WASHINGTON: Releasing his report about the investigation into the improper use of an email server by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Inspector General Michael Horowitz conclusion is about FBI errors in judgment. However, while it was clear that Clinton broke the law, Horowitz IG Report concludes that the FBI showed no political bias in not prosecuting Clinton.
FBI Errors in Judgment mask Clinton’s illegal acts
In March 2015, the Clinton friendly New York Times published a front-page article noting that Clinton’s use of a private email server and personal email address “may have violated federal requirements.”
Later investigations indicated that Clinton had confidential and highly classified material both on her server and sent in various emails through that server. The law says that government officials who have access to classified information must protect that information.
Failure to do so means that there is gross negligence, which is a crime.
What’s the difference between extremely careless and grossly negligent?
Horowitz was highly critical of former FBI director James Comey. Comey, completely on his own, chose Clinton’s fates.
On his own, and without the power to do so, his decision was that Clinton should not be held accountable for her email decisions. Because it was a mistake, despite it being a crime.
Even though Comey admitted that there was classified information on Clinton’s server, he decided that he would not recommend any charges be filed against Clinton.
Comey noted that he made the decision not to prosecute Clinton. The decision to prosecute is the decision of the Justice Department. Horowitz said this was an error in judgment by Comey.
Horowitz states Comey departed “clearly and dramatically from FBI department norms,” but not for political purposes.
Comey said that he saw no intent on Clinton’s part for her email decisions. In fact, he noted, that Clinton was extremely careless with classified information.
Extremely careless meaning just stupid, versus grossly negligent. The difference is that grossly negligent describes a crime. Extremely careless is a mistake. Comey bypassing the DOJ, made the decision not to prosecute, despite her crime.
This is a dangerous precedent.
Judges rely on the decisions of previous judges. Now, an attorney who is defending a client will simply say that since there was no criminal intent, his client was merely extremely careless.
If that defense worked for Clinton why shouldn’t it work for others?
According to a legal dictionary, negligence is “the mere failure to exercise reasonable care.” There is no mention of intent. Ordinary and gross negligence differ based on the amount of lack of attention.
It is difficult to understand how there was no political bias by Comey or his FBI Cabal led by Strzok. It appears he wanted Clinton to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for president. Prosecution of her crimes by the Justice Department would prevent her from becoming the Democratic nominee.
Horowitz behaves just like Comey.
Horowitz said that any illegal acts by Comey or any other members of the FBI were really not illegal acts but were just errors in judgment. This too sets a dangerous precedent. It is possible that many criminals will use this terminology in the future as part of a defense.
For instance, suppose a person with no previous convictions, decides to rob a bank. Suppose the person is caught and brought to trial. The defense attorney will simply say that his client didn’t really commit an illegal act.
The client simply made an error in judgment.
Perhaps, one could argue, criminals, do not commit crimes. They simply have an error in judgment. A bit of it was my idea, but I think better of it now.
Is there no difference between an illegal act and an error in judgment?
Should every criminal simply admit to an error of judgment and be free of prosecution?
How about Peter Strzok?
Horowitz said that Peter Strzok, a high ranking FBI official, “created the appearance of political bias.” It is obvious from Strzok’s text messages to his mistress Lisa Page, that Strzok would do everything he could to stop Donald Trump from becoming president.
When Paige asked Strzok if Trump could actually win the presidency, Strzok replied
“No. No he’s not. We will stop him.”
Yet Horowitz said Strzok’s bias did not impact Comey’s decision not to prosecute Clinton, even though Strzok was influential in changing the language in Comey’s conclusion.
Changing words from grossly negligent to extremely careless or changing from illegal acts to errors in judgment does not change the crime. The Department of Justice and the FBI are meant to be impartial.
Justice is supposed to be blind when considering who the accused is.
The actions of Comey and Horowitz are very dangerous precedents.