There comes a time when a “scandal” becomes a crime and in the case of Hillary Clinton, revealing the identity of a CIA source certainly seems to fit that description, even to a non-lawyer like me.

Trey Gowdy, tired of leaks from Democrats on the Select Committee on Benghazi, designed to make Hillary Clinton look sympathetic, sent a blistering letter to Elijah Cummings who has been calling for the committee to be shut down since its inception.

The letter contained excerpts of emails Hillary Clinton sent from her private account that could have had national security implications. The purpose of the letter was to blunt the loud criticism that Gowdy et al are engaging in nothing but a political witch hunt against Hillary in an attempt to derail her presidential ambitions.

One of the excerpts was particularly galling: 

Hillary Clinton used her private email account to pass along the identity of one of the CIA’s top Libyan intelligence sources, raising new questions about her handling of classified information, according to excerpts from previously undisclosed emails released Thursday by [mc_name name=’Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’G000566′ ], the Republican chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

On March 18, 2011, Sidney Blumenthal — Clinton’s longtime friend and political adviser — sent the then secretary of state an email to her private account that contained apparently highly sensitive information he had received from Tyler Drumheller, a former top CIA official with whom Blumenthal at the time had a business relationship.

“Tyler spoke to a colleague currently at CIA, who told him the agency had been dependent for intelligence from [redacted due to sources and methods],” the email states, according to Gowdy’s letter.

The redacted information was “the name of a human source,” Gowdy wrote to his Democratic counterpart, [mc_name name=’Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’C000984′ ] of Maryland, and was therefore “some of the most protected information in our intelligence community.”

“Armed with that information, Secretary Clinton forwarded the email to a colleague — debunking her claim that she never sent any classified information from her private email address,” wrote Gowdy in a letter to Cummings.

There is absolutely no good explanation Hillary can give for sending along this information to somebody else. Yet, Clinton’s flacks took up for her anyway:

A Clinton campaign official, who asked not to be identified by name, said that as described in Gowdy’s own letter, “the information at issue was not only unmarked, but also was transmitted by no fewer than two individuals who were outside the government before it ever reached Hillary Clinton’s inbox.”

The obvious question here is, “So what?” Hillary Clinton can’t use a fax machine, responded to work emails with questions about interior design and sent emails to ask others to find somebody to fetch her iced tea. Does anybody really think she could tell this was transmitted by others outside the government?

Essentially what they are suggesting is that she get a pass because the email was “unmarked” and therefore she was too stupid to understand there might be sensitive information she was passing along. Yes, let’s hand the keys to the most powerful position in the world to this woman.

This raises an important question.

How is what Hillary did any less egregious than what David Petraeus did? 

**** UPDATE: Originally, this post said Hillary SENT the information to Blumenthal when in fact, Blumenthal sent the information to Clinton who then sent it along to somebody else.