To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.In other words, anyone else other than Hillary Clinton would have not fared as well.
I've seen people trying to blur the issue by bringing up the issue of mens rea, a legal term that refers to state of mind, or intent, in this case. It's worth noting that the statutory requirement for a violation is gross negligence, not willful negligence. The relevant portion of the statute is here:
(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—By definition, Hillary's homebrew server was not a proper place of custody. Maybe a better mind than mine can explain the difference between gross negligence and "extremely careless," the locution that Comey chose, but it strikes me as a distinction without a difference,
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
Comey talks about intent in his statement, but it's not in the statute and I'm sure he knows that. I'm also sure he has his reasons. Perhaps this matter should be adjudicated in the political arena and not a courtroom, but if anyone tells you that Hillary Clinton was somehow exonerated yesterday, don't believe it.
And while James Comey may have given us a nut graph, Matt Drudge boils the real meaning of yesterday down to one image:
|And you are one of them|