FBI Director James Comey today announced that he would recommend that Hillary Clinton not be prosecuted for conducting State Department business on a private email system.
He started by referencing the possibility of a “violation of a federal statute making it a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way…”
Comey then provided an extremely generous interpretation of Hillary’s actions but one that still clearly placed her in violation of the law:
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.
Comey then went on to square his own circle:
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.
The only problem is that Comey is not a prosecutor. He is an investigator. The call on whether to indict Hillary is not his. Although law enforcement officials frequently make recommendations about moving forward on a prosecution, the fact that Comey would publicly seek to exculpate Hillary, and thereby take the heat off of Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and the rest of the Obama administrations, creates the appearance of unacknowledged motivations. Congress should undertake an investigation of Comey. In the interim, he should resign.
Even though he is not a prosecutor, Comey fell back on prosecutorial discretion. He suggested that to prosecute Hillary would be to unfairly single her out. From Comey’s statement:
In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.
In other words, context is important. Yet, Comey ignores the context of the emails. Hillary and Bill operated an aggressive shakedown operation of domestic and foreign interests, many of which are unsavory and criminal. Concealing the true nature of the operation was at least part of the motivation for the private emails.
The FBI is reportedly investigating the appearance that State Department favor-seekers were directed to the Clinton Foundation to make contributions. Three of these instance were uncovered by the National Legal and Policy Center. The FBI is incapable of conducting an impartial investigation of this “pay to play” as long as Comey heads the Bureau. He must go.