Tuesday, July 05, 2016

The silver lining of being above the law

It's official — Hillary Clinton is above the law.

On the bright side, now that the threat of prosecution is gone, all that blackmail dirt the Chinese and Russians have on Madame President is irrelevant. You can't blackmail someone who is immune from consequences.

It's good to be Queen.

29 comments:

Bike Bubba said...

I was going to suggest that there might be a tipping point when even Democrats would vote to impeach and convict, but then I remembered that back in 1998, obstruction of justice and perjury wasn't enough. We're in for a rough ride.

Paul said...

I do not have any legal background so I am not weighing in on either side, but I do present this as a contrary legal perspective. http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2016/07/05/3795414/hillary-clinton-isnt-getting-indicted-heres/

Gino said...

Honesty, integrity.... Reputation.. Blah blah... It's all capital to be spent when needed. Comey has expended his. I'm sure certain powers made it worth his while.

I'm hanging with my dad this week. He says 'we left Italy, and now we are italy'

Mr. D said...

Honesty, integrity.... Reputation.. Blah blah... It's all capital to be spent when needed. Comey has expended his. I'm sure certain powers made it worth his while.

Don't know if Comey has grandchildren, but this decision makes it significantly more likely he'll see those grandchildren, either now or in the future.

I'm hanging with my dad this week. He says 'we left Italy, and now we are italy'

He's right, except we aren't as fashionable.

Mr. D said...

Paul, just so you know, mens rea has nothing to do with the standard under the statute, which is gross negligence. Intent has nothing to do with it -- if intent had any relevance, the statute would discuss "willful negligence," not gross negligence.

Think Progress is simply rehashing the same bullshit talking points that Comey destroyed yesterday. You can read stuff like that if you'd like, but please know they are lying to you, just as Hillary was until yesterday.

Bike Bubba said...

Paul, what our host says. The standard in 18 USC 793 section F is not intent (it is in other sections), but rather gross negligence. Look at it for yourself:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793

But for that matter, to argue that she and her "husband" spent tens of thousands on their server didn't have some "intent" really boggles the imagination. She clearly did so to hide her actions from the public, which is the same reason she deleted the data from the server, and the same reason she was burning her itineraries, which are also public records.

There is a host of crimes there that can and should be prosecuted.

R.A. Crankbait said...

I'm thinking today of Elliot Richardson.

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Elliot-Richardson-He-Made-History-As-Watergate-2815219.php

Bike Bubba said...

Wiki says Comey has five kids--being a lawyer, I'd guess he married late 20s, should be getting grandchildren soon if he hasn't already.

Just freaking appalling that we're openly talking, and at least somewhat seriously, about the possibility of our elected leaders acting like Mafia Dons with a nasty hangover--no insult intended to the latter, of course.

Paul said...

Mr D., I appreciate your comment and like I said I am not an attorney. I am not arguing for or against HC. However, it just seems to me odd that Think Progress would be lying and Hot Air would not be. Both have very political axes to grind so one should not be held up as a shining pinnacle of objectivity. It was an article suggested by a friend of mine who is a defense attorney so I really do not think it is crap, but simply a different interpretation of the law.

Maybe everyone here is right there is a lot of crimes that should be prosecuted. Before I rush to judgement though I am going to try and look at it from as much of an objective eye as I can.

So from the link provided I looked on the same site 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? It does not appear so.

Mr. D said...

However, it just seems to me odd that Think Progress would be lying and Hot Air would not be. Both have very political axes to grind so one should not be held up as a shining pinnacle of objectivity.

I didn't say that. Of course they are both partisan. The point is mens rea is not part of the law. The piece from Think Progress argues that it is. They are saying something that is false. Maybe telling a falsehood is not lying in our Clintonian, word parsing world, but I'm not willing to follow you down that rabbit hole.

Meanwhile, in re gross negligence; the definition you are using is the standard that applies in a tort. We are talking about criminal activities. Those are different things. The statute specifically references maps and photography. It has been established that photography was on Clinton's website. She broke the law. The prosecutors may decide not to prosecute for any variety of reasons, but don't tell me she didn't break the law. She did.

Meanwhile, Comey was only looking at the Espionage Act. He wasn't looking at the massive, documented abuses of FOIA. At this point private concerns (Judicial Watch and Citizens United) are suing to get at that information.

I'm less concerned about whether she goes to prison, although if her name was Hillary Duff she certainly would be looking at jail time for what she did. We are talking about a woman who did the things that Comey detailed in his presentation wanting to be the President of the United States. I'm sorry, but I can't "move on" from that. She cannot be President. That her opponent is odious in a hundred different ways doesn't earn her a pass under any circumstances.

Comey is going up to Capitol Hill tomorrow. I'll bet he's going to tell us a lot more.

Paul said...

Then if you would not mind providing that definition, I would appreciate it.

You may say what the person is stating is false, and as much as I appreciate that and no offense intended, that is what you are choosing to decide. I, at this time, do not choose that way of thinking and as I have said on some FB comments, I will not be rushing to judgement just yet. I will be waiting for more things to come forward - and tomorrow's testimony continues that process.

Mr. D said...

The plain wording of the statute in question does not include mens rea. That's the whole point. It's a red herring argument and it's designed to move the goalposts. I posted the statutory language on the post I wrote yesterday. You can read it yourself.

And as an aside, I'm not "rushing to judgment." Good grief -- we've known about this situation for well over a year now. The fact pattern is well established and Comey's presentation of the facts of the case speaks for itself. What he needs to address is why the Justice Department has decided that the plain meaning of the statute doesn't apply to Clinton.

Paul said...

I had read that before and if that is what you are pointing to, then it does not prove your point. It is so vague and is so open to interpretation which is why people bring in the definition of gross negligence. We will see if Comey does say more in the future, but at this point, sorry, I don't see it the same way you do.

Mr. D said...

What you're not seeing is the goalposts moving. At some point, perhaps you will.

Bike Bubba said...

Paul, ask the guy given the bum's rush for a selfie in front of a sonar screen what the rules are for the little guys. I'm sorry, but this is justice for thee, but not for me. It's not that complicated unless one happens to be a corrupt President who needs Hilliary to be elected to preserve his legacy.

Paul said...

I appreciate what you guys are saying, but honestly when I hear comment after comment that Obama is evil, corrupt, destroying the Constitution, racebaiting, etc. and the Democrats are destroying America, etc. it sometimes feels like Chicken Little saying the sky is falling.

Bike Bubba said...

Paul, let's take just one of these; when President Obama repeatedly castigates police officers in cases where race appears to be involved (Henry Gates, these cases, Trayvon Martin, disparate impact, Ferguson, etc..), what should we call it but race-baiting?

When he repeatedly rewrites laws to overcome difficulties (and prevent their repeal), what do we call it but subversion of the Constitution? Article 1, section 1, friend.

I understand the fear that we'll overreact, but the data are there. There is a flip side that sometimes we fail to respond until it's too late. Just ask the billions that suffered under Communism.

Mr. D said...

I appreciate what you guys are saying, but honestly when I hear comment after comment that Obama is evil, corrupt, destroying the Constitution, racebaiting, etc. and the Democrats are destroying America, etc. it sometimes feels like Chicken Little saying the sky is falling.

Are we saying those things on this forum? See if we have. Especially let me know where the racebaiting is happening. Thanks in advance.

Paul said...

I can do that for you if you would like, Mr. D, but it will take some time - which I do not have right now at work. I was reading other columns as well. And as Bike Bubba says there could actually be issues of the Constitution being violated, but it starts to get murky with all of the disparaging comments made about Obama (also known as Czar, King, or whatever titles are assigned).

Re: the racebaiting, Bike Bubba just made my point. Obama DOES have a right to castigate police officers as he is speaking what he sees - as a black person and as President. My wife sees it all the time in her parole officer job with the posturing that the cops do. Plus, one of my friends on FB just wrote about how her husband (who is black while she is white) and one of her sons who looks black while the other looks white are both stopped for no reason by cops while she and her white looking son are not. The police even came into their driveway questioning her husband on an antique car accusing him of stealing it and when she tried to intervene the police told her to stand down or they would draw their weapons. WTF?!

Why when someone is giving an opinion is it called racebaiting when it is frustration and a possibility based on a reality that is all too real? Sometimes it may not be accurate, but many times it is. Just ask a friend of mine who is a defense attorney in Denver. Minorities are treated a completely different way than most whites. And he sees it all. the. damn. time.

Mr. D said...

And as Bike Bubba says there could actually be issues of the Constitution being violated, but it starts to get murky with all of the disparaging comments made about Obama (also known as Czar, King, or whatever titles are assigned).

What's murky is bringing in terms that weren't used. I don't care what's happening on other forums. I'm talking about this forum.

Re: the racebaiting, Bike Bubba just made my point. Obama DOES have a right to castigate police officers as he is speaking what he sees - as a black person and as President. My wife sees it all the time in her parole officer job with the posturing that the cops do. Plus, one of my friends on FB just wrote about how her husband (who is black while she is white) and one of her sons who looks black while the other looks white are both stopped for no reason by cops while she and her white looking son are not. The police even came into their driveway questioning her husband on an antique car accusing him of stealing it and when she tried to intervene the police told her to stand down or they would draw their weapons. WTF?!

Let's look at the arguments that Bubba is making, not the anecdotes you are sharing. I'll stipulate that all of your anecdotes are accurate, even though I have no way of knowing whether they are or not. They aren't directly related to what Bubba is talking about, which are specific examples where President Obama said things that didn't turn out to be accurate. He said that the police in the Henry Louis Gates case "acted stupidly." They didn't. Trayvon Martin was killed in an act of self-defense. The Ferguson case turned out to be just what the cops said it was, which the local government and the Justice Department confirmed. In all three instances, he offered opinions that turned out to be at variance with the facts. And yes, it's legitimate to call him out for it. Is it racebaiting? You can disagree with that, but in all three instances the president was making assumptions that one could call racebaiting.

Why when someone is giving an opinion is it called racebaiting when it is frustration and a possibility based on a reality that is all too real? Sometimes it may not be accurate, but many times it is. Just ask a friend of mine who is a defense attorney in Denver. Minorities are treated a completely different way than most whites. And he sees it all. the. damn. time.

The point Bubba is making, and he's correct about it, is that in the cases he's citing, the prevailing wisdom from the President of the United States and his aides has turned out to be wrong. One can argue, correctly, that blacks are treated differently in many ways. I'm not disputing that part. However, at the level the President of the United States operates, I believe he has an obligation to be a bit more precise when he chooses to opine on specific topics, because his words carry a lot more weight than anyone participating in this forum. And that goes double for Mark Dayton, who gasoline on the fire in the Castile case.

I'm holding off on saying any more about the Castile case because I think it's not necessarily as cut and dried as it first appears. Fog of war.

Bike Bubba said...

Paul, to add to what Mark noted, the key issue is that in each case I mentioned, not only was the President wrong, but he spoke out rather vehemently before the facts of each case could possibly have been known. In other words, he wasn't speaking to what he saw, but rather from his mindset. That's race-baiting, and it has little to do with whether blacks are treated fairly or not by the justice system--the only thing it has to do with it, really, is to feed the fires of resentment.

As the widows of five Dallas police officers can tell you.

Paul said...

If you are talking in this string, there has not been as many comments, but I am talking about comments in general. And maybe it is not those exact words though I just found a few recent comments: Obama being called Mafia, Leader of the Free World (I think it is not meant in a respectful manner) and privileged protesters. My main point is just the disdain and derision for the Left and not seeming to be as much of an open discussion as I would like, but maybe I just should not expect that. Or it might just be me.

Re: Trayvon Martin being self-defense, that is really an over-simplification of what happened as a man with a screwed up police complex profiled some young kid in a hoody, followed him and confronted him and then had to shoot him because the kid attacked him. Yes, the police did act stupidly w/ the Henry Gates issue as detailed in this report that said it was avoidable. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/30/AR2010063001356.html . In Ferguson, they may not have pressed charges, but there was a 100 page document that found systemic racial discrimination by the Ferguson police and court system against African-Americans which many believe contributed to the events occurring. http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/04/politics/ferguson-darren-wilson-justice-department-report/ .

Regarding, Obama race-baiting, even if it seems to be, then why not just say he spoke out before he should have? Nor do I see the vehemence you talk about. And here is Obama's statement on Ferguson. I honestly do not see race-baiting in it. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/08/14/statement-president . Maybe you have something different.

Anyway, those are my last thoughts on this string and probably writing for awhile, but I will read from afar. Cheers!

Mr. D said...

If you are talking in this string, there has not been as many comments, but I am talking about comments in general. And maybe it is not those exact words though I just found a few recent comments: Obama being called Mafia, Leader of the Free World (I think it is not meant in a respectful manner) and privileged protesters. My main point is just the disdain and derision for the Left and not seeming to be as much of an open discussion as I would like, but maybe I just should not expect that. Or it might just be me.

Seriously? You want respect for the Left? People on the Right swim in an ocean of invective every single day and you want us to respect it? Dude.

Obama is the Leader of the Free World. Yes, I'm using derision. I'm enjoying my First Amendment rights. As are you when you come here and scold me for my use. Lighten up, Francis.

Your second paragraph is one continuous logical fallacy, so we'll set that aside.

Regarding, Obama race-baiting, even if it seems to be, then why not just say he spoke out before he should have? Nor do I see the vehemence you talk about. And here is Obama's statement on Ferguson. I honestly do not see race-baiting in it. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/08/14/statement-president . Maybe you have something different.

You're seeing what you choose to see, as is your right. The point I made is this -- the president's words have great meaning and he needs to be careful. What Bubba and I say doesn't matter much beyond our respective cohort of the blogosphere. But the upshot of your note, from beginning to end, is that we're the ones who need to watch our mouths. I'd kindly suggest that you might want to check your premises.

Mr. D said...

One other thing -- this post is about Hillary Clinton's behavior. I'm not sure why guarding the esteem of the outgoing president is such a crucial topic.

Paul said...

Mr. D, not the kind of comments I was expecting. Again, the openness is not there. So, I guess at this point I will cease reading the blog as that is my First Amendment right as well. Take care.

Mr. D said...

Sorry you feel like you need to take your ball and go home instead of engaging the arguments. With the notable exception of Brian, everyone from the port side who comes here seems to do that. We're actually a lot nicer here than most places. But as you wish.

Paul said...

I wouldn't say it is taking the ball and going home. Part of it is I do not have the time to respond to every comment and write as detailed as you and others do. And then there is the frustration that I mentioned above. Plus, as I stated on a comment on FB, it maybe that political discussions are starting to drag me down. Anyway, thank you for the response!

Mr. D said...

I think I understand now. A few brief points:

1) Political discussions are a drag, especially this year; it's why you never see me posting any political stuff on FB, although I endure a boatload of things I find offensive there. It's also why, although I have a Twitter account, I rarely use it.

2) I'm going to respond to comments here because it's my blog. It's part of the gig. This is a small salon, but it's mostly my salon. Other bloggers let their comments sections degenerate into a shooting gallery, but I don't want that to happen.

3) Back when we worked at BofA, we were always able to have political conversations with others who disagreed with us because we were friendly. But that was 10 years ago and things have deteriorated on the political scene, for a lot of reasons. At my current gig, I never talk politics with anyone. Sometimes people bring political things up, but I always deflect them because it's not worth it. To my knowledge, no one I work with is even aware I write this blog. I haven't publicized it for years. People either find it or they don't. I write because I like to write. At this point in my career, the majority of the writing I do is here. At my job now, I spend more time editing the work of others than writing.

4) Most everyone who comments here regularly either has or had a blog in the past. For example, Crankbait, Gino, Picklesworth and Brian have blogged in the past, although for the most part they are out of the biz. These days, only Bubba, Brad Carlson and I are still doing it regularly. It's a dying medium, but I'm okay with that. I never had any expectation that I would become a highly visible pundit type. The only blogger I know personally who has made a career of it is Ed Morrissey, who is now at HotAir.com. I'm happy for Ed, but it wasn't ever going to be in the cards for me. And that's okay.

5) Still, I take this thing seriously and I'm going to argue points here as I see fit. I've now written well over 5,000 posts and maintained this blog for over a decade. It's a labor of love and while I don't have as much time for blogging as I once did, it's worth maintaining.

Paul said...

Thank you for the response, Mr. D, I really appreciate that. May you continue to enjoy your blogging and discussions!