Crime & Courts

A guide to handling government documents

Former U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins of Charlotte draws clear lines between how Hilary Clinton and David Petraeus handled state secrets. Tompkins has given money to Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Former U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins of Charlotte draws clear lines between how Hilary Clinton and David Petraeus handled state secrets. Tompkins has given money to Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Former U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins’ opinion and money have landed in the same place – in support of Hillary Clinton

Last week, the Charlotte Democrat penned an op-ed piece for USA Today, defending Clinton against claims that she violated national security by keeping state secrets on a personal email server. In particular, Tompkins, who left her post as Western North Carolina’s top federal prosecutor earlier this year after five years in office, drew clear lines between the Clinton situation and that of former CIA Director David Petraeus.

One caveat before we continue: Federal election records show that Tompkins, now a corporate attorney, has contributed $2,700 to Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Tompkins headed the Petraeus investigation. In April, the former commanding general pleaded guilty in Charlotte to unauthorized removal and retention of classified information. According to court documents, he shared the information with his biographer and lover, Paula Broadwell. He was sentenced to two years’ probation and a $100,000 fine. Tompkins’ former office said this week that the investigation remains open.

As secretary of state, Clinton kept diplomatic records on a personal computer. A former attorney general recently compared that to the Petraeus case.

Not so, says Tompkins. The key difference, she writes, is that Petraeus knowingly violated the law by sharing government secrets with Broadwell, then lied about it to the FBI.

None of the diplomatic information found on Clinton’s computer was classified at the time, she says.

“Her decision not to segregate her email accounts was regrettable,” Tompkins wrote.

But not criminal, she said.

Prosecutors and gangs

For the second time, an alleged gang leader has threatened the life of a Raleigh-area prosecutor.

The Carolina Journal says a gang leader facing drug charges threatened to kill or harm former Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise Walker (no relation to her former boss, U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker), which forced her into hiding for six weeks.

Because the gang leader cooperated, Thomas Walker’s office recommended he serve 30 years instead of the mandatory life sentence. In a report to the judge, prosecutors did not mention the threats against Denise Walker, the story says.

Denise Walker, who resigned in protest in March, persuaded the judge to allow her to testify as a victim during the June sentencing. “The fact that the government comes into court today and doesn’t even mention any of this to you is completely deplorable,” she said.

Afterward, the judge rejected the government’s recommendation and sent the gang boss away for life. In a statement, Thomas Walker said he shared his assistant’s concerns for the safety of prosecutors and their families.

In April 2014, another gang leader orchestrated the kidnapping of the father of the Wake County prosecutor who had sent him to prison.

Here, members of the same statewide gang are accused of killing a Lake Wylie couple to keep them from testifying.

Michael Gordon: 704-358-5095, mgordon@charlotteobserver.com, @MikeGordonOBS

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