Email Scandal: Each new revelation about how the FBI handled - or, more appropriately, mishandled - the Clinton email scandal makes it that much clearer that politics trumped law enforcement, even when it involved matters of national security.
[ibd-display-video id=3004848 width=50 float=left autostart=true] The Hill's John Solomon reported on Wednesday that congressional investigators have turned up evidence that the FBI believed laws had been broken when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top aides exchanged a multitude of classified information via email over Clinton's unsecured, home-brew server.
According to Solomon, an early draft of the FBI's statement on the matter, written in early May 2016, said:
"The sheer volume of information that was properly classified as Secret at the time it was discussed on email (that is, excluding the 'up classified' emails) supports an inference that the participants were grossly negligent in their handling of that information."
The language here is important because " gross negligence " - even absent any intent - is a violation of the law regarding handling of classified material. Yet when then-FBI Director James Comey issued his final statement, "gross negligence" was watered down to "extremely careless," which let Comey claim that no reasonable prosecutor would take this case.
Another oddity: A small group of FBI officials in Washington controlled the investigation and charging decisions.
As Solomon notes: "In normal FBI cases, field offices where crimes are believed to have been committed investigate the evidence and then recommend to bureau hierarchy whether to pursue charges with prosecutors. In this case, the bureau hierarchy controlled both the investigation and the charging decision from Washington, a scenario known in FBI parlance as a 'special,' the lawmakers said."
Also, investigators found that the FBI didn't investigate the destruction of government documents, despite the fact that Clinton clearly didn't keep all her work-related emails, and contrary to claims from Comey that the agency had investigated whether she'd violated the law.
Democrats dismiss these new revelations as nothing more than "Republicans' outsized obsession with Hillary Clinton's emails two years after the fact," as Rep. Jerrold Nadler put it.
This is standard operating procedure for Democrats. Deny any wrongdoing. Stonewall investigators. Count on mainstream reporters not to lift a finger to do any investigative reporting on their own. Then claim it's all old news.
But in this case, there is more at stake than the question of whether Clinton broke the law many years ago - even though it seems pretty obvious that she did. The real question that must be answered is whether and how the FBI let politics drive its investigation and its decision-making.
This is highly relevant right now, because while the FBI was busy exonerating candidate Clinton for compromising national security - before all the evidence was in - it was rushing to aggressively investigate candidate Donald Trump based on a bogus "dossier" paid for by the Clinton campaign, on the grounds that it involved national security.
Worse, the FBI itself is now stonewalling lawmakers who are trying to find out just what the FBI was up to with this dossier.
For more than a year, Democrats and their handmaidens in the press have been beating the drums about Trump's supposed collusion with Russia to "meddle" in the election. The real scandal appears to be collusion between the Democratic Party and the FBI to make sure Clinton's White House ambitions didn't get derailed.
When law enforcement becomes an arm of a political party, it's called a police state. Democrats should be just as eager as Republicans to make sure the FBI comes clean about any political corruption, and that it cleans house.
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