Clinton prosecution: Send or delete?

The FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email practices as secretary of state is coming to a head. “As they near the end of the investigation, the (FBI) agents are preparing to interview several of Clinton’s closest aides, and perhaps the candidate herself ... a move Clinton campaign officials say she will comply with,” TIME Magazine reported Thursday.

These developments come as Clinton faces increasing competition from Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Of six statewide contests from March 22-26, she won only Arizona. Her problem remains that she does best in red states that Republicans are heavily favored to win in November, while Sanders has done best in Democratic or swing states, such as Hawaii and Washington.

Although Sanders famously said in their Oct. 13 debate that “the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails,” the controversy has been as persistent as her coughing during speeches. That’s because this really is a serious national security matter.

A long Washington Post article released March 27 provided some details. Basically, as secretary of state from 2009-2013, Clinton disregarded the longstanding policy requiring that only government-secured devices be used for classified communications. She insisted on using her BlackBerry, tethered to a communications server kept in her home in New York. The Post quoted Donald Reid, the State Department’s senior coordinator for security infrastructure, who said, “The issue here is one of personal comfort,” and that the secretary and her staff were “dedicated addicts” to their BlackBerrys.

“Dozens of FBI personnel have been deployed to run down leads, according to a lawmaker briefed by FBI Director James B. Comey,” the Post reported. “The FBI has accelerated the investigation because officials want to avoid the possibility of announcing any action too close to the election” in November.

The Post continued, “From the earliest days, Clinton aides and senior officials focused intently on accommodating the secretary’s desire to use her private email account, documents and interviews show. Throughout, they paid insufficient attention to laws and regulations governing the handling of classified material and the preservation of government records.”

We’ll know before too long whether the FBI, and the Justice Department under Attorney General Loretta Lynch, consider these security breaches worthy of prosecution. Meanwhile, the voters will have a chance to weigh in at Democratic primaries in Wisconsin, on Tuesday, and New York on April 19.

Reprinted from the Orange County Register

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