Clinton Email Saga Continues
Late last week, FBI Director James Comey announced that his agents have begun analyzing new evidence in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of an unsecured, private server to conduct government business during her time as Secretary of State. In his letter to Congress, Director Comey said the FBI “learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation.” According to sources who spoke to The New York Times, the existence of new emails comes from devices confiscated in the investigation into former Congressman Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
Of course, back in July, Comey announced that he would not be recommending charges be brought against Clinton, which seemed to run counter to evidence that the letter and spirit of federal law were broken. I said at the time that it was a sad day for the rule of law in our country and that, while it was hardly surprising that Clinton evaded prosecution, many who still believed the idea that no one is above the law were rightfully disappointed.
Many are seeing this re-opening or deeper dive into the Clinton case as a second chance of sorts for the FBI after the initial episode produced a troublesome precedent. However, it is too early to say what this new evidence will produce or how the FBI will proceed with it. Setting aside the obvious political implications, I believe the Clinton email scandal offers an opportunity to improve policy.
Generally speaking, I want federal prosecutors to take violations of our national security laws and protocols more seriously, no matter who commits them. That’s why four weeks ago, in the wake of the FBI’s Clinton decision, I introduced legislation that would strengthen those laws and protocols for the storing and transfer of classified information.
H.R. 6219, The Unsecured Server Act of 2016 makes it a felony to knowingly store classified information on an unsecured server or send or receive classified information from an unsecured server, subject to a fine and up to ten years in prison. My bill also ensures that individuals found to have improperly stored or sent classified information in the last ten years are disqualified from receiving security clearances.
The time has come to update our legal code for the information age and to make it clear that the “extremely careless” behavior Clinton and her aides engaged in is not tolerated going forward. The Unsecured Server Act of 2016 has been referred to the Judiciary Committee's Crime Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee. I will keep you updated on the bill’s progress.