The American people are still smarting over the federal bailout of financial institutions that were largely responsible for the 2007 financial crisis, simply because they were deemed to be “too big to fail.”
Now, just eight years later, there is a new crisis at the very center of our government where the guilty party could skate by with a simple slap on the wrist simply because she may be deemed “too big to jail.”
We now know that Hillary Clinton lied, or more charitably, misspoke, when she told us empathetically that she did not send or receive any classified information on her personal email server which was kept at her home in Chappaqua, New York, while serving as secretary of state. This is incredulous since we also know that she used this private server exclusively instead of the secure server at the State Department during her time there.
How could she possibly do her job as secretary of state and not handle classified information?
Her twisted explanations have unraveled thanks to a federal district judge, a congressional investigation into Benghazi and two inspectors generals who have asked the Justice Department to launch an investigation. Now, Clinton has been forced to turn over that server, which was supposed to be “wiped clean,” to the FBI which is conducting its own investigation.
As of Monday, we now know that more that 300 of the former secretary’s emails have been flagged for review of potential classified information. That’s roughly five percent of the emails that have been processed thus far.
At the current rate, we can expect that some 1500 of her emails will have to be sent to intelligence community agencies for the removal of classified information by the time they are finished.
This may only be the tip of the iceberg because Mrs. Clinton only turned over approximately 30,000 of the more than 60,000 emails she sent and received while secretary of state as required by law. The others were deemed “personal” so she had them deleted. Of course, we are supposed to take her at her word. Nothing incriminating about Benghazi in those deleted emails. Nothing related to donations to the Clinton Foundation or Bill’s outrageous speaking fees from foreign governments seeking favors in there. Of course not!
If the FBI can recover those missing emails, all bets are off. However, just with what is now known, she should be in big trouble.
How serious is this mishandling of classified information? It is deadly serious! Michael Mukasey, former U.S. attorney general, laid out the possible consequences Friday in the Wall Street Journal.
- It is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than a year to keep ‘Documents or materials containing classified information . . . at an unauthorized location.’
- It is a felony for anyone having custody of a ‘public record or other thing’ that is ‘deposited with . . . a public officer’ to ‘remove’ or ‘destroy’ it, with a maximum penalty of three years.
- The grossly negligent loss or destruction of ‘information relating to the national defense’ is a felony punishable by up to 10 years.
Last week, Charles McCullough, the inspector general for the intelligence community, sent a letter to the House and Senate intelligence committees stating that two in the sampling of 40 of Ms. Clinton’s emails he examined were top secret and sent as (SI) Special Intelligence and (TK) Talent Keyhole. This means that this information came from communication intercepts of a foreign target and from military spy satellites.
Did someone on her staff simply remove the classified markings from this material? That is being implied. However, those who have the clearance to handle our most sensitive information should be able to recognize something that is top secret.
Nevertheless, the most obvious questions remain: Why would Hilary Clinton go to such extremes to keep all her emails secret by using a private server while secretary of state? This was highly irregular and violated numerous rules. Her claim that other secretaries did the same thing and that everything she did was permitted was given three Pinocchio’s by the Washington Post.
Also, if she really did turn over all her work-related emails, why did she go to such extremes to wipe her server clean if the other emails simply contained information about her Yoga lessons?
If the Obama Justice Department follows through, which may be highly unlikely, Ms. Clinton could be living in the Big House instead of the White House. If it doesn’t — if it decides that she is, indeed, too big to jail — there should be enough public outrage to derail her plans to run for president.