Guns: FBI on Hillary’s Case
By Andrew P.
- The federal criminal investigation of former
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s failure to
secure state secrets was ratcheted up earlier this
week, and at the same time, the existence of a
parallel criminal investigation of another aspect of
her behavior was made known. This is the second
publicly revealed expansion of the FBI’s
investigations in two months.
argued for two months that Clinton’s legal woes are
either grave or worse than grave. That argument has
been based on the hard, now public evidence of her
failure to safeguard national security secrets and
the known manner in which the Department of Justice
addresses these failures.
to safeguard state secrets is an area of the law in
which the federal government has been aggressive to
the point of being merciless. State secrets are the
product of members of the intelligence community’s
risking their lives to obtain information.
was entrusted with any state secrets – indeed, on
her first full day as secretary of state – Clinton
received instruction from FBI agents on how to
safeguard them; and she signed an oath swearing to
comply with the laws commanding the safekeeping of
these secrets. She was warned that the failure to
safeguard secrets – known as espionage – would most
likely result in aggressive prosecution.
cases of others, those threats have been carried
out. The Obama Department of Justice prosecuted a
young sailor for espionage for sending a selfie to
his girlfriend, because in the background of the
photo was a view of a sonar screen on a submarine.
It prosecuted a heroic Marine for espionage for
warning his superiors of the presence of an al-Qaida
operative in police garb inside an American
encampment in Afghanistan, because he used a Gmail
account to send the warning.
prosecuted Gen. David Petraeus for espionage for
keeping secret and top-secret documents in an
unlocked drawer in his desk inside his guarded home.
It alleged that he shared those secrets with a
friend who also had a security clearance, but it
dropped those charges.
obligation of those to whom state secrets have been
entrusted to safeguard them is a rare area in which
federal criminal prosecutions can be based on the
defendant’s negligence. Stated differently, to
prosecute Clinton for espionage, the government need
not prove that she intended to expose the secrets.
evidence of Clinton’s negligence is overwhelming.
The FBI now has more than 1,300 protected emails
that she received on her insecure server and sent to
others – some to their insecure servers. These
emails contained confidential, secret or top-secret
information, the negligent exposure of which is a
One of the
top-secret emails she received and forwarded
contained a photo taken from an American satellite
of the North Korean nuclear facility that detonated
a device just last week. Because Clinton failed to
safeguard that email, she exposed to hackers and
thus to the North Koreans the time, place and manner
of American surveillance of them. This type of data
is in the highest category of protected secrets.
weekend, the State Department released two smoking
guns – each an email from Clinton to a State
Department subordinate. One instructed a subordinate
who was having difficulty getting a document to
Clinton that she had not seen by using a secure
State Department fax machine to use an insecure fax
machine. The other instructed another subordinate to
remove the "confidential" or "secret" designation
from a document Clinton had not seen before sending
it to her. These two emails show a pattern of
behavior utterly heedless of the profound
responsibilities of the secretary of state,
repugnant to her sworn agreement to safeguard state
secrets, and criminal at their essence.
past weekend, my Fox News colleagues Katherine
Herridge and Pamela Browne learned from government
sources that the FBI is investigating whether
Clinton made any decisions as secretary of state to
benefit her family foundation or her husband’s
speaking engagements. If so, this would be profound
investigation was probably provoked by several teams
of independent researchers – some of whom are
financial experts and have published their work –
who have been investigating the Clinton Foundation
for a few years. They have amassed a treasure-trove
of documents demonstrating fraud and irregularities
in fundraising and expenditures, and they have shown
a pattern of favorable State Department treatment of
foreign entities coinciding with donations by those
entities to the Clinton Foundation and their
engaging former President Bill Clinton to give
now more than 100 FBI agents investigating Hillary
Clinton. Her denial that she is at the core of their
work is political claptrap with no connection to
reality. It is inconceivable that the FBI would send
such vast resources in the present dangerous era on
a wild-goose chase.
It is the
consensus of many of us who monitor government
behavior that the FBI will recommend indictment.
That recommendation will go to Attorney General
Loretta Lynch, who, given Clinton’s former status in
the government and current status in the Democratic
Party, will no doubt consult the White House.
federal grand jury were to indict Clinton for
espionage or corruption, that would be fatal to her
If the FBI
recommends indictment and the attorney general
declines to do so, expect Saturday Night
Massacre-like leaks of draft indictments,
whistleblower revelations and litigation, and FBI
resignations, led by the fiercely independent and
intellectually honest FBI Director James Comey
be fatal to Clinton’s political career, as well.
Peter Napolitano is a syndicated columnist whose
work appears in numerous publications, such as Fox
News, The Washington Times, and Reason.
COPYRIGHT 2016 ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO