It’s been over a year since then-FBI Director James Comey gave his infamous news conference recommending that Hillary Clinton not be charged for mishandling classified information on her private server. Since then, he’s borne the brunt of the criticism from the right for how the Hillary investigation got botched — particularly after the emergence last week of transcripts that indicated Comey had decided to exonerate Clinton long before the investigation ended.
“According to the unredacted portions of the transcripts, it appears that in April or early May of 2016, Mr. Comey had already decided he would issue a statement exonerating Secretary Clinton,” stated a letter from Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham to FBI Director Christopher Wray, according to Townhall. “That was long before FBI agents finished their work. Mr. Comey even circulated an early draft statement to select members of senior FBI leadership. The outcome of an investigation should not be prejudged while FBI agents are still hard at work trying to gather the facts.”
That led to renewed howling from conservatives over Comey’s conduct. However, National Review contributing editor Andrew C. McCarthy thinks that the right is barking up the wrong tree. Instead, he says people should be focusing on who really fixed the Hillary investigation: Former President Barack Obama.
In his column, McCarthy pointed to reasoning used by the then-president during an April 2016 appearance on Fox News as to why Obama thought Clinton should be exonerated.
“She would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy,” Obama said, according to The Washington Times. “What I also know is that there’s classified and then there’s classified. There’s stuff that is really top secret top secret, and then there’s stuff that is being presented to the president, the secretary of state, you may not want going out over the wire.”
“There’s a carelessness in terms of managing emails that she has owned and she recognizes. But I also think it is important to keep this in perspective,” he added.
McCarthy, however, points out two things: a) the relevant statute that Clinton was accused of violating didn’t require intent, which meant “carelessness” wasn’t a defense, and b) Obama’s remarks perfectly presaged statements made by the Justice Department and eventually Comey himself. This defense would eventually be used to protect the Democrat nominee — and, by extension, Obama himself.
In a leak to The Washington Post, McCarthy recounted, Justice Department officials said it was unlikely Clinton would be charged because of the fact that there was “scant evidence tying Clinton to criminal wrongdoing” since there was “scant evidence that Clinton had malicious intent in (the) handling of e-mails”
“Like Obama, the Post and its sources neglected to mention that Mrs. Clinton’s felonies did not require proof of ‘malicious intent’ or any purpose to harm the United States — just that she willfully transmitted classified information, was grossly negligent in handling it, and withheld or destroyed government records,” McCarthy wrote.
All of this would end up being echoed in James Comey’s infamous July 5, 2016 news conference on the matter.
“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,” Comey said. “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.”
But as previously stated, the relevant statutes don’t require an “intent” to commit a crime. Earlier in the new conference, Comey had even acknowledged that, referring to a relevant “federal statute making it a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way.” Emphasis mine, and note the “or.”
However, Comey’s statement was almost identical to the president’s April remarks, leading McCarthy to believe that judgment on the Hillary case was passed directly from the top — and well in advance of Comey’s remarks.
“Obama’s April statements are the significant ones. They told us how this was going to go. The rest is just details,” McCarthy wrote. “In his April 10 comments, Obama made the obvious explicit: He did not want the certain Democratic nominee, the candidate he was backing to succeed him, to be indicted. Conveniently, his remarks (inevitably echoed by Comey) did not mention that an intent to endanger national security was not an element of the criminal offenses Clinton was suspected of committing — in classic Obama fashion, he was urging her innocence of a strawman crime while dodging any discussion of the crimes she had actually committed.”
And, as McCarthy points out, Barack Obama wasn’t just protecting Hillary Clinton. He was also protecting himself.
“As we also now know – but as Obama knew at the time — the president himself had communicated with Clinton over her non-secure, private communications system, using an alias,” McCarthy wrote.
“The Obama administration refused to disclose these several e-mail exchanges because they undoubtedly involve classified conversations between the president and his secretary of state. It would not have been possible to prosecute Mrs. Clinton for mishandling classified information without its being clear that President Obama had engaged in the same conduct. The administration was never, ever going to allow that to happen.”
Now, of course, we have a Republican president and a Republican Congress, which means that there’s no way that the Obama administration can run obstruction for Hillary anymore. Democrats have long been scrambling to cover up who was really behind the botched investigation of Hillary Clinton, because that person was Barack Obama himself.
It’s time for a fair and legitimate investigation under the Trump administration — one where the outcome isn’t prejudged.
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source: Conservative Tribune