July 7, 2016

Make it stop. The endless witch hunt. The wasteful spending. Congress focusing on things that are truly not important.

Today, the GOP dragged FBI Director Comey in for a lengthy flogging in front of the American people, in an attempt to get him to admit that yeah, Hillary should have been charged. They tried (and are still trying as I type this) to get him to admit a misstep. So far, he has held his own and stood his ground that nothing Clinton did rose to the level of prosecution.

One of the sticking points for the GOP is General Petraeus, who was in fact guilty of leaking classified information to Paula Broadwell. The FBI raided his home and found eight, EIGHT, binders of printed out classified information in an unlocked desk drawer.

In Clinton's case? Nothing printed out. A handful of emails. Deleted. No proof that anyone even saw them.

Petraeus? Proof that he printed and handed them to at least one other person, a woman he was having an affair with and who could have blackmailed him! He pled guilty in April of 2015 to leaking classified information to his mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell. He was sentenced to two years probation and fined $100,000. He had intent, he knowingly did it, he chose to give this information to his mistress, someone with no clearance.

Clinton did none of these things.

Today's public flogging, I mean "hearing" brought us the following exchange:

Cummings: You were the director of the FBI when the General (Petraeus) pled guilty. If I understand that case correctly, General Petraeus kept highly classified information in eight personal notebooks at his private residence. Is that correct?

Comey: That is correct.

Cummings: According to the filing in that case, his notebooks included identities of covert officers, it also included war strategy, intelligence capabilities, diplomatic discussions...discussions from high level national security council meetings, and discussions with the President....he shared this information with his lover and then biographer. He was caught on audio tape telling her "they are highly classified"...

Comey: The Petraeus case, to my mind, illustrates perfectly the kind of cases that the DOJ is willing to prosecute. Even there, they prosecuted him for a misdemeanor. In that case, you had vast quantities of highly classified information...codewords...not only shared with someone without authority to have it, but we found it in a search warrant hidden under the insulation in his attic, and then he lied to us about it during the investigation.

So you have obstruction of justice, you have intentional misconduct, and a vast quantity of information. He admitted he knew that was the wrong thing to do. That is a perfect illustration of the kind of cases that get prosecuted. It illustrates, importantly, the distinction to this case.

And the final nail in the coffin.

Cummings: Do you agree that General Petraeus, and I quote, "got in trouble for far less"

Comey: No, it is the reverse.

Cummings: And what do you mean by that?

Comey: His conduct...was clearly intentional conduct. He knew what he was doing was in violation of the law...an effort to obstruct justice.

And that is the whole point. So many want to make this more complicated than it is, when what the Clinton case boils down to is criminal intent. Did Hillary Clinton intend to give classified information to someone who did not have clearance to receive it? The answer, overwhelmingly, is no. No criminal intent, no indictment. The opposite of General Petraeus.

How long until the next emergency hearing? Maybe Republicans will investigate Comey's own personal emails next, just to have the outrage machine permanently turned to eleven.

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