This week, FBI Director Comey issued a public statement about Hillary Clinton's use of private email servers while she was secretary of state. He did not recommend a formal indictment, but he said Clinton and her team were ”extremely careless" with classified material. Are these reasonable conclusions and how will they affect the presidential election? Analysis varies widely on different sides of the media's political spectrum, which reminds us of the Stephen Colbert joke that I referenced in the Christian Science Monitor when the State Department issued their report on Clinton's emails.
Snippets from the Right
"Black’s Law Dictionary is the legal bible upon which attorneys rely. Check it out. You’ll find that gross negligence is described and defined as extreme carelessness. At least, my edition does.
Even a layman’s contemporary resource, Wikipedia, is instructive. Google the words, ‘gross negligence’. The first sentence reads, “Gross negligence is a legal concept which means serious carelessness”. Close enough.
Since Comey, by his own words, all but declared that Clinton broke a criminal law, how could he then say he would not recommend criminal prosecution? Again, it makes no sense.
Comey is a former U.S. Attorney. Yet, he exhibited an astonishing ignorance of the law. He laid out a case of gross negligence constituting a crime, defined it with the words ‘extremely careless’ and then promptly proceeded to ignore the law.
I have been a lawyer for 36 years. Never have I witnessed such an illogical rationale and conclusion.”
Snippets from the Left
"Clinton’s conduct, however, has little in common with Petraeus, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information.
Petraeus knowingly provided highly classified information to an unauthorized person. Petraeus gave Paula Broadwell, his mistress and biographer, his notebooks after telling her they contained ‘highly classified’ information.
Comey, in contrast, made clear he found no evidence that Clinton was attempting to impede the investigation. He found ‘no intentional misconduct’ in the handling of the emails or ‘an effort to conceal them.’
In the end, Trump and others will claim that Clinton received special treatment. But Comey is a registered Republican who donated to John McCain and Mitt Romney. His decision not to recommend prosecution appears to be rooted in facts, not politics."
Snippets from the Center
“‘The FBI decision shows once again how the Clintons and others at the top get to live by a different set of rules from everyone else,’ tweeted Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the former chairman for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
In prosecuting similar cases, Comey noted that past instances have ‘involved some combination of clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information or vast quantities of information 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. To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions, but that's not what we're deciding now,’ Comey added."
- John and the AllSides team
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