Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture or daily living. This week’s question: Assuming that they are brought to trial and convicted, If The Clintons Committed A Felony, What Should Be Done?
The only reason that a public servant would use a private email server hosted out of her house would be to hide her emails from the public she serves.
That’s not just unethical… it’s illegal. And it is the same crime that General Petraeus just pleaded guilty to.
You see, in Petraeus’ case, he pleaded guilty to storing classified materials on his unsecure, private email account. The law requires that classified documents be stored on secure government servers to protect against hackers.
The State Department is saying that Hillary Clinton ONLY used her private email account while she was Secretary.
Which means one of two things:
Either she never received any classified material by email while she was Secretary of State (extremely unlikely) or she committed hundreds, if not thousands, of misdemeanors and felonies by keeping those documents unsecured on her private server.
Those are the only two options. Either Mrs. Clinton wasn’t doing her job, or she was committing crimes on a daily basis.
The penalty for storing classified emails on a non-government, unsecure email server is up to a year in prison and $100,000 fine PER DOCUMENT. This isn’t a felony, but it is a misdemeanor that carries prison time.
The other law that she might have broken is the statute prohibiting the destroying/concealing of government documents. The punishment for knowingly concealing or destroying government email records is 3 years in prison PER OFFENSE.
This second violation is a FELONY and would disqualify her from holding public office!
Did Hillary Clinton illegally kept classified materials on her private email server? It would be inconceivable for the Secretary of State – possessing the highest security clearance – would not discuss anything classified over email.
Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason: Considering the most recent allegations against Hillary Clinton, the most damning, and, if proven, felonious actions committed would be:
1. Taking money from foreign governments,
2. Deleting over 30,000 emails AFTER they had been subpoenaed by Congress,
3. Improper disclosure on tax returns of the receipt of donations to the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments.
On the first count, Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution states “… no Person holding any office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any Present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” The acceptance of money while serving as Secretary of State, regardless of whether these were payments for special favors, violates the Constitution and U. S. law. If Clinton was still in office, this would be an impeachable offense.
On the second point, deleting over 30K emails after they had been subpoenaed is an obstruction of justice. It is a crime as per 18 U.S.C. §1519 to destroy a document to prevent it from being subpoenaed. According to an article in Thompson Reuters by Law Professor Ronald Rotunda, “Section 1519 imposes up to 20 years imprisonment for what commentators call, “anticipatory obstruction of justice.” A casual observer would find it hard to believe her explanation that they were all private emails and none of a public nature. Are we to believe we have NO trail of any of Clinton’s emails while she served as Secretary of State?
Thirdly, we have the announcement that the Clinton family’s charities will be reviewing and refiling five years of tax returns (and possibly more) after news agency Reuters found errors in how they reported donations from foreign governments. Could it be the IRS that takes down the Clinton Empire? Perhaps, if the rule of law was applied equally regardless of political connections or affiliations, but it doesn’t appear President Obama’s IRS and Department of Justice pay much attention to the rule of law unless it benefits his progressive agenda.
The Clinton’s continued arrogance and belief they are somehow above the law is not a sudden revelation. This attitude has existed since they began their political career. Clinton deflects these latest allegations as right wing conspiracy theories. She and her campaign team do not deny any of the charges. They confidently assert there is no smoking gun or evidence of wrongdoing. With these latest revelations, it appears there is enough “there there” for the Justice Department to launch an investigation. Sadly, I don’t hold out much hope for this happening under the current administration.
As to what should be done if they are found guilty of these felonies, the Clinton Foundation should be stripped of its charitable tax-exempt status retroactively back to its formation, its assets liquidated along with all of the Clintons’ properties and holdings, and all of the monies distributed to charities benefiting America’s veterans and their families. Bill and Hillary should be sentenced to live out the rest of their days in confinement together in a single cell in a federal prison with no possibility of parole. One can dream, can’t one?
JoshuaPundit: If I had to answer this question short and sweet, I could confine my response to one word – nothing. Because nothing will be done. They will not be tried at all, much less convicted.
Not that there isn’t quite a bit they could be tried on. According to Mrs. Clinton’s own admissions, she committed obstruction of justice by destroying material she had on a private server after congress had subpoenaed it. There’s also the tacit admission that she and the Clinton Foundation committed what amounted to tax fraud and misuse of a 501C status by (a) failing to disclose the actual foreign sources of donations, AKA money laundering and (b) mixing together a number of those donations in what appears to be attempt to camouflage their origin with government grants they received, also known as commingling. While an ordinary American would be facing severe prosecution and forfeiture of assets for these crimes, the Clintons are being allowed to refile 5 years worth of taxes and 900 reports to ‘fix their mistakes,’ after which they will use money from the Foundation to pay, given their means,extremely modest penalties for misfiling.
And we haven’t even gotten to the pay for play aspects of many these donations which saw speaking fees for President Clinton skyrocket, and came from countries and businessmen who had business that Secretary Clinton as head of State Department was able to intervene on their behalf, and appears to have done so in exchange for large donations to the Clinton Foundation. Or the fact that she apparently classified materials on her private server, another violation of federal law.
Keep in mind that since the Clintons own the Foundation, they were able to use these ‘donations’ to invest and pay ‘expenses’ and to park income from these high paid speaking fees tax free to be used as massive deductions on their other income.
The Clintons won’t be tried for a number of reasons.
The GOP leadership in the Senate just signaled clearly that for all the promises and hot air expended, they have no intention whatsoever of challenging any of this president’s agenda and that he will be allowed to get away with whatever he wants to. So there will be no special prosecutor or any other assistance from the Obama Department of Justice, which now controls that formerly independent office.
The Clintons are prominent Democrats and frankly, there are different legal standards for Democrats nowadays, especially prominent ones whom likely know where a few bodies are buried. So even in the unlikely event any of this sees a court of law, no federal prosecutors will attempt to do anything more than a wrist slap.
We no longer live in a country of laws when it comes to the Oligarchy, this class we have allowed to rule over us. Instead, the laws, when they’re not simply ignored are frequently used as a means to obfuscate and deny justice rather than achieve it.
There is, however an interesting implication, a subtext to the current brouhaha over the Clintons. I’ll explore that in a separate item over at my place shortly.
The Glittering Eye: What should happen under those circumstances? They should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. What will happen? Nothing. Look at David Petraeus, for goodness sake.
The Independent Sentinel: The Clintons should be investigated and tried if there is evidence. They should be punished if they are guilty. It’s pretty straight-forward to me. For their role in turning control of 20% of our uranium over to the Russians, if convicted I think they’re traitors.
Wolf Howling: The Clintons are a sordid pair around whom the stench of scandal always hangs. Those of recent vintage are the multiple issues arising from Hillary’s e-mail during her time as Secretary of State and her subsequent recent erasure of tens of thousands of those e-mails. Another brewing scandal lies with the Clinton Foundation, a cash machine for the Clintons that does not seem to be acting as a charity and indeed, may well be at the center of undue influence on government decisions while Hillary was Secretary of State.
There is a real question whether Hillary violated criminal laws concerning the handling of official e-mails and the transmission of classified information over non-government means of communication. There are related questions as to whether the State Dept. or Hillary herself have committed perjury in their responses to legal requests for information that would have required production of Hillary’s personal e-mails in response. Indeed, the threats Hillary created to our national security by using a private e-mail address not reasonably secured far exceed those created by General Petraeus, who was recently prosecuted for divulging classified material. This is also an issue that ties directly into Behghazi. Because of the whitewash investigation of that incident, one that did not include either Hillary or top levels of the State Department, and because we have not had access to her e-mails, we still do not know what role Hillary played during and in the months leading up to the criminally reckless event that cost the lives of our Libyan Ambassador and several others. Hillary’s refusal to hand over her e-mail server for expert analysis and her attempt to address these issues with a stage managed presser before foreign correspondents have all been just jaw dropping in their shamelessness.
Yet other issues surround the Clinton Foundation, Bill and Hill’s personal money machine since Bill left office. It is a charitable foundation that has taken in well over half a billion dollars, yet fed out only 15% for actual charitable work, if it can be called that. It appears that much of the Foundation money that has been doled out has directly benefited rich friends of the Clintons, and it appears that numerous foreign sources have given money to the Clintons, and then soon after found themselves the beneficiaries of favorable U.S. government actions. The most notorious of these that we know about so far is the approval of a Russian’s purchase of 20% of our nation’s uranium mines, an approval signed off on by Hillary in the State Dept. after several large donations to the Clinton Foundation. Then there is the fact that the Foundation has, for years, failed to disclose its foreign donors, either in its tax returns or as part of legally required disclosures regarding potential conflicts of interest during Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State.
I doubt that there is any direct quid pro quo so in any of this so clear as to sustain a criminal conviction. But it stinks like a three day old manure pile in the hot sun. We will know far more about that in a few days, when Peter Schweizer’s new book Clinton Cash is published.
So what should be done. In a society where rule of law dominates, Hillary would be face down on a table right now along with her sever, both getting a colonoscopy from FBI agents as part of an investigation similar to that of General Petraeus. The MSM seems unsure of what to do at this moment regarding Hillary, but what they aren’t doing is pressing her at any point on the e-mail issue. As to the Clinton Foundation, the MSM appears to be holding its breath, waiting for Schweizer’s book release, apparently afraid that even they won’t be able to stem the tide.
If Hillary and the MSM have an option, they will see her skate right through until her coronation. We will never have answers about the Clinton Foundation or the many issues surrounding Hillary’s e-mail. What we should have is a press treating the Clintons like Nixon and a DOJ that has already opened up investigations. Unfortunately we have neither at the moment, and there will be no investigations until 2017, if ever. Rule of law does not seem to matter to the left in this country, and so long as they hold the levers of power, it will atrophy in this nation.
Well, there you have it.
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