In a scandalous announcement, FBI director James Comey moments ago said that “although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information” and he gave extensive evidence of just that, “our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” He added that “prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person’s actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past.”
What is shocking is that the FBI director was clearly ignoring the US code itself, where in Section 793, subsection (f),”Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information“, it makes it quite clear that intent is not a key consideration in a case like this when deciding to press charges, to wit:
Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer— Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
What is even more shocking is that according to Comey, “we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts.”