Aug 13, 2015

Alan Dershowitz: Clinton May Not Be Legally Liable for Server

Alan Dershowitz: Clinton May Not Be Legally Liable for Server

Image: Alan Dershowitz: Clinton May Not Be Legally Liable for ServerHillary Clinton (Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
By Sandy Fitzgerald   |   
Hillary Clinton can't be held responsible for forwarding emails through her private server if they weren't marked as being classified, Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz said Thursday.

"Everybody acknowledges nobody should ever send classified, highly classified, secret material over unsecured lines," the attorney told Fox News' "America's Newsroom," but the questions remain about why the former secretary of state, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, did not know.
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"If it was not marked classified, you can't blame her for following usual procedures of the State Department and sending unclassified material over a private server," Dershowitz said. "That is why the Justice Department is exploring this to see how to prevent it from happening in the future. And I think what we're doing is looking forward to make sure this never happens again."
But, meanwhile, it's not fair — or constitutional — to look backward and hold Clinton responsible "in any way for rules not in existence at the time, as the Constitution prevents the courts looking backward" to impose criminal liability on conduct that was innocent and not criminal at the time it took place.

With reports surfacing that materials went through the server that had initially been marked top secret but then had those markings stripped off, Dershowitz said that he believes it would be a crime to alter a top-secret document.
"The question is, what did Hillary Clinton know at the time she engaged in these acts?" said the attorney, and if she only sent items that did not have the classified markings, "then she has no criminal exposure at all."

But if it turns out that Clinton had something to do with getting rid of the classified markings, "that of course is a different issue, but I have heard no evidence to suggest that," he continued.

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