Tuesday, July 5, 2016

FBI Director James Comey recommends no prosecution for Hillary Clinton's e-mail scandal.

James Comey gives his statement. Associated Press

FBI Director James Comey has recommended no charges should be filed against Hillary Clinton for her e-mail scandal. New York Times. Comey claimed that Hillary Clinton was reckless with her actions, calling her "extremely careless" but also said that no prosecutor would file charges in this case. The Justice Department will likely follow Comey's recommendation and will not file charges against Hillary Clinton. Despite his recommendation Comey gave a blistering review of how Hillary Clinton recklessly exposed the secret information found on her e-mail server. He also claimed that it was possible that hostile actors, foreign or otherwise may have gotten access to Hillary Clinton's e-mails with it being impossible to determine for sure. 

My Comment:
I watched Director Comey's speech this morning and I have to say that it left me speechless. Obviously I was shocked and disappointed that Clinton wasn't going to be charged, but that wasn't the worst part. Nobody knew going into this speech how it would turn out, and though I am normally a cynic, some part of me was hoping that Clinton would be charged. For 90% of the speech I thought for sure that Clinton was going to be charged for criminal negligence. Comey really hit Hillary Clinton hard and I was really believing that she was going to be crucified by the FBI. Then, after detailing how Hillary Clinton was criminally negligent, Comey did a 180 and said that being criminally negligent wasn't enough to charge Hillary Clinton.

It was a devastating moment, made worse by the build up. And it makes very little sense legally. The laws Hillary Clinton broke do not require intent but Comey made it sound like they did. He even said that Hillary Clinton and her staff should have known better but did it anyways. Isn't that the definition of negligence? Comey was rewriting the dictionary at this point and it was clear that the fix was in. 

So what did Hillary Clinton do that was so bad? She exposed secrets, plain and simple. Comey said that it was possible that foreign governments or hostile third parties gained access to her server. Since those e-mails contained information that were classified, it could have given our enemies access to things that they should not have had access to. Without knowing what was on those e-mails it's hard to determine what the damage was, but things tend to be classified for a reason. At the very least it's possible that someone built a hell of a blackmail file against Hillary Clinton which is reason enough not to vote for her. 

And even if nobody was hurt directly, which we probably won't be able to prove, prosecuting Hillary Clinton would send a message to everyone in the government that corruption and incompetence will not be tolerated. Indeed, many people in the government have been prosecuted for less. Allowing her to get away with this sends a bad message to everyone. There will be people that follow in Hillary Clinton's example. 

Of course, even though Hillary Clinton won't be charged over her e-mails, this still hurts her chances in November. I mean the first part of James Comey's speech was a ready made attack ad for Donald Trump. He basically chose to call her criminally negligent even if he didn't decide to recommend charges. Expect to see his comments in attack ads for Trump and various GOP super-pac's for the rest of the year. 

The circumstances around this descion will also likely help Trump and hurt Clinton. People are going to have a hard time believing Comey when he said that he didn't face any outside pressure to not charge Hillary Clinton. Just a few days ago Attorney General Loretta Lynch met unofficially with Bill Clinton while in her plane. The week after, Comey decides to not press charges? Even if that meeting had noting to do with it, you have to admit that the optics look terrible. 

People are not going to be happy about this descion. It makes Hillary Clinton look like she is above the law. The speech Comey gave laid out a pretty obvious case for criminal negligence and yet he decided to not charge her. Why would that happen? The only explanation I can come up with is that he was too afraid or to loyal to the Democrats to recommend filing charges even if the evidence showed that charges should be filed. 

This plays into Donald Trump's narrative quite well. He has been saying for a long time that the government is fixed and that the Clinton's have been getting away with everything. The whole thing looks like a cover up and it would be amazing to me if this doesn't majorly hurt Hillary Clinton in the polls. Trump's been very effective at painting Hillary Clinton as a crook and this descion and Comey's comments will go a long way in confirming people's thoughts about her.

Still, the investigation into the Clinton's is not over. There is still the matter of the Clinton Foundation. Critically, Comey did not even mention the investigation into the Clinton led charity which has been accused of corruption and being a slush fund for the Clinton's. Though my hopes are not high that Comey would suddenly do his job it is possible that the information recovered in that investigation would be so damning that nobody could ignore it.

I am not holding my breath though. I have to say this entire incident has destroyed whatever little faith I had in our government. It's clear to me that there is one set of laws for the people and another for the elites. Any normal person that did what Clinton did would have been crucified for it, but because Hillary Clinton is rich and powerful she gets off. 

I don't know if Donald Trump is the man that can fix this problem. Indeed, at this point I don't know if the problem can be fixed. The rot is that deep. But what I do know is that Hillary Clinton cannot be allowed to be president. Even if every bad thing Donald Trump has been accused of is true, and I don't think that the vast majority of them are, he's still the better choice. I'd rather have a racist as president then someone as corrupt and incompetent as Hillary Clinton. I would implore everyone to vote against Hillary Clinton come November. If you can't stomach Trump, write in Sanders, or vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson. But don't give her a vote. At the very least you can send a message to Clinton and people like her. Even if you can't be touched by the government, actions still have consequences. And the consequence for this scandal should be failing to get elected to president. 

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