Prosecutor who prevented Clinton prosecution tied to Clinton attorney
New evidence shows that a justice department prosecutor with a conflict of interest blocked the FBI from prosecuting Hillary Clinton for the federal crime of “gross negligence” in the mishandling of classified information.
The agents working on the FBI investigation that began in 2015, designated “Midyear Exam,” had determined that Clinton’s misuse of classified information on her private email server, while she was Secretary of State, likely violated the Espionage Act.
At issue is the legal term “gross negligence” found in the statute for which Clinton could have been charged, according to FBI officials.
FBI attorney Lisa Page testified to the House Judiciary Committee that the FBI was inclined to consider prosecuting Clinton for “gross negligence” in handling classified information on her private email server while she was Secretary of State.
“Separately, you know, we had multiple conversations with the Justice Department about bringing a gross negligence charge,” Page stated to the committee in a July 2018 hearing.
In her testimony, Page identified Richard Scott as the justice department official who made the decision not to charge for gross negligence.
Deputy Chief of Counterintelligence at the Department of Justice Richard Scott was employed as an associate at the law firm Williams and Connolly immediately prior to going to work for the justice department according to his biography. Clinton’s attorney David Kendall was a partner at Williams and Connolly while Scott was employed there and was “Senior Counsel” to the firm while he represented Clinton in the email investigation. Scott worked at the justice department from December 2008 to January 2018 and was responsible for overseeing the justice department investigation of Clinton.
In short, Clinton’s attorney David Kendall and the justice department attorney, Richard Scott, who prevented her from being charged with a felony, were colleagues in a private law firm with Kendall being the senior partner.
Scott has not responded to requests for comment.
The term “gross negligence” has been a point of contention since it was learned that then-FBI Director James Comey removed the phrase from his controversial July 2016 press statement announcing Clinton would not be charged. The legal term “gross negligence,” which would have exposed Clinton to federal charges, was replaced with the more innocuous phrase “extremely careless.”
“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” Comey stated.
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy explained in a National Review editorial why it was necessary to change the language in Comey’s statement:
“The director’s description of Clinton’s conduct as ‘grossly negligent’ was amended to ‘extremely careless’ because gross negligence is the mental state required for conviction in the Espionage Act — after all, this was supposed to be an exoneration statement, not an indictment.”
While Clinton appears to have dodged criminal charges, she still faces a tenacious legal challenge from public interest group Judicial Watch.
Seeking to force Clinton to explain her failure to produce her government emails under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Judicial Watch is suing for the right to depose Clinton and her associates. One court has cleared the way for a Clinton deposition, but Clinton attorneys immediately appealed to a higher court.
In an exclusive interview, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told American Wire that the justice department “should have prosecuted her… but instead of a serious prosecution, they let her off the hook.”
Regarding the Judicial Watch suit, Fitton says,
“If it were anyone but Hillary Clinton, she would almost certainly have to testify.”
If Judicial Watch can question Clinton under oath, her answers could provide some clarity on many issues surrounding her emails that, so far, have remained a mystery. As for now, it is in the hands U.S. Court of Appeals DC Circuit.
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