Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org
As I noted on March 10th, Hillary Clinton, and her aides who cooperated with her privatization of information from the U.S. Department of State, were violating:
18 U.S. Code § 1519 – Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcy
Current through Pub. L. 114-38. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.)
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Whoever knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States or any case filed under title 11, or in relation to or contemplation of any such matter or case, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
(Added Pub. L. 107–204, title VIII, § 802(a), July 30, 2002, 116 Stat. 800.)
However, I’ve just now noticed that there’s also this, from the “U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 12 — Diplomatic Security”:
Section 641. Public money, property or records
Whoever embezzles, steals, purloins, or knowingly converts to his use, or the use of another, or without authority, sells, conveys or disposes of any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof, or any property made or being made under contract for the United States or any department or agency thereof, …
Shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than ten years or both. …
Section 793. Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information …
(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer —
Shall be fined not more than $10, 000 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
(g) If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions of this section, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy, shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy.
Therefore, the question exists for U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and for her boss Barack Obama, to decide whether former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be prosecuted, and also whether her subordinates (such as Jake Sullivan) who followed her instructions on these matters, will be prosecuted.
Furthermore, though millions of voters in Democratic Party primaries have already decided that Ms. Clinton should become the next U.S. President, future voters (and the 718 Democratic National Convention superdelegates) will also need to decide whether Ms. Clinton should represent the Democratic Party in the upcoming 8 November 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
This political decision will have to be made regardless of whether the current U.S. President (who might possibly have authorized his Secretary of State to violate these laws) decides to prosecute her. He might decide not to (or to inform his employee, Loretta Lynch, not to), but then the voters in the United States will still need to decide whether a person such as Ms. Clinton, should become the next U.S. President. Voters might decide that the mere fact of non-prosecution means her innocence, and that what she did in this matter is therefore to be simply ignored. That would be only a political, not a criminal, decsion — no verdict which possesses legal standing regarding legal penalties for her actions — but if it’s made without regard to what she has done (again, regardless of whether she is legally charged for having done it), then those voters will bear the sole responsibility for what she has done. And that will be a responsibility to — and a judgment to be made by — only history. It won’t be for any court, anywhere. (After all: dead people cannot be prosecuted, no matter what they might actually have done. Only living persons bear vulnerability to legal process.)
Nor would the presence or absence of legal process against her (for what she did in this matter) have any bearing upon whether, or not, what she did in it was the worst thing that she has done. It clearly is not. She has, in fact, done many harmful things, some even worse than participating in the national decision to invade Iraq in 2003 — her most infamous decision, but one in which her participation wasn’t actually very important (because 77% of U.S. Senators voted for it — 27% more than needed). Far more important, for example, was her decision, as the U.S. Secretary of State, to retain in power the coup-regime that took over Honduras on 28 June 2009, and which turned Honduras into the nation with the world’s highest murder-rate and the worst narco-state (from which tens of thousands still flee each year, many to be sent back into Honduras and who become killed by the very same drug gangs from which they had fled).
Anyone who thinks that what Hillary Clinton did regarding her email is the worst thing she has done, is woefully ignorant of what she has done. However, though there are criminal laws regarding her email matter, there are probably none regarding the worst things that she has done. She has created hell not only in Honduras, but for millions of people in many countries. And there are no legal penalties, for any of that. But, for her email matter, there are — even if they might not be enforced in her particular case.
Thus, if Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic Party’s nominee, the Presidential election could end up being delivered to whomever the Republican nominee might be, because there’s the very real possibility that Ms. Clinton could be indicted after the Democratic National Convention ends on July 28th and before the November 8th Presidential election.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.