FBI’s Top Lawyer Wanted To Charge Crooked Hillary With a Crime
According to The Hill’s John Solomon, who has been privy to the congressional testimony of former FBI General Counsel James Baker, the top Bureau lawyer was a dissenting voice in 2016 when then-Director James Comey wanted to let Hillary Clinton off with a stern (and nationally televised) scolding.
In testimony before House investigators last year, Baker said that he had deep legal concerns about Clinton’s email activity and believed that she should be charged with mishandling classified information. Furthermore, he held these views until what he described as “pretty late in the process.” Long after, we would assume, Comey had begun drafting the speech he gave to the country exonerating the Democratic nominee for president.
From The Hill:
During questioning by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), Baker was unequivocal about his early view that Clinton should face criminal charges.
“I have reason to believe that you originally believed it was appropriate to charge Hillary Clinton with regard to violations of law — various laws, with regard to mishandling of classified information. Is that accurate?” Ratcliffe, a former federal prosecutor, asked Baker.
Baker paused to gain his lawyer’s permission to respond, and then answered, “Yes.”
He later explained why he came to that conclusion, and how his mind was changed:
“So, I had that belief initially after reviewing, you know, a large binder of her emails that had classified information in them,” he said. “And I discussed it internally with a number of different folks, and eventually became persuaded that charging her was not appropriate because we could not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that — we, the government, could not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that — she had the intent necessary to violate (the law).”
Asked when he was persuaded to change his mind, Baker said: “Pretty late in the process, because we were arguing about it, I think, up until the end.”
While Baker was ultimately convinced by Comey (and perhaps others) that it would be best to let Clinton off scot-free, he assured congressional investigators that he was not pleased with the former Secretary’s behavior.
“My original belief after having conducted the investigation and towards the end of it, then sitting down and reading a binder of her materials – I thought that it was alarming, appalling, whatever words I said, and argued with others about why they thought she shouldn’t be charged,” Baker testified.
Baker says that prosecutors could not prove intent, and that’s why the FBI brass decided that she should not be referred to the Department of Justice for criminal proceedings. That’s all well and good, but we have our doubts. Comey, Loretta Lynch, and the rest of the FBI/DOJ brass was terrified of clearing a path for Donald Trump to win the presidency, and these charges would have undoubtedly done so. They didn’t want that kind of heat on their backs, so they abdicated their responsibilities under the law and allowed her to skate free despite numerous infractions of U.S. federal law.
None of them will ever admit it, of course, but it is the only conclusion that sound logic allows.