by Glenn Harlan Reynolds
Donald Trump likes to call his opponent, Hillary Clinton, “Crooked Hillary.” There’s even a #CrookedHillary hashtag on Twitter. Meanwhile, Hillary seems to be doing her best to make that nickname stick.
The latest example came in a Labor Day Weekend document dump by the FBI. (Federal agencies dump embarrassing material in public on Friday afternoons when they want to ensure it gets as little attention as possible. That goes double for the Friday before a long-weekend holiday.) But the non-redacted parts of the Bureau’s heavily-redacted report were bad enough that they’ll still get some traction.
When FBI Director James Comey declined to prosecute the former Secretary of State for mishandling classified information, he said that although she was extremely careless, there was no criminal intent. That was a bit iffy, since the statute governing mishandling of classified information doesn’t require intent. But the new information indicates that Hillary is either criminal, or criminally incompetent. Or maybe both.
As John Schindler wrote on Friday:
Considering that Hillary has been accused of mishandling classified information on an almost industrial scale, what shines through is that Clinton is utterly clueless about classification matters, betraying an ignorance that is shocking when encountered in a former top official of our government — and one who wants to be our next commander-in-chief. . . .
When asked, “Clinton could not give an example of how classification of a document was determined,” the FBI recorded. Hillary could not explain what the (C) — for Confidential — classification marking at the beginning of a paragraph was. She thought it perhaps had something to do with alphabetical order.
This tragicomedy continued with the FBI pressing Hillary on specific examples of classified information that wound up in her “Unclassified” emails. She explained her position concisely. As the FBI noted, “Clinton stated that she did not pay attention to the ‘level’ of classified information.”
She also lost a laptop and multiple Blackberries and other mobile devices that she used to access classified material. “Clinton had 13 mobile devices that she potentially used to access emails on her private clintonemail.com server based out of her Chappaqua, New York home. At least eight of these mobile devices were used while she was secretary of state, but Clinton’s lawyers were unable to find any of them. Clinton aides told FBI investigators the former diplomat went through phones often, and the ‘whereabout’ of her old phones would become unknown once she switched to a new device.”
Conveniently enough, the FBI was unable to subject these “lost” devices — some were actually destroyed with a hammer by an aide — to forensic analysis.
SOURCE: USA TODAY
Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor and the author of The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself, is a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors.