Tuesday, June 02, 2015

10 FUN FACTS: Hillary Clinton’s Email Scandal

Shortly after the revelation that Hillary Clinton had illegally operated her own private email server for State Department business, Professor Ronald D. Rotunda at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law penned a noteworthy summary of the legal implications. The 10 most entertaining tidbits?

10. By her own admission, Clinton erased more than 30,000 emails once subpoenas started rolling in, which clearly constitutes the appearance of obstruction of justice.

9. When Congress and other entities subpoenaed Clinton's official communications, the State Department was unable to produce them -- because it did not possess them.

8. And the State Department was fully aware the Clinton was unlawfully operating her own insecure email server designed to evade public scrutiny, because her email address ("@clintonemail.com") was obviously that of a private entity.

7. To explain her destruction of emails, Clinton first claimed that her personal emails were segregated from work product based upon keyword searches. But after the implausibility of that explanation was spotlighted, she then insisted that every email was read before it was destroyed.

6. And what definition of "personal" did Clinton employ? Did it include emails with foreign actors regarding donations to the Clinton Foundation? Were those purged as "personal"?

5. No one in government is required to use emails, but it is a crime (18 U.S.C. section 1519) to destroy even one message to prevent it from being subpoenaed. Prosecutors charging Clinton with obstruction of justice have a very low bar to cross: they" need only prove that the defendant shredded the documents, at least in part, to make life more difficult for future investigators, if and when they eventually appear."

4. The legal description of this behavior is termed “anticipatory obstruction of justice,” and the punishment is up to 20 years in prison.

3. Every state court has adopted uniform ethical standards for attorneys, one of which bans the anticipatory obstruction of justice. As an attorney who violated these standards, Clinton and any attorneys who advised her to operate unlawfully are subject to disbarment.

2. During the Watergate affair, it was discovered that Richard Nixon had taped numerous conversations within the walls of the White House. Many wondered why Nixon had not destroyed the tapes; the answer was that he could have been indicted for obstruction and disbarred. The Watergate committee, in fact, warned Nixon not to tamper with the tapes.

1. Oh, and one other reason Mrs. Clinton should know about obstruction: she voted for it as Senator, in 2002, as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

In other words, her vote made her own acts clear-cut crimes.

Hat tip: BadBlue News.

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