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July 07, 2016

Trey Gowdy to Comey: As a Former Prosecutor, Didn't You Routinely Establish Intent By Citing a Defendant's Voluminous Lies Told to Cover Up Her Actions?

He makes a simple point: Prosecutors almost never have direct evidence of intent, unless a defendant kindly confesses, "Yeah, not only did I do it, I intended to do it."

Rather, intent is established through indirect evidence -- chiefly false exculpatory statements, statements designed to mislead about the facts, because the defendant knows the facts show his guilt. Thus, lies are used to show consciousness of guilt, which in turn indirectly establishes intent.

Comey's answer to this was to hem and haw and just look vaguely confused.

Near the end of the hearing, Jason Chaffetz took another run at this intent issue -- he asked, "How can you say Hillary had no intent when she obviously intended to deliver classified information into the hands of between two and ten persons not cleared to see it?" -- namely, her lawyers and the various IT people with access to these classified documents (via her unsecured, unauthorized email system).

That is plainly intent to share classified information with uncleared persons. Satisfying the "intent" standard.

Comey's response was to once again babble like a fool, and claim he could not find any "evil intent."

See that? The statute doesn't require intent, but Comey says he reads it to require intent anyway. Then Gowdy and Chaffetz prove that even by this misreading, Hillary still has intent.

Then Comey says: "Yes, but no evil intent, like to obstruct justice or deliver the information into enemy hands."

No matter what you probe Hillary did, Comey ups the ante for what he claims must be proven, then says it's not proven.

Another way to say this is that not only is Comey reading in an "intent" requirement plainly not part of the statute, but a specific intent requirement. "Intent" is merely the intent to do the thing you did. Specific intent is the intent to do the thing you did, with a specific outcome/effect in mind.

You may have intent to burn a cross, but you're not guilty of making a terroristic threat unless you have the specific intent of causing blacks or other minorities to become afraid due to your cross-burning. Otherwise, a lot of movie producers, like Quentin Tarantino or the guys who did Fletch Live, would be in jail for cross burning.

They don't go to jail, because obviously they were not burning crosses with that specific intent to produce fear in onlookers.

Comey is not just reading in a phantasmal intent requirement -- but a specific intent to mishandle classified information for the purposes of obstruction of justice or passing the information on to foreign powers.

Specific intent is intent on steroids -- very weird to read specific intent into a statute which doesn't even require vanilla intent.

Almost like he was employing motivated reasoning to get to the conclusion he favored from the start.

He has simply rewritten the statute, completely, to give Hillary another Clinton Gets Out of Jail card.

Video of Gowdy from Hot Air. When the Chaffetz video goes up, I'll post that as well.

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posted by Ace at 03:03 PM

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