Could Clinton be charged with a crime?
Posted on March 12th, 2015

By Susan Ferrechio | March 10, 2015 | 5:00 am ,,The Examiner

“Some of these documents clearly would be responsive to [Benghazi]. They were never produced,”…

Could Hillary Clinton face criminal charges over her email scandal? Not likely, say some experts.

Former Secretary of State Clinton’s use of a private email server for government work doesn’t rise to a criminal act in the eyes of some experts and Clinton defenders, despite accusations from a key Republican that she could face charges for not turning over emails to a congressional investigative committee.

“Technically yes, but practically speaking, no,” Washington D.C. ethics lawyer Stan Brand told the Washington Examiner when asked if Clinton could be charged with a crime. “They have to show intent to obstruct or deny them the access. And those cases are hard to make.”

Brand added, “Talking about a criminal case at this point is off the wall.”

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the fiery former chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Sunday that Clinton could be charged for withholding emails that Congress has been seeking through subpoenas in their investigation into the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

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“There were three subpoenas issued while I was chairman,” Issa said on CNN’s State of the Union. “Some of these documents clearly would be responsive to it. They were never produced.”

Issa is so far the only lawmaker suggesting Clinton could be criminally charged for not turning over the requested emails. Although Hill Republicans and some media organizations have been engaged in a struggle with the State Department for several years over Clinton’s emails, the issue got a new wind last week when the New York Times reported that she had used a nondescript private email address for all official correspondence during her four years at Foggy Bottom.

Clinton corresponded through the email address “” and hosted her mail on a private server registered to the fictitious person “Eric Hoteham.”

The Benghazi attack is now under investigation by a special committee headed by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.

“A subpoena which Trey Gowdy issued is so that in fact it will be a crime if she knowingly withholds documents pursuant to subpoena,” Issa said. “He needed to do that because she wasn’t forthcoming two-and-a-half years ago. She, in fact, hid the very existence of this until she was caught.”

But Issa also acknowledged in the interview that there may be no penalty for Clinton using a private account.

Gowdy has not signaled whether he believes Clinton should be charged with a crime. Neither Gowdy nor Issa returned calls from The Examiner seeking comment on the issue.

Gowdy is pursuing the private emails using the panel’s power to subpoena. Gowdy said Sunday on “Face the Nation” that the emails the Benghazi panel has so far obtained contain “gaps of months and months and months.”

Lanny Davis, a political consultant and Clinton defender, said he does not agree with Issa that Clinton could be charged with a crime.

“I don’t know what Rep. Issa has in mind,” Davis told the Examiner. “While he is a friend, I strongly disagree with him on most issues and see no basis whatsoever for any criminal charges in this matter of the emails.”

A conservative watchdog organization is also pressing for criminal charges against Clinton.

Freedom Watch, a conservative advocacy organization, is seeking to hold Clinton in contempt for not turning over emails on her private account requested under the Freedom of Information Act regarding Iran nuclear program waivers under her watch at the State Department.

“By Secretary Clinton’s failing to produce the emails, but instead secretly hiding them by using private email accounts, she compromised national security by communicating on non-secured lines,” Freedom Watch founder Larry Klayman said in a statement.

Klayman pointed out in the statement that retired General David Petraeus was sentenced to two years probation and an ordered to pay a $40,000 fine for keeping classified information at his private residence.

Most congressional Republicans are eager to use the law not to charge Clinton but to force her to turn over the private computer server so they can examine her emails under the Federal Records Act.

“There are federal laws in place, and I think she needs to get this behind her unless this is going to be the subject of controversy for weeks and months on end,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday. “So, I’d like to hear what she has to say. And I think she needs to be fully transparent.”

Brand said no matter what the emails reveal, it will be hard to prove Clinton criminally flouted the subpoenas from Congress.

“They would have to show the subpoenas covered the things they didn’t get and that she intended not to give it to them,” Brand said.


Topics: Congress Hillary Clinton 2016 Elections National Security Campaigns PennAve State Department Email

6 Responses to “Could Clinton be charged with a crime?”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    One should look at her body language at her Tuesday 10 March 2105 press briefing on her E-mails. It is easy to see that she is lying through her teeth and evading questions. Fact of the matter is that truth comes naturally and lies need “thinking”. She should be investigated fully from White Water scandal in Little Rock Arkansas, to Monica Lewinsky scandal, to the destruction of Libya – her boast in killing Gadaffi -“we came. we saw and he died” – to Benghazi debacle among many others during her stay at the Secretary of State.

    They should study her childhood to find out what makes – a Hillary Clinton – a born fraud!

    Sum total is that she is not a suitable candidate for the Commander in Chief of USA. Just take one look at the picture – at the White House on the day of the Osama Bin Laden killing. There are two people wetting their pants – They are Hillary Clinton and Obama – see the fright in their eyes!

    Obama is an actor who is trying to look presidential and Hillary Clinton a fraud not to be trusted with the Presidency!

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    HC will be the next US president, unfortunately.

    SL is lucky NOT to have MR at the top. She HATES MR. So SL will survive her WRATH.

  3. mario_perera Says:

    Obama is an actor who is trying to look presidential and Hillary Clinton a fraud not to be trusted with the Presidency! – Ratnapala

    Indeed the symbol of Western (white) politics is the ACTOR. For them the world is their stage and they the actors. That is what Cameron did when in Sri Lanka. He turned Sri Lanka into the stage on which he turned himself into the principal actor. Acting is what this Channel 4 guy is doing all the time when he intrudes uninvited, obtrusively and arrogantly into the presence of our Presidents, claiming the stage for himself.

    Look at the films they make, the shootings and the killings. Look at their campuses where they form their future leaders. All one sunny day, one guy arms himself with a gun and goes on a rampage, shooting and killing. For them the world stage is a “killing field’. This Channel 4 guy invented nothing, he is only conforming to his White Nature.

    It was of them that Plotinus was surely thinking when he penned the following lines:

    We should be spectators of murders, and all deaths, and takings and sackings of cities, as if they were on the stages of theatres, all changes of scenery and costume and acted wailings and weepings. For really here in the events of our lives it is not the soul within but the outside shadow of man which cries and moans and carries on in every sort of way on a stage which is the whole earth… Doings like these belong to a man who knows how to live only the lower and external life and is not aware that he is playing in his tears, even if they are serious tears.

    Mario Perera

  4. Ratanapala Says:

    Hillary Clinton should be investigated for accepting “blood money” from the LTTE – Tamil Tiger Terrorists.

  5. Nimal Says:

    Hope she will never be the President.

  6. Nimal Says:

    She was happy when Gaddafi was killed.

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