In the “matter” (to use Loretta Lynch’s preferred word) of Hillary Clinton’s exclusive use of a private email server and her destruction of over 30,000 emails exchanged while she was Secretary of State, what’s the difference between “gross negligence” and “extreme carelessness”?
One sounds much more serious than the other –- and much more likely to be illegal. In a court of law, though, if we’re talking about the mishandling of classified material, they’re exactly the same thing, and that would be...ILLEGAL. And any question of intent is moot, or is supposed to be. Indeed, at the risk of sounding like Hillary Clinton, one could legitimately ask, “What difference does it make?”
Apparently it made a big difference to then-FBI Director James Comey, who called it “grossly negligent” in a May 2, 2016, draft of his statement about the investigation (oops, I mean “matter”) and softened the wording to “extremely careless” in a later version that appeared in June. At present, we don’t know if he made the change at the request of a higher-up to make Hillary’s transgressions seem less serious, but he’s certainly shown his willingness to change his phraseology to satisfy Attorney Gen. Lynch.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa has written to current FBI Director Christopher Wray about this; he and South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham demanded back in August to know details of the document’s evolution. But new leadership doesn’t seem to be making the wheels of inquiry turn any faster.
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