There’s a reason why so many Hollywood movies and books suggest political interference happens a lot in investigations of public officials. It’s a factor, whether agencies like it or not. President Barack Obama decided to inject politics into Clintonemail by saying he didn’t think Hillary Clinton’s private server “posted a national security problem. AP has already written how the FBI is a little nonplussed by the President’s comments. It’s also not the first time Obama has decided to comment on investigation with political implication. As The New York Times pointed out, Obama did the exact same thing during the David Petraeus probe.
“I have no evidence at this point, from what I’ve seen, that classified information was disclosed that in any way would have had a negative impact on our national security.”
Petraeus did end up getting probation for admitting to a misdemeanor and still does some advising for the Administration. The reason Petraeus got a misdemeanor was because the Justice Department overruled the FBI, who wanted him charged with a felony. So that could be a case of the government trying to cover one of their own, which they’ve also been accused of doing for Clinton in the entire Clintonemail investigation. The FBI might be smarting just a little bit over claims from Judicial Watch last month that they were trying to cover for the Administration in Judicial Watch’s suit. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley made similar comments. The FBI can claim it’s not interested in politics, but politics is certainly always a factor. The Justice Department, plus the Congress and the President, decide how much money goes to certain agencies, including the FBI. If DOJ went to FBI Director James Comey and privately suggested the Clintonemail scandal find nothing under the threat of a lowered budget, would he resist them? This is NOT suggesting DOJ has done this, but it’s pointing out the fine line federal agencies walk when they’re tasked with investigating high-level political officials.
Now one FBI agent certainly is willing to talk, albeit anonymously. The agent told The Daily Mail Clinton should be charged under the “gross negligence” section of the Espionage Act because she didn’t tell Obama about the server.
“If investigators conclude that the former secretary [Clinton] was criminally careless in how she approached the security of the sensitive documents in her possession, then this part of the law could be used to prosecute her…The secretary’s superior is the President of the United States. ‘So unless he were aware of what she was doing when she was doing it, it seems there could be a legal problem [for her].”
That’s the big question, “Did Obama know about the private server?” Obama says, “No,” and it’s possible he’s telling the truth. But it seems unlikely that he wouldn’t know about it because he IS the President of the United States. The only way he wouldn’t know about it is if Obama and Clinton were always meeting face to face to share information or calling each other or if he was protected by other staff members from knowing about it. Again, there’s no proof, but the Clintonemail server really seems like something a president should know about and it seems odd that he didn’t.
There are Democrats who are trying to make the scandal much ado about nothing. Bernie Sanders said during Tuesday’s debate he was, “sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails,” which got applause from the audience and his supporters. But one thing VICE News’ Jason Leopold said is the emails appear to show Clinton had no idea what she was doing as Secretary of State.
She looked to all these outside advisors. She wanted to know how [then-Senator] Carl Levin voted on the Iraq surge. What the email shows is that this is a person who was very concerned at the time about how her decision—her important, important policy decision—would reflect upon her personally, and how it would impact her standing with the public. That’s important.
He’s right it is important, and those wanting transparency in government should be chomping at the bit to find out everything. Politics is always a factor in these things and it appears there are some in the FBI who actually want to look into what’s going on and are frustrated by the President’s glibness on Clintonemail. What would be interesting to find out is if the leaks happened BECAUSE of pressure from the DOJ to make sure Clintonemail is DOA. Are FBI agents now talking about it to remind the Administration they’re law enforcement, not political tools? Did Comey actually authorize the agents to speak to The New York Times and The Daily Mail to get the message out that this investigation is an actual investigation? Or are the agents doing it on their own to do their own subtle reminder that no one is above the law? There’s no proof of this, but it’s certainly fun to speculate. That speculation won’t stop until results come out, which no one knows when that’ll happen. Maybe by then Joe Biden will ride backwards on a white horse telling Democrats, “Here I come to save the day!”