Here’s Exactly How We Know That Hillary Is Under Criminal Investigation

Michael Tracey
Oct 28, 2016 · 4 min read

Because there’s such an incredible propaganda onslaught underway right now, it’s worth laying out precisely how we know that Hillary Clinton is once again under criminal investigation. Clinton hacks and loyalists will work tirelessly to cast doubt on this claim, even though it is grounded in absolute fact.

Today, FBI Director James Comey issued a letter to Congressional committee chairmen. It’s slightly opaque, but there are more than enough details contained therein to conclude that Hillary Clinton is now under criminal investigation.

Here’s the full text:

Comey writes that “in connection with an unrelated case,” new emails that had not previously been in the FBI’s possession were recently recovered. (We know now that the new emails were recovered from devices possessed by Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner, the latter of whom is separately under investigation for purportedly engaging in sexually explicit communications with a minor.) The New York Times reports that the newly-recovered emails number “in the thousands.”

One point before we proceed any further: the fact that these new emails were recovered from a device other than Hillary’s private server has no necessary bearing on whether she is criminally implicated. The FBI already announced after its initial “conclusion” of the case in July that it had been forced to obtain relevant emails from non-server sources, because Hillary had destroyed her emails in such a way as to “preclude complete forensic recovery,” as Comey said in his July 5, 2016 statement.

Because the FBI could not obtain all relevant emails by performing a forensic recovery effort on Hillary’s private server(s), they obtained emails from other federal government agencies, such as the Defense Department. These emails factored into the FBI’s investigative effort, despite not having been recovered from Hillary’s server. So these new emails, despite having been recovered from devices owned by Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin, will likewise factor into the FBI’s present investigative effort.

In his July 5, 2016 statement announcing that he would not recommend charges be brought against Hillary, Comey said: “It is also likely that there are other work-related emails that they did not produce to State and that we did not find elsewhere.” Again, the FBI had to look “elsewhere” for relevant emails because they were permanently destroyed from Hillary’s email server with the software “BleachBit.” Now we know that the Weiner/Abedin devices are “somewhere else” that relevant emails were housed.

As to whether the initial investigation was “criminal” in nature, Comey said in the July 5 statement:

Our investigation looked at whether there is evidence classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on that personal system, in violation of a federal statute making it a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way, or a second statute making it a misdemeanor to knowingly remove classified information from appropriate systems or storage facilities.

As this should make blindingly obvious, the conduct which the FBI was “investigating” was potentially criminal. That’s why the FBI conducts investigations: to assess whether crimes have been committed. Because the investigation was prompted by Hillary’s conduct, she was therefore under criminal investigation. (Sorry if this sounds elementary.) In notes released on September 2, 2016, the FBI made clear as day that the investigation was “criminal” in nature since it launched in July 2015, and that Hillary herself was a target:

So now we have established that the original FBI investigation into Hillary’s use of a private email server was criminal in nature. She was thus under active criminal investigation until July 5, 2016, when Comey “closed” the investigation and announced that he would not recommend she be charged with any violations of statutes.

When an investigation is “closed,” it’s not necessarily “closed” for all eternity. “Closed” isn’t a technical term. It just means the investigation is no longer being actively pursued. Any criminal investigation can be “re-opened” if additional evidence were to surface. According to Comey’s letter today, just that has happened: additional evidence has surfaced. As Comey put it, the newly-recovered emails “appear to be pertinent to the investigation.” By “the investigation” he is referring to the “investigation of former Secretary Clinton’s personal email server.” That investigation was unambiguously criminal in nature, as demonstrated above. Therefore, if the investigation has resumed in light of newly-surfaced evidence, Hillary is once again under criminal investigation as of today, October 28, 2016.

There will be a ferocious effort to deny these plain facts.

For instance, a tweet by Marc Ambinder announces that to call the investigation “re-opened” is to somehow repeat a GOP talking point. If so, some of the world’s premier news outlets must be secret Republicans (or perhaps Putin stooges? Who’s to say.)

All throughout the Clinton email saga, her partisans and loyalists have propagated disinformation. Remember when they falsely labeled the FBI criminal investigation a “security review”?

And then there was this, when the New York Times first broke the news of the criminal investigation in July 2015. Clinton hacks immediately launched into a frenzied “gaslighting” campaign.

Boehlert, one of the least distinguished functionaries of the Clinton apparatus, was proven disastrously wrong — the New York Times was right. Don’t let them get away with it again.


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