Newspaper Editorials Warn Email Scandal Could Result in Federal Prosecution of Hillary Clinton
On the afternoon that leading Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made a grudging concession that her decision to exclusively use a private email server during her four year tenure as secretary of state “clearly wasn’t the best choice,” two major newspapers published house editorials criticizing Clinton for the practice, warning that Clinton could well be prosecuted by the federal government for endangering national security by mishandling classified information.
The Financial Times wrote that Clinton likely endangered national security and could face federal prosecution for keeping top secret government emails on an unencrypted server in her home that “all but ensured” they would be easily hacked by Russian and Chinese government agents.
“In her quest to insulate herself from political enemies, she may have compromised US national security. Mrs Clinton went to great lengths to keep her communications out of US government hands with methods that all but ensured they would fall into foreign ones, such as China and Russia. As Edward Snowden has shown, it is a relatively simple matter to tap into unencrypted servers. That may well prove to be the case. Should it turn out her email traffic contained highly classified material that jeopardised US intelligence’s “sources and methods”, Mrs Clinton could find herself in very deep trouble indeed. The Department of Justice will have to make a decision whether to prosecute. Her campaign could even be derailed.”
The editorial concluded that voters are right to question Clinton’s suitability to be commander-in-chief.
“Unless Mrs Clinton comes clean and makes amends, voters will rightly doubt her suitability to be commander-in-chief.”
The Chicago Tribune called on Clinton to come clean, noting her explanations have proven to be, “implausible, incomplete, doubtful or just wrong.”
“Clinton’s defenses have repeatedly turned out to be implausible, incomplete, doubtful or just wrong. She said she didn’t violate government policy — but Sullivan said last week that she did. She said she did nothing different from her predecessors, but State says Colin Powell is the only one who used personal email for government matters. She said none of her emails contained classified information — but two federal inspectors general said at least two of her messages contained “top secret” material that should have been labeled as such but wasn’t.
“She said she deleted only personal communications — but among those she did not turn over were several about Libya from a former aide; their existence became known when he provided them. She said all her official emails to and from State employees would have been preserved in the department’s system — but one of her top aides also had a private account on Clinton’s server.”
The Tribune echoed the Times‘ concern that Clinton could face federal prosecution.
“Did she violate the law? We won’t prejudge the still-unfolding evidence, although the FBI’s inquiry may provide more answers. But it’s clear she used poor judgment. Former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden said, “Put legality aside for just a second, it’s stupid and dangerous.”
The editorials were published as Clinton spoke in Iowa to reporters on the email scandal where she made a small admission of responsibility.
The New York Times reported Clinton’s statement made Wednesday in Iowa which marked a change from Clinton’s recent mocking dismissal of the email scandal.
““I know people have raised questions about my email use as secretary of state, and I understand why,” Mrs. Clinton said Wednesday. “I get it. So here’s what I want the American people to know: My use of personal email was allowed by the State Department. It clearly wasn’t the best choice. I should’ve used two emails: one personal, one for work.”
“She added: “I take responsibility for that decision, and I want to be as transparent as possible, which is why I turned over 55,000 pages, why I’ve turned over my server, why I’ve agreed to — in fact, been asking to — and have finally gotten a date to testify before a congressional committee in October.”
““I’m confident that this process will prove that I never sent, nor received, any email that was marked classified,” she said.”
Clinton’s remarks stating she “never sent, nor received, any email that was marked classified” avoids acknowledging her responsibility to recognize and act to protect classified information as she was trained to do by the State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the highest-level government authority granted Clinton by President Barack Obama to have and exercise the power of an “Original Classification Authority” to classify national security information on sight.