To the dismay of Hillary haters everywhere, the FBI will not be recommending criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server while Secretary of State.
FBI Director James Comey did, however, scold Clinton and her aides for “extremely careless” handling of highly classified information.
“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is information that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” Comey told a group of Washington, D.C. reporters.
Republicans are shocked at this clear “get out of jail free” card Clinton received from the FBI. They are yelling: but she was extremely careless! How can she get away with this?
Tweeted the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, “The system is rigged.”
House Speaker, Paul Ryan also tweeted his disappointment, “While I respect the professionals at the FBI, this announcement defies explanation. No one should be above the law.”
What Trump and Ryan fail to understand is that the FBI was investigating a potential crime. Carelessness, even the extreme variety, does not constitute a crime.
Any lawyer will tell you “intent” is the cornerstone of criminal law. Without “mens rea,” which is simply Latin for a “guilty mind,” there is no crime. In other words, what a defendant was thinking and what the defendant intended when the crime was committed matters. “Mens rea” allows the criminal justice system to differentiate between someone who did not mean to commit a crime and someone who intentionally set out to commit a crime.
Intent is always a hard thing to prove in criminal law. Negligence and carelessness, on the other hand, carry lower bars but those terms usually apply to civil law, i.e. when someone sues for monetary compensation.
If Hillary Clinton were still Secretary of State, she might have been forced to resign. But that is not the case. She is instead the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
You can be sure Fox News, and all conservative media, will have a field day spinning conspiracy theories on this “rigged” result.