Harmeet Dhillon appeared on Fox News’ ‘The Next Revolution’ to discuss the trial of former FBI Director James Comey, the two statutes that apply to the legality of James Comey’s memo leaks, the violation and deprivation of rights of Carter Page, and what we can expect in the future of the case, regarding prosecution.
According to Dhillon:
There are a couple of different statutes that could apply. One of these statutes holds that where you are a government official and you come into classified information, and then you remove the documents, with the intention of keeping them off site and you don’t have authority to do that, that’s one type of a crime. And that can be punishable for up to five years in prison. There’s a second type of crime where you are somebody in a position of trust, it could be an employee or contractor, and you also remove documents, but this is more like an embezzlement or a theft, you do it without knowledge, you conceal, and then in this particular statute, you have to have the intent to deprive the owner of the property permanently from the use. And so in that one, there’s a lot of controversy over the terms and whether that gets into whistle-blowers. There’s quite a bit of law on that second statute.
I think it is the first because he is an official of the United States government, and so that is the statute that has been used to prosecute other high government officials. It’s been alleged against Hilary Clinton, David Petraeus and other high officials, that’s the more likely statute.
According to Dhillon:
One of the statutes focuses on the rights of the person whose rights are being deprived and that is section 242 which talks about depriving somebody’s rights, civil rights really, under color of law. So where a government official knowingly and intentionally violates somebody’s rights. Here, that could include submitting a request for a warrant to the FISA court repeatedly but omitting key evidence that the judge would want to know, and then that would be a violation of Carter Page’s rights to privacy and fourth amendment rights and other rights as well.
According to Dhillon:
What needs to happen, and what will happen in the real world are probably two different things. But James Comey knows himself very well that some of the things he’s been accused of tonight and in the press are things he has prosecuted other people for. For example, Sandy Berger a figure out of the Clinton’s past who actually stuffed documents down his pants in the national security archives and then got away with them and then he was ultimately given a slap on the wrist when James Comey held the position in the department of justice that Rod Rosenstein does today. That’s in 2004. So he knows people can be prosecuted. He’s prosecuted them for doing similar things. But, in the real world right now where we have an attorney general who was recused, we have a deputy attorney general under fire from the president and under pressure from many people to resign or step aside, who would prosecute him? I think the proper place to be prosecuted would be by attorneys in the department of justice and definitely not a special prosecutor. I think what we have seen here historically is that special prosecutors are loose cannons that go in search of crimes and are often overturned on appeal. I don’t think that’s a good use of resources.
Now, a cautionary note here is that what we’re seeing is almost an arms race in escalation, the political crime prosecution and process crimes, I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing for the country because there can be a line between what you think is the right thing. I think Comey is clearly on the wrong side of it but the problem is if you prosecute him, the ante is up for the tables to be turned in the next administration. I’m not sure that’s a great use of our resources.
Andy Mccabe has also accused him of lying. We have seen in the inspector general’s report that just came out that Mccabe’s attorneys have said that Comey should not be believed. Comey did authorize him talking to the “Wall Street journal.” There’s that. Then you also have senator Grassley who has written to Rod Rosenstein saying let’s talk more about these seven classified documents and we want some more details. Did he give them — I don’t think it is clear at all that he simply gave an excerpt to his friend. His friend retroactively claimed attorney-client privilege. There’s a lot of stuff going on there. We’re not even close to the fact finding here.