Calling All Lawyers, Or, How the Heck Does this Work?

 

With their accustomed speed and discipline, Hillary, the Democratic Party, Democratic elected officials, and MSNBC have all taken up the same war cry: The FBI must release all the Huma Abedin/Anthony Weiner emails immediately. And just for once, quite a few on the other side agree with them–notably Newt Gingrich, who said on Fox News last night that FBI Director Comey should indeed make public every last email no later than this coming Monday.

Can Comey do so? Or (to be a grammatically good boy) may Comey do so?

Surely there are laws, or at least longstanding protocols, that govern just when evidence in criminal investigations may or may not be made public. Comey has already said that the FBI is still examining the emails in question–and the New York Times has reported that they number in the tens of thousands.

To repeat: In the face of calls–howls, really–to release the emails to the public before the FBI itself has even examined them, does Director Comey possess the authority to do so?

Richard Epstein? John Yoo? Anyone?

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  1. Mr. Conservative Inactive
    Mr. Conservative
    @mrconservative

    Mark:Hillary is calling for release of the emails precisely because she knows they will not be released before the election. She wants to gain the high ground by pretending its what she wants without any chance of it happening.

    You are so right, Mark.  Oh, the irony, oh, the hypocrisy: “I demand that you release the emails that I wrote and then have devoted my life to hiding, deleting, and scrubbing (“you mean with a cloth?”) from existence.”  As they say, you couldn’t make this up if you tried. No one would believe it.

    • #31
  2. Mr. Conservative Inactive
    Mr. Conservative
    @mrconservative

    Are these e-mails finally the equivalent for Hillary of Monica’s blue dress?lewinskydress

    • #32
  3. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    billy:

    Brian Watt:Comey is currently and will continue to be demonized by the Hillary Clinton Media (CNN, MSNBC, ABC, WaPo, NYT, et al.). Lynch and Obama may even fire him on or before Election Day and take their chances on FBI agents disclosing what it was specifically that caused Comey to inform Congress. This is going to get very ugly.

    It is my understanding that he can’t be fired; he has to be impeached.

    Not so.

    There are no statutory conditions on the President’s authority to remove the FBI Director. Since 1972, one Director has been removed by the President.

    For more, see this.

    • #33
  4. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Okay, here’s another question. Does James Comey need Loretta Lynch’s approval to issue a warrant for Huma Abedin’s arrest? Ms. Abedin is not traveling with Mrs. William Jefferson Rodham Clinton today. So, either Mrs. William Jefferson Rodham Clinton is incensed that her closest advisor may have run afoul of the law (unlike <cough – hack – cough> Mrs. Clinton and her other aides themselves) and told her to go home and have a time out…or the FBI asked that Ms. Abedin directly to return home and not travel with the campaign, so she could be accessible to being arrested meeting with FBI agents.

    • #34
  5. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Hmm … if you have an immunity deal and are questioned by the FBI, and evidence later indicates that after you obtained immunity, you lied anyway …

    I need to make a popcorn run.

    • #35
  6. billy Inactive
    billy
    @billy

    Brian Watt:

    billy:

    Brian Watt:Comey is currently and will continue to be demonized by the Hillary Clinton Media (CNN, MSNBC, ABC, WaPo, NYT, et al.). Lynch and Obama may even fire him on or before Election Day and take their chances on FBI agents disclosing what it was specifically that caused Comey to inform Congress. This is going to get very ugly.

    It is my understanding that he can’t be fired; he has to be impeached.

    Not so.

    There are no statutory conditions on the President’s authority to remove the FBI Director. Since 1972, one Director has been removed by the President.

    For more, see this.

    Thanks for the info.

    @brianwatt

    • #36
  7. Muleskinner Member
    Muleskinner
    @Muleskinner

    Percival:Hmm … if you have an immunity deal and are questioned by the FBI, and evidence later indicates that after you obtained immunity, you lied anyway …

    I need to make a popcorn run.

    Well, I bet she was pretty sure there was something on that equipment she didn’t want anyone to see, probably something outside her immunity deal.

    • #37
  8. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Muleskinner:

    Percival:Hmm … if you have an immunity deal and are questioned by the FBI, and evidence later indicates that after you obtained immunity, you lied anyway …

    I need to make a popcorn run.

    Well, I bet she was pretty sure there was something on that equipment she didn’t want anyone to see, probably something outside her immunity deal.

    It’s not apparent that Huma had an immunity deal. Cheryl Mills had a limited immunity deal but I hadn’t heard that Huma had. But, I would think that immunity can be nullified if it’s obvious that the subject lied under oath or deliberately misled investigators. Hillary may not have to throw Huma under the proverbial bus. Abedin might get indicted regardless.

    • #38
  9. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Brian Watt:

    Muleskinner:

    Percival:Hmm … if you have an immunity deal and are questioned by the FBI, and evidence later indicates that after you obtained immunity, you lied anyway …

    I need to make a popcorn run.

    Well, I bet she was pretty sure there was something on that equipment she didn’t want anyone to see, probably something outside her immunity deal.

    It’s not apparent that Huma had an immunity deal. Cheryl Mills had a limited immunity deal but I hadn’t heard that Huma had. But, I would think that immunity can be nullified if it’s obvious that the subject lied under oath or deliberately misled investigators. Hillary may not have to throw Huma under the proverbial bus. Abedin might get indicted regardless.

    Mills or any of the other principles might have sent emails that could cause problems. I can just see Inspector Lewis Erskine storming into Directee Comey’s office with the printouts, slapping them on the desk, and saying “clear-cut obstruction of justice.”

    • #39
  10. Mr. Conservative Inactive
    Mr. Conservative
    @mrconservative

    Can someone read this and explain it to me? The focus seems to be Huma (and not Hillary)?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-29/fbi-found-tens-thousands-emails-belonging-huma-abedin-weiners-laptop

    • #40
  11. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    Mr. Conservative:

    John, would you agree that the target is usually not under such an obligation – – he or she is under no duty not to release possibly exculpatory (or I guess inculpatory information – although that would be stupid)information? See my comment below: why aren’t people asking Hillary and Huma to release the emails especially if they are off a private server, kept on a private device, and allegedly non work related– isn’t that Hillary’s position that she deleted only non-work related emails connected to wedding plans and yoga ? inquiring minds want to know John

    I believe you are correct, Mr. Conservative.  I’ve never heard of a non-disclosure order of that nature (but IANAL, either).  That would be a great question to put to Her Annointedness.  Of course it never will be.  And she has an excuse – the government has the computers, so she “can’t.”

    And of course if – no, when – there’s classified information mixed in, then that’s another violation of the Espionage Act.  But, hey, who’s counting?  So… they release “all” the emails, with significant portions redacted… Oh, that would be delicious.

    • #41
  12. Mike Rapkoch Moderator
    Mike Rapkoch
    @MikeRapkoch

    Brian Watt:Okay, here’s another question. Does James Comey need Loretta Lynch’s approval to issue a warrant for Huma Abedin’s arrest? Ms. Abedin is not traveling with Mrs. William Jefferson Rodham Clinton today. So, either Mrs. William Jefferson Rodham Clinton is incensed that her closest advisor may have run afoul of the law (unlike <cough – hack – cough> Mrs. Clinton and her other aides themselves) and told her to go home and have a time out…or the FBI asked that Ms. Abedin directly to return home and not travel with the campaign, so she could be accessible to being arrested meeting with FBI agents.

    Well, before Abedin can be arrested she must be charged with a crime which at the federal level means an indictment by a grand jury. The FBI cannot seek an indictment–only the US Attorney can. The Justice Department doesn’t issue arrest warrants, the Court does.

    • #42
  13. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Mike Rapkoch:

    Brian Watt:Okay, here’s another question. Does James Comey need Loretta Lynch’s approval to issue a warrant for Huma Abedin’s arrest? Ms. Abedin is not traveling with Mrs. William Jefferson Rodham Clinton today. So, either Mrs. William Jefferson Rodham Clinton is incensed that her closest advisor may have run afoul of the law (unlike <cough – hack – cough> Mrs. Clinton and her other aides themselves) and told her to go home and have a time out…or the FBI asked that Ms. Abedin directly to return home and not travel with the campaign, so she could be accessible to being arrested meeting with FBI agents.

    Well, before Abedin can be arrested she must be charged with a crime which at the federal level means an indictment by a grand jury. The FBI cannot seek an indictment–only the US Attorney can. The Justice Department doesn’t issue arrest warrants, the Court does.

    Yes, sloppy writing on my part. The question is whether the DoJ will agree with the FBI if the FBI recommends that a grand jury be convened. The FBI may have the goods on Abedin…but they may also have something quite damning on Hillary if there is one or more emails that convey instructions to Abedin to hide, alter, destroy, forward or print out classified or top secret docs. If that’s the case then presumably Comey can allude to that without compromising any actual classified information. One has to assume that based on what he saw that he made a calculation that the severity of what surfaced could possibly be disclosed before the election since he felt strongly that Congress (and thus the general public) had to be informed that a presidential candidate might either be disqualified from being elected or in legal jeopardy after an election. My guess is that somehow or another the specific reason for alerting Congress will be divulged either by Comey or through a leak prior to Election Day.

    • #43
  14. Six Days Of The Condor Inactive
    Six Days Of The Condor
    @Pseudodionysius

    If the Democrats want all those emails released they’ll have to rely on Wikileaks like the rest of us.

    • #44
  15. Theodoric of Freiberg Member
    Theodoric of Freiberg
    @TheodoricofFreiberg

    Randy Weivoda:

    billy:Why not release as much information as possible? There is no danger of jeopardizing a prosecution because there won’t be one. If Trump does win, Obama will pardon everyone involved.

    This will go away by December

    If these are State Department e-mails, do you not suppose there is classified info in there? That’s what the whole controversy is about, Hillary Clinton using a non-secure server that is easy to hack. If the FBI just puts those out in public, that’s an even worse offense than having them on a server that might be hacked.

    Classified emails are not the issue. Comey stated that there were classified emails. His stated reason he did not refer the case to the Justice Department was there was no “intent.” (Of course that’s poppycock). I would suspect that there are new emails that demonstrate intent to circumvent security protocols and/or cover up the fact that classified information was knowingly mishandled. Therefore there is no need to release classified emails. The FBI just needs to release any emails showing willful intent, a cover up of wrongdoing or Hillary lying in her statements to the FBI. Good luck with that last one since she said she couldn’t recall anything (what else is new)!

    • #45
  16. Mr. French Inactive
    Mr. French
    @MrFrench

    Oh, Webster!!

    “You can indict me.

    “You can indict my wife.

    “You can indict my dog . . . .”

     

    • #46
  17. Richard Rummelhart Inactive
    Richard Rummelhart
    @RichardRummelhart

    The FBI director should call a news conference and state that the emails can’t be released because they are classified.

    The sad thing it doesn’t matter to Clinton supporters, they don’t care if she broke the law.

    • #47
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