Former Attorney General: Hillary Clinton Knew Enough to Support Conviction for Mishandling Classified Information

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey says there is enough evidence to justify criminal charges against Hillary Clinton and to bring a conviction for mishandling classified information.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal Thursday, Mukasey, who served as Attorney General under President George W. Bush from 2007-2009 and now serves as an adviser to Republican candidate Jeb Bush, suggests there are several different charges that could be brought against Clinton. Mukasey says, at the very least, there is enough evidence to support a conviction on mishandling classified material:

No criminality can be charged against Mrs. Clinton in connection with any of this absent proof that she had what the law regards as a guilty state of mind—a standard that may differ from one statute to another, depending on what criminal act is charged.

Yet—from her direction that classification rules be disregarded, to the presence on her personal email server of information at the highest level of classification, to her repeated falsehoods of a sort that juries are told every day may be treated as evidence of guilty knowledge—it is nearly impossible to draw any conclusion other than that she knew enough to support a conviction at the least for mishandling classified information.

Here, Mukasey is referring to an email released earlier this month by the State Department in which Clinton appears to direct her aides to bypass problems with a secure fax machine by removing “identifying heading” and sending “nonsecure.”

The simple proposition that everyone is equal before the law suggests that Mrs. Clinton’s state of mind—whether mere knowledge of what she was doing as to mishandling classified information; or gross negligence in the case of the mishandling of information relating to national defense; or bad intent as to actual or attempted destruction of email messages; or corrupt intent as to State Department business—justifies a criminal charge of one sort or another.

Mukasey concludes that “public officials,” by which he means the FBI and the DOJ, “will do their duty.” For Clinton to be charged, FBI Director Comey would need to make a recommendation to the DOJ that charges were warranted based upon his investigation. At least one agent, speaking anonymously, said he believes enough evidence already exists to make such a recommendation.

If a recommendation is made, Attorney General Loretta Lynch would then have to choose whether to bring charges against the person currently leading the race for the Democratic nomination for president.


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