Faced with felony accusations, Hillary Clinton goes into damage control
After being caught using a secret email account to conduct all of her official State Department business as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is now trying to feign transparency to get out of a jam. The email server was operated out of her house with a domain registered under a fake name, and multiple FOIA requests specifically requesting emails from personal accounts were ignored (not denied, completely ignored). Also, according to several reports, many of her emails from this account may have already been deleted.
This amounts to a violation of two Federal statutes: the Freedom of Information Act and the Federal Records Act. The penalties are not good for Hillary Clinton.
from National Review:
But Mrs. Clinton did something here that went well beyond occasional or incidental use of private e-mail accounts. She eschewed the use of an official account entirely, and deliberately established a private e-mail account, apparently maintained on a server in the Clintons’ New York home. As a result, her e-mails were at no time during her tenure in office subject to the Federal Records Act. (She provided some of the e-mails only after she left office, and only when the Department of State asked for them back.) As our friends at Judicial Watch will no doubt remind everyone, there were plenty of Freedom of Information Act requests that would have implicated her e-mails. But they were never searched, even though a reasonable search of all responsive federal records must be made in response to FOIA requests. And the records would have been relevant to congressional inquiries as well, including continuing investigations of the Benghazi attacks.
Why does that matter? Well, a federal criminal law makes it a felony when any custodian of official government records “willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same.” The crime is punishable by up to three years in prison. And interestingly, Congress felt strongly enough about the crime that it included the unusual provision that the perpetrator shall “forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.”
Now, Hillary Clinton is saying that she wants everyone to read her emails, but this comes only after she’s had plenty of time to destroy whatever she wants destroy. There is virtually no way of knowing whether any record how many emails she sent using the secret account is accurate because she failed to comply with the Federal Records Act while in office.
Unfortunately, it would be the Obama Justice Department that would be required to press any criminal charges against Hillary Clinton, and the chances of that happening about as good as having the Justice Department prosecute itself. So, even though it’s plainly obvious that Clinton committed a felony, the chances of her facing any actual consequences for it are very slim.
The political damage, however, could be catastrophic. She will face intense questioning from Congress, who has already subpoenaed what remains of her emails. Judicial Watch is suing for not only her emails, but her top aid Huma Abedin’s as well. The AP is threatening a lawsuit for her violation of their FOIA requests.
At this point, Clinton is damaged goods, and everybody knows it.