FBI Director James Comey has concluded that Hillary Clinton showed "gross negligence" in handling top secret information on her illegal personal server as secretary of state, an eerily similar conclusion he helped make back in the late '90s when Clinton was first lady and Comey was investigating the first family as deputy special counsel in the Whitewater investigation. Even more interesting, Mrs. Clinton got off scot-free in both instances.
The Washington Post traces the common threads revealed in these two investigations:
Nearly 20 years before FBI Director James B. Comey declared that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring a criminal case against Clinton over her use of a private email server while secretary of state, Clinton narrowly escaped a similar legal peril amid the Whitewater investigation that engulfed much of her husband’s time as president.
While history remembers the 1990s probe led by independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr for its pursuit of President Bill Clinton over the possibility he had lied under oath about his relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky, internal documents from the inquiry show how close prosecutors came to filing charges at that time against Hillary Clinton. They even drew up a draft indictment for Clinton, which has never been made public.
As in the email controversy of today, Clinton’s honesty was a central question facing investigators in 1998 as they weighed whether what they saw as shifting stories from Clinton amounted to an attempt to cover up misconduct. Like the events of today, Clinton was interviewed for hours by authorities. Unlike the email inquiry, in which Comey said Clinton’s status as a presidential candidate had no effect on the decision not to charge her, documents from the 1990s show how prosecutors weighed whether Clinton’s political popularity would make her more difficult to convict.
As WaPo goes on to note, this is why there is so much public doubt about her trustworthiness and that it "serves as a reminder of how long Clinton has faced scrutiny about her ethics and judgment, dating even to her days in the East Wing."
With that, the report brings into question how Starr's team summarized the evidence against Clinton, which included "numerous sworn statements" in the mid-90s that they said "reflected and embodied materially inaccurate stories."
Paul Rosenzweig, a prosecutor from the decades-old case, said Comey's recent decision was "very reminiscent" of the decision he was a part of making back then.
As Legal Insurrection notes:
Comey was, in 1996, deputy special counsel to the Senate Whitewater Committee, so he was involved with earlier Hillary scandals and well aware of her propensity for claiming she had no “intent” to engage in wrong-doing and for her repeated lies, lack of transparency, and assorted other stone-walling tactics, including hiding potentially incriminating evidence.
A few short months after Comey began work on the 1996 investigation, he came to "some damning conclusions," according to TIME magazine: "Hillary Clinton was personally involved in mishandling documents and had ordered others to block investigators as they pursued their case. Worse, her behavior fit into a pattern of concealment: she and her husband had tried to hide their roles in two other matters under investigation by law enforcement."
Therefore, Comey helped decide that the actions of Mrs. Clinton, even then, exhibited "a highly improper pattern of deliberate misconduct."
But no charges were filed. Sound familiar?
The patented Clinton Teflon Coating® is still functioning after all these years.
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