It is being reported that while Hillary Clinton was under investigation for the mishandling of classified information on a private server and her deletion of more than 33,000 emails, a decision was made by former President Barack Obama – not then-FBI Director James Comey or then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch – not to prosecute Clinton.
Per National Review:
From the first, these columns have argued that the whitewash of the Hillary Clinton–emails caper was President Barack Obama’s call — not the FBI’s, and not the Justice Department’s. (See, e.g., here, here, and here.) The decision was inevitable. Obama, using a pseudonymous email account, had repeatedly communicated with Secretary Clinton over her private, non-secure email account.
The report argues, “These emails must have involved some classified information, given the nature of consultations between presidents and secretaries of state”:
If classified information was mishandled, it was necessarily mishandled on both ends of these email exchanges. If Clinton had been charged, Obama’s culpable involvement would have been patent. In any prosecution of Clinton, the Clinton–Obama emails would have been in the spotlight. For the prosecution, they would be more proof of willful (or, if you prefer, grossly negligent) mishandling of intelligence. More significantly, for Clinton’s defense, they would show that Obama was complicit in Clinton’s conduct yet faced no criminal charges.
The report then laid out the following timeline of events:
On June 30, 2016, Senator Ron Johnson cited an FBI-drafted letter which said Obama was knowingly aware of Clinton’s misuse of the email server:
The passage in the June 30 draft stated:
We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a 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 from the territory of sophisticated adversaries. That use included an email exchange with the President while Secretary Clinton was on the territory of such an adversary. [Emphasis added.] Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account.
On that same day, according to the report, a text message exchange between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page confirm the draft, but replace “the President” with “another senior official.”
On July 5, 2016, Comey held a press conference with the decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton, citing the same FBI-drafted letter, but again removing the reference to Obama:
Consequently, by the time Comey delivered his remarks on July 5, the decision had been made to avoid even a veiled allusion to Obama.
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Comey made no reference to Clinton’s correspondent:
We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal e-mail extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related e-mails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. [Emphasis added.] Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.
National Review also notes that a year prior, in March 2015, it was reported an email exchange between Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta and Clinton’s top aide Cheryl Mills suggested “that Clinton’s ’emails to and from potus’ should be ‘held’ — i.e., not disclosed — because ‘that’s the heart of his exec privilege.'”
Daily Wire has more:
Three days after Podesta’s email, Obama lied on national television during an interview with CBS about the email scandal, saying that he learned about it “the same time everybody else learned it through news reports.”
Obama’s lie, unbeknownst to the public at the time, set off a series of panic-based reactions among his and Clinton’s aides:
- Clinton campaign secretary Josh Scherwin emailed former White House Director of Communications Jennifer Palmieri: “Jen you probably have more on this but it looks like POTUS just said he found out HRC was using her personal email when he saw it on the news.”
- Scherwin’s email was forwarded to Mills.
- Mills emailed Podesta: “We need to clean this up — he has emails from her — they do not say state.gov.”
Here’s more, from National Review:
So how did Obama and his helpers “clean this up”?
Obama had his email communications with Clinton sealed. He did this by invoking a dubious presidential-records privilege. The White House insisted that the matter had nothing to do with the contents of the emails, of course; rather, it was intended to vindicate the principle of confidentiality in presidential communications with close advisers. With the media content to play along, this had a twofold benefit: Obama was able (1) to sidestep disclosure without acknowledging that the emails contained classified information, and (2) to avoid using the term “executive privilege” — with all its dark Watergate connotations — even though that was precisely what he was invoking.
Note that claims of executive privilege must yield to demands for disclosure of relevant evidence in criminal prosecutions. But of course, that’s not a problem if there will be no prosecution.
So no mention of Obama anymore in any reports or references to the Clinton email investigation – and, remember this:
Meanwhile, Attorney General Loretta Lynch ordered Comey to use the word “matter” rather than “investigation” to describe the FBI’s probe of Clinton’s email practices. This ensured that the Democratic administration’s law-enforcement agencies were aligning their story with the Democratic candidate’s campaign rhetoric. If there was no investigation, there would be no prosecution.
Here’s more, from Daily Wire:
Three days later on July 5, 2016, Comey held a press conference that he started by saying, “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.” McCarthy notes that line from Comey was added after Lynch and Clinton met on the Tarmac. Strzok acknowledged this in a text to Page on July 1: “Lynch. Timing not great, but whatever. Wonder if that’s why the coordination language added.”
During Comey’s press conference, he described criminal conduct committed by Clinton but said that he did not recommend prosecution because she did not intend to break the law — matching what Obama said in his nationally televised interview just a couple months before.
[National Review] notes that the corrupt scheme concocted by the Obama administration “worked like a charm” since there was “no indictment, meaning no prosecution, meaning no disclosure of Clinton–Obama emails,” and they would have gotten away with it, except. . .
November 8, 2016, did not go as planned.