Andrew McCarthy points out that grand juries, especially federal ones, are in place all the time. So a DOJ attorney can draft some information and present it to grand jury at any time.
In the case of Trump’s people or any other issue, Lynch’s DOJ had no problem presenting evidence. In the case of Hillary…well...
The news of grand-jury involvement contradicts prior reporting, at least at first blush. As we shall see, to say a grand jury was “involved” does not mean there was a real grand-jury investigation. It does, however, reinforce what we have said all along: The main subjects of the investigation could easily have been compelled to provide evidence and testimony — which is what investigators do when they are trying to make a case rather than not make a case. There was no valid reason for prosecutors to treat criminal suspects to an immunity spree. They could, for example, have served grand-jury subpoenas on Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson, demanding that they surrender the private computers they used to review Clinton’s e-mails, including classified e-mails it was unlawful to transfer to such non-secure computers. The Justice Department did not have to make promises not to use the evidence against the suspects in exchange for getting the evidence. Mrs. Clinton’s friends at the Justice Department chose not to subpoena Mrs. Clinton’s friends from the State Department and the campaign. The decision not to employ regular criminal procedures — i.e., the decision not to treat the case like other criminal cases — was quite deliberate.
Yep. Someday maybe, the Session DOJ will tell the truth, and they should. Anyone complicit in this should be demoted or fired. The DOJ worked hard not to make this public or a serious investigation.
Yet, Mrs. Clinton was publicly claiming that the probe was “not a criminal investigation,” but rather “a security review.” This was a lie, but it was studiously adopted by the Obama Justice Department, then led by Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who just happened to have been launched into national prominence in the 1990s when President Bill Clinton appointed her U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York — and who was plainly hoping to keep her job in a Hillary Clinton administration. Consequently, Lynch and other top Justice Department officials instructed FBI director James Comey to avoid referring to the probe as an “investigation.” In upcoming congressional testimony, he was to call it a “matter.” Amused, one official even teased the director: “I guess you’re the Federal Bureau of Matters now.” Hilarious, right?
Well, here’s a teeny problem. In a criminal case, investigators invariably have to resort to grand-jury subpoenas in order to collect evidence. When the recipient reads such a subpoena, he or she learns that the grand jury is conducting a criminal investigation into a potential violation of law. Typically, the subpoena even cites the penal statute of the main offense being probed. The point is to put the recipient on notice regarding what information may be relevant, and to alert the recipient to any potential criminal exposure that might call for asserting the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Grand-jury investigations are supposed to be secret, but once subpoenas start flying, the nature of the investigation inevitably becomes public. The subjects of the Clinton investigation were operatives of the Clinton presidential campaign, which was desperate to obscure the fact that its candidate was under a criminal investigation. What better way to do this than for the subjects to offer to cooperate voluntarily — without need of subpoenas. And how very accommodating of the Justice Department to play ball . . . and to have those immunity grants ready just in case any of the “cooperators” possessed incriminating evidence!
So why did the Justice Department issue subpoenas at all? This is a convoluted part of the story, stemming from the Justice Department’s effective rewriting of the applicable statute to avoid charging Clinton. As the Times tells it, the Justice Department and the FBI knew that to charge Clinton with a crime, it would not be enough to prove she had been “sloppy or careless”; instead, “they needed evidence showing that she knowingly received classified information or set up her server for that purpose.”
As I have contended before, this claim is specious on multiple levels. Subsection (f) of the pertinent statute (the Espionage Act, codified at Section 793 of Title 18, U.S. Code) makes it a felony to mishandle classified information “through gross negligence” – i.e., proving Clinton was sloppy or careless (or “extremely careless,” to use Comey’s own description) could have been sufficient. But beyond that, Clinton willfully set up a private network for the systematic handling of her State Department–related communications, in violation of federal record-keeping requirements of which she was well aware, and under circumstances in which she (a former senator who served for years on the intelligence committee) was a sophisticated longtime consumer of classified information. She was keenly aware that her responsibilities as secretary of state would heavily involve classified information — whether it was “marked” classified or “born classified” because of the subject matter. It is irrelevant whether Clinton’s purpose was to transmit or store classified information on the private, non-secure server; prosecutors are not required to prove motive.
The question is whether she knew classified information would end up on the server, and her set-up made that inevitable. That is, Clinton could have been prosecuted either for willfully mishandling classified information or for doing so through gross negligence. The applicable statute elucidates those inconvenient facts, so what a surprise that there was no place for it in the Times’s 8,000-word report. (Maybe if it were a Russian statute?) In lieu of the law, we are treated to another story. Investigators were guided not by the statute but by the precedent allegedly set by the prosecution of David Petraeus for mishandling classified information.
Or maybe the Obama DOJ just didn’t want to open the whole can of worms involving things like Obama himself using a fake account to communicate on an illegal server, sending classified information to his long corrupted and bought off Sec of State…and..
Ahh, who cares… as long as Obama is cashing in right?
If Trump/Sessions are really here to drain the swamp they need to start by releasing all the information and let the citizens find the truth. Then prosecute those who abused their office. That message would reverberate throughout the ranks for a decade. Nobody inside the system has a career path that includes spending time in gen pop in a fed prison.