Remember when James Comey announced that he would recommend no prosecution for Hillary Clinton for transmitting classified information through an unauthorized private e-mail system? The FBI director declared that the former Secretary of State and her inner circle acted “extremely careless” in handling classified material, but that the FBI found no malicious intent. “All the cases prosecuted,” Comey intoned, “involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice.” Comey concluded, “We do not see those things here.”
Well, to find those things, one has to look for them. House Oversight chair Trey Gowdy has reviewed the 302s — the official notes of the FBI’s interview of Hillary Clinton — and told Megyn Kelly last night that he saw little effort by the investigators to put Hillary on the record in regard to intent:
FBI agents never asked Hillary Clinton about the intentions behind her mishandling of classified information, despite the fact that FBI Director James Comey said he declined to recommend charges against her because he found no evidence she intentionally thwarted the law, Rep. Trey Gowdy said.
“I didn’t see any questions on the issue of intent,” the South Carolina Republican said Thursday during an appearance on Fox News. “[Comey] said he didn’t go forward with charges because she didn’t have specific criminal intent.”
“I didn’t see the followup questions in the summary I read,” Gowdy added.
It’s easy to not find something if you’re not looking for it. Let’s keep in mind too that the relevant statute (18 USC 793f) doesn’t require intent, but only gross negligence. As a Cabinet official tasked with safeguarding national-security information, purposely creating a secret and unauthorized communication channel and requiring subordinates to use it for official communications shows plenty of intent and gross negligence of her duty to protect sensitive information.
Did the FBI ask about that? Did they even need to do so? It seems much more likely that the FBI intended to take an exit ramp off of the e-mail scandal, and made sure they found it — and nothing else.