July 7, 2016

Top Clinton Aides Face Consequences For “Facilitating” Clinton’s Private Email Server

The repercussions from FBI Director James Comey’s public rebuke of Hillary Clinton and her staff’s handling of classified materials continue to grow. Now the New York Times is reporting that the State Department is restarting its internal review of Clinton’s email practices, and the consequences could be fatal for the careers of some of her key aides.

During Director Comey’s presentation he faulted not just Clinton but “her colleagues” for being “extremely careless” in their handling of “highly classified information”:

“‘Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of the classified information,’ Mr. Comey said, ‘there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.’”

In light of the renewed State Department investigation, the fact that top State Department aides Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, and Jake Sullivan “facilitated Mrs. Clinton’s unorthodox email arrangement,” could mean a loss of the security clearances, necessary for top White House jobs:

“The State Department said it would restart an internal review into the handling of Mrs. Clinton’s emails now that Justice’s investigation is formally closed, and that review could threaten the security clearances of several dozen other career officials and political appointees who knew of Mrs. Clinton’s private email server.”

One lawyer who specializes in defending government employees who have lost security clearances for offenses “much less egregious” than Clinton’s aides says that those aides could be facing “administrative action” at the very least:

“Sean M. Bigley, a Los Angeles lawyer who specializes in security clearances, said the handling of classified information could be ‘a major issue’ for officials who sent emails that ended up on Mrs. Clinton’s server. He said his firm has routinely defended clients who have lost their security clearances — often a requirement for employment — because of violations “much less egregious” than what Mr. Comey described. ‘The folks who were involved with this, even on a peripheral basis, at least are going to be facing administrative action, or should be, based on the historical cases we’ve dealt with,’ he said.”

Yet, there is one saving grace for Abedin, Sullivan, and Mills. The Clintons never play by the rules. If the FBI rejects a person’s security clearance after a background check the president can overturn any decision they make. Since the Clintons are such fans of special treatment, their top aides likely have as much chance of suffering the consequences of their damaging actions, as a repressive, foreign government does of getting turned by one of the Clintons for a big money speech.