So what should we make of FBI Director James Comey’s conclusions that Hillary Clinton didn’t actually break the law?
First, Comey says she was “extremely careless” with the nation’s secrets but wasn’t guilty, in his view, of “gross negligence,” which is a crime. Question: How is extremely careless different from gross negligence? Isn’t this one of those distinctions without a difference?
Comey says that “any reasonable person” in Hillary Clinton’s position should have known she was dealing with sensitive material. He says her team deleted emails that weren’t “personal” – despite her claims — and “cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic discovery.” But he concludes she did not intentionally break the law. What am I missing here?
He also says that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring a case on the basis of the evidence the FBI found. So any prosecutor who believes Comey laid out a criminal case against Hillary Clinton, before recommending against prosecution, is unreasonable?
So let’s get back to the opening question: What should we make of all this? Here’s one answer: That there are two systems of justice in this country — one for people like Hillary Clinton and one for “ordinary” Americans.
Or to put it another way: Hillary Clinton broke the law, but James Comey decided he wasn’t going to be the guy who throws the presidential campaign into a chaotic mess – any more than Chief Justice John Roberts was going to be the guy who turned everything upside down by voting against ObamaCare.
But while Comey recommended against an indictment against Mrs. Clinton, he did indict her nonetheless. He called into question her honesty, her integrity, her competence and her ability to run a big operation that depends on sound judgment from the top.
He handed Mrs. Clinton’s opponent a gift – and Donald Trump should graciously accept it.
Here’s what Trump might want to say:
I have said that Hillary is corrupt. It’s understandable that some of you would attribute this to raw politics. But you no longer have to take my word for it. James Comey, the director of the FBI, pretty much said the same thing. He said she repeatedly lied – to you, the American people – about her emails. He told you that while she said, “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email,” she was lying. Here’s what Mr. Comey concluded: “Seven email chains concerned 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 emails about those matters and receiving the emails.”
And while Hillary Clinton told you the American people that “Nothing I sent was marked classified or that I received was marked classified,” Mr. Comey said this: “Even if information is not marked classified in an email, participants who know, or should know, that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.”
And Mrs. Clinton also told you – with a straight face – that she takes “classified information seriously.” Mr. Comey doesn’t believe that. He says, “There is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”
So you can either believe the head of the FBI or you can believe Hillary Clinton.
Yes, Hillary Clinton broke the law but James Comey doesn’t believe she should be charged with a crime. Yes, there are two systems of justice and the Clintons get away with stuff mere mortals would never get away with.
Donald Trump can say the fix was in, but taking on James Comey, who is a Republican with a sterling reputation, won’t be the best way to go. Instead, Donald should simply take Comey’s gift and say thank you.