The scandal that has been distracting all of the American people has finally ended. When Americans should be focusing on the future and policy positions, they are instead focused on the Clinton Email Scandal. For good reason: many thought that this may lead to a indictment of Hillary Clinton, paving the way for a different nominee. But the FBI came out yesterday and made their recommendations: no criminal charges should be filed.
“we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account”.
110 emails contained classified information
No evidence that emails were intentionally deleted
No evidence of intention to violate the law
By now, almost everyone has heard of the Clinton Email Scandal. It has been trending news for a long while, and there have been lots of rumors about what was going to happen. Finally, Yesterday, FBI Director James Comey spoke publicly and he said that he has closed the investigation at the FBI, and it will not recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton. The FBI Director said that “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“. While he did not recommend charges, he did say that “there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information”. That’s it. Even though there may be evidence of wrongdoing, there is just not enough to prosecute. The key is intent. To charge her criminally, the prosecutor would need to prove that she willfully and with full knowledge of the consequences, chose to break the law and share classified information. This would be extremely hard to prove, and that is basically what the FBI Director said.
Is This Scandal Over?
For the most part, yes, it is over. The FBI does not make the final decision, which is why Director Comey said “no reasonable prosecutor” would file charges, but in the end it is up to the Department of Justice prosecutors, likely that would be the Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who was under fire last week for meeting on a plane with Bill Clinton, the husband of the target of the investigation. AG Lynch said last week that she would accept the FBI recommendations, so that tells us that without massive protests in the streets, it is over. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said that he had incontrovertible evidence against Clinton, but so far we have heard nothing of consequence from him, so it is likely that that is a dead end. So it’s over, at least legally speaking. The politcal fallout is another story, as this is just more fuel for the fire forTrump who is painting Hillary as corrupt. The quotes from Director Comey are a great way to label Hillary as “extremely careless”, which will likely be a phrase that comes up over the coming months. Clinton will be dealing with the political fallout over this one until November.
Additionally, the Republicans in Congress seem unsatisfied with the announcement from Director Corey, and have scheduled him to appear before the Oversight Committee on Thursday.
“The FBI’s recommendation is surprising and confusing…The fact pattern presented by Director Comey makes clear Secretary Clinton violated the law,” said Jason Chaffetz, the head of the Oversight Committee. “Individuals who intentionally skirt the law must be held accountable.”
Many people were not surprised about the result of the investigation because this exact sort of thing had happened before, back in 2007 with George W Bush. The Bush white House was using an RNC sponsored private email addresses which were located at gwb43.com. Official White House communication occurred on these emails which was a violation of the Presidential records Act, which requires preservation of all Presidential communication. It is estimated that almost 2 million emails were deleted from the records since they were all hosted on private email servers. Again the result of this was absolutely nothing: even though this could be seen as a direct violation of the law, nothing happened and no charges were pressed. So it is not surprising that the end result of the Clinton Email Scandal ended in the same way.
Regardless, it is time to move on. This result only helps to reinforce already existing opinions. Those who see Hillary as corrupt see the result of this investigation as further proof of her “House of Cards-esque” power in Washington, and those who thing she did nothing wrong, now agree with the FBI recommendation as proof that she did nothing wrong.