Following the embarrassing Snafu two weeks ago, in which the NYT reported, then unreported, that Hillary Clinton had sent at least four emails from her personal account containing classified information during her time heading the State Department and as a result both the DOJ and FBI had gotten involved (with lots of confusion over what is active and what is passive voice) many were confused: was or wasn't the DOJ or FBI involved, and if not, why not? After all, there was sufficient evidence of enough negligence to merit at least a fact-finding mission.
Last night we got a part of the answer, when WaPo reported that what the NYT reported, then unreported, was in fact accurate: "The FBI has begun looking into the security of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private e-mail setup, contacting in the past week a Denver-based technology firm that helped manage the unusual system, according to two government officials.
Also last week, the FBI contacted Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, with questions about the security of a thumb drive in his possession that contains copies of work e-mails Clinton sent during her time as secretary of state."
As a reminder, David Kendall is "a prominent Williams & Connolly attorney who defended former CIA director David Petraeus against charges of mishandling classified information." That Clinton has resorted to using him reveals just how far she thinks this could escalate.
As the WaPo further added, "the FBI’s interest in Clinton’s e-mail system comes after the intelligence community’s inspector general referred the issue to the Justice Department in July. Intelligence officials expressed concern that some sensitive information was not in the government’s possession and could be “compromised.” The referral did not accuse Clinton of any wrongdoing, and the two officials said Tuesday that the FBI is not targeting her."
Maybe that's true, or maybe that's how the Amazon Post was told to spin the narrative. However, moments ago a far less liberal outlet, came out with its own interpretation of the ongoing FBI escalation involving Hillary, and according to the NY Post, "the FBI investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s unsecured e-mail account is not just a fact-finding venture — it’s a criminal probe, sources told The Post on Wednesday."
The feds are investigating to what extent Clinton relied on her home server and other private devices to send and store classified documents, according to a federal source with knowledge of the inquiry.
“It’s definitely a criminal probe,” said the source. “I’m not sure why they’re not calling it a criminal probe.
Well, there are several reasons, one of which is that a presidential candidacy would be all but scuttled if they had to fight a criminal probe at the same time as they were trying to convince the rest of the US of their pristine moral character.
The DOJ [Department of Justice] and FBI can conduct civil investigations in very limited circumstances,” but that’s not what this is, the source stressed. “In this case, a security violation would lead to criminal charges. Maybe DOJ is trying to protect her campaign.”
Clinton’s camp has downplayed the inquiry as civil and fact-finding in nature. Clinton herself has said she is “confident” that she never knowingly sent or received anything that was classified.
As reported on July 24, the inspector general told Congress that of 40 Clinton e-mails randomly reviewed as a sample of her correspondence as secretary of state, four contained classified information. Post adds that "if Clinton is proven to have knowingly sent, received or stored classified information in an unauthorized location, she risks prosecution under the same misdemeanor federal security statute used to prosecute former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus, said former federal prosecutor Bradley Simon."
Which also explains why she hired his lawyer.
The statute — which was also used to prosecute Bill Clinton’s national security adviser, Sandy Berger, in 2005, is rarely used and would be subject to the discretion of the attorney general.
Still, “They didn’t hesitate to charge Gen. Petraeus with doing the same thing, downloading documents that are classified,” Simon said. “The threshold under the statute is not high — they only need to prove there was an unauthorized removal and retention” of classified material, he said.
“My guess is they’re looking to see if there’s been either any breach of that data that’s gone into the wrong hands [in Clinton’s case], through their counter-intelligence group, or they are looking to see if a crime has been committed,” said Makin Delrahim, former chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, who served as a deputy assistant secretary in the Bush DOJ.
“They’re not in the business of providing advisory security services,” Delrahim said of the FBI. “This is real.”
To be sure, this may just be the Post trying to stir the pot with its "sources" ahead of what promises to be the most watched republican primary debate in history. But on the off chance Rupert Murdoch's outlet is accurate, then one wonders why and how did Obama greenlight such an investigation, whose blessing could only come from the very top.
And if the administration has decided to sacrifice Hillary, whose favorability numbers just plunged to the point she may not need outside help to prematurely end her presidential run, just who does the current regime have in mind for the next US president?