Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Insufficient Evidence


The most controversial pledges President-Elect Donald Trump made on the campaign trail was that he would seek to “lock up” Hillary Clinton for her controversial practice of using a private e-mail server for much of her State Department correspondence.
Don’t expect to see anything happen on this promise after Trump is inaugurated January 20?  There are numerous legal reasons, that her arrest won’t happen.

First and foremost, there isn't sufficient evidence to indicate that former Secretary of State Clinton actually broke a law.  Nothing has changed since FBI Director James Comey announced in a July statement, that intent and evidence wasn’t there.  Although a President Trump could always overrule the FBI, thereby raising the issue of White House interference.

Those who believe Clinton's actions should have been illegal should be pushing Congress to reform the relevant laws.  Congress has an oversight prerogative, but it cannot initiate criminal prosecutions.  Only, career lawyers in the Justice Department's Criminal Division can initiate prosecution.

Career lawyers played an important part in recommending against the prosecution of former Bush administration officials for their role in the torture of terrorism suspects early in President Barack Obama's tenure.

Trump has called for the appointment of a special prosecutor, which could allow him to sidestep those lawyers, but that’s usually reserved for cases in which the Justice Department have a conflict of interest.

The Fifth Amendment requires a grand jury indictment for serious offenses.  The last legal obstacles to a prosecution would come from an independent, life-tenured federal judge who could dismiss any indictment that he/she found to be legally insufficient, that came from a jury of 12 of Clinton's peers, which would have to be unanimous in its belief that she was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to convict her of a crime.

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