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Clinton's "Emailgate" is Back in the News
[See related Column July 18, 2016 “Can Hillary be Trusted with the Presidency”]

January 23, 2017

On Sunday January 7, the FBI released another 300 emails and the Hillary Clinton unauthorized server “saga” continued.   This fifth release by the FBI  came while Americans were watching the Golden Globes or Sunday Night Football.  It came with little notice, no fanfare but with possible major explosive consequences.  This release contained information proving that highly sensitive classified emails -- the type which a Secretary of State promises to protect and keep secret -- were hacked and had come into the possession of both Russia and China, countries which many believe are not our friends.  These emails were also accessed by our ally Israel. 

In July, FBI Director, James Comey, presented to the American people the FBI’s findings on whether to indict Hillary Clinton for possible “espionage” or “knowingly and willfully” disclosing or transmitting secret information to an “unauthorized person.”  He concluded that the former Secretary of State was “extremely careless” in her handling and exposing state secrets to foreign entities, but that no “reasonable prosecutor” would be willing to take the case.  Comey added another reason for rejecting an indictment, "We assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton's personal email account,” but found no evidence that this happened. 

Sunday night all that changed.   The FBI’s release of the hacked emails made it clear, and confirmed, classified emails that originated from Hillary’s personal email server were now in the hands of foreign governments, increasing the seriousness of the charges against the former Secretary. 

At confirmation hearings, Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, Jeff Session, said he would recue himself from any future action against Hillary Clinton because he was very critical of her while stumping for Donald Trump.  From a legal perspective, Session’s statement signaled that there’s a high and significantly increased probability that a case against Mrs. Clinton will be pursued. 

During the campaign, Trump as-well-as FBI workers on the case, felt Director Comey was wrong in his assessment that no reasonable prosecutor would take the case.  Perhaps enough evidence now exists to at least seek an indictment and possible conviction of the former Secretary.  

In August 1974, Richard Nixon resigned from the Office of the President over allegations, that were never fully proven, that he covered up conversations with several members of his administration in an attempt to hide their illegal activities. 

Nixon's popularity badly waned with the certainty of impeachment followed by a high probability of conviction.  Nixon chose to resign.  Then President Gerald Ford immediately pardoned Nixon from being prosecuted for any crime which might stem from the "Watergate" scandal. 

Now the American people may find themselves facing a former Presidential candidate and Secretary of State who could be indicted for serious breaches of conduct and endangering national security.  While a conviction could certainly be in order; perhaps the example set in Nixon’s Presidency might be the best path for America to follow and help heal some of the divisions among us.  

Mark and Bill, and John

See a related column on Hillary Clinton, printed July 18, 2016.


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