Friday, September 1, 2017

On Comey's Deciding That Hillary Wasn't Guilty

The Omnivore expects to have to post this several times in the coming days--so here we go.

It has come out that FBI Director James Comey wrote up the notice finding Clinton innocent of [ having a private email server ] before interviewing her and her staff. How could this be? Rigged system, obvs.

The Omnivore wants to make a few points here, in case it's relevant:

  1. The interviews are the last part of the investigation. If they didn't find evidence that something was criminally chargeable before them, they were very unlikely to change that during the interviews (unless Clinton, for example, admitted to intentionally sharing classified info with people who she knew should not see it).
  2. The statute for criminally charging Clinton (and this is a little simplified here--but still accurate) has two conditions: "Gross Negligence" and willfully sharing the classified docs with someone who shouldn't have them. The second is right out (so far as we know). The first is open to interpretation (for what it's worth, Clinton was super-negligent. But 'grossely' is a call for experts to make)--but would likely not change due to the interviews.
  3. What Comey did wasn't secret (he, apparently, contacted several other FBI people about it) and was doing preparation work ahead of time. If he were planning to secretly fix the decision, why do any of that? Why even write it up ahead of time?
The Omnivore is not a lawyer--but understands that (a) like Trump declassifying information on the fly (talking about CODEWORD stuff with the Russians in the Oval Office, giving up Israeli intelligence assets) the Secretary of State is in a special class when it comes to dealing with classified info. Also (b) most prosecutions of mishandling classified info turn on the mishandling being clandestine--not effectively out in the open for the whole administration.

In short, before there is any smoke here, much less fire, someone needs to affirmatively show that the results of the investigation prior to the interviews showed a prosecutable case. Good luck.

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