Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Criminal Intent

A couple of weeks ago, Republican ... er, Libertarian, sort of ... vice-presidential candidate William Weld, a former prosecutor who presumably knows better, tried to give Hillary Clinton a free pass on Servergate:

[Y]ou can't indict somebody if there is no evidence of intent, and I don't see it, I don't see any evidence of criminal intent ...

This morning, FBI Director James Comey pulled the same shit:

[W]e did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information ...

Clinton is benefiting here from a creative re-definition of "intent" as that word is applied to pretty much everyone else on the planet.

If I shoot you in the head, the prosecutor isn't going to ask whether or not I read Revised Statute BR-549, Criminal Homicide, and said to myself "hey, I really like violating laws, I think I'll violate that one today!" He's going to ask whether or not I intended to shoot you in the head. If I did, that was criminal intent because it was an intentional action that happened to violate Revised Statute BR-549.

Secretary Clinton and her colleagues didn't accidentally do the things they did. It's not like she and her staff tripped over the dog, got up off the floor and suddenly realized they had inadvertently set up a private email server and illegally conducted sensitive State Department business on and illegally passed classified information through that server. They did those things on purpose and since those things are against the law they clearly had criminal intent in doing them.

Just so we're clear about what's going on here:

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