No, Comey did not openly admit to giving Clinton special treatment

Note: This post has been automatically imported from my old blog. Formatting may be incorrect.

I've previously held positions where my credentials gave me access to every system controlled by my employer. If I used the same password everywhere and put it on a post-it by my monitor, my employer would probably sanction me severely, especially if that was a factor in an actual breach. They might go as far as firing me, but unless the damages were extraordinary or there was intent to undermine the company's security (rather than just laziness/convenience on my part) it would be very unlikely for them to press charges, if they even could make a case. If this were discovered after I left the company, they would have little recourse beyond possibly informing current employers, withdrawing recommendations for job searches, etc.

FBI director James Comey's recent statement regarding Clinton's use of a personal email server included a paragraph that some in my social media circles are outraged over:

To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.

Now, I don't know enough about this case or about Comey to know if he's being accurate or truthful here. But taking him at face value, he is not, as many have claimed, saying that Clinton will be treated differently here. Security and administrative sanctions are not the same thing as legal action, and can't be applied after someone has already left the position. The FBI was not investigating whether Clinton deserved security or administrative sanctions, but whether prosecution should move forward. If he is right that Clinton's actions were only enough to merit sanctions, then he is doing the exact right thing here.

Whatever you think of Clinton, you shouldn't want the government to prosecute as crimes actions that should properly be handled as internal administrative concerns. Perhaps you think Comey is wrong or lying about whether that is the case here, but this was not some brazen admission of special treatment for the political elite.