If Trump went beyond Clinton in his effort to conceal and cover up his misdeeds, including defying a subpoena and falsely asserting he’d turned over all the classified information in his possession, then he may face criminal consequences for obstruction even if his initial misconduct wasn’t materially different from Clinton’s.
The bottom line is deeply disheartening. Two of the most powerful and prominent politicians in the United States engaged in conduct that virtually any other American would be prosecuted for. They have placed the system under great strain, and the system is buckling.
It remains to be seen whether Donald Trump’s conduct was so much worse than Hillary Clinton’s that prosecution is both legal and just. Indeed the entire issue may be so fraught with peril that the DOJ may decide to merely seize the documents without any further legal proceedings.
But if Trump did break the law and is not prosecuted, we can look back at a pivotal moment in history and know why. On July 5, 2016, the FBI set an extraordinary standard for prosecuting powerful people for mishandling our nation’s most precious secrets, and we shouldn’t change that standard for Donald Trump.