Stop Talking About Criminal Charges for Hillary
I’m not here to discuss whether they’re right or wrong legally – although they’re wrong, FYI – I’m here to tell them and you and everyone on the conservative side to stop talking about whether Hillary Clinton should have been charged with a crime. By continuing to implicitly make that the standard by which this scandal should be judged, this approach only serves to give her a way out by pointing at the FBI’s recommendation not to prosecute and the highly-detailed investigation which led to it.
The standard should instead be how Hillary Clinton handled transparency during her time as Secretary of State and how she has portrayed that behavior afterwards. As James Comey’s statement showed in great detail, she has failed epically on both accounts, with repeated instances of being secretive, deceptive, and downright incompetent.
There were 110 e-mails that contained information classified at that time. Some of these were marked as such, and others were Top Secret. Having held a TS clearance for over a decade, I can tell you that information regarding these programs is extremely sensitive and can do very real damage if mishandled. Even if we take Hillary at her word that she didn’t know top secret info was being transmitted, it only raises the question of how and why she didn’t know something so important. Yet thanks to our focus on criminal charges, it has fallen to outlets such as the New York Times to detail how inaccurate Clinton’s past excuses actually were.
If the legal aspect of the decision was less confusing, then perhaps continuing to bang the drum for criminal charges would make sense. The FBI director only makes a recommendation, after all, and while there is a less-than-zero percent chance a Democratic administration would ignore that recommendation, we could say in good faith that the process is not yet concluded. But it isn’t simple, and we just lose momentum sending people off to Google 18 U.S.C. § 793(f) and varying standards of intent and the difference between gross negligence and extreme carelessness.
We’ve been handed the keys to a tank* and are complaining that it doesn’t have the exact kind of high-explosive shells we’d prefer. Shutting up and driving the tank would be a better idea.
*For the purpose of this column, I will ignore that Donald Trump has presumably been chosen to drive this tank/armored personnel carrier, and the results so far have been something like this: