ELDER PATRIOT – If we set all of the political theater of todays hearing before the House Oversight Committee aside, FBI Director James Comey made it very clear that Hillary Clinton should face “severe consequences” for her use of a private email server.
Under questioning from the committee chairmen Jason Chaffetz, Director Comey was asked:
CHAFFETZ: Do you really believe there should be no consequence for Hillary Clinton in how she dealt with this?
COMEY: I didn’t say — I hope folks remember what I said on Tuesday. I didn’t say there is no consequence for someone who violates the rules regarding handling classified information. There are often very severe consequences in the FBI involving their employment, involving their pay, involving their clearances. That’s what I — that’s what I said on Tuesday. And I hope folks walk away understanding that just because someone is not prosecuted for mishandling classified information, that doesn’t mean if you work in the FBI, there aren’t consequences for it.
CHAFFETZ: So if Hillary Clinton or if anybody had worked at the FBI under this fact pattern, what would you do to that person?
COMEY: There would be a security review and an adjudication of their suitability and a range of discipline could be imposed, from termination to reprimand, and in between, suspensions, loss of clearance, so you could be walked out, or you could, depending upon the nature of the fact, you could be reprimanded, but there is a robust process to handle that.
Comey based his decision not to recommend prosecution because the law had been applied only once previously in 99 years which to him indicated that since no reasonable prosecutor enforced the law in prior instances that meant no reasonable prosecutor would ever seek to prosecute a case based on the applicable federal laws.
That was his decision to make based on his knowledge of the specifics of this case and past precedents in application of the applicable federal statutes. We can disagree with his determination but his findings as they regard presidential candidate Clinton speak loudly.
Comey also recognized that because Mrs. Clinton was a private citizen and no longer employed by the federal government none of the remedies and punishments that he laid out in his answer to Congressman Chaffetz could be applied to her.
That doesn’t mean the FBI Director exonerated Mrs. Clinton. He advised the American people that anything from a reprimand, to a suspension, to a loss of clearance, to termination would be appropriate.
All of this means that at the end of the day the decision whether to hire Mrs. Clinton and to entrust her with the presidency will be for the voters to make. The FBI won’t hire her, will you?