Seven Lingering Questions On Hillary’s Email Problem

The Hill’s Julien Hattem gives it the old college try in identifying 7 key questions that need to be resolved in the Hillary email scandal, and almost gets it right on what is not known publicly yet. Julien starts out noting that we do not know when the investigation will end. Hillary and her aides are up for interview by the FBI, which is typically been one of the last parts of an investigation. We then move to

What law(s) might have been broken?

Top officials at the FBI and Justice Department have refused to discuss what charges — if any — might result from the investigation.

Speculation about the charges has centered on federal statutes prohibiting against removing federal documents, especially 18 U.S.C. § 2071. A portion of that law bars officials from “willfully and unlawfully” concealing, removing or destroying federal records.

Other laws identified by the watchdog group Cause of Action include prohibitions against removing defense-related information “from its proper place of custody” and against removing classified information to keep “at an unauthorized location.”

Critics also say Clinton or her top aides may have violated internal State Department procedures about handling classified information.

It’s not critics, it’s law that says it. We also have to note that charges of obstruction of justice are also in play for the removal of roughly half the emails from the server which she owns, along with not turning it over to the FBI in a timely manner. Furthermore, just using an unsecured, unapproved email account to disseminate the material is in violation of national security laws.

Next up is who is in the crosshairs. That would be Clinton and her staff. But, the article breaks down a bit here

Perhaps the biggest question for the bureau is whether there was the intent to “willfully” remove government documents, or whether Clinton’s situation was merely an oversight, as she has claimed.

None of the thousands of emails that Clinton handed over to the State Department were marked as classified, the government has said, but classified information can appear in unmarked emails as well.

Upon entering office, Clinton signed a nondisclosure agreement vowing to protect classified information, whether it is “marked or unmarked.”

It matters zero whether they were marked classified. Nor does the question of “willfully” or oversight matter. The matter was disseminated via an unapproved, unsecure server in contradiction to the law. The 3rd paragraph contradicts the first. The intent is immaterial. Especially when there are thousands of emails containing classified material, many of which would cause trouble for Hillary and her staff if they had been using the State Dept email server, because they should never have been put in any email transmission to start.

The final three are

  • How much will the FBI say? This is in regards to what the FBI might release on the case regardless of whether it goes forward or the DOJ spikes it.
  • Was the server secure? Hillary and company won’t say. The Intelligence community is pretty sure it was hacked, at least in transmission.
  • Will Clinton’s other 30,000 emails ever see the light of day? In other words, how many of the deleted emails were recoverable by the FBI, which could potentially cause Hillary a lot of problems if they weren’t “personal in nature”.

The two biggest questions not directly asked are whether the FBI will look at the statutes and refer this to the DOJ, and citizens have been prosecuted for much less, and whether the DOJ will spike the asked for indictment. We will surely soon see. The very fact is that if this was a lower level government employee, they’d already be under indictment, and would most likely have already been prosecuted and serving time.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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