Listening attentively to FBI Director Comey’s announcement this morning (text here), one could hear him shredding each of Hillary Clinton’s excuses, evasions, lies and deceits regarding her use of private email server to conduct official business. He described her handling of national defense information as “extremely careless,” conduct that precisely fits the violation of section 793(f) of the Espionage Act, not to mention other possibly applicable laws.
Corey’s recitation of the facts seemed to me to reflect a fidelity to the truth as well as a displeasure with the situation in which he found himself. He was letting her skate, but he wasn’t thrilled about it.
Comey’s get out of jail-free card came with a small caveat: “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.” So an individual who recklessly exposes national security information in the future might be stripped of his security clearance or face a slap on the wrist of some kind.
Maybe even Hillary and friends! If only.
You’ve heard of the Miranda warning. This is the Comey warning. Consider yourself warned. This is Comey comedy.
Comey’s get-out-of-jail-free card requires an explanation. McCarthy suggests that Comey has added a requirement for violation of the statute that that the statute lacks. That is certainly true.
Comey’s additional assertion that the applicable laws have never been enforced under these facts is inexplicable. Have we ever had a case remotely similar to this one? What we have here is Comey comity with the Clinton exception to the criminal laws.