President Barack Obama’s recent remarks to my Fox News colleague Chris Wallace about Hillary Clinton’s email issues were either Machiavellian or dumb. It is difficult to tell from them whether he wants the mountain of evidence of her criminal behavior presented to a federal grand jury or whether he wants her to succeed him in the White House.
He cannot have both.
His efforts to minimize his former secretary of state’s diversion of emails from government-secured servers to her own non-secure home server by calling it “careless” may actually harm her in the eyes of the public or even serve as a dog whistle to the FBI. That’s because carelessness is a species of negligence, and espionage, which is the failure to safeguard state secrets by removing them from their proper place of custody, is the rare federal crime that can be proved by negligence — to be precise, gross negligence.
Gross negligence is the failure to perform a high legal duty with the great probability of an improper result — for example, driving a car 90 miles per hour in New York’s Times Square.