I decided it would be fun to go through portions of FBI Director Comey’s statement and paraphrase.
Note that he did not have to provide so much… detail. In fact, he did not have to say anything at all. During his delivery, he seemed to add special emphasis each of the numerous times he directly contradicted some public statement of hers. But perhaps that is my imagination.
Our investigation looked at whether there is evidence classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on that personal system, in violation of a federal statute making it a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way, or a second statute making it a misdemeanor to knowingly remove classified information from appropriate systems or storage facilities.
“Bear in mind the phrase ‘grossly negligent’.”
Secretary Clinton used several different servers and administrators of those servers during her four years at the State Department, and used numerous mobile devices to view and send e-mail on that personal domain.
“Remember when she said she used a personal server to avoid having multiple devices? She lied.”
From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received.
“Remember when she said she never sent nor received classified information? She lied.”
“Remember when she changed her story to never having sent nor received information that was classified at the time? She lied.”
The FBI also discovered several thousand work-related e-mails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014.
“Remember when she said she had returned every Email ‘remotely related to work’? She lied.”
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 evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.
“Can you distinguish ‘grossly negligent’ from ‘extremely careless’? Me neither. Thanks for paying attention.”
None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government—or even with a commercial service like Gmail.
“Commercial services like Gmail, with full-time security personnel, are completely pwned by all competent intelligence agencies. So seriously, what chance do you think a piece of shit Exchange server set up by some loser I.T. monkey has?”
But even if information is not marked “classified” in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.
“Remember when she changed her story to having never sent nor received anything ‘marked’ classified? Such markings are not required, so she misled.”
Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information.
“Also she lied.”
With respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors, we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail domain, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked.
(He could have stopped right there, but…)
But, given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence.
“We do not know how many foreign adversaries hacked her system, because a piece of shit Exchange server set up by some loser I.T. monkey does not even keep adequate logs for that determination. As a result, we will never know the full extent of the damage.”
We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial e-mail accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account. We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal e-mail extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related e-mails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.
“If you think there is any chance Russia and China do not have every bit of data from every one of her servers, you are an idiot.”
In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts.
“Despite being a clear violation of statute, this sort of reckless incompetence is not usually punished by jail time.”
(Again, he could have stopped there, but…)
To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.
“However, anyone else who did a fraction of this would never again be allowed to so much as sweep the floor in a secure facility.”
So, what is the take-away headline? HILLARY CLEARED OF ALL CHARGES! I am sure that is what he was aiming for.