Hillary Clinton emails : 2016


Marked Classified: Newly-Released Email Undermines Yet Another Hillary Excuse
Guy Benson
Townhall.com, 2016-01-06


So a message pertaining to US negotiations with the Egyptians was flagged as "confidential" --
a formal level of classification --
in the subject line and body of the email.
The State Department now says that this contemporaneous marking was used in the legal context of of attorney-client privilege, and "in no way indicates a national security classification."
But as the Examiner piece points out, State still designated "a large portion" of the overall email as classified prior to its public release.
Do Clinton's defenders believe this technicality will maintain the already-discredited standard she's been hiding behind?
"Sure, this email we've determined to be classified --
because it discusses sensitive discussions with a foreign government --
was, in fact, marked with a 'confidential' warning at the time,
but that was referring to a different type of confidentiality."

Not terribly compelling.


Hillary Will Be Indicted, Says Former US Attorney
by Mark Tapscott
Daily Caller, 2016-01-07

A former U.S. Attorney predicts a Watergate-style showdown in the Department of Justice if Attorney General Loretta Lynch overrules a potential FBI recommendation to indict Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“The [FBI] has so much information about criminal conduct by her and her staff that there is no way that they walk away from this,” Joseph diGenova, formerly the District of Columbia’s U.S. Attorney, told Laura Ingraham in a Tuesday radio interview. “They are going to make a recommendation that people be charged and then Loretta Lynch is going to have the decision of a lifetime.

“I believe that the evidence that the FBI is compiling will be so compelling that, unless [Lynch] agrees to the charges, there will be a massive revolt inside the FBI, which she will not be able to survive as an attorney general. It will be like Watergate. It will be unbelievable.”

[Why diGenova’s prediction won't happen: the media.
The media, especially the Washington Post, was definitely out to get Richard Milhous Nixon [37].
They hated his guts.
OTOH, the current media loves most of what Hillary stands for,
notably her consistent support for feminism
and for ridiculous, counter-productive U.S. interventions in the Muslim world.
Who needs those?
Evidently Hillary, much of the media, and the forces that control them.

So the media will always find some way to look the other way
when it comes to Hillary’s transgressions,
sweeping them under the rug.
Their attitude will be:
“Sure Hillary is a crook, but she’s OUR crook.”

The entire FBI could resign in protest,
and the media would just say:
“Good riddance.
Just shows how partisan they were.
Probably all sexists, racists, homophobes, anti-Semites, or xenophobes.
Not diverse enough, anyhow.
Let’s get some of those wonderful women and minorities in positions of authority.”]

DiGenova is referring to the Watergate scandal’s “Saturday Night Massacre” Oct. 20, 1973
when President Richard Nixon sacked Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox
and Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus resigned in protest.


Clinton clearly didn’t abide by federal regulations
requiring officials like her to use government computers and email accounts to conduct official business
and take all of the necessary steps to preserve all such correspondence concerning official business.

As first reported by The Daily Caller News Foundation,
Clinton emailed Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden Sept. 7, 2010,
asking for advice on what she, President Barack Obama and Democratic campaign officials should do
to prevent a Republican victory in the upcoming congressional elections.

“Do you and CAP have any ideas as to how to change the dynamic before it’s too late?
Losing the House would be a disaster in every way,”

Clinton told Tanden.
The CAP chief responded at length with clearly partisan recommendations,
noted her supposedly non-partisan think tank’s polling efforts to identify winning themes for Democrats
and described her conversations relaying her advice to Obama and other senior White House officials.

On its face, the Sept. 7 Clinton email appears to be a violation of the Hatch Act,
which bars partisan political activities by officials using government property while on official duty.
But Clinton found a clever way to get around the law,
according to a senior non-profit official with extensive experience investigating such activities.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

First, that official said, by not preserving her email records until after she resigned as secretary of state, Clinton avoided an investigation by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), which handles Hatch Act violations. The reason is simple — OSC has no authority over former federal employees in Hatch Act matters.

Second, by refusing to comply “with Federal Records Act requirements to use an approved system for preserving records, [Clinton] arguably did not engage in political activities while on official duty or while using federal resources because she communicated with a personal computer,” the official said.

In other words, “had Secretary Clinton used a State Department e-mail address and a government computer and had Secretary Clinton complied with federal record-keeping and open government laws, [her] violations would have been discoverable under the Freedom of Information Act and could have been remedied while Secretary Clinton was still in office.”

Thus, don’t expect a Clinton indictment for a Hatch Act violation.

[I don't see the problem here.
If doing partisan political activity on her own computer and when she was not "on duty" is acceptable under the Hatch Act, as the source implies,
then what's the problem?

But back to the classification issue:]


“Her problem is the sheer volume of emails that were deemed classified,” said this source. “Her first defense was that she didn’t send any classified information in her emails. But that claim has been clearly rendered false because so many of the emails were later marked classified.”

As the Department of State has released the Clinton emails she provided after leaving office, more than a thousand were marked classified after being reviewed prior to their public release. So what about Clinton’s subsequent distinction that she sent no information in her emails that was “marked classified” when it was sent?

“The volume matters because a reasonable person knows
somebody like the Secretary of State,
who is allowed herself to classify materials,
who has handled it for 25 years or more,
at some point the law says
you are responsible for recognizing classified material when you see it.

That gets to the negligence issue,”
the [source] said.

Negligence is critical because Clinton signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement in 2009 regarding classified information that stated, among much else, that “Sensitive Compartmented Information involves or derives from intelligence sources or methods that is classified or is involved in a classification determination …”

[Now this is something I know something about.
I think it is safe to say that SCI refers to material derived in certain specific ways.
Reporting information passed on from one diplomat to another
is not one of those.
So "The Deputy Foreign Minister told me in confidence ... blah, blah, blah."
may well be classified, but is not SCI material.]


Clinton's private email account exploits FOIA loophole, report says
By Catherine Herridge, Pamela Browne
Fox News, 2016-01-07

EXCLUSIVE: Hillary Clinton’s unorthodox use of a private email account and personal server for government business exploited a loophole in the State Department's FOIA, or Freedom of Information Act, process, according to the findings of the first Inspector General report to stem from her email scandal.

Congress asked the Office of Inspector General, the State Department's independent watchdog, to investigate the issue following the revelation that Mrs. Clinton did not use a government email account while secretary of state.

Fox News reviewed the 25-page report and its findings before they were made publicly available.

The report reads in part:

"FOIA neither authorizes nor requires agencies to search for Federal records in personal email accounts maintained on private servers or through commercial providers (for example Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail.) Furthermore, the FOIA Analyst has no way to independently locate Federal records from such accounts unless employees take steps to preserve official emails in Department record keeping systems.”

The report strongly suggests that it relies on employees at all levels to follow the regulations, and when personal email is used, to forward copies to a State Department account so that it can be captured.

"Under current law and Department policy, employees who use personal email to conduct official business are required to forward or copy email from a personal account to their respective Department accounts within 20 Days.”

Clinton did not have a State Department email address to which she could forward message traffic from her personal account, and it remains unclear whether she provided all her State Department business emails to the State Department or federal courts, where FOIA lawsuits have been filed.

The report also found that the State Department wait time for Freedom of Information Act Requests far exceeds that of other departments. For example, FOIA requires agencies to respond to requests within 20 working days, and "some requests involving the Office of the Secretary have taken more than 500 days to process."



Report slams State Department FOIA process

By Josh Gerstein
Politico, 2016-01-07

A new report from the State Department’s internal watchdog says the agency repeatedly provided inadequate and inaccurate responses to Freedom of Information Act requests involving top agency officials, including a misleading answer to a request three years ago seeking information on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email use.

The report from State Department Inspector General Steve Linick points to a series of failures in the procedures the office of the secretary used to respond to public records requests, including a lack of written policies and training, as well as inconsistent oversight by senior personnel. The report also faulted the secretary’s office for a practice of not searching for emails responsive to FOIA requests unless the request specifically asked for emails or demanded “all records” on a topic.

“These procedural weaknesses, coupled with the lack of oversight by leadership and failure to routinely search emails, appear to contribute to inaccurate and incomplete responses,” the report says.

The criticism in the report clearly encompasses Clinton’s tenure as well as that of current Secretary of State John Kerry, although it suggests the deficiencies may have been present for a decade or more.


Among the flawed FOIA responses highlighted in the new report is a letter sent to the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in May 2013 after the organization asked for details on email accounts used by Clinton. The request followed media reports that some top U.S. officials, including then-Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, used official alias accounts maintained under pseudonyms.

“No records responsive to your request were located,” State told CREW.

However, the IG report notes that at the time CREW was told no records could be found “dozens of senior officials throughout the department, including members of Secretary Clinton’s immediate staff, exchanged email with the Secretary using the personal accounts she used to conduct official business.”

The report says the inspector general’s office “found evidence that [Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills] was informed of the request at the time it was received and subsequently tasked staff to follow up.” According to the report, none of those officials appear to have reviewed the results of the search done in State’s files, and there was “no evidence” that those staffers who did the search and responded to CREW knew about Clinton’s private email setup.

Fallon said Mills "did absolutely nothing wrong" in the episode. He noted that State did not finalize its response to CREW until May 2013, several months after Mills and Clinton left the department. Fallon also noted that neither Mills nor other senior officials signed off on the response before it went out.

Curiously, CREW said last year it never received any final response to its FOIA request.

The report also points to extreme delays in other cases, such as an Associated Press request for Clinton’s schedules that was pending without substantive response for five years.

The inspector general review does not appear to explore whether aides in Clinton’s office contributed to delayed or inaccurate responses to FOIA requests involving other State Department offices, such as a POLITICO request regarding legal and ethics reviews of former President Bill Clinton’s paid speeches. That request was pending for four years before State began producing records.

The report also fails to shed light on State’s response to a Gawker request for emails former Clinton adviser Philippe Reines exchanged with 34 news organizations. That request initially received a “no records” response from State, even though State has now found 81,000 potentially responsive emails in its official files. At a court hearing last month, a government lawyer would not concede that the no-records response was inadequate.


The new report, set for official release on Thursday, was described Wednesday night by Fox News and subsequently obtained by POLITICO. The Washington Post first detailed the report’s criticism of the handling of CREW’s request.

Hillary Was ‘Surprised’ To Learn That A State Department Official Used A Personal Email Account
by Chuck Ross
Daily Caller, 2016-01-08

Hillary Clinton was “surprised” that a State Department official was using a personal email account to discuss work-related matters, she told one of her top aides in an email she sent from her personal email account.

[Hillary: "I was surprised that he used personal email account if he is at State."]

Clinton made her hypocritical comment in a Feb. 27, 2011 email chain which was released by the State Department early Friday morning.

The chain began with an email from the non-governmental account of John Godfrey, then an official with the State Department’s U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna. The diplomat’s email, which contained information about Libya that has been retroactively classified, made its way up the chain of command to Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s top foreign policy adviser. Sullivan, in turn, forwarded the message to Clinton, while singing Godfrey’s praises.

Latest batch of Clinton emails contains 66 more classified messages
Fox News, 2016-01-08

The latest batch of emails released from Hillary Clinton's personal account from her tenure as secretary of state includes 66 messages deemed classified at some level, the State Department said early Friday.

In one email, Clinton even seemed to coach a top adviser on how to send secure information outside secure channels.

All but one of the 66 messages have been labeled "confidential", the lowest level of classification. The remaining email has been labeled as "secret." The total number of classified emails found on Clinton's personal server has risen to 1,340 with the latest release. Seven of those emails have been labeled "secret."

In all, the State Department released 1,262 messages in the early hours of Friday, making up almost 2,900 pages of emails. Unlike in previous releases, none of the messages were searchable in the department's online reading room by subject, sender or recipient.


[O]ne email thread from June 2011 appears to include
Clinton telling her top adviser Jake Sullivan
to send secure information through insecure means.

In response to Clinton's request for a set of since-redacted talking points,
Sullivan writes,
"They say they've had issues sending secure fax.
They're working on it."

Clinton responds
"If they can't,
turn into nonpaper [with] no identifying heading
and send nonsecure.


New Clinton Emails Show Mixed Concerns on Security of Information
New York Times, 2016-01-09

WASHINGTON — On a Friday morning in June 2011, after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had waited more than 12 hours for a set of talking points to be sent to her, a top aide told her the delay was because staff members were having problems sending faxes that would be secure from probing eyes.

“If they can’t, turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure,” Mrs. Clinton responded in an email released early Friday by the State Department, one of about 3,000 newly released pages of Mrs. Clinton’s emails during her time as secretary of state. Of those, 66 documents contained classified information.

The note she sent to the top aide, Jacob J. Sullivan, instructing him how to strip sensitive material of official markings and send it in a “nonsecure” way is heavily redacted, so it is unknown what the talking points were about.

But that and other messages provide a window into Mrs. Clinton’s approach to handling email and other communications, at times cavalier, at times calculated to ensure information would not fall into the wrong hands. She even seemed taken aback upon learning that an officer, like herself, had used a personal email address for official business.


The emails emerged one day after the inspector general released a report that found that the State Department provided an “inaccurate or incomplete” response to a government watchdog group when it said in 2013 that it had no records related to Mrs. Clinton’s use of alternate email addresses while she was secretary of state, even though senior officials there knew she was using a private account.

The report said the failure was part of a longstanding pattern of dysfunction in how the department handles Freedom of Information Act requests, and officials there have said they are working to rectify the problems.


Hillary Clinton Says ‘Nonpaper’ Email a Nonissue
by Harriet Torry
Wall Street Journal Washington Wire, 2016-01-10

Hillary Clinton said a much-scrutinized email from the latest set released by the State Department showed nothing improper, and was a standard request for background material, not an instruction to send a sensitive document via a nonsecure channel.

In the 2011 email exchange about faxing a talking points document, the former secretary of state instructed aide Jake Sullivan to take a secure fax and “turn [it] into nonpaper with no identifying heading and send nonsecure” if technical difficulties with the secure fax system persisted.

A “nonpaper” is a written summary of a diplomatic position or exchange which must not be directly attributable to the U.S. government,
according to the State Department website,
and it is written on plain stationary without letterhead or watermark.

[From the State Department website:]

Non-paper — A written summary of a demarche or other verbal presentation to a foreign government.
The non-paper should be drafted in the third person, and must not be directly attributable to the U.S. Government.
It is prepared on plain paper (no letterhead or watermark).
The heading or title, if any, is simply a statement of the issue or subject. (For example: “Genetically-Modified Organisms.”)

“I need information. I had some points I had to make. And I was looking for a secure fax that could give me the whole picture,” the Democratic presidential candidate said Sunday on CBS. “But, oftentimes, there’s a lot of information that isn’t at all classified. So, whatever information can appropriately be transmitted unclassified often was. That’s true for every agency in the government and everybody who does business with the government,” she said.

Mrs. Clinton said Sunday that the request to her staffer didn’t amount to an order to violate laws on handling classified material, and said the email was never sent in any case.

A State Department official said Sunday it has found no indication that the document in question was sent to Mrs. Clinton using nonsecure fax or email, although “there was a secure fax transmission to Secretary Clinton shortly after this email exchange.”

Speaking to reporters on Friday, State Department spokesman John Kirby said he had “absolutely no way of knowing” whether the talking points were classified.


FBI's Clinton probe expands to public corruption track
By Catherine Herridge, Pamela Browne
Fox News, 2016-01-11

A video of the above: Megan Kelly & Catherine Herridge

Judge dismisses lawsuits over Clinton's emails
By Josh Gerstein
Politico, 2016-01-11

A federal judge has dismissed a pair of lawsuits aimed at forcing the government to act more aggressively to recover emails that Hillary Clinton kept on a private server while serving as secretary of state.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled Monday that the suits filed by two conservative organizations are moot because the State Department and the National Archives have done all they are legally required to do to obtain messages pertaining to her four-year tenure as America's top diplomat.


[See also this Courthouse News Service article.]

Clinton Aides Resisted State Department Suggestion That Clinton Use State.gov Account
by Chuck Ross
Daily Caller, 2016-01-18

A scribd window showing the email chain discussed below.

Bombshell emails from the State Department show that a top official at the agency suggested to Hillary Clinton’s aide, Huma Abedin, in August 2011 that the then-secretary of state begin using a government email account to protect against unexpected outages of her private email server.

But as the emails show, Abedin pushed back on the suggestion, telling the official, Stephen D. Mull, then the executive secretary of the State Department, that a State-issued Blackberry equipped with a state.gov email address “doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

Besides showing that Clinton’s top aides were against the idea of her using a state.gov email account, the emails show for the first time that top State Department officials were aware of Clinton’s private email server arrangement.

The Daily Caller obtained the emails through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed on its behalf by the government watchdog group, Cause of Action.


Inspector General: Clinton emails had intel from most secretive, classified programs
By Catherine Herridge, Pamela Browne
Fox News, 2016-01-19

The complete letter from IG McCullough to Chairman Burr and Chairman Corker.

Hillary Clinton's emails on her unsecured, homebrew server contained intelligence from the U.S. government's most secretive and highly classified programs, according to an unclassified letter from a top inspector general to senior lawmakers.

Fox News exclusively obtained the unclassified letter, sent Jan. 14 from Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III. It laid out the findings of a recent comprehensive review by intelligence agencies that identified "several dozen" additional classified emails -- including specific intelligence known as "special access programs" (SAP).

That indicates a level of classification beyond even “top secret,” the label previously given to two emails found on her server, and brings even more scrutiny to the presidential candidate’s handling of the government’s closely held secrets.

“To date, I have received two sworn declarations from one [intelligence community] element. These declarations cover several dozen emails containing classified information determined by the IC element to be at the confidential, secret, and top secret/sap levels,” said the IG letter to lawmakers with oversight of the intelligence community and State Department. “According to the declarant, these documents contain information derived from classified IC element sources.”

[Sounds pretty serious.
We’ll see what becomes of this.]


'Top Secret' Email Revelation Changes 'Nothing,' Clinton Says
by Jessica Taylor
NPR, 2016-01-20

Former CIA Officer Charles Faddis on SAP significance
interview by Bill Hemmer of Charles Faddis
Fox News American's Newsroom, 2016-01-20

Clinton emails so secret some lawmakers can't read them
By Catherine Herridge
Fox News, 2016-01-21


A source with knowledge of the intelligence review told Fox News that senior members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, despite having high-level clearances, are among those not authorized to read the intelligence from so-called “special access programs” without taking additional security steps -- like signing new non-disclosure agreements.


Fox News is told that the reviewers who handled the SAP intelligence identified in Clinton’s emails had to sign additional non-disclosure agreements even though they already have the highest level of clearance -- known as TS/SCI or Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented information. This detail was first reported by NBC News.

This alone seems to undercut the former secretary of state’s and other officials’ claims that the material is "innocuous."

In an interview with NPR, Clinton claimed the latest IG finding doesn’t change anything and suggested it was politically motivated.

“This seems to me to be, you know, another effort to inject this into the campaign, it's another leak,” she said. “I'm just going to leave it up to the professionals at the Justice Department because nothing that this says changes the fact that I never sent or received material marked classified.”


A former Justice Department official said there is another problem -- warnings from State Department IT employees and others that she should be using a government account.

“If you have a situation where someone was knowingly violating the law
and that they knew that what they were doing was prohibited by federal law
because other people were saying, you're violating the law, knock it off,
and they disregarded that advice and they went ahead,
that's a very difficult case to defend,”
Thomas Dupree said.

Clinton email exposed intel from human spying
By Catherine Herridge, Pamela K. Browne
Fox News, 20116-01-22

At least one of the emails on Hillary Clinton's private server contained extremely sensitive information identified by an intelligence agency as "HCS-O," which is the code used for reporting on human intelligence sources in ongoing operations, according to two sources not authorized to speak on the record.


Separately, Fox News has learned that the so-called "spillage" of classified information is greater than the “several dozen” emails identified in the January 14 letter to Congress, which also acknowledged for the first time, that the Clinton emails contained intelligence beyond Top Secret, also known as Special Access Programs (SAPs).

The source said that the "several dozen" refers to the main or principal email thread identified by reviewers, not the number of times that classified information was forwarded, replied to or copied to people who did not have a “need-to-know” using unsecured communication channels -- in this case a personal server. More than one Special Access Program was affected.

"It's pretty tough to have SAP program material out in the public domain. I mean, it's a huge foul if that occurs,”
said [Dan Maguire, former Special Operations strategic planner for Africom],
who retired after 46 years of service, and who was involved with Special Access Programs throughout his career.
Maguire says a damage assessment to the program is mandatory and immediate.

"It's a fairly laborious investigation. Once you know something was out to one person, that person sends it to 15, 15 send it to someone else -- so it's very difficult to ascertain where it all went but that's all part of the damage control aspect to get all the information back in the box."

What can the FBI do about Hillary Clinton without a grand jury?
by Jazz Shaw
Hot Air, 2016-01-24

FBI going 'right to the source' in Clinton email probe, interviewing intel agencies
By Catherine Herridge, Pamela K. Browne
Fox News, 2016-01-26

[As of 01-29, included a video of Hillary talking about the situation
at her Monday, 01-25 CNN town hall in Iowa: "no error of judgment".]

State Department still hasn't sent all Clinton emails for review
By Josh Gerstein
Politico, 2016-01-28 (01/28/16 09:52 PM EST (Thursday))

The State Department acknowledged Thursday night that it has not yet distributed all Hillary Clinton's emails in need of interagency review to all the appropriate agencies, despite a court-ordered deadline Friday to complete the release of edited versions of all the messages.

State said last week that it would not make Friday's deadline because of an "oversight" that resulted in more than 7,000 pages of messages not being circulated appropriately for review. It asked for a one-month extension and warned that the process could be delayed further due to what was then the looming snowstorm.

Now, in a new court filing, State says that some of the records remain undistributed.

"The vast majority of the documents that still require interagency consultation have been sent to 18 agencies.
Some of those agencies received only a few pages, while others received thousands of pages each.
Many of the documents were sent to more than one agency.
In addition, State still needs to complete delivery to 12 more agencies.
State has experienced some difficulty contacting some of the appropriate agency personnel since the snowstorm
and is still making arrangements with some of the receiving agencies for secure delivery of the documents,"
Justice Department lawyers representing State wrote in a submission to U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras.

The filing notes that federal government offices in the Washington area were officially closed from noon Friday [01-22] to noon Wednesday [01-27] and also had a delayed opening Thursday.

[Let's be clear on the chronology here.
State was under court order to release as much as possible of those emails by the end of January, 01-31.
The snowstorm did not strike Washington until midday Friday, 01-22.
It could not possibly have impacted State's actions prior to 01-22.
So State is claiming that it waited until 01-22 or later
to even distribute to the other agencies that needed to review the emails
the emails they were required to review

The court filing also seeks to beat back suspicions and allegations that the agency deliberately mislaid the emails
in an effort to keep them hidden until later in the presidential election process where Clinton is running for the Democratic nomination.

"State has candidly acknowledged — and regrets —
that it was responsible for the failure to send the documents for consultation
and that it was simply a mistake that occurred during the enormous undertaking of reviewing and processing the entire Clinton email collection in a compressed time frame," the lawyers wrote.

[Simply a mistake.
How on earth could they not know that agencies would need time to review these emails,
and plan accordingly?
That sounds like the most basic management skill.]

State also disputed the notion that the remaining emails are more "controversial" than earlier ones,
although it acknowledged they did require more consultation.

State has said it still expects to release some Clinton emails Friday, but only a fraction of the roughly 9,000 remaining pages.


FBI's Hillary Clinton email investigation not letting up
By Julian Hattem
The Hill, 2016-01-28

Six months after it began, the federal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server shows no signs of slowing down.

Former FBI officials said the length of the probe is not unusual
and speculated that a decision on whether to file charges against Clinton or her top aides
could come later this year, during the heat of the general election campaign.

“I don’t know that there’s any magical cutoff date,” said Ron Hosko,
the FBI’s former assistant director of the criminal investigative division and a 30-year veteran of the bureau.


SURPRISE. POLITICO’s @joshgerstein Is Attacking Hillary Clinton Email Investigator
By: streiff (Diary)
Red State, 2016-01-29


Last week Gerstein was at it again. This time claiming, absurdly, that additional TOP SECRET and SECRET documents found on Hillary Clinton’s server were actually open source references to classified programs. That is simply not how classified information is safeguarded. There is no logical reason why an intelligence agency would insist on classifying as SECRET, or above, a, say, New York Times article that revealed classified information. A situation like that is handled by ignoring the article. You would never want to highlight it.

Now he’s back at it. He’s attacking the one of the State Department IG investigators because 12 years ago he played a very minor role — he signed one subpoena — in the prosecution Clinton’s senatorial campaign in jail for fraud (I’m sensing a pattern here).


From this cheap shot it is very obvious that Gerstein is being fed information either by, for from the office of, Clinton’s State Department fixer, Patrick Kennedy. The first two stories are party line from Kennedy’s office. The last is a manifestation of a documented fight between Kennedy and the State Department IG over the email issue.

State Department press briefing announcing top secret emails on Clinton server
John Kirby, State Department spokesman
Department of State, 2016-01-29 3:18 PM EST (Friday)

[The link above is to the transcript of
the press briefing by State Department spokesman John Kirby
which announced the discovery of top secret information on Hillary Clinton's private server.
This information is reported on extensively by the various news services,
such as in the articles below.

Here is the statement that Kirby read which dealt with
the discovery of top secret information among the emails
(but the emphasis and some comments have been added by
the author of the current blog):]

I [spokesman John Kirby] also want to address some information that, I think,
some of you have seen in the news just in the last few minutes or so.
I can confirm that as part of
this monthly FOIA production of former Secretary Clinton’s emails,
the State Department will be denying in full
seven email chains found in 22 documents, representing 37 pages.
The documents are being upgraded at the request of the Intelligence Community because
they contain a category of top secret information.
[It seems clear to me, KHarbaugh,
that if the information is top secret now,
then it was also top secret when it was on Clinton's server.
Is that not clear?]

These documents were not marked classified at the time that they were sent.
We have worked closely with our interagency partners on this matter,
and this dialogue with the interagency is exactly how the process is supposed to work.
As to whether they were classified at the time they were sent,
the State Department, in the FOIA process,
is focusing on whether they need to be classified today.
Questions about classification at the time they were sent are being and will be
handled separately by the State Department.
[Note: In the Q&A session, Kirby more specifically said
the parts of the department addressing this issue are
the Bureaus of Diplomatic Security and Intelligence and Research (INR).

As to the substance of the issue, again,
if the information is TS today,
how can it not have been TS when it was on Clinton's server?]

These emails will be denied in full,
meaning that they will not be produced online on our FOIA website.
And I don’t need to remind many of you that in response to a FOIA request
it’s not unusual to deny or withhold a document in full.
I’m not going to speak to the content of these documents.
I understand there’s great curiosity.
I’m just going to put that right out at the top –
I am not going to speak to the content of this email traffic.

We are aware that there’s intense interest,
and we’re announcing this decision now because
the FOIA process regarding these emails has been completed.
While we have requested a month’s extension to complete the entire review,
we did not need the extension for these particular documents.

These emails denied in full are among
the emails discussed recently by the Intelligence Community inspector general in a letter to Congress.
We will not, however, be confirming or speaking, as I said,
to every detail provided in the documents or in the ICIG’s letter.
One of these emails was also among
those identified by the ICIG last summer as possibly containing top secret information.
And then to remind, we are focused, as the Secretary wants us to remain focused,
on producing former Secretary Clinton’s emails through the FOIA process.
Producing these approximately 55,000 pages is a major undertaking,
and our staff is working extremely hard to get this done
in a manner that both protects sensitive information
and reflects our commitment to transparency and disclosure.

[From the ensuing question and answer period,
here are the parts where the questioner was Catherine Herridge of Fox News;
her questions of Kirby start at
the 16:00 time in the video of the briefing.
The emphasis in the print transcript below
is again added by the author of the current blog.]


QUESTION: Okay, thank you. Okay, so I just want to be clear because
the ICIG’s letter from January 14th, we’ve confirmed that
it was the finding of the agencies who own the intelligence that
they were top secret, even containing SAP information,
when they hit the server
So this is a settled matter.
This is not something that is still being pursued.
Do you accept that?

MR KIRBY: The emails that have been upgraded at the request of the Intelligence Community not --

QUESTION: But no, wait a second. I don’t want to – I don’t mean to be disrespectful,
but I don’t want to get into this upgrading conversation
because the finding of the agencies who controlled the information is that
it was top secret SAP when it hit the server.
That is the finding that was communicated in this letter.
Does the State Department now accept that finding?

MR KIRBY: I’m not going to speak specifically to that letter or the ICIG’s findings. You’d have to talk to them about that.

QUESTION: Well, I --

MR KIRBY: What I can tell you, Catherine, is that in consultation with the Intelligence Community we are making this upgrade, and we believe it’s the prudent, responsible thing to do. I’m not going to speak to the ICIG’s findings or their traffic – email – I’m sorry – correspondence with Congress.

QUESTION: Right. All right. Well, the finding is that they were top secret SAP when they hit that server. So I want to also clarify, you mentioned one of the top secret emails from last summer. That email has also been adjudicated. That’s – those two are settled matters as well. Is that not known to the State Department?

MR KIRBY: I already mentioned the fact that one of the emails --

QUESTION: Right, right.

MR KIRBY: -- that is being upgraded in this tranche to TS is one of those emails that we talked about last summer.

QUESTION: But it’s – and that’s a settled matter, right?

MR KIRBY: And the other one was returned to the State Department as not possessing any Intelligence Community equities.


QUESTION: And I’m sorry, just – I want to follow up one more time because I –
are you saying that
you are not accepting the sworn declarations of an intelligence agency
that the information was top secret when it was transmitted?

MR KIRBY: What I’m telling you is issue of classification at the time it was sent
is going to be handled separately by the State Department.
It is the State Department’s responsibility
to make the final adjudication on classification and we --

QUESTION: No, it’s – no, that’s not correct.

MR KIRBY: -- and we – and we are doing it --

QUESTION: The agency that owns the information
has final say over the classification, not the State Department.

And these declarations relate to intelligence
that was not State Department intelligence.

MR KIRBY: That had equities outside the building --

QUESTION: That’s correct.

MR KIRBY: -- which is why we work with the Intelligence Community.
But we did this at the request of the Intelligence Community.
We’re owning the decision to upgrade it to top secret –
to upgrade them to top secret.
We’re owning that decision.
That’s what I meant by that.
But obviously, we work closely with the interagency and the Intelligence Community to make that determination.


QUESTION: But there’s a fundamental confusion here, because the rules are that
the agency that generated the intelligence gets final say on the classification.
So for the lion’s share of the intelligence in the emails, this was not generated by the State Department, so this is --

MR KIRBY: I’m not going to get into the content of this particular traffic, Catherine.
I understand where you’re trying to go with this, and I appreciate it. I really do.
I’m not going to speak to the content of the email traffic.
What I can tell you is that in consultation with the Intelligence Community and at their request, we’ve upgraded these – this particular traffic to top secret.
It’s – we believe it’s the responsible, prudent thing to do.
And the Secretary has remained steadfastly committed --


MR KIRBY: -- to making sure that we protect sensitive information as appropriate, and certainly in keeping with the law – the Freedom of Information Act.

QUESTION: But you do accept that
the group that has final say on the classification when it hit that server
is the agency who got that information, not the State Department?

MR KIRBY: What I’m saying is we have worked closely with the Intelligence Community,
and at their request, we have upgraded this information.

QUESTION: That’s just not answering the question.
I mean, you don’t have final say on CIA information.

MR KIRBY: I didn’t say we did.

QUESTION: So if --

MR KIRBY: I didn’t say we did.

QUESTION: Yeah, but I’m just trying to ask –
make sure we all understand what the system is,
because the system is final say is for the generating agency,
not for the State Department, unless you generated it.

MR KIRBY: Again, we are upgrading this information to top secret
at the request of the Intelligence Community,
and we’re going to keep working with the Intelligence Community going forward.

[It seems to me that what Catherine is getting at here is that
it is not "an upgrade" to TS.
It was, she says, TS all along.
But Kirby will not go along with that,
saying that is being looked at by the State Department's Diplomatic Security
and Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR):]


[Here the questioner is no longer Catherine Herridge, but a man.]

MR KIRBY: Questions about classification at the time they were sent --


MR KIRBY: -- is being handled separately by the State Department.
The people at the State Department handling that review are
Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.



22 Hillary Clinton emails declared 'top secret' by State Dept.

By Josh Gerstein and Rachael Bade
01/29/16 03:27 PM EST Updated 01/31/16 03:01 PM EST
Politico, 2016-01-29

[I have read the articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Politico
covering Friday's announcement of top secret emails on Hillary's server.
In my opinion, this is far and away the most detailed account,
and IMO, and from what I know, also seems quite objective.]

The State Department: Hillary Clinton’s email correspondence contained ‘top secret’ material
By Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger
Washington Post, 2016-01-29 (date posted)

The State Department acknowledged for the first time Friday that
“top secret” information has been found in emails that passed through the private email server Hillary Clinton used while leading the agency,
elevating the issue in the presidential campaign three days before the hotly contested Iowa caucuses.

The information was contained in 22 emails, across seven email chains,
that were sent or received by Clinton, according to a State Department spokesman.
The emails will not be disclosed as part of an ongoing release of Clinton’s email correspondence from her years as secretary of state, even in highly redacted form.


In responding Friday, Clinton’s campaign took the unusual step of criticizing the intelligence community,
accusing spy agencies of engaging in “overclassification run amok.”
Some Clinton allies suggested that intelligence officials were politically motivated.

Clinton’s spokesman, Brian Fallon,
presented the findings as the latest turn in an ongoing struggle between government officials
over whether to retroactively classify emails
that were not marked as sensitive when they were sent
and that Clinton thinks should be made public.

“After a process that has been dominated by bureaucratic infighting that has too often played out in public view,
the loudest and leakiest participants in this interagency dispute
have now prevailed in blocking any release of these emails,” Fallon said.
“This flies in the face of the fact that these emails were unmarked at the time they were sent,
and have been called ‘innocuous’ by certain intelligence officials.”

Fallon told MSNBC that withholding the emails from view in their entirety
made it impossible for the public to independently judge the validity of the State Department’s conclusion.


The Friday announcement was significant because it appeared to undercut Clinton’s argument in recent months that she was merely the victim of a bureaucratic squabble between overly strict analysts at the intelligence agencies and more reasonable reviewers at the State Department.

The intelligence community’s inspector general had previously indicated that he thought that some of the emails contained top secret material. Until Friday, however, the State Department had declined to concur with that assessment.


Clinton has said that none of her emails were marked classified when they were sent. But it is the responsibility of individual government officials to handle classified material appropriately, including by properly marking it as classified, according to experts.

Clinton has also said that the information in question was not classified at the time the emails were sent — a point that intelligence officials have disputed.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said Friday that his agency had not yet made a determination on that key question.

Kirby also said for the first time that some emails between Clinton and President Obama have been located and will also be withheld from public release. He said there were 18 emails between the two, comprising eight email chains. He said those emails were not classified but would take longer to be released, which is standard for presidential communication.

Clinton’s position was supported Friday by Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, who said none of the emails in question originated with Clinton.

“It has never made sense to me that Secretary Clinton can be held responsible for email exchanges that originated with someone else,” she said in a statement. “The only reason to hold Secretary Clinton responsible for emails that didn’t originate with her is for political points, and that’s what we’ve seen over the past several months.”


Official: Some Clinton emails 'too damaging' to release
By Catherine Herridge, Pamela K. Browne
Fox News, 2016-01-30

Hillary Clinton’s email defense just hit a major bump in the road
by Chris Cillizza
Washington Post "The Fix", 2016-01-30


Calling for the release of the allegedly top secret emails
is a smart gambit by the Clinton folks
since it makes them look as if they have nothing to hide
while being protected by the near-certainty that
the State Department won’t simply change its mind on the release
because the Clinton team asked them to.


Hillary Is Finally Asked About Non-Disclosure Agreement That Obliterates Her Classified Email Defense
by Chuck Ross
Daily Caller, 2016-01-31

Hillary Clinton was finally asked on Sunday about a non-disclosure agreement she signed in Jan. 2009 which completely undermines the defense she uses to downplay the existence of classified information on her private email server. But as is often the case with the Democratic presidential candidate, she dodged the question and gave an inconsistent answer.

“You know, you’ve said many times that the emails were not marked classified,” said ABC News “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos.

“But the non-disclosure agreement you signed as secretary of state said that that really is not that relevant,” he continued.


“It says classified information is marked or unmarked classified and that all of your training to treat all of that sensitively and should know the difference,” said Stephanopoulos, describing the document.

Clinton responded to Stephanopoulos but did not address the meat of his question. In fact, she appeared to reject the language of the SF-312, saying that “there has to be some markings” on classified information.

“I take classified information very seriously,” Clinton said. “You know, you can’t get information off the classified system in the State Department to put onto an unclassified system, no matter what that system is.”

“We were very specific about that and you — when you receive information, of course, there has to be some markings, some indication that someone down the chain had thought that this was classified and that was not the case.”


‘This was all planned’: Former IG says Hillary, State Dept. are lying
by Paul Sperry
New York Post, 2016-01-31


“This was all planned in advance” to skirt rules governing federal records management, said Howard J. Krongard, who served as the agency’s inspector general from 2005 to 2008.

The Harvard-educated lawyer points out that, from Day One,
Clinton was never assigned and never used a state.gov email address like previous secretaries.

“That’s a change in the standard. It tells me that this was premeditated.
And this eliminates claims by the State Department
that they were unaware of her private email server until later,” Krongard said in an exclusive interview.
“How else was she supposed to do business without email?”

He also points to the unusual absence of a permanent inspector general during Clinton’s entire 2009-2013 term at the department. He said the 5½-year vacancy was unprecedented.

“This is a major gap. In fact, it’s without precedent,” he said.
“It’s the longest period any department has gone without an IG.”

Inspectors general serve an essential and unique role in the federal government by independently investigating agency waste, fraud and abuse. Their oversight also covers violations of communications security procedures.

“It’s clear she did not want to be subject to internal investigations,” Krongard said.
An email audit would have easily uncovered the secret information flowing from classified government networks to the private unprotected system she set up in her New York home.

He says “the key” to the FBI’s investigation of Emailgate is determining how highly sensitive state secrets in the classified network, known as SIPRNet, ended up in Clinton’s personal emails.

“The starting point of the investigation is the material going through SIPRNet. She couldn’t function without the information coming over SIPRNet,” Krongard said. “How did she get it on her home server? It can’t just jump from one system to the other. Someone had to move it, copy it. The question is who did that?”

As The Post first reported, the FBI is investigating whether Clinton’s deputies copied top-secret information from the department’s classified network to its unclassified network where it was sent to Hillary’s unsecured, unencrypted email account.


Still, “It will never get to an indictment,” Krongard said.

For one, he says, any criminal referral to the Justice Department from the FBI
“will have to go through four loyal Democrat women” —
Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, who heads the department’s criminal division;
Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates;
Attorney General Loretta Lynch;
and top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.


State Department press briefing, transcript of
press briefing by State Department spokesman John Kirby
2016-02-01 (Monday)

[Here are two excerpts from the Q&A part of the briefing.
The questioner is Catherine Herridge of Fox News.
The emphasis is added by the author of the current blog.]

QUESTION: And you may not have seen this email, and I’m happy to send it to you,
but there was another production by the courts
and it’s produced an email between Patrick Kennedy and Cheryl Mills from January of 2009 in which
Patrick Kennedy says that he thinks it’s a great idea
to set up a standalone PC for her to check her email.
So based on the email traffic,
Patrick Kennedy knew about this separate email arrangement from the get-go.
Is that correct?

[Herridge is confusing two issues:
1. The private server that Clinton did use, set up in her Chappaqua, New York home.
2. The possibility of a standalone PC set up by the State Department for her use.]

MR KIRBY: I wouldn’t speak to past practices one way or another.
As you know, Catherine, those are under review and investigation right now,
and I simply won’t prejudge or speak to that stuff. But --

QUESTION: Well, I think it’s important to know because
he is presiding over all of these reviews,
so he may have a very significant conflict.

[Whether or not Clinton got a standalone PC at the State Department,
Patrick Kennedy would indeed seem to have an obvious conflict of interest
if he is presiding over reviews which might impugn his own past conduct
with regard to the practices that Clinton did in fact engage in.]

MR KIRBY: I won’t speak to past email practices.
Those are under review and investigation.
I’m not going to get ahead of that.
She did not have a standalone computer.

QUESTION: So it was never set up?

MR KIRBY: There was no standalone computer ever set up.


[Later in the Q&A session Catherine Herridge resurrects
the issue she raised in the Friday 01-29 briefing
her belief that the agencies which produced the information
have the right and obligation to determine its classification,
not the State Department.
Which leads to a significant disagreement between her and the State Department.
This part of the Q&A starts at 55:00 in the video of the briefing.
(Again, the emphasis below is added by the author of the current blog.)]

QUESTION: Can I just ask you, which email chain are you referring to here that needs –
not the 22 documents from Friday. Is this a separate email --

MR KIRBY: No, that’s what he’s talking about.
He’s talking about the ones that were – that we talked about on Friday at the --

QUESTION: Top secret?

MR KIRBY: -- at the top secret level. And I said that --

QUESTION: But wait a second. Wait, wait – go ahead.

MR KIRBY: I said that
issues of classification at the time are being reviewed separately by the State Department.

QUESTION: Well, but – no. No, that’s not the case.
The agencies that own the intelligence have say on classification.
I know you know that. So unless --

MR KIRBY: We – I think – I think --

QUESTION: Unless all 22 were State Department documents, which they were not,
the agencies have already weighed in.

MR KIRBY: I can appreciate that you maybe don’t want us to review them separately, Catherine,
but we’re going to. And so as I said – as I said --

QUESTION: But what – but what – wait, no.
It’s not that at all. But
I don’t understand what regulation you’re pointing back to
that allows the State Department to challenge a classification from
the agency that generated the information,

because that’s the rule of thumb.
I don’t understand that.

MR KIRBY: Yeah. Well, first, your question is implying that we’re setting up this review to challenge it.
We’re not.
What I said was issues of the classification at the time it was sent –
first of all, none of those documents were marked classified at the time.

QUESTION: But that doesn’t matter.

MR KIRBY: Catherine, please let me finish.

QUESTION: The nondisclosure right here --

MR KIRBY: Please.

QUESTION: -- says – I can read it to you. I believe you signed one.

MR KIRBY: You don’t need to read it to me.
I appreciate that you’re willing to, but you don’t need to.
And if you just let me finish --

QUESTION: But it says classification is marked or unmarked in oral communication.

MR KIRBY: Okay, all right.

QUESTION: So the marking is irrelevant, correct?

MR KIRBY: I disagree.
I disagree and so does the State Department,
and that’s why the classification at the time these emails were sent
are going to be reviewed separately by the State Department.

QUESTION: The NDA says something very different.

MR KIRBY: I know you don’t like the answer and I can appreciate that you don’t like it, but that’s the answer.

QUESTION: No, it doesn’t – it’s not a question of not liking the answer.
I’m looking at the government form that it’s the nondisclosure agreement
that’s signed by everyone who receives classified information.

MR KIRBY: I can also --

QUESTION: I mean, that’s what it says.

MR KIRBY: I can also assure you that as we conduct the review,
we’ll be doing it in concert with the interagency as we have throughout this entire process.

QUESTION: So which emails is the INR challenging?

MR KIRBY: Your question keeps referring to a challenge.
This isn’t about challenging it, Catherine.
This is about doing a proper review here at the State Department
of the degree of classification at the time it was sent.

QUESTION: I just don’t understand it because the --

MR KIRBY: I know you don’t understand it because I can’t seem to be able to get through to you.

[At this point the transcript shifts to another subject.
My thought: Kirby must really love this stuff.]

Withheld Clinton emails contain 'operational' intel, put lives at risk
By Catherine Herridge, Pamela K. Browne
Fox News, 2016-02-01


Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., who sits on the House intelligence committee,
said the former secretary of state, senator, and Yale-trained lawyer
had to know what she was dealing with.

"There is no way that someone, a senior government official
who has been handling classified information for a good chunk of their adult life,
could not have known that this information ought to be classified,
whether it was marked or not,” he said.
"Anyone with the capacity to read and an understanding of American national security,
an 8th grade reading level or above,
would understand that the release of this information
or the potential breach of a non-secure system
presented risk to American national security."

Pompeo also suggested the military and intelligence communities have had to change operations,
because the Clinton server could have been compromised by a third party.

“Anytime our national security team determines that there's a potential breach,
that is information that might potentially have fallen into the hands of the Iranians, or the Russians, or the Chinese, or just hackers,
that they begin to operate in a manner that assumes that information has in fact gotten out,” Pompeo said.


Further, a 2009 email released to Judicial Watch after a federal lawsuit -- and first reported by Fox News -- suggests the State Department 's senior manager Patrick Kennedy was trying to make it easier for Clinton to check her personal email at work, writing to Clinton aide Cheryl Mills a "stand-alone separate network PC is ... [one] great idea."

"The emails show that the top administrator at the State Department, Patrick Kennedy, who is still there overseeing the response to all the inquiries about Hillary Clinton, was in on Hillary Clinton's separate email network and system from the get-go," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said.


House Intelligence Committee Member: More Top Secret Hillary Clinton Emails Are Coming
by John Hayward
Breitbart, 2016-02-03

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) of the House Intelligence Committee said that more of Hillary Clinton’s emails would be classified Top Secret, and the information contained in these emails is every bit as damaging as early reports suggested.

Noting that 22 “Top Secret” emails have been reported by the press so far, Stewart said, “there’s actually more than that” during an interview on Fox News on Wednesday.

These Clinton emails had to be heavily redacted before they could be released to the public, but Stewart, as a member of House Intelligence, has read them.

“I have never read anything that’s more sensitive than what these emails contained,”
he said.
“They do reveal classified methods.
They do reveal classified sources, and they do reveal human assets.
I can’t imagine how anyone could be familiar with these emails,
whether they’re sending them or receiving them,
and not realize that these are highly classified.”


Stewart flatly refuted Clinton’s assertion that she neither sent or received any of the classified emails. “They were her emails,” he said.


“This isn’t some vast right-wing conspiracy,” said Stewart, parodying one of Clinton’s most famous phrases. “For Heaven’s sake, these were Obama Administration officials who have told us these emails were so classified they can’t be released. This wasn’t something that is coming from the Right, it’s coming from this current Administration. So her argument isn’t with me, it’s with the President and his Administration regarding that.”

Stewart did not offer an opinion on whether the case would lead to an indictment, noting he is not a lawyer.

“I don’t think that’s the primary consideration anyway,” he said. “The primary consideration is her judgment, not necessarily the legal outcome.”

Hillary Clinton’s Email Habits: Careless or Criminal?
New York Times Room for Debate, 2016-02-04

Andrew C. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, is a contributing editor at National Review and author of "Willful Blindness: Memoir of the Jihad."

Stephen I. Vladeck, a professor of law at American University Washington College of Law, is the co-editor of the Just Security blog.

Stephen I. Vladeck 3:20 AM

Before we rush to judgment on whether Secretary Clinton’s email practices broke the law, it is worth highlighting two features of contemporary classification law that may seem counterintuitive — but that underscore why her conduct may well have been careless, but likely wasn’t criminal.

First, classification is dynamic, not static. Thus the government routinely classifies information that had previously been in the public domain, or reclassifies information that had previously been declassified, without any warning or notice to interested parties. Indeed, federal law expressly authorizes the government to classify materials after it has received a Freedom of Information Act request for them — allowing the government to insulate national security secrets from disclosure both retroactively and reactively.

In Secretary Clinton's case, then, the fact that some of the emails contained information that might be classified today does nothing to prove that the information was classified (and was known by her to be classified) at the time it was discussed over unsecured networks. Indeed, John Kirby, state department spokesman, all-but confirmed this understanding when he told the Associated Press: “The documents are being upgraded at the request of the intelligence community because they contain a category of top secret information.” If the relevant materials were classified in the first place, there would be no need to “upgrade” them.

[The counter-argument is that Kirby misspoke
when he described State's action as "an upgrade."
That in fact what State did was an act of recognition, not of change.]

Andrew C. McCarthy 3:20 AM


Secretary Clinton systematically conducted official business on a private unsecure system,
and had subordinates do likewise,
knowing the nature of their duties made classified communications inevitable.

How did ‘top secret’ emails end up on Hillary Clinton’s server?
By Glenn Kessler
Washington Post Fact Checker, 2016-02-04

George Stephanopoulos: “You know, you’ve said many times that the emails were not marked classified. The non-disclosure agreement you signed as secretary of state says that that’s really not that relevant. It says classified information is marked or unmarked classified and that all of you are trained to treat all of that sensitively and should know the difference.”

Hillary Clinton: “Well of course and that’s exactly what I did. I take classified information very seriously. You know, you can’t get information off the classified system in the State Department to put on an unclassified system, no matter what that system is. We were very specific about that. And when you receive information, of course, there has to be some markings, some indication that someone down the chain thought that this was classified and that was not the case.”

— exchange on ABC’s “This Week,” Jan. 31, 2016


Classified and unclassified systems

The State Department has both classified and unclassified systems — known informally as the “high side” and the “low side.” The classified system has tight controls, often housed in what is known as a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF); it is not possible to “cut and paste” from the classified system into the unclassified system. Instead, one would have to extract the information from the classified system and then reenter it manually into the unclassified system. Thus far, no one has alleged that happened.

Instead, congressional aides say, the concern centers on the fact that
secret information was revealed as part of an email exchange.
In at least one case, the discussion started with
an aide forwarding a newspaper article;
then in subsequent exchanges,
aides revealed sensitive details as they discussed (for instance)
the shortcomings of that public report.
Ultimately the email chain ended up in Clinton’s email box.
If the email chain was released, some intelligence officials believe,
it would confirm aspects of a secret program.


“The use of a home server was the original problem that spawned all of these continuing concerns,” [Steven] Aftergood said.
“Everything that the secretary of state does or says
is potentially sensitive, even if it is unclassified,

and so it ought to have been protected accordingly.
The home server also complicates or undermines records management and document preservation.
It was a mistake.”


[House Speaker Paul] Ryan offers new warning for Chaffetz on email probe
Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy met privately with Chaffetz Wednesday evening to reiterate that he can’t proceed with any investigation that involves Clinton.
By Jake Sherman and Rachael Bade
Politico, 2016-02-04


Far from looking to protect Clinton,
Ryan and McCarthy simply believe they should leave criminal matters to the FBI.
Congressional interference would look ham-handed, overly partisan and could disrupt the federal investigation,
the GOP leaders believe, according to sources close to them.

[This raises two issues in my mind:
  1. The FBI and DOJ are charged with investigating violations of the law,
    not cases of flawed judgment.
    They may perfectly well decide that her actions did not rise to the level of illegality,
    deciding not to bring legal charges against her,
    which would allow Clinton to claim:
    "See, the professionals at Justice have absolved me of wrong-doing.",
    while finding facts that, while not illegal,
    surely would (if they were publicized) raise serious questions about her character, judgment, and suitability to become president.
  2. If that happens, would those facts never be made public, except, possibly, through leaks?
    That would allow Clinton to claim:
    "See, these are just selective leaks by partisan officials."
Considering those two issues,
it seems to me that there is a place for, and a need for,
an investigation not merely into the legality of Clinton's actions,
but into their quality and appropriateness.
DOJ is not, I believe, the place for such an investigation.
Congress is.
And its Governmental Oversight Committees seem like a quite reasonable place for such an investigation.

Hey, I'm just a member of the public,
but I at least would encourage, and indeed request, Congress to take such an investigation.

And if the GOP congressional leadership avoids such an investigation
over concerns that it would be viewed as a "partisan witch-hunt",
that only shows how fearful they are of how the media will paint them,
and how effective the media is at controlling what is said and done in our society.]


Classified Data Found in Personal Email of Colin Powell and Aides to Condoleezza Rice
New York Times, 2016-02-05

WASHINGTON — The State Department has discovered a dozen emails containing classified information that were sent to the personal email accounts of Colin L. Powell and close aides of Condoleezza Rice during their tenures as secretaries of state for President George W. Bush.

Two emails were sent to Mr. Powell’s personal account, and 10 to personal accounts of Ms. Rice’s senior aides. Those emails have now been classified as “confidential” or “secret” as part of a review process that has resulted in similar “upgrades” of information sent through the personal email server that Hillary Clinton used while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. The State Department did not say who sent the emails to Mr. Powell or to Ms. Rice’s aides, or who received the messages.


An Expert and Insider Opinion on Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Email Scandal
by T. J. Kong
Ride the Bomb!, 2016-02-06

[This is really a thorough analysis, in fact an evisceration,
of the situation from someone who sounds to me like he (?) really knows what he is talking about.
He thoroughly discusses many aspects of the situation,
such as the problems engendered by submitting the emails to State in printed format,
vice the "True Copy" originals.]


The training [that Kong has received] has always included a slide
that explains the U.S. government policy on using personal email accounts to conduct government business.
In the most plain and simple language possible government employees and government contractors
(and I have to assume every appointed government official as well)
are told that they should never use a personal email account to conduct government business
unless they find themselves in a situation where they temporarily have no alternative.
In such a circumstance, government workers and government contractors
(and I have to assume appointed government officials as well)
are instructed that they must, at the first available moment,
forward a copy of all emails sent and received that relate to government business
to their own government email address. ...
The training has always made clear that this requirement is in place
because government email accounts are the official repository
for emails that constitute active federal government records.


I therefore do not hesitate to state unequivocally that Hillary Clinton and the others not only were entirely cognizant of the fact that the manner in which they utilized personal email accounts in the course of performing their jobs was absolutely indefensible but they were reminded of this fact on a yearly basis.


The operable question is did Clinton send or receive on her personal email server emails containing any information that was not “releasable” (or “controlled”) and therefore restricted. Both career civil servants and the Obama appointee and Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles I. McCullough have already answered this question in the affirmative. Just four days ago it was reported that McCullough declared twenty-two of her emails were restricted at the highest level possible. In fact, they are of such a sensitive nature that not even a single word from them can be released to the public.

What Clinton Did and How She Characterized It

Before I predict how things will ultimately shake out I want to back up a bit. Clinton stated that all of the emails on her personal email server were examined in order to determine which constituted federal government records and which were purely personal in nature. Clinton wants the voters to believe that it was up to her, or in this case her attorneys, to decide which met the criteria of a federal record. Both federal law and regulations make clear that it is not within the authority of any appointed government official, government employee, or government contactor to decide what is and what is not a record. The definition of a federal record is spelled out in federal law and regulation. It is the duty of every government official, employee and contactor to preserve all federal records because these records are the property of the government and the people of the nation and not the government official connected with them. The argument I am making is more than just semantical. I believe Clinton may have chosen to characterize things in the manner she has to cover herself just in case it is shown that she failed to print and thereafter attempted to delete any federal records from her personal email server.

Clinton’s Personal Attorneys

As mentioned above, Clinton assigned to her personal attorneys the task of reading through the emails on her personal email server. When I learned this it struck me as odd. I had not known that it was even permissible for a government official, employee or contractor to pass of their legal obligation to preserve federal records under federal law and federal regulations to other individuals.

Hillary misleading about email probe during debate, former FBI agents say
By Catherine Herridge, Pamela K. Browne
Fox News, 2016-02-06


At the State Department briefing Thursday, spokesman John Kirby was asked by Fox News chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge whether Clinton, as well as aides Huma Abedin, and Cheryl Mills, completed the required classified training that includes the proper storage, handling, and identification of classified information.

"Everybody here is trained in how to handle sensitive information. Sometimes that takes place in in-person briefings and I can't comment any further," Kirby said. Asked it was documented, Kirby said he had nothing more to offer, but did confirm Clinton, Abedin, Mills were not exempt from the strict rules that apply to State Department personnel.

Fox: “So they would not be an exception?”

Kirby: “Everybody that works at the State Department gets trained in how to handle sensitive information. Sometimes that's done in- person briefings.”

This is important because, on its face, this seems to undercut Clinton's claim she had no way to know it was classified because the emails were not marked. Personnel are briefed on what constitutes classified information and its proper handling.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, Judicial Watch sought the records documenting the classification training, but in a letter dated January 22, 2016, exactly seven years after Clinton signed her Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to serve as Secretary of State, the government watchdog was told "no responsive records" could be found.

[The following is from the transcript of the 2016-02-04 State Dept. press briefing:]

QUESTION [from Catherine Herridge]: Okay. Final question: Did Mrs. Clinton, Cheryl Mills, or Huma Abedin take the required classification training?

MR KIRBY: What I can tell you is that State Department employees are trained in how to handle sensitive information. That training can take place in numerous ways. In some cases – for instance, in the case of the secretary – that training process does include in-person briefings.

QUESTION: Mm-hmm. Is – was this documented?

MR KIRBY: I’m not going to go into any more than I just gave you. We know that State Department employees are trained in how to handle sensitive information. It takes place in many ways.


MR KIRBY: And in the case of the secretaries, one of the ways is in-person --

QUESTION: When you say “the secretary” --

QUESTION: But I’m just --

QUESTION: -- do you mean Secretary Clinton or all secretaries?

MR KIRBY: All secretaries.

QUESTION: Okay. I just – because there is a lawsuit seeking records on this, and the State Department has responded by saying that there are no responsive records. So I’m trying to understand whether this training was documented.

MR KIRBY: Again, everybody here is trained on how to handle sensitive information. Sometimes that takes place in in-person briefings, and I can’t comment any further.

QUESTION: So the three of them did have training is what you’re saying.

MR KIRBY: State Department employees here are all trained in how to handle sensitive information.

QUESTION: So they would not be an exception.

MR KIRBY: Everybody that works at the State Department gets trained in how to handle sensitive information. Sometimes that’s done in-person briefings.


MR KIRBY: And again, I can’t comment any – additionally.


QUESTION [again from Catherine Herridge]:
Okay. One final thing:
You keep using the term “upgraded” for the emails,
but in terms of the special access program intelligence,
there are two sworn declarations from the CIA
that they were top secret at the moment they were transmitted to the server.

So why do you use the term “upgraded?”

MR KIRBY: When we talk about upgrade, Catherine, it’s a process issue.
Our job here at the State Department with respect to these emails –
and this is not an unimportant fact that I hope you’ll appreciate –
55,000 pages were turned over by former Secretary Clinton.
These are 55,000 pages encompassing a little bit more than 30,000 emails
that her team decided were professional in nature and met the requirements.
And so we’re going through them and we’re going through them methodically.

We are not – in doing that, our job is not to make an assessment of –
hasn’t been to make an assessment of the content of it –
I shouldn’t say the content of it –
to make an assessment of the degree to which it was classified at the time,
but to make sure that in its release through the Freedom of Information Act,
we’re appropriately protecting information.
That’s been – the largest part of the effort is –
so when I talk about an upgrade,
it’s taking email traffic that clearly was sent on an unclassified network and saying,
“We need to classify either it in whole or in part to protect it for public release.”
That’s when we – that’s what we call an upgrade.

Now, there’s a caveat to what I just said, because when –
you know when we put the tranche out last –
like, it was last week, right at the end of the month,
and we acknowledged that some of the traffic was top secret,
I said at the time that the State Department will undertake –
because we feel obligated to –
will undertake a review to deal with the issue of classification at the time it was sent.
But by and large, when we talk about upgrades,
the way we’re using that phrase is to describe
the act of properly classifying and securing sensitive information for public release that obviously was –
and we haven’t seen a case yet where it was marked classified at the time it was sent,
but that we have to deal with it appropriately now.

QUESTION: Right. So are you challenging sworn declarations from the CIA that they were top secret at the time of transmission?

MR KIRBY: As I said last week, it was at the request of the intelligence community that we specifically upgraded that traffic to top secret.

QUESTION: Okay, so you don’t dispute that.

MR KIRBY: If we had disputed it, we wouldn’t have upgraded it --


MR KIRBY: -- to TS at the request of the intel community.


MR KIRBY: And I would say we’ve had a strong partnership with the intel community throughout this process, and we look forward to that continuing.

Agencies Battle Over What Is ‘Top Secret’ in Hillary Clinton’s Emails
New York Times, 2016-02-06


22 emails on Mrs. Clinton’s server were held back from a tranche made public last week. Those 22 emails were deemed so highly secret that State Department officials in this case agreed with the intelligence agencies not to release them even in redacted form.

The emails are included in seven distinct chains that comprise forwarded messages and replies, and in most cases involved discussions of the C.I.A. drone program, government officials said.


Some of the emails include material classified at the highest levels, known as Top Secret/S.A.P., according to a letter sent to the Senate on Jan. 14 by the inspector general of the nation’s intelligence agencies, I. Charles McCullough III. That designation refers to “special access programs,” which are among the government’s most closely guarded secrets.

Several officials said that at least one of the emails contained oblique references to C.I.A. operatives. One of the messages has been given a designation of “HCS-O” — indicating that the information was derived from human intelligence sources — a detail that was first reported by Fox News. The officials said that none of the emails mention specific names of C.I.A. officers or the spy agency’s sources.

The government officials said that discussions in an email thread about a New York Times article — the officials did not say which article — contained sensitive information about the intelligence surrounding the C.I.A.’s drone activities, particularly in Pakistan.


[S]ome of the classifications being sought for the emails fall into a gray area between public knowledge and secrecy. In such instances, the original source of the information — and thus the level of its classification — can be disputed, and has been, vigorously at times, they said. Other emails have been the subject of rigorous debate over what constitutes a secret and what the nation’s diplomats can say about intelligence matters as they grapple with international crises.

“While the secretary of state has a duty to protect classified information, as all of us do in a position of trust, here she did not have the benefit of six-plus months of interagency classification reviews,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. “The same information said by people in two different positions may receive two opposite classification determinations.” Though the State Department accepted the C.I.A.’s classification of the 22 emails, it has also sought to challenge accusations that it was negligent in handling secrets.

During the review, the State Department has rebutted claims by at least one intelligence agency that information in some of the emails ought to remain classified.

Some of those include the emails that led Mr. McCullough’s office to refer the matter to the Justice Department last summer, prompting the F.B.I.’s investigation. Mr. McCullough made the referral based on an assessment that four of 40 emails that it sampled early on in the process contained “top secret” information.

Now, after months of review, only one of those four turned out to be classified at that level. (The State Department counts that email among the 22 of last week.) A second of the four emails has been downgraded to “confidential,” the lowest level of classification. The third was released last fall.

Different Sources

The fourth involved an email sent by Kurt M. Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for Asian affairs, shortly after a North Korean ballistic missile test in July 2009. The email has not yet been made public, even in redacted form, but the State Department has challenged an assertion from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which gathers data through satellite images, that the email included information that came from a highly classified program.

In a letter this past Dec. 15 to Senator Bob Corker, the Tennessee Republican who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a State Department official said that the information could not have been based on N.G.A.’s intelligence because Mr. Campbell did not receive any classified intelligence briefings for what was a new job for him until a few days after the North Korean test.

[The pertinent question is not
whether he only received classified briefings after the North Korean test,
but rather
whether he only received classified briefings after he sent the email.]

More broadly, the memo stated, diplomats working at the State Department or in embassies around the world constantly receive and pass on information from unclassified sources — so-called parallel reporting — that can involve highly classified matters. That can make it difficult to determine with confidence whether information in any single email came from a classified source.

“When policy officials obtain information from open sources, ‘think tanks,’ experts, foreign government officials, or others, the fact that some of the information may also have been available through intelligence channels does not mean that the information is necessarily classified,” the department’s assistant secretary for legislative affairs, Julia Frifield, wrote in the December letter to Mr. Corker.

Another email whose classification has been disputed was dated April 20, 2011, and was among those that prompted members of Congress and Mr. McCullough’s office to begin a review of the State Department’s release of the emails by court order under the Freedom of Information Act.

It was from Timmy T. Davis, an officer in the State Department’s Operations Center, and it conveyed to Mrs. Clinton’s senior staff security concerns in Libya during the war against the country’s leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

At the time, J. Christopher Stevens, the future ambassador to the country, was secretly traveling there as an envoy to the opposition leadership and had telephoned the Ops Center, as it is known, to advise it about his situation on the ground.

Mr. Davis sent his message, marked “S.B.U.,” or “sensitive but unclassified” to two of Mrs. Clinton’s closest aides, Huma Abedin and Jacob J. Sullivan, as well as to Alice G. Wells, an executive assistant to Mrs. Clinton who is now the ambassador to Jordan.

At issue were two sentences in the email referring to reports by Africom, the American military command for Africa, describing the movement of Colonel Qaddafi’s forces near the city of Ajdabiya. In a letter on Nov. 24 last year,
Ms. Frifield detailed how the information in the email
differed significantly from the suspected intelligence source and
could well have been based on public briefings given the day before by NATO’s military about the course of the war.


The Shocking Truth: Colin Powell’s Emails Don’t Matter
By Kurt Eichenwald
Newsweek, 2016-02-08


From the beginning, the “scandal” about Clinton using a personal email account when she was secretary of state—
including the finding that a few documents on it were retroactively deemed classified—
has been a big nothing-burger perpetuated for partisan purposes,
with reports spooned out by Republicans attempting to deceive or acting out of ignorance.
Conservative commentators have raged,
presidential candidates have fallen over themselves in apoplectic babbling,
and some politicians have proclaimed that Clinton should be in jail for mishandling classified information.
The nonsense has been never-ending, and attempts to cut through the fog of duplicity have been fruitless.


Pressure on Lynch to step aside in Clinton email probe
By Julian Hattem
The Hill, 2016-02-08, 02/08/16 06:00 AM EST

Loretta Lynch is on the edge of the spotlight, about to be dragged to the center.

If the FBI finds sufficient evidence to launch a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton or one of her top aides for mishandling classified information, Lynch’s Justice Department will have to decide whether to press ahead.

Even if no evidence of wrongdoing is found, Clinton’s many critics are unlikely to take the word of an appointee of President Obama’s and will doubt that justice has been served.

Already, top Republicans are calling for a special prosecutor to be brought in and evaluate the situation.


The Justice Department, however, has so far declined the request.

“This matter is being reviewed by career attorneys and investigators and does not meet the criteria for the appointment of a special prosecutor,” department spokeswoman Melanie Newman said in a statement.


Lingering in the background is the prospect that Lynch’s decision may affect her own future.

Lynch was confirmed by the Senate last year after a five-month delay largely unrelated to her own qualifications. That left the nation’s top lawyer with just a year and a half in office, during Obama’s lame duck period in which policy efforts are likely to stall.

If Clinton becomes the next president, however, Lynch may be asked to stay on, at least for a short time. As such, she may have a little bit of skin in the game.

“That Hillary Clinton could be the Democrat nominee and potential next president represents an extraordinary circumstance that commends the appointment of a special counsel,” said Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), the head of the House Oversight subcommittee on national security, in a statement to The Hill. “For a Democrat-appointed attorney general such as Lynch, this is obviously something that distinguishes the Clinton investigation from other cases.”


Special prosecutor

So far, the Justice Department has declined congressional requests to appoint a special prosecutor to oversee the Clinton issue.

In a letter to DeSantis in November, assistant attorney general Peter Kadzik said that the law allowing for a special counsel “has rarely been used.”

“Any investigation related to this referral [into Clinton’s server] will be conducted by law enforcement professionals and career attorneys in accordance with established department policies and procedures designed to ensure the integrity of all ongoing investigations,” Kadzik wrote.

The FBI has refused to share details about its investigation. So far, however, the bureau does not appear to be conducting a criminal probe, and officials have said it is not directly targeting Clinton.

Multiple lawyers watching the case have suggested that Clinton’s top aides may be in more trouble than she is.

As one former senior Justice Department official noted, there are many options for the government to take apart from either nothing or an indictment against Clinton.

“It could play out with people agreeing to plead to … a misdemeanor charge, people agreeing to leave office or withdraw in return for a pardon,” the former official said.

“I think ultimately, one of those events is going to happen,” the former official added.

“It’s not going to be forgotten about.”

This Is How Hillary Clinton Gets the Coverage She Wants
by J.K. Trotter
Gawker, 2016-02-09

[This is no unsubstantiated opinion piece.
Trotter gives detailed examples, using actual email traffic,
of how Hillary's operatives make deals with major media figures
to basically ghostwrite at least some of the coverage of Hillary.]

Judge irked by State Dept.'s delay in releasing rest of Clinton's emails
By Josh Gerstein
Politico, 2016-02-09

Exclusive: Former Obama Defense Intel Chief Says Hillary Should ‘Step Down’
by Richard Pollock
Daily Caller, 2016-02-10

President Barack Obama’s former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) believes Hillary Clinton should drop out of the presidential race to clear the way for the probe of her private email server by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation, Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (Ret.) said he thought the former Secretary of State should leave the Democratic presidential race: ”I think Hillary Clinton, for the good of the country, should step down and let this FBI investigation play out.”


Flynn and other high-ranking former intelligence officials told TheDCNF they are alarmed that some of the nation’s most highly classified documents contained in a secretive program called the Special Access Program (SAP) were transferred to Clinton’s unclassified home server.

The documents “had to be moved off electronically or removed out of the secure site physically, then it had to be put onto an unclassified email system,” Flynn said. “Someone who does this is completely irresponsible, but totally unaccountable and shows a streak of arrogance to the American public that is unworthy of anyone thinking they can run for President of the United States.”

“This is unbelievable,” Flynn said. “I don’t think anybody should be talking about her being potentially the next President of the United States.”


Attempting to move SAP-classified documents from the government’s secure system to her non-secure computer channel presented Clinton and her aides with formidable barriers to overcome.

“You have to physically do it. You have to willfully violate the law. There is no connectivity in any way between classified and non-classified systems,” said Williamson.

“In order for Mrs. Clinton to get Top Secret/Special Access Programs onto her private server, numerous, redundant safeguards were deliberately bypassed, probably by unauthorized personnel who were given access to these documents. It was a deliberate, intentional act. It just could not happen by accident,” Waurishuk said.


Waurishuk, who was a SAP program manager at one point in his career, said a government official “cannot have accesses to a SAP’s unless they receive a special indoctrination into the SAP based on an operational ‘must know’ that exceeds all other ‘need to know’ standards.”

He said that Clinton’s “staff aides like Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills had absolutely ‘zero’ reason to have any access to any SAPs, period. How that happened and who authorized it is criminal in itself.”


State Department Daily Press Briefing
2016-02-10 (Wednesday)

[Below is the relevant part of the transcript;
the questioner is Catherine Herridge of Fox News.
(The emphasis is added by the author of this blog.)
This is from 48:30 to the end (56:07) of the video.]



QUESTION: Thank you. It’s on the emails.


QUESTION: We understand
at least a dozen email accounts
were handling the highly classified information that is now being withheld in the 22 top secret emails.

And among those accounts were Mrs. Clinton, her closest aides, as well as Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy.
Is a damage assessment being done?

MR TONER: Is a damage assessment being done on the --

QUESTION: Spillage.

MR TONER: -- on the spillage?


MR TONER: I mean, we’ve talked a little bit about this in the past couple weeks.
Our focus within the State Department remains on the FOIA process that’s in front of us,
some 55,000 pages of Secretary Clinton’s emails that we’re working diligently under court order to make public.
And as we do make those emails public,
we’ve got to keep in mind concerns about confidentiality or upgrades that need to be taken in terms of the sensitivity of the material in them.
And we’ve done that.
To your broader question as what is doing – being done to, as you say, spillage or whatever,
I can’t speak to those efforts today.
I know that we’re aware, obviously, of those concerns.
We are taking steps, but I don’t have any more details to provide.

QUESTION: But you accept that more than a dozen accounts with access to that information is a very serious matter?

MR TONER: That over – I’m sorry.

QUESTION: Over a dozen accounts --


QUESTION: -- had access to the intelligence that is now being withheld in full.
And you accept that is a very serious matter?

MR TONER: Of course. We take these matters very seriously. We’ve said that throughout this process.
Our focus, as I said, is on releasing all of these emails that are releasable and meeting our deadlines of the end of this month,
and we’re working diligently to do so.
But taking every effort along the way to upgrade information and – as necessary, or redact information as necessary before it goes public.
As to your broader question about concerns of spillage or leakage,
obviously those are concerns we take seriously.
And going forward we’ll take steps to address those concerns.


QUESTION: Yeah, just a follow-up, please.
Patrick Kennedy was recently on the Hill testifying in front of the select committee,
and he told members that
he knew about the email server really from the get-go
but he did not understand the scope of its use.
He thought it was clearly just for personal use with her family.
But that is really undercut by his email traffic,
which shows that he was using that account for government business.
So how do you reconcile those two?

MR TONER: Sure. I mean, Catherine,
normally I wouldn’t address or read out what was a private interview between Under Secretary Kennedy and members of the Benghazi committee,
but on your specific claim that he knew about Secretary Clinton’s private server,
that’s not correct.

And that was made clear in his comments to the Benghazi committee.
What he said he was aware of is that
she was interested in setting up a private computer in the department
so that she could email back and forth with her family during the work day.
And as we’ve said previously, no such computer was ever set up.

QUESTION: And just – you may have to take this question.


QUESTION: Was Patrick Kennedy her records officer?

MR TONER: That’s a good question. Yeah.

QUESTION: Records officer is the – yeah, the – yeah, if you could find out.


QUESTION: Because the records officer is the person responsible for the records, the human resources,
but more specifically,
signs the non-disclosure agreements for classified and TS/SCI compartmented information.

MR TONER: Right. I’m not sure in this case who would have been her records officer --

QUESTION: I believe it was Patrick.

MR TONER: -- or whether there was – right.

QUESTION: Yeah, if you can check. We understand it was Patrick Kennedy.

MR TONER: Okay, we’ll get back to you on that.

QUESTION: Thank you.

[A different (male) questioner:]

QUESTION: A quick follow-up to that?


QUESTION: And I take your point that you wouldn’t normally read out what you say was a private interview --


QUESTION: -- between a congressional committee and an administration official, but you said that
in response to the question about whether or not Kennedy was aware of Secretary Clinton’s use of a private server from the get-go,
you said that’s not correct.

MR TONER: Right, so – yeah, sorry.

QUESTION: And that – so here’s my question.


QUESTION: Under Secretary Kennedy is responsible for
both streams of the department that would be in charge of the Secretary’s communications –
the one that actually does the communications and the emails,
all of which fall under his purview,
and then DS, Diplomatic Security, which also fall – which also report in to him.
How could he not be aware that the secretary was using a private email server for all her work email communications?
How could he not know if he is responsible
both for DS and for the people who do the technical and computer stuff at State?

MR TONER: So again, what I was trying to make clear there was that he was not –
his knowledge about her wanting to set up a private computer within the department, not at her residence,
so that she could email her family,
that’s what he was speaking to about in his interview.
And again, as I said, no such computer was ever set up.
Your broader question – again,
he’s spoken to it before, or we’ve spoken to it before,
that he did not have knowledge of the computer server that she had set up,
the personal email or computer server.
She set it up at her residence.

Again, that’s not really our focus here.
I would just return to the fact that our focus is on releasing the FOIA.

QUESTION: Forgive me for asking.

MR TONER: That’s okay.

QUESTION: Can I ask a follow-up here?


QUESTION: Why wouldn’t it be of interest to him that the secretary of state or any other State Department official might set up a private server at their home to conduct their official communications?

MR TONER: By the way --

QUESTION: You’re saying he didn’t know that.

MR TONER: Right.

QUESTION: And I’m asking, well, how could he not know that? I mean, why – and why – wouldn’t you want him to know that?

MR TONER: Well, again, I – I mean, you’re asking me to speak to or do forensics on this that, frankly, I’m not able to do from this podium right now. What his knowledge or what his awareness at the time, other than what he has said already or what we have said already, which is that he was not aware of that – of her having a private server at her home.

All right, guys? On that note --

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: Thank you.

(The briefing was concluded at 3:14 p.m.)

[The video indicates that Robin Toner was not exactly happy with his answers to those questions.]

State Dept: Top Official Didn’t Know About Hillary’s Server, Even Though He Was On Email Discussing It
by Chuck Ross
Daily Caller, 2016-02-10

A spokesman for the State Department insisted during a press conference on Wednesday that Patrick Kennedy, the Under Secretary of Management at the department, was not aware Hillary Clinton maintained a private server in her home while she was secretary of state.

But that claim — made by spokesman Mark Toner — is a curious one given that emails published by The Daily Caller last month show that Kennedy was involved in an August 2011 email exchange with two of Clinton’s top aides and another State Department official in which Clinton’s private email server was discussed.

Whether Kennedy knew about Clinton’s private server is a key point in the ongoing email kerfuffle. In his role, the 42-year veteran manages all facets of State Department business, including personnel matters, logistics, information technology, and budgetary issues. He is also the official who has served as the State Department’s main point of contact with Clinton, her attorneys, and her aides throughout the ongoing email scandal. He sent the letters requesting that Clinton and her aides hand their emails over to the State Department.

Given his central position at State, it would stand to reason that Kennedy should have known — and should have been informed — that Clinton was using a private email server housed in her New York residence.

As one reporter put it during Wednesday’s press briefing: “How could he not know if he’s responsible for both [Diplomatic Security] and for the people who do the technical and computer stuff at State?”

But Kennedy knowing about the server would also raise questions about why the career diplomat allowed Clinton to use an email system was vulnerable to outside threats. Not to mention the risks posed by Clinton’s sending and receiving of classified information.


“Today the State Department indicated that comments made by Under Secretary Kennedy to the Benghazi Committee were being misconstrued. Beyond that, we are not going to speak to this further,” ‎‎a State Department official told TheDC.

State Department details Clinton email release foul-up
By Josh Gerstein
Politico, 2016-02-12
02/12/16 09:51 PM EST

The State Department failed to circulate more than 7,000 pages of Hillary Clinton's emails for interagency review
because its personnel were distracted by other aspects of the email-release project
and simply lost track of what messages had been sent to other agencies for comment,
a State Department official said in a report to a federal judge Friday night.

State Department Information Programs & Services official Eric Stein said
State personnel were so focused on court-ordered goals for monthly releases of the 54,000 pages of Clinton emails
that they did not notice that some documents marked for interagency review were never sent for such a review
until the problem was discovered early last month.

[I can totally believe that explanation.
This whole project looks like something much more massive than State was used to.]


Stein, a senior adviser and deputy to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Global Information Services, said the Clinton email release process has been "hectic" and he described his colleagues as under "pressure" to meet the monthly goals.

"This has been a tremendous, unprecedented undertaking by a team that has worked to the point of exhaustion," Stein wrote. "I regret that this
error occurred and was not detected and corrected earlier."

[Again, I can believe that.]


EXCLUSIVE: Hillary Clinton And Cheryl Mills Did Not Sign Mandatory Agreement to Return Classified Materials
by Patrick Howley
Breitbart, 2016-02-16

Breitbart News has obtained confirmation on State Department letterhead that Hillary Clinton did NOT sign a mandatory OF-109 “Separation Statement” when she left the State Department.

That statement would have required her to affirm that she had returned all classified materials in her possession. Clinton’s top aide Cheryl Mills also avoided signing a separation statement.


Clinton failed to sign a separation agreement when she left the State Department, around the time she was required to give back all of her classified materials. Clinton signed a “Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement” on January 22, 2009. This document is known as an SF-312. It is standard for government employees to sign an SF-312 when they begin working in a role that gives them access to classified information. But she was also required to sign an OF-109, or “Separation Statement,” when she left the job.

That OF-109 document would have required her to affirm the following:
I have surrendered to responsible officials all classified or administratively controlled documents and material with which I was charged or which I had in my possession. I am not retaining in my possession, custody, or control, documents or material containing classified or administratively controlled information furnished to me during the course of such employment or developed as a consequence thereof…

But Clinton never signed an OF-109, even though the State Department Foreign Affairs Manual requires all employees to do so. The office of the Speaker of the House and others have been desperately trying to figure out if Clinton signed an OF-109. Now we know.

On September 11, 2015, researcher Larry Kawa received a letter from State Department official Clarence N. Finney Jr. from the Office of Executive Secretariat Staff (S/ES-S). Finney claimed that, “Departing secretaries of state do not complete an OF-109 due to their continued need for a security clearance after their resignation.”

In other words, the State Department claimed that Clinton, as Secretary of State, was exempt from the requirement in the Foreign Affairs Manual. But Kawa was not satisfied.


The State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 12 Section 564.4 is crystal clear that all employees must sign a separation agreement and undergo a security debriefing ...


Kawa asked State Department Office of Information Programs and Services litigation and appeals branch chief Brandi Garrett for the “pertinent exemption” that would have allowed Clinton to skip out on signing a separation statement, but Garrett did not provide any evidence to show that Clinton was exempt.


Watchdog: It’s ‘Hard To Believe’ Top State Dept. Official Was Unaware Of Hillary’s Email Server
by Chuck Ross
Daily Caller, 2016-02-17

[More about Patrick Kennedy and Peter Van Buren.]

Herridge 2016-02-17
By Catherine Herridge, Pamela K. Browne
Fox News, 2016-02-17

EXCLUSIVE: One of the classified email chains discovered on Hillary Clinton’s personal unsecured server discussed an Afghan national’s ties to the CIA and a report that he was on the agency’s payroll, a U.S. government official with knowledge of the document told Fox News.


Confirmation that one of these exchanges concerned a reported CIA asset means the emails went beyond issues like the drone strike campaign. Democrats repeatedly have said some messages referred to this, reinforcing Clinton's position that the documents are over-classified.

Based on the timing and other details, the email chain likely refers to either an October 2009 Times story that identified Afghan national Ahmed Wali Karzai, the half-brother of then-Afghan president Hamid Karzai, as a person who received “regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency” -- or an August 2010 Times story that identified Karzai aide Mohammed Zia Salehi as being on the CIA payroll. Ahmed Wali Karzai was murdered during a 2011 shoot-out, a killing later claimed by the Taliban.


More Hillary Clinton emails released on eve of Nevada caucuses
By Josh Gerstein and Rachael Bade
Politico, 2016-02-19: 02/19/16 08:24 PM EST

The State Department released more than 1,100 additional pages of Hillary Clinton's emails Friday night, shedding light on her handling of diplomatic crises and detailing her team's efforts to make sure President Barack Obama didn't get all the credit for U.S. foreign policy.

The online posting is the 12th incremental release of Clinton's messages since her exclusive use of a private email account for official business at the State Department became public nearly a year ago.


Celebrating Clinton "turning [Obama] around," apparently on Libya

The emails reflect the near-jubilation of Clinton's allies over what appears to be her success at persuading President Barack Obama to join a military intervention in Libya. The operation was billed as humanitarian, but ultimately led to the toppling of Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi.

"I cannot imagine how exhausted you must be after this week, but I have NEVER been prouder of having worked for you," former State policy planning director Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote to Clinton in a March 19, 2011 message bearing the subject line "bravo!" and sent two days after passage of a key U.N. Security Council resolution on the crisis. "Turning POTUS around on this is a major win for everything we have worked for."


State Dept. Created Classified Email Account For Hillary, But She Never Used It
by Chuck Ross
Daily Caller, 2016-02-23


“Secretary Clinton did not use a classified email account at the State Department.
An account was set up on ClassNet on her calendar, but it was not used,”
[Julia Frifield, who serves as State Department assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs,]
wrote in response to a Sept. 21, 2015 letter from the committee ...


Spy agencies say Clinton emails closely matched top secret documents: sources
By Mark Hosenball
Reuters, 2016-02-24

U.S. spy agencies have told Congress that
Hillary Clinton's home computer server contained some emails that should have been treated as "top secret"
because their wording matched sections of some of the government's most highly classified documents,
four sources familiar with the agency reports said.


Two of the sources told Reuters that one of the reports on the emails came from the CIA.
Three sources said the other report came from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), which analyzes U.S. spy satellite intelligence.
The two spy agencies' reports were sent to Congress in the past few weeks by the intelligence community inspector general, an official government watchdog for multiple spy agencies.


Clinton Email Scandal: Time To Serve Hillary A Subpoena
Investors Business Daily Editorial, 2016-02-24

A federal judge’s ruling could set in motion the legal gears that will produce a subpoena that will compel Hillary Clinton to testify under oath about her outlaw email. Waste no time.

Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled Tuesday that Judicial Watch’s motion for discovery — into questions about Clinton evading the Freedom of Information Act with her personal email account while secretary of state — could go forward. There is “at least a ‘reasonable suspicion,’ ” he said, “that the FOIA law had been violated, and Clinton’s top State Department aides should be questioned under oath about her email arrangement.

Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton, president of the legal watchdog group, said that while “Clinton’s testimony may not be required initially, it may happen that her testimony is necessary for the court to resolve the legal issues about her unprecedented email practices.”

We suggest that Judicial Watch, which provides an indispensable public service, move quickly on this. Voters deserve to know why Clinton opted to use a personal email account handled by a private server. Or as Sullivan said, “this case is about the public’s right to know,” because the “constant drip, drip, drip of declarations” has created a strong appearance of impropriety.

Once she’s under oath, the most natural questions to ask Clinton would be:

• “What were you trying to hide?”

• “What business did you conduct that you wanted to keep in the dark? And with whom?”

• “Was your position at the top of the State Department just a means to funnel cash into the Clinton Foundation’s coffers?”

• “Did you make side deals with anyone?”

She won’t own up to committing these offenses or any others. Her husband, who appointed Sullivan to his current position, has lied under oath and she will have no uneasiness about doing the same. She can’t be trusted to give truthful testimony. The Clintons simply don’t know much about honesty. It’s not a family tradition.

But it will be instructive to see how her testimony contradicts the testimony provided by her aides. The inevitable inconsistencies will be meaningful. There will be a story in the different webs they will weave. Conflicting testimony could also force a special prosecutor to be assigned to the case.

Our IBD/TIPP poll says that two-thirds of those closely keeping up with the scandal already believe a special prosecutor should be appointed.

It will also be meaningful to see a presidential candidate under oath in a setting other than a congressional hearing. This can’t be good for her campaign. The electorate went through an odd change eight years ago from which it has not fully recovered.

But voters probably won’t see a candidate being hauled into court as a plus, especially when the issue is whether the candidate tried to deceive the country. Clinton should have no immunity from this because of her political stature.

With an election coming soon, the discovery process needs to move quickly. We trust that Judicial Watch understands that and will act accordingly.

Lynch confirms career Justice Department attorneys involved in Clinton email probe
By Catherine Herridge, Pamela K. Browne
Fox News, 2016-02-25

Attorney General Loretta Lynch confirmed to Congress Wednesday that career Justice Department attorneys are working with FBI agents on the criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email practices and the handling of classified material.

Legal experts say the assignment of career Justice Department attorneys to the case shows the FBI probe has progressed beyond the initial referral, or "matured," giving agents access to the U.S. government’s full investigative tool box, including subpoena power for individuals, business or phone records, as well as witnesses.


The security risk from Hillary Clinton's emails
Fareed Zakaria inteviews Michael Hayden
MSN, 2016-02-26

[Former NSA (and CIA) director Michael Hayden on
the high likelihood that various foreign intelligence services
have gained access to all of Clinton's "private" computer files.]

Hillary’s email account an open secret in Washington long before scandal broke
by Stephen Dinan
Washington Times, 2016-02-29

[This article contains extensive quotes from
Judge Sullivan's remarks at his 2016-02-23 hearing
re the FOIA lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch,
as well as further comments by several experts on cybersecurity.]

Legendary U.S. attorney 'confident' Hillary grand jury convened
Predicts 'an eruption you cannot believe' if no prosecution
by Jerome R. Corsi
WND, 2016-03-01

NEW YORK – Former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova is confident Department of Justice prosecutors have convened a grand jury in the Hillary Clinton email case, based on comments from Attorney General Loretta Lynch.


A tale of two investigations

DiGenova explained to WND there are two FBI investigations going on simultaneously, with the first one involving Hillary Clinton’s private server and possible violations of the national security laws regarding the handling of classified information.

The second investigation involves what Justice Department prosecutors call an “official acts” investigation, regarding a possible correlation between “official acts” performed by Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, her office and the State Department, and large donations made to the Clinton Foundation by countries, corporations and individuals.

“The second investigation is more complex, more document-oriented, more subpoena-oriented investigation, but it is clearly underway,” diGenova said.

“The inspector general at the State Department has started a similar, parallel investigation to determine whether or not official acts were committed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her staff in exchange for contributions to various Clinton Foundation initiatives,” he added.

“The nexus between the ‘official acts’ and contributions to Clinton Foundation initiatives is becoming so clear and the evidence has convinced me that if the Justice Department has not already convened a grand jury, there is no doubt there’s corruption within the Justice Department,” he insisted.

“With regards to the first investigation, when you set up the private server in the Clinton home in Chappaqua, for use solely of Secretary Clinton’s government communications, she knew that classified information inevitably would come through that server,” diGenova stressed.

“When Hillary Clinton set up the server, she therefore had the intent to transfer classified information in a non-secure network, and she thereby automatically violated the statute that makes it a crime to store and maintain improperly classified documents,” he continued.

“In addition, knowing that you have a private server, you of course are naturally going to take off the markings that show a document is classified, because you know you cannot have those documents with the security markings on that private server system,” he said.

“The taking off of the security markings is in and of itself a crime in that the removal of classification is a felony. Then transmitting the documents without security markings on the server is another felony,” diGenova detailed. “You don’t need any more evidence of criminal intent other than the establishment of the private server initially and the stripping of the classification markings later.”

‘An eruption like you cannot believe’

“The criminal case against Hillary Clinton is a no-brainer,” he concluded. “If people are not prosecuted for this server, there will be an eruption like you cannot believe within the intelligence community.

“The evidence there will be an eruption comes from Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and the NSA, who when being interviewed in August, said the ‘original sin’ of creating Hillary Clinton’s private server as the sole communications device for the secretary can never be fixed,” he said with determination. “That starts it and ends it – it’s over – the original sin of the private server creates the crime and ends the investigation. The rest is icing on the cake.

“You cannot believe what is going on in the intelligence community,” he added. “They are going crazy – there is going to be a revolt like you have never seen if people are not indicted for this.”


Clinton, on her private server, wrote 104 emails the government says are classified
By Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger
Washington Post, 2016-03-06

Hillary Clinton wrote 104 emails that she sent using her private server while secretary of state that the government has since said contain classified information, according to a new Washington Post analysis of Clinton’s publicly released correspondence.

The finding is the first accounting of the Democratic presidential front-runner’s personal role in placing information now considered sensitive into insecure email during her State Department tenure. Clinton’s ­authorship of dozens of emails now considered classified could complicate her efforts to argue that she never put government secrets at risk.

In roughly three-quarters of those cases, officials have determined that material Clinton herself wrote in the body of email messages is classified. Clinton sometimes initiated the conversations but more often replied to aides or other officials with brief reactions to ongoing discussions.


The XX Committee Hillary EmailGate Reader
by John R. Schindler
The XX Committee, 2016-03-07

As the big story has developed over the last year regarding Hillary’s problems with her email and her “private” server of bathroom infamy when she was Secretary of State,
I’ve been out front on this case, breaking a lot of exclusive stories
and providing my unique insights based on my own time in the intelligence business.

For the sake of convenience,
particularly for readers who are seeking one-stop-shopping on EmailGate ...
below you’ll find my work on this case —
op-eds, extended analysis, blog posts, even a couple extended media interviews on all things EmailGate. Enjoy!

Since Hillary’s strange travails with IT and mishandling official secrets appear to be far from over,
this is a living document: I’ll add new links as they appear.

[Click on the link above to get links to Schindler's posts.]

Transcript of the Fox News Democratic presidential town hall
moderator Bret Baier questions Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton
Fox News Town Hall, 2016-03-07


BAIER: Let me just clarify, the State Department has redacted and declared 2,101 of your work emails classified, at least at the confidential level, 44 classified as secret, 22 classified as top secret.
So you said at a March press conference in 2015:
``I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.''
So can we say definitively that that statement is not accurate?

CLINTON: No, you can't. Here's what happened, the State Department has a process for determining what is or isn't classified. If they determine it is, they mark it as classified.

BAIER: Well, who decides...

CLINTON: The State Department decides.

BAIER: But what about you when you're typing an email?

CLINTON: No, the State Department decides what is -- and let me go a step further here, I will reiterate, because it's a fact, nothing I sent or received was marked classified. Now, what happens when you ask or when you are asked to make information public is that it's reviewed and different agencies come in with their opinions.

Clinton’s Laughable Claim: Petraeus Offense Was Worse
By Andrew C. McCarthy
PJ Media, 2016-03-07


Clinton’s misconduct is more egregious than Petraeus’s. The latter only shared top secret information with a single person: Paula Broadwell, his biographer/paramour. Ms. Broadwell, a West Point grad and former military officer, had a security clearance (although not one sufficient to be given access to the highly classified information in Petraeus’s journals). There is no indication she ever shared the information with anyone else, much less in her hagiography of Petraeus.

To be sure, there are similarities in the two cases -- but even these militate in favor of a criminal prosecution against Clinton.

For example, her emails include communications with President Obama. Although the Post story does not mention it, Petraeus’s classified journals also contained summaries of his communications with President Obama -- a fact that was cited by the Justice Department’s explanation to the court of the factual basis for charging Petraeus with a crime. (See my Feb. 3, 2016, column.)

In addition, while Clinton robotically stresses that her classified emails were not “marked classified,” neither were Petraeus’s diaries. He was charged anyway and pled guilty, because he was well-aware (as are all high-ranking national security officials) that the lack of classified markings is not a defense.

Where the Petraeus and Clinton cases are dissimilar, the facts show Clinton’s misconduct was far more extensive and damaging to national security.

Unlike Petraeus’s journals, Clinton’s emails were widely circulated -- so widely, in fact, that there is no telling who has had access to them. The emails were kept on an unsecure server -- the server set up by Pagliano -- that Clinton had to know was vulnerable to hacking by foreign intelligence services and other rogues. Hackers are known to penetrate the government’s expensive, secure communications systems; it is inconceivable that they did not penetrate Clinton's non-secure set up.

Furthermore, Clinton’s emails were transmitted to numerous subordinate officials, and there is no telling how widely the recipients forwarded them. Unlike Petraeus’s situation, in Clinton’s case the intelligence community has no choice but to assume that national defense information, intelligence operations, sources, and collection methods have been compromised. Lives have been put in danger, surveillance efforts have no doubt had to be folded, and relations with foreign governments who provide the U.S. with intelligence on the promise of confidentiality have been damaged.

Also, while the journals in Petraeus’s case contained classified information that belonged to the government, they involved his personal activities. He should not have hoarded them, shared them with Broadwell, lied to the FBI about them, or stored them in an unsecured location in his home -- these were serious (indeed, criminal) lapses in judgment.

But we’re talking about an intelligence product that he created,
that involved only his activities, and that, but for the unauthorized sharing with Broadwell, he tightly guarded.

To the contrary, the intelligence stored and transmitted on Mrs. Clinton’s non-secure private email system was not compiled by Mrs. Clinton -- it belonged to government intelligence agencies.

These national defense secrets were neither hers to disseminate nor hers to make determinations about whether they should be classified. And far from tightly controlling the information, she caused its broad, unauthorized, and uncontrolled dissemination.

Finally, Petraeus kept his journals in his possession, even though he should have turned them into the government on demand, because he arguably had a continuing need to refer to them (even now, Petraeus is still consulted on national security matters). No doubt he was also considering someday writing a memoir. This is no defense to serious misconduct, but it still pales in comparison to Mrs. Clinton’s egregious motives.

Clinton set up the private server system for her government communications, in defiance of State Department practice and federal record-keeping law. Her manifest purpose was systematically to undermine lawful disclosure requirements under the Freedom of Information Act, congressional demands for information, and the government’s discovery obligations in judicial proceedings.

Mrs. Clinton was willfully avoiding the accountability of public officials that federal law seeks to ensure. Simultaneously, she frustrated the State Department’s ability to keep complete records, which is vital to its diplomatic, security, and foreign policy missions.

The contention that General Petraeus’s misconduct is more serious than Mrs. Clinton’s is specious. Moreover, the Petraeus plea deal, while (in my view) disgraceful, has no necessary or enforceable precedential effect on Clinton’s very different case. The regrettable fact that one prosecutor has agreed to a sweetheart plea deal does not dictate that the next prosecutor should do so in an even more outrageous case involving potentially grave national security harm.

[That ends the article.
From the comments section, here is a good one:]

Sadly, I don't think we will see that much of [the results of the investigation].

The operative phrase here is "Too big to jail" ;-)

Obama DOJ Too Conflicted to Handle Hillary Email Probe, Former U.S. Attorney Says
by Fred Lucas
The Blaze, 2016-03-08


[T]he Obama Justice Department and Attorney General Loretta Lynch
cannot be trusted to rise above politics, said Matthew Whitaker,
former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Iowa.

“I am certain there are many of my former colleagues that share my concern
about partisan nature of the attorney general,”
Whitaker, executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust,
told TheBlaze.
“Loretta Lynch, while a good prosecutor and former U.S. attorney herself,
has only donated to Democrats.
She owes her political patronage to a president that has tacitly endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.”


“I know Jim Comey. He was the deputy attorney general when I was the U.S. attorney,” Whitaker said.
“I think Jim Comey is the right person to lead this investigation at the FBI.
But ultimately, the decision to charge or not charge
solely resides in the attorney general.
That’s where my biggest concern is.”

“The FBI’s recommendation is going to be in private.
It’s not going to be something they publicly announce,
but I think it will be leaked ultimately, depending on the outcome of the case,”
Whitaker said.
“Whether or not the recommendation of the FBI is to prosecute,
it’s still the discretion to seek those charges and pursue the case reside in the attorney general.
[Lynch] has been very outspoken that while she won’t necessarily say she is the one who decides,
ultimately, she is the decider.”

Fact checking the Hillary Clinton email controversy
by Glenn Kessler
Washington Post, 2016-03-09

It’s been one year since it was learned that Hillary Clinton had set up a private email system when she was secretary of state — a revelation that has dogged her campaign for the presidency.

The Fact Checker has run 10 fact checks on the issue, mostly regarding dubious statements that Clinton had made to defend her actions. (We also had one fact check each on the Democratic spin and the Republican spin on the issue.) Reviewing our conclusions again, it appears Clinton often used highly technical language to obscure the salient fact that her private email setup was highly unusual and flouted existing regulations.

[This is followed by links to the 10 columns, showing headlines and a brief summary of each.]

RNC sues for emails of Clinton's State Dept. aides
By Nolan D. McCaskill
Politico, 2016-03-09

The Republican National Committee on Wednesday filed two lawsuits in federal court
seeking records and emails of Hillary Clinton and her colleagues at the State Department.

The first suit seeks electronic records sent to and from Clinton
via text or Blackberry Messenger and emails to senior aides.
The second suit seeks communications between senior State Department officials,
Clinton’s presidential campaign and other Clinton allies after her time at State.


Priebus contended that litigation was the organization’s last resort and added that news outlets such as the Associated Press, Gawker and Vice, for example, have sought public records from State to no avail.

“This is something that’s epidemic at the State Department. It’s not just the RNC,” Priebus told CNN. “It’s everywhere, and they’re not complying with anything. Nobody’s getting any information whatsoever.”


Both of the RNC’s cases were filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., under the Freedom of Information Act. The RNC said the State Department records were requested in October and December under FOIA, but no records or information have been distributed.


2016-03-09 Miami debate with Hillary Clinton video from Fusion
Text from Fusion of her remark (includes embedded video)
Fusion, 2016-03-09
[A slightly longer video, showing the leadin to Ramos's questions,
is available from WaPo.]

Hillary is asked "If you get indicted, will you drop out?"
Her response:
"Oh, for goodness .... it is not going to happen.
I'm not even going to answer that question."

My response: How on earth can she know "it is not going to happen"
unless the fix is in, and she knows it?

In any case, it seems to me that she owes the American public an answer to that question.
Evidently, those who continue to support her aren't that bothered by this.

Odds of a Hillary email grand jury underway just went much higher
By Thomas Lifson
American Thinker, 2016-03-10

Judge Napolitono "No other SecState did what Hillary did"
Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
Fox News "Judge Napolitan's Chambers", 2016-03-10


Second State employee refuses GOP questions on Clinton server

John Bentel is a former employee who managed IT security issues.
By Rachael Bade
Politico, 2016-03-13

A State Department staffer who oversaw security and technology issues for Hillary Clinton is refusing to answer Senate investigators’ questions about the former secretary of state’s use of a private email server — marking the second time an ex-State employee has declined to talk to lawmakers.

John Bentel, a now retired State employee who managed IT security issues for the top echelon at the department, declined to be interviewed by GOP staff on the Senate Judiciary and Homeland Security committees, according to a letter obtained by Politico.


Investigation Into Hillary Clinton's Emails
Joseph diGenova talked about the investigation into emails sent to and from Hillary Clinton’s personal email server during her time as Secretary of State.
C-SPAN Washington Journal, 2016-03-18

[Joseph diGenova gives a very well-informed discussion of the legal issues.
The full program is about 49 minutes.

diGenova discusses criminal intent and the "Original Sin" between 4:14 and 5:52.
Asked about criminal intent (at 4:15 into the interview),
he answered by saying,
“[4:55] The question I ask myself as an investigator is
‘Why would someone set up a private server to all of their government business?’ . . .
The answer I get is
to avoid disclosure, to evade, to prevent people from finding out what’s there.”

The call-in part begins about 14:00.]

The perfect as the enemy of the good in the FBI’s investigation of Hillary
by Paul Mirengoff
Powerline Blog, 2016-03-20


Do you see the problem? Items 1 and 2 militate strongly in favor of a quick resolution of the question whether Clinton violated the Espionage Act. Items 3-5 suggest that a quick resolution is possible. But Item 6 indicates that a complete investigation of the kind the FBI is trained to conduct may be impossible to complete prior to Clinton’s nomination and possibly even before her election (assuming she wins).

The potential problem exists even in the absence of bad faith or foot dragging by bureaucrats eager to help Clinton run out the clock. The FBI prides itself in conducting thorough investigations. It doesn’t want to be less than exhaustive when conducting a high profile investigation of a presidential contender. Thus, it naturally will be disinclined to rush. Its inclination will be to conduct a gold-plated investigation — to dot every “i” and cross every “t.”

To make matters worse, the Justice Department is looking over the FBI’s investigation and must approve any prosecution of Clinton. Here’s where the possibility of bad faith compounds the problem.

Justice Department lawyers can drag the process out by constantly asking new questions. The questions may be of interest; they may even be ones the FBI would answer if time were not of the essence. But answering them might well be unnecessary for purposes of determining whether Clinton violated the Espionage Act.

In any complex investigation, there are always loose ends. Attempting to tie them all up can tie an investigative agency in knots.

Given the need to determine sooner rather than later whether Hillary Clinton is a felon, it would be tragic if the FBI tied itself in knots going down every bunny trail associated with this matter. The perfect should not become the enemy of the good in an investigation of this urgency.

Yet there is reason to fear that it might.

Legal Experts on Clinton Indictment in Email Case: Not Likely
The Blaze / Associated Press, 2016-03-22

Judicial Watch Lawsuit Uncovers
New Hillary Clinton Email Withheld from State Department

Email Shows Clinton Engaged On Blackberry Issues
Judicial Watch, 2016-03-24

Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained State Department documents from February 2009
containing emails that appear to contradict statements by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department
[I may be obtuse, but I don't see how the emails summaries below
contradict that claim.]

and that she did not use her clintonemail.com email system until March 2009.
The emails also contain more evidence of the battle between
security officials in the State Department,
National Security Administration [Sic; surely they mean "Agency"],
Clinton and her staff over attempts to obtain secure Blackberrys.


How Clinton’s email scandal took root
By Robert O'Harrow Jr.
Washington Post, 2016-03-28

[This is a large, very helpful, review of the early days of HRC's conflicts with State Department normalcy.]

Hillary Clinton’s email problems began in her first days as secretary of state. She insisted on using her personal BlackBerry for all her email communications, but she wasn’t allowed to take the device into her seventh-floor suite of offices, a secure space known as Mahogany Row.

For Clinton, this was frustrating. As a political heavyweight and chief of the nation’s diplomatic corps, she needed to manage a torrent of email to stay connected to colleagues, friends and supporters. She hated having to put her BlackBerry into a lockbox before going into her own office.

Her aides and senior officials pushed to find a way to enable her to use the device in the secure area. But their efforts unsettled the diplomatic security bureau, which was worried that foreign intelligence services could hack her BlackBerry and transform it into a listening device.

On Feb. 17, 2009, less than a month into Clinton’s tenure, the issue came to a head. Department security, intelligence and technology specialists, along with five officials from the National Security Agency, gathered in a Mahogany Row conference room. They explained the risks to Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff, while also seeking “mitigation options” that would accommodate Clinton’s wishes.

“The issue here is one of personal comfort,” one of the participants in that meeting, Donald Reid, the department’s senior coordinator for security infrastructure, wrote afterward in an email that described Clinton’s inner circle of advisers as “dedicated [BlackBerry] addicts.”

Clinton used her BlackBerry as the group continued looking for a solution. But unknown to diplomatic security and technology officials at the department, there was another looming communications vulnerability: Clinton’s Black­Berry was digitally tethered to a private email server in the basement of her family home, some 260 miles to the north in Chappaqua, N.Y., documents and interviews show.

Those officials took no steps to protect the server against intruders and spies, because they apparently were not told about it.


The Washington Post reviewed hundreds of documents and interviewed more than a dozen knowledgeable government officials to understand the decisions and the implications of Clinton’s actions. The resulting scandal revolves around questions about classified information, the preservation of government records and the security of her email communication.

From the earliest days, Clinton aides and senior officials focused intently on accommodating the secretary’s desire to use her private email account, documents and interviews show.

Throughout, they paid insufficient attention to laws and regulations governing the handling of classified material and the preservation of government records, interviews and documents show. They also neglected repeated warnings about the security of the BlackBerry while Clinton and her closest aides took obvious security risks in using the basement server.

Senior officials who helped Clinton with her BlackBerry claim they did not know details of the basement server, the State Department said, even though they received emails from her private account. One email written by a senior official mentioned the server.

The scandal has pitted those who say Clinton was innocently trying to find the easiest way to communicate against those who say she placed herself above the law in a quest for control of her records. She and her campaign have been accused of confusing matters with contradictory and evolving statements that minimized the consequences of her actions.

Clinton, 68, declined to be interviewed.


Hillary Clinton began preparing to use the private basement server after President Obama picked her to be his secretary of state in November 2008. The system was already in place. It had been set up for former president Bill Clinton, who used it for personal and Clinton Foundation business.

On Jan. 13, 2009, a longtime aide to Bill Clinton registered a private email domain for Hillary Clinton, clintonemail.com, that would allow her to send and receive email through the server.

Eight days later, she was sworn in as secretary of state. Among the multitude of challenges she faced was how to integrate email into her State Department routines. Because Clinton did not use desktop computers, she relied on her personal BlackBerry, which she had started using three years earlier.


[D]uring her own presidential campaign, Clinton had said that if elected, “we will adopt a presumption of openness and Freedom of Information Act requests and urge agencies to release information quickly.”

But in those first few days, Clinton’s senior advisers were already taking steps that would help her circumvent those high-flown words, according to a chain of internal State Department emails released to Judicial Watch, a conservative nonprofit organization suing the government over Clinton’s emails.


As undersecretary for management, [Patrick] Kennedy occupies a central role in Clinton’s email saga.
The department acknowledged that Kennedy, as part of his normal duties,
helped Clinton with her BlackBerry.
But in a statement, the department said:
“Under Secretary Kennedy maintains that he was unaware of the email server.
[Channeling Sgt. Schultz:]

Completely separate from that issue,
Under Secretary Kennedy was aware that at the beginning of her tenure,
Secretary Clinton’s staff was interested in setting up a computer at the Department
so she could email her family during the work day.

“As we have previously made clear — no such computer was ever set up.
Furthermore, Under Secretary Kennedy had very little insight into Secretary Clinton’s email practices
including how ­frequently or infrequently then-Secretary Clinton used email.”


Her first known BlackBerry communication through the basement server came on Jan. 28, 2009, when Clinton exchanged notes with Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, then chief of the U.S. Central Command, according to a State Department spokeswoman. It has not been released.

Few knew the details behind the new clintonemail.com address. But news about her choice to use her own BlackBerry spread quickly among the department’s diplomatic security and “intelligence countermeasures” specialists.

Their fears focused on the seventh floor, which a decade earlier had been the target of Russian spies who managed to plant a listening device inside a decorative chair-rail molding not far from Mahogany Row. In more recent years, in a series of widely publicized cyberattacks, hackers breached computers at the department along with those at other federal agencies and several major corporations.

The State Department security officials were distressed about the possibility that Clinton’s BlackBerry could be compromised and used for eavesdropping, documents and interviews show.

After the meeting on Feb. 17 with Mills, security officials in the department crafted a memo about the risks. And among themselves, they expressed concern that other department employees would follow the “bad example” and seek to use insecure BlackBerrys themselves, emails show.

As they worked on the memo, they were aware of a speech delivered by Joel F. Brenner, then chief of counterintelligence at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, on Feb. 24 at a hotel in Vienna, Va., a State Department document shows. Brenner urged his audience to consider what could have happened to them during a visit to the recent Beijing Olympics.

“Your phone or BlackBerry could have been tagged, tracked, monitored and exploited between your disembarking the airplane and reaching the taxi stand at the airport,” Brenner said. “And when you emailed back home, some or all of the malware may have migrated to your home server. This is not hypothetical.”

At the time, Clinton had just returned from an official trip that took her to China and elsewhere in Asia. She was embarking on another foray to the Middle East and Europe. She took her BlackBerry with her.

In early March, Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security Eric Boswell delivered a memo with the subject line “Use of Blackberries in Mahogany Row.”

“Our review reaffirms our belief that the vulnerabilities and risks associated with the use of Blackberries in the Mahogany Row [redacted] considerably outweigh the convenience their use can add,” the memo said.

He emphasized: “Any unclassified Blackberry is highly vulnerable in any setting to remotely and covertly monitoring conversations, retrieving e-mails, and exploiting calendars.”

Nine days later, Clinton told Boswell that she had read his memo and “gets it,” according to an email sent by a senior diplomatic security official. “Her attention was drawn to the sentence that indicates (Diplomatic Security) have intelligence concerning this vulnerability during her recent trip to Asia,” the email said.

But Clinton kept using her private BlackBerry — and the basement server.

The server was nothing remarkable, the kind of system often used by small businesses, according to people familiar with its configuration at the end of her tenure. It consisted of two off-the-shelf server computers. Both were equipped with antivirus software. They were linked by cable to a local Internet service provider. A firewall was used as protection against hackers.

Few could have known it, but the email system operated in those first two months without the standard encryption generally used on the Internet to protect communication, according to an independent analysis that Venafi Inc., a cybersecurity firm that specializes in the encryption process, took upon itself to publish on its website after the scandal broke.

Not until March 29, 2009 — two months after Clinton began using it — did the server receive a “digital certificate” that protected communication over the Internet through encryption, according to Venafi’s analysis.

It is unknown whether the system had some other way to encrypt the email traffic at the time. Without encryption — a process that scrambles communication for anyone without the correct key — email, attachments and passwords are transmitted in plain text.

“That means that anyone could have accessed it. Anyone,” Kevin Bocek, vice president of threat intelligence at Venafi, told The Post.

The system had other features that made it vulnerable to talented hackers, including a software program that enabled users to log on directly from the World Wide Web.

Four computer-security specialists interviewed by The Post said that such a system could be made reasonably secure but that it would need constant monitoring by people trained to look for irregularities in the server’s logs.

“For data of this sensitivity . . . we would need at a minimum a small team to do monitoring and hardening,” said Jason Fossen, a computer-security specialist at the SANS Institute, which provides cybersecurity training around the world.


The number of emails moving through the basement system increased quickly as Hillary Clinton dove into the endless details of her globetrotting job.
There were 62,320 in all, an average of 296 a week, nearly 1,300 a month,
[That's over 40 a day, assuming a seven-day week.]
according to numbers Clinton later reported to the State Department. About half of them were work-related.


On June 28, 2011, in response to reports that Gmail accounts of government workers
had been targeted by “online adversaries,”
a note went out over Clinton’s name urging department employees to
“avoid conducting official Department business from your personal email accounts.”

But she herself ignored the warning and continued using her BlackBerry and the basement server.


In December 2012, near the end of Clinton’s tenure, a nonprofit group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, filed a FOIA request seeking records about her email. CREW received a response in May 2013: “no records responsive to your request were located.”

Other requests for Clinton records met the same fate — until the State Department received a demand from the newly formed House Select Committee on Benghazi in July 2014. The committee wanted Clinton’s email, among other things, to see what she and others knew about the deadly attack in Libya and the response by the U.S. government.

Officials in the department’s congressional affairs office found some Clinton email and saw that she had relied on the private domain, not the department’s system.


“What you are talking about is retroactive classification,” she said during a recent debate. “And I think what we have got here is a case of overclassification.” Her statement appears to conflict with a report to Congress last year by inspectors general from the State Department and the group of spy agencies known as the Intelligence Community. They made their report after the discovery that four emails, from a sample of 40 that went through her server, contained classified information.

“These emails were not retro­actively classified by the State Department,” the report said. “Rather these emails contained classified information when they were generated and, according to IC classification officials, that information remains classified today. This classified information should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system.”


The secretary of state’s work emails are supposed to be preserved permanently.
In addition, rules also mandated that
permanent records are to be sent to the department’s Records Service Center
“at the end of the Secretary’s tenure or sooner if necessary” for safekeeping.


Jason R. Baron, a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration,
told the Senate Judiciary Committee last year
he believed that Clinton’s server ran afoul of the rules.
In a memo to the committee, Baron wrote that
“the setting up of and maintaining a private email network
as the sole means to conduct official business by email,
coupled with the failure to timely return email records into government custody,
amounts to actions plainly inconsistent with the federal recordkeeping laws.”


One notable email was sent in August 2011. Stephen Mull,
then serving as the department’s executive secretary,
emailed Abedin, Mills and Kennedy about getting
a government-issued BlackBerry linked to a government server for Clinton.

“We are working to provide the Secretary per her request
a Department issued Blackberry to replace personal unit,
which is malfunctioning
(possibly because of her personal email server is down.)
We will prepare two version for her to use —
one with an operating State Department email account
(which would mask her identity, but which would also be subject to FOIA requests).”


Here’s the Bad News and the Good News for Hillary in the Washington Post’s Big Email Story
By Ben Mathis-Lilley
Slate, 2016-03-28

There's not much breaking news in the piece besides a somewhat vague section on State Department officials not being aware that Clinton used a private server and the revelation that the FBI has 147(!) agents investigating whether Clinton or her staffers were involved in any illegal security breaches. But it's still useful as a comprehensive timeline of just how many times Clinton ignored security and transparency concerns in order to exclusively use her private server.

Here's the bad news for Hillary (all of which, besides the first item, has been previously reported elsewhere):

State Department security specialists, at least initially,
had no idea Clinton was using a personal server.

Clinton was sworn in as Secretary of State on Jan. 21, 2009. She conducted State Department business via her private email account, run through a server in her New York home, for the duration of her term. According to the Post, State Department security and technology officials were told at a high-level early meeting that Clinton wanted to conduct official business on a BlackBerry. They also knew that she didn't use a government-issued BlackBerry and was thus using a personal device and some sort of personal email account. But it apparently did not occur to any of these officials that Clinton's email hosting might literally be coming from a server in her basement.
[Whether the server was in her basement or elsewhere,
didn't these people have enough interest in the security of her communications
to ask just what system was her Blackberry,
which they surely knew about,
was going through?
The Sgt. Schultz defense just doesn't cut it with me.]

"Those officials took no steps to protect the server against intruders and spies,
because they apparently were not told about it," the Post writes.
(The Post does not say when, if ever,
these security officials found out any further details about the server.
And on that front, not to excuse Clinton,
but couldn't the State Department's top security people have just asked the Secretary of State about her email server?)

[There seems to be an amazing lack of communication about Hillary's email setup,
especially amazing considering there are over 30,000 emails that passed through it over four years, or over 20 per day.]



Fed Source: About 12 FBI Agents Working on Clinton Email Inquiry

by Ari Melber
NBC News, 2016-03-30

Sources close to the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton's email are knocking down suggestions that 147 federal agents are working on the case, a figure first reported — and now revised — by the Washington Post, citing a lawmaker.
But a former federal law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the Clinton investigation tells MSNBC an estimate anywhere near 50 agents is also off base.
"There are currently about 12 FBI agents working full-time on the case," says the source, who would only speak anonymously about an open investigation.

FBI finishes email investigation; to interview Hillary Clinton and decide on filing criminal charges
by David Shuster
Al Jazeera America, 2016-03-30 (a video about 5 minutes long)

[Among other things, Shuster claims the FBI has finished its investigation of the emails and Hillary's private server.]

'One shot at the queen': FBI, AG intensify focus on Clinton email probe
By Pamela K. Browne
Fox News, 2016-03-31

Federal workers’ email policies would never fly at a major corporation
by Barb Rembiesa
Washington Post Letter to the Editor, 2016-04-01

Regarding the March 28 front-page article “How Clinton’s email scandal took root”:

I was struck by the emphasis on
whether officials other than Hillary Clinton have done the same kind of thing and
whether Clinton’s email arrangement somehow avoided compromising classified material.
As an expert in information technology asset management,
I can tell you these questions are irrelevant.

The relevant questions are
why the federal government does not have and enforce a clear policy that
requires all work-related emails of government employees
to reside on a government-owned and -controlled server
why the federal government does not go even further and
impose tighter email restrictions on top government officials
handling the most sensitive classified materials.

No Fortune 500 company would allow the corporate equivalent of anything less.
And for good reason:
They want to know their information is secure.
Why would we permit a looser standard for classified government data?

The federal government is rife with inconsistent, ineffective and haphazardly enforced rules when it comes to IT spending and asset management.
Billions of dollars are wasted, taxpayers’ confidential information is put at risk,
and classified information is exposed to prying eyes.

Politics aside, Clinton’s email debacle is a clear indication that
the federal government must wake up to the need for
rigorous information technology asset management.

Barb Rembiesa, Canton, Ohio

The writer is president and chief executive of
International Association of Information
Technology Asset Managers Inc.


Protest lodged over secrecy in Clinton email case

By Josh Gerstein
Politico, 2016-04-20

Lawyers for a reporter demanding access to email messages and files the FBI has reportedly retrieved from Hillary Clinton's private server are objecting to a secret filing the Justice Department submitted to a federal court last month as part of a bid to keep those messages under wraps.

In a motion filed Tuesday, attorneys for Vice News reporter Jason Leopold formally protested the classified declaration the FBI filed offering U.S. District Court Judge Randy Moss additional details about the ongoing FBI investigation into how classified information wound up on Clinton's private server, which hosted the personal email account she used in lieu of a government one during her four years as secretary of state.

Leopold's attorneys argue that the Justice Department violated normal legal protocol by failing to seek advance permission from the court or notice to the other side before filing the unusual "ex parte" pleading.

"Because Defendant submitted the declaration ex parte for in camera review without prior permission from the Court, or opportunity for Plaintiff to be heard, there is no public record justifying the need for such secrecy of the portions that are not classified, or for the court to rule on the lawfulness of the Defendant’s nondisclosure," lawyers Jeffrey Light and Ryan James wrote.

The protest gained some traction late Wednesday afternoon when Moss ordered the Justice Department to file publicly a redacted copy of the secret filing or "show cause why" that isn't possible. He gave the government until April 26 to do that.


Mens Rea and Hillary Clinton
By Andrew F. Emerson
American Thinker, 2016-04-22


In summary, Secretary Clinton’s conduct included
(1) Written acknowledgement of the unlawfulness of maintaining personal custody of classified information after departure from her post as secretary of state;
(2) Her acknowledgement, in March 2015, that she was familiar with the rules governing classification;
(3) Her conscious decision to forego complying with the known requisite procedures, concerning documentation or its removal upon departure from the State Department;
(4) Her unilateral decision to freely move the governmental documents to the Platte River server; and
(5) Her subsequent unilateral destruction of documents including some that were clearly governmental as opposed to private in nature.

The foregoing conduct reflects an intentional private retention of classified and other federal records whose proper place of custody was with the State Department.
There is evidence that the acts were done not only intentionally,
but with knowledge of the unlawfulness of the acts as opposed to being a product of mere carelessness on the part of Secretary Clinton.
For example, unilaterally avoiding the SF 312 requirements upon her departure from State,
coupled with retention of the materials for 22 months in the face of Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) and a congressional subpoena to the State Department,
confirms that another motive other than her stated “convenience” was present in Secretary Clinton’s actions.
In short, she wished to place the documents beyond the purview of public scrutiny under FOIA or through subpoena by retaining them in her custody as a private citizen.

We Fact Checked Trump’s Claim That ‘Virtually Every Single’ Legal Expert Believes Clinton Committed a Crime
by Rachel Stockman
LawNewz, 2016-04-27


So as a legal website, we had to fact check this one.
Does ‘virtually every single’ legal expert really believe Clinton committed a crime?
The answer is no.
In fact, legal experts are pretty divided.
While there are several very credible legal minds who say
she should be indicted based on the evidence,
there are also plenty who believe she didn’t do anything legally wrong.


#3 LawNewz.com founder, Dan Abrams, also believes based on what we know today,
Clinton did not commit a crime.
“The reality as I see it is one that won’t entirely satisfy either side —
that based on what we know today,
she likely did violate government procedures and rules, but not the law,” Abrams said.


Despite what Mr. Trump reads and sees on television,
legal experts are clearly very divided on whether Clinton committed a crime.
The FBI investigation is reportedly in its final stage.
Agents will likely turn their findings over to Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Ultimately, it will be Lynch who decides if charges against Clinton, or any of her aides are, in fact, warranted.

Romanian hacker Guccifer:
I breached Clinton server, 'it was easy'

By Catherine Herridge, Pamela K. Browne
Fox News, 2016-05-04

The infamous Romanian hacker known as “Guccifer,” speaking exclusively with Fox News, claimed he easily – and repeatedly – breached former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s personal email server in early 2013.

"For me, it was easy ... easy for me, for everybody,"
Marcel Lehel Lazar, who goes by the moniker "Guccifer,"
told Fox News from a Virginia jail where he is being held.

Guccifer’s potential role in the Clinton email investigation was first reported by Fox News last month.
The hacker subsequently claimed he was able to access the server –
and provided extensive details about how he did it and what he found –
over the course of a half-hour jailhouse interview and a series of recorded phone calls with Fox News.

Fox News could not independently confirm Lazar’s claims.

In response to Lazar’s claims, the Clinton campaign issued a statement Wednesday night saying,
"There is absolutely no basis to believe the claims made by this criminal from his prison cell.
In addition to the fact he offers no proof to support his claims,
his descriptions of Secretary Clinton's server are inaccurate.
It is unfathomable that he would have gained access to her emails and not leaked them the way he did to his other victims.”

... ·

Officials: Scant evidence that Clinton had malicious intent in handling of emails
By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post, 2016-05-05

[This headline really smacks of a straw-man.
Of course nobody thought Hillary had "malicious intent in handling of emails".
To say that she didn't have "malicious intent in handling of emails" hardly proves that there were not grave problems caused by her email usage.]

Clinton aide Cheryl Mills leaves FBI interview briefly after being asked about emails
By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post, 2016-05-10


The questions that were considered off-limits
had to do with the procedure used to produce emails to the State Department so they could possibly be released publicly, the people said.
Mills, an attorney herself, was not supposed to be asked questions about that —
and ultimately never was in the recent interview —
because it was considered confidential as an example of attorney-client privilege, the people said.

[Let's see what that implies.
It implies that "the procedure used to produce emails to the State Department"
was carried out after Clinton and Mills had left the State Department,
else as chief of staff Mills would not have been acting as Clinton's attorney.
So a crucial question remains:
Was it proper for Clinton to remove those government records,
for that is what indisputably many of them were,
from the ability of government FOIA officials to make judgments on which were relevant to public FOIA requests?]


Use of Unclassified Email Systems Not Limited to Clinton
New York Times, 2016-05-11

Fact Check: Hillary Clinton still spinning emails
by Jake Tapper
CNN, 2016-05-11 (2:40 video)

CNN's Jake Tapper, as part of our partnership with Factcheck.org,
takes a look at Hillary Clinton and a comment she made recently about her email practices,
that it was "absolutely permitted."
The facts are much more complicated.

Former DOJ Official: Email Case Against Hillary Clinton ‘Stinks To High Heaven’
by Chuck Howley
Breitbart, 2016-05-11

[Besides a few recent quotes about the case,
this article includes a useful summary of the case against Clinton.]

New Clinton Emails Reveal Clinton Knew about Security Risk of Private Blackberry, Avoided Use of Secure Phone
Judical Watch, 2016-05-12

Obama’s Justice Department shields Cheryl Mills from FBI’s questions
by Andrew McCarthy
National Review Online, 2016-05-14

There was an extraordinary report in Tuesday’s Washington Post about the Clinton e-mail investigation.
It involved the government’s interview of longtime Clinton consigliere Cheryl Mills.
It details how Justice Department attorneys made an agreement with Mills’s attorney
to cut off questioning about a key aspect of the case.

Mills, who is a lawyer, was represented at the interview by a lawyer named Beth Wilkinson.
As is customary in these situations,
the questioning was conducted jointly by FBI agents and Justice Department prosecutors.
Yet when things got dicey,
it seems the Justice Department prosecutors worked jointly with Ms. Wilkinson
to block the FBI from asking about Mills’s collusion with Clinton

in the belated provision of thousands of Clinton’s e-mails to State —
provided only after nearly 32,000 of those e-mails were deleted.

The Post’s Matt Zapotosky describes the incident this way:
Near the beginning of a recent interview,
an FBI investigator broached a topic with longtime Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills
that her lawyer and the Justice Department had agreed would be off-limits,
according to several people familiar with the matter.
Mills and her lawyer left the room — though both returned a short time later —
and prosecutors were somewhat taken aback
that their FBI colleague had ventured beyond what was anticipated,
the people said.
The report subsequently elaborates (the italics are mine):
The questions that were considered off-limits had to do with
the procedure used to produce e-mails to the State Department
so they could possibly be released publicly,

the people said.
Mills, an attorney herself, was not supposed to be asked questions about that —
and ultimately never was in the recent interview —
because it was considered confidential as an example of attorney-client privilege,
the people said.
Though reported matter-of-factly, this is quite amazing.

The first remarkable thing to note is that there is a press report at all.
This is supposed to have been a law-enforcement interview in a criminal investigation.
Those are supposed to be non-public, much like grand-jury proceedings.

You may recall that there are various ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits in which
journalists and watchdog groups are seeking access to information about Mrs. Clinton’s improper private e-mail system.
While the Obama State Department has been slow-walking disclosures,
the Obama Justice Department has been fighting off the FOIA lawsuits
by representing to federal judges that allowing information to become public at this time
could compromise the FBI’s investigation.

Yet the Post can only have gotten the information published in its report from leaks by the Justice Department.
Indeed, Mr. Zapotosky writes that goings-on in the Mills interview were described to the Post
“by several people, including U.S. law enforcement officials,
who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing
and those involved could face professional consequences for discussing it publicly.” (Emphasis added.)

Isn’t that special? The “U.S. law enforcement officials” know it is unethical
for them to be speaking about what happened in an investigative interview.
Do they resolve this ethical “dilemma” by ethically refraining from comment?
No, they unethically leak to the press in cowardly anonymity — your government at work.

It is even possible (though by no means certain) that the Post’s pipeline includes a government lawyer who participated in the interview.
It is interesting, to say the least, that the report, which heavily relies on anonymous government sources,
somehow manages not to reveal the names of the government officials who participated in the events the report describes.

The other preliminary matter worth noting here is that
the Post is completely in the tank for Mrs. Clinton and her minions.
So what are we to make of the fact that the Obama Justice Department chose the Post to funnel its leak to?

The report advises us that “so far, investigators have found scant evidence tying Clinton to criminal wrongdoing” —
and how would the Post know that?
In the middle of the report, moreover, readers are invited — in blue italics —
to check out another report entitled,
“Officials: Scant evidence that Clinton had malicious intent in handling of e-mails.”
Sounds great for her . . . especially since they conveniently fail to tell you that “malicious intent” is not required to prove felonious mishandling of classified information.
In fact, gross negligence would do, so if there really is even “scant” evidence of malicious intent,
that suggests it would be fairly easy to prove the crime.

Details, details. In any event,
the upshot of the Post’s patent partisanship is that
we do not learn key details that paper is no doubt in a position to tell us

(especially since the article makes clear that Ms. Wilkinson, Mills’s lawyer, is also a very willing source).

For example, did Mills get immunity?

The report states that “investigators consider Mills . . . to be a cooperative witness.”
Again, the Post can know that only if its Justice Department sources are telling it so.
But more to the point, as I’ve previously laid out in some detail, there are all kinds of “cooperative witnesses.”
Some, for example, are mere innocent observers
who have nothing to do with potentially criminal activity
and unconditionally cooperate with law enforcement because they are not suspects.
Others may be accomplices in the potentially criminal activity;
they generally cooperate only if promised immunity, or at least a reduction of criminal charges.

What is Mills’s status? Were there conditions placed on her interview? Would she really voluntarily cooperate, no strings attached, with government officials who have prosecutorial authority?
After all, Mills has a record of being uncooperative even under circumstances where government investigators were not in a position to file criminal charges against her.

For example, earlier this year, a State Department inspector general (IG) issued a report regarding the department’s appalling record of non-compliance with FOIA during Clinton’s tenure.
It noted that Mills was well aware that Clinton’s e-mails circumvented State’s filing system
and therefore were not searched in order to determine whether some were responsive to FOIA requests.
This was a violation of federal law, which requires each government agency to undertake a search that is “reasonably calculated to uncover all relevant documents.” (See Report at p. 8 & n.29 and pp. 14-15.)
Mills not only failed to ensure that such a search was done;
she knowingly allowed the State Department to represent — falsely, it turned out —
that it possessed no responsive documents.

We now know that,
when IG investigators attempted to question Mills to ascertain why she did that,
she told them, through her lawyer, that she refused to speak with them.

(See January 27, 2016, letter of Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley (R., Iowa) to Secretary of State John F. Kerry.)
She had good reason to take that position:
Obstructing an agency’s lawful compliance with a FOIA request could constitute a felony.
For present purposes, though, the point is that
Mills’s refusal to cooperate with the State Department IG suggests she has concerns about potential criminal jeopardy.
It thus seems highly unlikely that she consented to an interview by FBI agents conducting a criminal investigation
unless she was given some form of immunity.

As I have previously explained, a person in her position generally has three choices:
(a) she could assert her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and refuse to submit to FBI questioning unless the government gave her immunity from prosecution — which would be legally prudent but, if it became public, politically lethal;
(b) she could agree to testify before the grand jury, during which she would have to face questions from a prosecutor and the grand jury without having her lawyer present, and would risk incriminating herself; or
(c) she could agree to submit to an interview by agents and prosecutors, with her attorney permitted to be present, in exchange for qualified immunity.
This qualified form of immunity would be memorialized in a proffer agreement — the so-called Queen for a Day arrangement —
in which the government agrees not to use the witness’s interview statements against her at any future proceeding.
(There are some important reservations, including the right to prosecute the witness for any false statements during the interview.)

Option (c) is the usual preference for “cooperative” witnesses who have potential criminal exposure but feel they can’t afford to take the Fifth for political reasons.
It allows their lawyers to be active participants in the interview — to call timeout, for example, if questioning paints the witness into a corner where she must either admit guilt or lie.
So was Mills given at least qualified immunity in exchange for answering the FBI’s questions?
The Post doesn’t tell us.

By contrast, the Post takes pains to note that Brian Pagliano, the old Clinton hand who was hired by the State Department during Hillary’s tenure and serviced her homebrew server,
“was granted immunity so he would cooperate as part of the probe.”
Oddly, Mr. Zapotosky immediately follows that fact with the assertion that
“there is no indication a grand jury has been convened in the case.”
But a grant of immunity is an indication that grand-jury activity may be underway.
We don’t know what kind of immunity Pagliano got.
If it was full immunity by judicial order, however, that would be for the express purpose of grand-jury testimony.
And if it was qualified immunity, it would likely be because the government anticipates his cooperation in making a case against other suspects — which would require a grand-jury indictment.

That brings us to the most intriguing part of the Post’s report.
Again, the Post says the FBI tried to ask Mills about
“the procedure used to produce [Clinton’s] e-mails to the State Department.”
Mills’s lawyer promptly called timeout, leaving the room with Mills so they could consult.
When they returned, Mills was not required to answer the FBI’s question on this crucial topic.
It turns out the Justice Department’s lawyers had made an agreement with Mills’ lawyer —
seemingly unbeknownst to the FBI —
that this topic would be off-limits due to “attorney-client privilege.”

[This is also the point that caught my attention in the original Post article.]

Why would the Justice Department agree to such a restriction?
Here, the Post kicks up some sand, tossing into the mix that Mills is “an attorney herself.”
But as someone once said, what difference, at this point, does that make?

Mills was not Clinton’s lawyer —
not at the State Department and not in the production of the e-mails to the State Department nearly two years later.
Mills was a government official when the improper e-mail communications arrangement was in use.
Her own actions and communications with Clinton and others in connection with the production — and destruction —
of e-mails is highly relevant.

Moreover, absent a written waiver from the government,
the rules of professional ethics forbid a lawyer who has been a public official
from representing a client
“in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a public officer or employee.”
This rule would bar Mills from acting as Clinton’s lawyer
even if another obvious conflict of interest did not already prevent such an arrangement
(namely, the fact that they are joint participants
in potentially criminal transactions under investigation).

Remember, Clinton, Mills, and other top Clinton staffers knew that
Clinton’s e-mails were not preserved in State Department files.
They knew this notwithstanding that federal law and procedure,
which discourage any use of private e-mail accounts for government business
(let alone systematic use of private e-mail),
require that, if private e-mail is used for an official communication,
a copy of that communication must be placed in government files.
Clinton and Mills well knew that this was not done.
The e-mails remained stored on Clinton’s private server for nearly two years after Clinton and Mills left the State Department at the end of President Obama’s first term in early 2013.

In December 2014, under pressure from public and congressional demands for information,
the State Department finally requested that Clinton surrender any government records she may have kept when she left.
Only then did Clinton acknowledge the homebrew server system on which 62,320 e-mails were said to be stored.
Of these, only 30,490 were turned over to the State Department —
in a paper form that was impossible to search digitally,
forcing the Department to expend mammoth resources and taxpayer dollars to scan them into its filing system.
Clinton then unilaterally deemed the remaining 31,830 e-mails “private, personal records” —
which she undertook to destroy by deleting them,
despite their having been significant enough to preserve up until that point.

Destroying government files is a felony,
every bit as much as is mishandling classified information.

(See my column discussing federal embezzlement statute and Shannen Coffin’s column discussing federal concealment and destruction statute.)
Moreover, if those 31,830 e-mails contained information responsive to FOIA requests, congressional investigations (e.g., probes of Benghazi and the State Department’s abuse of FOIA), or due-process discovery rules governing judicial proceedings (e.g., the Khatallah case involving the Benghazi massacre),
attempting to destroy them by deleting them could amount to felony obstruction of judicial or other governmental proceedings.

Before Clinton tried to destroy those thousands of e-mails
(some or all of which the FBI may since have been able to retrieve from the server),
it was her duty to review them with the State Department to assure its concurrence that they were indeed private.
[Notice the phrase "with the State Department".]
For now, we have only the dubious say-so of Clinton and her confederates.
The FBI and the rest of us are expected to believe one of the highest-ranking, busiest officials in the United States government had time for 31,830 e-mails about yoga routines, wedding gowns, and the like.

How can it be possible that the FBI is not being permitted by the Justice Department to ask a key witness — an accomplice witness —
about one of the central transactions under investigation?

The Post rationalizes that
“it is not completely unknown for FBI agents and prosecutors to diverge on interview tactics and approach.”
That’s ridiculous. This was not tactical.
This was not a disagreement over whether to play “good cop/bad cop.”
This was a disagreement about the substance of the case, about what the FBI is permitted to investigate.
And by the way, if (as I suspect) Mills has been given some form of qualified immunity,
part of the rationale for doing that is to have a free-flowing interview with no fact matters under investigation excluded from inquiry.

on what basis could the Justice Department have sided with Mills’s attorney against the FBI?
The answer may be found by carefully parsing (as one must always do with the Clintons)
an unsworn statement Clinton’s office put out last October.

The statement claims that, upon receiving the State Department’s December 2014 request
that she provide any government records she kept when she left,
“Secretary Clinton directed her attorneys to assist
by identifying and preserving all emails that could potentially be federal records.”
The statement then shifts to the passive voice,
such that we are told about how this and that search “was conducted” —
but not by whom, and with no light shed about communications during the process,
particularly in connection with the thousands of e-mails Clinton tried to erase from her server.

Shannen Coffin has previously noted Clinton’s desperate attempt to blame her attorneys for her misconduct.
But do she and Cheryl Mills really believe that by involving lawyers in their joint activities —
activities that were fraught with potential improprieties and were undertaken in conjunction with people who were not their lawyers —
they can shield those activities from criminal investigation under a haze of “attorney-client privilege”?

More important, does the Obama Justice Department believe that?

If so, somebody ought to let the local mafia boss know that if he wants to avoid federal prosecution,
all he needs to do is bring his lawyers along the next time the goodfellas get together to divide the spoils and decide who needs to get “whacked.”

Or could it be it’s just the Hillary Clinton case in which the Obama Justice Department is playing for the wrong team?

[That was basically my initial reaction to the Post story.
If this story is true, then something is truly rotten in the Department of "Justice".
More than just their (from the AG on down) disgusting support for pandering to the gender insane.]

Attorneys Rip Into FBI For Withholding Emails Surrounding Clinton Private Server Investigation
by Rachel Stockman
LawNewz, 2016-05-17

Attorneys for Vice News reporter, Jason Leopold, filed a document in court yesterday that pretty much rips into the DOJ/FBI’s reasoning for withholding emails in relation to their FOIA lawsuit. Leopold is seeking correspondence between the FBI and Clinton referencing the Clinton email server.


DiGenova on email investigation: ‘The fix is in’
posted at 8:01 pm on May 17, 2016 by Larry O'Connor
Hot Air, 2016-05-17

Former US Attorney for the District of Columbia Joe diGenova unloaded on the Department of Justice in a radio interview yesterday proclaiming no charges will be brought against Clinton because “the fix is in.”
“There have been leaks from the Justice Department
that willfulness has not been established
and that there is scant evidence of any illegal conduct.
That is coming from the national security section of the Justice Department
and that is a sign that the fix is in
on any criminal case against Hillary and her aid[e]s.”
diGenova appeared on WMAL in Washington DC with me and my co-host, Brian Wilson.
Here’s the entire interview and it’s worth a full lesson because diGenova absolutely unloads on the DOJ:
... [The 8 minute video is at the original website.]

My favorite part is when he goes after the Washington Post and other members of the media who have accepted the DOJ and the Clinton campaign’s spin as Gospel truth without any level of challenge or scrutiny. He used the Post’s article last week about how Clinton consigliere Cheryl Mills was allowed to walk out of an FBI interview when she didn’t like the questions that were being asked:
“Look at the press.
Look at the way that story was written.
That isn’t a story written by a free and independent press.
That story in the Washington Post last week was a press release.
That wasn’t a news story.
Not one intense question asked from journalists about why something was happening.
The thing that’s important about that story is what wasn’t in it.

It’s like an old 13th and U whore. I mean that’s what they are.
The media.”

“This is not a real investigation,” diGenova said. “This is a Potemkin investigation.”

State Department report on Clinton's email practices
Office of the Secretary: Evaluation of Email Records Management and Cybersecurity Requirements
by the State Department Inspector General
May 2016

[This purports to be the complete 83 page IG report!

It is also available from Judicial Watch.]

Clinton email server broke government rules, watchdog finds
By Jonathan Allen
Reuters, 2016-05-25

Hillary Clinton broke government rules by using a private email server without approval for her work as U.S. secretary of state, an internal government watchdog said on Wednesday.

The long-awaited report by the State Department inspector general was the first official audit of the controversial arrangement to be made public. It was highly critical of Clinton's use of a server in her home, and immediately fueled Republican attacks on Clinton, the Democratic front-runner in an already acrimonious presidential race.


The report concluded that Clinton would not have been allowed to use the server in her home had she asked the department officials in charge of information security. The report said that staff who later raised concerns were told to keep quiet. Several suspected hacking attempts in 2011 were never reported to department information security officials, in breach of department rules, it said.


The inspector general's office examined email record-keeping under five secretaries state, both Democratic and Republican. John Kerry, the current officeholder, and predecessors Madeline Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice all agreed to speak to the inspector general's investigators.
Clinton was the only one who declined to be interviewed, as did her aides.

The report contradicted Clinton's repeated assertion that her server was allowed and that no permission was needed.


"OIG found no evidence that the Secretary requested or obtained guidance or approval to conduct official business via a personal email account on her private server"....

The report said Clinton should have discussed the arrangement with the department's security and technology officials. Officials told investigators that they "did not - and would not - approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email account to conduct Department business." The reason, those officials said, is because it breached department rules and presented "security risks."


State Dept. inspector general report sharply criticizes Clinton’s email practices
By Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger
Washington Post, 2016-05-25, May 25 at 10:18 AM

The State Department’s independent watchdog has issued a highly critical analysis of Hillary Clinton’s email practices while running the department, concluding that she failed to seek legal approval for her use of a private email server and that department staff would not have given its blessing because of the “security risks in doing so.”

The inspector general, in a long awaited review obtained Wednesday by The Washington Post in advance of its publication, found that Clinton’s use of private email for public business was “not an appropriate method” of preserving documents and that her practices failed to comply with department policies meant to ensure that federal record laws are followed.

The report says Clinton, who is the Democratic presidential front-runner, should have printed and saved her emails during her four years in office or surrendered her work-related correspondence immediately upon stepping down in February 2013. Instead, Clinton provided those records in December 2014, nearly two years after leaving office.


[Secretary Clinton] has not explained how she intended to preserve emails sent to private citizens, who did not use government email.
Some emails have emerged, particularly from Clinton’s first months in office in 2009,
when her aides have said she was transitioning technology,
that she did not provide to the State Department.

The inspector general cited those emails in concluding that
Clinton’s 2014 submission of what she characterized as all of her public records was “incomplete.”


Hillary Clinton Is Criticized for Private Emails in State Dept. Review
New York Times, 2016-05-26

Here are the most critical parts of the State Department inspector general report on Clinton’s email use
By Carol Morello and Jia Lynn Yang
Washington Post, 2016-05-25, May 25 at 12:29 PM

The State Department’s independent watchdog released an 83-page report Wednesday to lawmakers concluding that Hillary Clinton’s email practices did not comply with department policies.

Below are some of the most revealing parts of the findings:

[Note: This is most of the HTML text of the article.
The article also includes JPG images of parts of the IG report itself,
with the most damning phrases highlighted in yellow.
(They really seem quite damning to me.)
Such images do not seem to be able to be copied here.]

1. The report concludes that Clinton’s use of a personal email account was “not an appropriate method.” This knocks down a key argument made in Clinton’s defense — that because she had emailed State Department officials on their government accounts, records of her communications were preserved.

[Here's a JPG image that works today:]

2. In January 2011, there were two hacking attempts on the Clinton email system in one day. An adviser to President Bill Clinton tried to shut down the server each time.

3. There were warnings issued to senior State Department officials that hackers were targeting personal email accounts. Below, an excerpt from a March 11, 2011, memo written by the assistant secretary of diplomatic security.

4. The audit also covered Clinton’s aides, some of whom did not cooperate when asked to respond to a questionnaire about email use. Some of the aides used their personal email accounts extensively for official business.

5. The package of emails turned over by Clinton was “incomplete.”

6. IT security officials were concerned about Clinton’s use of personal email and held meetings to discuss the need to preserve records and security. One staff member said the security director said the email system had been approved by state’s legal staff. The IG did not find evidence that the department’s legal adviser had reviewed or approved Clinton’s email system.

Another staff member who raised issues was told that their mission was “to support the Secretary, and instructed the staff never to speak of the Secretary’s personal email system again.”

7. The report also criticizes Colin Powell’s handling of official emails during his tenure as secretary of state, saying it was also “not an appropriate method” for preserving emails that are part of the federal record. When asked to defend her email system, Clinton has said that her predecessors also used personal accounts.

But the report also notes that by the time Clinton became secretary of state, the guidance on email use was much more detailed, suggesting that pointing to Powell is not an entirely fair comparison.

The 9 biggest revelations in the State IG report on Clinton's emails
The 83-page document provided fresh details about whether the private server was authorized and concerns about hacking attacks.
By Nick Gass
Politico, 2016-05-25: 05/25/16 03:21 PM EDT

The State Department's inspector general report on Wednesday
offered little absolution for Hillary Clinton or several of her top aides who refused to cooperate with the investigation into the former secretary of state's exclusive use of a private email server.

The 83-page document, which was given to lawmakers and leaked to the press,
noted systemic problems with records at the State Department,
but zeroed in on Clinton, concluding that
she had violated federal rules with her private email server.

In addition to creating another headache for a campaign already struggling to fend off a spirited fight from Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders as it looks toward a general election battle with Donald Trump,
the report provided fresh details about whether the private server was authorized and concerns about hacking attacks.

Here are 9 of the biggest revelations in the report:

1. Clinton's email setup was never approved by State security agencies

Even though department policy mandated throughout Clinton's tenure at Foggy Bottom that day-to-day operations should be conducted via authorized means,
the IG report found no evidence that the secretary of state
"requested or obtained guidance or approval to conduct official business via a personal email account on her private server."

According to interviews with officials in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Information Resource Management,
Clinton would have had to "to discuss using her personal email account to conduct official business with their offices,
who in turn would have attempted to provide her with approved and secured means that met her business needs."

But those officials said they approved no such setup because of department rules and the inherent security risks.

The report said those departments "did not—and would not—approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email account to conduct Department business."

2. Clinton never sought assistance to set up her email system to transmit certain sensitive information

The department's policy also mandated that employees use approved and secure devices to transmit information known as SBU—"sensitive but unclassified"—outside State's OpenNet network, and that if they did so on a regular basis to non-department addresses, they should reach out to the Bureau of Information Resource Management.

"However, OIG found no evidence that Secretary Clinton ever contacted IRM to request such a solution, despite the fact that emails exchanged on her personal account regularly contained information marked as SBU," the report states.

3. The arrangement made staffers nervous—and management told them to keep quiet

The IG report noted that two Information Resources Management staffers had communicated their concerns with their departmental boss [No name?] in late 2010.

"In one meeting, one staff member raised concerns that
information sent and received on Secretary Clinton’s account
could contain Federal records that needed to be preserved in order to satisfy Federal recordkeeping requirements," the report noted.

The staff member recalled that the director said
Clinton's personal system had already been reviewed and approved by legal staff
"and that the matter was not to be discussed any further,"
according to the report's language.

"As previously noted,
OIG found no evidence that staff in the Office of the Legal Adviser reviewed or approved Secretary Clinton’s personal system,"
the next line of the report reads.

The other staff member who raised concerns said
the director stated that the department's mission is to "support the Secretary and
instructed the staff never to speak of the Secretary’s personal email system again."

[Again, who on earth is this director?
Oh, now I found on the Internet:]

[identified by sources and other records as Information Resources Management chief John Bentel]

4. Clinton's chief of staff suggested setting up a separate computer

Speaking with senior officials in the Office of the Secretary and its Executive Secretariat, as well as with Patrick F. Kennedy, the department's under secretary for management, Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills in January 2009 suggested that a separate stand-alone computer might be set up for the secretary of state "to enable her to check her emails from her desk."

That discussion came as Clinton expressed her desire to take her BlackBerry in secure areas. Kennedy called it a "great idea" and "the best solution," although the IG report found that no such arrangement was ever made.

5. Clinton worried about 'the personal being accessible'

The report's next bullet point recalls a November 2010 conversation between Clinton and top aide Huma Abedin, her deputy chief of staff for operations.
According to the report, the email discussion centered around emails from Clinton's account not being able to be received by State employees.
Abedin suggested, "we should talk about putting you on state email or releasing your email address to the department so you are not going to spam.”

Clinton responded: "“Let’s get separate address or device but
I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible.”

The former secretary of state declined the OIG's request for an interview,
while Abedin did not respond, according to the report.

6. Abedin rejected the idea for Clinton to use two devices

State Department officials in August 2011 discussed providing Clinton with an agency-issued BlackBerry to replace her "malfunctioning" personal BlackBerry because "her personal email server is down." Then-Executive Secretary Stephen D. Mull suggested that he would provide Clinton two devices—“one with an operating State Department email account (which would mask her identity, but which would also be subject to FOIA requests), and another which would just have phone and internet capability.”

Abedin shot down the proposal because it “doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.” The IG did not find any evidence that Clinton received a new device or address after the discussion.

7. Clinton's email system needed troubleshooting

According to emails the OIG said it reviewed from between "2010 through at least October 2012," messages between State Department staff and two individuals who provided technical support for Clinton's email server showed operational issues. "For example, in December 2010, the Senior Advisor worked with S/ES-IRM and IRM staff to resolve issues affecting the ability of emails transmitted through the clintonemail.com domain used by Secretary Clinton to reach Department email addresses using the state.gov domain," the report states.

Staffers with the office handling information technology for the Office of the Secretary met with a Clinton top technology staffer to resolve the situation. "The issue was ultimately resolved and, on December 21, 2010, S/ES-IRM staff sent senior S/ES staffers an email describing the issue and summarizing the activities undertaken to resolve it," the report stated.

The unnamed Clinton technology staffer also met with staffers in Cyber Threat Analysis Division on another occasion, the report said. The third interaction occurred in late October 2012 when Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the New York City area. An email exchange between Abedin and another member of Clinton's staff "revealed that the server located in Secretary Clinton’s New York residence was down."

The Clinton technology staffer then met with Office of Information Resources Management staffers to see whether State could provide support. According to the report, S/ES-IRM staff said they told the Clinton aide they could not because the server was private.

8. The server was briefly shut down over hacking concerns

The report noted that on Jan. 9, 2011, a non-State technical adviser retained by former President Bill Clinton informed Abedin that he had shut down the server because he thought there was "someone was trying to hack us and while they did not get in i didnt [sic] want to let them have the chance to."

The same person wrote Abedin later the same day, stating, “We were attacked again so I shut [the server] down for a few min.”

"On January 10, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations emailed the Chief of Staff and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Planning and instructed them not to email the Secretary 'anything sensitive' and stated that she could 'explain more in person," the report stated, with Abedin being the person who sent the email.

9. Clinton and her staffers worried about being hacked but didn't report to security personnel

On May 13, 2011, the IG report states that "two of Secretary Clinton’s immediate staff discussed via email the Secretary’s concern that someone was 'hacking into her email' after she received an email with a suspicious link."

Hours after that discussion, an email William Burns, the then-Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, appeared in Clinton's inbox, carrying a link to a suspect URL and nothing else in the message.

“Is this really from you? I was worried about opening it!” Clinton responded hours later.

The IG report referenced pre-existing department policy requiring employees to report suspicious incidents to Information Resources Management officials when it comes to their attention, including that it is also "required when a user suspects compromise of, among other things, a personally owned device containing personally identifiable information."

"However, OIG found no evidence that the Secretary or her staff reported these incidents to computer security personnel or anyone else within the Department," the report states.

Why Clinton’s email problems are here to stay
A new audit doesn't land a knockout punch, but leaves lingering questions that could dog the Democratic front-runner.
By Josh Gerstein
Politico, 2016-05-25, 05/25/16 06:23 PM EDT


One of those staffers said his boss, not named in the report but identified by sources and other records as Information Resources Management chief John Bentel, said the set-up had been approved by State's legal division. Both the staffers said they raised the issue separately with Bentel and he told them never to mention it again.

Fallon said he wasn't sure who the supervisor involved was but he appeared to be a career State official, not a political appointee. The spokesman also noted that numerous officials around the department knew Clinton's address.

"There were certainly no instructions given that this was something that should at all be kept secret," Fallon told MSNBC.

Bentel declined to be interviewed by the inspector general. POLITICO reported in March that he told House Benghazi Committee investigators he could not recall any discussion of Clinton's email server. Clinton's top aides also declined to be interviewed by the inspector general, so it's unclear if any of them were involved in discussions about legal approval for Clinton's server. Clinton's former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, did tell the Benghazi panel that she was not aware of any approval request.

The report concludes that Clinton was obligated under department policies to seek approval for routine use of outside email. The investigators also note that top security and computer system managers said they would not have approved such a request.


Hillary Clinton’s email problems just got much worse
By Chris Cillizza
Washington Post "The Fix", 2016-05-25

One of the two big dominoes in the Hillary Clinton email controversy toppled today: The State Department's inspector general released its report on the email practices of Clinton and a number of other past secretaries of state. (The other major domino is, of course, the FBI investigation into Clinton's decision to exclusively use a private email server while serving as the nation's top diplomat.)

The report, which you can read in its entirety here, badly complicates Clinton's past explanations about the server and whether she complied fully with the laws in place governing electronic communication. And it virtually ensures that Clinton's email practices will be front and center in Donald Trump's fusillade of attacks against her credibility and honesty between now and Nov. 8.

Here's the key passage from the Roz Helderman and Tom Hamburger's article on the report:
The inspector general, in a long awaited review obtained Wednesday by The Washington Post in advance of its publication, found that Clinton’s use of private email for public business was “not an appropriate method” of preserving documents and that her practices failed to comply with department policies meant to ensure that federal record laws are followed.

The report says Clinton, who is the Democratic presidential front-runner, should have printed and saved her emails during her four years in office or surrendered her work-related correspondence immediately upon stepping down in February 2013. Instead, Clinton provided those records in December 2014, nearly two years after leaving office.
Clinton used an inappropriate method of preserving her documents. Her approach would not have been approved if it had been requested by a more junior member of the State Department staff. The report also suggests that despite a Clinton aide's insistence that the method of preserving her emails had been submitted to a legal review back in 2010, there is no evidence that such a review took place. And, here's the kicker: Clinton refused to sit for a formal interview.

Oomph. Double oomph. Heck, that might merit a triple oomph.


Eight Times Hillary Said Everyone Knew About Her Email Setup
And claimed that it was permitted
by Jenna Lifhits
Weekly Standard, 2016-05-25

Transcript of the State Department Daily Press Briefing for 2016-05-25
State Department, 2016-05-26


QUESTION: So now that the report is public and everybody has access to it, I’m hoping you can address a few more things more explicitly. I noted in the report that the under secretary for management said that he was never asked to approve the personal email system. And it also says that he didn’t have – or that he said that he didn’t have full kind of understanding of it. What I continue not to understand is why this wasn’t looked into and why any of the people who did have even partial knowledge didn’t raise the issue so that the security of the former secretary’s emails could be preserved and the records management requirements could be met.

MR TONER: Well, a couple of things, Arshad.
First, you’re right in that in his interview for this report,
Under Secretary Kennedy did state that he was not asked to approve nor was he –
nor otherwise review the use of Secretary Clinton’s server,
and in fact, he does say that he was unaware of
the scope or extent of Secretary Clinton’s use of her personal email account.
He also said and maintains that he had very little knowledge or insight into Secretary Clinton’s email practices,
including how frequently or infrequently then-Secretary Clinton used email.

To speak to your additional question, look –
and this isn’t speaking specifically to Under Secretary Kennedy’s role –
but across the board, and we have acknowledged this,
there was only a partial understanding of how much Secretary Clinton relied on personal email
and we just did not have a complete picture.
[OK, I can believe that.
But this makes it all the more critical to ask NSA if they had a complete picture,
and if so what if anything they did with that knowledge.

Also, consider who the "we" is in his statement
"we just did not have a complete picture".
Surely those in Clinton's inner circle, herself, her chief of staff Cheryl Mills, her deputy COS Huma Abedin,
and perhaps also her senior adviser Jake Sullivan and her Director of Policy Planning,
had in some cases complete knowledge of Clinton's email practices, and in other cases at least a good idea.
Yet none of them thought to touch base with the professional security and FOIA experts in the State Department
as to what those practices meant for security and FOIA.
It's pretty clear where their loyalties lay,
and I think those loyalties were more to Hillary than to the people of the United States.]

And because of that, I think no one undertook the steps to address that.
And we have said also that – or acknowledged, and not just with Secretary Clinton but with previous secretaries – that we did not do a good job in onboarding or processing in senior leadership, especially the secretaries of state, and making sure that they understood the rules regarding personal email use.


QUESTION: So my question is: Is there no obligation on any of those people, from the secretary to Mr. Pagliano, to know the rules and raise them to the appropriate level to have the rules be followed?

MR TONER: So this is going to be an unsatisfactory answer, but the people you were referring to just now, the people who may have had a broader knowledge or a fuller appreciation of – to the extent at which Secretary Clinton was using her personal email
are no longer here at the department, and so they are now, many of them, with Secretary Clinton
[Right, they have flown the coop and are now on the pathway to bigger and better things.
Show's what matters in today's America. Yuck!]

and, frankly, I would just have to ask you to ask them to answer that question – whether – how much they knew and if they knew that she was relying significantly or solely on personal email, why didn’t they make this – others aware of it. I just can’t answer that question.


State Department claims Clinton to blame for email misuse
Bill O'Reilly interview with Judge Napolitano
Fox News O'Reilly Factor, 2016-05-26

How much trouble is Hillary Clinton really in?
Bill O'Reilly inteviews Rudy Giuliani
Fox News O'Reilly Factor Talking Points, 2016-05-26

IG Report on Clinton’s Emails
The State Department inspector general contradicts several of Clinton's long-standing talking points.
By Eugene Kiely
Fact Check, 2016-05-27

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that her decision to use a private email account and server for government business while secretary of state was “allowed” by the State Department. She has said “my predecessors did the same thing,” and insisted she “fully complied with every rule” in preserving her work emails.

We have taken issue with those claims, and now so does the State Department Office of Inspector General, which issued a report on May 26 that contradicts several of Clinton’s claims about her emails:
  • The IG report cited department policies dating to 2005 that require “normal day-to-day operations” to be conducted on government servers, contrary to Clinton’s claim that her server was allowed. It also said she “had an obligation” to discuss her email system with cybersecurity officials, but there’s “no evidence” that she sought or received their approval.
  • The IG report said Clinton should have turned over her emails before she left office — not 21 months after she left. “[S]he did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act,” the report said.
  • Clinton has said her emails “were captured and preserved immediately on the system at the State Department” because she emailed department officials at their government accounts. The IG report said that is “not an appropriate method of preserving any such emails that would constitute a Federal record.”
The IG report also said the only other secretary of state to use personal email “exclusively” for government business was Colin Powell, contrary to Clinton’s claim that her “predecessors” — plural — “did the same thing.” The IG also said that, like Clinton, Powell did not comply with policies on preserving work-related emails.

But the IG report said the comparison to Powell — who did not use a private server — only goes so far. It said during Clinton’s tenure, the rules governing personal email and the use of nongovernment systems were “considerably more detailed and more sophisticated,” citing specific memos that warned department employees about the security risks of not using the government system.

“Secretary Clinton’s cybersecurity practices accordingly must be evaluated in light of these more comprehensive directives,” the report said.

[The report from Fact Check goes on at considerable length, rebutting past Clinton claims.
In the interest of brevity, I am omitting that here;
you can find their analysis at the link above.]


Hillary Clinton’s Emails Now Might Finally Take Her Down
by Dan Metcalfe
Lawnewz, 2016-05-29


Now, even the general public is left with the unavoidable conclusion that
Ms. Clinton either is ignorant of the law
(which too many people know is not so)
or else feels blithely untethered to reality in a way that necessarily serves her secretive interests regardless of any truth —
the technical legal term for which is “pathological lying,”
or perhaps merely “psychosis.”


If you’re a do-or-die Clinton supporter ...
you look at the IG report as a damning blow to your candidate, as you must,
but you console yourself with the fact that it is in effect
a “civil law indictment” of her, not a criminal law one.
After all, only the Department of Justice can take that latter step
and it is clear to you that Ms. Clinton had no intent to break any criminal law —
so she’s still got that going for her, right?


More to the point, though, you [a hypothetical mainstream figure in the Democratic Party] fear that the most likely Democrat nominee, having just been seriously wounded by this week’s IG report, is manifestly vulnerable to a much greater wound in the form of a criminal indictment for misconduct that far transcends what the IG report dealt with.
Specifically, as a sophisticated observer, you are aware that
Former Secretary Clinton’s intent (known in criminal law as mens rea), or lack of same,
is not what matters in this case.

Rather, the applicable legal standard is a mere “gross negligence” one,
as specified in the standard national security non-disclosure agreement that she signed and its underlying criminal statutes.

And when you marry that to the fact that (among other things) her admitted failure to use the State Department’s special classified email system for classified (or potentially classified) information constituted a clear violation of a criminal prohibition, you start worrying big-time.
And this is especially so given that Ms. Clinton did not just violate such laws inadvertently or even only occasionally — she did so systemically.
In other words,
her very email scheme itself appears to have been a walking violation of criminal law, one with the mens rea prosecution standard readily met.

It also is especially so given that the ongoing investigation of Ms. Clinton’s misconduct is being conducted by the FBI, under the leadership of FBI Director James Comey.
Those of us who worked under him when he was the deputy attorney general during the George W. Bush Administration know him to be an exceptional man of utmost integrity, one who can be counted on to recommend a criminal prosecution when the facts and the law of a case warrant it, regardless of political circumstances.
Given that the facts and law are so clear in Ms. Clinton’s case,
it is difficult to imagine her not being indicted, unless Jim Comey’s expected recommendation for that is abruptly overruled at “Main Justice”
(i.e., by Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, or by Attorney General Loretta Lynch)
[All women. Are you happy, women?]
or at the White House by President Obama (who customarily does not intervene in such things and would do so here either secretly or at no small political peril).


Dan Metcalfe is a registered Democrat who has long said that he will vote for Hillary Clinton in November “if she escapes indictment and manages to become the Democratic presidential nominee.”

Former State Dept. watchdog debunks central Clinton email claim
By Catherine Herridge, Pamela K. Browne
Fox News, 2016-05-31

The State Department’s former top watchdog, in an interview with Fox News, rejected Hillary Clinton’s repeated claims that her personal email use was in line with her predecessors’ – while saying he would have immediately opened an investigation if he caught wind of a secretary of state using such an account.

Howard Krongard, a George W. Bush administration appointee who served as the State Department inspector general from April 2005 to January 2008, cited his own experience in challenging Clinton’s insistence that her practices were nothing out of the ordinary.

“Certainly to my knowledge at least, Secretary [Condoleezza] Rice did not have a personal server. I certainly never either sent an email to one or received an email from one,” said Krongard, who served during Rice’s tenure.

Further, he said, “I would have been stunned had I been asked to send an email to her at a personal server, private address. I would have declined to do so on security grounds and if she had sent one to me, I probably would have started an investigation.”

Krongard noted that during Clinton’s four-year term, from January 2009 to January 2013, there was no Senate-confirmed inspector general in place.
Suggesting the Clintons show a pattern of avoiding oversight,
Krongard indicated that Hillary Clinton benefited from the fact there was no IG during her term.


Fact-checking Hillary Clinton's claim that her email practices were 'allowed'
By Lauren Carroll
Politifact, 2016-05-31: on Tuesday, May 31st, 2016 at 4:11 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is sticking to her defense that her use of a private email server while secretary of state was "allowed," despite a critical independent audit that found it really wasn’t.

In a May 26 interview, ABC reporter Liz Kreutz asked Clinton about her decision to use a server located in her New York home instead of a government email, as well as the audit, which was conducted by the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General.

"But this report said that you, quote, 'had an obligation to discuss' using your personal email and that you didn’t," Kreutz said. "So how can you really say that it was allowed? Was it an error of judgment?"

Clinton replied: "Well it was allowed, and the rules have been clarified since I left about the practice. Having said that, I have said many times that it was a mistake, and if I could go back I would do it differently."

Since the news of Clinton’s email came to light in 2015,
she has argued that she "complied with every rule" and that the practice was "allowed."
We haven’t yet put the issue on the Truth-O-Meter because there were too many unknowns.

But the inspector general’s report has clarified some of those unknowns
and demonstrated that Clinton’s exclusive use of personal email was, in fact, not allowed.

Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon told PolitiFact that in this specific interview,
Clinton was making the point that some personal email use is permitted.
She wasn’t disputing the inspector general’s finding
that her exclusive use of personal email was not permitted.

But for anyone unaware of that nuance — say, the average voter —
it sounds like Clinton is defending her email practices as a whole,
as something that was fully permitted by the State Department,
which is the argument she has been making all along.
And that’s just not right.

The gist of the problem is that Clinton never asked anyone if she could use her personal email setup. And the report seems to find that if she had asked, the policy was clear that such a request should have been rejected.

"The private email server was only allowed in the sense that no one managed to prevent it from happening," said John Wonderlich, director of policy at the Sunlight Foundation, which promotes government transparency.

First of all, the State Department’s policy as of 2005 (Clinton joined in 2009) is that all day-to-day operations are to be conducted on the official State Department information channel. Clinton never once used this State Department email system.

And if an employee needs to use a personal email for conducting official business, he or she has an "obligation" to consult with the chief information officer and the assistant secretary for diplomatic security. However, Clinton did neither.

These two offices told the inspector general that they "did not — and would not — approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email account to conduct Department business, because of the restrictions in the (Foreign Affairs Manual) and the security risks in doing so."

She also didn’t consult the Bureau of Information Resource Management, which she was supposed to do if she needed to send sensitive but unclassified information over non-departmental channels. Many of her emails contain this kind of information.

Further, Clinton needed to show that her personal email had the proper security features to send sensitive but unclassified information. While Clinton has said her private server was secure, she did not formally demonstrate this to the State Department.

Clinton also didn’t comply fully with records management expectations. Notably, she did not ensure that her work-related emails were preserved on the State Department system in real time, nor did she surrender them when she left office.


Our ruling

Regarding her decision to use a private email server, Clinton said, "It was allowed."

No one ever stopped Clinton from conducting work over her private email server exclusively.
But that’s not the same thing as it being allowed.
Offices within the State Department told an independent inspector general that
if she had asked, they would not have allowed it.

The report from the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General
shatters one of Clinton’s go-to phrases about her email practice.
We rate her claim False.

‘This Week’ Transcript: Hillary Clinton
By ABC News
ABC News This Week with George Stephnopolous, 2016-06-05


STEPHANOPOULOS: Madam Secretary, on the e-mail issue, as you know, the State Department inspector general report was quite tough on your practices and it concluded -- and I want to show it right here -- that Secretary Clinton had an obligation to discuss using her personal e-mail account to conduct official business with their offices and, according to these officials, diplomatic security and the information resource management offices did not and would not approve your exclusive reliance on a personal e-mail account to conduct department business because of the restrictions in the foreign affairs manual and the security risks in doing so.

Do you now accept their conclusion that your exclusive use of a personal account was not allowed, that you broke State Department rules?

CLINTON: You know, look, George, I thought that the report actually made it clear that the practice I used was used by other secretaries, other high-ranking State Department officials.

STEPHANOPOULOS: No one else had exclusive use --


CLINTON: -- if I had to -- if I had to do it over again, I certainly wouldn't. But I think that the rules were not clarified until after I had left, because it had been the practice of others. There was certainly reason to believe -- which I did -- that what I practiced was in keeping with others' practices.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you were the only one who had exclusive use of a personal account. Secretary Powell did have a personal e-mail account as well and they were very, very clear.


CLINTON: You know --


CLINTON: Well, George, I have to tell you that -- that, you know, I -- I will say it was a mistake. I would not do it again. But I think that the rules were not clarified until after I had left and the first secretary of State to use a government email account was John Kerry, some months into his tenure. Those are the facts.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But the -- the reports -- so you don't accept the conclusions of the report, because they say you were unmindful of the rules.

CLINTON: Everybody in the department knew that I was e-mailing from a personal address. Hundreds of people knew it. People around the government knew it. And, uh, you know, that was what the practice had been and that's what I did, as well.

[The State Dept. IG report asserts that State Dept. security officers were not asked to approve Hillary's email setup, and if they had been, they would have not given their approval.
That report did not make clear to me, at least, whether they knew of it, as Hillary asserts that "everybody in the department" was.
Somebody needs to ask those security officials that question.]

STEPHANOPOULOS: So I'll take it that you don't accept their conclusion.

Just one other question on this.

Has there -- have you had any contact yet with the FBI, you or your agents, over this matter?

CLINTON: I -- I have not been asked to come in for an interview. I've said I am more than willing since last August and I would like to do that sooner instead of later and get this matter wrapped up and behind us.


State Department Blocks Release Of Hillary Clinton-Era TPP Emails Until After The Election
By David Sirota
International Business Times, 2016-06-06

Trade is a hot issue in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. But correspondence from Hillary Clinton and her top State Department aides about a controversial 12-nation trade deal will not be available for public review — at least not until after the election. The Obama administration abruptly blocked the release of Clinton’s State Department correspondence about the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), after first saying it expected to produce the emails this spring.

[Whoa! Talk about politics. What can be the excuse for delaying the release of theose emails other than the desire to cook the information the American public receives?]


FBI Reveals 'Additional Details' About Clinton Email Probe in Secret Declaration
By Jason Leopold
Vice News, 2016-06-07

The FBI is seeking permission to file a second, secret declaration in US District Court in Washington, DC describing its search for documents related to the bureau's probe of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.

The declaration is to be submitted in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the bureau by VICE News seeking the contents of Clinton's email server and the FBI's correspondence with the State Department. It contains "additional details" about the ongoing investigation, according to a court filing submitted to US District Court Judge Randolph Moss Monday night asking him to accept the secret document, which came on the eve of major Democratic primary contests in California, New Jersey, and four other states,

The details of the declaration pertain, in part, to the bureau's search for documents about Clinton's server and how the public release of the records could harm the FBI's investigation, Justice Department lawyers wrote in a court filing, seeking dismissal of VICE News' lawsuit.

"These details supplement defendant's showing that it conducted a reasonable search, but cannot be disclosed on the public record without compromising information that the FBI seeks to protect," the filing said.


The Coming Constitutional Crisis Over Hillary Clinton's EmailGate
by John R. Schindler
Observer.com, 2016-06-15


For good measure, Clinton stated for the umpteenth time, “nothing I sent or received at the time was marked classified.” This dodge has been employed for a year as cover by Team Clinton to explain how so much classified information, including at least two dozen emails classified top secret or higher, among them enormously sensitive special access programs from both CIA and NSA, wound up in Clinton’s “unclassified” private email.

Any inquiring mind will want to know how Hillary Clinton is so certain she cannot be indicted over EmailGate, since the FBI’s investigation remains open. Similarly, it deserves to be asked why Obama felt it appropriate to endorse Clinton to succeed him in the White House while the FBI continues to investigate her, since any Bureau referral in the matter will wind up on the desk of the attorney general, Loretta Lynch—who works for President Obama. The White House insists this is no way taints the case. However, since Obama is a constitutional lawyer by background, he cannot fail to see how this creates a serious conflict of interest.


The weird history of how the Hillary Clinton email story was broken — and buried
By Callum Borchers
Washington Post, 2016-07-05

The Hillary Clinton email scandal is often traced back to a front-page New York Times report in March 2015 — and for good reason. The article prompted the FBI investigation that concluded Tuesday with a recommendation not to bring criminal charges against the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

But Clinton's use of a private email address during her tenure as secretary of state was actually reported two years earlier. It was just buried inside other stories that seemed like bigger deals at the time.

Flash back to February 2013, when a hacker known as "Guccifer" gained access to the email account of Dorothy Bush, sister of former president George W. Bush. Guccifer went through Dorothy Bush's messages and found family photos and contact information, as well as private correspondence about the health of former president George H.W. Bush. He posted this stuff online. The Secret Service opened an investigation.


The Strange Gaps in Hillary Clinton’s Email Traffic
by Peter Schweizer
Politico Magazine, 2016-07-06


But, when it comes to Clinton’s correspondence,
the most basic and troubling questions still remain unanswered:
Why are there gaps in Clinton’s email history?
Did she or her team delete emails that she should have made public?

The State Department has released what is said to represent all of the work-related, or “official,” emails Clinton sent during her tenure as secretary—a number totaling about 30,000.
According to Clinton and her campaign,
when they were choosing what correspondence to turn over to State for public release,
they deleted 31,830 other emails deemed “personal and private.”
But a numeric analysis of the emails that have been made public,
focusing on conspicuous lapses in email activity,
raises troubling concerns that Clinton or her team
might have deleted a number of work-related emails.

We already know that the trove of Clinton’s work-related emails is incomplete.
In his comments on Tuesday [07-05], Comey declared,
[1.8] “The FBI … discovered several thousand work-related e-mails
that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014.”
We also already know that some of those work-related emails could be permanently deleted.
Indeed, according to Comey,
[1.14] “It is also likely that there are other work-related e-mails
that [Clinton and her team] did not produce to State and
that we did not find elsewhere, and
that are now gone because they deleted all emails they did not return to State,
and the lawyers cleaned their devices
in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery.”

Why does this matter?
Because Clinton signed documents declaring
she had turned over all of her work-related emails.
We now know that is not true.
But even more importantly, the absence of emails raises troubling questions
about the nature of the correspondence that might have been deleted.

Based on the emails the State Department released, Clinton sent or received an average of 21 work emails per day during her tenure—including on her numerous trips overseas, when email must have been a lifeline for communication. But there are numerous odd low-traffic days in the email record during her foreign travel.

Equally bizarre is the absence at certain times of basic logistical emails pertaining to Hillary Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton.
In general, Bill gets plenty of mention in the official emails released by the State Department, emails covering everything from travel logistics to press releases about Clinton Foundation work.
But there’s an email silence in June 2010, when Hillary Clinton was in South America for a series of high-level meetings.
According to her memoir, “by coincidence” Bill was in Bogota, Colombia, apparently for Clinton Foundation work, at the same time she was in the country.
Also there with Bill was Frank Giustra, one of the Clinton Foundation’s largest contributors.
Bill, Hillary and Giustra reportedly had dinner together, and the next morning, Bill met with Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe, followed immediately by Hillary’s meeting with Uribe.
In the weeks that follow, Giustra’s companies scored concessions from the Colombian government on matters ranging from oil to timber.

It’s not what’s in the record that is most troubling. It’s what’s not there.

The State Department released plenty of emails concerning Bill Clinton during other foreign trips when Hillary and Bill were traveling together, including dining recommendations, travel schedules and records of Bill’s daily activities.
And yet there is not a single email in the public Clinton email trove
about Bill’s presence in Colombia, the couple’s dinner with Giustra
or the fact that Bill and Hillary met separately and back-to-back with Uribe.

These omissions could come down to Clinton’s definition of “personal.”
Clinton and her team have claimed that the only emails that were deleted pertained to personal matters, or as she put it,
“emails about planning Chelsea’s wedding or my mother’s funeral arrangements,
condolence notes to friends, as well as yoga routines, family vacations,
the other things you typically find in inboxes.”
But the system by which this sorting took place was highly arbitrary,
and was undertaken not by objective government officials but by lawyers and close aides.
Keep in mind that those lawyers have used a more expansive term than Clinton to describe what was deleted.
They called them “private, personal records.”
By this definition, “private, personal records” doesn’t just have to apply to wedding planning;
that term could involve anything related to the Clinton Foundation or Bill’s commercial activities.
But the world has a right to know
if and when Hillary Clinton’s State Department work
overlapped with the Clinton Foundation’s agenda—

and what resulted from such blurring of lines.


Peter Schweizer is president of the Government Accountability Institute,
senior editor at large at Breitbart News and the author of Clinton Cash.

EXCLUSIVE – NSA Whistleblower: Agency Has All of Clinton’s Deleted Emails
Aaron Klein interview with William Binney
Breitbart Jerusalem, 2016-07-31

The National Security Agency (NSA)
has “all” of Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails
and the FBI could gain access to them if they so desired,

William Binney, a former highly placed NSA official,
declared in a radio interview broadcast on Sunday.

Speaking as an analyst, Binney raised the possibility that
the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s server was done not by Russia
but by a disgruntled U.S. intelligence worker concerned about
Clinton’s compromise of national security secrets via her personal email use.
[Huh? I get that some in the intel community, like many Americans,
are no doubt unhappy about Hillary's sloppy comm habits,
but the hack of the DNC files seems rather distant from that issue, to me anyhow.]


Binney referenced testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in March 2011 by then-FBI Director Robert S. Mueller in which Meuller spoke of the FBI’s ability to access various secretive databases “to track down known and suspected terrorists.”

Stated Binney: “Now what he (Mueller) is talking about is going into the NSA database, which is shown of course in the (Edward) Snowden material released, which shows a direct access into the NSA database by the FBI and the CIA. Which there is no oversight of by the way. So that means that NSA and a number of agencies in the U.S. government also have those emails.”

“So if the FBI really wanted them they can go into that database and get them right now,”
he stated of Clinton’s emails as well as DNC emails.

Asked point blank if he believed the NSA has copies of “all” of Clinton’s emails,
including the deleted correspondence, Binney replied in the affirmative.

“Yes,” he responded. “That would be my point.
They have them all and the FBI can get them right there.”

[He seems to omit any specific reason why he believes NSA has copies of the emails.
The fact that the FBI can request access to what NSA has
scarcely establishes what it is that NSA has.
Further, I believe there are well-established laws and regs prohibiting
NSA collection on U.S. citizens.]


Clinton’s claim that the FBI director said her email answers were ‘truthful’
By Glenn Kessler
Washington Post "Fact Checker", 2016-07-31


[Comey] added:

“There is evidence to support a conclusion that
any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position,
or in the position of those government employees
with whom she was corresponding about these matters,
should have known that
an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.”

He noted that “even if information is not marked ‘classified’ in an e-mail,
participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified
are still obligated to protect it.”


The Pinocchio Test

As we have seen repeatedly in Clinton’s explanations of the email controversy,
she relies on excessively technical and legalistic answers to explain her actions.
While Comey did say there was no evidence she lied to the FBI,
that is not the same as saying she told the truth to the American public —
which was the point of Wallace’s question.
Comey has repeatedly not taken a stand on her public statements.

And although Comey did say many emails were retroactively classified,
he also said that there were some emails that were already classified
that should not have been sent on an unclassified, private server.
That’s the uncomfortable truth that Clinton has trouble admitting.

["has trouble admitting."? How about "refuses to admit."?]


Hillary Clinton's wrong claim that FBI director Comey called her comments about email 'truthful'
By Lauren Carroll
PolitiFact, 2016-08-01


"Director Comey said my answers were truthful,
and what I've said is consistent with what I have told the American people,
that there were decisions discussed and made
to classify retroactively certain of the emails,"
["what I've said". Presumably that refers to what she said to the FBI.]
she [Clinton] said.

Clinton appears to have selective hearing.

In saying Comey called her answers "truthful,"
Clinton was apparently referring to — and putting a positive spin on —
a comment Comey made in a July 7 congressional hearing
regarding Clinton’s closed-door interview with the FBI as part of their investigation.
Comey said,
"We have no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI."

In her interview with Wallace,
Clinton was making the point that
what she told the public is consistent with what she told the FBI,
and Comey said what she told the FBI was "truthful,"
campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin said.

So Clinton’s statement implies that Comey has confirmed that
her public comments are accurate.
That is incorrect.


There is no transcript of the FBI interview.
[I hope the FBI has a transcript of that interview.
If so, the above just means there is no publicly available transcript.]


Our ruling

Clinton said regarding the presence of classified information in her email,
FBI director James "Comey said my answers were truthful,
and what I've said is consistent with what I have told the American people."

A reasonable person would interpret Clinton’s statement to mean that
Comey has endorsed her public remarks about her email.
This is not the case.

Talking specifically about Clinton’s closed-door FBI interview,
Comey said there is "no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI" about her email practices.
But Comey has specifically declined to comment on
whether Clinton’s public remarks have been accurate.

Further, while not explicitly rebuking Clinton’s public comments,
Comey highlighted a major problem with them.

Clinton repeatedly said
she did not have any classified information whatsoever in her email,
marked or unmarked.
After the FBI investigation, including the interview with Clinton,
Comey said she unequivocally did.

We rate her claim Pants on Fire.

Judicial Watch Uncovers New Batch of Hillary Clinton Emails
Judicial Watch, 2016-08-09

Huma Abedin Emails Show Clinton Foundation Donor Demands on State Department


The documents were produced under a court order in a May 5, 2015, Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit against the State Department (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)) requiring the agency to produce “all emails of official State Department business received or sent by former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin from January 1, 2009 through February 1, 2013, using a ‘non-state’.gov email address.”

“No wonder Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin hid emails from the American people, the courts and Congress,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “They show the Clinton Foundation, Clinton donors, and operatives worked with Hillary Clinton in potential violation of the law.”


U.S. Court of Appeals rules all federal units must retain emails: Aug. 13, 1993
By Andrew Glass
Politico, 2016-08-12

On this day in 1993, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
affirmed a decision by Federal District Court Judge Charles Richey
that federal agencies, including the White House and Congress,
must retain all official emails that exist within their computer systems.
Readers of hard-copy versions, the court said,
may have trouble distinguishing “basic facts” about a document,
such as its sender, recipient and time of transmission.
Moreover, if the electronic version were to be erased,
then such “contextualizing information” would be forever unavailable.


Hillary Clinton Told F.B.I. Colin Powell Advised Her to Use Private Email
New York Times, 2016-08-18

Pressed by the F.B.I. about her email practices at the State Department,
Hillary Clinton told investigators that former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell
had advised her to use a personal email account.

The account is included in the notes
the Federal Bureau of Investigation handed over to Congress on Tuesday,
relaying in detail the three-and-a-half-hour interview with Mrs. Clinton in early July
that led to the decision by James B. Comey, the bureau’s director,
not to pursue criminal charges against her.

Separately, in a 2009 email exchange that also emerged during the F.B.I. questioning,
Mrs. Clinton, who had already decided to use private email,
asked Mr. Powell about his email practices when he was the nation’s top diplomat under George W. Bush,
according to a person with direct knowledge of Mr. Powell’s appearance in the documents,
who would not speak for attribution.

The journalist Joe Conason first reported the conversation between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Powell
[Is "reported" the right word here?
How about "alleged"?]

in his coming book about Bill Clinton’s postpresidency,
“Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton,” which The Times received an advanced copy of.

Mr. Conason describes a conversation in the early months of Mrs. Clinton’s tenure at the State Department at a small dinner party hosted by Madeleine Albright,
another former secretary of state, at her home in Washington.
Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice also attended.

“Toward the end of the evening, over dessert,
Albright asked all of the former secretaries to offer one salient bit of counsel to the nation’s next top diplomat,” Mr. Conason writes.
“Powell told her to use her own email, as he had done,
except for classified communications,
which he had sent and received via a State Department computer.”

Mr. Conason continued, “Saying that
his use of personal email had been transformative for the department,”
Mr. Powell “thus confirmed a decision she had made months earlier —
to keep her personal account and use it for most messages.”


Mr. Powell’s office released a statement on Thursday night saying
he had no recollection of the dinner conversation.
He did write Mrs. Clinton an email memo, which may exist in the F.B.I. files,
describing his use of his personal email account for unclassified messages
“and how it vastly improved communications within the State Department,”
the statement said.


FBI uncovers 14,900 more documents in Clinton email probe
by Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post, 2016-08-22

The FBI found 15,000 emails Hillary Clinton didn’t turn over. Uh oh.
By Chris Cillizza
Washington Post The Fix, 2016-08-22

[15,000 emails that Director Comey didn't mention, or seem to know about, in his July 5 press conference????
Come on, FBI, how did that happen?
Hope Congress can get an answer to that.]

If you scrape away all of the spin and the political positioning that Hillary Clinton's decision to use a private email server has spawned,
you are left with these facts:

1. Clinton is the first secretary of state to exclusively use a private email account for official business.

2. She is also the first secretary of state to have a private email server housed at her home.

3. When asked by the State Department to turn over her emails,
Clinton had a team of lawyers go through them
to separate those that were purely personal
and those that touched on some aspect of her professional life.
The [supposedly] personal emails were deleted permanently off the server.
The professional ones were turned over to the State Department.

Clinton deleted more emails than she turned over.
Her team never actually read all of the emails, skimming subject lines instead.
And there was never anyone outside of Clinton's direct orbit brought in to oversee the process.
The essence of Clinton's argument regarding this email-sorting process was:
Trust me. As in, my team of lawyers
found all of the emails that were even tangentially tied to my day job as the nation's top diplomat
and turned them over to the State Department.


Hillary Clinton’s 15,000 New Emails to Get Timetable for Release
by Mark Landler and Steven Lee Myers
New York Times, 2016-08-23

The dispute over Hillary Clinton’s email practices
now threatens to shadow her for the rest of the presidential campaign after
the disclosure on Monday that the F.B.I. collected nearly 15,000 new emails in its investigation of her and
a federal judge’s order that the State Department accelerate the documents’ release.

As a result, thousands of emails that Mrs. Clinton did not voluntarily turn over to the State Department last year could be released just weeks before the election in November.
The order, by Judge James E. Boasberg of Federal District Court,
came the same day a conservative watchdog group separately released hundreds of emails from one of Mrs. Clinton’s closest aides, Huma Abedin,
which put a new focus on the sometimes awkward ties between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department.

The F.B.I. discovered the roughly 14,900 emails
by scouring Mrs. Clinton’s server and the computer archives of government officials with whom she corresponded.
In late July, it turned them over to the State Department,
which now must set a timetable for their release, according to Judge Boasberg’s order.


Video of Megyn Kelly interviewing Trey Gowdy on his review of FBI notes of FBI interview with Clinton
Fox News Kelly File, 2016-08-24

BleachBit?! ... Gowdy Says Hillary Deleted Emails 'So Even God Couldn’t Read Them’
Martha MacCallum interview with Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC-R)
Fox News America's Newsroom, 2016-08-25

[Contains video of the interview.]

Video of the interview.

Hillary Clinton Deleted Emails Using Program Intended To ‘Prevent Recovery’
by Chuck Ross
The Daily Caller, 2016-08-25

Hillary Clinton’s team of aides and lawyers deleted emails from her private server using a software program intended to “prevent recovery” and hide traces of deleted files.

South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy revealed the information during an interview on Thursday on Fox News.
Citing notes that FBI investigators took during their probe of Clinton’s private email server,
Gowdy said that Clinton’s team used open source software called BleachBit to remove tens of thousands of emails from her server.


Judicial Watch Panel: Clinton Scandal Update – Emails and the Clinton Foundation
Judicial Watch, 2016-09-29

The panel will be hosted by Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
And he will be joined by Clinton scandal experts
Peter Schweizer, author of the New York Times best-seller Clinton Cash;
Joseph E. diGenova, former U.S. States Attorney, District of Columbia, and
Judicial Watch Director of Investigations, Chris Farrell.

YouTube video of the panel (1:29:56)

What the FBI Files Reveal About Hillary Clinton’s Email Server
New documents tell the full, strange story of
a technophobic VIP, a sloppy State Department, and the jerry-rigged computer that held it all together.
By Garrett M. Graff
Politico, 2016-09-30

The most revealing Clinton campaign emails in WikiLeaks release
The trove includes excerpts of Clinton's paid Wall Street speeches that were deemed problematic.
By Kyle Cheney and Sarah Wheaton
Politico, 2016-10-07

WikiLeaks released a trove of emails apparently hacked from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman email account, unleashing thousands of messages that reveal for the first time excerpts of Clinton’s paid speeches — including those delivered before Wall Street — that were flagged as problematic or potentially damaging.


In one of the most notable exchanges, Clinton campaign research director Tony Carrk emails other members of the team on Jan. 25, 2016 to share excerpts of her paid speeches that could come back to bite the campaign.

“Attached are the flags from HRC’s paid speeches we have from HWA. I put some highlights below. There is a lot of policy positions that we should give an extra scrub with Policy,” Carrk writes.

The first excerpt highlighted — with the header *CLINTON ADMITS SHE IS OUT OF TOUCH* — is from a Goldman Sachs-Black Rock event in 2014 in which Clinton discusses her distance from middle-class Americans.

“My father loved to complain about big business and big government, but we had a solid middle class upbringing. We had good public schools. We had accessible health care. We had our little, you know, one-family house that, you know, he saved up his money, didn't believe in mortgages. So I lived that,” she said in the speech. “And now, obviously, I'm kind of far removed because the life I've lived and the economic, you know, fortunes that my husband and I now enjoy, but I haven't forgotten it.”


Indeed, here are eight more e-mail exchanges that shed light on the methods and mindset of Clinton's allies in Brooklyn and Washington:

1) Clinton Foundation event at Goldman Sachs
2) Clinton’s Keystone response
3) Challenging Trey Gowdy
4) 'Clinton Cash' rapid response
5) Joking about the Benghazi hearing
6) Jeb’s economic message is not so different
7) Bernie oppo
8) Sounding 'Pro-Keystone'


Leaked campaign emails show moderate side of Hillary Clinton
CBS/AP, 2016-10-09

Hillary Clinton took nearly every precaution to ensure voters would never know what she told investment bankers, lobbyists and corporate executives in dozens of closed-door paid speeches before running for president.

Turns out, the Democratic presidential nominee had good reason to do so.

The private comments strike a tone starkly at odds with the fiery message she’s pushed throughout her campaign, particularly during the hard-fought Democratic primary. Some of her remarks give fresh fuel to liberals’ worst fears about Clinton, namely that she is a political moderate, happy to cut backroom deals with corporate interests and curry favor with Wall Street for campaign dollars.

The WikiLeaks organization on Friday posted what it said were thousands of emails obtained in a hack of the Clinton campaign chairman’s personal email account. Among the documents posted online was an internal review of the speeches conducted by campaign aides to survey the political damage her remarks could cause if they ever became public.

In what aides calculated were the most damaging passages, she reflects on the necessity of “unsavory” political dealing, telling real estate investors that “you need both a public and private position.” To investment bankers from Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, Clinton admits that she’s “kind of far removed” from the middle-class upbringing that she frequently touts on the campaign trail. She tells Xerox CEO Ursula Burns that both political parties should be “sensible, moderate, pragmatic.”

And in speeches to some of the country’s biggest banks, she highlighted her long ties to Wall Street, bantering with top executives and saying that she views the financial industry as a partner in government regulation.

“Part of the problem with the political situation, too, is that there is such a bias against people who have led successful and/or complicated lives,” she said, according to an excerpt from an October 2013 discussion with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

Clinton appears to question the importance of the divestment of assets that financial executives often undertake to avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest when they enter government service.

“You know, the divestment of assets, the stripping of all kinds of positions, the sale of stocks. It just becomes very onerous and unnecessary,” she said.


In an effort to keep those speeches private, strongly worded contracts prohibited unauthorized recordings, reporters were banned and, in some cases, blog posts about her remarks pulled off websites. Throughout her campaign, she has staunchly refused to release transcripts, resisting pressure from primary rival Bernie Sanders and the media to do so.


A January 2016 email from the Clinton campaign’s research director to top communications staffers includes excerpts from 15 of the more than 100 speeches she gave after leaving the State Department, appearances that netted her $21.7 million.

One passage puts Clinton squarely in the free-trade camp, a position she has struggled with repeatedly during the 2016 election. During the first general election debate, Clinton said she supports “smart and fair trade.”

But nearly three years earlier, in a talk to a Brazilian bank, she said
her “dream” is “a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders”
and asked her audience to think of what doubling American trade with Latin America “would mean for everybody in this room.”

In another speech that year, Clinton conceded that presidential candidates need the financial backing of Wall Street to mount a competitive national campaign. That’s a position that plays right into political attacks leveled by both Sanders and Trump, who’ve accused Clinton of being bought and paid for by Wall Street.

“New York is probably the leading site for contributions for fundraising for candidates on both sides of the aisle,” she said at the October 2013 investor conference, sponsored by Goldman Sachs. “There are a lot of people here who should ask some tough questions before handing over campaign contributions to people who were really playing chicken with our whole economy.”

Three years after her speech, her campaign and pro-Clinton super PACs have raised nearly $59 million from financial investors, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Hacked 80-page roundup of paid speeches shows Clinton 'praising Wall Street'
Clinton's speaker's bureau flagged hundreds of excerpts from her high-dollar speeches that could prove damaging.
By Kyle Cheney
Politico, 2016-10-12

Hillary Clinton frequently offered warm and at times sympathetic words for Wall Street during her paid speeches before some of the biggest financial powerhouses as the nation was still recovering from the 2008 crisis, according to excerpts flagged as problematic by her speaker’s bureau.

WikiLeaks’ trove of hacked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s Gmail account includes an 80-page attachment seemingly from the Harry Walker Agency that highlights hundreds of “speech flags.”


State Dept. official accused of offering 'quid pro quo' in Clinton email scandal
An unnamed FBI official alleges
Patrick Kennedy asked agency to downgrade classified email
in exchange for FBI agents in more countries.
By Nolan D. McCaskill
Politico, 2016-10-17

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