Washington DC (Storch Report — Following are a reporter’s notes and optics of the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email system while she was Secretary of State:
FBI Director James Comey dropped a bombshell on the public this week when he called a press conference 7/5/16 to announce the results of the investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email system while heading up the State Department. On 7/7/16 he appeared before a Congressional Committee to further explain his decision. In making his statement, not taking questions from the media, he said, “This will be an unusual statement in at least a couple of ways. First, I am going to include more detail about our process than I ordinarily would, because I think the American people deserve those details in a case of intense public interest. Second, I have not coordinated or reviewed this statement in any way with the department of Justice or any other part of the government. They do not know what I am about to say.”
Apparently the “intense” public interest he was referring to was the fact Hillary Clinton is the presumptive Democratic candidate for President of the United States.
He then went on to deliver all the legal elements for a criminal indictment stating that her behavior was “extremely careless” equal to “gross negligence” a violation of the law but then took what appeared to the public the political root for a decision and said the bureau would not recommend a charge to the Department of Justice in this case. Although condemning Clinton for her behavior and putting the nation’s security at risk, and saying she would unlikely be able to get a job in the FBI with these credentials, Comey cleared Clinton of any criminal act.
Clue: These notes are made up of notes and opinions and optics, I identify each in the column:
- Notes: Prior to the conclusion of the FBI investigation, and months before the decision to clear Clinton, President Obama endorsed Clinton 6/9/16 as the presumptive democratic candidate for President of the United States. On 4/10/16 Obama gave an interview to Fox News at which time he was asked about the FBI investigation of Clinton’s private email server. He said that she already admitted that it was a mistake. He called her actions ‘carelessness’ in managing her emails. (Note the use of the word ‘careless’) However he went on to say that, “I continue to believe that she has not jeopardized America’s national security.”
- Optics: On 6/25/16 someone arranges a “chance” meeting between former President Bill Clinton, husband of Hillary, with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who is to make the final decision on the Clinton investigation over a possible indictment. The meeting takes place at the Phoenix Skyport Airport aboard Lynch’s government plane. Lynch was flying in, Bill Clinton was flying out. Lynch was late, Clinton waits for her. They meet aboard Lynch’s plane, press discovers through a tip of the meeting and two days later 6/27/16 the meeting is disclosed by the press. Lynch alleges that she and Clinton talked about family, grand kids, golf and travels. She said nothing was discussed about the potential for Hillary’s indictment about the private email charges being investigated by the FBI.
- Optics: On 6/29/16, Lynch holds a press interview with a reporter from the progressive Washington Post at which time she declares the meeting with Bill Clinton was something she wouldn’t do again, Bill says the same thing on the same day, and she declares that she would accept the recommendation of the Director of the FBI Director James Comey.
- Notes: On the Saturday of the Fourth of July weekend 7/30/16 the FBI after a year-long investigation with all of the players, except Hillary, that participated in her private email server, the FBI finally gets around to interviewing (proper term deposition) Hillary Clinton for three-and-a-half hours. FBI Director James Comey is not present for the deposition. The FBI does not request Clinton to take an oath to tell the truth and the deposition is not recorded.
- Notes: On the Tuesday following the Fourth of July, 7/5/16, Comey hastily calls a 10 AM press conference to issue a statement, without a Q&A session, on the decision that the Bureau will recommend to the Department of Justice on the Clinton investigation — AG Lynch. Comey in a four-page statement delivers the equivalent of a legal indictment of Clinton declaring there was evidence she was “extremely careless” in the handling of “very sensitive, highly classified information” in the use of multiple personal email servers, but does so without recommending any charges to DOJ. In other words the investigation clears Hillary. However, in his statement he goes on to say, “From the group of 30,000 emails returned to the State Department, 110 emails in 52 email chains have been determined by the owing agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification.” Comey went on to say: “We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial email accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account. We also assess that secretary Clinton’s use of personal email domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal email extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related emails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account.” Comey defended his decision for no charge on the basis of precedent, for in the length of the time the law existed only one case was tried and it was for espionage, for which the defendant was convicted, furthermore he said no prosecutor would take the case, for which many said they would. Comey also said intent was necessary, but the law does not say that, but there where many examples of intent, the creation of the personal email server in the first place and all the subsequent lies. Optics: On the afternoon of 7/5/16 President Obama took off on Air Force One with Hillary Clinton for a Democratic campaign rally in North Carolina at which time Obama said of Clinton that there was no person, woman or man, that was more qualified to be President of the United States. Congressman Jason Chaffetz, Chairman of Oversight and Government Reform Committee contacted Comey requesting him to appear before his Committee and he agreed to Thursday of the same week.
- Notes: On Thursday 7/7/16, the Democrats on the Committee once again cried left wing conspiracy as they have throughout all the Clinton scandals, the GOP tried to sort out the facts to see how Comey came to his decision to clear Hillary. Chaffetz at the opening of the hearing said he was ‘mystified and confused’ by the conclusion. He went on to say, “It seems to a lot of us that the average Joe, the average American, that if they had done what you laid out in your statement, that they’d be in handcuffs, and they might be on their way to jail, and they probably should,” Chaffetz said. “And I think there is a legitimate concern that there is a double standard. If you’re name isn’t Clinton or you’re not part of the powerful elite, that Lady Justice will act differently.” Comey once again cited intent, precedent and his determination that no prosecutor would take the case. Congressman Trey Gowdy asked Comey 6 questions based upon Hillary’s statements and Comey said all were untrue, which proved intent and and establishing the point of being untrustworthy and was in fact lying. It was further established that the FBI did not do a cross reference of Clinton’s testimony under oath before Congress to establish possible perjury because the Bureau never got a ‘referral’ establishing a lack of comprehensiveness.
- Notes: On 7/8/16 it was reported that ‘Comey Has A Long History Of Cases Ending Favorable To Clinton’s.
I will leave it to you after reading my reporter notes, optics and some opinions whether the evidence in the Clinton investigation into her use of multiple private email servers while Secretary of State deserved the outcome she received and after combining the optics with the notes whether it is plausible to believe that no one else within the government knew of the outcome before it was delivered.