Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Emailgate: All Sign and Fury, Signifying Nothing

So it's just what we expected all along. FBI Director James Comey:

"Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before deciding whether to bring charges."

"In prosecuting similar cases, Comey noted that past instances have "involved some combination of clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information or vast quantities of information exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct or indications of disloyalty to the United States or efforts to obstruct justice."

"We do not see those things here. To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions, but that's not what we're deciding now," Comey added. “As a result, although the Department of Justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case."

Anticipating the reaction to the recommendation, Comey said, "I know there will be intense public debate in the wake of this recommendation as there was throughout the investigation. What I can assure the American people is that this investigation was done honestly, competently and independently, no outside influence of any kind was brought to bear."

"I know there were many opinions expressed by people not part of the investigation including people in government, but none of that mattered to us," he concluded. "Opinions are irrelevant, and they were all uninformed by insight into our investigation because we did our investigation the right way. Only facts matter, and the FBI found them here in an entirely apolitical and professional way. I couldn't be prouder to be part of this organization."

Comey prefaced the announcement by saying that he has not coordinated his statement with the Justice Department or any other government agency.

“They do not know what I'm about to say,” Comey said, thanking the agents who worked on the case.

Read more:

Wow, who knew? Bill's bumping into Loretta Lynch at an airport last week had no impact. After all, the absurd claim was that Lynch was now going to ovetrurn Comey's decision to indict. As he on his own volition has decided not to indict, how do you claim that that chance meeting at an airport was relevant? If you want to apply any logic to it at all-which is never clear when dealing with the Beltway and the Clintons-you have to admit that there was never any there, there.

Matt Yglesias sums it up well:

"Balanced MSM take: On the one hand, Trump is a wildly unqualified racist demagogue. On the other, Clinton was sloppy with emails."

Here is Chris Cillizza's brilliant take:

"Hillary Clinton's email problems might be even worse than we thought."

Of course. It would certainly have been better for her had she been found guilty of criminal culpability and been indicted. Makes as much sense as any of Cillizza's feverish obsession over this thing thing for 16 months.

Little Marco using little logic as always:

"The FBI's decision regarding Clinton's mishandling of classified emails once again proves that she is DQ'd from being Commander in Chief."

Sure. Elect the guy Rubio says is unfit to handle the nuclear codes. Rigorous logic.

Paul Waldman who is probably as fair as you get in the Beltway media, also raps her knuckles. There's something about the Beltway. They can't bring themselves to admit this has been a nothingburger they've been pursing so breathlessly for 16 months.

Waldman warns:

"The worst thing would be for her to just say, “Whew — dodged a bullet there!” and draw no larger conclusion other than that it was a mistake to use her own email system and not the State Department’s (which she has already said publicly many times). She should start by asking herself why she did it in the first place. It’s possible that at the outset she didn’t understand what the security implications would be; my guess is that she wanted to do it because she knew she’d be the target of endless FOIA requests and lawsuits, and wanted to keep her daily correspondence (both work-related and private) from the hands of those who have made it their mission in life to destroy her. In other words, it wasn’t because she was planning to engineer some kind of criminal conspiracy via email, but she figured it would save her a lot of headache. That calculation turned out to be rather misguided, to say the least."

There's something about the Beltway where they believe they have the power to read Hillary's mind. They are so sure what she must have really been thinking. They just know she must have been doing it for her 'penchant for secrecy', not because there was some lack of clarity on the rules. 

Comey does say a 'reasonable person' in her position or those in the State Department should have known.'

"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."

What evidence is that, exactly? We know that Condeleeza Rice and Colin Powell also used private email-so they weren't reasonable people either.

Who are the reasonable people that led Comey to this conclusion?
You will hear Hillary hating pundits like Cillizza or CNN insisting that the optics of this are just terrible and will hurt her politically. But in truth this is a good day for her. This is behind her now, just as the Benghazi report last week puts that behind her. 
Despite the breathless coverage, nothing has been found. 
Now today, she and Obama are out campaigning. So, in truth, the wind is at her back no matter how the the Chris Cillizzas and Maureen Dowds try to spin it. 


  1. O/T: Ted Cruz runs into pushback to his speech at Christian gathering:

  2. "Balanced MSM take: On the one hand, Trump is a wildly unqualified racist demagogue. On the other, Clinton was sloppy with emails."

    My sentiments as well.