Thanks for all the comments. I especially like the positive response to my call to action, “Tear down this ‘deep state’ wall!” Very Reaganesque.
Here’s an interesting question from Richrd Payne: “All we ever talk about is Strzok and Page. Isn’t anyone else guilty?”
Oh my goodness, yes. The reason Strzok and Page have been in the headlines (at least my headlines) every day for almost a week is that their texts from the period IG Michael Horowitz called a “gap” are suddenly trickling out. In fact, their texts show that they were not operating in a vacuum. They implicate others with whom they worked, referring specifically to “Andy’s office” and coordination within the Justice Department --- a “media leaking strategy” with the DOJ. (Despite the ridiculous claim that Strzok’s lawyer tried to make, it’s easy to see from the context that they were talking about a strategy not to STOP leaks, but to CREATE them.) As more text messages come out, they will no doubt add to the larger picture of what’s been going on at the Justice Department in recent years.
In other words, this is about many more people than Strzok and Page --- it’s just that their addiction to texting is continuing to supply us with clear evidence of what was being done. Even then-President Obama is mentioned at one point (and, for all we know, is referenced in other texts that have not yet been released). These two people texted so many thousands and thousands of times that it’s hard to imagine they got much else accomplished, yet somehow they still had time to (among other things) cultivate relationships with numerous reporters at the Washington Post and New York Times, meet with others in “Andy’s office” to work out a strategy for stopping Trump, write helpful op-ed material, leak secret FISA court information, alter the wording of documents to let Hillary off the hook, and carry on an office affair, all at the same time.
Talk about work ethic!
Anyway, that’s why Strzok and Page are so important. We should probably think of the thousands of Strzok-Page texts as blemishes that came to the surface, symptomatic of some horrible, heartbreaking condition. We could cover them up and try to minimize them, but the condition itself will kill the patient (Lady Justice) if nothing is done to treat it, systemically.
Another reader, Joan Chambers, asked about the statute of limitations for charging Hillary with crimes relating to her classified emails, wondering about a cutoff date that she thought might be as soon as September 28, just a couple of weeks away. Now, I’m not a lawyer, and this is a complicated issue, but after a little research turned up an article in the Washington Examiner from mid-June that explains it pretty clearly in layman’s terms.
I’d like to be able to offer a simple yes or no to that specific date, but the answer is “it depends.” There are two different charges that could be levied regarding Hillary’s mishandling of classified information. Depending on the statute under which she’s charged, it could conceivably happen anytime until March of 2025. And if it happened to be treason (I’m speaking hypothetically, as that’s extremely hard to prosecute), well, as I understand it, there’s no statute of limitations at all about THAT.
There are numerous ways information can be mishandled: ordinary sloppiness, whistleblowing, deliberate leaking, and spying come to mind. I’d say that in Hillary’s case, she was probably trying to cover her tracks for doing God-knows-what else. One law, 18 U.S. Code 1924, the one David Petraeus pleaded guilty to in 2015 for sharing highly classified material with his biographer/mistress, forbids the “unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material.” In May of this year, former CIA contractor Reynaldo Regis pleaded guilty to violating the same law after taking home about 60 notebooks containing classified information. There was no allegation that he had shared any of it.
That law has only a five-year statute of limitations. And it’s written to suggest that the clock starts when the documents are actually removed with intent to retain. Hillary left the State Department in February of 2013, so the time to charge her under that particular law seems to have run out.
But there’s another, harsher law that’s preferred by prosecutors. Part of the Espionage Act, 18 U.S. Code 793 restricts possession or retention of information relating to national defense and carries a possible sentence of ten years in prison.
That law has a ten-year statute of limitations. In this particular case, I prefer that one, too.
The defendant doesn’t even have to be accused of having deliberately shared the information (though it appears Hillary had no problem with doing that). This is the law they used to charge former U.S. Navy sailor Kristian Saucier for taking six pictures on board a nuclear submarine in 2009. The pictures were deemed confidential, the lowest level of classification, and Saucier had never shared them with anyone. They happened to be discovered in a Connecticut trash dump in 2012. Yet, technically, they had to do with defense, so Saucier could be charged under that law.
Hillary’s server contained 110 emails, in 52 email chains, that were classified, with 8 email chains containing top-secret information. There were 36 other emails with “secret” information. It’s hard to imagine that, in her work as Secretary of State, none of the classified material that passed through her server had anything to do with national defense. And, according to Julian Assange’s attorney, Barry Pollack, the law has been “interpreted broadly.”
In late March of 2015, Hillary’s tech aide Paul Combetta used the software BleachBit to delete Hillary’s stored emails (he said he was supposed to do it months earlier but had forgotten). According to Pollack, the clock probably started at that point, when Hillary no longer retained the documents. So that takes us up to late March of 2025.
So there’s our answer! Glad I could help, and glad you asked, because this is much clearer now for me, too. Here’s the full article, which gives other examples of people who have been charged under this harsher law. Of course, there may be numerous other crimes that Hillary could be charged with, ones relating to obstruction of justice, the Clinton Foundation, etc. etc. etc. But anyone who is looking to prosecute Hillary specifically for her mishandling of classified emails should take note: the clock is running.
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