Comparison of FBI probes of Clinton and Trump highlights politicization

Former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida was raided by the FBI last week, ostensibly in search of classified documents that he had taken with him when he left the White House instead of turning over to the National Archives to keep.

The unprecedented manner in which this investigation of Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified materials has prompted some to look back at how the FBI handled a probe of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over similar allegations ahead of the 2016 election, the Washington Examiner reported.

Needless to say, Clinton was never subjected to an FBI raid to locate and recover the classified materials she stored on an unauthorized private email server, and she was obviously never prosecuted for her apparent violations of federal laws regarding the handling of classified materials.

Clinton skated

The FBI’s investigation of Clinton was launched in 2015 following an inspector general’s referral after the congressional investigation of the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack had revealed Clinton’s unauthorized use of a private email server to communicate with colleagues instead of the government-provided email service while serving as head of the State Department.

That investigation discovered some classified materials stored on Clinton’s private server in violation of the law — and even recovered some classified materials that had been deleted in spite of congressional subpoenas — but the probe was ultimately concluded in 2016 with no charges filed or referral for prosecution to the Justice Department.

Indeed, then-FBI Director James Comey had stated in a mid-2016 press conference, “Although there is evidence of potential violations … regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

It was also later revealed by an inspector general’s report that overtly biased members of the FBI — including some who also participated in the hoax Russian collusion investigation against then-candidate Trump — had shown favoritism toward Clinton and downplayed or ignored her clear violations of statutes regarding the handling of classified information.

Trump probe is different

Fast-forward six years to the FBI investigation of former President Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified material, which was prompted by complaints from the National Archives and Records Administration over documents he took with him to store at Mar-a-Lago instead of the National Archives.

According to a released copy of the search warrant, one of the federal statutes at play in the probe is 18 U.S.C. Sec. 793, which is part of the Espionage Act and deals with the handling of national defense information that had been a central focus of the Clinton probe.

Further, the warrant made reference to two other federal statutes — one that could disqualify him from future office over his alleged mishandling of classified materials and another that could net him 20 years behind bars for alleged obstruction of justice — that apparently were not a major part of the discussion in the prior probe of Clinton for her similar alleged misdeeds.

Trump could declassify

There is at least one major distinction between these two FBI investigations that, in theory, should benefit the former president over the former secretary, in that he possessed the authority to declassify any and all of the materials in his possession — which he claimed to have done — while she most certainly did not have such authority.

It remains to be seen if the FBI and DOJ will similarly decline to pursue prosecution against Trump as they did with Clinton or if that prior precedent will be cast aside for partisan purposes in a full revelation of our nation’s increasingly apparent two-tiered politicized system of justice.

Share on facebook
Share To Facebook

Welcome to our comments section. We want to hear from you!

Any comments with profanity, advocacy of violence, harassment, personally identifiable information or other violations will be removed. If you feel your comment has been removed in error please contact us!

Latest Posts