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Should a Special Prosecutor be appointed for the email scandal?

is4junk          3 February 2016 01:01 PM

Should the investigation follow a similar pattern as the Plame Investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server?

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aliad 13 February 2016 10:35 PM

I'm sort of ambivalent on this one. If not special prosecutor is appointed and the AG does not file any charges against Hillary in the coming months, there is a large segment of the population that will think that Hillary was let off because of her political prominence and will be more inclined to be scoff laws as a result.

However if a special prosecutor is appointed that will be taken by a large part of the public as signifying that there is a high probability of wrong doing on her part. Even if she is innocent of any further impropriety it will take many months to conduct a through investigation, and in the mean time Hillary's campaign would be hurt, perhaps unjustly.

The think that tips the balance for me is the blackmail potential. It's quiet possible that hackers somewhere in the world have at least some not-yet-revealed data connected to this. It's much better for America for any possible dirt linen to get aired out now so it can't be used the presser Hillary or anyone else latter.


is4junk 16 February 2016 07:33 AM

I think you are giving the 'public' way too much credit for paying attention. It is all about press coverage. A Special Prosecutor would give a continuing source of new leaks and reporting. I'd say a small (less then 5%) amount of people would change their opinion about voting for Hillary for President. More might jump ship if they had a viable alternative in the primary. The only thing keeping the story on life support now is that the State Department is slowly releasing new heavily redacted emails every month.
The blackmail scenario is interesting but I doubt their is anything so crystal clear that could be effectively used.
I do understand the ambivalence. Part of me wonders if the Government Servers are/were anymore secure then a private server. But the law is the law for Top Secret documents - it should be enforced.


is4junk 6 February 2016 06:13 PM

The private email server shows bad judgement no matter what.

Unless Clinton is right that all the classifications are retroactive, I don't see how a special prosecutor would be bad. It would help remove conflict of interest concerns if they select a good prosecuto.r


ChristianKl 7 February 2016 04:43 AM

The private email server shows bad judgement but Hillary isn't the only person who does thinks like that. A while ago there was the news that Sarah Palin also had her private email server, or more exactly used an yahoo account which got hacked. At the time nobody called from criminal investigations.

It's interesting that both of those cases that spring to my mind are woman ;) I would expect there to be more people who use private email servers.

Does this situation compare to Plame? Not at all. Government ministers leaking classified information is common place. Most of the time there aren't strong steps being taken. In the case of Plame strong steps got taken because leaking the same of an official was considered to be much worse than normal leaks of classified information.


is4junk 8 February 2016 04:59 PM

My understanding is that process being followed is:
- currently 100 FBI agents are investigating the email issue
- the FBI will file a report to the DOJ (hopefully this is leaked if not public)
- that report may recommend a criminal indictment(s)

Refining the question a bit: if the FBI recommends an indictment should a Special Prosecutor be brought in?


ChristianKl 9 February 2016 01:26 PM

For answering the question well, we have to ask for what regulations guide the appointment of special prosecutors.

While googling I can find which does explicitely lists cases where a special prosecutor can be brought forward that are about investigations of judges and defense counsels that defend clients under the jurisdiction of the prosecutorís office.

I don't think being an influentlial politician fits into either of those classes. Both of them also are not about ideological conflicts of interests.

Do you think there a policy document for the DOJ that specifies that special prosecutors should be appointed in cases like this?

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ChristianKl 9 February 2016 01:35 PM

It's worth noting that the question shares a similarity to asking whether special prosecutors should be appointed to investigate various crimes politician done while being in office like torture and various war crimes like aggressive war.

There a general idea that the president is free to give out pardons and there no rule that the DOJ has to persecute every crime that comes to it's notice. The US system is not like the German system where there's a rule requiring prosecutors to go after all lawbreakers.

In contrast to torture what Hillary did was relatively beneign.