FBI director James Comey’s announcement that Hillary Clinton would face no criminal charges regarding the emails actually was something of a relief. I didn’t expect her to be indicted, and I’m damn tired of the children on social media eagerly anticipating the indictment that wasn’t going to happen. It didn’t help that clickbait sites and hacks like H.A. Goodman continued to exploit the last, best hope of Bernie Sanders die-hards by promising them an indictment.
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. For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.
In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails). None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government or even with a commercial service like Gmail. Separately, it is important to say something about the marking of classified information. Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information. But even if information is not marked “classified” in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.
To which Pierce comments,
Let us also state plainly at the outset that what Comey is describing above is a more than legitimate issue in the presidential campaign, and that “Hoorah! I’m Not Indicted!” isn’t exactly an inspiring Message Of The Day for your first appearance on the stump with the president.
It’s inspiring enough for Clinton supporters, who remain supremely confident that Their Glorious Candidate did absolutely nothing wrong. But in a normal election year, this would have been a serious, damning blow to Clinton’s presidential hopes, indictment or no indictment.
However, it’s not a normal election year, and Donald the Doofus is ignoring the serious issue of Clinton’s terrible judgment and is instead arguing that Clinton wasn’t indicted because the system is rigged. Well, the system is rigged, but in this case there are legitimate reasons to argue she shouldn’t have been indicted. Pierce goes into those, too.