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The investigation into Former secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s use of a private email server is decided. After FBI James Comey recommended no criminal charges, Attorney General Loretta Lynch cleared Hilary Clinton and officially closed the investigation. BUT what about every piece of new found evidence, every secret meeting, and every official and unofficial statement in between? Did you follow every move of this scandal like a game of chess or a season of House of Cards?

This article aims not to report on bias but to serve as a compilation of possibly the most infamous scandal the Clintons have ever faced.

The Gist (The laws and restrictions that make this a big deal, what was at stake for hill)

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In March of 2015 it became   This was a matter of extreme concern for Hilary Clinton because, by federal law and State Department policy, the use of a private and unauthorized device could warrant federal charges, jail time, fines, and administrative sanctions. Quite an elephant in the room for a person who would announce her run for presidency just a month later in April, 2015.

The origin of the scandal began in January in 2009 the same month Clinton took office as Secretary of State. Clinton never used federal servers or an official email address given to her by the State Department. Hilary Clinton instead began using [email protected], an email account housed on a private email server in her New York home.

The private email server was set up without federal clearance and was a device not approved by the State Department. Not only that but, state staffers who raised concerns about Clinton’s emails were falsely told the device had been approved and to “never speak of it again”.

For those who are not well versed in the legality of the situation, let’s break down

  1. the Federal Records Act
  2. the Freedom of Information Act(FOIA),
  3. the National Archives and Records Administration‘s (NARA) regulations
  4. Section 1924 of Title 18of the U.S. Crimes and Criminal Procedure Code.

According to an  , Clinton is at conflict of the Federal Records Act which requires agencies hold onto official communications, including all work-related emails, and government employees cannot destroy or remove relevant records. And though James Comey did not explicitly state Hilary Clinton or her lawyers deleted work related emails (and did not turn those emails over to the FBI), he did say the FBI found work related emails or fragments of work related emails in the out of commission server or in the inboxes of recipients of those emails.

Additionally, the Freedom of Information Act which is designed to “improve public access to agency records and information” was possibly compromised by Clinton when she or her lawyers served as the filter to decide which emails were work related or not. This in its technicality is not a violation but it does not uphold the right of the public to receive fair access to public records– an unfortunate gray area that Clinton took advantage of.

The National Archives Record is where all government records are stored. NARA regulations dictate how records should be created and maintained. They stress that materials must be maintained “by the agency,” that they should be “readily found” and that the records must “make possible a proper scrutiny by the Congress.”

Section 1924 of Title 18 has to do with deletion and retention of classified documents. “Knowingly” removing or housing classified information at an “unauthorized location” is subject to a fine or a year in prison. This language of this code is what James Comey used to make his final recommendation regarding Clinton’s guilt. He said since he FBI found no evidence she knowingly violated these standards/laws, no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case.

Eight Email Lies

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Despite the finding Hilary Clinton did not have any intent to violate laws, she was found by Comey to be “extremely careless” in her handling of classified emails and documents.

It appears Clinton never had any idea what documents she was dealing with because of the numerous statements she made which all turned out to be a complete  .

To see a near complete list of lies read the following.

The account of events was pulled from the National Review:

  1. Clinton said she did not send or receive any emails which were classified “at the time” at a press conference on March 10, 2015, at an Iowa Democratic fundraiser July 25 and at a Democratic debate February 4, 2016.
    1. Comey said that the FBI found at least 110 e-mails that were classified at the time Clinton sent or received them — 52 e-mail chains in all, including eight Top Secret (the highest classification level) chains
  2. Clinton said most recently July 3, 2016, on Meet the Press that she never sent or received any emails marked classified. She first made the claim August 26, 2015, at an Iowa news conference. She repeated it at Fox News town hall March 7, 2016; at a Democratic debate March 9; at a New York news conference March 1; and on Face the Nation May 8.
    1. Comey said that a small number of emails “small number” were marked classified at the time she sent or received them. He added: “Even if information is not marked ‘classified’ in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.”’
  3. Clinton said she turned over all of her work related emails. She said this on MSNBC September 4, 2015; at a Fox News town hall March 7, 2016; and at a New York press conference March 10.
    1. The FBI found “thousands” of work-related e-mails other than those Clinton had provided; they were in various officials’ mailboxes and in the server’s slack space.
  4. Clinton explained the reasoning behind setting up her own email account and private server as she wanted to use a personal e-mail account for convenience and simplicity, and so she did not need multiple devices.
    1. Clinton used multiple servers, devices, and administrators to access her email account. Most disturbingly, when Clinton was notified her emails were going to the spam folder of recipients because she was not using an official email account, Clinton offered to get a new device. See below:
    2. “In November 2010, Secretary Clinton and her Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations discussed the fact that Secretary Clinton’s emails to Department employees were not being received,” the report said. “The Deputy Chief of Staff emailed the Secretary that “we should talk about putting you on state email or releasing your email address to the department so you are not going to spam.” In response, the Secretary wrote, “Let’s get separate address or device but I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible.”
  5. Clinton’s use of a private server and e-mail domain was permitted by law and regulation. Clinton made this claim in an interview on CNN July 7, 2015; in a campaign statement in July 2015; and at the Democratic primary debates in Las Vegas on October 13, 2015.
    1. The Inspector General’s report found that policies demands all work related communication must be restricted to government servers.
  6. All of Clinton’s e-mails were immediately captured by @.gov addresses. Clinton made this claim at a New York press conference May 10, 2015. Crucially, Clinton told reporters that she exclusively used her personal e-mail because she thought her messages were always saved in the e-mail threads of senior department officials who used @.gov accounts.
    1. The State Department did not begin automatically capturing and preserving e-mails until February 2015, two years after Clinton left the State Department.
  7. There were numerous safeguards against security breaches and “no evidence” of hacking. Clinton made the “safeguards” claim at a New York press conference March 10, 2015, and her former tech aide made the “no evidence” claim March 3, 2016.
    1. Comey noted: None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government — or even with a commercial service like Gmail. Clinton failed to report several hacking attempts.
  8. Clinton was never served a subpoena on her e-mail use. Clinton said this in a CNN interview July 7, 2015.
    1. The next day, July 8, the chair of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Trey Gowdy, accused Clinton of lying about not receiving a subpoena. Gowdy said in a statement: “The committee has issued several subpoenas, but I have not sought to make them public. I would not make this one public now, but after Secretary Clinton falsely claimed the committee did not subpoena her, I have no choice in order to correct the inaccuracy.”

The Decision

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A statement by James Comey: “Our investigation looked at whether there is evidence classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on that personal system, in violation of a federal statute making it a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way [18 USC §793], or a second statute making it a misdemeanor to knowingly remove classified information from appropriate systems or storage facilities [18 USC §1924].”

He continued: “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

This is to say that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case against Hilary Clinton. The entire scandal screams wrong and that it was heavily influenced with political bias. What is worse is the FBI did not record and did not put Hilary under oath in her interview.

Futhermore days before the FBI interviewed Hilary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch met on the tarmac of an airport in Phoenix. What kind of conversation went on there? Lynch says they spoke of “their travels” and “their grandchildren”. It is highly unlikely that the conversation was innocent and had nothing to do with the email probe. The meeting undoubtedly was calculated.

Secret meetings aside, Comey fails to expand on that 30,000 emails were not just deleted but wiped clean from the server. Let me repeat thirty thousand emails. So nothing in the emails that Clinton turned over showed intent to betray confidential information, but what if some of the other 30,000 unaccounted for emails did? There are so many way this investigation and gathering of evidence and emails were completely put into the hands of Hilary Clinton’s and her ally’s.

Removing, concealing, or destroying federal records, regardless of whether they are classified, can constitute a federal felony. But again, courts have generally required prosecutors pursuing this charge to prove that defendants knew they were violating the law, for which the evidence against Clinton appears to be lacking.

In the end, extracting the truth in the Clinton email controversy in the current polarized political environment remains a nearly impossible task. In short it was determined by the FBI that Clinton violated the law but committed no crime. 

The Reaction5

To say the least, many were unhappy with the FBI recommendation and Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s decision to take that recommendation. Within 24 hours of the announcement, Congress requested an interview with James Comey. You can find the full six-hour interview  :

In addition, a petition to charge Hilary Clinton immediately began circulation on the internet and as of press date has over 200,000 signatures. That’s well over the 100,000 required signatures to get a response from the White House.

Finally, the State Department reopened its internal investigation. It was previously investigating the email probe but ceased in order to allow the FBI to conduct their own. After James Comey’s announcement, the State Department reopened its own. However, the most that could come from the State Department’s investigation is administrative sanctions her Clinton and her aides.

Lasting Impact

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While the email scandal and outcome is not likely to hurt Hilary Clinton’s chances at this White house, there are two things that will remain from the entire scandal. One: The people will continue to distrust her and her ability to perform as an executive. Two: The general public can no longer deny there is a clear divide between individuals who have wealth, power, and are well connected and the ordinary citizen. It is becoming more and more clear that justice for one is not the same as justice for all.

And even though criminal charges are no longer at play, the email scandal is likely to continue.

 

-Emily Boyer

Sources:

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton_email_controversy

New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/05/27/us/politics/what-we-know-about-hillary-clintons-private-email-server.html?_r=2

http://www.nytimes.com/live/james-comey-testifies-before-congress/

Hot Air: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/05/25/state-staffers-who-raised-concerns-about-clintons-email-were-told-never-to-mention-it-

http://hotair.com/archives/2016/05/25/state-dept-ig-says-clinton-violated-rules-with-private-server/

GPO https://cdn.underground.net/wp-content/uploads/USCODE-2008-title44-chap31-sec3101-1.pdf

https://cdn.underground.net/wp-content/uploads/CFR-2012-title36-vol3-part1222-1.pdf

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2009-title18/pdf/USCODE-2009-title18-partI-chap93-sec

https://cdn.underground.net/wp-content/uploads/CFR-2012-title36-vol3-part1222-1.pdf

NPR: http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/04/02/396823014/fact-check-hillary-clinton-those-emails-and-the-law

Cornell: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2071

CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/26/opinions/clinton-email-server-ig-report-opinion-cox/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_OKvGnv1ig

White House Petitions: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/charge-hillary-rodham-clinton-pursuant-18-usc-641-793-794-798-952-and-1924

National Review: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/437606/hillary-clintons-eight-email-lies-exposed-james-comey

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/437606/hillary-clintons-eight-email-lies-exposed-james-comey

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