July 5, 2016

"FBI recommends no charges against Clinton in email probe."

Politico reports that Comey said:
"Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before deciding whether to bring charges."
Drudge presents it this way:
How do you feel about this? I'm relieved. I wouldn't have liked to see a criminal law proceeding skewing and meddling with the political process now that it's so far along.

483 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   401 – 483 of 483
richardsson said...

Well, I am not relieved that she skates. Karma has nastier plans than the legal process for the Clintons.

Saint Croix said...

I haven't scrolled through all the comments, but the transcript is here.

MadisonMan said...

WOW, 375 comments with mine, is that a record?

Not even close.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Here is where Comey indicated that she (as well as others) did meet the standard of gross negligence and so did many of her colleagues at the State Department.

https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/statement-by-fbi-director-james-b.-comey-on-the-investigation-of-secretary-hillary-clintons-use-of-a-personal-e-mail-system

...Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.

For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails).



AReasonableMan said...

I have never understood winger enthusiasm for this particular case. It is a highly technical case. Clinton is a old, female lawyer - she belongs to three demographic groups not well known for their technical expertise in the world of computing. No reasonable person believes that she knows jack-shit about how an email server works. She appears to have been just barely competent to send emails, which seems to be why everyone bent over backwards to make it easy for her. No court of her peers, old female lawyers, or anyone who's mother has a BA, would convict her.

And, there was a second problem. Virtually all of the government servers seem to have been hacked at some point or the other (which is arguably the bigger story here), whereas there is still no evidence that her servers have been hacked. You could reasonably argue that by avoiding the big target of the government servers she actually made her emails more secure. The complete lack of technical competence obviously undermines that argument somewhat, still, better than government work, or that of many major corporations.

mockturtle said...

Also from the Comey transcripts: Our investigation looked at whether there is evidence classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on that personal system, in violation of a federal statute making it a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way, or a second statute making it a misdemeanor to knowingly remove classified information from appropriate systems or storage facilities. [my emphasis]

And then: From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were “up-classified” to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the e-mails were sent.

The recommendation not to prosecute just doesn't add up, does it? And she clearly lied in previous hearings about not including classified information. Perjury should be tacked on, too.

Original Mike said...

"Comey said: "the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery""

So she did wipe the servers. To remove yoga and wedding emails. {/sarc}

mockturtle said...

Yes, yoga, wedding plans, grandchildren and golf. They must think we are brainless.

Original Mike said...

"I have never understood winger enthusiasm for this particular case. It is a highly technical case. Clinton is a old, female lawyer - she belongs to three demographic groups not well known for their technical expertise in the world of computing. No reasonable person believes that she knows jack-shit about how an email server works. She appears to have been just barely competent to send emails,"

Right ARM, she accidently wiped the servers.

The Drill SGT said...

And, there was a second problem. Virtually all of the government servers seem to have been hacked at some point or the other (which is arguably the bigger story here), whereas there is still no evidence that her servers have been hacked. You could reasonably argue that by avoiding the big target of the government servers she actually made her emails more secure. The complete lack of technical competence obviously undermines that argument somewhat, still, better than government work, or that of many major corporations.

1. She wasn't a computer expert, but she did understand FOIA, and the FRA. She had lots of experience with both

2. Lot's of .gov unclas systems have been hacked, and we know it because we have people watching them 24/7. HRC's server wasnt watched 24/7.

And the problem emails belonged on SIPRNET or JWICS which are NOT connected to the internet and aren't hacked regularly. But she didn't use those systems in her offices. she used her blackberry instead.

Original Mike said...

Blogger mockturtle said..."Yes, yoga, wedding plans, grandchildren and golf. They must think we are brainless."

They fooled ARM.

jacksonjay said...


So, ARM says Hills is too old, too female parts and too lawyerly to know e-mail. Great argument! Don't share that with your Democrat friends.

What about the President who exchanged e-mails with the old woman lawyer? We are told he's so young and hip and tech savvy. Think he shoulda known what a dumb and corrupt idea this was?

George Warburton said...

Your final sentence takes you from the legal profession in to the criminal classes. Let us hope that Clinton's final sentence takes her from the criminal classes into the prison population.

Jason said...

How do you feel about this? I'm relieved. I wouldn't have liked to see a criminal law proceeding skewing and meddling with the political process now that it's so far along.

Scratch a liberal, you'll find a fascist. Every time.

khesanh0802 said...

He said-she said- Comey vs Hillary in the WSJ. While I think this decision is an outrage I think it will redound to Trump. Perhaps this view is my way of keeping my blood pressure under control. Comey essentially convicted Clinton without benefit of a trial: careless; exercised poor judgment; her whole department's comm security was a mess; comm security worse than a general mail outfit like G mail. What you hear in the background is a primal scream!

Unknown said...

I feel that it is blatantly obvious that our government is now crooked and cannot be ever trusted again to fairly enact justice. It is all politics now.

walter said...

"No reasonable person believes that she knows jack-shit about how an email server works."
She knows so little she hired folks who do.

PackerBronco said...

You could reasonably argue that by avoiding the big target of the government servers she actually made her emails more secure.

For something so reasonable, I've never heard anyone remotely suggesting it.

Are you as ignorant about e-mail servers and security procedures as Hillary?

shiloh said...

WOW, 375 comments with mine, is that a record?

1,609

And pretty sure there were a few longer. Althouse cons were totally obsessed w/mama grizzly during the 2008 election.

You betcha!

PackerBronco said...

Blogger walter said...
"No reasonable person believes that she knows jack-shit about how an email server works."
She knows so little she hired folks who do.


With the understanding that they would set up a system by which all of her correspondences would be hidden from FOI requests and congressional/judicial inquiries.

jr565 said...

""Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information...


our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case."


WHy not? do you not bring cases when their are violations of statutes regarding the handling of classified info?
What's to stop every Republican from simpling setting up private servers when Hillary is president. whats she going to do, complain about athe potential violations of statutes regarding handling of classified info? The FBI all but shot its wad by shooting its wad. Now, there is no reason to adhere to laws involving the handling of classified info.

Way to go, FBI.

jr565 said...

"How do you feel about this? I'm relieved. I wouldn't have liked to see a criminal law proceeding skewing and meddling with the political process now that it's so far along."


So when is the Trump U trial overseen by the biased Mexican judge going to start? My best guess, when its most convenient in discrediting Trump?

Martin said...

Ann, I do not understand your position, and frankly I wonder if you do.

This is not a criminal issue unrelated to her duties as President, it goes to the heart of lack of respect and reckless disregard for national security and protecting state secrets. It is not like Bill's "bimbo eruptions," it goes right to the core of the President's responsibilities.

Comey said that similar activities in the future might be prosecuted. Good luck with making that stick, after this.

This is a disaster for this country's ability to enforce its laws regarding secrecy, and will affect how other countries view us--specifically, allies will be less willing to share intelligence with us, as anything they share will be virtually unprotected and once revealed will lose its value and compromise their sources.

This is a DISASTER and I am talking outside of the election.

bagoh20 said...

"Those of you who want to live in an America where every crime is prosecuted ... who's going to pay for all that imprisonment? And who will be left to guard the prison after we're all inside."

"an America where every crime is prosecuted" is hardly the only alternative if people want an America that prosecutes serious felonies that risk national security by its very top officials.

I give your argument 3 strawmen out of 4. Above average.

Joshua Barker said...

Todd Galle said...
I believe I'd be in prison if I committed half of her offences. No, make that I'm certain I'd in a Federal Penitentiary. This will not end well. Lose the rule of law, and people will become lawless.


Is it tin-foil-hat to suggest that this is what they want? Push people to their breaking point with ever more egregious violations, so they can finally declare martial law and finally get rid of any pesky pretense? Either way they win. They've done their job. The people of this nation no longer have the intestinal fortitude to do what it would take to turn this around. They've pretty much already won... The rest is just window dressing.

mockturtle said...

And we can put a lot of people to work building more prisons.

Michael K said...

I have never understood winger enthusiasm for this particular case.

I wouldn't call it "enthusiasm." Hillary has a long history of criminal behavior going back to the Whitewater case and the Rose Law Firm billing records.

After nearly two years of searches and subpoenas, the White House said this evening that it had unexpectedly discovered copies of missing documents from Hillary Rodham Clinton's law firm that describe her work for a failing savings and loan association in the 1980's.

Federal and Congressional investigators have issued subpoenas for the documents since 1994, and the White House has said it did not have them. The originals disappeared from the Rose Law Firm, in which Mrs. Clinton was a partner, shortly before Mr. Clinton took office.

The newly discovered documents are copies of billing records from the Rose firm, where Mrs. Clinton helped represent Madison Guaranty, a savings and loan run by James B. McDougal, the Clintons' business partner in the Whitewater land venture. The originals are still missing. Investigators have been seeking the documents to determine the role Mrs. Clinton played in the firm's representation of the savings and loan.


I think a lot of us, I can't speak for all, of course, wondered if we still lived in a nation with the rule of law.

Now we know; we don't.

Shiloh is thrilled.

Maybe if Trump wins this election, and it is a little bit more likely after this travesty, shiloh might decide it wasn't as good an idea as he/she thinks now.

Rit said...

Ann, I do not understand your position, and frankly I wonder if you do.
Of course she does. Boot Hillary and you're likely to get Bernie. A choice between Bernie and Donald is intolerable. Hillary may be a mess, but at least she has a gina.

Original Mike said...

"I give your argument 3 strawmen out of 4. Above average."

I give it four out of four limps on the lame index.

RJ said...

Althouse, your conclusion on this matter is the most despicable thing you've posted.

It also proves that you are unqualified to be a law professor. You have the ethics of a tapeworm.

clarice said...

Perhaps if the FBI hadn't shlepped it out so long, there wouldn't have been a dilemma.

rich hahn said...

From an episode of Bonanza:

There's a law for you 'uns and a law for we 'uns and they ain't the same law.

Michael said...

"Prosecutors weigh a number of factors..."

No kidding!

mockturtle said...

Althouse, your conclusion on this matter is the most despicable thing you've posted.

It also proves that you are unqualified to be a law professor. You have the ethics of a tapeworm.


Not her finest moment, that's for sure. :-(

CStanley said...

"Those of you who want to live in an America where every crime is prosecuted ... who's going to pay for all that imprisonment? And who will be left to guard the prison after we're all inside."

"an America where every crime is prosecuted" is hardly the only alternative if people want an America that prosecutes serious felonies that risk national security by its very top officials.

I give your argument 3 strawmen out of 4. Above average.


Come to think of it, Althouse's statement is utterly Obamaesque.

Matthew Sablan said...

"No reasonable person believes that she knows jack-shit about how an email server works."

-- I work with older women all the time who know how to not mishandle classified material. Yes, I suppose, if we assume old women are all incompetents, then I could understand giving her a pass. But, that sounds awfully ageist and sexist to me.

Original Mike said...

Why does someone who does not know jack-shit about how an email server works set up her own personal server when she has the entire State Dept IT department at her beck and call?

ARM also earns four out of four limps on the lameness index.

Michael said...

AARM

Dude, you are the man!! Hillary is too old stupid and incompetent. Nicely put. So every peon walking down every street in America using a smart phone is going to be all no problem with Hillary being our stupid president. Because email... Because female... Because so complicated.

Love it. Great post.

brio said...

TCom said...

"Delete your law degree, professor. You clearly have no use for it. You're just as subjective as any Joe Six Pack off the street."

She doesn't need to delete her law degree. She is filing retirement papers as you speak.

Matthew Henry said...

Congrats! You finally got me to the point of dropping your blog from my reading. A lawyer who is relieved that the law is ignored in the most blatant of manners.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Giving Althouse the power to make the rubble self-identify by their bouncing is too much power to be contained within her.

It's her party and she'll make you cry if she wants to, cry if she wants too.

You WILL cry too when it happens to you.

Static Ping said...

Blogger AReasonableMan said...
I have never understood winger enthusiasm for this particular case. It is a highly technical case. Clinton is a old, female lawyer - she belongs to three demographic groups not well known for their technical expertise in the world of computing. (snip)


This would seem to be a reasonable argument, except she is the one that insisted upon this setup. If she knew nothing, she should have deferred to what already existed and what she was expected to use. Of course, the problem is this was not an accident; it was intentionally setup this way to avoid FOIA requests. She threatened and almost certainly seriously damaged national security for her own selfish reasons. If you do not think that is a serious crime, I dare say your definition of "reasonable" is rather unique.

Michael said...

You see, dumbasses, it is not bad if you didn't mean it to be bad. You have to intend to break the law to break the law. So if you shoot five ducks and the limit is two but you thought it was five then no problem. Those cases of beer stacked up in the front of the store are samples, right? And if you are told what you are doing is bad but you don't believe it to be bad then bad it isn't.

And Comey is a man of steel, a man who has deep integrity, deeper than you can think deep, deeper than the ocean and that deep trench out there. She didn't mean any harm, Comey concludes.

See?

Joe said...

Comey's integrity is so deep, you can't even see it. And neither can he.

Sebastian said...

Comey's reasonable prosecutor is just as reasonable as the OJ jury's reasonable doubt.

Sebastian said...

In each presidential debate, Trump should just read Comey's statement, slowly and clearly.

Scott M said...

You could reasonably argue that by avoiding the big target of the government servers she actually made her emails more secure.

Secure from FOIA requests, certainly, but that's all your type cares about anyway. So, well done.

AReasonableMan said...

Static Ping said...
This would seem to be a reasonable argument, except she is the one that insisted upon this setup.


The fact that she thought it was a good idea seals the argument in my view. It may as well have been magic from her perspective.

Joe said...

Should we also note that Hillary perjured herself in regards to the emails?

Flat Tire said...

Maybe in 20 years Chelsea will be the richest woman in the US, sorta like Chavez's daughter.

Bob said...

I am reminded of the summer of 1972, when the Watergate investigation began, then in the fall Nixon won election overwhelmingly, before the most damning evidence came to light.

Mary E. Glynn said...

Hillary won't get away with it in the end.
She's not black enough.

Original Mike said...

"The fact that she thought it was a good idea seals the argument in my view."

She thought it was a good idea because it hid her emails (and she was right).

Jack Richardson said...

Meanwhile, also today, Naval Reservist sentenced for mishandling classified information by keeping it on a private computer.

iowan2 said...

I'm have a core belief that political problems should be solved at the ballott box, But when laws are ignored for the purpose of raw political power, the judicial process must be carried out. Honestly, do Democrats want a nation ruled by politicians getting in power and using the power to shield them from legal consequences?

AG Lynch would fire, on the spot, one of her prosecutors that agreed to meet in private, for 30 minutes, with a potential witness in a criminal investigation.

Rusty said...

AReasonableMan said...
Static Ping said...
This would seem to be a reasonable argument, except she is the one that insisted upon this setup.

The fact that she thought it was a good idea seals the argument in my view. It may as well have been magic from her perspective.

Except she had expert IT people set it up and run it.

Anonymous said...

I'm relieved. I wouldn't have liked to see a criminal law proceeding skewing and meddling with the political process now that it's so far along.

Having read this blog for about 12 years, that's the most astonishing and outrageous thing I've ever seen you write.

Whether or not the fix was expected, the last justification to put out there for it is timing. If what Hillary Clinton did is in fact criminal, then it's criminal, there is no exception for bad political timing. This is like saying Watergate should have been let go had the heart of the scandal broken in 1972 rather than 1974. The fact that it took this long to get here is more the result of the incessant foot-dragging over responding to FOIA requests than a conveniently timed investigation. The timing of this investigation is the fault of nobody except Hillary Clinton - both for the fact of the investigation putting the country in the position of possibly having a presidential candidate indicted while on the campaign trail.

Granted, criminal activity hasn't seemed to matter to Democrats for a while now. Bill Clinton was forgiven the actually admitted crime of perjury and his reputation didn't suffer for it. And even as far back as 1980, a significant amount of Democratic primary voters were willing to forgive Teddy Kennedy for causing a woman's death.

But to make the argument on timing...timing is no excuse by now. Federal prosecutors have at least twice since 2008 lodged political prosecutions against significant Republican politicians conveniently timed to affect elections (Stevens & McDonell) that were later thrown out by appeals courts. There may be such a thing as prosecutorial discretion, but it has to cut both ways, and what Clinton is alleged to have done is far more serious than anything Stevens or McDonnell were alleged to have done. I don't want prosecutors to try everything, but they certainly seem to have picked a side.

The proper thing for Hillary to have done was bowed out of the race once this came out and not put her party or the country in this position. It's the second time now that the Clintons have asked their party to choose between them and the rule of law, and both times the Clintons have come out the victor (though rule of law doesn't seem to be high on Democratic priority lists given the stealth war against due process lately). I despise Donald Trump, but the rule of law is way more important than whatever Hillary might stand for. She deserves to lose, and I hope the voting public gives her her richly deserved comeuppance in 4 months.

AReasonableMan said...

Rusty said...
Except she had expert IT people set it up and run it.


Your definition of 'expert' might differ a little from mine.

heyboom said...

Meanwhile, also today, Naval Reservist sentenced for mishandling classified information by keeping it on a private computer.

Good find, but the story is from last year. Still, a perfect example of how the law works differently for the different classes.

rwnutjob said...

Scooter Libby unavailable for comment.

Kansas Scout said...

After reading you for a few months, this comment does not surprise. I had quit reading you recently but stopped in for this to see what you said. Nope, waste of time. Moving along. Won't waste my time again.

damikesc said...

No reasonable person believes that she knows jack-shit about how an email server works. She appears to have been just barely competent to send emails, which seems to be why everyone bent over backwards to make it easy for her. No court of her peers, old female lawyers, or anyone who's mother has a BA, would convict her.

The "simpler" option is Gmail or any of a large number of consumer email providers. She went miles beyond that. She made that choice.

The fact that she thought it was a good idea seals the argument in my view. It may as well have been magic from her perspective.

So, in your world, ignorance IS a defense of a crime...

chickelit said...

Today is a day for Hillary-bots to gloat and we see no worse examples than here.

Thousand of Trump supporters went over the top today and were mowed down by Hillary's machine gunners. Remember that we may have lost the battle but we will win this war.

And remember that Schadenfreude stores and keeps well for another day.

Michael K said...

Then she gets elected President of the United States in November and inaugurated in January.

In one way, an indictment might have had that effect, Democrats love criminals. That is why no voter ID. And BLM.

Now, the facts are out there and I think Trump will get them talked about, especially if she is dumb enough to try to debate him.

It's been a coin toss all year.

William said...

So Ann, were you concerned about Ted Stevens?

Valentine Smith said...

I quess the best we can hope for is a coterie of hashish smokers to form a secret society.

tim in vermont said...

Ignorance of the law is our excuse. It is an excuse we can use exclusively. As Comey said, don't you guys try it!

Dad29 said...

OK, Althouse. National security, dead CIA people, NONE of that matters compared to "politics."

That's very thoughtful of you.

Andrew Pardue said...

So to paraphrase the good professor, it is good that politics interferes with the legal process in this manner. Think about it we have now been freed from lawyers. Why hire a lawyer when you can have politics warp the process for you.

walter said...

"There has never been any man or woman more qualified for this office than Hillary Clinton"
Says her "presumed" predecessor...

Richard said...

Comey statement is all comedy gold. I especially liked this part:

"The lawyers doing the sorting for Secretary Clinton in 2014 did not individually read the content of all of her e-mails, as we did for those available to us; instead, they relied on header information and used search terms to try to find all work-related e-mails among the reportedly more than 60,000 total e-mails remaining on Secretary Clinton’s personal system in 2014."

So we (and Comey) are to believe that her lawyers sorted the emails by not reading them! If you believe that I have a bridge to sell you. It is so clever the way Hillary's lawyers protected themselves from charges of violating the secrecy laws since they didn’t have top-secret clearance to read them, by claiming that they did not read the emails when they sorted them. And Comey can’t see that they are lying. Where is inspector Clouseau when you need him.

AprilApple said...

she did it to stuff Clinton foundation slush fund coffers. It's that simple.

ihasch said...

Oh and so the laws should not apply if you are running for public office? We are screwed.

Paul said...

How do I see it?

Here richly, with ridiculous display,
The Politician's corpse was laid away.
While all of her acquaintance sneered and slanged
I wept : for I had longed to see her hanged.

Apropos to Hilaire Belloc

And that is how I see it.

AlanKH said...

You have the ethics of a tapeworm.

Or Screwtape.

Comey declares that Hillary did the very thing that Section 793(f) criminalizes and says she shouldn't be prosecuted. (Hat tip to SAFVet for raising the issue.) That is beyond obscene. Another reason to bring back wooden stocks.

Rhythm and Balls said...

I'm unrelieved. Far from relieved.

If the people can't be prevented from making one of two very stupid and bad choices in a completely rigged political system, you'd at least hope that the legal system could make it for them. But no. She can get away with it because her position wouldn't have made it illegal in the same way it would have been for an underling.

You've got to be kidding me. The FBI director's words were far from morally or personally exculpatory.

Graham Storey said...

Ah, yes. Because equality under the law pales in comparison to the political process.

Matthew Sablan said...

"The fact that she thought it was a good idea seals the argument in my view. It may as well have been magic from her perspective. "

-- She didn't think it was magic. If she thought it was magic, we wouldn't have an email from her telling a staffer to remove the classified markings and fax something to her. She knew what her system was.

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roy Jacobsen said...

In other words, some people really are above the law.

Fuck that.

Doug said...

The middle class now understands that we have nowhere to go for justice, and no one to whom we can appeal for justice. Sucks to be us, Middle Class. Now, all we will get is whatever we decide to take. By any means necessary.

Rusty said...

AReasonableMan said...
Rusty said...
Except she had expert IT people set it up and run it.

Your definition of 'expert' might differ a little from mine.


I probably set the bar higher than both you and Hillary, but then I don't make my living by being mediocre.

Joe said...

Except she had expert IT people set it up and run it

She didn't.

First, she ran unencrypted for 3 months.

Second, in March 2009, a FOUR YEAR certificate from Network Solutions was used. In September 2013 a FIVE year certificate was obtained from GoDaddy. This is too long for a highly secure setup. (This DOES NOT mean the emails themselves were encrypted. When a user logged into the email server that session would have been encrypted. However, if an email was then sent to a third party not on that server, a separate encryption would have to be applied. More than likely, it would have been sent in clear text.)

Third, the physical security of the actual servers has not been described. As a rule, if you have physical access to a computer, you have no security. if you have physical access to the internal network, you likely have no security.

A big point is that even if (and that's a big if) the emails were all encrypted as was the hard drive (see below), if the servers were kept in a less than fully secure location, that's also a breach.

Fourth, whether encrypting hard drives were used has also not been described, though it's suggested that they were not. However, someone apparently scrubbed the hard drives before turning them over to the FBI (hence, the inability to extract forensic data--this isn't done by simply reading files, but also by reading free and slack space, especially on drives where the only "cleanup" was to delete the partition tables.)

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