Federal law states “gross negligence” in handling the nation’s intelligence can be punished criminally with prison time or fines, and there is no requirement that defendants act intentionally.
In a draft dated May 2, 2016, James Comey originally said Hillary Clinton was “grossly negligent” in handling classified information when using a private email server. But that was later modified to claim that Clinton had merely been “extremely careless” in a draft dated June 10, 2016.
Former FBI director James Comey also said at a news conference, “Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges,” including “the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent.”
Comey stated: “What I can assure the American people is that this investigation was done competently, honestly, and independently. No outside influence of any kind was brought to bear.”
The former FBI Director then later said that he took the unusual step of announcing the FBI’s conclusions because then-Obama administration Attorney General Loretta Lynch was spotted having a secret meeting with former President Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac as the probe into Hillary Clinton, which Lynch was overseeing, continued.
Problem is that Comey’s statement’s were nothing but a smokescreen. More was happening behind the scenes.
An internal chart uncovered that was prepared by federal investigators working on the so-called “Midyear Exam” probe into Clinton’s emails, contained: “NOTE: DOJ not willing to charge this” next to a key statute on the mishandling of classified information.
The notation contradicts James Comey’s repeated claims that his team made its decision that Hillary Clinton should not face criminal charges independently.
The internal chart served as a critical tip that provided the basis for Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe’s questioning of former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, in which Page agreed with Ratcliffe’s characterization that the DOJ had told the FBI that “you’re not going to charge gross negligence.” A transcript of Page’s remarks was published on Tuesday as part of a major document released by the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, Georgia Rep. Doug Collins.
The document, entitled “Espionage Act Charges – Retention/Mishandling,” contained a list of several criminal statutes related to the mishandling of classified information, as well as a list of all the elements that prosecutors would need to prove in order to successfully prosecute a case.
Among the statutes listed are 18 U.S.C. 793(d), which covers the “willfull” retention of national defense information that could harm the U.S.; 18 U.S.C. 793(f), which pertains to “gross negligence” in the handling of classified information by permitting the information to be “removed from its proper place of custody”; and 18 U.S.C. 1924, listed as a misdemeanor related to retaining classified materials at an “unauthorized location.”
Listed directly below to the elements of 18 U.S.C. 793(f) were the words: “NOTE: DOJ not willing to
None of the other descriptions of the statutes had a similar notation.
Enter Lisa Page.
Lisa Page and since-fired FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, who was having an affair, exchanged a stack of anti-Trump text messages in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, which exposed the bureau’s political bias.
Page’s testimony and the internal “Midyear Exam” chart constituted perhaps the most salient evidence yet that the Justice Department interfered improperly with the FBI’s supposedly independent conclusions on Clinton’s criminal culpability.
“So let me if I can, I know I’m testing your memory,” Ratcliffe began as he questioned Page under oath, according to a transcript excerpt he posted on Twitter. “But when you say advice you got from the Department, you’re making it sound like it was the Department that told you: You’re not going to charge gross negligence because we’re the prosecutors and we’re telling you we’re not going to —”
Page interrupted: “That is correct,” as Ratcliffe finished his sentence, ” — bring a case based on that.”
Responding to the transcript, President Trump on Wednesday tweeted: “The just revealed FBI Agent Lisa Page transcripts make the Obama Justice Department look exactly like it was, a broken and corrupt machine. Hopefully, justice will finally be served. Much more to come!”
The just revealed FBI Agent Lisa Page transcripts make the Obama Justice Department look exactly like it was, a broken and corrupt machine. Hopefully, justice will finally be served. Much more to come!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 13 March 2019
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