On the difficulty of having the Department of Justice in the executive branch

Once upon a time, Hillary Clinton had an email server. And also, once upon about that very same time, Hillary Clinton was U.S. Secretary of State. And finally, once upon about that very same time, Hillary Clinton received and sent classified—including some very highly classified—emails on that server, all in breach of the law. The ensuing scandal, Clinton’s own obfuscation, and her probable cover-up dogged her throughout 2015 and 2016, when she was running for president. Then-Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey was in charge of the investigation and both his and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s handling of the the investigation and the publicity surrounding it sometimes seemed dubious, as he and the FBI were sometimes suspected of favoring Donald Trump. Comey eventually twice, after once re-opening the investigation, declared that Clinton couldn’t be indicted, which led a number of people (including me) to suspect he was letting Clinton off the hook for a crime that a lower-ranking person would surely have been indicted for.[1] She lost the election for numerous reasons, which is why Trump is now president. (I strenuously objected to both major party candidates.)

A Department of Justice Inspector General report now clears Comey of partisan bias[2] but suspicion of a conflict of interest dogged the investigation as people doubted that the administration of Barack Obama, a Democrat, would bring charges against Clinton, the mainstream Democratic Party favorite in the primaries for the presidential nomination, and even more so after she won the nomination.

Now, there is a not inconsiderable risk that Donald Trump will fire Robert Mueller, a special prosecutor appointed to investigate allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians, and a few other things that are turning up along the way.[3] Mueller’s investigation might not even have begun had Trump not fired Comey.[4] And in his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server, Comey was attempting to navigate the appearance of Loretta Lynch’s conflict of interest.[5]

In two successive administrations now, the first Democrat and the second Republican, there has been a perception that a president or his administration might somehow intervene in or obstruct an investigation of a high-ranking member of the party. Neither would be the first: While I was still a teenager, Richard Nixon conducted what became infamous as the “Saturday Night Massacre,” as he fired top-ranking officials at the Justice Department until he could find one to fire the prosecutor investigating Watergate. And I’m not claiming that was a first either—this I simply don’t know.

But it’s clear that the Department of Justice lacks sufficient independence from the executive branch. And I don’t know the answer.

In some countries, like Spain, judges have investigatory powers but this only moves the problem of a conflict of interest from the executive to the judiciary. And at the moment there is reason to doubt that even if clear evidence against Trump of “high crimes and misdemeanors” were to emerge, that a Republican or even, possibly after the midterm elections later this year, a Democratic-controlled congress would impeach. The legislative branch also fails.

The next presidential election is in 2020. If Comey’s investigation of Clinton seems an eon ago, imagine what two more years of Trump might be like.

I’m also skeptical of the possibility of creating a fourth, investigative branch of government. Jay Edgar Hoover, who presided over the national law enforcement apparatus for nearly fifty years, from well before there even was an FBI, until his death, is rumored to have kept “dirt” on numerous politicians. It’s hard not to suspect his hand in an ominous letter sent to encourage Martin Luther King, Jr., to commit suicide.[6] If Germans fear any revival of the East German Stasi, we should be at least as cautious about creating anything like what could much too easily become a secret police force.

But what we have right now isn’t working. And that’s a problem.

  1. [1]Spencer Ackerman, “‘The FBI is Trumpland’: anti-Clinton atmosphere spurred leaking, sources say,” Guardian, November 4, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/03/fbi-leaks-hillary-clinton-james-comey-donald-trump; Hannah Allam and Tim Johnson, “Clinton’s handling of email went beyond carelessness, experts say,” McClatchy, July 5, 2016, http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article87848077.html?rh=1; Cooper Allen and Kevin Johnson, “New emails under review in Clinton case emerged from Weiner investigation,” USA Today, October 28, 2016, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/10/28/fbi-director-clinton-emails-investigation/92889594/; Associated Press, “Hillary Clinton’s emails, data erased from server before handed to FBI,” Guardian, August 19, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/20/hillary-clintons-emails-data-erased-from-server-before-handed-to-fbi; Associated Press, “Highlights of FBI notes on Clinton email investigation,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, September 3, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/highlights-of-fbi-notes-on-clinton-email-investigation/392234511/; Associated Press, “FBI announces latest Clinton emails don’t require further investigation or charges,” Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, November 6, 2016, FBI announces latest Clinton emails don’t require further investigation or charges; Rachael Bade, “FBI steps up interviews in Clinton email probe,” Politico, November 10, 2015, http://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/hillary-clinton-email-fbi-probe-215630; Rachael Bade, “Clinton aides unite on FBI legal strategy,” Politico, April 1, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/04/hillary-clinton-fbi-strategy-emails-221435; Rachael Bade, “5 ways Comey contradicted Clinton’s email claims,” Politico, July 5, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/hillary-clinton-emails-comey-225121; Rachael Bade and Josh Gerstein, “Hillary Clinton camp: Email ‘thumb drive is secure’,” Politico, July 30, 2015, http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/hillary-clinton-email-thumbdrive-security-120833.html; Rachael Bade and Josh Gerstein, “Watchdog: Clinton’s server had classified material beyond ‘top secret,'” Politico, January 19, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/01/hillary-clinton-email-server-top-secret-217985; Rachael Bade and Josh Gerstein, “Judge rules Clinton staff can be questioned about emails,” Politico, February 23, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/hillary-clinton-staff-questioned-email-219678; Rachael Bade and Louis Nelson, “FBI hands over Clinton email probe documents to Congress,” Politico, August 16, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/fbi-clinton-email-documents-to-congress-227069; Devlin Barrett, “FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe,” Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/laptop-may-include-thousands-of-emails-linked-to-hillary-clintons-private-server-1477854957; Devlin Barrett and Adam Entous, “FBI to Hand Over to Congress Notes From Hillary Clinton Email Probe,” Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/fbi-to-hand-over-to-congress-notes-from-hillary-clinton-email-probe-1471282035; Dana Bash, Shimon Prokupecz, and Gloria Borger, “Sources: Comey acted on Russian intelligence he knew was fake,” CNN, May 26, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/26/politics/james-comey-fbi-investigation-fake-russian-intelligence/index.html; Brian Beutler, “The FBI director’s pronouncements about Hillary Clinton were extremely unusual—and she has herself to blame,” New Republic, July 5, 2016, https://newrepublic.com/minutes/134865/fbi-directors-pronouncements-hillary-clinton-extremely-unusualand-blame; Michael Biesecker, “Clinton failed to hand over key email to State Department,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, July 24, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/clinton-failed-to-hand-over-key-email-to-state-department/384235951/; Bill Blum, “Could a President Hillary Clinton Be Impeached Over Her Emails?” Truthdig, February 9, 2016, http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/could_a_president_hillary_clinton_be_impeached_over_her_emails_20160209; Bill Blum, “In a Rigged System, Hillary Clinton Is Too Big to Indict,” Truthdig, October 28, 2016, http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/is_hillary_clinton_too_big_to_indict_20160705; Jordain Carney, “Top Republican questions Lynch on Clinton Foundation probe,” Hill, August 12, 2016, http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/291240-top-goper-questions-lynch-on-clinton-foundation-probe; Chris Cillizza, “Hillary Clinton’s e-mail issues have become a massive political problem,” Washington Post, September 14, 2015, http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/09/14/hillary-clintons-e-mail-issues-have-grown-into-a-massive-political-problem/; Chris Cillizza, “Hillary Clinton STILL doesn’t have a good answer for questions about her emails,” Washington Post, January 26, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/01/26/hillary-clinton-still-doesnt-have-a-good-answer-for-questions-about-her-emails/; 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DePetris, “The End of the Beginning of Hillary Clinton’s Email Problem,” National Interest, July 5, 2016, http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/the-end-the-beginning-hillary-clintons-email-problem-16856; Ken Dilanian, “Investigators found classified information in Clinton’s email, but what does that mean?,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, July 31, 2015, http://www.startribune.com/what-s-considered-classified-is-a-judgment-call/320244911/; Stephen Dinan, “State Dept. concedes ‘gaps’ in Clinton email record; could result in perjury charge,” Washington Times, September 14, 2015, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/14/state-dept-cites-gaps-hillary-clinton-email-record/; Stephen Dinan, “Judge: State Dept. ‘lackadaisical’ in processing Clinton files,” Washington Times, November 10, 2015, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/nov/10/judge-state-lackadaisical-processing-clinton-files/; Stephen Dinan, “Judge suspects ‘bad faith’ from Obama administration on Hillary Clinton emails,” Washington Times, February 23, 2016, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/feb/23/judge-threatens-subpoena-against-clinton-emails/; Stephen Dinan, “State Dept: Review of Clinton secret emails may wait until after November election,” Washington Times, March 1, 2016, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/mar/1/review-clinton-emails-may-come-after-election/; Stephen Dinan, “Judge orders feds to release details of Clinton email probe after FBI refused request,” Washington Times, August 31, 2017, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/aug/31/judge-fbi-must-disclose-hillary-clinton-email-prob/; Stephen Dinan, “FBI says time crunch necessitated immunity deal for Clinton aide Cheryl Mills,” Washington Times, September 27, 2016, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/sep/27/fbis-comey-cheryl-mills-immunity-was-not-irregular/; James Freeman, “How Comey’s FBI Treats Non-Clintons,” Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-comeys-fbi-treats-non-clintons-1467890791; Nicole Gaouette, “Former Obama intel official: Hillary Clinton should drop out,” CNN, February 13, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/12/politics/hillary-clinton-michael-flynn-email-fbi-investigation/index.html; Nick Gass, “Democratic rep: Clinton email flap ‘could upend her campaign’,” Politico, August 20, 2015, http://www.politico.com/story/2015/08/john-yarmuth-hillary-clinton-email-2016-campaign-121555.html; Nick Gass, Josh Gerstein, and Rachael Bade, “Obama drawn into Clinton email controversy,” Politico, October 30, 2015, http://www.politico.com/story/2015/10/hillary-clinton-emails-classified-release-215359; Josh Gerstein, “Source: Key Clinton emails did not contain highly classified secrets,” Politico, November 6, 2015, http://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/hillary-clinton-email-no-highly-classified-215599; Josh Gerstein, “Intelligence agencies say 2 Clinton emails were ‘top secret,’ but one is no longer,” Politico, December 15, 2015, http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/hillary-clinton-emails-top-secret-216802; Josh Gerstein, “Judge irked by State Dept.’s delay in releasing rest of Clinton’s emails,” Politico, February 9, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/judge-holds-hearing-on-clinton-email-delays-219004; Josh Gerstein, “State Dept. marks three more Clinton emails at ‘secret’ level,” Politico, February 13, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/hillary-clinton-emails-secret-level-219241; Josh Gerstein, “FBI’s Comey: I feel ‘pressure’ to quickly finish Clinton email probe,” Politico, May 11, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/hillary-clinton-email-investigation-fbi-james-comey-223071; Josh Gerstein, “Comey denies Clinton email ‘Reddit’ cover-up,” Politico, September 28, 2016, http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2016/09/clinton-email-reddit-james-comey-228832; Josh Gerstein, “Comey on Clinton email probe: ‘Don’t call us weasels,'” Politico, September 28, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/james-comey-not-weasels-clinton-email-228835; Josh Gerstein and Nick Gass, “Clinton’s email woes deepen as classified messages pile up,” Politico, September 30, 2015, http://www.politico.com/story/2015/09/hillary-clinton-email-state-department-release-214246; Charles E. Grassley and Lindsey O. Graham, “Transcripts: Comey Drafted Conclusion in Clinton Probe Prior to Interviewing Key Witnesses,” August 31, 2017, https://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/news-releases/transcripts-comey-drafted-conclusion-clinton-probe-prior-interviewing-key; Julian Hattem, “Clinton may not have turned over all her emails,” Hill, September 25, 2015, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/254980-clinton-may-not-have-turned-over-all-her-emails; Julian Hattem, “FBI’s Hillary Clinton email investigation not letting up,” Hill, January 28, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/267269-fbis-clinton-investigation-not-letting-up; Julian Hattem, “Pressure on Lynch to step aside in Clinton email probe,” Hill, February 8, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/268456-pressure-on-lynch-to-step-aside-in-clinton-email-probe; Julian Hattem, “CIA leaker: Clinton ‘given a pass’ for emails,” Hill, February 22, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/270271-cia-leaker-clinton-given-a-pass-for-emails; Julian Hattem, “Lost emails from Clinton server discovered,” Hill, March 24, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/274230-lost-emails-discovered-from-clintons-server; Julian Hattem, “Decision time for FBI on Clinton,” Hill, May 8, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/279077-decision-time-for-fbi-on-clinton; Julian Hattem, “Justice’s reputation hangs in balance of Clinton probe,” Hill, May 11, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/279455-justices-reputation-hangs-in-balance-of-clinton-probe; Julian Hattem, “Clinton email headache is about to get worse,” Hill, May 28, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/281554-clinton-email-headache-is-about-to-get-worse; Jon Gabriel, “Hillary Clinton: Too Big to Jail,” Ricochet, July 5, 2016, https://ricochet.com/hillary-clinton-too-big-to-jail/; Evan Halper, “Federal investigators want Justice Department probe of Hillary Clinton emails,” Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2015, http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-clinton-email-20150724-story.html; Julian Hattem, “Clinton’s IT aide keeps email server shrouded in mystery,” Hill, June 5, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/282188-clintons-it-aide-keeps-email-server-shrouded-in-mystery; Julian Hattem, “Lynch pressured to recuse herself after Clinton tarmac meeting,” Hill, July 1, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/286202-lynch-pressured-to-recuse-herself-after-clinton-tarmac-meeting; Julian Hattem, “FBI director takes center stage in Clinton email case,” Hill, July 2, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/286349-fbi-director-takes-center-stage-in-clinton-email-case; Julian Hattem, “FBI recommends no charges against Clinton,” Hill, July 5, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/286472-fbi-no-charges-against-clinton; Julian Hattem, “Seven ways FBI contradicted Clinton’s email claims,” Hill, July 9, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/287052-seven-ways-fbi-contradicted-clintons-email-claims; Julian Hattem, “State Department to release all of Clinton’s deleted emails,” Hill, August 16, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/291610-state-dept-to-release-all-clintons-deleted-emails; Julian Hattem, “GOP preps tough perjury case against Clinton,” Hill, August 19, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/291884-gop-preps-tough-perjury-case-against-clinton; Julian Hattem, “FBI director, House GOP face off in dramatic hearing,” Hill, July 7, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/286821-fbi-head-clinton-had-no-intent-to-break-law-leading-to-no-charges; Julian Hattem, “Poll: Majority believes Clinton broke the law,” Hill, July 15, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/287884-huge-majority-believes-clinton-either-broke-law-or-made-poor; Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger, “Clinton, on her private server, wrote 104 emails the government says are classified,” Washington Post, March 5, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/clinton-on-her-private-server-wrote-104-emails-the-government-says-are-classified/2016/03/05/11e2ee06-dbd6-11e5-81ae-7491b9b9e7df_story.html; Rosalind S. Helderman, Tom Hamburger, and Carol D. Leonnig, “Tech company: No indication that Clinton’s e-mail server was ‘wiped’,” Washington Post, September 13, 2015, http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/tech-company-no-indication-that-clintons-e-mail-server-was-wiped/2015/09/12/10c8ce52-58c6-11e5-abe9-27d53f250b11_story.html;  Mark Hensch, “Poll: Majority believe Clinton lied about emails,” Hill, August 14, 2015, http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/251192-poll-most-think-clinton-knowingly-lied-about-emails; Mark Hensch, “Some Clinton emails classified from Day 1: report,” Hill, August 22, 2015, http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/251719-some-clinton-emails-classified-from-day-1-report; Spencer S. Hsu, “U.S. judge orders discovery to go forward over Clinton’s private email system,” Washington Post, February 23, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/us-judge-weighs-deeper-probe-into-clintons-private-email-system/2016/02/23/9c27412a-d997-11e5-81ae-7491b9b9e7df_story.html; Spencer S. 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Memoli, “Hillary Clinton will turn over private email server to Justice Department,” Los Angeles Times, August 11, 2015, http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/la-na-clinton-private-email-server-20150811-story.html; Harper Neidig, “Clinton interviewed by FBI as part of email server investigation,” Hill, July 2, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/286366-clinton-interviewed-at-fbi-headquarters-over-server; Next Web, “Hillary Clinton email saga continues as 33,000 erased emails may not be ‘missing’ after all,” October 26, 2016, http://thenextweb.com/politics/2016/10/26/hillary-clinton-email-saga-continues/; Peter Nicholas and Byron Tau, “Email Questions Haunt Hillary Clinton,” Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/email-questions-haunt-hillary-clinton-1470958940; Kelly J. 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Rosenthal, “The Shoddy Legal Reasoning Used to Clear Clinton,” Foundation for Economic Education, July 7, 2016, https://fee.org/articles/the-shoddy-legal-reasoning-used-to-clear-clinton/; John R. Schindler, “Game Over: EmailGate Just Crippled the Clinton Express,” Observer, May 26, 2016, http://observer.com/2016/05/game-over-emailgate-just-crippled-the-clinton-express/; Michael S. Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo, “Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Account,” New York Times, July 23, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/24/us/politics/criminal-inquiry-is-sought-in-hillary-clinton-email-account.html; Jack Shafer, “Hillary’s Drip-Drip-Drip Email Scandal,” Politico, August 19, 2015, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/08/hillarys-drip-drip-drip-email-scandal-121546.html; John Solomon, “Congressional investigators find irregularities in FBI’s handling of Clinton email case,” Hill, January 2, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/367141-congressional-investigators-find-irregularities-in-fbis-handling-of; Jonathan Swan, “Clinton on being indicted over emails: ‘It’s not going to happen,'” Hill, March 9, 2016, http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/dem-primaries/debate-hillary-clinton-indicted-email-drop-out-not-going-to-happen-jorge-ramos; James Taranto, “Laws Are for Little People,” Wall Street Journal, July 5, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/laws-are-for-little-people-1467742661; Byron Tau, “Emails Are Likely to Keep Complicating Hillary Clinton’s Campaign,” Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/emails-are-likely-to-keep-complicating-hillary-clintons-campaign-1463001566; Byron Tau, “Watchdog Faults Hillary Clinton’s Email Practices at State Department,” Wall Street Journal, May 25, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/watchdog-faults-hillary-clinton-email-practices-at-state-department-1464188308; Byron Tau, “Most of Clinton’s Recovered Emails Will Be Released After Election Day,” Wall Street Journal, September 23, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/most-of-clintons-recovered-emails-will-be-released-after-election-day-1474650119; Byron Tau and Peter Nicholas, “Hillary Clinton Emails Had a Two-Month Gap,” Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2015, http://www.wsj.com/articles/hillary-clinton-emails-had-a-two-month-gap-1443647120; Trevor Timm, “Sorry, Hillary Clinton fans: her email errors are definitely newsworthy,” Guardian, August 1, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/01/hillary-clinton-email-errors-newsworthy; Hanna Trudo, “FBI could leak Clinton email investigation, Grassley warns,” Politico, April 22, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/04/hillary-clinton-emails-chuck-grassley-fbi-leak-222345; Jonathan Turley, “Clinton: ‘Pretty Clear’ No Emails Were Classified Despite Contrary Findings Of Inspector General,” July 26, 2015, http://jonathanturley.org/2015/07/26/clinton-pretty-clear-no-emails-were-classified-despite-contrary-findings-of-inspector-general/; Jonathan Turley, “State Department Classifies Dozens of Additional Clinton Emails,” August 3, 2015, http://jonathanturley.org/2015/08/03/state-department-classifies-dozens-of-additional-clinton-emails/; Jonathan Turley, “The State Department Flags More Than 300 Clinton Emails As Possibly Classified,” August 18, 2015, http://jonathanturley.org/2015/08/18/the-state-department-flags-more-than-300-clinton-emails-as-possibly-classified/; Jonathan Turley, “Federal Judge Says Hillary Clinton Violated Government Policy In Using Personal Server While Secretary of State,” August 21, 2015, http://jonathanturley.org/2015/08/21/federal-judge-says-hillary-clinton-violated-government-policy-in-using-personal-server-while-secretary-of-state/; Jonathan Turley, “Former Clinton Aide To Invoke The Fifth Amendment In Refusing To Testify On Email Scandal,” September 3, 2015, http://jonathanturley.org/2015/09/03/former-clinton-aide-to-invoke-the-fifth-amendment-in-refusing-to-testify-on-email-scandal/; Jonathan Turley, “Inspector General: Clinton Emails Contain Special Access Material Above The Top Secret Level,” January 20, 2016, http://jonathanturley.org/2016/01/20/inspector-general-clinton-emails-contain-special-access-material-above-the-top-secret-level/; Jonathan Turley, “Report: Clinton Emails Contained Human Intelligence Classified At Highest Levels,” January 23, 2016, http://jonathanturley.org/2016/01/23/report-clinton-emails-contained-human-intelligence-classified-at-highest-levels/; Jonathan Turley, “State Department: 22 Emails Will Not Be Released As ‘Top Secret,'” January 29, 2016, http://jonathanturley.org/2016/01/29/state-department-22-emails-will-not-be-released-as-top-secret/; Jonathan Turley, “Report: Clinton Emails Contained ‘Operational’ Information and Put Lives At Risk,” February 1, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/02/01/report-clinton-emails-contained-operational-information-and-put-lives-at-risk/; Jonathan Turley, “Federal Court Orders Discovery Into The Clinton Emails And Suggests The Possibility of Subpoenas To Force Disclosures,” February 24, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/02/24/federal-court-orders-discovery-into-the-clinton-emails-and-suggests-the-possibility-of-subpoenas-to-force-disclosures/; Jonathan Turley, “Clinton Declares That She Will Never Be Indicted And Insists That Her “Predecessors Did The Same Thing” On Emails,” March 10, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/03/10/clinton-declares-that-she-will-never-be-indicted-and-insists-that-her-predecessors-did-the-same-thing-on-emails/; Jonathan Turley, “Clinton Aides Agree To Be Represented By The Same Lawyer In Answering Questions On Email Scandal,” April 3, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/04/03/clinton-aides-agree-to-be-represented-by-the-same-lawyer-in-answering-questions-on-email-scandal/; Jonathan Turley, “‘We Do Investigations Here At The FBI’: FBI Director Reportedly Contradicts Clinton On Email Investigation,” May 11, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/05/11/we-do-investigations-here-at-the-fbi-fbi-director-reportedly-contradicts-clinton-on-email-investigation/; Jonathan Turley, “State Department Refutes Key Statements By Clinton On Email Scandal; Finds That She Violated Clear Rules,” May 26, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/05/26/state-department-refutes-key-statements-by-clinton-on-email-scandal-finds-that-she-knowingly-violated-rules/; Jonathan Turley, “‘The Mystery Emails’: State Department Report References Key Emails That Were Not Previously Turned Over,” May 27, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/05/27/the-mystery-emails-state-department-report-references-key-emails-that-were-not-previously-turned-over/; Jonathan Turley, “New Evidence Indicates Multiple Hacking Attempts and the Disabling Of Security Protections For Clinton Server,” June 24, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/06/24/new-evidence-indicates-multiple-hacking-attempts-and-the-disabling-of-security-protections-for-clinton-server/; Jonathan Turley, “ABC/Washington Post Poll: 56 Percent of Voters Believe That Hillary Clinton Should Have Been Charged After FBI Investigation,” July 12, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/07/12/abcwashington-post-poll-56-percent-of-voters-believe-that-hillary-clinton-should-have-been-charged-by-the-fbi/; Jonathan Turley, “Clinton Admits That It Is ‘Fair’ To Question Her Truthfulness But Then Denies That The FBI Found That Any Of Her Emails Were Classified,” August 1, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/08/01/clinton-admits-that-it-is-fair-to-question-her-truthfulness-but-then-denies-that-the-fbi-found-that-any-of-her-emails-were-classified/; Jonathan Turley, “Newly Released FBI Records Raises Question of Intentional Destruction of Evidence By Clinton Staff,” September 6, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/09/06/newly-released-fbi-records-raises-question-of-intentional-destruction-of-evidence-by-clinton-staff/; Jonathan Turley, “The Curious Role Of Cheryl Mills As Both Witness and Lawyer In The FBI Investigation,” September 7, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/09/07/the-curious-role-of-cheryl-mills-as-both-witness-and-lawyer-in-the-fbi-investigation/; Jonathan Turley, “Clinton Contractor Who Reportedly Destroyed Emails After Preservation Order Was Given Immunity By FBI,” September 9, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/09/09/clinton-contractor-who-reportedly-destroyed-emails-after-preservation-order-was-given-immunity-by-fbi/; Jonathan Turley, “Stonetear’s Secret: Immunized Former Clinton Aide Allegedly Sought Advice On Removing Email Address For ‘Very VIP’ Official,” September 21, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/09/21/stonetears-secret-immunized-former-clinton-aide-allegedly-sought-advice-on-removing-email-address-for-very-vip-official/; Jonathan Turley, “House Committee: FBI Cut Side Deal To Limit Search Of Computers Of Key Clinton Aides And To Allow The Computers To Be Destroyed,” October 4, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/10/04/house-committee-fbi-cut-side-deal-to-limit-search-of-computers-of-key-clinton-aides-and-to-allow-the-computers-to-be-destroyed/; Jonathan Turley, “Quid Pro Quo: Top State Department Official Offered Deal To FBI If It Would Change Classification Of Clinton Emails,” October 18, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/10/18/quid-pro-quo-top-state-department-official-offered-deal-to-fbi-if-it-would-change-classification-of-clinton-emails/; Jonathan Turley, “‘They Wanted To Get Away With It’: Newly Released Emails Show Raising Concern Over Clinton Aides Withholding Information On Email Scandal,” October 26, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/10/26/they-wanted-to-get-away-with-it-newly-released-emails-show-raising-concern-over-clinton-aides-withholding-information-on-email-scandal/; Jonathan Turley, “Comey Sends Letter To Congress Citing New Evidence (and An Investigation) In The Clinton Email Scandal,” October 28, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/10/28/comey-sends-letter-to-congress-citing-new-evidence-and-an-investigation-in-the-clinton-email-scandal/; Jonathan Turley, “Reid Alleges That Comey May Have Violated Federal Law In Disclosure To Congress,” October 31, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/10/31/reid-alleges-that-comey-may-have-committed-crime-in-disclosure-to-congress/; Jonathan Turley, “High-Ranking Justice Official Involved In Email Investigation Found To Have Close Friendship and Ties With Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta,” November 2, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/11/02/high-ranking-justice-official-involved-in-email-investigation-found-to-have-close-friendship-and-ties-with-clinton-campaign-chairman-john-podesta/; Jonathan Turley, “FBI Director Comey Announces That There Is No Basis For Criminal Charges In Newly Discovered Emails,” November 7, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/11/07/fbi-director-comey-announces-that-there-is-no-basis-for-criminal-charges-in-newly-discovered-emails/; Jonathan Turley, “Something Borrowed, Something Classified? Leaked Emails Raise Allegations Over Role Of Chelsea Clinton,” November 7, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/11/07/something-borrowed-something-classified-leaked-emails-raise-allegations-over-role-of-chelsea-clinton/; Josh Voorhees, “Clinton’s ‘Classified’ Problem Just Got Worse,” Slate, August 31, 2015, http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/08/31/clinton_s_classified_emails_state_department_says_august_release_includes.html;Wall Street Journal, “Clinton’s Email Jeopardy,” March 4, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/clintons-email-jeopardy-1457136207; Wall Street Journal, “The FBI on Classified Material,” July 6, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/notable-quotable-the-fbi-on-classified-material-1467847339; Wall Street Journal, “The Legend of Saint Comey,” September 28, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-legend-of-saint-comey-1475105155; Del Quentin Wilber, “Clinton email probe enters new phase as FBI interviews loom,” Los Angeles Times, March 27, 2016, http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-clinton-email-probe-20160327-story.html; Del Quentin Wilber, “Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch defends meeting with Bill Clinton amid email probe,” Los Angeles Times, July 1, 2016, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-trailguide-updates-attorney-general-loretta-lynch-defends-1467311246-htmlstory.html; Del Quentin Wilber, “Lynch to accept recommendation of FBI, career prosecutors in Clinton email probe,” Los Angeles Times, July 1, 2016, http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-lynch-clinton-email-probe-20160701-snap-story.html; Katie Bo Williams, “Pressure grows on Clinton aides to lose security clearances,” Hill, July 11, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/287070-pressure-grows-on-clinton-aides-to-lose-security-clearances; Katie Bo Williams, “Lynch: Clinton not investigated for Federal Records Act violations,” Hill, July 12, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/287397-lynch-clinton-investigation-did-not-look-at-federal-records-act; Katie Bo Williams, “Clinton hazy on server details in FBI interview, notes show,” Hill, September 2, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/294354-clinton-hazy-on-server-details-in-fbi-interview-notes-show; Katie Bo Williams, “Clinton IT aide pleads Fifth, skips hearing,” Hill, September 13, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/295620-clinton-it-aide-does-not-appear-before-oversight-panel-despite; Katie Bo Williams, “House panel looking into Reddit post about Clinton’s email server,” Hill, September 19, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/296680-house-panel-probes-web-rumor-on-clinton-emails; Katie Bo Williams, “Top Clinton aide granted immunity deal in FBI probe,” Hill, September 23, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/297465-top-clinton-aide-granted-immunity-deal-in-fbi-probe; Katie Bo Williams and Cory Bennett, “Immunity deal raises stakes in Clinton email investigation,” Hill, March 3, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/271718-immunity-deal-raises-stakes-in-clinton-email-investigation; Matt Zapotosky, Ellen Nakashima, and Rosalind S. Helderman, “FBI obtains search warrant to search newly discovered emails potentially relevant to Clinton investigation,” Washington Post, October 30, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-agents-knew-of-clinton-related-emails-weeks-before-director-was-briefed/2016/10/30/657ed266-9eb1-11e6-8d63-3e0a660f1f04_story.html
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  3. [3]Alexander Bolton, “GOP leaders to Trump: Leave Mueller alone,” Hill, March 20, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/379419-gop-leaders-to-trump-leave-mueller-alone; Jonathan Chait, “Trump Is Taking Out His Enemies And Turning Toward Robert Mueller,” New York, March 17, 2018, http://amp.nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/03/trump-is-taking-out-his-enemies-and-turning-toward-mueller.html; Chris Cillizza, “The White House just let slip a big secret about firing Robert Mueller,” CNN, April 10, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/10/politics/donald-trump-robert-mueller-fire-fbi/index.html; James Hohmann, “Prospect of Trump firing Mueller keeps becoming more untenable,” Washington Post, June 16, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/06/16/daily-202-prospect-of-trump-firing-mueller-keeps-becoming-more-untenable/5942f946e9b69b2fb981dd36/; Victor Morton, “Mueller reportedly crossing Trump ‘red line,’ investigating Kushner’s business dealings,” Washington Times, February 19, 2018, https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/feb/19/robert-mueller-investigating-jared-kushner-busines/; Adam Serwer, “McCabe’s Firing Chips Away at the Justice Department’s Independence,” Atlantic, March 16, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/03/presidential-target-andrew-mccabe-was-just-fired-from-the-fbi/555857/; Niall Stanage, “Republicans fear disaster if Trump fires Mueller,” Hill, March 20, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/the-memo/379230-the-memo-republicans-fear-disaster-if-trump-fires-mueller; Jeff Stein, “There’s now a bipartisan bill to protect Mueller’s investigation from Trump,” Vox, August 3, 2017, https://www.vox.com/2017/8/3/16090436/mueller-trump-bill-senate; Melanie Zanona, “Ryan: I’ve ‘received assurances’ Mueller won’t be fired,” Hill, March 20, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/house/379289-ryan-ive-received-assurances-mueller-wont-be-fired
  4. [4]Aaron Blake, “The White House explanations for Comey’s firing are crumbling before our eyes,” Washington Post, May 11, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/05/11/the-white-house-explanations-for-comeys-firing-are-crumbling-before-our-eyes/; Philip Bobbitt, “The Comey Firing and the Rule of Law,” Just Security, May 9, 2017, https://www.justsecurity.org/40761/comey-firing-rule-law/; Josh Dawsey, “Behind Comey’s firing: An enraged Trump, fuming about Russia,” Politico, May 10, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/10/comey-firing-trump-russia-238192; Adam Entous and Ellen Nakashima, “Trump asked intelligence chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence,” Washington Post, May 22, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-asked-intelligence-chiefs-to-push-back-against-fbi-collusion-probe-after-comey-revealed-its-existence/2017/05/22/394933bc-3f10-11e7-9869-bac8b446820a_story.html; Michael S. Schmidt, “Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation,” New York Times, May 16, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/16/us/politics/james-comey-trump-flynn-russia-investigation.html; Jordan Fabian, “Trump’s warning to Comey deepens White House crisis,” Hill, May 12, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/333212-trumps-warning-to-comey-deepens-crisis-for-white-house; Andrew Prokop, “More and more reporting is suggesting that Trump fired Comey because of the Russia investigation,” Vox, May 10, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/10/15616344/trump-comey-russia; Andrew Prokop, “Trump has now admitted he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation,” Vox, May 11, 2017, https://www.vox.com/2017/5/11/15628276/trump-comey-fired-russia; Julian Sanchez, “Some Obvious Thoughts About the Comey Firing,” Just Security, May 10, 2017, https://www.justsecurity.org/40770/obvious-thoughts-comey-firing/; Byron Tau, Del Quentin Wilber, and Paul Sonne, “Acting FBI Head Says Agents Supported Comey, Contradicting White House,” Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/acting-fbi-head-to-testify-days-after-comey-firing-1494495005; Del Quentin Wilber, “Trump Sought Comey’s Loyalty, Ex-FBI Director to Say,” Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-told-comey-i-need-loyalty-i-expect-loyalty-ex-fbi-director-to-say-in-prepared-remarks-1496858755
  5. [5]Dana Bash, Shimon Prokupecz, and Gloria Borger, “Sources: Comey acted on Russian intelligence he knew was fake,” CNN, May 26, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/26/politics/james-comey-fbi-investigation-fake-russian-intelligence/index.html; Karoun Demirjian and Devlin Barrett, “How a dubious Russian document influenced the FBI’s handling of the Clinton probe,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, May 24, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/how-a-dubious-russian-document-influenced-the-fbi-s-handling-of-the-clinton-probe/424132973/; Julian Hattem, “Lynch pressured to recuse herself after Clinton tarmac meeting,” Hill, July 1, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/286202-lynch-pressured-to-recuse-herself-after-clinton-tarmac-meeting; Katie LaPotin, “Witness to the ‘Secret’ Airplane Meeting in Phoenix Speaks Out – And It Does Not Look Good for Bubba,” Alexandria Independent Journal Review,” July 4, 2016, http://ijr.com/2016/07/642468-witness-to-the-secret-airplane-meeting-in-phoenix-speaks-out-and-it-does-not-look-good-for-bubba/; Andrew C. McCarthy, “Comey Confirms: In Clinton Emails Caper, the Fix Was In,” National Review, April 28, 2018, https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/04/comey-confirms-in-clinton-emails-caper-the-fix-was-in/; John Solomon, “Congressional investigators find irregularities in FBI’s handling of Clinton email case,” Hill, January 2, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/367141-congressional-investigators-find-irregularities-in-fbis-handling-of; Del Quentin Wilber, “Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch defends meeting with Bill Clinton amid email probe,” Los Angeles Times, July 1, 2016, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-trailguide-updates-attorney-general-loretta-lynch-defends-1467311246-htmlstory.html; Del Quentin Wilber, “Lynch to accept recommendation of FBI, career prosecutors in Clinton email probe,” Los Angeles Times, July 1, 2016, http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-lynch-clinton-email-probe-20160701-snap-story.html
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Author: benfell

David Benfell holds a Ph.D. in Human Science from Saybrook University. He earned a M.A. in Speech Communication from CSU East Bay in 2009 and has studied at California Institute of Integral Studies. He is an anarchist, a vegetarian ecofeminist, a naturist, and a Taoist.

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