Source: FBI probe of Clinton email focused on ‘gross negligence’ provision – Fox News

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Three months after Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email address and server while secretary of state was referred to the FBI, an intelligence source familiar with the investigation tells Fox News that the team is now focused on whether there were violations of an Espionage Act subsection pertaining to “gross negligence” in the safekeeping of national defense information.

Under 18 USC 793 subsection F, the information does not have to be classified to count as a violation. The intelligence source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity citing the sensitivity of the ongoing probe, said the subsection requires the “lawful possession” of national defense information by a security clearance holder who “through gross negligence,” such as the use of an unsecure computer network, permits the material to be removed or abstracted from its proper, secure location.

Subsection F also requires the clearance holder “to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer. “A failure to do so “shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”

The source said investigators are also focused on possible obstruction of justice. “If someone knows there is an ongoing investigation and takes action to impede an investigation, for example destruction of documents or threatening of witnesses, that could be a separate charge but still remain under a single case,” the source said. Currently, the ongoing investigation is led by the Washington Field Office of the FBI.

A former FBI agent, who is not involved in the case, said the inconsistent release of emails, with new documents coming to light from outside accounts, such as that of adviser Sidney Blumenthal, could constitute obstruction. In addition, Clinton’s March statement that there was no classified material on her private server has proven false, after more than 400 emails containing classified information were documented.

Clinton and her team maintain the use of a private account was allowed, and the intelligence was not classified at the time, but later upgraded. The latter claim is disputed by the intelligence community Inspector General, who represents the agencies involved, which concluded the information was classified from the start.

 One of Clinton’s primary defenses is that the emails containing classified information, did not carry classification markings, but a leading national security defense attorney says that is no excuse under the law.

“The fact that something’s not marked or that the person may not know that it was classified would not be relevant at all in a prosecution under the Espionage Act,” defense attorney Edward MacMahon Jr. recently told Fox.

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