We already knew that the FBI has been looking into whether Hillary Clinton's improper email scheme resulted in the mishandling of classified information, or resulted in any national security breaches -- which many data security experts believe is a virtual certainty. The Clinton campaign has insisted along the way that the Democratic presidential candidate is not herself a target of the probe, claimed she's done nothing wrong, and changed its story regarding classified materials several times. They also stated that the investigation is not criminal in nature, a distinction dismissed by an FBI spokesman. Now Fox News' Catherine Herridge has new details into the seriousness of the Bureau's work:
From Fox's accompanying online story:
An FBI "A-team" is leading the "extremely serious" investigation into Hillary Clinton's server and the focus includes a provision of the law pertaining to "gathering, transmitting or losing defense information," an intelligence source told Fox News. The section of the Espionage Act is known as 18 US Code 793. A separate source, who also was not authorized to speak on the record, said the FBI will further determine whether Clinton should have known, based on the quality and detail of the material, that emails passing through her server contained classified information regardless of the markings. The campaign's standard defense and that of Clinton is that she "never sent nor received any email that was marked classified" at the time. It is not clear how the FBI team's findings will impact the probe itself. But the details offer a window into what investigators are looking for -- as the Clinton campaign itself downplays the controversy...A leading national security attorney, who recently defended former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling in a leak investigation, told Fox News that violating the Espionage Act provision in question is a felony and pointed to a particular sub-section...The Clinton campaign did not provide an on-the-record comment on the matter when given questions by Fox News.
Her campaign is no-commenting a report about the FBI's "extremely serious" investigation into possible felony violations of a national security law. The piece goes on to cite active government regulations and experts who say Clinton's "nothing-marked-classified" defense (a far cry from her original blanket denials, by the way) doesn't hold legal water (and also appears to be untrue):
Additional federal regulations, reviewed by Fox News, also bring fresh scrutiny to Clinton's defense. The Code of Federal Regulations, or "CFR," states: "Any person who has knowledge that classified information has been or may have been lost, possibly compromised or disclosed to an unauthorized person(s) shall immediately report the circumstances to an official designated for this purpose." A government legal source confirmed the regulations apply to all government employees holding a clearance, and the rules do not make the "send" or "receive" distinction. Rather, all clearances holders have an affirmative obligation to report the possible compromise of classified information or use of unsecured data systems. Current and former intelligence officers say the application of these federal regulations is very straightforward.
There's "no wiggle room" in the law, another authority tells Fox. Ed Morrissey also points out that under the Espionage Act, "the material does not have to be classified in order to violate this law. This covers any sensitive material relating to national defense. The mishandling does not have to be intentional or malicious either, but only grossly negligent to become a crime. If the FBI is taking a long look at 18 USC 793, then that is very bad news for Hillary Clinton, whose grossly negligent decision to use a private, unsecured, and unauthorized communications system for official business would be the root of all violations within it." Important points. Questions: Can we stop pretending that Hillary herself isn't a potential subject of this federal investigation? And how many times does the word "felony" need to crop up before people abandon the "it's not a criminal probe" line? Rattled by the deepening scandal -- and additional sordid issues that continue to arise -- Hillary Clinton has been lashing out at Republicans in extremely hyperbolic terms in recent days. In Ohio, she compared pro-life politicians to Islamist terrorists, then today invoked Nazi imagery ("boxcars") in denouncing some Republicans' calls for mass deportations of illegal immigrants. By the way, what was Hillary's stance on illegal immigrants, again?