Hillary Clinton just got some very bad news. Lawyers at the very top of the FBI wanted to criminally charge her.
It always looked like a cover-up, what with the tarmac meeting and other odd coincidences.
But we really didn’t know how bad it was until yesterday when a GOP rep revealed some comments made behind closed doors.
Look, Mueller will release his report and if it, as many suspect, has nothing on Trump or Russian collusion, then all eyes will turn to how the investigation started.
If the trail runs all the way back to Clinton and to the people who did not charge her we have a major problem.
From SaraCarter.com Former FBI General Counsel James Baker originally believed Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of highly classified information was “alarming” and “appalling.” At the time, he believed her use of a private server to send the classified emails was sufficient enough to secure an indictment to possibly charge her for violations under the Espionage Act, for mishandling sensitive government documents.
Baker held onto that belief until shortly before his former boss FBI Director James Comey made the public announcement not to charge Clinton on July 5, 2017. He said he changed his position only after arguing and discussing the situation over a period of time with senior colleagues at the bureau, to include Comey. Comey, however, had already written an early draft in May, exonerating Clinton and changing “grossly negligent,” a legal term for mishandling classified information to “extremely careless,” according to drafts obtained by the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017.
From The Hill: For most of the past three years, the FBI has tried to portray its top leadership as united behind ex-Director James Comey’s decision not to pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for transmitting classified information over her insecure, private email server.
Although in the end that may have been the case, we now are learning that Comey’s top lawyer, then-FBI General Counsel James Baker, initially believed Clinton deserved to face criminal charges, but was talked out of it “pretty late in the process.”
The revelation is contained in testimony Baker gave to House investigators last year. His testimony has not been publicly released, but I was permitted to review a transcript.
During questioning by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), Baker was unequivocal about his early view that Clinton should face criminal charges.
“I have reason to believe that you originally believed it was appropriate to charge Hillary Clinton with regard to violations of law — various laws, with regard to mishandling of classified information. Is that accurate?” Ratcliffe, a former federal prosecutor, asked Baker.
Baker paused to gain his lawyer’s permission to respond, and then answered, “Yes.”
He later explained why he came to that conclusion, and how his mind was changed:
“So, I had that belief initially after reviewing, you know, a large binder of her emails that had classified information in them,” he said. “And I discussed it internally with a number of different folks, and eventually became persuaded that charging her was not appropriate because we could not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that — we, the government, could not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that — she had the intent necessary to violate (the law).”
Asked when he was persuaded to change his mind, Baker said: “Pretty late in the process, because we were arguing about it, I think, up until the end.”
Baker made clear that he did not like the activity Clinton had engaged in: “My original belief after — well, after having conducted the investigation and towards the end of it, then sitting down and reading a binder of her materials — I thought that it was alarming, appalling, whatever words I said, and argued with others about why they thought she shouldn’t be charged.”
His boss, Comey, announced on July 5, 2016, that he would not recommend criminal charges. He did so without consulting the Department of Justice, a decision the department’s inspector general (IG) later concluded was misguided and likely usurped the power of the attorney general to make prosecutorial decisions. Comey has said, in retrospect, he accepts that finding but took the actions he did because he thought “they were in the country’s best interest.”