Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Comey's Nut Graph

The main thing about FBI Director James Comey's presentation yesterday was this little tidbit, presented in plain sight:
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—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
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,

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


R.A. Crankbait said...

I suspect that Comey was under orders to deliver this decision, but - perhaps as a concession to keep him from resigning (ala Elliot Richardson) - was given the leeway to say anything he wanted about the facts of the case as long as he also said "No Indictment." He proceeded to basically shred Hillary's case and defense, indicting without Indictment. Both he and the Clintons knew that the headlines would read "No Indictment" and most people would go back to paying attention to "Game of Thongs" or "American Idle". he didn't fall on his sword, but neither did he fall on the grenade for the Clintons.

Call it a form of hiri-kiri on the Kabuki stage.

Bike Bubba said...

I'm with RA here. Too many people might go off topic if Dear Leader allowed them to be prosecuted, and just might say who ordered them to break the law.

Mr. D said...

I see where Congress is going to request Comey's presence for a little, ahem, amplification of some of his statements. Maybe he doesn't want to be Elliot Richardson; I'd sure welcome it if he decided to be John Dean instead.

R.A. Crankbait said...

"The American people need to know that their presidential candidate is not a crook. I am not a crook."

jerrye92002 said...

Surely somebody who can't get a security clearance can't be President?

Bike Bubba said...

Time was when a man who had a major history of philandering couldn't get a security clearance.

Kennedy, Johnson, FDR, Clinton, and Obama all violate this. Obama's radical leanings also would have gotten him rejected back in the day. So yes, someone who arguably couldn't get a security clearance has become president 11 times in the past 84 years. Pretty **** sad.

Paul said...

Again, I will reiterate from what I posted on another thread. I looked up the definition of from the site that Bike Bubba provided for the definition of gross negligence. Here is what it said: "A lack of care that demonstrates reckless disregard for the safety or lives of others, which is so great it appears to be a conscious violation of other people's rights to safety. It is more than simple inadvertence, and can affect the amount of damages." So again, it comes down to was it appearing as a "conscious violation". So was that proven? I would argue, from a non-attorney point of view that HC was not grossly negligent, but at this point that means absolutely nothing.

At this point I am not rushing to judgement. I think more will come out in the days, months and years ahead. We shall see where the scent leads.

jerrye92002 said...

One simply cannot believe Comey's conclusion, after his exhaustive litany of the evidence, is anything but forced. Seems to me the case is open and shut, and that is without even addressing the admitted multiple violations of the Federal Records Act.

Bike Bubba said...

Paul, having worked two jobs in defense and having gotten the spiel from HR a few times, suffice it to say that Hilliary knew the drill, and it's not that complicated. Any intelligence reports are classified. Any intelligence reports detailing who, when, where, or how intelligence was collected are top secret. Anything that details technical information of defense systems or intelligence systems will be classified. Mishandle those, or fail to report mishandling, and you end up with a very uncomfortable talk with HR followed by an even more uncomfortable talk with the FBI.

Plus, even if her knowledge wasn't clear, she lied to investigators, perjured herself when asked if she'd turned over all records, and obstructed justice by deleting files. She needs to be prosecuted for those, too.