EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re name is HIllary Clinton, you can LIE to the FBI, you can DESTROY 13 Blackberries with a hammer, you can operate an ILLEGAL email server, and you can DELETE 33,000 emails with BLEACHBIT. If you’re name is not HIllary Clinton, you’re going to jail. General Cartwright, who did so much less than Crooked Hillary did, is getting fined and going to jail. Hillary gets off scot-free. If this is the kind of power and influence she has a private citizen, can you IMAGINE what she will do as president?
The Obama administration Justice Department has investigated three senior officials for mishandling classified information over the past two years but only one faces a felony conviction, possible jail time and a humiliation that will ruin his career: former Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman General James E. Cartwright. The FBI’s handling of the case stands in stark contrast to its treatment of Hillary Clinton and retired General David Petraeus — and it reeks of political considerations.
Monday marked a stunning fall from grace for Cartwright, the man once known as “Obama’s favorite general,” who pleaded guilty to the felony charge of lying to the FBI during its investigation into the leaking of classified information about covert operations against Iran to two journalists. His lawyer Greg Craig said in a statement that Cartwright spoke with David Sanger of the New York Times and Dan Klaidman of Newsweek as a confirming source for stories they had already reported, in an effort to prevent the publication of harmful national security secrets.
Under his plea deal, General Cartwright could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Last year, Petraeus cut a deal with the Justice Department after admitting he had lied to the FBI and passed hundreds of highly classified documents to his biographer and mistress Paula Broadwell. He pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor of mishandling classified information and was sentenced to two years probation and a $100,000 fine.
Clinton was not charged at all for what FBI Director James B. Comey called “extremely careless” handling of “very sensitive, highly classified information.” Comey said that although there was “evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information,” the FBI’s judgment was that no reasonable prosecutor would have filed charges against Clinton or her associates.
“There is a lack of proportion just based on the facts that one figure, Cartwright, is getting severely punished and others so far have escaped the process,” said Steven Aftergood, director of the project on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. “He is being singled out for prosecution and public humiliation. It’s an implicit rebuttal to those who argued that other senior officials such as Clinton or Petraeus got off scot-free or got too light of a sentence.”
In its statement announcing the conclusion of its three-year investigation of Cartwright, the FBI emphasized that his prosecution showed that the Justice Department is willing to go after senior officials.
“The FBI will continue to take all necessary and appropriate steps to thoroughly investigate individuals, no matter their position (emphasis added), who undermine the integrity of our justice system by lying to federal investigators,” said Assistant Director in Charge Paul Abbate.
“They seem to be trying to make a policy point,” he said. “The Justice Department would say they are not influenced at all by policy or political considerations. In the real world, of course they are influenced.”
The announcement of the charges and Cartwright’s guilty plea came on the same day the FBI released documents that allege the State Department, through Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick F. Kennedy, offered the FBI a “quid pro quo” for altering the classification of documents found on Clinton’s private email server. The State Department maintains Kennedy made no such offer. The FBI said no deal was struck but it would investigate the issue.
Still, the FBI’s unprecedented release of documents related to its Clinton investigation shows the Bureau is keenly aware of the public criticism of Comey’s decision not to recommend any charges. And the mere fact that Clinton had the State Department, along with an army of lawyers, negotiating with the FBI over the investigation shows that the playing field is not even for the targets of such investigations. Petraeus, for his part, had several top U.S. senators publicly calling on the FBI to exonerate him before he cut his deal. source