On Wednesday night Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for President Trump to be imprisoned, Politico reported.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi told senior Democrats that she’d like to see President Donald Trump “in prison” as she clashed with House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler in a meeting on Tuesday night over whether to launch impeachment proceedings.
President Trump responded in an interview Thursday night by calling Pelosi “a nasty, vindictive, horrible person.” The reaction to Pelosi’s comments from Trump and other Republicans, who supported the chants of “lock her up” directed towards Hillary Clinton at Trump rallies, has caused news outlets like The Hill to accuse them of hypocrisy. This is a reasonable accusation until you realize that to honestly be equating Trump’s and Clinton’s alleged crimes takes an active attempt to remain uninformed.
The law Hillary Clinton was accused of violating was 18 U.S. Code § 793(f):
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.
Hillary Clinton would have broken this law if she acted through “negligence.” Regarding this, FBI Director James Comey said:
“I think she was extremely careless. I think she was negligent. That I could establish. What we can’t establish is that she acted with the necessary criminal intent, ‘should have known,’ ‘must have known,’ ‘had to know’ does not get you there. You have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they knew they were engaged in something that was unlawful.”
As you can read in the law itself, criminal intent is not a requirement of breaking this law. If Comey was right when he said that Clinton was “negligent,” then she objectively broke the law. Even if criminal intent was a requirement in breaking this law, Hillary’s aides literally destroyed phones with a hammer in an attempt to destroy evidence. The only way intent might be more obvious is if she came out and said “I intended to break the law,” but I tend to believe actions speak louder than words and that this was her own little way of confessing to us all.
President Trump, on the other hand, has been cleared of all wrongdoings except obstruction of justice. 18 U.S.C. § 1503, written below, defines “obstruction of justice” as an act that “corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice:”
Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, endeavors to influence, intimidate, or impede any grand or petit juror, or officer in or of any court of the United States, or officer who may be serving at any examination or other proceeding before any United States magistrate judge or other committing magistrate, in the discharge of his duty, or injures any such grand or petit juror in his person or property on account of any verdict or indictment assented to by him, or on account of his being or having been such juror, or injures any such officer, magistrate judge, or other committing magistrate in his person or property on account of the performance of his official duties, or corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).
As Cornell Law explains, the words “whoever corruptly” present the requirement for intent. It is extremely difficult to prove that someone obstructed justice when there was no underlying crime. It seems impossible that the “due administration of justice” could be obstructed when there is no administration of justice due.
It is insane to believe that the outrage over Pelosi’s request to have Trump locked up is hypocritical. The investigation of President Trump was an investigation in search of a crime, while the investigation of Hillary Clinton was an investigation trying to avoid the crime. I agree with Hillary Clinton when she says that no one should be “above the law.”
Hillary Clinton should have been indicted, President Trump should not be.