Last weekend, Hillary Clinton dispatched her husband, former President Bill Clinton, to offer a defense of her alleged espionage. The espionage allegations against her are that in order to escape public and Obama administration scrutiny, she had all of her emails as secretary of state diverted from a secure government server to a non-secure server in her home in Chappaqua, New York, and, in so doing, failed to protect state secrets in at least 2,200 instances during her four-year tenure.
The essence of her husband’s defense is that the secrets were not secrets when she saw them and the investigation of her is all “a game.”
We know that the FBI is getting closer to Hillary Clinton because Bill Clinton had not addressed her email issues publicly before last weekend. The defense he offered belies the facts and the law.
He argued that prosecuting his wife over her emails is akin to prosecuting someone for driving a car in a 50-mile-per-hour zone at 40 mph because the police have arbitrarily and without notice changed the speed limit to 35 mph.
The implication in his argument is that Mrs. Clinton’s emails were retroactively classified as confidential, secret or top-secret after she received or sent them and therefore she had no notice of their sensitivity.
His argument is unavailing for two reasons. The first is that it is untrue. Emails are confidential, secret or top-secret at the time they are created, whether marked or not.
The second reason is that Mrs. Clinton signed an oath on her first full day as secretary of state — after she received a two-hour tutorial from two FBI agents on the proper care and lawful handling of state secrets. In that oath, she acknowledged that she had an obligation to recognize and protect state secrets on the basis of the sensitive nature of the information contained in them — whether they bore classified warnings or markings or not.