|FBI Director James Comey testifies before the COC|
They were enraged that FBI Director James Comey, after his department’s exhaustive investigation and despite his criticism of Secretary Clinton’s and her associates’ handling of their email, did not find that any charges of criminal activity were in order. Their mistakes were “extremely careless” but unintentional.
That was not good enough for the Congressional Republicans, who were hoping for if not expecting a different outcome. So they immediately turned their attack against Mr. Comey, a highly esteemed public servant with impeccable credentials. The hastily called hearing before the Republican controlled Congressional Oversight Committee backfired big time. Not only did the FBI Director refute their insinuations and outright charges that Hillary Clinton was being treated more leniently than anyone else would have been, he said in effect that to indict her would be to treat her more harshly than anyone else and totally unprecedented.
Mr. Comey stated that Secretary Clinton had never lied to the FBI, nor did she intentionally do anything to jeopardize the security of the United States. Those who have followed the email story know that she admitted that setting up a private server for her convenience was a mistake for which she was sorry, even though she never thought it was improper at the time.
Despite the FBI’s report, Mrs. Clinton continues to insist that she did not send or receive classified information while she was Secretary of State. How, then, do we reconcile that repeated statement with the findings of the FBI investigation? One possibility is that there could have been
human error on the part of one or more of the many agents involved in reviewing the thousands of emails turned over to them by Secretary Clinton. Indeed, subsequent to the Hearing the FBI has already admitted that three of the emails were mistakenly marked classified. How many more might there have been? Mrs. Clinton did not suggest such a possibility. Rather she praised the FBI for their hard work and professionalism.
A more plausible explanation is that if there were a small number (110) of classified emails buried among the thousands of e-mails she received and sent, Secretary Clinton and her associates simply did not see them or realize they were classified. The classification was apparently not ostentatiously flagged. Mr. Comey committed that they could have missed the small “c” buried in some of the messages.
There is one more logical, and for me most compelling, reason for believing that Hillary Clinton has been telling the truth all along: there is simply no reason for her to lie! As a former attorney, she is too smart to think she could lie to the FBI! On the contrary, she has been praised for being very forthcoming and cooperative. The FBI believes she is telling the truth; why shouldn’t Congress?
Another important distinction must be made, one that is consistently overlooked in political discourse. It is that there is a difference between lying and being mistaken. One may be mistakenly convinced one is entirely correct about something.. That is not lying. Apparently Hillary Clinton honestly believed she neither received nor sent classified emails on her private servers while she was Secretary of State. If the FBI’s findings are correct, she was wrong, but she wasn’t lying. It is possible, moreover, that she could even be right about that, by some rationale we have not yet heard.
Whether she and her associates deserved the harsh criticism they received from Mr. Comey about the handling of their emails is itself somewhat questionable. His critical assessments were, after all, opinions, not objectively measurable facts. In view of the political implications of the decision reached by his department to clear them of any criminal wrongdoing he may have felt it necessary to express himself as he did. He was well aware of how the Republicans would respond to that decision.
In any case, Hillary Clinton has been cleared of having committed any criminal offense —for the time being. Not content with the findings of the FBI and the subsequent confirmation of their investigation by United States District Attorney Loretta Lynch, the Congressional Oversight Committee has already launched a new attack against Hillary Clinton, claiming that she lied about her emails during her testimony before Congress. They simply won’t give up their witch hunt.
In view of their own unconscionable failure to act on gun control, or immigration reform, or campaign finance reform, or our crumbling infrastructure, or any other of the many pressing problems facing our nation, the Republicans should be ashamed of themselves. What hypocrisy! Their inaction is so much more shameful, so much more harmful to our nation’s security and welfare, than Hillary’s Clinton’s use of a private email server.
And what a waste of time and tax payers’ money is their interminable and blatantly political witch hunt against the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate! Given their failure to act in the best interests of the victims of gun violence, and of our criminal justice system, and of our immigration policy, and of our crumbling infrastructure, they are the ones who ought to be on trial!
And they will be, come November 8!