An ex-Justice Department official under two Republican presidents says an indictment is unlikely against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — due both to politics and "an institutional fear of losing."
In a commentary for USA Today
, Ronald Sievert, who worked under the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, writes that politics is a big reason for the unlikeliness of an indictment over Clinton's use of an unsecured private email system to do government business.
"[P]olitical appointees who make the final decisions will at least unconsciously be searching for ways to evaluate the case in a way that would evade an obvious debacle for the Democratic Party," he writes.
But he argues "Main Justice" moves at a glacial rate in such cases, and "has not always had a reputation for being strong and aggressive, especially in the face of an intimidating defense."
"What a [district attorney] will indict in a week, and a U.S. Attorney in a month, will take Justice more than a year if they ever pull the trigger at all," he writes.
"They tend to be hamstrung by endless memos, briefs, meetings and approvals from multiple levels and divisions. There sometimes appears to be an institutional fear of losing, however minimal the chance."
Sievert decries that "at this very moment, many good lawyers at [the Department of Justice] may be using all sorts of sophistry and rationalization to try to avoid applying the plain language of the law to Hilary Clinton."
"A jury, which should make the final decision, may never get the chance," he writes.
The FBI reportedly wants to interview Clinton
and her aides
about her use of the private email system.
But Sievert writes the Justice Department is most likely working to "avoid applying the plain language of the law to Hillary Clinton."
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