The misuse of sensitive – and potentially classified – materials is a serious charge. Ask General David Petreus and former Clinton National Security Administration official Sandy Berger. They each pled guilty to a federal misdemeanor related to removing classified documents and paid hefty fines in order to avoid jail time.
The New York Times now reports that the Inspector Generals for the State Department and the Intelligence community have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal inquiry into “whether sensitive government information was mishandled” in Hillary Clinton’s private emails.
According to a memo, the Inspector Generals found that Hillary’s emails contained ““hundreds of potentially classified emails” and at least one email released by the State Department contained classified information.
So Hillary has a big problem.
Hillary continues to insist that there was no classified information in her emails or on her private server that she kept in her Chappaqua home. More recently, she made a point of saying that people in government knew about her private email address. Maybe that’s an attempt to try to distinguish herself from others who were secretive and hid classified documents.
Sandy Berger, for example, removed classified documents and hid them in his pants and socks before taking them to his office and shredding some of them. He initially described it as a mistake, but changed his story after a Grand Jury investigation. At one point, after taking classified documents from the National Archives, he hid them under a construction trailer outside the building. He pled guilty and paid a $50,000 fine and lost his security clearance for three years.
General David Petreus also pled guilty to misusing classified materials. He kept a personal journal that included classified material and gave it to his then mistress. He agreed to pay a $100,000 fine.
And John Deutch, Bill Clinton’s CIA Chief, was caught taking his laptop home. Classified materials were on the computer. Bill Clinton pardoned him before formal charges were brought.
So, this request by the State Dept. and CIA Inspector Generals for a criminal investigation of Hillary’s emails is a big problem for her. First, the Inspector Generals have found that there was at least one – and possibly more – classified email. This directly contradicts Hillary’s claim that no classified material was in any of her emails. This is not Fox News claiming this and Hillary cannot simply dismiss it. These were government officials who found the documents and made the recommendation.
It also means that Hillary will face more and more questions about her home email server, where the emails sat for years.
Don;t expect Hillary to be forthcoming.
That’s not her style. But the Justice Department will have to determine whether there is cause for a criminal investigation. Sounds like there is.