The New York Post reports that the FBI investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s unsecured e-mail account is a criminal probe. The Post’s source said, “It’s definitely a criminal probe; I’m not sure why they’re not calling it a criminal probe.”
Me neither, but I can guess.
The source explained that the Justice Department and the FBI can conduct civil investigations in limited circumstances, but that’s not what this is. “In this case,” said the source, “a security violation would lead to criminal charges.”
I’m no expert on the subject, but the source’s view seems valid. After all, as the Post points out, Gen. David Petraeus faced criminal charges for the unauthorized release of classified information. And former Bill Clinton aide Sandy Berger was prosecuted for the unauthorized removal of such info.
This doesn’t mean that Hillary Clinton will, or should, be prosecuted. That decision depends on the facts of her case. But it’s reasonable to believe that the investigation into Clinton’s emails is intended to ascertain the facts necessary to determine whether she committed a crime. In other words, it’s a criminal probe.
As Makin Delrahim, former chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and a deputy assistant secretary in the Bush DOJ, told the Post, the DOJ and the FBI “are not in the business of providing advisory security services.” They are in the business of investigating possible criminal conduct.