April 4, 2016: Whether the sensitive information in Clinton’s emails was marked classified at the time or not should have no bearing on if she is charged with any crimes.

Ronald J. Sievert (Credit: Pinterest)

Ronald J. Sievert (Credit: Pinterest)

This is according to Ronald J. Sievert, a professor who was a Justice Department official for 25 years. He points out that “The applicable statute, 18 USC 793, however, does not even once mention the word ‘classified.’ The focus is on ‘information respecting the national defense’ that potentially ‘could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.’ 793 (f) specifically makes it a crime for anyone ‘entrusted with […] any document […] or information relating to the national defense […] through gross negligence (to permit) the same to be removed from its proper place of custody.’”

He further notes that, “The fact that the information does not have to be ‘marked classified’ at the time only makes sense because sometimes, as in the case of the Clinton case and other [18 USC 793] cases, the information is originated and distributed before any security officer can perform a review and put a classification mark on it.” (Today, 4/4/2016)

September 9, 2016: A former Justice Department official criticizes how the FBI permitted legally questionable behavior by Cheryl Mills during its Clinton email investigation.

Cheryl Mills was Clinton’s chief of staff while Clinton was secretary of state, then she was hired to be one of Clinton’s lawyers in 2013, setting up a potential conflict of interest between her different roles. In April 2016, she was interviewed by the FBI, but refused to answer certain questions, claiming attorney-client privilege.

RonaldSievert (Credit: public domain)

Ronald J. Sievert (Credit: public domain)

Ronald J. Sievert, a former assistant director at the Justice Department and member of the department’s National Security Working Group, said the FBI easily could have gone to court to challenge Mills’ privilege claim. But that didn’t happen.

Mills also was allowed to attend Clinton’s July 2016 FBI interview as one of Clinton’s lawyers, even though she directly participated in many of the matters being discussed by Clinton when Mills was in her chief of staff role.

Sievert comments, “There seems universal agreement among those of us who know the law that no regular US government employee could get away with this.” (The New York Post, 9/9/2016)