In the midst of the ongoing and increasingly serious investigations, including by the FBI, into possible security violations by Hillary Clinton during her four years as Secretary of State, a former attorney general of the United States has gone on the record as saying, “The FBI doesn’t investigate machines, it investigates people.”

Michael Mukasey, Attorney General of the United States during the final two years of the George W. Bush administration from 2007 to 2009, appeared on Fox News on Sunday and MSNBC the following day to discuss Clinton’s unusual and possibly illegal email system.

Clinton, the current frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, has tried to deflect accountability for security breaches by making light of the situation with jokes and returning to old accusations about political enemies engaging in dirty tricks. “This is not a political witch hunt,” he told the anchors.

While not predicting that former cabinet secretary of the department charged with conducting foreign policy for the U.S. would necessarily face time in federal prison, Mukasey pointed out that the applicable statute automatically disqualifies her from holding public office if convicted.

Clinton campaign operatives have attempted to frame the FBI investigation as being about her emails rather than of her actions, but legal experts, including Mukasey, have labeled that as “ridiculous.”

Clinton chose to contravene federal government policy by setting up a private server at her home in Chappaqua, New York for transmittal of both her private, as well as official government emails. Investigations and discovery in the course of several lawsuits have revealed that classified and sensitive information was contained in those emails dealing with foreign policy in her capacity as Secretary of State.

Recently, it was discovered that the server was wiped by a private company before it was seized by the FBI.

Title 18 of the U.S. Code, section 2071 explicitly sets out the violations of federal law regarding the handling, securing and disposition of materials.

Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

 In addition, the code states that any person who commits those acts “shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.”

A determination by the FBI in the next several months may well determine both the course of Clinton’s campaign and the election of the next president of the United States.

 

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