General Question

ibstubro's avatar

Why is Hillary Clinton still being investigated for using a private email server while SOS, when it's been found that other former SOS did the same, including the vaunted Colin Powell?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) July 4th, 2016

I’m not a Clinton fan, but the hypocrisy seems to me to be over-the-top?

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54 Answers

DoNotKnowMuch's avatar

Colin Powell did not do the same thing.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Can you spell R E P U B L I C A N S ?

marinelife's avatar

More than 20 years of constant mud throwing has worked.

Cruiser's avatar

It’s what happens when you run for President….they will rattle every bone of the skeletons in your closet.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

The down playing of this by the left is almost comical. The right is hyping it too but what she did was a big national security nono and she was the SOS. Anyone with any kind of security clearance knows this. Just poor judgement. Patreaus was demoted several ranks for doing much less.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar


Thanks for the link. It shows what Powell did was worse. He was using public servers.

Also, the Bush administration used private email, and “lost” millinons of email records pertaining to numerous crimes including outing CIA agents and hiring/firing US Attorneys to pursue personal political vendettas.

Clinton should not have been using a private server, but she is being singled out as part of the perpetual right-wing anti-Clinton shrieking machine.

Jaxk's avatar

The private server used by Clinton is a much bigger deal than people give them credit for. I equate it to the Nixon tapes that brought a President down. A lesson not lost on the Clintons. The private server was set up specifically to thwart federal law, the Freedom of Information Act. By cleansing that disk she has effectively erased all traces and we’ll never know what was deleted. That in and of itself is an obstruction of Justice. I give them credit for covering their tracks and marvel at the eagerness of Democrats to help them do so.

Uberwench's avatar

Investigations take a long time, and just because other people did similar things doesn’t mean the FBI is going to suddenly stop investigating. In for a penny, in for a pound. But it’s not going to lead to an indictment. That’s pretty much a foregone conclusion. So anyone pinning their hopes on that outcome is just deluding themselves.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@DoNotKnowMuch There’s an interesting conclusion to be drawn from that article, and it’s this. The reason Clinton’s statement is false is that only 1 previous Secretary of State used a private email account for government business, Colin Powell. And the thing distinguishing Clinton from Powell is that she had her own private server along with the fact that she conducted considerably more government business than Powell using her private email. The thing that is missed in all the noise around this is the fact the government as well as Clinton herself failed to foresee the implications. Clinton is a 68 year old woman who probably knows as much about computers and email protocols as Trump does about tact or Diplomacy.

This whole circus of puffed up outrage will go the way of all the other FOX “crimes” and charges accompanying the transparently manufactured legend of her lifelong waltz with crime and treason. But let’s hear it for our conservatve friends out there still praying for deliverance at the hands of yet another fervently prayed for “miracle” indictment.

Darth_Algar's avatar


Petraeus gave away classified information to the woman he was boning. How, exactly, is that “much less”? To me that actually seems like a potential serious breach of national security. And the reason for his demotion in rank is because he violated specific military statutes that, obviously, do not apply to a civilian like Hillary Clinton.

DoNotKnowMuch's avatar

@stanleybmanly and @Call_Me_Jay – For the record, I am not terribly concerned about the whole email thing, as this appears to be the business of those who wish to distract. I was just clarifying @ibstubro‘s question, since it was technically incorrect…

@ibstubro: “Why is Hillary Clinton still being investigated for using a private email server while SOS, when it’s been found that other former SOS did the same, including the vaunted Colin Powell?”

The question, as worded, is invalid.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Darth_Algar It was a very serious breach and more than a demotion should have happened to Patreaus Putting most of the SOS buisiness on a private server with weak security where it was hacked multiple times was either a massive oversight or a deliberate act to keep things off the record illegally. This is no different and is much larger in scale. What Patreaus did ended his career. To think this could not happen to Clinton also is wishfull thinking. She likely won’t see prison but she could see charges and fines She no doubt has security clearances and when you are granted them you are legally responsible even as a civillian. She’ll be damaged goods politically once people realize what has really happened here.

Darth_Algar's avatar


You seem to be addressing points I didn’t make.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Her breach is much larger in scope, she can’t be demoted but as a civilian with security clearances she sure can be charged, fined and yes even tossed behind bars.

gorillapaws's avatar

For me it’s not so much that she set up a private server (which is wrong but similar to past errors) but that it may be an indication that it was done intentionally to obscure favors she was doing in exchange for donations. That is different than a simple error in judgment, that’s a willful concealment of incriminating data. I’m not giving the Bush administration a pass on that stuff either. If it were up to me, he and Cheney would be in shackles at the Hague.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@ARE you kidding me The one problem with theories of criminal behavior on the part of Clinton is the fact that there was no attempt to hide or disguise the server or the fact that she was using her personal email for State department communications. It’s ridiculous to claim Clinton’s screw up to be anything comparable to the behavior of Petraeus. As with Benghazi, this witch hunt amounts to a lot of smoke and noise over mistakes resulting from decisions and actions taken far below her level of command.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Funny how they “lost” or “deleted” a bunch of emails too. She knew better, her staffers knew better, anyone with half a brain did.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Hardly a fan of Clinton here:

However. As you should well know by now, the Federal government (was at least at the time) lagging well behind where cybertech advances are concerned (the military and CIA aside).

The technology used by Clinton (and some tech savvy others) was far more secure than what the government offered. In frustration many just shot highly sensitive mail on their personal Blackberries as soon as their planes got within cell range.

What Clinton did was technically illegal, but was actually more protective of national secrets than what the government officially could provide.

I’m disappointed that Clinton did not have faith that if her reasoning was explained to the public as soon as required the American people would understand. Jeez, I would have.

Hillary instead chose to just dig in deeper.

Perhaps Clintons are just looking for an opportunity to lie.


“I’m innocent, until proven guilty.



-The Cercle Jerks.

Uberwench's avatar

@SecondHandStoke I guarantee you her lawyer told her not present that justification. And I bet her political director agreed. Neither one wants “Hillary Clinton knows better than the NSA” to be the headline (despite the fact that the NSA would agree that they need better security). The thing is, though, that what she did isn’t actually illegal if the Blackberry has better security than what the government wanted her to use. The accusation against her, after all, is gross negligence. But you can’t be negligent if the actions you took were safer than the ones required. This is also why the stuff about Bush and Powell is relevant. It’s hard to prove gross negligence if other people were doing the same thing recently without issue or comment. Gross negligence is actually a pretty high legal bar to clear.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Perhaps it’s a good idea to consider this thing a crime, then hunt for motives, and note whether behavior on the part of the alleged criminal appears to conform with the motives. And this is where the case against Clinton dissolves, and the charge drops to ineptitude at best. Take a look at the supposed crime of installing a private server in order to either deflect certain emails from the public record or to breach security protocols. Then ask yourself what criminal mind goes about such a business in full view of dozens of witnesses and civil service participants and technicians, complete with bills and receipts submitted through routine channels for materials, labor, etc? Just how clandestine and subversive can such a setup be with the sinister server whirring along in public view while staff and techs pat themselves on the back for their prowess?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Looks like we have our new president. FBI is not going to pursue charges. They did scold her badly though.

ibstubro's avatar

What I don’t get is how bells didn’t ring when Clinton didn’t use the government sanctioned server. Is upper government such a free-for-all that nobody’s keeping an eye on anybody. I mean, if what Clinton did was bad enough she could receive prison time for it, shouldn’t there be some kind of check on government officials using the internet??
It’s not like she was the first SOS. There was no protocol left from Condoleezza Rice? Everybody just gets to make this shit up as they go along?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@ibstubro The gov’t is big and more often than not important things like this fall right through the cracks. There likely is not someone who goes around to check things like this.

ibstubro's avatar

But, there’s no protocol? @ARE_you_kidding_me

They build the job as they go?

SOS are allowed to commit felonies, to be prosecuted once they leave office?

Janet Yellen can use insider trading information to increase her fortune until she leaves the office?

If Clinton committed such a serious offense – a breach of national security, where’s the paperwork? Where did she sign off on abusing her power and breaking the law?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@ibstubro you would think that such checks and balances cover all bases in gov’t but alas they do not. There probably is a protocol to follow buried in a writeup or form somewhere but it’s not likely that anyone has the task of checking that these things are followed regularly.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s an oversight that will certainly be corrected now. I’m surprised there isn’t already some sort of Federal agency dedicated to overseeing cyber and computer protocols in government agencies.

ibstubro's avatar

It’s crazy to think that Clinton was emailing top officials hourly and no one stopped to to think, “Hey, isn’t this a felony?”
I mean, what, as SOS she never emailed anyone in national security?

The whole thing strikes me as a pot of poop.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@ibstubro do you know what server emails you get come from? Only her IT staffers, herself and a small handfull of others would know. That’s why it’s hard to tell if it was an oversight or a deliberate circumvention. The fact that they lost or erased the bulk of emails makes it even more questionable and harder to just brush off. It looks fishy but makes intent hard to prove.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Clinton gets the scolding because she sits on top, but it’s pretty obvious that she was clueless. The entire State dept. was also admonished. Fox this morning had the 2 requisite bimbos excoriating the FBI for failing to push Clinton’s prosecution. One of them (fittingly the blonde) kept making the point that Clinton’s “negligence” is culpable and she must be indicted. The wife came into the room and berated me “for someone who hates FOX, you watch an awful lot of it”. I couldn’t put into words the fascination with a bimbo on FOX promoting the notion that IGNORANCE is no excuse.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I don’t think it’s that obvious. It probably cost more and took more work to set up a private server. If the FBI was inverstigating her there was reasonable suspicion. Again fox news and the gop were not doing the investigation. That’s not part of some right wing witch hunt. Good ammo for them though.

Cruiser's avatar

Way to upsell your candidate @stanleybmanly as clueless!

“In a debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders on Feb. 4, 2016, in New Hampshire, Clinton said she had “absolutely no concerns about” the investigation.”

“I never sent or received any classified material,” she said.

What the FBI Investigation Found

“Comey said today that 110 emails in 52 email chains were determined to contain some form of classified information at the time they were sent.”

“He went on to specify that Clinton was on seven of those chains that were classified as top secret.”

I would call her like she is…cunning, calculating and deceptive come to mind. The only thing I could trust her to do as President is lie to us. Clueless are the ones who can still concientiously cast a vote for her.

Darth_Algar's avatar


Do you honestly think there’s anyone running for higher office that isn’t a dyed-in-the-wool liar? I know you cannot be that naive.

Cruiser's avatar

@Darth_Algar I never said or suggested anything of the sorts…just pointing out the worst offeneder is all.

And believe it or not honest AND trustworthy politicians are out there…Lots of them. You have Sanders, Paul Ryan, Jill Stein appears solid and trustworthy to name just a few….hell even Obama is light years ahead of Clinton in the trust department he even told the truth he smoked pot, admitted he studied Islam as a kid and never denied he was born in Hawaii. The only thing I think he ever lied about was his golf score.

Darth_Algar's avatar


I like Bernie Sanders as much as anyone, but he’s not above being economical with the truth when it suits his purposes.

Paul Ryan certainly isn’t ether.

Jill Stein’s five minutes of near-relevance passed in 2012.

As for Obama: I gotta be honest, I find those examples almost laughable. Plenty of politicians have been honest about their past pot usage. Obama has. Bush the Younger has. Al Gore has. Pot really isn’t a big deal anymore. And why would he deny being born in Hawaii? That makes no sense whatsoever. What earthly motivation would there have been to lie about what state he was born in?

Cruiser's avatar

@Darth_Algar I guess the absurdity of your comment to me sailed way above your head

stanleybmanly's avatar

Did you hear exactly how most of those 110 emails were ajudged “classified”?

Cruiser's avatar

@stanleybmanly I did not as I do not follow Fox News ;)

stanleybmanly's avatar

It turns out in those 10,000 or so pages of materials there might appear here or there a name or phone number that had been classified as “secret”
to one degree or another. There are messages with sentences revealing things as well. But these emails that Clinton was batting around weren’t chats with outsiders, but conversations with other state dept. and government people. The foul isn’t that she was deliberately blabbing away secrets, it’s that her conversations could be hacked.

ibstubro's avatar

IMO it’s highly possible that using the private server was a deliberate work-around at the time. Clinton had disavowed any future presidential intentions at the time, and she might have been afraid of Bill sending her dick-pix (by accident).
“I did not have email with that woman.”

I think it’s pretty obvious that Bernie believed there was a decent chance for an indictment.

“She lied.”
“She lied.”
“She lied.”
“But lying isn’t against the law, in and of itself.”

State Department Reopens Internal Clinton Email Probe

Can we just cede to Canada for 4 years and let Justin Trudeau have a go at it?
He’s young. If it works for the US, Mexico might give it a go and JT could just make ploicy for North America.

shirley2's avatar

Hello, this is my first time posting in this forum.

On the Clinton emails and why Comey didn’t feel a case could be brought. Comey concluded while she was careless, he didn’t find proof she intentionally broke any laws. Two of classified emails were marked so confusedly, Comey and Kirby said experts couldn’t have said whether they were classified or not and a couple of them were marked in errors. He said in 100 years there has only been one case where a case was brought based on gross negligence and there was reason for that. He said in his 30 years at the Justice Department when looking at classification laws and whether someone broke them they look to see if the person knew they were breaking the law and he concluded, Clinton did not know she broke the law.

I am not sure how to leave links here in this forum.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Welcome to Fluther. Nice work.

Response moderated (Spam)
Jaxk's avatar

Just for the sake of argument, I will posit another theory on Comey’s conclusion. Right or wrong it would be difficult to get a conviction regardless of the facts. Any Democrat on the Jury would likely vote for dismissal while any Republican would likely vote for conviction, regardless of the facts. Sounds like a hung jury to me. To make it worse, Comey was put in the position where which ever way he went, he was deciding the 2016 election. An unenviable position to say the least. He chose the easy way out and indicted her in public with his statement and then recommended not to prosecute. Both sides get a win and the election is left to the normal process. I can’t say that I agree with his decision but it removes him from the election outcome (as much as possible).

The problem now is the precedent he has set. Expose secrets but deny, deny, deny and you will be alright.

ibstubro's avatar

There, in fact, you show your bias, @Jaxk. First and foremost, you’re a Republican.

I’m first and foremost an American.
“Any Democrat”
“any Republican”
Who the fuck are you to speak for a political party?
You certainly do not speak for me, although you claim to speak for the vast majority of American voters.

I pity Paul Ryan. He was the best hope of the Republican Party, and his own people are chewing him up, and spitting him out. Hamsters. Eating their own.

Your course is set. “deny, deny, deny and you will be alright.”


Jaxk's avatar

Apparently, I’ve touched a nerve. As I said it’s a theory not a fact. “The lady doth protest too much methinks.”

ibstubro's avatar

If your party affiliation is so strong as to prevent you from being objective, @Jaxk, I’d hope you would recuse yourself from serving on a jury.

I don’t think most people’s party affiliation is stronger than their race, religion, or sex, and yet juries are varied, and charged with impartiality. Your argument was as spurious as saying a man could not be convicted of rape by a jury with a majority of men, IMO.

That wasn’t a nerve you touched, it was common sense.

Jaxk's avatar

It’s not party affiliation that makes me disagree, it’s the reading of the facts. We are all working with the same facts here and there is an obvious dichotomy in our conclusions. Not surprisingly those conclusions fall along party lines or more specifically along conservative/liberal lines. I know that generally liberals will assign some evil intent to conservatives, that they know the liberals are right but disagree because they are racist, bigoted, sexist, or the like. They can’t fathom an actual disagreement.

You said earlier that she lied but that is not a crime. That is true but it is consciousness of guilt. No reasonable prosecutor would ignore that in proving intent. Comey did. He testified that he didn’t even look at her public statements let alone her statements under oath. Liberals are happy to ignore those facts but I can’t. Does that make me prejudiced or biased? I don’t think so.

I know it’s easier to just assign some exterior motive to these discrepancies but it’s deeper than that. The democrats knew all these facts prior to nominating Hillary but chose to ignore them or at least assign little credibility to them. The lines were already drawn and Comey knew that. He extricated himself from the situation. The question is why.

shirley2's avatar

Comey didn’t look at any of her statement she made under oath is because he was not tasked with looking at her statements. He was tasked to looking if she broke any laws regarding classified information and if she, did she know when she did she was breaking the law. It was in his thirty years experience that Hillary didn’t know she was breaking the law.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Jaxk you don’t find it plausible that Comey is correct in the evaluation that the evidence was insufficient to support prosecution of Clinton. Even conservatives must recognize the difference between answers tossed impromptu at crowds of snarling journailsts and sworn testimony under oath. I don’t think conservatives are inherently evil no more than I consider Hillary herself decidedly evil or crooked. Hillary is a SUCCESSFUL American politician. Enough said on her ethical suitability. But Neither I nor you want ineptitude confused for criminality. Comey is correct in the difficulty around making a case of deliberate criminality in prosecuting Clinton, who probably knows as much about a secured server as she does about fashion. She was just plain too open about the whole business for it to be some clandestine scheme to “get around the law”. There’s no way around prosecuting Clinton without first establishing some foundation for conspiracy. In other words a prosecutor must either be able to prove that Clinton on her own picked out and ordered the email setup or ordered others to “help me break the law”. Since the idea of her achieving this on her own is clearly laughable, and there isn’t a shred of evidence that ANYONE in the chain of people necsessary to establish and run the thing did so in order to defeat security protocols, criminal intent is out the window.

rojo's avatar

I heard it said a couple of days ago by some unrememberable conservative pundit that Comey had to announce that they were not going to prosecute otherwise the liberals would try to politicize the findings…..—bading!—-

stanleybmanly's avatar

No matter the findings of the FBI, whichever conclusions arrived at by the bureau were certain to be politicized. The Republicans wear Trump around their necks and desperately require the Hail Mary “miracle” indictment BEFORE election day. Or time being short at least the rain check recommendation of an indictment with which to beat her over the head. This latest failure in the long and frustrating odyssey to hang the government sanctioned label of “criminal” on those pant suits to them defies understanding. She’s guilty as hell and they just KNOW it.

Darth_Algar's avatar

“Guys, I know we’ve been draggin’ this shit out for two decades now, but trust me we’ve really, really got her this time!

ibstubro's avatar

Yeah, well, we have to do something after we let her get by with killing Vince Foster, @Darth_Algar.

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