Hillary Clinton might have been let off without even a slap on the wrist by the FBI, but the bureau’s director, James Comey, was in the hot seat answering direct questions from Republicans about the investigation that offered Ms. Clinton a clean chit.
While many had scathing things to say about the investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy tore into the testament offered by Hillary Clinton, falsifying publicly nearly every statement by the presidential candidate that implied her innocence.
Gowdy straightforwardly asked Comey on the definition of “intent” and asked how Clinton could possibly dodge punishment. Interestingly, Gowdy managed to get Comey to refute quite a few statements made by Clinton during her FBI investigation and in doing so may have set the foundation for a perjury trial, if not mishandling of classified national information through electronic media, reported Tell Me Now.
Hillary Clinton had previously testified about her emails to the House Benghazi Committee. During the testimony, during which she was under oath, Clinton specifically said that she had not sent or received classified documents on her personal email server. However, when Gowdy asked Comey during a cross-examination, Comey admitted that Hillary had lied. As Clinton was under oath during her testimony, it clearly means she could be charged with perjury.
Though the exchange between Gowdy and Comey did remain formal during the entire duration of the cross-examination of the FBI director, it did get heated on some occasions. At one point Gowdy decimated the weak wall of “intention” that lawyers regularly erect to protect their clients from a crime they have most certainly committed, by saying,
“You and I both know intent is really difficult to prove. Very rarely do defendants announce ‘On this date I intend to break this criminal code section. Just to put everyone on notice, I am going to break the law on this date.”
Earlier, the FBI director has insisted that Hillary Clinton was at best “extremely careless” in the handling of sensitive and highly classified information. He referred to the seven email chains that were classified at the Top Secret Special Access Program at the time they were sent and received. Interestingly, the FBI itself had discovered 110 emails in 52 email exchanges which contained information that was classified at the time it was sent.
Clinton had been using a private email server kept in her basement. Owning and operating a digital device that managed emails containing confidential and classified information pertaining to national interest is already a blatant violation of security protocol, reported Chicago Tribune. Since the private email server wasn’t backed by proper security protocols, it was potentially vulnerable for digital espionage by foreign intelligence.
UPDATE: FBI director says questionable whether Clinton had sophisticated-enough understanding to recognize classified email markings— Reuters Politics (@ReutersPolitics) July 7, 2016
Evidently, Comey also admitted that Clinton allowed her lawyers to go through her incriminating emails. Earlier there was speculation that none of these lawyers possessed the security clearance and, as such, shouldn’t have been allowed to view any of the highly classified information. However, Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon tweeted stating that the lawyers handling the emails did have “Top-Secret level clearance,” reported CBS News.
Surprisingly, Clinton had persistently turned down or rejected efforts to start using a state.gov email account, reported CNBC. Gowdy noted that Clinton kept a “rogue” email server system that operated for nearly two years. Had she not been forced to hand over the emails, they would have remained undiscovered and so would have been the fact that she had a private email account that was used to send and receive classified information.
All the information hence serves as circumstantial evidence which should have been considered by the FBI, but the bureau chose to label it careless, but unintentional, which Comey announced was insufficient to charge her for alleged illegal activity.
As the Inquisitr had reported, while the FBI did rest their investigation and offer its recommendation in favor of Hillary Clinton, the State Department has picked up where they had left off earlier, to allow the bureau to complete.
[Photo by Saul Loeb/Getty Images]