As an introduction of sorts, let me point out 2 things:
One, those who are firmly in Hillary's "camp" politically will never accept that she did anything illegal - even if God appeared and pronounced her guilty.
Two, those who are firmly against Hillary politically will never accept that she is innocent - even if God appeared and pronounced her so.
This article merely intends to offer facts. In addition, some speculation will be offered with both pros & cons submitted.
With that recognition, let's proceed.
First, 12 unassailable facts:
1. The FBI is and has been investigating Hillary Clinton for possible criminal activity surrounding her "email scandal". The FBI does NOT conduct security reviews as Mrs. Clinton suggests.
2. Here are the Laws potentially violated by H. Clinton - either directly or indirectly by her.
44 U.S. Code 3101 On the handling of government information.
18 U.S. Code 1924 On the handling of classified information and/or documents.
18 U.S. Code 2071 On the concealment, removal, or mutilation generally of government/classified information.
3. Violation of a Presidential Order/Memorandum. While this Memorandum of President of the United States, Nov. 28, 2011, 76 F.R. 75423, is not strictly a "legal" issue, it adds to the controversy.
4. Setting up and maintaining a non-approved IT Server for all email traffic - both personal and government business related.
Mrs. Clinton set up a "private" server prior to her confirmation as Secretary of State.
5. Prior to turning over the private server to the government and pursuant to receiving a congressional subpoena for emails relating to the attacks in Benghazi, some 30,000+ emails were deleted from the server.
6. Mrs. Clinton indicated that she only used one electronic device as doing so was allowed.
In fact, Mrs. Clinton used multiple devices. Further, no such document identifying an authority for her allowed use of a private email server & multiple devices can be found.
7. Mrs. Clinton has indicated that she did not send or receive any emails marked classified and she added that classification markings are the way "you know" if something is classified or not.
In fact, a physical marking of classification is NOT the only way to "know" if something is classified or not.
Further, disparate unclassified information when aggregated may, indeed, be classified. Maintaining a server without proper "hacking" protection can lead to information aggregation. All those familiar with classified environments know this. To see a simple example of how this could work, Click Here.
8. Mrs. Clinton's IT person, the person who set up and maintained her private server, elected to invoke his 5th Amendment right to not testify 125 times when questioned about the email scandal.
9. It has been determined/found that Mrs. Clinton's private server indeed contained classified data - some of the highest order.
10. Under 18 U.S. Code § 793 - Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information, paragraph (f), through gross negligence, if someone allows classified information to be available outside "US security", a charge of Espionage could be asserted.
11. Mrs. Clinton's private server has a history of technical/security issues. At one point it had to have its security features disabled and ultimately shut down for a time.
As to was the server hacked? This story may offer a hint.
And, finally ...
12. Every government email has as their ending ".gov". So, if an email is received within the government and it has the ".gov" ending, the receiver knows that the email and all attachments are backed up, archived, and available for audit, etc. If someone sends an email to an email address with the ending ".gov", those same provisions exist.
If someone within the government sends a "government business" email to an email address that does NOT have the ".gov" ending, then the sender knows the email will not be protected and may be going to a place unsafe technically.
Within the military the ending ".mil" is used in the same manner.
Second, A Commentary:
My commentary is based on my professional experience having spent the majority of my 40+ working years dealing with National Security classified matters.
There are definite "sides" drawn up on the issue of Mrs. Clinton's handling of government emails - both classified and just government "sensitive" information. For the purposes of this discussion I'll define the "sides" as:
Liberals/Progressives, LP. And Conservatives, C.
The LP side offers all the excuses possible to defend Mrs. Clinton. The C side offers every piece of data sufficient to have Mrs. Clinton indicted for criminal wrongs.
As with most things, nothing is as clear-cut as people would like. But, in this case the facts lean heavily toward the C side.
As the facts tend to roll out more fully, the LP side offers that whatever Mrs. Clinton did it certainly wasn't done "with malice aforethought". Or, she had no true intention of hiding or destroying government sensitive information. And, maybe she really wasn't aware of the impropriety of her actions.
The C side, of course, has a different opinion. They would assert that Mrs. Clinton deleted emails, at a minimum, in order to provide protection for the numerous accusations of graft, etc., having to do with the Clinton Foundation. Further, the C side asserts that Mrs. Clinton has a long history of feeling she is "above the law".
Aside from the "slings and arrows" being traded back and forth, there is a more central point in this.
Most of us learned early in life the following: Ignorance of the law is no excuse. And, so it is with the handling of sensitive information.
Had I, during my career, had a private server containing company proprietary information, I would have been fired on the spot.
Had I, during my career, had National Security (i.e., classified) information on my private computer - even if it were not connected to the internet, I would have been immediately fired, prohibited from working in the classified world ever again, AND would have a nice little jail sentence to enjoy.
So, is it any wonder that people question whether Mrs. Clinton not only may believe she is above the law, but, also, is treated that way by the current administration and the LP side in general?
Now, do I, personally, believe Mrs. Clinton is guilty of the actions attributed to her? One must be careful with the word "guilty".
Do I think she is legally guilty? Certainly not! She has yet to be charged - must less tried and convicted.
Do I think she has committed many of the actions of which she is accused? It's not a case of "thinking"; she has admitted to having a private server with a mix of personal and government data and she has admitted to deleting over 30,000 emails. Her own statements render her admitted actions to be in violation of 44 U.S. Code 3101, 18 U.S. Code 1924, and 18 U.S. Code 2071 as referenced above. The video links above offer her admissions in her own words.
If we are to include that, indeed, classified information was on her private server, then through the gross negligence aspects, 18 U.S. Code § 793 comes into play.
There is another aspect of this whole thing that tends to work against Mrs. Clinton. That is the atmospherics - Or, how it looks.
When faced with statements by Mrs. Clinton, which were clearly untrue, trust is questioned and/or lost.
For examples, her statement on Benghazi, a la it was due to a video and her statement on the desire to use a single electronic device - both of which have been proven not to be truthful - do not serve her well. Even her statement that she did not send or receive any classified information via her private server is questionable - at best.
With all politicians one must look at what they say in detail. In this case her above assertions could actually be legally true if she, personally, did not push the SEND button on an outgoing email or if she, personally, did not initially pull a new email up.
Add to all the above her husband's meeting privately with the Attorney General when an investigation is going on, strongly leads one to question if "the fix is in".
Further, since the president exchanged emails with Mrs. Clinton to/from her private server, he must have known she was operating a system contrary to his own directive, 76 F.R. 75423. Plus, he had to know that the server to which he was sending/receiving emails was not a properly secure one. Yet, he took no action. This just adds fuel to the fire that Mrs. Clinton is permitted to operate "above the law". Well, certainly above any laws to which I and millions like me were held.
What's even worse in this case is that the president indicated that he only found out about Mrs. Clinton's private email server from the "news". Did he not ever look to see the email address of the receiver of the emails he sent/received? Just adding more fuel to the fire this is.
The final outcome of all this? We'll just have to wait and see.