It’s not been a good week for former FBI Director James Comey. It was revealed he had already exonerated Hillary Clinton of any wrongdoing before the investigation was completed. Now per a new report, it was not actually Comey who exonerated Hillary Clinton. Obama did.
Per National Review:
Let’s think about what else was going on in April 2016. I’ve written about it a number of times over the last year-plus, such as in a column a few months back: On April 10, 2016, President Obama publicly stated that Hillary Clinton had shown “carelessness” in using a private e-mail server to handle classified information, but he insisted that she had not intended to endanger national security (which is not an element of the [criminal statutes relevant to her e-mail scandal]). The president acknowledged that classified information had been transmitted via Secretary Clinton’s server, but he suggested that, in the greater scheme of things, its importance had been vastly overstated. This is precisely the reasoning that Comey relied on in ultimately absolving Clinton, as I recounted in the same column: On July 5, 2016, FBI director James Comey publicly stated that Clinton had been “extremely careless” in using a private email server to handle classified information, but he insisted that she had not intended to endanger national security (which is not an element of the relevant criminal statute).
The director acknowledged that classified information had been transmitted via Secretary Clinton’s server, but he suggested that, in the greater scheme of things, it was just a small percentage of the emails involved. Obama’s April statements are the significant ones. They told us how this was going to go. The rest is just details. In his April 10 comments, Obama made the obvious explicit: He did not want the certain Democratic nominee, the candidate he was backing to succeed him, to be indicted. Conveniently, his remarks (inevitably echoed by Comey) did not mention that an intent to endanger national security was not an element of the criminal offenses Clinton was suspected of committing – in classic Obama fashion, he was urging her innocence of a strawman crime while dodging any discussion of the crimes she had actually committed.
As we also now know – but as Obama knew at the time – the president himself had communicated with Clinton over her non-secure, private communications system, using an alias. The Obama administration refused to disclose these several e-mail exchanges because they undoubtedly involve classified conversations between the president and his secretary of state. It would not have been possible to prosecute Mrs. Clinton for mishandling classified information without its being clear that President Obama had engaged in the same conduct. The administration was never, ever going to allow that to happen.
It looks like former FBI Director James Comey has a lot of explaining to do. Comey suggested not to pursue charges against Hillary Clinton on July 2, 2016. This was months after he wrote a memo where he exonerated Hillary Clinton.