Clinton’s Laughable Claim: Petraeus Offense Was Worse

Moving right along, though, Ms. Tompkins relates that, despite his serious crimes, General Petraeus was permitted -- by Tompkins, of course -- to plead guilty to a mere misdemeanor. Thus, she reasons, it would be unthinkable to file charges -- particularly, harsher felony charges -- against Clinton, the purportedly lesser offender.

Precious, no?

The Obama-appointed prosecutor who plea-bargained egregious felonies down to a slap on the wrist for the Obama-appointed CIA director would have us view her irresponsible charging decision as the gold standard for evaluating similar cases.

And how’s this for a small world: the defense lawyer who beguiled Tompkins into giving Petraeus a near-total pass just happens to be David Kendall -- Mrs. Clinton’s lawyer.

Apparently, you are to conclude that two different cases must be treated alike if the two prominent suspects hire the same well-connected Washington lawyer, as if Mr. Kendall’s rolling of Ms. Tompkins somehow entitles him to roll the Clinton investigators.

In any event, Camp Clinton’s Petraeus narrative is laughable.

To be sure, Petraeus’s offenses were serious. As the Post reports:

[The] classified information he shared with his biographer contained top secret code words, identities of covert agents, war strategy and intelligence capabilities.

He also lied to the FBI during the investigation. The Post says prosecutors threatened to charge him with three felonies, involving espionage act violations and false statements. The fact that Tompkins pled the case out on the cheap does not diminish the gravity of Petraeus’s misconduct.

Still, Clinton’s misconduct is more egregious than Petraeus’s. The latter only shared top secret information with a single person: Paula Broadwell, his biographer/paramour. Ms. Broadwell, a West Point grad and former military officer, had a security clearance (although not one sufficient to be given access to the highly classified information in Petraeus’s journals). There is no indication she ever shared the information with anyone else, much less in her hagiography of Petraeus.

To be sure, there are similarities in the two cases -- but even these militate in favor of a criminal prosecution against Clinton.

For example, her emails include communications with President Obama. Although the Post story does not mention it, Petraeus’s classified journals also contained summaries of his communications with President Obama -- a fact that was cited by the Justice Department’s explanation to the court of the factual basis for charging Petraeus with a crime. (See my Feb. 3, 2016, column.)