The FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email servers turned up no recommendation that she be charged with any crime, but it did offer a reminder of how powerful officials—especially the former secretary of state—are seemingly held to a different standard when it comes to rule of law in general and secrecy laws in particular.
So argued The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald, who noted after FBI director James Comey’s Tuesday announcement that “[f]or low-level, powerless Nobodies-in-DC, even the mere mishandling of classified information – without any intent to leak but merely to, say, work from home – has resulted in criminal prosecution, career destruction and the permanent loss of security clearance.”
Yet Clinton was protected from such an “extreme, unforgiving, unreasonable, excessive posture toward classified information,” Greenwald wrote, “just in time to save [her] presidential aspirations.”
Indeed, Comey himself admitted the double-standard, saying: “To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.”
Despite finding that Clinton and her team were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information”—and that the candidate’s repeated claims about her email conduct were false—the FBI cited “the context of a person’s actions” and a lack of intent to decide against recommending charges.
“Looked at in isolation,” Greenwald said, “I have no particular objection to this decision.”
However, he wrote:
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