By Julian Hattem - 01-22-16 09:46 AM EST
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey believes that Hillary Clinton should be charged with a federal crime for mishandling classified information via her private email server.
Clinton clearly knew that her setup was not equipped to handle sensitive documents, Mukasey wrote in an op-ed published by The Wall Street Journal on Friday.
Whether the former secretary of State and Democratic presidential front-runner was merely negligent or actively trying to destroy emails, he wrote, Clinton’s “state of mind ... justifies a criminal charge of one sort or another."
Mukasey, who served as attorney general under former President George W. Bush, compared Clinton’s case to that of disgraced former CIA Director David Petraeus.
Multiple prominent Republicans have made similar arguments in recent days after reports that the Pentagon may strip one of the retired general's stars for handing classified information to his mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell. Petraeus was convicted last April.
More than 1,300 emails released by the State Department from Clinton’s personal server have been classified at some level. This week, news leaked that the intelligence community inspector general has determined that the emails also contained information classified above top secret, on a “need-to-know” basis.
In his op-ed, Mukasey points to those revelations as well as indications that Clinton’s staffers rejected the idea of a State Department-run email address and that she asked an aide to send a “secure fax” via email.
“As the number of disclosed classified messages from Mrs. Clinton’s server has climbed above 1,300, her explanations have come to look increasingly improvisational and contrived,” he wrote.
The FBI has been investigating Clinton’s server for the possible mishandling of classified information for months.
The investigation has combined with the political urgency of the probe to give the FBI an extraordinary amount of influence heading into the presidential election.
Mukasey on Friday anticipated that, regardless of politics, officials would “do their duty.”