Is the law the law for everyone? With the recent revelation that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton forwarded classified emails and discussed classified drone strikes using her private email account, the case is clear: Clinton broke the law concerning the handling of classified information under 18 U.S. Code § 793—a crime former General David Petraeus recently plead guilty to for the same reasons.
Clinton also likely violated the Federal Records Act and, based on information disclosed in the emails, conspired to avoid complying with the Freedom of Information Act.
One of the Clinton campaign’s primary defenses so far has been to claim that the law regarding the handling of classified material is being wrongly implemented, and that, in practice, information is being overclassified.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign press secretary, Brian Fallon, has continually offered this defense.
This is overclassification run amok. We adamently oppose the complete blocking of the release of these emails. https://t.co/77s6mtm0JA
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) January 29, 2016
That is a very sound and reasonable position. Unfortunately, it stands diametrically opposed to the position the Obama Justice Department has taken. In what many refer to as The War On Whistleblowers, the Obama Administration has investigated and prosecuted those who give embarrassing and politically damaging information to the press for violating the law concerning the handling of classified information.
Those the Obama Administration has targeted face fines and years in jail, as well as the revocation of their security clearances. They will likely never serve in government again, nor are they able to get work related to their field of expertise, due to not being allowed to handle classified information.
Former Secretary Clinton violated those same laws and has, thus far, faced no consequences whatsoever. The State Department’s own inspector general admonished Clinton for breaking procedure, then lying about it and failing to disclose all her government-related emails for review after the fact.
If Hillary Clinton were a low-level state department official, is there any way she would not already be indicted? She broke the law for handling classified information and lied about it.
Now, if President Obama and the Justice Department want to say the laws governing classified information are outdated and it is unjust to enforce them, fair enough—pardon the whistleblowers you’ve prosecuted and call it a day. But what is completely unacceptable is to declare that, because a person is powerful enough, the laws do not apply to them. Which is, in effect, what a non-indictment of Hillary Clinton says.