Thursday, July 7, 2016

What's Intent Got To Do With It?

"What's Love Got To Do With It?" was Tina Turner's best selling single in her career and her first and only #1 chart song.


The lyrics in the third verse of the song seem especially in tune with Hillary Clinton and the FBI investigation of her use of a personal email server in her role as Secretary of State.

It may seem to you that I'm acting confused
When you're close to me
If I tend to look dazed I've read it someplace
I've got cause to be
There's a name for it
There's a phrase that fits ...

The phrase that stood out to me in FBI Director James Comey's statement on the case was this one,

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.

What's intent got to do with Hillary's handling of her email while at State?

It has nothing to do with it and everything to do with at the same time.

Let me explain.

First of all, if you look at the relevant statute that Secretary Clinton was being investigated under, intent has nothing to do with the question of whether there is a violation of the law. 18 U.S.C., Section 793-F states,
"Whoever, being entrusted with...national security documents... through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody... shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both."

There is nothing in the law that says anything about intent. The mere removal of national security documents from their proper place of custody through gross negligence is enough in and by itself to be in violation of the law.

At the same time, FBI Director Comey stated that while they did not find clear evidence Secretary Clinton and her colleagues intended to violate the law they were "extremely careless" in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.

How is "gross negligence" defined?

You probably can't find a better way to describe it than being "extremely careless."

If you set up a private server for work emails, send and receive classified information on that system and use the system even when you are traveling in hostile countries, I don't think there is any question that you have been "grossly negligent."

It becomes even more "gross" with her explanation that she set up the personal email server because she did not want to be inconvenienced. She said she did not want to carry two devices. Therefore, based on her own statement, she put her personal convenience ahead of the security of the United States and your family. However, as it turns out, the FBI found that Clinton had multiple devices so her rationale for the whole private email server was a fabrication to begin with.

You also begin to see that "intent" is everything and everywhere you look in this case as far as Hillary Clinton was concerned.

Her specific intent was to shield as much of her communications from the Freedom of Information Act, the press and public scrutiny as she could. That is clearly why she set up the private email server.

Her clear intent was not to turn over all of her work related emails and other documents as required by law. She only did so more than two years after she left office when the private email server was discovered and she was required to do so by subpoena. She did not voluntarily do so.

Even then, she only turned over 30,490 work-related emails to the State Department for the period 2009-2013.  However, she did not turn over 31,830 emails that she deemed "private and personal."
We now know that a number of these were work-related by looking at other sources. However, these "personal emails" were deleted by Hillary with a clear intent to avoid any scrutiny that might result.

We are told that the "private and personal" emails were supposedly limited to matters such as "yoga routines," "family vacations," and "planning Chelsea's wedding." according to Hillary.

Does this seem as strange to you as it does to me?

My personal email volume is a fraction of what my business email volume is.

How is it that when Hillary Clinton was serving as our Secretary of State that she was receiving and sending more personal emails about vacations, yoga routines and weddings than business emails in the course of a normal day?

Who was she working for? What was her first priority?  Her country or herself?

It sounds like her Secretary of State duties were a part-time job if she had that volume of personal emails to send and answer every day compared to work emails.

What is also interesting are the gaps in Hillary's work email traffic that Peter Schweizer reports on in Politico Magazine. For example, one of the important issues that Clinton signed off as Secretary of State (along with several other cabinet secretaries) was the sale of what amounted to 20% of our nation's uranium reserves to the Russian state-owned company Rosatom.

During the same time this transaction was ongoing, millions of dollars of donations were made to the Clinton Foundation by those involved in the transaction. Here is what Schweizer finds curious about Hillary's work emails that she supposedly turned over.

Clinton and senior officials at the State Department received dozens of cables on the subject of Rosatom’s activities around the world, including a hair-raising cable about Russian efforts to dominate the uranium market. As secretary of state, Clinton was a central player in a variety of diplomatic initiatives involving Rosatom officials. But strangely, there is only one email that mentions Rosatom in Clinton’s entire collection, an innocuous email about Rosatom’s activities in Ecuador. To put that into perspective, there are more mentions of LeBron James, yoga and NBC’s Saturday Night Live than the Russian Nuclear Agency in Clinton’s emails deemed “official.”

What was in those 31,830 emails that Hillary intentionally deleted? And why would she be so intent on deleting emails about yoga routines or wedding planning?

It seems clear that Hillary Clinton had all the intent in the world to do one thing and that was to protect herself and her future Presidential prospects to the exclusion of the law, our national security and the rule of law.

What's intent got to do with it?

Nothing and everything.

Intent was not necessary to indict Hillary Clinton. It means nothing under the Espionage Act.

However, if you are looking for intent, it is everywhere you look in this case. Everything that Hillary did in this case was intentional.

And the phrase that fits Hillary?

Not confused.

Not dazed.

Intentionally, willfully, criminally guilty.

She wouldn't be able to hold a security clearance if she was any other person.

This is the next President of the United States?

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