Is it worth impairing the reputation of the FBI and the Department of Justice to save Hillary Clinton from a deserved criminal prosecution by playing word games?

What has become of the rule of law — no one is beneath its protections or above its requirements — when the American public can witness a game of political musical chairs orchestrated by Bill Clinton at an airport in a bizarre ruse to remove the criminal investigation of his wife from those legally responsible for making decisions about it?

How hairsplitting can the FBI be in acknowledging “extreme carelessness” while denying “gross negligence” about the same events, at the same time, and in the same respect?

These are questions that now beg for answers in light of what can only be the politically motivated FBI report delivered earlier this week on the likely criminal behavior of Hillary Clinton.

The espionage statute that criminalizes the knowing or grossly negligent failure to keep state secrets in a secure venue is the rare federal statute that can be violated and upon which a conviction may be based without the need of the government to prove intent.

Thus, in the past two years, the DOJ has prosecuted a young sailor for sending a single selfie to his girlfriend that inadvertently showed a submarine sonar screen in its background. It also prosecuted a Marine lieutenant who sent his military superiors a single email about the presence of al-Qaida operatives dressed as local police in a U.S. encampment in Afghanistan — but who inadvertently used his Gmail account rather than his secure government account.

And it famously prosecuted Gen. David Petraeus for sharing paper copies of his daily calendar in his guarded home with a military colleague also in the home — someone who had a secret security clearance herself — because the calendar inadvertently included secret matters in the pages underneath the calendar.

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