A follow-up to Matt's post, which covered a report that shouldn't go unnoticed, in spite of the Trump maelstrom dominating most headlines. In short, two Fox News sources familiar with the federal criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton say career agents and lawyers attached to the case were "floored" when FBI Director James Comey announced his decision not to recommend criminal charges against the former Secretary of State in July. The "vast majority" of these people are said to believe that based on the evidence they reviewed, an indictment was warranted:
The decision to let Hillary Clinton off the hook for mishandling classified information has roiled the FBI and Department of Justice, with one person closely involved in the year-long probe telling FoxNews.com that career agents and attorneys on the case unanimously believed the Democratic presidential nominee should have been charged. The source, who spoke to FoxNews.com on the condition of anonymity, said FBI Director James Comey’s dramatic July 5 announcement that he would not recommend to the Attorney General’s office that the former secretary of state be charged left members of the investigative team dismayed and disgusted. More than 100 FBI agents and analysts worked around the clock with six attorneys from the DOJ’s National Security Division, Counter Espionage Section, to investigate the case. “No trial level attorney agreed, no agent working the case agreed, with the decision not to prosecute -- it was a top-down decision,” said the source, whose identity and role in the case has been verified by FoxNews.com. A high-ranking FBI official told Fox News that while it might not have been a unanimous decision, “It was unanimous that we all wanted her [Clinton’s] security clearance yanked.” “It is safe to say the vast majority felt she should be prosecuted,” the senior FBI official told Fox News. “We were floored while listening to the FBI briefing because Comey laid it all out, and then said ‘but we are doing nothing,’ which made no sense to us.”
Are these two sources accurately characterizing investigators' private sentiment? We can't definitively say one way or the other, but we do know that Comey felt compelled to defend himself in multiple internal emails and memos o the Bureau's rank-and-file. We also have this new interview with Peter Schweizer, whose sources in Washington served him well as he wrote Clinton Cash, which mainstream media outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post built upon in their own reporting. In other words, despite Team Clinton's self-interested protestations to the contrary, his reporting has credibility:
"I talked to people who'd been in law enforcement at the federal level, and also prosecutors, who said the same thing. They did not know of a current FBI who was familiar with the case who did not think Hillary Clinton should face legal jeopardy because of her actions in the email case."
There is simply no question whatsoever over whether or not Mrs. Clinton's actions constituted grossly negligent handling of classified material. Comey admitted as much, calling her conduct "extremely careless" and "the definition of negligence." That's all the statute requires for prosecution. But because individuals are virtually never prosecuted without proof of intent on top of their negligence, Comey said it would have been a break from precedent to charge Mrs. Clinton. But that excuse was systematically dismantled by Trey Gowdy in two grillings of Comey, noting that Clinton's after-the-fact lies ("false exculpatory statements) are very strong indicators of intent, which Comey was forced to admit. More indications of intent have since dripped out with the release of more FBI notes, emails, and evidence. Meanwhile, the DOJ extended sweetheart immunity deals to people at the center of the scandal, effectively ensuring that nobody would pay a price for the deliberate compromising of top national secrets. No wonder officials familiar with the details of the probe are baffled and angry over their bosses' political decisions to let Hillary and her coterie of enablers off the hook. I'd like to hear more details and confirmation from the people being described by these sources. And I'm curious if any of them would protest what they view as a politically-motivated travesty of justice by resigning or becoming an on-the-record whistleblower. I'll leave you with my segment on Fox discussing the Wikileaks revelations swirling around the Clinton campaign:
Later in the exchange, I summed things up by calling Clinton a "shape-shifting, self-serving liar."