Over the weekend, LawNewz founder, Dan Abrams, penned a thoughtful legal analysis of the Hillary Clinton e-mail story that serves as an excellent guide for anyone truly interested in separating the relevant factual issues from the partisan noise surrounding the matter.
Mr. Abrams took the correct approach in focusing his analysis on differentiating between actions that might be potential violations of government policy or procedures and conduct that might be criminal in nature. However, I believe he was wrong to conclude that based on what we know today, there does not seem to be a legitimate basis for any sort criminal charge against Hillary Clinton. At a minimum, we know enough today to sustain a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material.
I am assuming by now anyone reading this article is already well acquainted with the basic facts surrounding Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server, so lets go straight to analyzing how her actions fall within the purview of the relevant statute.
18 U.S.C. § 1924 – Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material — provides, in part:
(a)Whoever, being an officer… of the United States, and by virtue of his office… becomes possessed of documents or materials containing classified information of the United States, knowingly removes such documents or materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
(c) In this section, the term “classified information of the United States”means information originated, owned, or possessed by the United States Government concerning the national defense or foreign relations of the United States that has been determined pursuant to law or Executive order to require protection against unauthorized disclosure in the interests of national security.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.