law, added this kicker:

perpetrator shall “forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.”

Michael The Magnificent said...

18 U.S. Code § 2071 - Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally

(a) Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
(b) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.

Fabi said...

I think they mean that it's illegal, but not illegal-illegal.

cubanbob said...

The WaPo is halfway there in it's grief process. Soon Trump will have a new slogan " Crooked lying commie traitor Hillary".

Original Mike said...

Blogger Brando said..."Anyone running against Clinton needs to repeat the following refrain--"what was she trying to hide?" There's no other point to having that server setup, and it gets right to the point of her trustworthiness."

Clearly she did it for convenience, like she said. I mean, I keep all my servers in the basement. It so convenient.

Comanche Voter said...

Tsk tsk. Talking Points kindergarten kolumnist Josh Marshall says this is all a big nothing burger. And if Josh says so, he must be correct. ROTFLMOA

The Drill SGT said...

What Michael The Magnificent said...about subs, classified material and security.

I addition, those of us who carry clearances (I've held at a clearance at the TS/SCI level off and on for 46 years now) know that:

1. When there is a security whoopsie, it's called an "incident" while it's investigated and it may be determined that somebody committed a "security violation".

2. But everybody better damn sure cooperate. folks likely to be guilty get their clearances suspended while the facts are laid out, but refusal to cooperate will instantly get your clearance pulled regardless of your involvement.

3. Apparently twenty plus Hillary staffers refused to cooperate with the IG. They all should have their clearances suspended pending charges.

Trust me, the rest of the national Security personnel have noticed that the rules are different for some people.

cubanbob said...

@Sgt and Michael,
Excellent cites. The question now for our hostess is what happens next? Can the various states seeing a preponderance of evidence and the likelihood of Hillary's conviction at trial have her removed from the ballot in the November election? Each state has it's own election and the winner of the election is instructive for each State's electoral delegates on whom to cast their ballots for president on behalf of their State but if they cast it for Hillary they would be casting away their State's representation for someone who can't serve as president. Would not the State's serve their people's interest by removing Clinton off their respective ballots and thus allowing for another candidate who is legally qualified under Federal law to be president?

Yancey Ward said...

Well, redefining the definition of "illegal" is the new defense perimeter. The Eastern Front will hold at the Oder, for sure.

The Drill SGT said...

Yancy

"The will to hold out must be brought home to every unit!”

- A Hitler, Dec 20, 1941

Ken B said...

It was illegal. This is a sham editorial.

Sebastian said...

"inexcusable" Come November, WaPo, the MSM, all Dems and their law-prof fellow travelers will excuse it.

harrogate said...

Didn't the FBI close this?

khesanh0802 said...

Here's my latest fantasy:

- Bernie takes off the gloves on the e-mails and whips Hillary's ass in CA
- Even before that a few super delegates indicate their "concern" over the e-mail issue and hint they may reconsider their position
- After CA the leakage of super delegates becomes a deluge
- I don't buy the "Biden parachutes in" scenario so, in my fantasy, Bernie wins the nomination
- Trump reveals Bernie for what he is and Trump WINS!!!

Oh how I hope I am right. It will be fun to watch.

Hillary is disgusting at best, a downright crook at worst ( I am a big fan of women in positions of responsibility - but not her) . Bernie is just nuts, but the D's seem to have lost their minds anyway. I can't see the Wall Street and related Dems voting for Bernie. They might as well start leaping from high buildings now if that's the case.

Curious George said...

"harrogate said...
Didn't the FBI close this?"

No.

Steve Uhr said...

According to her surrogates, this is old news because she already admitted making mistakes. I must have slept through that admission. All I recall is her saying that she broke no rules or policies but in hindsight, perhaps she would have done things differently given the outcry.

As for her failure to cooperate with the IG investigation, I'm sure any minute now she will change her website, which says:

"Clinton has pledged to cooperate with the government's security inquiry."

"Clinton is proud of the work of all the dedicated public servants that were part of her team at the State Department. She was proud of her aides then and is proud of them now, as they have committed - as she has - to being as helpful as possible in responding to requests."

Achilles said...

I will be very, very happy when Hillary is nominated to represent the democrat party. She will be the end of the democrat party. Debby ksjhfskd-Schultz is doing an excellent job handing that party over to bernie and his supporters.

tim in vermont said...

Didn't the FBI close this?

People who only read the New York Times could be forgiven for thinking that.

Bruce Hayden said...

Keep I mind that there are two different, interrelated, issues here. One involves violation of the federal record keeping acts and regulations. That is what the State Dept IG report is all about. It assumes that all of the emails were sensitive but unclassified. We are talking over 30,000 mishandled documents, maybe nearing 60,000. We don't know how many of the second 30,000 were work related, but illegally deleted by Hillary's minions. The FBI is more interested in the 2,000 or so that are classified, and n particular the couple dozen that were classified top secret or higher. At some point it was mentioned that the classified emails were mostly not marked as such at the time that Hillary received and maybe forwarded them along. The question of whether or not they were marked classified at the time is, of course, irrelevant, no matter how often Clinton and her surrogates and minions try to tell us it is. That is because the subject of that statute is national secrets, and the standard is, I believe, negligence, so actual intent is also irrelevant. Under that statute, there may only be 2,000 or so felonies committed by her.

Keep in mind that the up to three year terms of the first set of felonies likely wouldn't be served concurrently, or even consecutively. Rather are federal sentencing guidelines that control such, still, 30,000+ felonies are likely to send the committer of such to prison for the remainder of their natural life, and probably the next couple lives too.

harrogate said...

"People who only read the New York Times could be forgiven for thinking that."

Touche. I was only half-serious.

Halfway because in truth, for all the chatter, none of us know what's happening with this issue. I've noticed that a lot of people who are sure her emails are A BIG THING, and a lot of people who are sure it's A NOTHINGBURGER, have more in common than they have separating them. Denizens on both sides are marked by being very sure they know all about it, while in truth knowing very little. And that includes the extent to which the FBI is even interested.

Michael The Magnificent said...

While we are shocked by Hillary's willful disregard of the law and how this will affect Hillary's run for the presidency, the FBI is probably far more concerned with finding out what classified material went through her server, who sent them to Hillary, who Hillary sent them to, who may have hacked into her server, all points in-between (email hops from one router/switch to the next to the next, until reaching the intended destination, capable of being intercepted anywhere along the way), and what damage could come as a result to our national security, as well as to our allies.

It's the welfare of our intelligence and assets that are at risk, short term. That's the clock the FBI is running against, not her run for the presidency.

robother said...

"I mean, I keep all my servers in the basement. It so convenient."

The real estate description of the Chappaua mansion probably even included a "server's entrance."

mikee said...

So if the handling of the emails was not a problem, and the content of the 30,000+ emails she had deleted before turning over the rest is nothing to worry about, we can expect no surprises from any of this during her presidency, like, oh, a sudden shift in policy favoring the Israelis over the Palestinians, or the Russians over the EU?

I predict that in a Hillary Clinton presidency, the choices she makes regarding foreign policy will be made on the basis of (1) donations to her and the Clinton Foundation, because payers get to play, and (2) threat of exposure of past misbehavior by several of the groups that now have all her emails as SecState, including the deleted, supposedly "personal" ones that nobody else in the US now has.

Good luck with that, future president!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

harrogate said...Halfway because in truth, for all the chatter, none of us know what's happening with this issue. I've noticed that a lot of people who are sure her emails are A BIG THING, and a lot of people who are sure it's A NOTHINGBURGER, have more in common than they have separating them. Denizens on both sides are marked by being very sure they know all about it, while in truth knowing very little. And that includes the extent to which the FBI is even interested.

The problem with that position, harrogate, is that it's a false equivalence. Hillary's camp is happy to say that it's not a big deal since her server wasn't hacked and since they claim no top secret info was on it anyway. That's their line, and I'm afraid your framing of the two sides buys into it. (Putting aside for a moment the accuracy of her side's assertions.)

I agree that based on the available facts we can't say for sure that Hillary's actions caused the release of top secret info. People who assert that she did are (for the moment) doing so without proper support. Granted.

The available public facts, though, clearly demonstrate that at the very least Hillary's actions RISKED releasing sensitive (and, in fact, Top Secret) information. The fact that she caused that RISK alone is enough to take us out of the realm of the "nothingburger," even if by some miracle the server wasn't hacked and the email traffic to and through it was not intercepted or otherwise released (misdirected, sent to the wrong addressee, you name it).

Her actions at a minimum risked exposing national security secrets. Her actions at a minimum risked national security and harmed the government she was supposed to work for. The work email correspondence of the Sec. of State is of great value to foreign nations, even if no classified material is discussed! Hillary's action caused greater risk, and there's really no denying that.

Whether her actions violated laws or not, they increased the risk of harm to national security, and did so purely for her own personal benefit (a benefit, by the way, that's directly counter to the spirit and possibly the letter of federal transparency & record keeping laws).

She risked exposing government secrets and thereby harming our nation just to benefit herself a little bit. I don't believe that harm can be ignored or handwaved away...I certainly hope it can't.

traditionalguy said...

She deserves the Art Briles Treatment for creating an unsafe environment for the US people living among a hostile world.

Texas Annie said...

Based on the IG report, my company could not do any of that with protected healh information. We would be violating HIPAA.

And she did it with State department information.

MikeR said...

"And that includes the extent to which the FBI is even interested." Can't see that: there are various report on how many agents are working on the case, from 12 to 30 to many more. But it's a lot of agents. They're quite interested.

Xmas said...

Hoodlum,

Of course, Guccifer's testimony may be that he did hack the server and the server was minimally secured. It's also possible that he can only supply information about Sidney Blumenthal's emails. He was offered immunity for his testimony and extradited to the US. That seems like overkill to confirm something that he's publicly admitted, hacking Blumenthal's email account.

The IG report also talks about the server being attacked, and no one at the State Department was notified. (You can find that in a couple stories about this report.)

James Pawlak said...

18 U.S. Code § 2071 - Concealment, removal, or mutilation gene
v | next
(a)Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
(b)Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 795; Pub. L. 101–510, div. A, title V, § 552(a), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1566; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(I), Sept. 13, 1994,108 Stat. 2147.)

hombre said...

"While not illegal ...," says the editorial, in a predictable effort by WaPo to save Hillary from the prosecution she so richly deserves.

Michael K said...

"Hillary is counting on the fact that very few of her potential voters have ever had to get a security clearance to work on a secret government project,"

Yes, that is critical to the issue.

There are 120 FBI agents working on this I have read.

They probably have the 55,000 e-mails she thought were deleted. The question of why she did this is probably answered in those e-mails. Many of us assume the Clinton Foundation was mentioned in many if not most of them.

The reason she went to this extent to avoid FOIA, which is why this was done, is probably old fashioned corruption of the kind she has always been hip deep in.

Ken Mitchell said...

Not illegal? Balderdash! OF COURSE leaking top secret info to every enemy in the world is illegal, and Hillary's insecure "clintonemail.com" server was as penetrated as Swiss cheese. Sending top secret mail to Sid "Vicious" Blumenthal was illegal. Stripping off classification markings of classified material is illegal even if you don't send it to uncleared people (and Blumenthal certainly NEVER had any kind of clearance!).

For the WaPooh to say "not illegal" is to put their collective fingers in their ears and hum REALLY LOUD.

Michael The Magnificent said...

Article 2, Section 4:

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Notice that there is no limitation on when the offense of "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" occurred.

Should Hillary be sworn in January 20, impeachment hearings could and should begin January 21.

Tom said...

"While not illegal" is the spin. And it's BS.

damikesc said...

I've noticed that a lot of people who are sure her emails are A BIG THING, and a lot of people who are sure it's A NOTHINGBURGER, have more in common than they have separating them. Denizens on both sides are marked by being very sure they know all about it, while in truth knowing very little. And that includes the extent to which the FBI is even interested.

OK, I'll bite.

Provide any legal explanation of how her email setup abides by federal records-keeping laws. The "rules" she broke were implementation of law.

Hell, let's just take her at her word. Every bit of it.

She is a person who is incapable of operating a computer at all (literally, they offered to set her up a computer to only do email and she said no because it was beyond her competence). A person who, for convenience, eschews all secure documentation protocols and does so knowingly.

...then, for giggles, explain WHY she did it. Why she used her own personal email server she had control of and not, say, Gmail, which is more secure but she does not have total control over.

Based on the IG report, my company could not do any of that with protected healh information. We would be violating HIPAA.

Based on the report, she couldn't be approved to be Attorney General.

Michael The Magnificent said...

Hillary's "privacy" excuse for running all personal and official email through her private server is bullshit.

She could have set up her own personal server for personal email, AND used a state.gov email address for official email. Then none of her personal communications would be subject to FOIA.

She could have carried two Blackberrys easily enough - one for personal emails, phone calls, and web surfing, and another high-security state-issued Blackberry for official email and phone calls. The phones are not that big or heavy, and Hillary had assistants who could carry her phones for her.

But look at all the trouble she went through to keep not only her personal, but her professional communications from FOIA, and the danger of hacking and espionage she exposed both to. This is not the behavior of someone who is honest and confident in their professional abilities.