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November 07, 2017

In Early Drafts of Comey's Memo on Hillary's Emails, He Found Her "Grossly Negligent," Satisfying the "Intent" Part of the Law

Actually that's not the right word but it's close enough for a headline. The mental state, the mens rea, specified in the law is "gross negligence" (at the low end). Finding her to be grossly negligent would have satisfied the mens rea requirement and made her eligible for prosecution -- but apparently at some point Comey decided he was voting for Hillary and so took that out and began insisting that "intent" and nothing less was required when the candidate he was voting for was being probed for violations of the law.

The Espionage Act states, in pertinent parts:

(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 under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

The Washington Examiner founds that Comey initially concluded that she did remove classified information from its proper custody in a grossly negligent manner, but later, for reasons unknown, edited those parts out of his findings and began insisting that nothing short of "intent" was required.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is accusing former FBI Director James Comey of removing the words “grossly negligent” from his July 2016 remarks announcing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would not be charged with a crime for mishandling classified State Department emails.

Grassley asserts that preliminary drafts of Comey’s remarks use phrases "indicating a violation of federal statute" but the works were removed in subsequent drafts.


Grassley is demanding the original drafts, "including the metadata to determine who is responsible for the edits." Grassley is also asking for all records pertaining to the reasoning behind the changes.

Comey has previously obeyed Loretta Lynch's command to call the investigation merely "a matter" --

Despite his discomfort, Mr. Comey said, he agreed to Ms. Lynch's language.

He told lawmakers he concluded, "This isn't a hill worth dying on, and so I just said, 'OK.' The press is going to completely ignore it -- and that’s what happened."

-- which raises the question of what other word choices this Company Man might make on his master's orders.

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posted by Ace at 03:03 PM

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