October 16, 2015: FBI agents are upset at President Obama’s comment that he thinks Clinton made a mistake but didn’t endanger national security

The J. Edgar Hoover Building, headquarters of the FBI in Washington, DC. (Credit: Aude / Wikimedia Commons)

The J. Edgar Hoover Building, headquarters of the FBI in Washington, DC. (Credit: Aude / Wikimedia Commons)

The New York Times reports that although the White House backtracked later, “Those statements angered FBI agents who have been working for months to determine whether Mrs. Clinton’s email setup did in fact put any of the nation’s secrets at risk, according to current and former law enforcement officials. Investigators have not reached any conclusions about whether the information on the server was compromised or whether to recommend charges, according to the law enforcement officials. But to investigators, it sounded as if Mr. Obama had already decided the answers to their questions and cleared anyone involved of wrongdoing.”

Ron Hosko, who was a senior FBI official until he retired in 2014, says, “Injecting politics into what is supposed to be a fact-finding inquiry leaves a foul taste in the FBI’s mouth and makes them fear that no matter what they find, the Justice Department will take the president’s signal and not bring a case.” (The New York Times, 10/16/2015

An unnamed upset FBI agent at the Washington Field Office, where the investigation is based, says, “We got the message. […] Obama’s not subtle sometimes.” (The New York Observer, 10/19/2015)

January 28, 2016: A decision on indictments could come during the presidential general election campaign.

Ron Hosko (Credit: public domain)

Ron Hosko (Credit: public domain)

Former FBI officials say the length of the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s email and server is not unusual. Ron Hosko, the FBI’s former assistant director of the criminal investigative division, says, “I don’t know that there’s any magical cutoff date.” However, he adds, “I think the clock ticks louder every day. I’m sure they’re all incredibly sensitive to it.”

Political science professor Andrew Smith says, “It does give pause to Democrats who are concerned that there may be another shoe to drop down the road.” (The Hill, 1/28/2016)

March 31, 2016: Fox News claims that FBI Director James Comey is trying to make a case to indict Clinton herself.

Ron Hosko (Credit: Evan Vucci / The Associated Press)

Ron Hosko (Credit: Evan Vucci / The Associated Press)

This is based on an inside source into the FBI investigation of Clinton’s emails. That source says Comey is said to be frequently meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch in order to prepare to interview Clinton and her top aides soon. The source says, “In a case like this, you get one shot at the queen” [referring to Clinton]. “The pressures are enormous on the agents, as the case has to be airtight and perfect.”

Ron Hosko, former assistant director of the FBI’s criminal investigative division, says, “This in an incredibly high stakes, high-wire act. Timing is of the essence, but being right is absolutely critical. Comey must be the one to make the case that the law has been broken and a prosecution is recommended.” It is believed that the one approach the FBI is taking is seeing if Clinton or any of her aides can be caught lying under oath during their interviews. If they do, they could be prosecuted for that, as happened to Martha Stewart and many others. (Fox News, 3/31/2016)

April 1, 2016: Guccifer has been extradited to the US and makes his first appearance in a US court.

Marcel-Lehel Lazar a.k.a. "Guccifer" after being arrested in Romania in 2014. (Credit: Reuters)

Marcel-Lehel Lazar a.k.a. “Guccifer” after being arrested in Romania in 2014. (Credit: Reuters)

Guccifer, a Romanian hacker whose real name is Marcel-Lehel Lazar, was extradited to the US in late March 2016. He hacked into the email accounts of many famous people. In March 2013, he broke into the account of reporter Sid Blumenthal and found emails that used Clinton’s private address, revealing that address to the public for the first time.

Guccifer was arrested in Romania in 2014 and given a combined seven-year sentence in that country for his illegal hacking activities. Last month, the Romanian government agreed to extradite him to the US for 18 months only. It is not clear why, since he is already serving that time in a Romanian prison. (Reuters, 4/1/2016)

Several days later, it is reported that it is “not a coincidence” he is extradited while the FBI is investigating Clinton’s emails and server. This is according to “an intelligence source close to the case.”

Former FBI official Ron Hosko also says, “Because of the proximity to Sidney Blumenthal and activity involving Hillary’s emails, [the timing] seems beyond curious.” (LawNewz, 4/8/2016)

July 6, 2016: A former FBI assistant director believes Comey could have indicted Clinton for gross negligence, but introduced an intent element that doesn’t apply.

160706RonHoskoCNN

Ron Hosko (Credit: CNN)

Former FBI Assistant Director Ron Hosko, who worked under FBI Director James Comey, comments on Comey’s decision not to recommend Clinton’s indictment. He believes Comey has “impeccable morality and ethics,” and says, “For an indictment you need probable cause, but prosecutors and investigators are looking for far more. You’re looking down the road at a substantial likelihood of success at trial that’s beyond a reasonable doubt.”

However, Hosko also believes the elements for an indictment were clearly met based on the wording of the federal “gross negligence” statute to which Comey referred in his July 5, 2016 public speech. He notes that Comey stated, “Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

Hosko highlights Comey’s use of the phrase “extremely careless.” “To me, that has the same DNA as gross negligence that the statute requires. Those are identical twins.” He says that Comey seemed to introduce an element of intent that is not in that statute. (CNBC, 7/6/2016)