Isn’t that a criminal offense that results in jail time? Lock her up!
A South Carolina congressman who cut his teeth as a criminal prosecutor grilled FBI Director James Comey on Thursday in an open hearing, pushing him to concede that many of Hillary Clinton’s public statements about her classified email scandal – and one statement she made to Congress – were false.
Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, who chairs a separate Capitol Hill inquest into the 2012 Benghazi terror attacks, asked Comey a series of fact-check questions that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign quickly seized on, sending a video clip of the exchange to its largest email list.
Gowdy asked whether FBI investigators agreed with Clinton’s claim to Congress in October 2015 that she never sent or received any items bearing classified markings.
‘That is not true,’ Comey declared. ‘There were a small number of portion markings on, I think, three of the documents.’
Clinton’s similar claims that she never emailed ‘any classified material to anyone on my email’ and ‘there is no classified material’ also didn’t strike Comey as accurate.
‘No, there was classified material emailed,’ he said.
‘Secretary Clinton said she used one device. Was that true?’ Gowdy asked.
Comey replied: ‘She used multiple devices during the four years of her term as secretary of state.’
Gowdy asked if Clinton was accurate when she claimed that she and her lawyers had given the State Department all her work-related emails.
‘No, we found work-related emails, thousands that were not returned,’ Comey insisted.
‘Secretary Clinton said neither she or anyone else deleted work-related emails from her personal account. Was that true?’ Gowdy asked, continuing the line of questioning in courtroom style.
‘That’s a harder one to answer,’ Comey answered. ‘We found traces of work-related emails in – on devices or in “slack space.”
‘Whether they were deleted or whether, when a server changed out, something happened to them? There is no doubt that the work-related emails that were removed electronically from the email system.’
Gowdy also asked if Clinton’s lawyers had read every one of her emails before deciding which ones to delete, as the former secretary of state has claimed publicly.
‘No,’ Comey replied.
Gowdy spent the remainder of his time asking whether investigators should have used Clinton’s pattern of false statements as evidence of an effort to hide criminal conduct.
‘In the interest of time – because I have a plane to catch tomorrow afternoon – I’m not going to go through any more of the false statements,’ Gowdy snarked. ‘But I am going to ask you put on your old [prosecutor’s] hat.’
‘False exculpatory statements, they are used for what?’ he asked.
Comey responded: ‘Either for the substantive prosecution or for evidence of intent in a criminal prosecution.’
‘Exactly,’ Gowdy said. ‘Intent and consciousness of guilt, right? Is that right? Consciousness of guilt and intent.’
‘In your old job you would prove intent as you just referenced by showing the jury evidence of a complex scheme that was designed for the very purpose of concealing the public record, and you would be arguing in addition to concealment the destruction that you and I just talked about, or certainly the failure to preserve [documents].’