BIDEN'S BEST CASE SCENARIO
Vice President Joe Biden is close to announcing his intention to run for President. His boss, President Barack Obama, has facilitated the means and given him the nod. Hillary Clinton may be indicted in the not so distant future. Biden’s best case scenario involves a Hillary indictment before the nominating convention. His dilemma is knowing when to announce.
As soon as word arose that Hillary Clinton while Secretary of State had received classified information on her personal servers and devices, a decision had to be made within the Justice Department concerning which division would be given the task of investigating. Attorney General Loretta Lynch apparently without a contrary direction from the White House chose to vest that power in DOJ’s veteran National Security Division. Doing so is a major move against Hillary, and one in which Obama, despite all of his officious intermeddling with the Holder Justice Department, was necessarily complicit, at least by a failure to intervene. There is no love between the Obamas and the Clintons. To the contrary, they hate each other. Indeed, Obama knows that were the roles reversed, Hillary would stand atop Obama’s ashes.
The National Security Division of the Department of Justice is a copious and deliberate investigatory unit that builds cases and prosecutes them with zeal and talent. One of the two top prosecutors in that division assigned to supervise the Hillary Clinton investigation helped conduct the prosecution of General David H. Petraeus. General Petraeus was sentenced to probation in 2015 for mishandling classified information and was fined $100,000.
The statutory provisions in issue in Hillary Clinton’s case, like in Patraeus’s, impose a significant duty on those with access to classified information. 18 U.S.C. 793(f) forbids gross negligence that produces the unauthorized transfer of classified information and punishes such acts with a ten year prison sentence for each separate instance of negligence. The information need not be labeled classified to be unlawful under this section of the criminal code. Under 18 U.S.C. 1924, the unauthorized possession of classified information is also a crime. It is a hard argument that Hillary Clinton is not guilty of violating these two sections. She was briefed as Secretary of State on the need for ensuring that classified information was only viewed through official channels, and we already know that information of this kind was delivered to her personal server and devices. She and her staff had to be aware that the transfer of classified information to her personal server and devices occurred outside of those channels, particularly because there is no evidence of any measure in place to prevent that transfer to her servers and devices.
The Obama Administration’s decision to allow top prosecutors in the National Security Division to conduct the investigation combined with the not so secret White House tip of the nod to a Biden candidacy lays the groundwork for Biden to snatch the Democratic nomination from Hillary. Although there is likely little, if any, political influence being exercised over the conduct of the National Security Division’s investigation, as opposed to the decision to place the matter in that division, there is no doubt considerable interest in the Biden camp over how the matter is proceeding.
Indeed, in the ideal Biden scenario, Hillary will be indicted during the primaries. If she is indicted after the nomination, Biden knows that she may well obtain that nomination and would then be slated for defeat in the general election. If indicted before the nomination, Hillary’s bloom will rapidly fade and Biden could step in as the likely first choice of most former Hillary supporters.
Biden’s dilemma is not knowing when Hillary will be indicted. He may be tipped off of that event shortly before it happens but will not likely know in the short run when it will happen. He has to decide whether waiting out some of the primary season is the better strategy or whether getting in now the better part. Chances are he will wait out the provision of most, if not all, of the Clinton emails before announcing so that his team can roughly calculate how likely it is that Hillary will be indicted. If her numbers plummet even more, such that Bernie Sanders becomes a major contender, Biden may jump in an attempt to be the spoiler. That may occur before any indictment. Whatever dream Hillary had of a coronation is now past. Her ship is below water and could well be the Titanic.
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© 2015 Jonathan W. Emord - All Rights Reserved
Jonathan W. Emord is an attorney who practices constitutional and administrative law before the federal courts and agencies. Ron Paul calls Jonathan “a hero of the health freedom revolution” and says “all freedom-loving Americans are in [his] debt . . . for his courtroom [victories] on behalf of health freedom.” He has defeated the FDA in federal court a remarkable eight times, seven on First Amendment grounds, and is the author of the Amazon bestsellers The Rise of Tyranny, Global Censorship of Health Information, and Restore the Republic. He is the American Justice columnist for U.S.A. Today Magazine and joins Robert Scott Bell weekly for “Jonathan Emord’s Sacred Fire of Liberty,” an hour long radio program on government threats to individual liberty. For more info visit Emord.com, join the Emord FDA/FTC Law Group on Linkedin, and follow Jonathan on twitter (@jonathanwemord).
The statutory provisions in issue in Hillary Clinton’s case, like in Patraeus’s, impose a significant duty on those with access to classified information. 18 U.S.C. 793(f) forbids gross negligence that produces the unauthorized transfer of classified information and punishes such acts with a ten year prison sentence for each separate instance of negligence.