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Right Hooks

DOJ Vet Recounts Clinton's Crimes

Sievert notes the laws she's broken, but doubts an indictment will come.

Political Editors · Apr. 6, 2016

Ronald J. Sievert, a 25-year veteran of the Department of Justice, teaches national security and international law at the George H.W. Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University and the University of Texas School of Law. So his explanation of the legal trouble Hillary Clinton faces carries some weight:

Since the beginning of the Clinton email scandal, the nation has been subjected to a political and criminal defense generated smokescreen. The Clinton campaign has attempted to make the public believe that she is not guilty of anything because the information on her very unprotected server was not “marked as classified” or “classified at the time.”

The applicable statute, 18 USC 793, however, does not even once mention the word “classified.” The focus is on “information respecting the national defense” that potentially “could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.” 793 (f) specifically makes it a crime for anyone “entrusted with … any document … or information relating to the national defense … through gross negligence (to permit) the same to be removed from its proper place of custody.” A jury (not a Democrat or Republican political administration) is, of course, the best body to determine gross negligence on the facts of this case.

The courts have held repeatedly that “national defense information” includes closely held military, foreign policy and intelligence information and that evidence that the information is classified is not necessary for a prosecution. Evidence that the information was upon later review found to be classified, however, as is the case with approximately 2,000 Clinton messages, is of course one kind of proof that the information met the test of “national defense information” in the first place.

Naturally, the Leftmedia completely ignores all of this, choosing instead to circle the wagons as if this whole episode were a mere political inconvenience for the inevitable Democrat nominee. Worse, Sievert predicts there will be no indictment from the DOJ, both because it’s run by Democrats and because the department just doesn’t take the tough political cases due to an “institutional fear of losing.” Time will tell.

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