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July 05, 2016 10:50 AM UTC

No Charges Over Clinton Email "Scandal"

  • by: Colorado Pols

hillaryserver-620x426Politico reports, the air just came out of one of the Republican Party’s biggest hullaballoos against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton:

FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday announced the agency is not recommending the Justice Department bring charges against Hillary Clinton, despite denouncing the former secretary of state and her colleagues for the way they handled classified information through private email servers.

“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is information that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” Comey told reporters in Washington, D.C., noting that the probe has found that the former secretary of state used several different email servers and numerous devices during her time in office.

Even so, Comey added later, “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. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before deciding whether to bring charges.”

So ends a controversy that has raged for years, as Republicans sought to extract every possible shred of political value from an admitted mistake that wasn’t unique to Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State (see: almost the entire Bush White House). There is no evidence of any harm done to American foreign policy or national security from Clinton’s use of a private email server, and the dense technical details about email server security and propriety served mostly to confuse and scare voters in the service of Republican political objectives.

For a core segment of factually impervious diehards, of course, no outcome other than Clinton in a “jailhouse orange pantsuit” would ever have been satisfactory. Decades of scandalization of the Clintons over every conceivable issue, no matter how insignificant, has rendered millions of Americans not just unwilling but unable to give them a fair judgment. The Clintons are very possibly the most character-assassinated political family in modern history, and there is just no coming back from that for Americans in the thrall of the right-wing media machine. You’ll never convince them otherwise.

What matters most now is who will decide the election: low-information voters consumed by Clinton hate, or everybody else. Today’s developments won’t deter the former, but should encourage “sane America” to rally to Clinton’s standard.

Which is still flying, after all the mud in the world has been slung at it.


54 thoughts on “No Charges Over Clinton Email “Scandal”

  1. A view of the outcome which is a bit different than Pols'.

    Hillary Clinton’s email problems might be even worse than we thought

    Here's the good news for Hillary Clinton: The FBI has recommended no charges be brought followings its investigation of the former secretary of state's private email server.

    Here's the bad news: Just about everything else.

    FBI Director James Comey dismantled large portions of Clinton's long-told story about her private server and what she sent or received on it during a stirring 15-minute news conference following which he took no questions. While Comey exonerated Clinton legally speaking, he provided huge amounts of fodder that could badly hamstring her in the court of public opinion.

    Since the FOIA implications of her choices are actually much more important to me than the issues of classification, this bit stood out:

    He [FBI Director Comey] noted that the lawyers tasked by Clinton with sorting her private emails from her professional ones never actually read all of the emails (as the FBI did in the course of its investigation)…He [Comey] argued that the Clinton lawyers had deleted emails they marked as personal that contained professional content, and that while the FBI found some of those emails in its investigation, it was certainly possible more existed that they were unable to track down. [all emphasis mine]

      1. It is a legitimate Eeyore view Voyageur.  "It's a dark day in America" because the FBI concluded that Mrs. Clinton's emails weren't hacked or intentionally shared.   Oh My God.  What have we come to?"

      2. It's not mine, it's Chris Cillizza's.

        Those are facts, facts delivered by the Justice Department of a Democratic administration. And those facts run absolutely counter to the narrative put forth by the Clinton operation: that this whole thing was a Republican witch-hunt pushed by a bored and adversarial media.

        1. Maybe she can say she misspoke.  I'm sure every word will be parsed for the worst possible interpretation.  "She lied and people died".  Oh wait nobody died or got exposed like Valarie Plame.  "She is a terrible person because she acts like a Republican and tries to blame someone else for her mistakes".  That's the ticket.

          1. As you know, G.G., I am no fan of Hillary ( voting for her, for sure, though) but you are treading close to "Johnny does it, too" territory with that. You don't really need to go there for this. Business as usual is a huge realm…and is subject to the theory of relativity…few minds are swayed about the Clintons nowadays, They are like a BBC series or perhaps I have seen them, like…forever, on Masterpiece on PBS. smiley

            A talking head on TV this morning made that point. Clinton and Trump are two of the most well known people in the country…not too many minds changing about either any more…on the other hand, as close as the margin is likely to be, it may not take many.

            1. Oh man.  Castigated for using the "Johnny does it too" excuse.  The shame.  The humiliation. 

              OK.  How about this?

              "Mrs. Clinton is an insecure, paranoid person who feels like she is always being persecuted in public and personally profited by keeping her emails on a secret server and away from prying eyes therefore all superdelegates need to vote for Senator Sanders".

              1. Hillary M* Clinton . . . 

                . . . not to worry though, all those super votes have been properly purchased, with all the necessary receipts to prove it.


                1. Should be on the tax returns that she released then as opposed to Senator Sanders who keeps his scandals secret by not letting us know how cozy his wife was with some for profit colleges.  It is going to be interesting to see how Senator Sanders reacts to the final nail in his coffin.  Verrry Interesting as Col. Klink would say.

                2. The supers didn't need to be purchased. It's hardly surprising that lifelong Democratic elected and party officials would back the Democratic candidate they'd worked with and who had supported them for decades rather than the guy who could barely disguise his contempt for them even though he had to sort of kind of join the party to make a serious run for President.

                  It's not even as if, in the event, she needed supers to win. She won every which way possible including overwhelmingly in the popular vote.

                  Give it a rest already.

                  1. Ummm, BC,

                    i was responding to GG's tongue-in-cheek in kind (see also: 99.3% of my previous comments) . . . 

                    As to your prescription — (physician, thyself, et al) —

                    Less hectoring ~=~ more potential nap time

                    . . . I suppose I should probably ought to look for that smiley-winking face to add here?

                    1. Sorry. I'm just so sick to death of hearing about super delegates it set me off. For months we had to listen to all the whining about them when, in point of fact, since the establishment of supers they've never once taken a race away from the candidate who won the pledged delegates. Guess something snapped.Too early for a nap. Maybe later.yes

                    2. That's ok — I was kidding about her having any of the receipts . . .

                      . . .  I mean, obviously I can't know for sure, but even if she does, they're probably stored on some private server somewhere where they'll never be found . . . 



                1. She imperially screwed up and had an imperious attitude about it.  She also bought a 1986 pink Imperial when they were all the rage.

            2. Can I call you Duke?  I think it is lazy analysis to pull some tired slogan out of your ass like "Jane does it too" as an excuse to assume they are all similar therefore there is no need to understand the differences.  Mrs. Clinton's intentions with a private email server are the same as David Petraeus' disclosures to his lover/biographer or Ed Snowden's release of classified NSA documents to a newspaper.  Mrs. Clinton kept a private email server for revenge purposes like Dick Cheney and Valarie Plame.  You assumption that all prior practices by past Secretary of States are irrelevant and all past violations of the storage and disclosure of classified documents are the same seems lazy and I'm the one who always gets stereotyped as a propagandist shill who can't see past my prejudices.  Make the effort to dig a little deeper and maybe you might be able get past your preconceived notions and recognize the actual differences instead of arriving again at the superficial conclusion that these situations are all the same.  "Jane does it too" needs to be retired from your reflexive repertoire of retorts.  If nothing else don't use it as a crutch and instead make the effort to define the similarities as you see them.

              1. So if Duke refrains from the purportedly lazy "Johnny does it too" method of shifting blame, will you then refrain from posting ridiculous statements, and attributing them to Duke so that you can shoot them down?

                Seems only fair.

                1. Thanks, BC. I couldn't find anything to which I could honestly reply. I think he is saying the "Johnny does it, too" charge is inappropriate,..that there are significant differences that I should ferret out before I pull an argument out of my ass…

                  You assumption that all prior practices by past Secretary of States are irrelevant and all past violations of the storage and disclosure of classified documents are the same 

                  trying hard to remember when I made this assumption..

    1. Clinton has repeatedly stated that none of the emails which she sent or received contained classified information at the time. She has asserted that the classification was made after the fact. According to the AG, this was a lie.


      1. Isn't it just possible that she made an honest mistakeon a couple emails out of the thousands reviewed?  Nah, that would mean you didn't get to call her a liar.  So go soak your head in  a toilet bowl, hater boy.


        1. Gotta side against Mrs. Clinton on this one, V. Comey was pretty blunt that this wasn't just a couple of emails, and it wasn't "an honest mistake". It was knowingly careless, it might have merited some administrative punishment had the people involved still been in office, but it didn't rise to the level of a crime.

          I'll vote for our first First Lady turned President in her own right, and policy-wise I'll do it gladly. But I'm going to do it honestly without wide-eyed fanaticism; you feel free to go on thinking she's perfect if you'd like.

          1. Clinton isn't perfect. but it is James who lied.  He claims "according to the AG, this was a lie."   Yet, the word lie doesn't appear in the report, which calls her "extremely careless."  So, James lied when he claimed the AG called her a liar.   That's what happens when you marry a sociopathic personality to extreme partisanship.   Hillary is flawed, quite unlike the Perfect in Every Way Son of God who represents Vermont and who still owns your heart, PR.

            But all that time and all that money and the worst you could hang on Hillary is that she was careless?  You know what, I can live with that!

          2. There were probably other ways that HRC could have maintained email security, protected herself from Republican witch-hunts, and still done the  business of the Secretary of State.

            An unforced error, but not a criminal one, which I've written before.. I don't think Comey's remarks will change many minds- which was Duke's original point. People who have been "with her" are still with her. People who are rabid and ignorant enough to be "with Trump" are still with Trump. Sanders voters will do what makes the most sense. Tempest in a teapot.

            1. More than a tempest in a teapot. Check out the reviews of all of HRC's "misstatements" in the papers today. Sure to remind everybody of all the things they liked least about the Clintons.

              But I agree it will pass. Had the GOP come up with a usual suspect, normal candidate along the lines of a McCain or a Romney this time I honestly don't think she'd have a snowball's chance in hell. Third terms with the same party are rare in the general way of things. 

              As it is, she can survive this. With two candidates both polling so low on the honesty and trust worthiness scales, those qualities won't be the deciding factor as they could be in a contest with a GOP candidate with decent character marks running against a Clinton. She's damn lucky it's going to be low approval against lower approval.


              1. I loved this from Mike Littwin's column:

                Still, the only good news on this day for Clinton, other than the fact that she won’t be indicted, is the same good news she gets every day: that Donald Trump is her presumptive opponent and that he would inevitably botch this opportunity. As New York Times columnist Ross Douthat tweeted: “This is a dark day for Clinton’s 2020 re-election campaign.



    2. The FOIA requests have already been fulfilled, and State has IIRC provided the extra emails found. Judicial Watch has had more than a few cycles of news over them, but there's been nothing of note coming from their suit other than news of the suit itself.

      The headlines as of now read "no charges". Oh, and "Trump: the system is rigged". Perhaps the Republicans will dig some of the better phrases out of Comey's very honest statement, but right now they're not even doing that.

      Remember – Dubya had a far worse email handling problem, Cheney and cohorts had a far worse classified information handling problem, and nothing came of either of those. The GOP might not want to open that can of worms again by trying to drag her email handling through the muck.

  2. Hillary Clinton haters have successfully painted themselves into a corner of their own choosing. In their twisted minds, either decision means they are correct.

    If the FBI had recommended charges, they are right that Clinton is a crooked criminal who deserves horrible punishments for her crimes.

    But since the FBI did not recommend charges then it is obvious the FBI is corrupt because it is a federal agency and all federal government types are corrupt.

    They get to be "right" either way!

    On a side note, couldn't the DoJ still prosecute even though the FBI doesn't recommend it? I don't see why they would except to attempt to placate nutjobs but still.

    1. Yes, they could prosecute, but as FBI Director Comey said, no rational prosecutor would bring such a flimsy case. Comey's a registered Republican. His statement certainly wasn't over-kind to Clinton. If he says the case is weak, I doubt the DoJ lawyers are going to reconsider his recommendation.

      1. Thanks!

        Since it's vaguely possible I look forward to Republicans demanding that the DoJ waste government resources to prosecute Clinton while claiming the government is incompetent and exists to waste resources.

      2. I don't think she should be prosecuted for her failure to protect classified information.  Of course, I don't think Ed Snowden, or any number of other folks should be either– including this marine.

        1. It looks very much like this story's sourced wholly from defense attorneys and there might be more to it.   Still, if it stands up under review, there is a good answer to the question of what this marine did that Hillary didn't.

          He deliberately sent a classified document to responsible military personnel to protect the lives of military personnel and civilians.

          She carelessly passed a handful of classified items in a blizzard of 35,000 e-mails.

          Big difference.   That's why I'd give him a Bronze Star, a promotion to lt. col. and a round of drinks at the brew pub of his choice if he ever gets to Denver.

          Hillary has to settle for saying five hail Marys and making a good act of contrition before saving the world from Herr Drumpenfuehrer.


          1. "a blizzard of 35,000 e-mails…………"  That's a good point as less than three dozen e-mails were questionable for security reasons. Or, less than 1/10 of 1 percent. Another point not discussed; perhaps a private server was more secure for her business than the government servers that seem to routinely get hacked. After all, how much vital information was stolen when OPM's server got hacked?

            CHB   Proud to be a RAT (Republican Against Trump)

  3. And yet, the unfortunate fact remains that this was a totally unforced avoidable error on HRC's part. She herself has admitted as much. I think we can agree that those of us supporting HRC for Prez hope Bill's latest and likewise completely avoidable unforced error, occurring at the worst possible time, will be the last biggie for the duration.

    On the plus side HRC is fortunate in having an opponent who is no position to win any contest based on who is shadier than whom or who lies more than whom. In any such contest Trump is in the position of bringing a butter knife to gun fight. 

    Long before the official start of the general Trump will commit at least a dozen more high profile errors and new revelations about his various scams will be ten times more plentiful than Bill's serial "Bimbo explosions" ever were.

    Game on.

    1. As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton should not have had to make such a choice, which IMHO was still obviously done to protect her from Republican witch-hunts. The President isn't given any choice in the matter of email services; neither should she have.

      1. Agree that HRC did it to protect herself from the very real right wing conspiracy against her and she probably relied too much on others to know what the parameters were because she's no techie. But there were many opportunities along the way, new requirements put into place during her tenure, for instance, where she could have made damn sure her team was crossing every "t" and dotting every "i" and I'm sure no one knows better than she does now that she managed to do herself more harm than good. 

        It's also too bad she tried out so many lame excuses initially, one after another never quite holding water. But I guess she couldn't very well say… we did this because I was planning to run for President (have been since before Bill won his first term) and I knew the Republicans were out to get me (hard to ignore all those "hearings") so my top priority was protecting myself from them.

        I still think this too shall pass, especially with the sleaziest most unqualified, offensive scam artist opponent in presidential race history. Besides being fortunate in her opponent she's also fortunate that there is no evidence of any real consequences resulting from her e-mail recklessness. And she can count on Trump to fill most news cycles in the time between now and the general with stories showing just how enormous a lying swindler he really is. They are catnip to the media just as his improbable rise once was.

    2. Well said, BC.  I gotta admit I'm glad HRC isn't facing a sane and responsible opponent like Romney this time.  As Samuel johnson said: "Depend upon it, Sir.   When a man learns he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates the mind wonderfully."

      So does a truly evil and reckless opponent like Donald Trump.


  4. Why is this a surprise?

    An "unnamed source" told some reporters in Washington about a month ago that this would be the result of the investigation.

    Just gotta pay attention.

    1. Other unnamed sources have been telling reporters and bloggers that indictments were coming "very soon" – since at least last August. Paying attention to either prediction becomes a silly exercise that cannot be easily assessed.

      But in expected news – some Republicans, unsatisfied with the professionalism of the FBI, are now advocating a special Congressional investigation to find the rational behind Director Comey's choice and why the FBI acted as it did. Others, having certainty about what should happen, insist there should be a special prosecutor named. Deja vu …

      1. I never thought there would be an indictment but especially not since Trump became the presumptive GOP candidate. Pretty sure the FBI, CIA, all other intelligence agencies, civilian and military, along with the top brass in all branches of the military, the Joint Chiefs and the DOD are pretty freaked out by the prospect of the unthinkable…. a President Trump. 

        1. …….which will be the ultimate mind-changer for some as the campaign gets underway after the conventions. Do people really want an unstable individual like Trump to have his hands on the "football;" the briefcase with the nuclear launch codes?      

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