Saturday, June 18, 2016

Do Putin and Wikileaks Have Clinton Emails?

Hat tip Real Clear Politics and Red State

While those of us who care about such things as national security, corruption, and the rule of law await the FBI to complete their investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails and submit their findings to the Justice Department, new actors have entered the scene. We are talking about Vladimir Putin and Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks.

While Putin denies the Russians are in possession of Clinton emails during her tenure as secretary of State, Assange has declared that he does have some of those emails and is prepared to disclose them publicly soon.

"Assange said it was highly unlikely that the US attorney general, Loretta Lynch, would indict Clinton. “She’s not going to indict Hillary Clinton, that’s not possible. It’s not going to happen. But the FBI can push for concessions from a Clinton government,” he said."

On this point, Assange, who is Swedish,  is ignorant of the FBI. (Maybe he thinks J Edgar Hoover is still in charge.) The FBI under James Comey will, in my view, present an honest report to Attorney General Loretta Lynch. What happens then is anybody's guess. The FBI can only give a recommendation, but the final call (theoretically) rests in the hands of the Justice Department, and in this highly sensitive case,  the attorney general. I am confident that neither Comey nor his agency (FBI) are of the mindset that they should whitewash their investigation in the hopes of getting favored treatment under a President Hillary Clinton. That is not an issue.

But consider this: While not a legal requirement, one consideration in these types of cases is whether sensitive and classified documents were, indeed, comprised and fell into the wrong hands. This would be a smoking gun.

As for the Russians (and Chinese, Israelis and any other intelligence service worth its salt), it is hard to imagine that they didn't gain access to those tens, if not hundreds, of unsecured emails Hillary was sending and receiving for four years. You can bet that if Putin, Netanyahu, or the Chinese leaders were using private, unsecured email servers, the CIA and NSA would have easily gotten their hands on them. I include Israel in the mix here because we all spy on each other, friend or adversary. You can also include the major European intelligence agencies.

Putin and the Russians must consider diplomatic and geo-political issues in deciding whether to lay out what they have, which would surely impact a US presidential election in no small measure. Assange, on the other hand, could care less. He is driven by his own motives.

Recently, Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, which has been fighting in court for release of Clinton documents, said that we could consider the recent State Department Inspector General report on the Clinton email issue as essentially the criminal case referral for the FBI. I agree on the condition that the FBI has obtained the same information with documentation and witnesses to present in a criminal trial as evidence. If either the Russians or Wikileaks come forward with Clinton emails that are of a classified nature, the damage to our national security will be proven on a prima facie basis.

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