The Corner

Law & the Courts

I’ll Say It Again — If Clinton and Her Team Had Been in the Military, They’d Be in Jail

In response to The Deafening Silence

When it comes to the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal, I thought I was beyond surprise. I thought I’d heard it all. But then came James Comey’s revelation that Huma Abedin e-mailed classified information to Anthony Weiner — allegedly so he could print it out for her

This is stunning. Just stunning. As I’ve written before, I served in the military, handled classified information, and helped investigate possible violations of laws and regulations governing classified documents. Here’s what I know beyond a shadow of a doubt — if a soldier had sent classified documents to his wife “to print out,” his best legal outcome would be a one-way ticket to a dishonorable discharge. His worst outcome would be jail. 

Let’s not forget, Hillary and her entire team (including Abedin) were bound by law to protect both marked and unmarked classified information. Moreover, Hillary and her entire team were hardly neophytes. They’d been exposed to classified information for years. They knew exactly the types and categories of information that were typically classified, and they knew how they should handle that information. But Abedin forwarded e-mails for printing anyway. But Hillary stored messages on her homebrew server anyway. No wonder Hillary lied so loudly and frequently about her e-mails. The truth was too devastating (and incriminating) to tell.

I still don’t understand why the FBI declined to prosecute anyone on Clinton’s team, and I still don’t understand why the FBI clings to the notion that the prosecution had to prove criminal intent (the standard is gross negligence), but this much I do know — Democratic complaints about Comey’s conduct are absurd. He did her (and her team) an immense favor. “Regular” folks would have faced prison. Instead, Hillary and her confidants face the speaking circuit. Justice has not been done. 

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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