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Stoddard: Hillary still hurt by FBI

Stoddard: Hillary still hurt by FBI
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The director of the FBI on Tuesday rendered Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFederal workers stuck it out with Trump — now, we're ready to get back to work Biden soars as leader of the free world Intercept DC bureau chief says Biden picks are 'same people' from Obama years MORE, who is vying to become commander in chief, unfit to work the cash register at Subway.

In judgment and conduct, though she was spared indictment in her email scandal, Clinton appears to have disqualified herself from getting another security clearance. While the former secretary of State’s scheme to remove her government communication from the government — and house sensitive material on an unsecured system — did not rise to the level of crimes, James Comey confirmed Clinton took sloppy risks and told numerous lies.

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In a press conference that exonerated Clinton and spared her all-but-official presidential nomination the death penalty, Comey eviscerated Clinton by destroying the false case she has made to the public for more than a year. 

The former first lady said her email arrangement helped her use one device for “convenience;” Comey said there were multiple devices. Clinton said she had turned over “anything that could be possibly viewed as work related;” Comey said “the FBI discovered thousands of work-related emails” she had not turned over. Clinton said her emails did not contain classified information, but many did. Clinton said her system was secure and hadn’t been breached; Comey said it is indeed possible that “hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account.”

Finally, Comey revealed that those securing the nation’s secrets know which materials are classified and do not require “markings” to identify it. “There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation,” Comey said. 

In short, her explanation isn’t reasonable. The FBI chief made clear Clinton’s private email domain and rogue servers — and there were more than one — did not even meet the security requirements of Gmail. He termed her actions “extremely careless,” which essentially amounts to gross negligence. 

Hillary Clinton escaped prosecution, Comey said, because there was no clear evidence of intent. But as Andrew C. McCarthy, a friend and former colleague of Comey’s, wrote in the National Review: “In order to give Mrs. Clinton a pass, the FBI rewrote the statute, inserting an element that Congress did not require. ... The point of having a statute that criminalizes gross negligence is to underscore that government officials have a special obligation to safeguard national defense secrets; when they fail to carry out that obligation due to gross negligence, they are guilty of serious wrongdoing.”

Even absent intent, the question remains whether Clinton’s original goal, as a newly released email included in a State Department inspector general’s report last month revealed, was to hide her communications on her own server. And in hiding her email, and later deleting many of them, was she not intentionally subverting the Freedom of Information Act?

Even at the conclusion of a criminal investigation, one Clinton falsely referred to numerous times as a “security review,” the presumptive Democratic nominee and her campaign prevaricated once more. “As the Secretary has long said, it was a mistake to use her personal email and she would not do it again,” part of their statement read. It was a shameless continuation of defunct spin, apologizing for Clinton’s personal account, which others at State have used, instead of a secret server, which no one has used before.

Clinton’s honesty problem has been decades in the making, and her polling shows a strong majority of voters don’t trust her. Trust is earned over time, and she is out of time to earn it. If she weren’t running against someone who lies as much as she does, she would surely lose.

Stoddard is an associate editor of The Hill.