Remember when Donald Trump got on Hillary’s case for the email scandal and her handling of classified material?
On Monday, Trump talked with David Petraeus, the former Army general, and director of the CIA who was convicted of a misdemeanor after he shared a “massive amount” of classified information with his girlfriend and biographer, Paula Broadwell.
Petraeus got off easy. The Justice Department wanted to file felony charges for lying to the FBI and violating a section of the Espionage Act, but settled on a hand slap.
Trump apparently believes Petraeus’ criminal behavior is not an issue:
Just met with General Petraeus–was very impressed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2016
The establishment media also gave Petraeus a free ticket. USA Today mentioned his transgression—he delivered to Broadwell eight black books containing classified and unclassified notes he took during meetings, conferences and briefings—then the corporate newspaper flipped over to highlighting why he should be the next secretary of state.
He would bring a lifetime of military and diplomatic experience at the highest levels, having commanded U.S.-led forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He is credited with tamping violence in Iraq for a time by instituting a counterinsurgency strategy and a “surge” of U.S. forces there.
The crimes of David Petraeus are excusable, of course, because he is a valued member of the ruling political class.
Consider the response to similar behavior engaged in by Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Chelsea Manning.
Politicians and the establishment media have called for Assange and Snowden to be executed. Manning received a 35 year sentence for violating the Espionage Act.