Hillary Clinton’s FBI problem and the FBI’s Obama problem
In the last half of the 60 Minutes interview with the President last Sunday, Steve Kroft raised the subject of Hillary Clinton’s email problem with the President:
Steve Kroft: Do you think it posed a national security problem?
President Barack Obama: I don’t think it posed a national security problem. I think that it was a mistake that she has acknowledged and– you know, as a general proposition, when we’re in these offices, we have to be more sensitive and stay as far away from the line as possible when it comes to how we handle information, how we handle our own personal data. And, you know, she made a mistake. She has acknowledged it. I do think that the way it’s been ginned-up is in part because of– in part– because of politics. And I think she’d be the first to acknowledge that maybe she could have handled the original decision better and the disclosures more quickly. But–
Steve Kroft: What was your reaction when you found out about it?
President Barack Obama: This is one of those issues that I think is legitimate, but the fact that for the last three months this is all that’s been spoken about is an indication that we’re in presidential political season.
Steve Kroft: Do you agree with what President Clinton has said and Secretary Clinton has said, that this is not– not that big a deal. Do you agree with that?
President Barack Obama: Well, I’m not going to comment on–
Steve Kroft: You think it’s not that big a deal–
President Barack Obama: What I think is that it is important for her to answer these questions to the satisfaction of the American public. And they can make their own judgment. I can tell you that this is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.
At the time, most of the coverage of that interview was with regard to Vladimir Putin’s check/checkmate of Obama’s Middle East policy. But more than a few people sat up and took notice of this last portion of the interview. From The Wall Street Journal’s coverage to today’s New York Times’ piece, the simmering furor over at the Hoover Building is now in full-blown anger mode. Charges are flying that President Obama’s Sunday comments are interfering with an ongoing investigation, however, that would not be the first time he’s done something like that if his comments made back in 2012 regarding the ongoing investigation of General Petraeus are any indication. And let’s not forget his poison arrows at the Supreme Court, regarding Citizens United and later Obamacare, the latter of which had its desired effect on Justice Roberts’ vote.
So what’s really going on here? Why is Obama giving cover to Hillary and alerting his uber-political allies at the DOJ of his expectations, as in the FBI can investigate all it wants, but shut it down when their recommendations hit your desk. Does he think, expect, know that Joe Biden really is not going to enter the Presidential race and thus Hillary needs cover, not only for her own protection but his as well?
Now that word is leaking that the FBI investigation is focusing on the possible violation of the Espionage Act, 18 U.S. Code § 793 (F) – Gathering, Transmitting or Losing Defense Information, where it doesn’t matter if the materials were classified or not, but instead concentrates on the lawful possession of national defense-related materials:
(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer— Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
the situation becomes far dicier for Mrs. Clinton.
This Administration has long reputation for protecting its favorites and insiders and punishing the lower-level apparatchiks, hence, the slap-on-the-wrist for General Petraeus, when the FBI recommendations were far more dire, given the information he was giving to his biographer/girlfriend.
FBI Director James Comey already has stated, “if you know my folks, they don’t give a rip about politics,” however, it is not his folks who ultimately decide whether to press charges. Comey was already being signaled on Sunday that, in so many words, ‘tread carefully … you better have an iron-clad case’. It could be why the FBI is being very methodical in its investigation, while to the rest of us already seems a foregone conclusion. Having a private, unsecured server in your home upon which US government documents reside is illegal. At least it would be for the rest of us.
But as we’re seeing there’s us and there’s Hillary (them). There’s the rule of law for us and another set of rules for them. The bigger question is what set of rules will the FBI follow. How much pressure can they withstand as the investigation continues, and will this venerable institution also cave much like the Army has thus far on the Bowe Bergdahl matter.
What we already have answers to, is that the America we grew up with, is becoming unrecognizable.