Yesterday, we shared a piece from the Young Conservatives noting that, less than a year ago, Bryan Nishimura pleaded guilty to — and was charged for — “unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials without malicious intent.” Of course, in Hillary Clinton’s case, the FBI declared the same lack of malicious intent as reason to forgo charges, despite clear evidence of wrongdoing.
As the Nishimura case showed, the question of intent should’ve been irrelevant altogether.
This is the most revealing statement Comey made. pic.twitter.com/XmqOFhTNjn
— Anthony De Rosa (@AntDeRosa) July 5, 2016
And it turns out, there are more like Nishimura, who faced charges and penalties for doing what many would argue was less damaging than former Secretary of State Clinton.
Here are just a few more to add to the list, courtesy of Heat Street:1. Sandy Berger
Berger (who died in December) was (not surprisingly) a former Clinton administration official who was sentenced to two years probation, fined $50,000, and stripped of his security clearance for three years after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material in 2005.2. Chelsea (Bradley) Manning
Bradley “Chelsea” Manning was dishonorably discharged from the Army and sentenced to 35 years in prison for violating the Espionage Act after providing classified material to WikiLeaks in 2010.
3. Gen David Petraeus
Petraeus was sentenced to two years probation, fined $100,000, and forced to resign as CIA director after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information.
4. Kristen Saucier
Petty Officer First Class Kristian Saucier was indicted in July 2015 on felony charges of unauthorized retention of national defense information and obstruction of justice. Saucier was accused of taking photos of a classified engine room on a nuclear submarine, and attempting to destroy evidence after learning he was being investigated. He could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted on both charges.
And of course with Nishimura, that makes five people who didn’t get a “get out of jail free” card.
So just to clarify the law on mishandling classified information for any confused readers out there: it’s completely illegal for anyone not named Hillary Clinton.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]