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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Best Thing I've Read Today

Paul Waldman explains that, despite the incessant drumbeat on right-wing talk radio, Fox News, and from the mouths of GOP candidates, Hillary Clinton is not going to be indicted for anything related to her use of a private e-mail server. He lays out the facts pretty succinctly:

1. Clinton set up a personal email account and used it for work. Even though previous Secretaries of State did the same thing, and even though thousands of people in government use personal emails for work, she still shouldn’t have done it. She may have violated department policies, but there’s no evidence she broke any laws.

2. Clinton has said it was a mistake and apologized for it.

3. There were concerns that her email server could have been vulnerable to hacking from a foreign power. But it does not appear to have been hacked.

4. None of the work-related emails she sent and received were marked classified at the time. However, some 200 of them were retroactively classified. This is now the subject of a spat between the State Department and the intelligence community, which classifies many things that people elsewhere in the government think are absurd to classify.

5. For Clinton to be charged with mishandling classified information, she would have had to knowingly passed such information to someone not authorized to have it — like David Petraeus showing classified documents to his mistress — or acted with such gross negligence that people without authorization were bound to see it. According to what we know, neither of those things happened.

6. The FBI is investigating the matter, but has said that Clinton herself is not a target of that investigation, meaning that they don’t suspect that she committed any crime.

7. That former aide, Bryan Pagliano, has been granted immunity by the Justice Department and is working with them as they complete their investigation, which will probably conclude this spring.
As Waldman points out, the facts won't stop the drip-drip-drip of negative perception regarding Clinton that continues to be perpetuated by conservative media, but there's no evidence that it will lead to anything more than that. Read Waldman's full piece here.