A former U.S. attorney who oversaw the prosecution of retired Army Gen. David Petraeus defended Hillary Clinton in an op-ed published in USA Today Monday, dismissing comparisons made between the former CIA director and the former secretary of state for their handling of classified information.
Anne Tompkins, formerly a U.S. attorney from the Western District of North Carolina, argued that parallels drawn between the FBI investigation into Clinton’s private email system and Petraeus’ federal conviction for removing and retaining classified information without permission have "no merit."
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Noted at the bottom of the op-ed, Tompkins is a donor to Clinton’s presidential campaign. According to Federal Election Commission data, she gifted $2,700–the maximum amount–to Hillary for America in June after the email controversy broke. She also made contributions to Clinton’s failed 2008 bid for the Democratic nomination.
Tompkins argued in the op-ed:
As the former U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, I oversaw the prosecution of Gen. Petraeus, and I can say, based on the known facts, this comparison has no merit. The key element that distinguishes Secretary Clinton’s email retention practices from Petraeus’ sharing of classified information is that Petraeus knowingly engaged in unlawful conduct, and that was the basis of his criminal liability. The facts of Petraeus’ case are a matter of public record. During his tenure as the commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, Petraeus recorded handwritten notes in personal journals, including information he knew was classified at the very highest levels.
As mentioned by the former U.S. attorney, former attorney general Michael Mukasey most notably drew a comparison between Clinton and Petraeus. The retired Army general was sentenced to two years probation and slapped with $100,000 fine in April after pleading guilty to a federal misdemeanor charge that he mishandled classified information.
Petraeus was accused of holding classified information in his home without permission from the federal government and sharing it with his lover. He was forced to resign from his post at the CIA in November 2012 amid reports of the affair just before the FBI investigation concerning his handling of classified information became public.
While Clinton has insisted that she never knowingly sent or received classified information on her personal email, the inspector general of the intelligence community has determined that at least two of the emails hold "top secret" information. Hundreds more messages have been flagged for possibly containing classified information.
The State Department released approximately 7,000 pages of Clinton emails Monday evening, 125 of which have been censored because they have been determined to contain classified information.
A growing majority of Americans nationwide currently rate Clinton as not trustworthy.