Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Does the Costanza Rule Apply Only to the Best and Brightest?

Last summer, FBI Director Comey discovered the concept of "intent" in failing to prosecute Hillary Clinton for her serial violations of communication security--as if she didn't intend to set up a private server and evade State Department security procedures to protect classified information. Comey has now applied the same standard to Huma Abedin, Clinton's closest advisor:

"Somehow, [Clinton's] emails were being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information by her assistant, Huma Abedin," he said.

In separate exchange with Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, Comey said Abedin appeared to have had a regular practice of forwarding emails to Weiner for him "to print out for her so she could then deliver them to the secretary of state."

Somehow! Lord knows who was pressing that send button.

This is just wrong:

But there was no indication that Abedin "had a sense that what she was doing was in violation of the law" Comey added, and investigators couldn't prove any sort of criminal intent.

Not that the statute in question requires intent. But for these two, you have to have intent to harm America rather than have intent to evade security regulations and processes, which their actions clearly indicate even if you need intent. They didn't accidentally set up private emails and mis-use them at a massive rate.

Somehow, these two best and brightest elites who were put in position of great trust and authority (and compensated rather nicely for it) didn't know something as basic as you shouldn't send classified information bouncing around the Internet where any reasonably competent hacker can intercept it.

We've come to this. Our so-called best and brightest resorted to the Costanza Defense:

And Comey let them get away with it. And they will get away with it.

And I guarantee that nobody at a lower level will get away with the Costanza Defense.

UPDATE: Let me make a pre-publication update with new information.

Comey did not accurately state Abedin's forwarding practice--and it may have been from system backups! It was not even hundreds of times and only two forwarded emails contained classified information. Tip to Instapundit.

Not that a lesser human couldn't have faced consequences for even that lapse. But why would Comey exaggerate and then excuse the exaggerated transgressions based on the false standard of intent? Was it all to bolster his protection of Hillary Clinton in her far larger transgressions by making it seem that others qualify for the Costanza Defense and not just Clinton?

NOTE: This was written before Comey's firing. Not that it affects what he did in the past.