Hillary Clinton remains under FBI investigation for her use of a private email server to share classified messages, but experts believe she will avoid indictment — and some think that President Barack Obama is rigging the process to help her out.
As the investigation drags on, there is a growing number of political pundits who believe that President Obama may be preventing the FBI from coming down too hard on Hillary Clinton.
Obama himself has stood up for Clinton. In a recent interview with Chris Wallace, he defended Clinton and her track record as secretary of state.
“I continue to believe that she has not jeopardized America’s national security,” Obama added. “Now what I’ve also said is that — and she has acknowledged — that there’s a carelessness, in terms of managing emails, that she has owned, and she recognizes.”
President Obama ‘guarantees’ unbiased Hillary Clinton email probe https://t.co/BpqzkAeZUy
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) April 10, 2016
That led Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass to speculate that Obama has his “finger on the scale” to help out Hillary Clinton.
“Never intentionally. No jeopardy. Recognized carelessness. So just forget about it. Nothing to see here, people.
Naturally, the assumption is that the Clintons have this thing wired, that she’s got it all rigged the Chicago Way.
I could almost hear her laugh that Hillary Clinton laugh. Not the gentle grandmotherly Hillary laugh of hugs and warm muffins; or the wide-eyed fake “hah!” and flash of teeth that all politicians must use to ward off their true believers.”
There is other evidence suggesting that Hillary Clinton will not face FBI charges for her use of an unsecured email. In an extensive review of similar cases, Politico concluded that Clinton’s case did not meet the same level as other more egregious breeches of national security.
“The relatively few cases that drew prosecution almost always involved a deliberate intent to violate classification rules as well as some add-on element: An FBI agent who took home highly sensitive agency records while having an affair with a Chinese agent; a Boeing engineer who brought home 2000 classified documents and whose travel to Israel raised suspicions; a National Security Agency official who removed boxes of classified documents and also lied on a job application form.”
The report cited experts on national security law who agreed that intent is important for the FBI. While Hillary Clinton may have been careless in her use of an unsecured email server to send classified material, she lacked the intention to commit wrongdoing, they argued.
“The law treats the intentional disclosure of one piece of classified information to someone not entitled to receive it far more seriously than the accidental communication of dozens of pieces of classified information to people who were not supposed to get it,” American University law professor Stephen Vladeck said.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) April 5, 2016
The potential for an FBI indictment has loomed as a wild card in the Democratic race. If the FBI did come down hard on Clinton, it could destroy her status as frontrunner and hand the race to Bernie Sanders — or to the Republican candidate, if an indictment were to come after she wrapped up the nomination.
If Hillary Clinton does end up facing an FBI indictment for her private email use, there is no guarantee it would happen anytime soon. FBI director James Comey said there is no need to rush the process, though he did say he planned to stay “close to this one to make sure we have the resources to do it competently.”
[Picture by David Calvert/Getty Images]