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DOJ told FBI “No” on charging Clinton

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by CaptUSMCNole, Mar 13, 2019 at 9:07 AM.

  1. CaptUSMCNole

    CaptUSMCNole GC Hall of Fame

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    Lisa Page stated in her closed door testimony, which was released yesterday, that the FBI wanted to charge Clinton with gross negligence but when they told the DOJ that, the DOJ came back and said no. The reasoning was the same that we’ve heard before, that the statue is vague. Page stated during questioning that the FBI took that as an order.

    Page said Comey and the FBI spoke with DOJ about a gross negligence charge for Clinton multiple times, but that the DOJ consistently pushed back on it. “We had multiple conversations with the Justice Department about bringing a gross negligence charge. And that’s, as I said, the advice that we got from the Department was that they did not think — that it was constitutionally vague and not sustainable,” she said.

    Ratcliffe asked if the decision not to charge Clinton with gross negligence was a direct order from the DOJ. “When you say advice you got from the Department, you’re making it sound like it was the Department that told you: ‘You’re not going to charge gross negligence because we’re the prosecutors and we’re telling you we’re not going to,’” he said.

    Page responded: “That’s correct.”


    I haven’t had time to read the entire transcript so I don’t know if this was before or after Lynch’s meeting with Bill on the tarmac.

    The link is to the Washington Examiner that has the transcripts.
    Transcripts of Lisa Page’s private testimony released

    It's hard to imagine if Hillary Smith, civilian servant, had been found to set up her own email server and the FBI found all that classified info on it, that the DOJ would come back and say "We don't think you should do that because that law is vague."
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019 at 9:29 AM
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  2. GatorFanCF

    GatorFanCF Premium Member

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    They followed orders - no way Obama was going to throw HRC under the bus and pave the way for The Donald.

    Now, if it was a 2nd Lt. at some obscure base halfway around the world then: “off with his head!”
     
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  3. VAg8r1

    VAg8r1 GC Hall of Fame

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    Interestingly, the Washington Post has a completely different take on the same story.
    In newly released transcript, former FBI lawyer fires back on charges that anti-Trump bias affected Trump and Clinton probes

    Unfortunately, the transcript is over 150 pages and it's not a searchable document. As I stated in other threads, I suspect that the decision not to pursue charges against Clinton was based on the determination that if she was indicted it would have been extremely difficult to obtain a conviction. Ethical prosecutors do not indict defendants unless there is reasonable probability of obtaining a conviction.

    From the Post article:
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019 at 9:31 AM
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  4. WarDamnGator

    WarDamnGator GC Hall of Fame

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    Unless it is unusual for the agents to talk to the prosecutors about potential charges, then I don't see the problem. The prosecutors were asked their opinion and gave it, and gave a sound reason for having that opinion.
     
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  5. CaptUSMCNole

    CaptUSMCNole GC Hall of Fame

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    That article references Page's quote from above but it is much further down. Interesting that they did not actually use her actual quote.

    She pushed back against the suggestion that the FBI “blew over” potentially charging Clinton with gross negligence under the Espionage Act, saying officials did consider it — but decided that the move would be too “constitutionally vague,” unprecedented, and “that they did not feel that they could sustain a charge.” Page also said Richard Scott, the Justice Department official in charge of overseeing the Clinton probe, had advised against making the harsher charge.

    The article does talk about the DOJ doing some unusual things like stating they wanted to have their people in the room when Clinton was questioned and allowing Cheyl Mills, a "fact witness", to be present during Clinton questioning.

    It is getting hard to say that there weren't shenanigans going on at the DOJ when it deals with the Clinton investigation. Again, do you think Hillary Smith is going to have the DOJ saying that the statute is constitutionally vague?
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019 at 1:27 PM
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  6. duchen

    duchen VIP Member

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    Of course prosecutors would have addressed with the FBI whether to charge. That is what prosecutors do. They should have made the charging decision. The problem with this is that the upper brass at the FBI punted this when they should have refused and appointed a special counsel. The assertion in the post above that Obama was involved in the decision is simply false. Notable in this is that the GOP did not release Page’s or Ohr’s transcripts when they were in the majority, but have now unilaterally released two transcripts without Democratic participation. An utter breakdown in the order of the House. Democrats did not do the same thing during the hearings last year. What this shows is their desperation. Even normal acts like prosecutorial decisions by prosecutors, or at lest their input to the FBI, is somehow treated as a grand conspiracy. Lunch and Yates had no involvement in this and it was left to career prosecutors to guide the FBI. This is in Comey’s book and has been reported many times. All this says is that Comey, who had been a prosecutor, was guided by DOJ lawyers. Normal, except that DOJ lawyers should have made the decision to begin with.
     
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  7. duchen

    duchen VIP Member

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    I posted this in the Mueller thread. This is an oversimplification. I am not repeating this here again. If you look this up on the Mueller report thread, you will see what the issues with intent, gross negligence and vagueness are.
     
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  8. duchen

    duchen VIP Member

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    In 1941, the Supreme Court upheld other provisions of the statute against a vagueness challenge only because that proviosnion required specific intent. This provision is essentially identical to the one upheld except it requires gross negligence, which therefore implicated the vagueness problem with respect to what materials would have to be passed and how they would have to be handled to be punished in a constitutionally permissible way. I even posted the case. What you are now doing is repeating the same argument in a new thread that has been addressed here as nauseum since 2016.
     
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  9. GatorNorth

    GatorNorth Premium Member Premium Member

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    Perspective on issues today will largely be driven not by facts, but by political affiliation.

    We live in a very nuanced world when people are increasingly seeing things in their most simple black and white form based on there own tribal beliefs as supported by the echo chambers they inhabit every day, starting with the president and working down from there.

    Read today that DOJ is investigating whether a Trump inauguration contributor was a Malaysian fugitive......does that mean the Dems are secretly running DOJ again? Or is there a conspiracy against Trump? Or hopefully, they're just doing their freaking jobs.

    Sometimes we have to accept some context for these things.

    The Bush/Gore SCOTUS decision probably should have gone Gore's way based on the law as applied to those facts, yet SCOTUS ruled 5-4 otherwise. Why? Can you imagine the turmoil in our country if a Presidential election was overturned by the courts?

    DOJ chose to pass on charging HRC while announcing its findings, while at the same time chose NOT to announce they were investigating the Trump campaign at the same time. Why? Likely for the same reasons as SCOTUS ruled years earlier, to disrupt the election process as little as practical and not undermine the faith of 350M people in our democracy. Frankly, Comey should have just kept his mouth shut about both, or disclosed both, but for his own reasons put himself in an untenable box.

    I think our public servants, prosecutors, investigators, etc, while all having political beliefs, generally come to work every day trying to do the right thing (with some exceptions and subject always to whatever workplace politics exist) and that the current castigation of them all being crooked, or biased, or incompetent is truly unfortunate, and hurts us all.
     
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  10. fredsanford

    fredsanford Premium Member

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    But I thought Lisa Page was the devil? Does this make her credible now to the Foxbots?
     
  11. CaptUSMCNole

    CaptUSMCNole GC Hall of Fame

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    What a lot of us would just like to see is the rules applied equally to both sides. It's hard to say that is happening when Flynn is being charge with lying to the FBI and while no one involved with the Clinton's Server was charged with that even though the IG report specifically states the FBI could have charged at least one person who worked for Clintons with it.

    In another exchange on February 4, 2016, Agent 1 and an FBI employee who was not assigned to the Midyear investigation discussed Agent 1’s interview with a witness who assisted the Clintons at their Chappaqua residence. Part of this exchange follows.

    FBI Employee: “boom...how did the [witness] go”
    Agent 1: “Awesome. Lied his ass off. Went from never inside the scif [sensitive compartmented information facility] at res, to looked in when it was being constructed, to removed the trash twice, to troubleshot the secure fax with HRC a couple times, to everytime there was a secure fax i did it with HRC. Ridic,”
    FBI Employee: “would be funny if he was the only guy charged n this deal”
    Agent 1: “I know. For 1001. Even if he said the truth and didnt have a clearance when handling the secure fax –aint noone gonna do shit


    Page 147
    https://www.justice.gov/file/1071991/download

    I agree that the majority of the countries public servants go to work trying to do the right thing, but it seems like some previous DOJ prosecutors were only using their discretion in one direction. Again, Hillary Smith isn't being afforded the considerations that Hillary Clinton was by the DOJ.
     
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  12. fredsanford

    fredsanford Premium Member

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    If you want the rules applied to both sides, then you want Trump prosecuted for all his interference in active DOJ cases like you want done for Loretta Lynch.
     
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  13. CaptUSMCNole

    CaptUSMCNole GC Hall of Fame

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    If the rules were applied to both sides, the person working at the Clinton's home in New York would have been charged with lying to the FBI.

    We are all waiting for the Mueller Report to come out, let wait and see what it says.
     
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  14. GatorNorth

    GatorNorth Premium Member Premium Member

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    Thank you for proving the very first point I made in my original post.

    The same FBI didn't tell the voters the the candidate not named Clinton was under also investigation.

    And I'm not making an excuse for her loss, she was an awful candidate, I'm merely saying we see what we want to see largely based on our uniforms.
     
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  15. CaptUSMCNole

    CaptUSMCNole GC Hall of Fame

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    The FBI and DOJ’s policy is to not comment on any ongoing investigation. The only reason people knew that the FBI was investigating Clinton was because it was public knowledge that there was classified information in her emails and the matter had been referred to the FBI. The FBI was not even able to call the investigation an investigation, Lynch told Comey to refer to it as a “matter” not an investigation. Comey broke DOJ policy by conducting his PC.

    Do you think Biden or Warren might have jumped in the race if the FBI has referred to the “matter” as an investigation? I think that would have changed the landscape of the Democratic primary significantly.
     
  16. fredsanford

    fredsanford Premium Member

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    No. Comey himself said they are all investigations, so that was known.
     
  17. CaptUSMCNole

    CaptUSMCNole GC Hall of Fame

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    No it wasn’t.

    The New York Times reported in July 2015 that two inspectors general had made a criminal referral to the Justice Department recommending an investigation into whether Mrs. Clinton had mishandled sensitive information by using a private email server as secretary of state. Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, relying on a statement from President Obama’s Justice Department, complained vigorously to The Times, resulting in two corrections to the article.

    The corrections said that the inspectors general had made a “security referral” rather than a “criminal referral” and that the referral did not request that Mrs. Clinton specifically be investigated. Mrs. Clinton’s campaign called the article an “erroneous story” with “egregious” errors that misled voters into thinking that she was at risk of being investigated by the F.B.I. for possible criminal violations when the referral was a more routine security matter not focused on her in particular. Critics of the news media, including the public editor of The Times, agreed.

    But in “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership,” his memoir that is scheduled for release next week, Mr. Comey said the word-parsing by Mrs. Clinton’s campaign and the Justice Department was actually misleading because the F.B.I. was already conducting a criminal investigation focused on Mrs. Clinton by that point.

    For the Clinton campaign, minimizing the significance of the inquiry was important to prevent it from becoming a bigger political liability as she headed into the Democratic primary season. Indeed, when Mr. Comey was ready in October 2015 to publicly confirm the investigation, Loretta E. Lynch, President Barack Obama’s attorney general, instructed him to call it a “matter” instead. Ms. Lynch, he wrote, “seemed to be directing me to align with that Clinton campaign strategy.”

    As Clinton Camp Denied Reports of Criminal Inquiry, F.B.I. Was Investigating, Comey Says

    When the NYTimes said Clinton was under criminal investigation, she and her campaign freaked out and went after the Times making them change the story. According to the Clinton campaign backed up by the DOJ, Clinton was NOT under an FBI investigation during the primaries, when she in fact was. When Comey was ready to call it an investigation, Lynch specifically told him not to and to call it a "matter."

    You would think Democratic primary voters would have wanted to know whether or not one of their candidates was under investigation by the FBI.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019 at 1:22 PM
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  18. gator_lawyer

    gator_lawyer Premium Member

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    Prosecutors make discretionary charging decisions all the time based on whether or not a case is winnable. And the more high-profile the case, the more likely they are not to pursue it if it's not winnable. That's simply reality.
     
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  19. PerSeGator

    PerSeGator GC Legend

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    Come now, we all know that every prosecutor looks at the Zimmerman, OJ, and Casey Anthony trials are are like "man, I wish I had those cases on my resume." Failing to convict Hillary would be like a dream come true.

    :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  20. BigCypressGator1981

    BigCypressGator1981 Premium Member

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    Its 2019 and Hillary Clinton is still walking around a free woman.
     
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