11) Will the FBI really refer her for indictment? Will she be prosecuted?
On March 1st, 2016, FBI Director James B. Comey said
“I can assure you is that I am very close personally to that investigation to ensure that we have the resources we need, including people and technology, and that it’s done the way the FBI tries to do all of it’s work: independently, competently and promptly. That’s our goal, and I’m confident that it’s being done that way, but I can’t give you any more details beyond that.”
He was unsurprisingly opaque about the status of the investigation.
The former chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Darrell Issa said with the “body of evidence” against Hillary Clinton, FBI Director James Comey “really has no choice but to refer this for indictment.”
Hillary doesn’t think the FBI or Department of Justice will pull the trigger. When she was asked this in last week’s Democratic debate what she would do if were referred for indictment, she said “It’s not gonna happen“. Maybe she knows information we don’t (ha ha ha).
Here’s the most important point – The FBI can only make a recommendation to the Department of Justice to prosecute an indictment. And it’s looking increasingly likely that this recommendation will happen.
But the decision to prosecute Hillary lies with President Obama and the Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
This is Mark Jones, a political science fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute –
“If the evidence is so strong and so damaging that Loretta Lynch moves to indict, that says something,” he said. “Because the default for the Obama administration in general and Loretta Lynch in particular would be not to indict. The last thing they want to do is indict Hillary Clinton. They would only do it if there was such strong evidence that there was no gray area or wiggle room whatsoever.” (You can determine for yourself from the evidence I have presented if there is sufficient “gray area or wiggle room”, there very well may be)
The fear now is that because Hillary has virtually locked up the Democratic nomination to be President, basically as of two nights ago, the Justice department will not pursue the indictment for political reasons, even if there is a prosecutable case.
However, Joseph DiGenova, a former U.S. attorney under President Ronald Reagan, said Loretta Lynch would have “no choice” but to prosecute Clinton if the FBI recommended an indictment. While the recommendation would likely come in the form of a confidential memo, “the bureau will no doubt let it be known“ that such a memo exists in order to increase the public pressure on Lynch to proceed with the case.
There have even been suggestions that FBI Director James Comey would resign in protest if the Lynch declines to prosecute the case – something he almost did in 2004 when he felt White House politics were overruling the law. And according to the NY Post, that view is reinforced from other federal agents who have been spreading the word, largely through associates in the private sector, that their boss is getting stonewalled, despite uncovering compelling evidence that Clinton broke the law.
Still, some FBI staffers suggest the probe’s at a point where Comey might quit in protest if Justice ignores a recommendation to pursue a criminal case against Clinton.
Should we be surprised if Loretta Lynch decides the evidence is not overwhelming enough to prosecute Clinton, even though she has promised a fair, independent investigation? Especially given that before becoming attorney general, Lynch served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York – appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1999. And she would likely retain the Attorney General position in a Clinton administration.
But the decision ultimately lies with President Barack Obama.
These are questions of accountability.
There have been multiple comparisons of Clinton’s case with David Petreaus’s indictment – a case that FBI Director James Comey had directly worked on. Comey is in fact no stranger to investigating the Clinton’s.
But most importantly, mishandling classified information is something DOZENS of lower and middle level intelligence officials have been punished for, for actions far less incriminating in scope and severity. Their punishments included stripping of security clearances, career retirement, agency blacklisting and many times imprisonment.
The available evidence suggests there is a case to be made for misdemeanor, if not felony charges, a reality that is driving the rumors that the FBI is likely to recommend an indictment.
But when would that referral for indictment come? All most all of the evidence has been presented. According to the Washington Post –
As the FBI looks to wrap up its investigation in the coming months, agents are likely to want to interview Clinton and her senior aides about the decision to use a private server, how it was set up, and whether any of the participants knew they were sending classified information in emails, current and former officials said.
So it looks like we are just waiting for these final interviews with Clinton and her aides. The announcement seems only like a question of political timing at this point. We are still in the heat of the primary elections and Clinton has a large lead over Bernie Sanders; she seems poised to claim the nomination. There are reports that a recommendation, one way or the other, would come in May. The Democratic National Convention officially chooses a nominee for President on July 25-28th, 2016. How close to the nomination will the FBI say anything? What kind of pressures are being applied to James Comey, both from within the Obama administration, and from the GOP establishment and GOP Presidential candidates?
But if the FBI recommends an indictment, especially one for felony charges as I have laid the case for, and the Department of Justice does not prosecute, what kind of political firestorm will we see both in Congress and in the media? Especially if the Director of the FBI resigns in protest?
Here is the evidence that a grand-jury has been already been convened and Hillary Clinton will be prosecuted.
1) Clinton’s IT staff member who managed the e-mail server, Bryan Pagliano, has been given immunity by a federal judge. This is one of the most recent revelations in the case and was revealed on March 2nd, 2016. A witness is usually granted immunity if he/she will be giving testimony to a grand jury about evidence that relates to an investigation, and implicates themselves in a crime. Until now, Pagliano has been pleading the 5th Amendment and has refused to cooperate with the investigation. Maybe because there are actually a bunch of questions surrounding Pagliano’s hiring.
Many have said a granting of immunity isn’t evidence of guilt, rather a competent lawyer who is seeking protections for their client before cooperating with an investigation. This is a sentiment shared by Barbara Van Gelder, a Washington lawyer with the firm Cozen O’Connor, who has represented numerous witnesses in high-profile congressional and Justice Department investigations. She said, “Just because someone gets immunity isn’t indicative of guilt. It’s just protection.”
Pagliano receiving immunity may ultimately be inconsequential, but one former FBI official said, “you don’t start granting people close to Clinton immunity unless you are seriously looking at charges against your target.”
2) The hacker Marcel Lazar Lehel (“Guccifer”) is being extradited to the United States from Romania. This was revealed on March 4th, 2016 after a Romanian court granted the extradition. Why would Guccifer be extradited to the United States if not to testify that the missing email from Clinton’s records is in fact the hacked email that he released in 2013? Will investigators point to the missing email pointed out in Sidney Blumenthal’s AOL inbox screenshot, and ask Guccifer to confirm the content of that email?
3) Career Justice Department attorneys have been assigned to the case. When Loretta Lynch was asked when the investigation would be wrapped up she said, “That matter is being handled by career independent law enforcement agents, as well as career independent attorneys in the Department of Justice.”
This is almost indisputable proof that FBI probe has at least progressed beyond the initial referral, why else would the Department of Justice bring in their own attorneys? It seems fair to assume that DOJ agents may now be using the U.S. government’s full investigative tool box, including subpoena power for individuals, business or phone records, as well as witnesses, to create their case against Hillary Clinton.
4) Attorney General Loretta Lynch would not answer whether or not a grand jury has been convened. I was incidentally in an Uber over spring break in DC, where a replay of her interview with Brett Baier was being broadcast. If there was no grand jury being convened, Lynch would have likely said so to quash rumors that she will be indicted. If a grand jury is meeting to discuss evidence she would not legally be allowed to comment on it.
The house of cards is crumbling.