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Comey: Huma sent classified emails to Weiner, but no prosecution because lacking criminal intent

Comey: Huma sent classified emails to Weiner, but no prosecution because lacking criminal intent

Ted Cruz: Intent to violate the law not required under the statute

In October 2016, less than two weeks before the election, FBI Director James Comey disclosed that the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server had been reopened after classified emails from Huma Abedin were found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop as part of an unrelated investigation into Weiner’s sexting with a teenager.

The computer in question belonged to her husband, disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner.  Last November, FBI notes revealed that Hillary had been sending her housekeeper emails containing classified information for the purpose of printing them out.

In his Senate Judiciary Committee testimony today, FBI Director James Comey reveals that Abedin had been forwarding classified information to her husband so that he could print it out for her to give to Hillary.

He further notes that no charges were pursued because the FBI could not determine intent to violate federal law.

The Washington Post reports:

“Somehow, her emails were being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information,” Comey said, adding later, “His then-spouse Huma Abedin appears to have had a regular practice of forwarding emails to him for him to print out for her so she could deliver them to the secretary of state.”

The two were investigated for possible mishandling of classified material, but the FBI ultimately dropped the matter without seeking charges because they could not show either of them intended to violate the law, Comey said.

“Really the central problem we had with the whole email investigation was proving people… had some sense they were doing something unlawful. That was our burden and we were unable to meet it,’’ he said.

Following this statement, Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) asked if Weiner had ever read the emails, to which Comey replied he didn’t think so.

The Business Insider reports:

Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy asked Comey if Weiner ever read the emails, and, in turn, whether he was ever exposed to classified information that he shouldn’t have seen.

Comey replied that he doesn’t think Weiner “ever read the emails.”

“His role was to print them out as a matter of convenience,” Comey said. He noted that the FBI ultimately determined that neither Abedin nor Weiner committed a crime because the bureau could not conclude they had criminal intent.

“That was a central problem over the course of the Clinton email investigation — we had to prove that people knew that they were communicating about classified information in a way that they shouldn’t have been, and that they were doing something unlawful. That was our burden, and we didn’t meet it. We could not prove that the people sending that [classified] information were acting with any kind of criminal intent.”

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) pressed Comey on his statement that intent to violate the law could not be determined and thus no action was taken regarding these classified emails being sent to Weiner.

The Business Insider continues:

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz pushed back on the idea that criminal intent requires knowing that that the act itself is unlawful. But Comey insisted that the Department of Justice has long held that “a general sense of criminal intent is necessary” to prosecute someone for a crime.

“I can’t find a case that’s been brought in the last 50 years that has no showing of [criminal] intent,” Comey said.

Watch the full exchange between Comey and Cruz.


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MattMusson | May 3, 2017 at 2:32 pm

The statue does not require criminal intent.

There is no prosecution because people in high places have decided to let Huma skate.

    Paul in reply to MattMusson. | May 3, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    You’re right. And we also know that there most certainly WAS criminal intent. They were doing this to avoid FOIA requests (among other things) and everybody damn well knows it.

      DaveGinOly in reply to Paul. | May 3, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      That’s a very interesting angle. Sounds like an “aggravating” circumstance because the classified information was being mishandled and stored incidentally to, and in furtherance of, a criminal conspiracy to violate (by evasion) other laws.

    Tom Servo in reply to MattMusson. | May 3, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    The legal question is, even though the statute doesn’t call for a finding of intent, is one still required under general standards of jurisprudence? I would say that’s a decision that should be left to a judge and jury, but Comey’s decided it’s his place to make that ruling himself.

    As far as a prosecution of a case with no intent to do anything criminal, I would point to the prosecution of Kristian Saucier, who foolishly took some photos of his work station on a nuclear submarine in 2012. He was prosecuted to the full extent of the law, even though no one made any claim that he had intended to do anything harmful with him. Reason? Because that material was classified. Oh, and also because he was a nobody and had no big political defenders.

      JoAnne in reply to Tom Servo. | May 3, 2017 at 3:15 pm

      Thank you for answering my question before I asked it!

      The legal question is, even though the statute doesn’t call for a finding of intent, is one still required under general standards of jurisprudence?

      No. See every prosecution for “Statutory Rape” ever where the girl was under the legal age of consent, but was a willing participant in the act.

      A “Strict Liability” crime is a strict liability crime. Intent has nothing to do with it.

    wendybar in reply to MattMusson. | May 3, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    If Huma goes down, so does Clinton and Obama. Seems to me, the only reason to protect Obama, was to make this go away. There is NO WAY they would indict the 1st black President.

Subotai Bahadur | May 3, 2017 at 2:57 pm

1) There is no rule of law. Prosecution is arbitrary as is sentencing and depends on your position and connections.
2) Being a Democrat official is equivalent to a permanent pardon.
3) The same people who gave the Obama regime a pass on everything they did that would put any unconnected person in prison are still running the government, because the Senate has not confirmed Trump’s appointees.

Once you understand that, the news makes a lot more sense.

There was no criminal intent either when Edward Snowden decided he would honor his oath that held him to obeying only LAWFUL orders. Yet the CIA, Pentagon and even Trump wants him hanged.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Pasadena Phil. | May 3, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Snowden transferred classified information to our enemies, regardless of the issue of how he got the information, just that is enough to hang him. If it had been up to me he and Bradley Manning would already be worm food.

      Y2K in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 3, 2017 at 6:27 pm

      How does Comey, you or anyone else know what Weiner did with the emails?

      How could anyone ever be prosecuted for exposing classified information if a legitimate defense is that “they didn’t mean to?

      That is the whole point of intent not being relevant.

        ConradCA in reply to Y2K. | May 3, 2017 at 10:59 pm

        The crime is Huma’s for mishandling classified information. Whether Weiner read them or not is irrelevant.

      Oh please, give me an example! Just one! What he revealed was how the NSA is unconstitutionally stockpiling every electronic communication Americans make and how the telecommunication companies are involved. Get a clue will you? How many documentaries have to be released before you watch one?

      Same with Assange of WikiLeaks. Not a single case of anything he ever released has been proven to be untrue.

And Comey is quite sure that lil antony never ever read a single one of those classified documents.

When you are granted a position that requires a security clearance you also receive security briefings, after which you sign documents that you have been provided with said training on the ramifications of breaching security protocols and laws. So don’t tell me about intent, Mr. Comey. That’s a total load of crap.

If you held a security clearance at any time you know what you can and cannot do regarding transmittal of classified information over unclassified circuits.

    tom swift in reply to Dave. | May 3, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Yes. And the millions of Americans who have held such clearances know that perfectly well.

    This rubbish cover story by Comey is so thin that it’s impossible for the public to fail to see through it.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to tom swift. | May 3, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      I still think he made the decision because he didn’t want to be on Hillary’s soon to be deceased list.

    Cassie in reply to Dave. | May 4, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Thank you for pointing out this fact. Whether or not a person “meant to” distribute classified information is irrelevant.

    I held a secret security clearance with the federal government for 12 years, and every single year I had to take a security training in order to keep my clearance. Again and again, in those trainings it was emphasized that intention doesn’t matter and that if you are responsible for a security breach you will be prosecuted.

    Unfortunately Comey claiming that such a non-issue matters implies that there is another reason he cannot talk about.

    It’s almost like Hillary’s email server truly was hacked, but that that information was itself classified top secret for national security purposes, and Comey is therefore unable to disclose that fact to the American people.

Comey is full of shit and, typically of so many these days, using the truth to bald faced lie.

TECHNICALLY, he is correct, the Department of Justice doesn’t prosecute without intent.

THE MILITARY DOES. Kristian Saucier had no intent to violate the law and yet he’s in prison. Why? Because he WASN’T prosecuted by the Department of Justice. He was court-martialed by the military – where the bulk of classified material is utilized.

And so weasel Comey tries to weasel his way out of why he is letting blatant violators of the law go free by lying with the technical truth.

    LSBeene in reply to Olinser. | May 3, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Respectfully, intent is NOT needed – regardless of it being the military or not.

    If I hook up a drive to my computer at work, just hook it up, that drive then gains the same security classification as the data on the computer.

    Hillary’s servers are just large drives. That’s what a server is, in essence.

    For her to transfer (via E-mail / the ‘net) classified data on to her “hard drive” (server) is a clear violation of security laws.

    To then alter and / or destroy those drives or that data is destruction of evidence, obstruction of justice, and a criminal conspiracy.

    This whole “we can’t prove intent” crap is just …. infuriating to those of us with a clearance who know better.

      Arminius in reply to LSBeene. | May 4, 2017 at 1:39 am

      Technically, all Comey has to prove negligence. The standard is one step up from strict liability. Having been informed of their special duty of care to safeguard the national security information of the United States of America, did Clinton and Abedin live up to their promise?

      The answer is clearly, “No.” This act of negligence establishes mens rea.

      What is more pressing is how did Huma Abedin get a clearance in the first place? There’s the real scandal. It’s kind of sorta obvious that the people who betrayed the country that badly won’t be looking too closely at mens rea now. I can absof&*&ingly guarantee you that every tie she had to the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs and Muslim Brotherhood, had it been replaced with Irish Republican Army or Provos would have stopped me from getting a clearance.

Is the old saw about ignorance of the law is no excuse really just an old saw and not a legal principle? hillary is a lawyer,she had many briefings on handling classified material, and was surrounded by lawyers as aids and advisers. Why couldn’t a jury decide criminal intent?

“…’a general sense of criminal intent is necessary’ to prosecute someone for a crime.”

Remind me to pass that on to the next state trooper who stops me for unknowingly exceeding the speed limit.

This guy Comey is to the FBI what Clinton/Obama are to the democrat party, and the nation.

He’s got to go.

buckeyeminuteman | May 3, 2017 at 4:02 pm

Lacking criminal intent? Tell that to the sailor who is in military prison for taking photos of the nuclear reactor he worked on on his submarine because he was proud and wanted to show his mom what he did. Pretty lousy excuse from the FBI.

pisses me off. bunch of fuc*sticks

cheif bighorn | May 3, 2017 at 4:33 pm

How is this not obstruction of justice? Can sessions not prosecute?

Apparently all Hillary did as SoS was fly places and forward e-mails with “Pls print.”

    Rick the Curmudgeon in reply to hrhdhd. | May 3, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    And misplace $6B dollars.
    And ignore pleas for more security at Benghazi.

Comey is splitting hairs here. Specific intent to violate the law is not necessary, in this case. For a person to knowingly place classified information into the hands of a person who is not cleared to receive that information is the criminal offense. No other “intent” is required. If Abedin knew, or should have known, that certain information was classified and that Weiner was not cleared to receive classified information and gave it to him anyway, this constitutes a criminal violation. Period. Exclamation point.

Now, all that the Bureau is required to do is to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the incident in question and forward the results of that investigation to the US Attorney, who makes the decision on whether to prosecute. If the DOJ decides not to prosecute, then the Congress should interview the attorney making that decision as to why it was made.

This lack of intention bit sounds like my kids when they’re trying to get out of trouble…pathetic on Comey’s part.

Bottom line: this ‘lack of prosecution’ will be Sessions’ legacy.

We know the criminal scum that is obama/jarrett/clinton. But to let it pass unpunished, is even worse.

Not for the first time I ask, Why is Comey still employed? He’s corrupt, incompetent or both. He needs to go!

    Mac45 in reply to irv. | May 3, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    IMHO, Comey is the key to the whole ongoing criminal enterprise that was the Obama administration. He was in the loop for almost all of the illegalities. He had to be, as he was the control on the FBI. He is now sitting on the end of a very weak branch and it is being pecked away behind him, by woodpeckers. As long as he is still in his present position, he can be controlled by the current administration. If he steps out of line, the current administration is in a position to step on him. And, being an employee, he has less wiggle room when it comes to testimony.

      Rick the Curmudgeon in reply to Mac45. | May 3, 2017 at 9:04 pm

      A leetle more pressure for a leetle longer and Comey is going to be offered a deal.

      Then we’ll see who runs for the border.

She worked for the Secretary of State, how does Huma not have access to a printer?

Once you subscribe to the concept of “hate crime”, which requires a legal determination of intent, it’s nothing to apply intent to other aspects of enforcement/prosecution.

Huma didn’t know how to work a printer?? Huma didn’t have any paper?? Huma ran out of ink??
Tell me Mr. Comey WHY did Huma send them to Weiner???