Did Hillary Break the Law?
I have suggested that Hillary Clinton may have committed a felony (or more). However, I have been asked for a specific law or citation to back up this assumption. I am happy to do so. The following comes from the United States Department of Justice – 1663. Protection Of Government Property — Protection Of Public Records And Documents
…. The necessary measure of protection for government documents and records is provided by 18 U.S.C. § 2071. Section 2071(a) contains a broad prohibition against destruction of government records or attempts to destroy such records. This section provides that whoever: willfully and unlawfully; conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates or destroys; or attempts to conceal, remove, mutilate, obliterate or destroy; or carries away with intent to conceal, remove, mutilate, obliterate or destroy; any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document or other thing deposited in any public office may be punished by imprisonment for three years, a $2, 000 fine, or both.
There are several important aspects of this offense. First, it is a specific intent crime. This means that the defendant must act intentionally with the knowledge that he is violating the law. See United States v. Simpson, 460 F.2d 515, 518 (9th Cir. 1972). Moreover, one case has suggested that this specific intent requires that the defendant know that the documents involved are public records. See United States v. DeGroat, 30 F. 764, 765 (E.D.Mich. 1887).
The acts proscribed by this section are defined broadly. Essentially three types of conduct are prohibited by 18 U.S.C. § 2071(a). These are (1) concealment, removal, mutilation, obliteration, or destruction of records; (2) any attempt to commit these proscribed acts; and (3) carrying away any record with the intent to conceal, remove, mutilate or destroy it. It should be noted that all of these acts involve either misappropriation of or damage to public records. This has led one court to conclude that the mere photocopying of these records does not violate 18 U.S.C. § 2071. See United States v. Rosner, 352 F. Supp. 915, 919-22 (S.D.N.Y. 1972).
Subsection (b) of 18 U.S.C. § 2071 contains a similar prohibition specifically directed at custodians of public records. Any custodian of a public record who “willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys (any record) shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.” While the range of acts proscribed by this subsection is somewhat narrower than subsection (a), it does provide the additional penalty of forfeiture of position with the United States.
Title 18 contains two other provisions of somewhat narrower application, which relate to public records. Section 285 prohibits the unauthorized taking, use, and attempted use of any document, record, or file relating to a claim against the United States for purposes of procuring payment of that claim. Section 1506 prohibits the theft, alteration, or falsification of any record or process in any court of the United States. Both of these sections are punishable by a $5,000 fine or imprisonment for five years.
[cited in USAM 9-66.400]
In My Humble Opinion: Hillary Clinton admitted to destroying at least 30,000 original government documents which were subpoenaed evidence – public record – after she was on notice about the subpoena. Not only is that obstruction of justice, but that is a clear violation of the laws regarding the destruction of the documents and a clear violation of federal record-keeping regulations overall. And let us also not lose sight of the fact that such deletion may hinder the government’s investigation of her role in the 2012 terrorist attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya – which may bring up a slew of other potential charges.
Whether Hillary kept classified information on an unsecured server and diverted public records from her boss muddies the waters as far as I’m concerned, not to mention complicating the issue. Are they important? Sure they are, but Hillary has already admitted to breaking the law – these specific laws – which makes her ineligible for public office at the very least and probably due some decent prison time in addition.
When you build a case, you start with the solid evidence you have and build from there. But I want you to ask yourself: If this was you, would you be able to run for public office, or would you be in jail already?