The establishment press is all over revelations by Fox News Friday morning that the investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails involves a "section of the Espionage Act is known as 18 US Code 793," and that "the focus includes a provision of the law pertaining to 'gathering, transmitting or losing defense information,'" according to "an intelligence source." ... Just kidding.
The only reaction I've seen thus far is at the Friday evening version of "The 2016 Blast" collection by Henry C. Jackson at the Politico. The fifth item covered — after a snippet on "John Kasich's Aerial Attack" and three snoozers on Mrs. Clinton's predictable dissembling — reads as follows (bolds and italics are theirs):
WHOA, IF TRUE: Fox News: An FBI "A-team" is leading the "extremely serious" investigation into HILLARY CLINTON’s server and the focus includes a provision of the law pertaining to "gathering, transmitting or losing defense information," an intelligence source told Fox News. The section of the Espionage Act is known as 18 US Code 793. A separate source, who also was not authorized to speak on the record, said the FBI will further determine whether Clinton should have known, based on the quality and detail of the material, that emails passing through her server contained classified information regardless of the markings. The campaign's standard defense and that of Clinton is that she "never sent nor received any email that was marked classified" at the time. http://fxn.ws/1Enrjf2
Gee, I wonder how many times Jackson or anyone else at Politico has remarked "Whoa, if true" to reports out of the New York Times, Washington Post, or Associated Press?
Translation of "Whoa, if true": We — meaning the Politico and the establishment press in general — really don't want anyone to take this seriously until we get the Clinton campaign's reaction (and, in some cases, until we find out what the Clinton campaign wants us to report).
But I digress. Catherine Herridge, Fox's "award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent," who has been miles ahead of virtually everyone else in the press in these matters, succinctly described the most recent developments in the following video:
Transcript (bolds are mine):
SHOW HOST MARTHA MACCALLUM: Fox News Alert for you now. We are learning that the FBI will determine if Hillary Clinton should have known that emails sent through her personal server were classified. The government rule book shredding her defense that she didn't know, stating clearly that it was her job to know. Chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge has more on this from Washington. Catherine.
CATHERINE HERRIDGE: Well Martha, this new information obtained by Fox News through a source familiar with the FBI probe means Mrs. Clinton's go-to defense is under fresh scrutiny.
HILLARY CLINTON, in an August 26 speech: I'm confident that this process will prove that I never sent or received any, uh, any email that was marked classified.
HERRIDGE: Fox news has confirmed these rules, known as the code of federal regulations, apply to all U.S. government employees with security clearances, and they clearly state that there is an obligation to report any possible breach by both the sender and the receiver of the information. Quote:
"Any person who has knowledge that classified information has been or may have been lost, possibly compromised or disclosed to an unauthorized person shall immmediately report the circumstances to an official designated for this purpose."
(Note: The video erroneously displays the word "authorized." Herridge clearly said "unauthorized." — Ed.)
It also strictly prohibits the use of unsecured systems, such as the personal BlackBerry and the iPad Mrs. Clinton used, which were not provided by her employment, the State Department. Martha.
MACCALLUM: But it appears from everything she said, she believes that the information was not classified or marked classified at the time. So is there wiggle room in these rules, Catherine?
HERRIDGE: Well, based on the federal regulations and the 2009 executive order for the safeguarding of national security information, there is no gray area.
CHRISTOPHER FARRELL, described as a "former Army counterintelligence officer who is now an investigator with Judicial Watch": Regardless of whether Mrs. Clinton sent or received this information, the obligations under the law are that she had to report any question concerning this material being classified. There's no wiggle room. There's no ability to go around and say, "I passively received something." That's not an excuse.
HERRIDGE: The regulations also state that the affected agencies, in this case the State Department, must conduct a damage assessment. It reads in part:
"Agency heads shall establish appropriate procedures to conduct an inquiry/investigation of a loss, possible compromise or unauthorized disclosure of classified information" —
And at this time there is no evidence that a damage assessment is being done by the State Department.
Separately, Fox News reached out to the FBI, but the bureau has not offered comment on the ongoing investigation into the Clinton emails, Martha.
The article accompanying the video has this additional important information:
... An FBI "A-team" is leading the "extremely serious" investigation into Hillary Clinton's server and the focus includes a provision of the law pertaining to "gathering, transmitting or losing defense information," an intelligence source told Fox News.
The section of the Espionage Act is known as 18 US Code 793.
A separate source, who also was not authorized to speak on the record, said the FBI will further determine whether Clinton should have known, based on the quality and detail of the material, that emails passing through her server contained classified information regardless of the markings.
... Citing the ongoing investigation, a State Department spokesman had no comment, but did confirm that Clinton's immediate staff received regular training on classification issues.
Clinton told reporters Friday that she remains confident no violations were committed.
... The Clinton campaign did not provide an on-the-record comment on the matter when given questions by Fox News.
It would appear that Mrs. Clinton's "best" defense may be that she was too dense to be able to recognize classified information. If so, that's awfully thin gruel to offer a public she wants to elect her to be the nation's commander in chief.
But let's wait and see what she tells the establishment press how to report it.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.