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Emailgate: How an NDA is Affecting the Presidential Election

About a week ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that it would not be pressing charges against Hillary Clinton for her use of a personal email during her tenure as Secretary of State. This has been a long time coming for Clinton, as the email controversy has been a blight on her presidential campaign from its start.

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News of “Emailgate” broke in 2014, and picked up last year right before Hillary Clinton announced her run for president. It has dealt a huge blow to her trustworthiness and transparency, with a Morning Consult national survey from this month finding that “half of voters said Clinton’s use of a private email server was illegal.” Those are dangerous numbers for the Democrats, leaving voters finding Donald Trump twice as honest as Hillary Clinton according to a recent Rasmussen survey.

If you still don’t really know much about the controversy, here’s a quick rundown:

Being the Secretary of State involves handling sensitive information, and it was discovered that during her tenure, Hillary Clinton used a series of personal email servers that were nowhere near as secure as federal record systems would have been. This left her correspondence vulnerable to being compromised by the likes of hackers and foreign countries, and people are not happy about that.

At the heart of this controversy lies the fact that Hillary Clinton had signed a Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement.

 

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Confidential information, or classified information as per this agreement, was given a clear definition as being marked or unmarked. Specific obligations related to confidentiality were outlined, such as protecting such information “in the interest of national security.”

 

Hillary Clinton has pushed back at the controversy in true political fashion, skirting the issue by saying first that she never handled any classified information over email, and then that she had not known some content was classified because it was not marked as such. But the first point was disproven by the FBI, and the second is explicitly covered in the agreement. She also tried to dampen the blow of the scandal by pointing out that most other Secretaries of State before her had utilized personal emails as well, but status quo is no good defense against contractually agreed upon obligations related to confidentiality.

 

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All of this leaves Hillary Clinton in a position to be either criminally charged for violating federal law, or to receive administrative discipline for wrongdoing in her position as Secretary of State. As she no longer holds that position, discipline is not a viable option. As for the former, neither the FBI or the Attorney General are willing to press charges.

 

So, if a substantial portion of the public finds her conduct criminal and legal violations did occur as per the agreement she signed, why is she (so far) getting away scot-free?

 

Here it’s a matter of nuancing the law. The FBI intimated that there was definitely evidence of wrongdoing that amounts to the actus reus, and went so far as to chide her for her actions, describing her conduct as “extremely careless.” Hillary Clinton admitted just as much when she said that in hindsight, she should have had a separate work email. However, she simply does not meet the requirement for intent, or mens rea, of having “intentionally transmitted or willfully mishandled classified information” beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

Without substantial evidence of such intent, a court cannot convict her. Without full confidence that a court can convict her, it would be dangerous to press charges against a woman who is no longer just a former Secretary of State, but now the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party in the rapidly approaching presidential election. Such a move would have enormous, and potentially disastrous, consequences for the country.

 

Click here to view our Non-Disclosure Agreement template in our Small Business Law Library!

 

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This article is provided for informational purposes only and does not create a lawyer-client relationship with the reader. It is not legal advice and should not be regarded as such. Any reliance on the information is solely at the reader’s own risk. Clausehound.com is a legal tool geared towards entrepreneurs, early-stage businesses and small businesses alike to help draft legal documents to make businesses more productive. Clausehound offers a $10 per month DIY Legal Library which hosts tens of thousands of legal clauses, contracts, articles, lawyer commentaries and instructional videos. Find Clausehound.com where you see this logo.

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Clausehound.com Will be Scouting Talent at the Startup Career Expo on January 27!

Clausehound.com will be looking to hire new talent at Canada’s largest startup career fair on January 27, 2017!

 

We will be joining over 80 other startups from Toronto, Montreal, San Francisco, and beyond looking for the best startup and technology talent the University of Toronto has to offer! The event connects passionate students with innovative startups of all disciplines. Hundreds of students will have the opportunity to meet potential employers face-to-face and demonstrate their enthusiasm for entrepreneurship.

 

 

You’re Next Career Network’s Startup Career Expo aims to enhance the startup culture and career prospects for students at the University of Toronto. It provides curious, job-hunting students with a glimpse into the world of startups.

 

Are you interested in joining the Clausehound.com team? Check out our Careers page to see if there are any positions that fit your profile!

 

Event details:
When: January 27th, 2017 – 10:00AM – 4:00PM
Where: MaRS Discovery District – 101 College St, Toronto, ON M5G 1L7

 

Come and meet the Clausehound.com’s team at the Startup Career Expo on January 27th! As passionate entrepreneurs ourselves, we look forward to meeting the next generation of innovators and filling our vacant positions!

 

Interested in attending? Check out the details on the Startup Career Expo event page.

 

 

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This article is provided for informational purposes only and does not create a lawyer-client relationship with the reader. It is not legal advice and should not be regarded as such. Any reliance on the information is solely at the reader’s own risk. Clausehound.com is a legal tool geared towards entrepreneurs, early-stage businesses and small businesses alike to help draft legal documents to make businesses more productive. Clausehound offers a $10 per month DIY Legal Library which hosts tens of thousands of legal clauses, contracts, articles, lawyer commentaries and instructional videos. Find Clausehound.com where you see this logo.

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Network with Fellow Techies at HackerNest’s Local Meetup on January 30th in Toronto!

 

Clausehound.com is excited to be working with HackerNest – Canada’s largest technology meet up organization! HackerNest provides attendees with a fun, relaxed, and unpretentious environment to connect with fellow tech enthusiasts. HackerNest’s socials are all about grabbing a drink and speaking with fellow techies in an enjoyable setting.

 

 

Since its founding, HackerNest has been the go-to organization for tech related meetups in Canada, and now internationally. HackerNest has over 10,000 members and attracts hundreds of attendees to many of its flagship events. Attendees include coders, designers, social media enthusiasts, investors, business folk, and anyone else who defines themselves as a lover of technology!

 

Keep your eye out for members of Clausehound.com’s team at all HackerNest events! As tech enthusiasts, they’re a great opportunity for us to learn from and work with our community.

 

Event details:
When: January 30th, 2017  @  8:00 PM
Where: Infotech Research Group – 888 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 2J2

 

Interested in attending? Go to HackerNest’s event page and make sure to join and RSVP for the event!

 

 

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This article is provided for informational purposes only and does not create a lawyer-client relationship with the reader. It is not legal advice and should not be regarded as such. Any reliance on the information is solely at the reader’s own risk. Clausehound.com is a legal tool geared towards entrepreneurs, early-stage businesses and small businesses alike to help draft legal documents to make businesses more productive. Clausehound offers a $10 per month DIY Legal Library which hosts tens of thousands of legal clauses, contracts, articles, lawyer commentaries and instructional videos. Find Clausehound.com where you see this logo.

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Student Entrepreneurs Duke it Out for Ivey’s Top Prize!

 

 

Sniffing out awesome startup events, we’re venturing out of the doghouse to check out the IBK Capital & Ivey Business Plan Competition, Canada’s premier MBA business plan event and a competition that draws entrepreneurial teams from universities throughout North America and beyond.  Taking place in London, Ontario and now in its 15th year, the competition offers graduate students the opportunity to present innovative new ventures to potential investors.

Organized by the Pierre L. Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship and MBA student volunteers, the competition is funded by private sponsorship, with the winning team receiving $15,000. The competition also includes prizes for 2nd and 3rd placed teams and an award for the top Social Impact venture.

This year’s event promises to be the most exciting yet, with 9 teams from Canada, the U.S., and Thailand teams vying for that coveted $15,000 prize.

Clausehound.com’s Founder & CEO Rajah Lehal is excited to be serving on the judging panel of this spirited competition for his 4th year running: “The caliber of competition and the level of excitement and energy around this event is fantastic.  As a graduate of Ivey’s MBA program and an entrepreneur myself, I love this event as an opportunity to reconnect with my classmates in the judging group.  This event is also an excellent way to keep tabs on the “gaps” in local markets both inside and outside of Canada. ”

The competition will be happening from January 20th – January 21st, 2017 at the Ivey Business School. Stay tuned to the Clausehound blog for Rajah’s report back on highlights!

For more information on the IBK Capital – Ivey Business Plan Competition, you can visit the competition’s event page, or check out this promo video.

 

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Rajah is the Founder and CEO of Clausehound.com — a $10 per month DIY Legal Library containing tens of thousands of legal clauses, contracts, articles, lawyer commentary and instructional videos. Find Clausehound.com where you see this logo.

 

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