Clinton’s emails: Did Comey give her a pass?
When FBI Director James Comey announced there would be no criminal charges in the Hillary Clinton email scandal, most law experts called the decision “understandable,” said Jonathan Turley in USA Today. Not anymore. It has emerged that the Department of Justice granted immunity to five people during the FBI’s investigation, including Cheryl Mills, chief of staff during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. Last year, Mills participated in the deletion of 33,000 emails that Clinton deemed personal—some of which the FBI later found addressed sensitive official matters. Mills was “the last person” Comey would have immunized if he had been pursuing an honest investigation, because he could have used the threat to prosecute her as leverage to get her to testify against Clinton. This revelation raises serious questions “about the integrity of both the FBI” and the Justice Department, said William McGurn in The Wall Street Journal. If Comey were so certain there was no case for criminal charges, “what did Cheryl Mills need immunity for?”
Sorry, but this is just another desperate right-wing attempt to find a scandal where there is none, said Kevin Drum in MotherJones.com. “If you think Clinton is a liar and a crook,” you’re convinced she used her private email server to hide nefarious emails that she and Mills then destroyed, and that the FBI then helped her cover up multiple crimes. In reality, Clinton simply used a single email account for all her communications as secretary out of convenience. The FBI granted Mills and the others immunity “so they could tell the truth without fear of prosecution.” Once again, “there’s no there there.”
Nonsense, said Kimberley Strassel in The Wall Street Journal. Comey even let Mills get away with a big lie: Mills told FBI interviewers that she did not know about Clinton’s private server until after she left the state department. Yet a congressional committee found a 2010 email Mills sent to the IT pro the Clintons personally employed to maintain her server, asking, “is server ok?” Comey could easily have used that falsehood to charge Mills with perjury, and force her to provide “the real goods” on her boss. But that would have required grand juries, subpoenas, and indictments— everything Comey “wanted to avoid in this politically sensitive investigation.” Much easier to “give Clinton a pass.”