Politics & Policy

Hillary’s E-mail Scandal Is Criminal; When Will She Get Her Handcuffs?

(Brendan Hoffman/Getty)

Imagine that you own a large department store called Foggy Bottom. Your most frequent customer is a superbly connected globetrotter with some one million miles on her passport. She never uses a standard shopping basket like everyone else. Instead, she strolls in with her own gigantic, custom-made, black-leather handbag.

Quite often when this 68-year-old grandmother visits Foggy Bottom, you catch her shoplifting. Indeed, you have pried 1,340 pilfered items that magically tumbled into her black bag.

How does she get away with it? Whenever you call the police, she gives them the same excuse:

“I did not take anything marked with a price tag.”

You keep wondering, “Why don’t the cops arrest her already?”

The authorities seem to accept her unprecedented justification. But everyone believes she knows better: Just because a sweater lacks a price tag doesn’t make it free of charge.

Eventually, you learn that those price tags didn’t vanish by accident. While you tended to other patrons at Foggy Bottom, you missed members of this crafty lady’s entourage deliberately snipping price tags off the merchandise. That way, when she says, “I never walked off with anything that carried a price tag,” her flimsy rationale somehow seems marginally plausible — at least to those who want to accept it. Now, it slowly emerges, the whole thing was not a parade of pratfalls, but a conspiracy since her four-year-long crime spree began.

RELATED: Hillary Clinton’s E-mail Scandal: Far Graver than First Thought

Having solved this mystery, at last, you call 911. You hope that law enforcement finally will haul this supercilious woman and her entire posse to jail. And yet you wonder: Will someone this powerful ever receive the equal justice she deserves?

Of course, this little fable parallels Hillary Clinton and E-mailgate. Her claims about not having classified data on her private server collapsed as 1,340 classified e-mails materialized. She then pleaded that nothing on her server was “marked classified.” Plenty of “born classified” messages surfaced that anyone with six years’ service on the Senate Armed Services Committee (as she had) easily would recognize as classified — even without markings.

It now appears that those markings were deleted by former Secretary Clinton’s top State Department aides, so that she and they could enjoy the “convenience” of seeing classified documents on their BlackBerrys — including Clinton’s hacker-friendly device.

RELATED: Hillary Can’t Pin E-mailgate on the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy

As Hoover Institution scholar Paul Sperry explained in January 24’s New York Post, e-mails cannot jump from classified government systems to unclassified ones.

“Clinton’s staff would have simply retyped classified information from the [secret] systems into the non-classified system or taken a screen shot of the classified document,” Sperry wrote, citing Diplomatic Security Service special agent Raymond Fournier. “Either way,” Fournier said, “it’s totally illegal.”

#share#The result? Clinton’s naked BlackBerry and server contained classified documents shorn of their pesky classified labels. Such messages would have been so sensitive that, Fournier said, “It would have been obvious to Clinton.”

“It takes a very conscious effort to move a classified e-mail or cable from the classified systems over to the unsecured open system and then send it to Hillary Clinton’s personal e-mail account,” Fournier told Sperry. “That’s no less than a two-conscious-step process.”

Through this verboten conceal-cut-and-paste protocol, Perry reports, staffers placed Top Secret messages onto Clinton’s unshielded server. These included:

• Travel and security details for U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens in 2011. Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists murdered him and three other Americans on September 11, 2012.

• Military intelligence from U.S. Africa Command in 2011, based on satellite observations of Libyan troops.

• Clinton’s illegal instructions to advisor Jake Sullivan to transmit classified talking points via an unprotected fax in June 2011: “Turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure.”

• Investigative details about a suspected Benghazi terrorist sought by the FBI. This 2012 message cited a security officer in the region.

• Separately, Fox News’s Ed Henry reported Tuesday that then–Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman bragged to fellow envoys in 2013, “Now we have BlackBerrys, and it has changed the way diplomacy is done.” She added: “Things appear on your BlackBerrys that would never be on an unclassified system.”

#related#Sherman recalled 2011 Middle East peace talks between Clinton and the European Union’s Lady Ashton.

“So they sat there, as they were having the meeting, with their BlackBerrys, transferring language back and forth between them and between their aides to multitask in quite a new fashion,” Sherman said. State later determined that documents Sullivan sent Clinton back then were classified.

Despite this plot to violate U.S. national security, Clinton assured CNN’s Chris Cuomo Monday: “Nothing that I did was wrong.”

Every day, department stores have shoplifters arrested. When will Hillary get her handcuffs?

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

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