Judge Napolitano: Hillary May Have Committed ‘Felony’ Over Private Email Account

On Wednesday night, Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano issued a blistering critique of Hillary Clinton’s ongoing controversy surrounding the use of a private email account while she was Secretary of State.

Appearing on Fox News’ The Kelly File, Napolitano argued that Mrs. Clinton may have committed a “felony” and “the other way that she’s in trouble is a person who knowingly and willfully destroys or conceals government records.”

The Fox News legal analyst began his remarks by insisting that Mrs. Clinton is “in a lot of trouble legally” before he outlined the first potential crime she committed:

One is if she retained on her personal email account using the Clinton server at her home or near her home in Chappaqua, New York, classified materials, classified documents, she arguably violated the same statute that General Petraeus has agreed that he will plead guilty to which prohibits retaining classified information in a non-government non-secured way. That’s a misdemeanor. It’s not a felony. There’s no grand jury. There’s no trial jury. But the punishment is up to a year in jail and $100,000 fine for each document –

After Megyn Kelly wondered if it was possible that Mrs. Clinton never received classified documents on her personal email account, Napolitano insisted that such a scenario was “inconceivable. I don’t know how she could do her job. Because she had the highest security clearance there is."

Napolitano then went on to suggest that if Mrs. Clinton knowingly destroyed government documents on her private email account, she may have committed a felony, which would disqualify her from serving in elected office:

The other way that she’s in trouble is a person who knowingly and willfully destroys or conceals government records. This is a felony punishable in jail by up to three years. And are you ready for this? Disqualification from holding public office under the United States of America in the future.

Judge Napolitano concluded by noting that because Mrs. Clinton selectively turned over certain emails to the State Department “[t]hat act of possessing and deciding is the act of concealment, which is made criminal by the statute.”

See relevant transcript below.

Fox News’ The Kelly File

March 4, 2015

MEGYN KELLY: Moments before we came to air I spoke to Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano. So is she in trouble legally?

JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO: She’s in a lot of trouble legally. And there’s two sources of her trouble. One is if she retained on her personal email account using the Clinton server at her home or near her home in Chappaqua, New York, classified materials, classified documents, she arguably violated the same statute that General Petraeus has agreed that he will plead guilty to which prohibits retaining classified information in a non-government non-secured way. That’s a misdemeanor. It’s not a felony. There’s no grand jury. There’s no trial jury. But the punishment is up to a year in jail and $100,000 fine for each document –

KELLY: Does it have to be a willful thing? She’s going to say, all my information was there. I didn’t do that willfully. I wasn’t willfully flouting the law.

NAPOLITANO: Well, she doesn’t have to willfully flout the law but she has to lawfully retain the document. If she received a classified document or discussion about classified information, for example, we’re going after Osama bin Laden, we think he’s in Abbottabad and that comes from the president, or from the Secretary of Defense, and that is in her computer in her home rather than secured in a government computer, she has violated the same statute that General Petraeus has pled guilty to.

KELLY: And what are the odds that when she did all of her emailing on the private account that her entire tenure as secretary of state she never sent and received anything classified which is what the State Department’s claiming right now.

NAPOLITANO: In my view, it would be inconceivable. I don’t know how she could do her job. Because she had the highest security clearance there is. She had the same security clearance as the president, the Secretary of Defense and the head of the CIA so that she could openly and clearly deal with these national secrets. It’s inconceivable she never dealt with them.

KELLY: All right. Let’s talk about number two because number two would get her in even bigger trouble. And now we’re talking potential felony.

NAPOLITANO: Yes, number two, the other way that she’s in trouble is a person who knowingly and willfully destroys or conceals government records. This is a felony punishable in jail by up to three years. And are you ready for this? Disqualification from holding public office under the United States of America in the future.

KELLY: That is stunning. What would they have to prove that she knowingly did it and that she unlawfully did it?

NAPOLITANO: Yes. And the it is concealing from the government documents that she knew or ought to have known belong to the government.

KELLY: She’s been turning over documents, but not all documents.

NAPOLITANO: Correct. Because instead of going to the government and saying I want my personal documents, the government had to go to her and say we want the governmental documents. So instead of the government giving her the personal ones, she decided what was personal and what was governmental.

KELLY: And that’s where we are today. That is the current status. That she has decided what we get and what we don’t get.

NAPOLITANO: That act of possessing and deciding is the act of concealment, which is made criminal by the statute.

KELLY: We’re going to see a battle on this front potentially. Not under this Attorney General, but perhaps in the future. Judge, good to see you.

NAPOLITANO: Pleasure.

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