As much as Hillary Clinton and her presidential campaign try to spin the just-announced FBI probe into the former secretary of state’s email practices as not that big a deal and just a fact-finding exercise, the true nature of the Bureau’s inquiry is much more serious. So says a bombshell report in the New York Post that definitively labels the FBI’s action as a “criminal probe.”
The feds are investigating to what extent Clinton relied on her home server and other private devices to send and store classified documents, according to a federal source with knowledge of the inquiry.
“It’s definitely a criminal probe,” said the [Post’s unidentified] source. “I’m not sure why they’re not calling it a criminal probe.”
As Western Journalism reported late last month — when two inspectors general asked the Justice Department to open an investigation into Hillary’s use of a private email account maintained on a personal server — The New York Times was persuaded by the Clinton campaign to change its original story.
The first report published by the Times said the request was for Justice to launch a “criminal” probe. After complaints from Hillary’s image-protection team, the “criminal” description was eliminated in favor of less provocative, more neutral language.
Now, however, another New York-based publication, the Post, has thrown the eyebrow-raising “c” word back into the mix and once again raised the specter of Hillary’s Clinton’s extreme jeopardy, not only with regard to her presidential aspirations, but to her being charged with a serious crime.
If it is proved that Clinton knowingly sent, received or stored classified information in an unauthorized location, she risks prosecution under the same misdemeanor federal security statute used to prosecute former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus, said former federal prosecutor Bradley Simon.
The statute — which was also used to prosecute Bill Clinton’s national security adviser, Sandy Berger, in 2005 — is rarely used and would be subject to the discretion of the attorney general.
The report in the New York Post quotes a former chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and one-time official in the Department of Justice, who explains what the FBI’s “criminal” investigation is most likely looking at:
“My guess is they’re looking to see if there’s been either any breach of that data that’s gone into the wrong hands [in Clinton’s case], through their counter-intelligence group, or they are looking to see if a crime has been committed,” said Makin Delrahim, former chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, who served as a deputy assistant secretary in the Bush DOJ.
As of this writing, neither the Hillary Clinton campaign nor anyone from the FBI has confirmed the claim in the Post story.
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