Clinton email negligence does not equal malicious intent
Last week FBI Director James Comey released a statement to Congress about Hillary Clinton’s emails, breathing new life into one of the primary criticisms of her candidacy for president. After Comey himself said the investigation into Clinton was completed, it was former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s “sexting” probe by the FBI, and his seized computer, that brought this story back into the spotlight.
The FBI should provide some transparency on the investigation into Clinton’s email server. I know they can’t tell us all the top secret information, but they could at least share more of what they actually found to be detrimental to the American public. They should tell us if this was a case of negligence, or if there was malicious intent from Clinton and her staff. They need to share their findings as soon as they can so people can go to the polls next week with all they need to know about both candidates.
While acting as secretary of state four years ago, Clinton used a home computer server to receive government emails from the State Department. According to a Washington Post article from May, she “is the first and, to date, only secretary of state to exclusively use a private email address and server to conduct her business as the nation’s top diplomat.” Instead of using a government email with the @state.gov address, Clinton used @clintonemail.com. The same article also said Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice both used a home server as well during their times as secretary of state, but they had also used a government email.
Factcheck.org has also said there were different levels of classified material ranging from the highest that are marked “top secret,” to the lowest, marked “confidential.” The FBI has already reviewed the 30,000 emails and Comey said “a small number,” about 110, of the emails contained classified information.
Now they are using our tax dollars to look at possible nude pictures of Anthony Weiner because he’s married (now separated) to one of Clinton’s aides. Americanthinker.com estimated that with 40 agents on the case, taxpayers are spending $20 million dollars on this investigation.
That being said, I don’t feel like server negligence is anything new in Washington. In a Newsweek article from last September, Karl Rove and The White House relied on a private server that was run by the Republican National Committee, and “lost” 22 million emails from 2003 to 2008 during the Bush administration.
The nature of some of Clinton’s classified emails I’ve seen are examples of the government overclassification and don’t harm the public for being leaked. Emails from Clinton I’ve seen on Factcheck.org include one where the former secretary general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, was stepping down as special envoy in the war in Syria. Another email discussed a phone call between a newly inaugurated president in Malawi and Clinton.
I appreciate the fact Comey wants to be transparent, and his prior statement last July about this matter has already sums it up perfectly here as well. In his memo last July, Comey said, “Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”
To reopen the case during the final week of the presidential election is both wasteful and negligent. Comey did not disclose any new facts or updates about Clinton herself and instead only confused voters just days before an election. The FBI should release the full details of this new email investigation before the election, and should stop giving innocuous statements with no substance of new information.