Plain Talk About Hillary Clinton’s National Security Breaches

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national-security

The recent revelation of 650,000 email messages discovered on Huma Abedin’s computer are not really needed to prosecute and convict Hillary Rodham Clinton on charges of espionage against the United States, a crime punishable by imprisonment in a federal penitentiary.

If charged and convicted on each count documented by Director James Comey in July, Clinton could spend the rest of her life in prison. That seems a fitting reward for Clinton’s multiple incidents of callous disregard for the national security of the United States.

Nevertheless, despite “110 emails in 52 chains” with classified information found by the FBI, Hillary Clinton has the audacity to claim there exists “no evidence of wrongdoing”! As a retired career employee of the Department of Defense, I am personally well acquainted with the enormous importance placed on protection of classified information.

Every federal employee with a security clearance is required to attend annual security training. Such regular training ensures employees are well aware of the importance of protecting classified information. Employees with clearance to handle classified information are made fully aware of the penalties for failure to safeguard such information. Depending on the severity of the breach, penalties may include dismissal and imprisonment for failure to uphold their responsibility to safeguard classified material. Breaches of this responsibility are particularly egregious when the exposure created could result in material falling into the hands of foreign intelligence-gathering operations, regardless of whether material actually falls into unauthorized hands.

Some background on Classified material and US Code defining acts that constitute “espionage” against the Untied States (for a complete description of classification levels, read Classification Levels):

TOP SECRET – The Top Secret classification level “shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.”

 

SECRET – The Secret classification level “shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the national security.”

 

CONFIDENTIAL – The Confidential classification level “shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security.”

[Note: Emphasis added by author]

Recall FBI Director James Comey’s July 5, 2016 statement itemizing 110 emails in 52 chains that criminally exposed every level of classified national security information to unauthorized access in clear violation of provisions of U.S. Code, Title 18:

“From the group of 30,000 emails returned [by Hillary Clinton] to the State Department in 2014, 110 emails in 52 email chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent. Thirty-six of those chains contained Secret information at the time, and eight [chains] contained Confidential information at the time.”

Compare the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) failure to prosecute Hillary Clinton for her egregious and deliberate exposure of the most highly sensitive national security information over a period of years to the zealous prosecution of U. S. Navy sailor Kristian Saucier of Arlington, Vermont for a single inadvertant violation that was confined to the contents of his camera.

Saucier was sentenced to one year in jail for taking pictures inside a 40-year-old nuclear submarine in an area containing classified equipment, a fact unknown to Saucier at the time and which action was not exposed to any other individual. Saucier was sentenced to one year in jail, six months of home confinement, and five years of probation. His mother, a federal employee, lost her job because of his actions.

On the other hand, the DoJ declined to prosecute Hillary Clinton for her repeated egregious acts of espionage against the United States, her destruction of official records, and her many false statements to the FBI and the American people.

As a further stain on our institutions of justice, the FBI has not performed a proper “investigation” that would have included the DoJ empaneling a Grand Jury, the FBI subpoenaing Clinton’s aides and all others known to have used or had access to her email devices (including her servers) and questioning Hillary Clinton before a Grand Jury.

When Clinton falsely claimed her attorneys had reviewed every one of the tens of thousands of emails that were deleted, she was lying:

During a congressional hearing on July 7, 2016, Rep. Gowdy asked Director Comey: “Secretary Clinton said her lawyers read every one of the emails and were overly inclusive [with what was returned to the State Department]. Did her lawyers read the email content individually?”

Dir. Comey: “No.”

Subsequently, the FBI learned that Clinton’s attorneys had tried to delete email messages that not only were official government business, but contained classified information!

There is ample conclusive evidence that Clinton had, on several occasions, made false exculpatory statements and destroyed material evidence in an attempt to avoid prosecution.

Not only is Hillary Clinton guilty of violations of federal law, but so are her attorneys and many of her aides and close confidantes who were well aware of her illegal activities with respect to her nonsecure private email devices and who participated in attempts to cover-up the entire mess.

The relevant federal law that conclusively demonstrates Hillary Clinton should be prosecuted for her multiple acts of espionage:

By her actions ordering the acquisition and use of private nonsecure email servers and devices, and her subsequent use of such devices, and based on evidence obtained from the FBI investigation of email messages found on those same private nonsecure devices, throughout her four years as Secretary oF State, Hillary Rodham Clinton committed espionage against the United States when she violated the following provisions of federal law:

U.S. Code (Title 18, Part I, Chapter 37, § 793 and § 798) create a series of “or” conditions, any one of which is sufficient to constitute a violation of law governing the safeguarding of classified material.

The following provisions of U.S. Code, Title 18 were violated by Hillary Rodham Clinton’s use of unauthorized nonsecure private email servers:

 

  • U.S. Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 37, § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information: Subsections (d), (e), (f), and (g) were violated. For brevity, only subsections (f) and (g) are discussed, but the other provisions can be reviewed using the link above.

 

(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, … or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody … in violation of his trust, …, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, … or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such … destruction to his superior officer—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
(g) If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions of this section, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy.

Subsection (g) of U.S. Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 37, § 793 provides the basis for criminal charges against everyone who knew of the illegal nonsecure servers and the trafficking of classified materials over the same and, in particular, those who directly violated the prohibition against destruction of materials by their attempt to erase or otherwise destroy evidence of the crimes committed. Also, those who originally transferred highly classified material from paper form to “nonpaper” electronic form in order to “send nonsecure” by email are as guilty as all who received such email containing classified material sent to or from Hillary Clinton’s nonsecure email servers. The criminal act of conspiracy in an effort to cover-up criminal activity is defined by U.S. Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 37, § 793, subsection (g).

There are two particularly important considerations when weighing the application of these laws:

  1. Each violation can be penalized by fine or imprisonment, or both fine and imprisonment.
 

 

  • There is no requirement for intent. Even inadvertant exposure that might or might not lead to unauthorized disclosure is sufficient to constitute a violation, regardless of whether the offender had any intent to disclose material to unauthorized personnel or whether there is any evidence material was actually disclosed to unauthorized personnel.

 

 

 

(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, …, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or … to the detriment of the United States any classified information—

(1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or

(2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or

(3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or

(4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

While an “act of espionage” does not require specific violations of § 798, based on previous statements made by those involved with the FBI investigation, codes, identification of foreign intelligence sources, and other pertinent highly sensitive classified information were revealed by classified information discovered on Hillary Clinton’s nonsecure private email devices.

Violation of any provisions of either § 793 or § 798 is sufficient to warrant the charge of espionage against the United States. By her callous disregard for her responsibility to safeguard classified information, Hillary Clinton’s use of nonsecure private email servers and devices clearly meets the requirements for Clinton to be charged and convicted on multiple charges of espionage.

It would be unprecedented for someone with repeated deliberate egregious security violations to not be charged and convicted of these serious crimes against the United States. The scope and extent of criminal charges against Hillary Clinton that are justified by the evidence are unprecedented for any former high-ranking federal official.

In addition to the charge of espionage and conspiracy to commit espionage, Hillary Clinton’s numerous statements contrary to facts that were designed to obstruct justice and deceive the American people provide substantial evidence she also violated:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—

(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

 

(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or

 

(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;

shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both. If the matter relates to an offense under chapter 109A, 109B, 110, or 117, or section 1591, then the term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be not more than 8 years.

There is a very clear record of Hillary Clinton’s many materially false statements (that continue to this day) made to both the public and the FBI concerning her illegal nonsecure email devices that handled at the very least “110 emails in 52 email chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received” (quotation from FBI Director James Comey, July 5, 2016).

Clinton’s many false statements clearly violate provisions of § 1001 and are punishable as criminal activity.

Equally clear are Hillary Clinton’s efforts to have evidence in the form of both equipment and tens of thousands of email messages destroyed in an attempt to cover-up her improper exposure of classified information to unauthorized personnel.

Based on statements by FBI Director James Comey and information released by the FBI, there is more than adequate evidence to charge and convict Hillary Rodham Clinton of a variety of federal crimes, any one of which would disqualify her becoming President of the United States.

It would be a travesty for to reward Hillary Clinton’s criminal activity and serial lying with an election victory.

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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.

BobWebster

Bob Webster is a descendent of Daniel Webster's father and early American patriot, Ebenezer Webster. Bob has always had a strong interest in history, our Constitution, U.S. politics and law. Politically he is a constitutional republican ('little r' republican) with objectivist and libertarian roots. He has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint by the regressive Progressive movement as a great danger to our Republic. He strongly believes, as our Constitution enshrines, that the interests of the individual should be held superior to the interests of the state. A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964

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