As a bewildered, polarized nation awaits, may Attorney General Loretta Lynch lay down the law – sort of; “We do all our reviews, investigations of any matter carefully, thoroughly, and efficiently. And when the matter is ready for resolution, a recommendation will be made and we’ll come to a decision at that time and I’m not able to give you a prediction. Sorry.”
Sorry indeed. Spare a thought for the army immersed in the Hillary Clinton subterranean server FBI saga, dissecting a web of tens of thousands of cyberspace “transactions”. Yet the True Detective-style plot boils down to two investigative highways: mishandling of classified information; and those eyebrow-raising sums – tens of millions of dollars – feeding the Clinton Foundation’s piggy bank while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, a phenomenon Clintonistas would arguably define as a “grey area”.
Anyone familiar with Apple’s appalling iOS operating system knows that emails do disappear. Hillary Clinton may have handed over all her subterranean server email traffic to the FBI investigation. Yet it gets curioser and curioser when we learn that the State Department was unable to locate a single email from former Clinton IT guy Bryan Pagliano, sent or received, from May 1, 2009 to February 1, 2013. Not to mention that all text messages – or BlackBerry Messenger messages – sent to or from Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State simply vanished.
Pagliano – arguably way more competent than the State Department IT people – was granted immunity by the Justice Department and is cooperating with the FBI investigation. So when the FBI makes that fateful phone call to schedule an interview with Hillary Clinton, that may not exactly constitute a plot twist.
Well, only apparently. Former U.S. attorney Matthew Whitaker explained: “It’s very high-stakes. They’re only going to ask her questions that they know the answers to already.” And the answers will have come from Pagliano’s own computer – in the FBI’s hands for a while now.
So all still remains in play – from possible obstruction of justice to destruction of evidence to just plain, but gross, negligence.
Will convenience trump criminal negligence?
The FBI, predictably, is not talking. But FBI investigators must have certainly zeroed in on how Pagliano, on behalf of Hillary Clinton, technically transferred classified data from a secure State Department network to the private subterranean server. And – crucially – for what reason. Crack candidates for motive include evading scrutiny, as well as avoiding pesky FOIA requests. As Secretary of State, it requires massive suspension of disbelief to picture Hillary Clinton dismissing the implications of the whole enterprise.
So here we’re right into gross negligence territory – which is a minefield compare to mere convenience. The vast, powerful Clintonista army has gone full convenience mode. So it will be up to the FBI – and the Department of Justice – to prove intent and motive, as in establishing, without a shadow of a doubt, that the subterranean server enabled substantial political dividends/profiteering.
Cliffhangers abound – with the endgame either before or after the Democratic convention. Will Loretta Lynch be as pliable as Holder? Will she allow FBI Director James Comey to go all the way? Will everyone meekly follow Hillary Clinton’s own verdict (“it’s not going to happen”)? Will the Department of Justice indict the Democratic presidential nominee for criminal negligence? Will President Obama allow a death blow to the crowing achievement of the Clinton system?
Even if Hillary Clinton is not formally indicted, the FBI may still prove, incontrovertibly, that she did jeopardize US national security. Can’t touch this Holy Grail. The Clinton machine will blame it all on the “vast right-wing conspiracy”. It’s easy to picture a momentarily unified GOP going for it like a pack of hyenas.
The hyenas are already circling. Here’s former attorney general Michael Mukasey; “…it is nearly certain that Mrs. Clinton’s server was hacked, possibly by the Chinese or the Russians. This raises the distinct possibility that she would be subject to blackmail in connection with those transactions and whatever else was on that server by people with hostile intent against this country…”
Mukasey goes on listing “mishandling classified information”, gross negligence, and even “bad intent” or “corrupt intent” as motives for a criminal indictment. And then there’s of course Guccifer, the Romanian hacker who broke into the subterranean server (“It was easy”). Guccifer bolsters the narrative that foreign intelligence agencies and hackers compromised Hillary Clinton’s server, as he swore he identified “at least ten other IPs” when he was hacking about.
Hillary Clinton should have known that. At least according to her own spin, which she previously used to indict Edward Snowden. Now these words may come back to haunt her; “When I would go to China or I would go to Russia…we would leave all my electronic equipment on the plane with the batteries out, because this is a new frontier and they’re trying to find out not just about what we do in our government, they’re trying to find out about what a lot of companies do and they were going after the personal emails of people who worked in the State Department. It’s not like the only government in the world that is doing anything is the United States.”
Considering agency rivalry, the FBI may not bother to ask the NSA whether foreign intel successfully hacked into the subterranean server (the NSA certainly knows). And even if they asked, the NSA notoriously does not share data with other federal agencies.
So here’s a solution. The FBI should politely ask Beijing and Moscow for copies of all Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails.
Case…closed? Not really. Seen from Europe and Asia, all these technicalities, the whole legalese web, do not even begin to breach the real story; how the State Department under Hillary Clinton was fully in the loop of the CIA running a rat line of smuggled weapons through Benghazi (so conveniently close to the US consulate), out of Libya and across Turkey straight to “moderate rebels” of the al-Qaeda-linked jihadi variety operating in to-be-regime-changed Syria. This, the real story, complete with bold elements of war crime, destruction of international law and flagrant abuse of power, has simply vanished. Just like those Hillary Clinton emails the State Department is “unable to locate”.