The case of General Cartwright

The FBI and the Department of Justice seem to think that they have restored some of the credibility they lost giving Hillary Clinton a pass in the Clinton email investigation. They think they have helped themselves by investigating former member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman General James E. Cartwright (President Obama’s favorite general) and securing a guilty plea from him for making false statements to the FBI in a Stuxnet-related leak investigation.

On Monday the Department of Justice issued this press release. The press release includes this quote from the prosecutor:

People who gain access to classified information after promising not to disclose it must be held accountable when they willfully violate that promise,” said U.S. Attorney Rosenstein. “We conducted a thorough and independent investigation included collecting tens of thousands of documents through subpoenas, search warrants and document requests, and interviewing scores of current and former government employees. The evidence showed that General Cartwright disclosed classified information without authorization to two reporters and lied to federal investigators. As a result, he stands convicted of a federal felony offense and faces a potential prison sentence.”

“Today, General Cartwright admitted to making false statements to the FBI concerning multiple unauthorized disclosures of classified information that he made to reporters,” said Assistant Director in Charge Abbate. “This was a careful, rigorous, and thorough multi-year investigation by special agents who, together with federal prosecutors, conducted numerous interviews, to [sic] including Cartwright. The FBI will continue to take all necessary and appropriate steps to thoroughly investigate individuals, no matter their position, who undermine the integrity of our justice system by lying to federal investigators.”

Beyond satire.

Somehow Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin remains unimpressed. His column is “General Cartwright is paying the price for Hillary Clinton’s sins.” Rogin points out a few leads hiding in plain sight in Cartwright’s case that have yet to be followed up.

Rogin quotes Cartwright’s statement taking responsibility for lying to the FBI: “My only goal in talking to the reporters was to protect American interests and lives; I love my country and continue to this day to do everything I can to defend it.” Invoking two other relevant cases for purposes of comparison, Rogin asks: “Can Clinton or Petraeus plausibly make the same claim regarding their indiscretions?”