Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Will Hillary get charged, or what?

By Charles Gasparino
New York Post
March 20, 2016 | 8:00pm

By Charles Gasparino
New York Post
March 20, 2016 | 8:00pm

FBI chief James Comey and his investigators are increasingly certain that presidential nominee Hillary Clinton violated laws in handling classified government information through her private email server, career agents say.

Some expect him to push for charges, but he faces a formidable obstacle: the political types in the Obama White House who view a Clinton presidency as a third Obama term. With that, agents have been spreading the word, largely through associates in the private sector, that their boss is getting stonewalled, despite uncovering compelling evidence that Clinton broke the law.

Exactly what that evidence is — and how and when it was uncovered during Comey’s months-long inquiry — has not been disclosed. For the record, the FBI had no comment on the matter, and government sources say no final decision has been made.

Clinton denies she did anything wrong, claiming she had no idea she was getting classified information (a violation of federal law) on her private server during her years as Obama’s secretary of state because the documents she received contained no such headings.

And as FBI director, Comey can only recommend charges to the hacks in the Obama Justice Department. Indeed, many law enforcement officials who know the FBI chief and the bureau’s inner workings believe the evidence would have to be overwhelming for Comey to even recommend charges, much less for DOJ to pursue them.

Still, some FBI staffers suggest the probe’s at a point where Comey might quit in protest if Justice ignores a recommendation to pursue a criminal case against Clinton.

Just how close Comey is to any recommendation — whether to indict or exonerate Clinton — is difficult to know. But agents believe the probe is nearing an end. A State Department staffer who set up Clinton’s email server, for instance, was recently granted immunity from prosecution to provide Comey’s team with evidence.

“You don’t start granting people close to Clinton immunity unless you are seriously looking at charges against your target,” one former official told me.

I’m also told Comey and his team increasingly doubt Clinton’s story. Most officials know private email servers are easier to hack into than secure government servers. They also know that even documents not labeled “classified” may be top secret.

That’s why they’re supposed to be sent only through government accounts. Those who don’t follow those rules, like former CIA Director David Petraeus, have faced consequences.

Another matter for Comey & Co.: whether Clinton comingled her official State Department business with her role at the Clinton Foundation, and whether she wiped clean messages that show her using her office at State for foundation work.

Law enforcement sources also say Comey’s record as a prosecutor shows he has zero tolerance for such abuses.



Secretary of State Hillary Clinton checks her BlackBerry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya, in 2011. 
Photo: AP





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