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.
“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.
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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