Monday, July 11, 2016

What is it about Hillary?

Meet Ms. Teflon
The other day, news came out that Hillary would not be charged criminally for her mis-management of emails while she was Secretary of State.  This has caused not a little consternation in and around the country and has polarized many in the political world.

Hillary's problems have also found their way into our staff lounge.  In fact, just the other day, as I was eating lunch, I got into a discussion with my boss.  My assertion was that Hillary was a lying trollop that should have been sent up the river.  Boss asserted that because no one really knows what crimes Hillary had committed, that she hadn't done anything wrong.  At the time, I couldn't argue with her because, well, because I didn't know what all Hillary had done...so I had to concede, and went on with lunch.

The problem is that since my discussion with boss, I've asked several people if they know what Hillary did to incur the ire of not a few political pundits.  As it turns out, no one that I talked to knows what all Hillary did.  I mean, everyone has an opinion about what all went on but no one knew, specifically, what she did (or didn't do).  So, I did some research and found out for myself what all is going on with Hillary.

Alleged Crime #1:  Violation of 2009 NARA 1236.22

So, as I understand things, Hillary had sent and received a number of emails on a personal server while she "served" as Secretary of State in the Obama Regime.  A key element of what everyone is crying about is the fact that Hillary failed to keep track of her electronic records (i.e. emails) as per 36 CFR 1236.22 (which governs how Federal employees keep track of electronic records.  Specfically, section 1236.22(b) states that:
(b) Agencies that allow employees to send and receive official electronic mail messages using a system not operated by the agency must ensure that Federal records sent or received on such systems are preserved in the appropriate agency recordkeeping system.
See that little word "must?"  According to the Federal Register Document Drafting Handbook (Section 3), "Use ‘must’ instead of ‘shall’ to impose a legal obligation on your reader."   In essence, by working as Secretary of State, Hillary entered into a contract with "we the people" that she would preserve all her files (including emails) in an appropriate agency recordkeeping system.  That she did not indicates that she breached that contract and breach of contract should have consequences.

Further, the fact that Hillary used her personal system is not an issue as much as the requirement to preserve all such emails whether on her server or the office server.  As such, when it says, " employees...must ensure that Federal records sent or received on such systems are preserved..." imposes on employee's a legal obligation to preserve all records whether they want to or not

The upshot to all this was that Hillary was required, pursuant to the Federal Archives procedures, to preserve ALL emails sent in her capacity as Secretary of State (whether on her personal server or on a server held in her office).  The question is, does this constitute a crime? It might if, in fact, Hillary deleted the emails before or after she was subpoenaed.  Regardless, I suspect it's a question for a jury - if it ever gets that far.

Alleged Crime #2: Violation of 18 USC 793 (f) and Executive Order 13526

Does anyone think that when you are appointed to the postion of Secretary of State (of the entire United States) that there is/are documents or other printed information which you are entrusted with that probably should not be taken off premises (i.e. out of your official Secretary of State office)? Such is the basis of 18 USC 793.  To wit, section 793(f) states:
(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
The kicker here is that Hillary, in her infinite wisdom, admitted that she deleted about 30,000 emails. The problem with this is how are we going to know what was deleted and whether to believe a potential criminal?  I mean, how many people who flush cocaine down the toilet to avoid arrest are really going to admit to police that flushed coicaine down the toilet? They're going to say they didn't flush anything down the toilet, aren't they?  

In like manner, does anyone really believe that Hillary didn't delete emails that contained national defense?  As such, maybe Hillary should be cooling her heels in the pokey, for this one.

As to Ececutive Order 13526, does anyone think that when you are appointed to the position of Secretary of State (of the entire United States) that there are things that will be discussed that constitute classified national security issues? Such was probably the basis for Executive Order 13526 and, as such, POTUS Obama signed EO 13526 on December 29, 2009 which, "prescribes a uniform system for classifying, safeguarding, and declassifying national security information, including information relating to defense against transnational terrorism."  Further, Section 1.4 states:
Sec. 1.4.  Classification Categories.  Information shall not be considered for classification unless its unauthorized disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause identifiable or describable damage to the national security in accordance with section 1.2 of this order, and it pertains to one or more of the following:(a)  military plans, weapons systems, or operations;(b)  foreign government information;(c)  intelligence activities (including covert action), intelligence sources or methods, or cryptology;(d)  foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources;(e)  scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to the national security;(f)  United States Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;(g)  vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, infrastructures, projects, plans, or protection services relating to the national security; or(h)  the development, production, or use of weapons of mass destruction.
Whether you want to believe it or no, it is reasonable to believe that most every discussion by a Secretary of State is going to focus on one of the above classifications.  As such, would that fact that Hillary used her personal email server to deal with such topic constitute a violation of EO13526? Again, enter the jury.

Alleged Crime #3: Violation of FOIA

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives you (i.e. citizens of the United States) access to information from the federal government - all government (including members of the State Department - of which Hillary was once part of).

Shortly before the 30,000 emails were deleted, Hillary had received a Congressional subpoena requesting all emails on her server.  Subsequently, there have been a number of FOIA requests to the State Department in connection to Hillary's botched handling of Benghazi.  Because she deleted 30,000+ emails, there is little doubt but that both the State Department and Hillary are going to have difficulty fulfilling this request without finding some egg on their face

IF Hillary deleted emails related to Benghazi and IF she did it after receiving the Congressional subpoena, then maybe there might be an argument that Hillary did so to avoid egg on her face (and, subsequent prosecution for destroying records, thereby violating a FOIA request and 36 CFR 1236.22 and Exective Order 13526 and 18 USC 783(f)).  It's all a dominoes game and the game isn't over yet as no fat ladies have started to warm up.

So, there it is - three potential violations which, if found "guilty," Hillary may/should be looking some prison time (as it relates to 18 USC 793(f)) and/or, in the very least, monetary sanctions for violating a FOIA request.  Any such violation would put her qualifications as the next POTUS in jeopardy

Or, at least, it should.