This is the Director of the FBI about a Secretary of State
“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”
By any standard of exercise of professional competence this is tantamount to a description of gross negligence.
The Legal Dictionary: Gross negligence is a conscious and voluntary disregard of the need to use reasonable care, which is likely to cause foreseeable grave injury or harm to persons, property, or both. It is conduct that is extreme when compared with ordinary Negligence, which is a mere failure to exercise reasonable care. Ordinary negligence and gross negligence differ in degree of inattention, while both differ from willful and wanton conduct, which is conduct that is reasonably considered to cause injury.
That Hillary Clinton gets away with gross negligence can only confirm for those of the anti-establishment persuasion that the system is rigged and plays right into Donald Trump’s narrative. In this case receiving no formal censure can actually be worse for Hillary Clinton than being formally charged with some relatively trivial misdemeanour.
As always with a case amounting to gross negligence – in any field – it is a matter of incompetence.
Andrew Mccarthy writes in the National Review:
There is no way of getting around this:
According to Director James Comey (disclosure: a former colleague and longtime friend of mine), Hillary Clinton checked every box required for a felony violation of Section 793(f) of the federal penal code (Title 18): With lawful access to highly classified information she acted with gross negligence in removing and causing it to be removed it from its proper place of custody, and she transmitted it and caused it to be transmitted to others not authorized to have it, in patent violation of her trust. Director Comey even conceded that former Secretary Clinton was “extremely careless” and strongly suggested that her recklessness very likely led to communications (her own and those she corresponded with) being intercepted by foreign intelligence services. Yet, Director Comey recommended against prosecution of the law violations he clearly found on the ground that there was no intent to harm the United States.
In essence, in order to give Mrs. Clinton a pass, the FBI rewrote the statute, inserting an intent element that Congress did not require. The added intent element, moreover, makes no sense: The point of having a statute that criminalizes gross negligence is to underscore that government officials have a special obligation to safeguard national defense secrets; when they fail to carry out that obligation due to gross negligence, they are guilty of serious wrongdoing. The lack of intent to harm our country is irrelevant. People never intend the bad things that happen due to gross negligence.
There are two take-aways here:
- Hillary Clinton has been given a “free pass” by the establishment for a clear case of a felony violation of Section 793(f) of the federal penal code (Title 18), and
- As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton displayed incompetence.