Hillary Clinton: The Most Investigated Innocent Person in America?

Hillary Rodham Clinton recently claimed that she is the most investigated innocent person in America.  Really?  No doubt, many of her supporters and admirers readily agree with her.

A recent report in The Daily Mail quotes the former secretary of state and presidential candidate saying, "I am the most investigated innocent person in America" and "... this is not just politics, this is deep cultural stuff.  When I became Secretary of State, I decided to use the server that had been set up for Bill and his former president's office.  I did it as a matter of convenience.  There was no regulation against it; there was nothing against it.  Everybody knew I was doing it because they were all emailing me and I was emailing them and that was hundreds and hundreds of people in government."

In purposely saying there is no regulation against her use of a private email server (in the bathroom of her private residence) for highly classified communications, Mrs. Clinton attempts to excuse her actions or somehow exonerate herself.  She purposely overlooks the fact that her actions, as explained herein, are clear, flagrant, prima facie violations of the gross negligence provisions of the Espionage Act.

It should be remembered that just prior to the 2016 presidential election, ex–FBI director James Comey famously and conveniently classified Mrs. Clinton's actions as "extremely careless" rather than grossly negligent, which could and most likely would have made her actions subject to the provisions and penalties of the Espionage Act described herein.  Among other things, many people consider Comey's actions a gross miscarriage of justice.

Use of a private email server for classified communications permits the material to be removed or abstracted from its proper, secure government file server.  The provisions of the Espionage Act, subsection F, 18 USC 793, state that "an intent to deceive or perform illegal actions regarding the handling of classified government information is not required; gross negligence alone is grounds for prosecution."  Penalties allowed under the Espionage Act for gross negligence in handling classified materials include a fine, imprisonment of up to ten years, or both.

In June 2018, columnist Marc Thiessen noted that in 2016, the FBI knew with certainty that hostile actors had in fact gained access to classified information via Mrs. Clinton's emails.  According to the inspector general, a special review of the Clinton email investigation in 2017 by the office to the FBI's Inspection Division found that, before James Comey's 2016 statement, "the FBI ... successfully determined classified information was improperly stored and transmitted on Clinton's email server, and classified information was compromised by unauthorized individuals, to include foreign governments or intelligence services, via cyber intrusion or other means."

In response to Mrs. Clinton's statement that she is "the most investigated innocent person in America," New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker offers a different perspective, saying Clinton is convinced she is a "righteous" person and adding, "If she decides it's an okay thing to do it's okay — anyone who criticizes it must be doing so for illegitimate reasons, they're partisan, they're enemies."

Hillary Rodham Clinton most certainly is not the "most investigated innocent person in America."  Rather, she is a person who believes she is above the law and is being overly hounded by her political enemies.  If Mrs. Clinton is not fully held accountable for her actions described herein, there is no such thing as "no one is above the law" in America.  Furthermore, failing to hold Mrs. Clinton accountable establishes a dangerous precedent for others entrusted with highly classified government information to act in the same or similar manner with little or no fear of retribution.

Notwithstanding other potential criminal actions, it is truly time to hold Mrs. Clinton fully accountable for her failure to dutifully protect and secure highly classified communications entrusted to her care while serving as secretary of state.  These actions might be considered the "low-hanging fruit" that finally will allow justice to prevail in Mrs. Clinton's case.  Attorney General Barr, please take note.

Paul S. Gardiner is a retired Army officer, Vietnam veteran, and lover of America.  He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Alabama, and the United States Army War College.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

Hillary Rodham Clinton recently claimed that she is the most investigated innocent person in America.  Really?  No doubt, many of her supporters and admirers readily agree with her.

A recent report in The Daily Mail quotes the former secretary of state and presidential candidate saying, "I am the most investigated innocent person in America" and "... this is not just politics, this is deep cultural stuff.  When I became Secretary of State, I decided to use the server that had been set up for Bill and his former president's office.  I did it as a matter of convenience.  There was no regulation against it; there was nothing against it.  Everybody knew I was doing it because they were all emailing me and I was emailing them and that was hundreds and hundreds of people in government."

In purposely saying there is no regulation against her use of a private email server (in the bathroom of her private residence) for highly classified communications, Mrs. Clinton attempts to excuse her actions or somehow exonerate herself.  She purposely overlooks the fact that her actions, as explained herein, are clear, flagrant, prima facie violations of the gross negligence provisions of the Espionage Act.

It should be remembered that just prior to the 2016 presidential election, ex–FBI director James Comey famously and conveniently classified Mrs. Clinton's actions as "extremely careless" rather than grossly negligent, which could and most likely would have made her actions subject to the provisions and penalties of the Espionage Act described herein.  Among other things, many people consider Comey's actions a gross miscarriage of justice.

Use of a private email server for classified communications permits the material to be removed or abstracted from its proper, secure government file server.  The provisions of the Espionage Act, subsection F, 18 USC 793, state that "an intent to deceive or perform illegal actions regarding the handling of classified government information is not required; gross negligence alone is grounds for prosecution."  Penalties allowed under the Espionage Act for gross negligence in handling classified materials include a fine, imprisonment of up to ten years, or both.

In June 2018, columnist Marc Thiessen noted that in 2016, the FBI knew with certainty that hostile actors had in fact gained access to classified information via Mrs. Clinton's emails.  According to the inspector general, a special review of the Clinton email investigation in 2017 by the office to the FBI's Inspection Division found that, before James Comey's 2016 statement, "the FBI ... successfully determined classified information was improperly stored and transmitted on Clinton's email server, and classified information was compromised by unauthorized individuals, to include foreign governments or intelligence services, via cyber intrusion or other means."

In response to Mrs. Clinton's statement that she is "the most investigated innocent person in America," New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker offers a different perspective, saying Clinton is convinced she is a "righteous" person and adding, "If she decides it's an okay thing to do it's okay — anyone who criticizes it must be doing so for illegitimate reasons, they're partisan, they're enemies."

Hillary Rodham Clinton most certainly is not the "most investigated innocent person in America."  Rather, she is a person who believes she is above the law and is being overly hounded by her political enemies.  If Mrs. Clinton is not fully held accountable for her actions described herein, there is no such thing as "no one is above the law" in America.  Furthermore, failing to hold Mrs. Clinton accountable establishes a dangerous precedent for others entrusted with highly classified government information to act in the same or similar manner with little or no fear of retribution.

Notwithstanding other potential criminal actions, it is truly time to hold Mrs. Clinton fully accountable for her failure to dutifully protect and secure highly classified communications entrusted to her care while serving as secretary of state.  These actions might be considered the "low-hanging fruit" that finally will allow justice to prevail in Mrs. Clinton's case.  Attorney General Barr, please take note.

Paul S. Gardiner is a retired Army officer, Vietnam veteran, and lover of America.  He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Alabama, and the United States Army War College.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.