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Is it worth impairing the reputation of the FBI and the Department of Justice to save Hillary Clinton from a deserved criminal prosecution by playing word games?

What has become of the rule of law — no one is beneath its protections or above its requirements — when the American public can witness a game of political musical chairs orchestrated by Bill Clinton at an airport in a bizarre ruse to remove the criminal investigation of his wife from those legally responsible for making decisions about it?

How hairsplitting can the FBI be in acknowledging “extreme carelessness” while denying “gross negligence” about the same events, at the same time, and in the same respect?

These are questions that now beg for answers in light of what can only be the politically motivated FBI report delivered earlier this week on the likely criminal behavior of Hillary Clinton.

The espionage statute that criminalizes the knowing or grossly negligent failure to keep state secrets in a secure venue is the rare federal statute that can be violated and upon which a conviction may be based without the need of the government to prove intent.

Thus, in the past two years, the DOJ has prosecuted a young sailor for sending a single selfie to his girlfriend that inadvertently showed a submarine sonar screen in its background. It also prosecuted a Marine lieutenant who sent his military superiors a single email about the presence of al-Qaida operatives dressed as local police in a U.S. encampment in Afghanistan — but who inadvertently used his Gmail account rather than his secure government account.

And it famously prosecuted Gen. David Petraeus for sharing paper copies of his daily calendar in his guarded home with a military colleague also in the home — someone who had a secret security clearance herself — because the calendar inadvertently included secret matters in the pages underneath the calendar.

Yet earlier this week, FBI Director James Comey — knowing that his bosses in the DOJ would accept his legal conclusions about Clinton’s failure to keep state secrets secure, because they had removed themselves from independently judging the FBI’s work — told the public that whereas the inadvertence of the above defendants was sufficient to justify their prosecutions, somehow Clinton’s repeated recklessness was not.

It is obvious that a different standard is being applied to Clinton than was applied to Petraeus and the others. It is also now painfully obvious that the game of musical chairs we all witnessed last week when Bill Clinton entered the private jet of Comey’s boss — Attorney General Loretta Lynch — unannounced and spent 30 private minutes there with her at a time when both he and his wife were targets of FBI criminal probes was a trick to compromise Lynch and remove her and her aides from the DOJ chain of command regarding the decision as to whether to present evidence of crimes against either of the Clintons to a federal grand jury.

Why do we stand for this?

ORDER IT NOW

The criminal case against Mrs. Clinton would have been overwhelming. The FBI acknowledged that she sent or received more than 100 emails that contained state secrets via one of her four home servers. None of those servers was secure. Each secret email was secret when received, was secret when sent and is secret today. All were removed from their secure venues by Clinton, who knew what she was doing, instructed subordinates to white out “secret” markings, burned her own calendars, destroyed thousands of her emails and refuses to this day to recognize that she had a duty to preserve such secrets as satellite images of North Korean nuclear facilities, locations of drone strikes in Pakistan and names of American intelligence agents operating in the Middle East under cover.

Why do we stand for this?

Comey has argued that somehow there is such a legal chasm between extreme carelessness and gross negligence that the feds cannot bridge it. That is not an argument for him to make. That is for a jury to decide after a judge instructs the jury about what Comey fails to understand: There is not a dime’s worth of difference between these two standards. Extreme carelessness is gross negligence.

Unless, of course, one is willing to pervert the rule of law yet again to insulate a Clinton yet again from the law enforcement machinery that everyone else who fails to secure state secrets should expect.

Why do we stand for this?

 

Copyright 2016 Andrew P. Napolitano. Distributed by Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2016 Election, Hillary Clinton 
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  1. MEexpert says:

    Judge Napolitano asks, “Why do we stand for this?” The answer is very simple. We stand for this because we are used to corruption in Washington. This is the norm. By the way, I had predicted this outcome right here in this forum.

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  2. The Rule of (financial, virtual, illusionistic, irrationalistic) Market has replaced the Rule of Law, bringing with that a paradigm shift in politics, and society.

    Parliaments, for example, don’t write laws any longer; they ratify treaties and acts written elsewhere, by the new undeclared legislative powers.

    Presidents aren’t elected by what is still made to believe themselves as the electorate.
    They ratify more than decide. There is an excellent op by Unz on this (it’s in the form of a book review), where he says how Obama’s terms have been, as regards the actual substantive decisional matters, a Bush’s third and fourth term.
    Who is the President, and what of the two parties wins, no longer changes anything substantial in the life of the country.

    Not only democracy, but constitutional monarchy and republic alike were grounded on the principle that all were subject to the same body of laws (the Constitution in the first place); this is no longer the case. We know that when we hear that “the wealthy” are being made to pay “more taxes” to “the people” ‘s benefit the “wealthy” at hand are still part of the new, hyper-extended subject class; the really wealthy are above fiscal laws.

    And if we compare what troubles did Bill Clinton meet for one or some blowjobs a couple of years ago with today’s visible sense of impunity of Hillary, it tells us how rapid the shift toward authoritarianism and a plutocratic society is being.

    How hairsplitting can the FBI be in acknowledging “extreme carelessness” while denying “gross negligence” about the same events, at the same time, and in the same respect?

    You’ll give them they don’t lack some fine sense of humour, though?

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  3. We “stand for this,” Judge, because large numbers, perhaps even a majority, of the electorate no longer care about the rule of law; what matters is that the narrative must be fulfilled and Hillary Clinton must be the first woman (well, sort of, at this point) president to follow the first black (well, sort of) president. All else is secondary. Hillary’s corruption, her ability to do whatever she wants and get away with it, is even an attractive quality for much of her constituency.

    But what the Clintons should remember is that if you’re willing to flout the law to gain power, you may find yourself removed by extra-legal means. à la Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu

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  4. We stand for this because it’s always been that way and people simply can’t keep up with all the corruption taking place. Heck, even our local politics stinks to high heaven and I’ve never been able to do anything about any of it, except draw a few derisive smirks from the contemptuous punks in power.

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  5. Who, Whom, as Lenin said.

    Who is the “we”?

    Look at the voting results over the last 50 years and you will see that the historic white male portion of the electorate that used to be ALL of the electorate has not varied that much in their preferences. Barack Obama was not elected by them, nor would Hillary Clinton be elected by them.

    The elites did not like the people they had so they got a new set of people. That is why “we” stand for it.

    We live in interesting times.

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    • Replies: @Realist
    Excellent points.
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  6. The president (not just this president) and anyone under his protection is above the law. You would think a judge would have noticed this. But Napolitano went on and on about how Hillary was in big trouble. The judge has a firm grasp on what ought to be and no clue about what is.

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    • Agree: Realist
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  7. hbm says:

    Comey is clearly 100% in cahoots with and a shill for the Administration and is totally full of shit, and it’s as plain as day that they all decided that the best they could do with what the public knew would be to spin the “Hillary was incomptetent” narrative and push it shamelessly. He sounds like Hillary’s defense counsel.

    Again– and I’ve been meaning to e-mail it to Napalitano: When Guccifer first leaked, he leaked images that are obviously images of daily briefings of Bill Clinton when he was President. People first assumed he had hacked the Clinton Library, since these had been previously unavailable. But he got them from her private server, because as she said on Meet the Press, and as Comey himself said today, Her server was Bill’s old server. All Bill’s old material from his time as President was also on the server.

    When they say they don’t know if anyone got what was on the server (other than emails) is a lie.

    I can’t post links, so if you are interested, Google the horn news Hillary smoking gun.

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  8. Comey’s a Cahooter alright. Let see:

    Clinton era: Investigated Whitewater AND Pardongate. Found nuttin.

    Claim to getting it done: Successfully prosecuted Martha Stewart.

    Bush era: Deputy AG in target rich environment. Uhhh, he’s got nuttin.

    Went on to Lockheed Martin (Clinton Foundation donor) arms sales, Bridgewater hedge fund and HSBC. HSBC the bank with form for drug money laundering. Hmmm, I wonder what Comey did in his 3 months there.

    All of this qualified him to run the FBI and his great vision is to turn it into yet another intelligence agency, as opposed to just an investigative one I suppose.

    Why do we stand for this? I’m completely disgusted but so what?

    Clinton and Comey and Lynch are just the latest examples of an utterly corrupt government. The American people have loathed their rulers for some time now but it doesn’t seem to matter.

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    • Replies: @Realist
    "The American people have loathed their rulers for some time now but it doesn’t seem to matter."

    That is just not true. The vast majority of the American people just don't give a shit. They are more interested in Dancing With The Dickheads.
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  9. woodNfish says:

    What has become of the rule of law — no one is beneath its protections or above its requirements

    Apparently, this is untrue. Welcome to the US banana republic.

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  10. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    The one issue that no commenter on any news service has connected to this farce is that email traffic is sent to and received from other living breathing human beings – many of home are likely to be senior figures in the administration. If the emails of concern are part of that communications traffic then those figures are complicit in the breach.

    The question needs to be asked “who else is being protected by this farce?” The press and the GOP are merely focussed on Hillary, and that is missing the mark.

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  11. Extraordinary. Fucking extraordinary.

    Former Secretary of State Pantsuit–for whatever reason–stored state secrets on a private, unsecured server. If I understand Napolitano correctly, this alone would justify prosecution under the relevant espionage statute. The Pantsuited One’s intent, state of mind, blah blah blah wouldn’t matter. That stuff–Top Secret information–was on her private, unsecured server, and they’ve got her ass. A clear-cut case, a prosecutor’s dream, right?

    Wrong.

    You see, the U.S. Shyster Department is as worthless as the rest of the U.S. Government. Shyster General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey are lawless hacks, willing to pander to those in power. Hanging in solid with The Pantsuited One is more important than the honest application of the law.

    There’s equal justice for all–more equal justice for some.

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  12. Realist says:
    @another fred
    Who, Whom, as Lenin said.

    Who is the "we"?

    Look at the voting results over the last 50 years and you will see that the historic white male portion of the electorate that used to be ALL of the electorate has not varied that much in their preferences. Barack Obama was not elected by them, nor would Hillary Clinton be elected by them.

    The elites did not like the people they had so they got a new set of people. That is why "we" stand for it.

    We live in interesting times.

    Excellent points.

    Read More
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  13. Realist says:
    @YT Wurlitzer
    Comey's a Cahooter alright. Let see:

    Clinton era: Investigated Whitewater AND Pardongate. Found nuttin.

    Claim to getting it done: Successfully prosecuted Martha Stewart.

    Bush era: Deputy AG in target rich environment. Uhhh, he's got nuttin.

    Went on to Lockheed Martin (Clinton Foundation donor) arms sales, Bridgewater hedge fund and HSBC. HSBC the bank with form for drug money laundering. Hmmm, I wonder what Comey did in his 3 months there.

    All of this qualified him to run the FBI and his great vision is to turn it into yet another intelligence agency, as opposed to just an investigative one I suppose.

    Why do we stand for this? I'm completely disgusted but so what?

    Clinton and Comey and Lynch are just the latest examples of an utterly corrupt government. The American people have loathed their rulers for some time now but it doesn't seem to matter.

    “The American people have loathed their rulers for some time now but it doesn’t seem to matter.”

    That is just not true. The vast majority of the American people just don’t give a shit. They are more interested in Dancing With The Dickheads.

    Read More
    • Replies: @YT Wurlitzer
    No doubt there's a vast wasteland out there. But for decades now the right track/wrong track question has trended into a decidedly negative government approval rating. I think it's in the 80s now. For decades people said money in politics was a problem. That kind of thing. We are not all as portrayed on teevee although it serves their interest if we think all of our fellow citizens are idiots.
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  14. tbraton says:

    I am a little surprised that there is no discussion of Comey making, in effect, a prosecutorial decision when he wasn’t a prosecutor in the case. He should have presented the FBI’s findings and let the DOJ, the prosecutors, make the decision not to prosecute Hillary because of their reading of the law. Comey’s actions served as cover for the Obama DOJ, as made clear yesterday by virtually every Democratic congressman on the panel interrogating Comey who ignored the troubling facts and chided the Republicans for suddenly questioning Comey’s integrity. Well, I don’t know Mr. Comey, but, before the events of this week, I had little reason to question his integrity, just as I had little reason to question Chief Justice John Roberts integrity before his decision upholding Obamacare back in 2012.

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  15. tbraton says:

    I had the TV on yesterday and caught most (not all) of the Comey hearing. I thought Cong. Trey Gowdy (a former prosecutor) laid out several simple and direct contradictions between what Hillary told Congress and what was revealed in the FBI investigation. I believe a good prosecutor could have used those contradictions to establish “intent” on the part of Hillary, especially when you add in that her lawyers deleted roughly 30,000 emails (“without reading each one,” as previously claimed) and then erased Hillary’s devices in such a way as to make it nearly impossible to reconstruct the deleted emails. If intent is deemed essential, there seems like a lot of facts lying around on which a good prosecutor could establish intent circumstantially.

    BTW, since the ultimate decision not to prosecute rested on an interpretation of the law, why wasn’t the decision made months ago and why was the FBI investigation allowed to drag out so long? Comey sure didn’t waste any time making his decision once the Hillary deposition was concluded on Saturday.

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  16. @Realist
    "The American people have loathed their rulers for some time now but it doesn’t seem to matter."

    That is just not true. The vast majority of the American people just don't give a shit. They are more interested in Dancing With The Dickheads.

    No doubt there’s a vast wasteland out there. But for decades now the right track/wrong track question has trended into a decidedly negative government approval rating. I think it’s in the 80s now. For decades people said money in politics was a problem. That kind of thing. We are not all as portrayed on teevee although it serves their interest if we think all of our fellow citizens are idiots.

    Read More
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  17. Realist says:

    “But for decades now the right track/wrong track question has trended into a decidedly negative government approval rating.”

    Then why nothing is done about it?

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  18. Avalanche says:

    “Why do we stand for it? ”

    Because WHAT DO WE DO!?!?

    March on Washington? Sue the FBI liar? Knowing that Hilary is a liar and massively violated the law doesn’t give us anything to do.

    I do not believe the intent of “Bill” visiting Lynch “was a trick to compromise Lynch and remove her and her aides from the DOJ chain of command.” It was Bill giving her HER ORDERS! Do you think she just ‘happened’ to be sitting in a plane on a tarmac with security keeping photographers away? It was a mere timing coincidence? No, much more likely, she was TOLD to go there, sit there, and WAIT to hear what she was to do!

    {sigh}

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