Media Bias: The Washington Post led its Monday paper with a story titled “How Clinton’s Email Scandal Took Root.” What it revealed was that, left to the mainstream press, the story might never have hit the ground.
No one reading the Post’s 5,000-word account can come away thinking that the Clinton email scandal is unimportant.
The FBI now has 147 agents chasing down leads. A key person involved in the scandal has been granted immunity. Hillary Clinton – who has already been caught in several lies – might be questioned by federal agents. There are fairly obvious violations of the law, even if it’s just those governing record-keeping. And there were, and continue to be, concerns that national security secrets were compromised, or at least casually disregarded.
The story details, for example, the many high-level security concerns that officials had about her use of a private BlackBerry to do her emailing, to say nothing of her homebrew email server.
Clinton got a warning from a State Department security official in March 2009 that “any unclassified BlackBerry is highly vulnerable in any setting to remotely and covertly monitoring conversations, retrieving emails, and exploiting calendars.”
Clinton responded that she “gets it,” but as the Post reports, she “kept using her private BlackBerry – and the basement server.”
The Post deserves credit for devoting so much space to summing the entire saga up. And for exposing something the reporter and his editors probably never intended: The media’s negligence as the scandal unfolded.
While the New York Times was the first national media outlet to write about Clinton’s use of a private email account last March, the Post summation makes clear that the mainstream press had almost nothing to do with uncovering the truth or advancing the story.
* The Post notes that it was a nonprofit group called CREW that first cracked the story open, when the State Department responded to its FOIA request for Clinton’s State Department email addresses by saying “no records responsive to your request.”
* The much-ballyhooed House Select Committee on Benghazi discovered her use of a private email account after demanding copies of her email traffic around the time of the attack on the embassy.
* Private cybersecurity firm Venafi discovered how Clinton’s email server had been unencrypted for months. The company “took it upon itself,” the Post notes, to publish its findings on its own website.
* The public release of all Clinton’s State Department emails resulted not from pressure from NBC News, CNN or the New York Times, but from a FOIA request by a startup online news site called Vice News.
* Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, has been more aggressive than any media outlet in going after Clinton’s records, and as a result uncovered several damning emails, including a chain of emails showing how her staff was “taking steps that would help her circumvent” Clinton’s own promise of openness and transparency.
* And where has the “telling truth to power” press been during all this time? Sure, they’ve been passively sharing information when it came out – although often grudgingly and dismissively. But there are few elements of it that reporters themselves were responsible for breaking.
Normally, with a scandal this juicy and involving a would-be president, reporters would be falling over themselves to “advance the story.” But “normal” never seems to apply when a scandal involves a Democrat.
The FBI has 147 investigators focused on the Clinton email case. One wonders how many investigative reporters the New York Times, the Post, and all the other big media outlets have.
Former Secretary Hillary Clinton and her State Department colleagues have given “constantly shifting” stories about her secret email account, a federal judge said Tuesday, finding there’s evidence the Obama administration showed “bad faith” in how it followed open-records laws.
Judge Royce C. Lamberth said it remains to be seen whether the government did try to obfuscate matters, but said there’s at least enough smoke that Judicial Watch, the conservative interest group suing to get a look at all of Mrs. Clinton’s records, should be allowed to press for more details about how the State Department made its decisions.
“Plaintiff is relying on constantly shifting admissions by the government and the former government officials,” Judge Lamberth said.
Mrs. Clinton declined to use a State.gov email account during her term as secretary, instead using an email account tied to a server she kept at her home in New York.
All of her messages that concerned official business were supposed to be archived by the State Department, but she kept them, only returning them in December 2014, nearly two years after leaving office and only at the prompting of the House committee probing the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi.
That meant that during her four years in office and nearly two years afterward, the State Department was not searching those documents in response to open-records requests from Congress or the public.
Last month, the State Department finally finished processing more than 30,000 pages of Mrs. Clinton’s emails and made them public on the department’s Freedom of Information Act web page – a mammoth undertaking that has put a treasure trove of information in the public’s eye.
Judicial Watch and others argue that some 30,000 other messages Mrs. Clinton sent from her secret address during her time in office, but which she has deemed private business, should also be reviewed by the government.
The State Department told Judge Lamberth it never misled the public because it never said it was searching Mrs. Clinton’s emails in the first place. The department said that meant it wasn’t acting in bad faith when it responded to open-records requests.
Judge Lamberth, though, said more evidence is needed before those conclusions can be reached.
“The government argues that this does not show a lack of good faith, but that is what remains to be seen, and the factual record must be developed appropriately in order for this court to make that determination,” he said in a brief ruling.
The Justice Department declined to comment on Judge Lamberth’s ruling, which marks the third legal black eye for the Obama administration in recent weeks.
Last week, a federal appeals court said the Justice Department was turning the law on its head to protect the IRS from taxpayers, rather than to protect taxpayers from the IRS.
And another judge issued a “show cause” order demanding to know why the government appeared to conceal documents in an open-records case brought against a top Obama climate adviser. Judge Amit Mehta, who serves on the district court in Washington, D.C., along with Judge Lamberth, raised the possibility of punishing the administration for its actions.
Judge Lamberth’s decision Tuesday joins that of Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, also in the district court in Washington, who earlier this year granted discovery in another case brought by Judicial Watch against the State Department.
Judge Sullivan even said he was inclined to order the State Department to demand all of Mrs. Clinton’s emails – including the 30,000 or so messages she said were private business, not public records, that she sent from her secret account during her time in office.
Judge Lamberth said he’ll wait to see what Judge Sullivan decides before moving ahead with discovery in his own case.
Well it looks like Hillary didn’t have much regard for protecting sensitive data after all, telling her top advisor in an email to strip the ‘secure’ markings from the fax and send it to her nonsecure:
DAILY CALLER – On June 16, 2011, Hillary Clinton’s top foreign policy adviser, Jake Sullivan, was having trouble sending his boss a list of talking points that contained sensitive – and possibly classified – information. Sullivan told Clinton there were issues “sending secure fax,” an email released by the State Department early Friday shows.
So Clinton offered a shocking solution: remove the markings identifying the information as sensitive and send it by regular fax.
“Turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure,” Clinton instructed Sullivan.
This falls right in line with how Hillary conducted herself, insecure email and all. Who knows what secret information was on this secure fax.
Well we could ask hackers in Russia or China as they most definitely will know.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter relied on a personal email account to conduct a portion of his government business during his first months at the Pentagon, according to a report by The New York Times.
Carter continued the practice – which violated Defense Department rules – for at least two months after it was revealed in March that Hillary Clinton had exclusively used a personal email account as secretary of state, officials told The Times.
Although Carter was assigned a government email account when he became defense secretary in February, he continued to use his private account for work matters, the report said.
A former aide to Carter told The Times the defense secretary used the personal account “so frequently that members of his staff feared he would be hacked and worried about his not following the rules.”
Officials said White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough learned of the usage in May and directed the White House Counsel’s Office to contact the Pentagon to ask why Carter was using the personal account.
Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a statement that Carter believes doing so “was a mistake.”
“After reviewing his email practices earlier this year, the secretary believes that his previous, occasional use of personal email for work-related business, even for routine administrative issues and backed up to his official account, was a mistake,” Cook said.
“As a result, he stopped such use of his personal email and further limited his use of email altogether,” Cook said.
It is not yet clear how many work-related emails Mr. Carter sent and received from his personal account.
The revelation came after The Times filed a Freedom of Information Act request for all emails from the personal account that Carter sent or received with his chief of staff at the time, Eric Fanning, during the month of April.
The Pentagon provided The Times with 72 work-related emails Carter sent or received from his personal email account, using an iPhone and iPad.
Officials said that Carter emailed with his closest aides about “a variety of work-related matters, including speeches, meetings and news media appearances.”
Cook said any email related to work received on his personal account was “copied or forwarded to his official account to be preserved as a federal record as appropriate.”
Cook also said Carter does not use his personal or official email for classified material.
“He is confident that his work-related email has been and will continue to be preserved within the federal records system,” he added.
In 2012, the Pentagon adopted a policy that bars all employees regardless of rank or position from relying on personal email to conduct government business, the Times reported.
Obama also last year signed a law directing federal officials not to send or receive emails on their personal accounts unless they were copied directly into their government accounts or forwarded to a government account within 20 days.
Federal staff under Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez reportedly knew but ignored that Hillary Clinton was using a private and unsecured email to transfer sensitive government information, according to documents released Friday.
The America Rising PAC acquired the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request. They show agency officials knew that Hillary shouldn’t be using a private email long before the whole thing became a national scandal. She used the email to send sensitive government information. PAC Communications Director Jeff Bechdel argued Perez should be asked if he supported his staff ignoring the matter.
“Anyone who deals in governmental records knew immediately that Secretary Clinton’s private email was inappropriate and a brazen effort to duck Freedom of Information laws,” Bechdel said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “That includes Secretary Perez’s staff.”
American Rising conducts opposition research against Democrats. Critics have alleged Hillary may have used the private email in order to hide something. Hillary stored the emails on private server housed in her Chappaqua, N.Y. home. During an investigation into the matter, it was revealed she had deleted data from her private email server. Perez has already shown that he supports Hillary and her run for president. He endorsed her campaign Thursday.
“Perez should be asked if he agrees with Secretary Clinton or his own employees who identified Clinton’s unethical behavior immediately,” Bechdel added.
The information request asked for correspondence from Agency Records Officer Rachel Vera. The information revealed Vera knew immediately what Hillary did was inappropriate. She emailed with Office of Asset and Resource Management Director Tanisha Bynum Frazier on the topic.
“What in the heck was State thinking,” they reportedly said during the email conversation. “You may want to share with the group as to how NOT to handle things and how you can end up in nationwide news.”
The Labor Department did not respond to a request for comment from TheDCNF.
The information was inherently classified. Can we say Valerie Plame, folks? I knew we could…
On March 18, 2011, Sidney Blumenthal – Clinton’s longtime friend and political adviser – sent the then secretary of state an email to her private account that contained apparently highly sensitive information he had received from Tyler Drumheller, a former top CIA official with whom Blumenthal at the time had a business relationship.
“Tyler spoke to a colleague currently at CIA, who told him the agency had been dependent for intelligence from [redacted due to sources and methods],” the email states, according to Gowdy’s letter.
The redacted information was “the name of a human source,” Gowdy wrote to his Democratic counterpart, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, and was therefore “some of the most protected information in our intelligence community.”
“Armed with that information, Secretary Clinton forwarded the email to a colleague – debunking her claim that she never sent any classified information from her private email address,” wrote Gowdy in a letter to Cummings.
Clinton has repeatedly said she never sent or received classified information on her private email server “that was marked classified at the time that it was sent or received.” But the FBI, at the request of the inspectors general for the intelligence community and the State Department, is investigating the handling of classified information on the private server.
And while there is nothing that indicates that the email from Blumenthal (who was not a government employee) was marked classified at the time Clinton received it, the sensitive nature of its contents should have been a red flag and never should have been passed along, according to a former veteran CIA officer.
“She is exposing the name of a guy who has a clandestine relationship with the CIA on her private, unprotected server,” said John Maguire, who served for years as one of the CIA’s top Mideast officers.
The FBI refused to cooperate Monday with a court-ordered inquiry into former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email server, telling the State Department that they won’t even confirm they are investigating the matter themselves, much less willing to tell the rest of the government what’s going on.
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan had ordered the State Department to talk with the FBI and see what sort of information could be recovered from Mrs. Clinton’s email server, which her lawyer has said she turned over to the Justice Department over the summer.
The FBI’s refusal, however, leaves things muddled.
“At this time, consistent with long-standing Department of Justice and FBI policy, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any ongoing investigation, nor are we in a position to provide additional information at this time,” FBI General Counsel James A. Baker wrote in a letter dated Monday – a week after the deadline the Justice Department had set for the FBI to reply.
Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that is pursuing at least 16 open records cases seeking emails from Mrs. Clinton and her top aides, said at this point it’s not even clear what Mrs. Clinton provided, since all that’s been made public at this point are the former secretary of state’s public comments and some assertions, made through her lawyer, to the State Department.
Judicial Watch is prodding the courts to try to delve more deeply into Mrs. Clinton’s emails, and the group said a number of questions persevere about both Mrs. Clinton and top aides such as Huma Abedin, who did public business on an account tied to the server Mrs. Clinton maintained.
“We still do not know whether the FBI – or any other government agency for that matter – has possession of the email server that was used by Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin to conduct official government business during their four years of employment at the State Department,” Judicial Watch said.
“We also do not know whether the server purportedly in the possession of the FBI – an assumption based on unsworn statements by third parties – is the actual email server that was used by Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin to conduct official government business during their four years of employment at the State Department or whether it is a copy of such an email server. Nor do we know whether any copies of the email server or copies of the records from the email server exist,” the group said in its own court filing Monday afternoon.
Judicial Watch did release more than 50 pages Monday of emails it obtained from Ms. Abedin’s account on Mrs. Clinton’s server, and said it was clear she was talking about “sensitive” topics that shouldn’t have been discussed on an insecure account.
Many of those were details of Mrs. Clinton’s movements overseas, such as hotels she was staying at.
“These emails Judicial Watch forced out through a federal lawsuit show that Huma Abedin used her separate clintonemail.com account to conduct the most sensitive government business, endangering not only her safety but the safety of Hillary Clinton and countless others,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
He questioned what reason Ms. Abedin – who did maintain an account, firstname.lastname@example.org, on State.gov servers – would have for using the other account for important business. Mrs. Clinton said she kept only one account, the one on the clintonemail.com server, because it was more convenient, but that reasoning does not appear to apply to Ms. Abedin.
The State Department is making all of Mrs. Clinton’s emails public under order of Judge Rudolph Contreras. But the department has said it won’t make all of the emails public from Ms. Abedin or other top Clinton aides Cheryl Mills or Philippe Reines. Instead the department only plans to release those messages specifically requested in open records demands.
Mrs. Clinton turned over about 30,000 email messages in December, while her aides turned over more than 100,000 pages between them, with the final set only being returned, by Ms. Abedin, earlier this month, the department said in court filings.
Without those documents in hand, the State Department has been unable to do full and complete searches in response to subpoenas, congressional inquiries or Freedom of Information Act requests.
The State Department has asked for dozens of cases to be put on hold while it tries to get a single judge to coordinate all of its searches in more than two dozen cases. But the people requesting the records have objected, and say the State Department has nobody to blame but itself.
“The State Department acts as if Ms. Abedin’s and Ms. Mills’ documents fell from the sky on the eve of the State Department’s production deadline, but that is not remotely the case,” Citizens United, one of the plaintiffs who has sued under the FOIA, said in a filing late last week.
Citizens United says the State Department missed its own deadline for producing Ms. Mills’ and Ms. Abedin’s documents.
The Obama administration countered that it went above and beyond its duties under the law by asking Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills to return their records and then to search them in response to open records requests. The State Department says it’s moving as quickly as possible, but says the sheer number of documents – and the number of requests for them – calls for a stay in most cases.
But of the 26 requests where the State Department has sought to halt proceedings, six have already been denied. Only one has been granted, one was granted in part and denied in part by the same judge, and another is being held in abeyance.
The State Department told one of the federal judges Monday that it’s facing nearly 100 different open records lawsuits – not all of them related to Mrs. Clinton’s email server – that have stretched officials to their limit.
Monday’s FBI letter underscores the tangled situation Mrs. Clinton’s emails have produced. The letter was addressed to Mary McLeod, a lawyer at the Justice Department, which oversees the FBI – and which means, in effect, that the FBI is refusing to talk to its own parent department about the matter.
Mr. Baker pointedly noted in his letter that he was aware the response would be submitted to the court, which would presumably make it public.
Earlier this month the Justice Department, in another pleading, insisted Mrs. Clinton didn’t do anything wrong in being the one who decided which of her messages were official business records that must be returned to the government and which were purely personal and able to be expunged.
Judicial Watch said that raises thorny questions for a department that is supposedly investigating Mrs. Clinton.
Last week Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, called for Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch to name a special counsel to oversee the investigation, citing too many potential conflicts of interest.
A special intelligence review of two emails that Hillary Rodham Clinton received as secretary of state on her personal account – including one about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program – has endorsed a finding by the inspector general for the intelligence agencies that the emails contained highly classified information when Mrs. Clinton received them, senior intelligence officials said.
Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign and the State Department disputed the inspector general’s finding last month and questioned whether the emails had been overclassified by an arbitrary process. But the special review – by the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency – concluded that the emails were “Top Secret,” the highest classification of government intelligence, when they were sent to Mrs. Clinton in 2009 and 2011.
On Monday, the Clinton campaign disagreed with the conclusion of the intelligence review and noted that agencies within the government often have different views of what should be considered classified.
Mrs. Clinton’s work-related emails from when she was secretary of state are slowly being released by the State Department.
“Our hope remains that these releases continue without being hampered by bureaucratic infighting among the intelligence community, and that the releases continue to be as inclusive and transparent as possible,” said Nick Merrill, a campaign spokesman.
John Kirby, the State Department spokesman, echoed Mr. Merrill.
“Classification is rarely a black and white question, and it is common for the State Department to engage internally and with our interagency partners to arrive at the appropriate decision,” he said in a statement. “Very often both the State Department and the intelligence community acquire information on the same matter through separate channels. Thus, there can be two or more separate reports and not all of them based on classified means. At this time, any conclusion about the classification of the documents in question would be premature.”
The intelligence review is the latest development in continuing reverberations over Mrs. Clinton’s use of only a private email account for her public business when she was secretary of state, which gave her some control over what was made public. She faced criticism when the account became known this year, and after deleting what she said were more than 31,000 personal messages turned over more than 30,000 work-related emails for the State Department to make public.
Mrs. Clinton has said that her emails contained no information that was marked classified – having classified information outside a secure government account is illegal – and that she is fully cooperating with an F.B.I. investigation to determine who at the State Department may have passed highly classified information from secure networks to her personal account. She herself is not a target of the investigation.
I. Charles McCullough III, the inspector general for the intelligence community, found the two emails containing what he determined was “Top Secret” information in the course of reviewing a sampling of 40 of Mrs. Clinton’s work-related emails for potential security breaches.
The senior intelligence officials briefed on the findings of the review spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to jeopardize their access to sensitive information.
President Obama signed an executive order in December 2009 that defined “Top Secret” as information that if disclosed could “reasonably” be expected to cause “exceptionally grave damage to national security.”
In the months after the disclosure, Mrs. Clinton and her campaign were unequivocal in their stance that there was no classified information on it. But after it was revealed in August that the F.B.I. was investigating how classified materials were handled in connection with the account, Mrs. Clinton’s aides began saying that she never sent or received anything that was classified at the time.
Hillary Clinton paid to hide the identity of the people running her private email server, Breitbart News has learned.
Her attempt to hide details about her server has allowed another faceless company access to her classified email information, while doing little to nothing to secure that information from hackers.
Clinton’s private email domain clintonemail.com was initially purchased by Clinton aide Eric Hoteham, who listed the Clintons’ Chappaqua, New York home as the contact address for his purchase. But the domain is actually registered to an Internet company designed to hide the true identity of the people running it.
Clintonemail.com is currently registered to a company called Perfect Privacy, LLC.
The company has a listed address of 12808 Gran Bay Parkway West in Jacksonville, Florida. But don’t try to get someone from “Perfect Privacy” on the phone. The company merely serves to mask its clients’ personal information by providing its own meaningless contact information on official databases.
“Did you know that every time you register a domain name, the law requires that your personal information is added to the public “WHOIS” database, where it becomes instantly available to anyone, anywhere, anytime?,” according to the Perfect Privacy website. “Perfect Privacy eliminates these risks by ensuring that your personal information stays private. By signing up for Perfect Privacy when you register your domain, our information is published in the WHOIS database, instead of yours.”
“We won’t reveal your identity unless required by law or if you breach our Perfect Privacy Service Agreement,” the company explains.
Perfect Privacy, LLC is owned by Network Solutions, which in turn is owned by Web.com. Network Solutions advertises Perfect Privacy as a way to “Keep Your Contact Information Hidden With Private Registration.”
The Jacksonville address listed for Perfect Privacy, LLC is actually just the headquarters for Web.com. It is an unassuming gray building just off Interstate 95.
Breitbart News called a number listed for Network Solutions and, after some on-hold elevator music, an operator confirmed that clintonemail.com is one of the domains that it manages. The company has access to information in the account. But the company does not provide any kind of security for the domain, and instead encourages its clients to buy a standard Norton AntiVirus package like the kind available at retail stores.
“No, we don’t do that,” a Network Solutions operator told Breitbart News when asked if it provides security for its clients. But, the operator, noted, “Our server automatically checks for known SPAM.”
Network Solutions, the operator explained, can identify major hacks and can access and change information related to the email account in the event of a hack. The company declined to provide more information without speaking to the domain’s administrator.
As Breitbart News revealed, Hillary’s email account clintonemail.com was operating with the same IP addresses as presidentclinton.com, an email account managed by the private Clinton Foundation and used by top Clinton Foundation staffers. The IP addresses were based in New York City, meaning that they were sharing the same email network at the same physical location, likely at one of the Clintons’ Midtown Manhtattan offices. Additionally, Chelsea Clinton’s work email account chelseaoffice.com was sharing the same email server.
wjcoffice.com, an email account used by Bill Clinton staffers, including his former communications director Jay Carson, also shared the same IP address as clintonemail.com.
Breitbart News has also discovered that clintonemail.com and presidentclinton.com were using the same IP port: port 443.
That Hillary Clinton shared a server with the Clinton Foundation and the offices of her husband and daughter raises further concerns about the illegality of her private email use, since other Clinton-World employees not affiliated with the State Department certainly had physical access to her server and the classified information on it.
Hillary’s private server also used the McAfee-owned MXLogic spam-filtering software, which is susceptible to a security breach and which made the information on her server accessible to McAfee employees during the numerous intervals in which her emails were passed through the MXLogic system.
The server was prone to crashes.
Hillary Clinton’s private email server went down in February 2010, and the State Department IT team didn’t even know that she was using a private email address, indicating that Clinton Foundation staff was working on her server as opposed to the agency’s IT professionals.
After the State Department Help Desk sent Clinton’s private email address a routine warning notifying her that her messages were being flagged with fatal errors, Hillary’s top aide Huma Abedin sent the Secretary an email explaining to her what was going on.
“Ur email must be back up!!,” Abedin wrote. “What happened is judith sent you an email. It bounced back. She called the email help desk at state (I guess assuming u had state email) and told them that. They had no idea it was YOU, just some random address so they emailed. Sorry about that. But regardless, means ur email must be back! R u getting other messages?”
Hillary’s server went down again during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
The State Department IT worker who managed Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she was secretary of state will plead the Fifth Amendment if called to testify about his work on the Democratic presidential candidate’s mysterious email setup, his attorney informed the House Select Committee on Benghazi this week.
The committee subpoenaed Bryan Pagliano on Aug. 11, according to The Washington Post. In addition to testifying on Sept. 10, committee chairman Trey Gowdy asked Pagliano to produce documents related to the servers he managed on behalf of Clinton.
Pagliano worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign before moving over to the State Department in May 2009, several months after Clinton took office. He left the agency at the same time as Clinton, in February 2013.
But in a letter to the Benghazi Committee on Monday, Mark MacDougall, Pagliano’s attorney, said that his client would assert his constitutional right against self-incrimination if called to testify. Pagliano is one of numerous Clinton aides that Gowdy’s panel intends to interview. Two of Clinton’s top aides will testify this week. Clinton herself is scheduled to publicly testify next month.
Pagliano’s decision to plead the fifth comes amid growing concerns over whether Clinton handled classified information on her private server. The FBI took control of the hardware last month after the Intelligence Community inspector general determined that two of the emails maintained on it contained “top secret” information.
“While we understand that Mr. Pagliano’s response to this subpoena may be controversial in the current political environment, we hope that the members of the Select Committee will respect our client’s right to invoke the protections of the Constitution,” wrote MacDougall, an attorney for high-profile Washington, D.C. law firm, Akin Gump.
According to The Post, MacDougall stated that two Senate committees had also contacted his client within the last week.
“Mr. Pagliano’s legal counsel told the committee yesterday that he would plead the Fifth to any and all questions if he were compelled to testify,” a spokesperson for Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley told The Post in a statement.
The Senate Homeland Security and Homeland Affairs Committee also recently reached out to Pagliano, according to MacDougall’s letter.
When Pagliano was hired at State, he was given the titles of strategic adviser and special projects manager to the chief technology officer and the deputy chief information officer. While he oversaw Clinton’s email server, it was reportedly housed in the basement of her Chappaqua, N.Y. home. After Clinton left office, she hired a company in Denver to manage the device. The company, Platte River Networks, transferred the server from Clinton’s home to a New Jersey data center in 2013.
Numerous questions remain about the server, including whether it was cleared of all of Clinton’s emails, and, if so, who ordered it, and when.
H/T Universal Free Press
Lois Lerner had yet another personal email account used to conduct some IRS business, the tax agency confirmed in a new court filing late Monday that further complicates the administration’s efforts to be transparent about Ms. Lerner’s actions during the tea party targeting scandal.
The admission came in an open-records lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that has sued to get a look at emails Ms. Lerner sent during the targeting.
IRS lawyer Geoffrey J. Klimas told the court that as the agency was putting together a set of documents to turn over to Judicial Watch, it realized Ms. Lerner had used yet another email account, in addition to her official one and another personal one already known to the agency.
“In addition to emails to or from an email account denominated ‘Lois G. Lerner‘ or ‘Lois Home,’ some emails responsive to Judicial Watch’s request may have been sent to or received from a personal email account denominated ‘Toby Miles,’” Mr. Klimas told Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who is hearing the case.
It is unclear who Toby Miles is, but Mr. Klimas said the IRS has concluded that was “a personal email account used by Lerner.”
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said it was stunning the agency was just now admitting the existence of the address.
“It is simply astonishing that years after this scandal erupted we are learning about an account Lois Lerner used that evidently hadn’t been searched,” he said, accusing the IRS of hiding Lerner-related information throughout — including the existence of the backup tapes of her official email account, which the agency’s inspector general easily found once it went looking for them.
Mr. Klimas didn’t respond to an email seeking comment Monday evening, and a spokeswoman for the tax agency didn’t respond to an email and phone call.
But in his court filing Mr. Klimas argued that the IRS had previously hinted there may be other personal email accounts, pointing back to a footnote in a letter attached to a June 27, 2014, brief that mentioned “documents located on her personal home computer and email on her personal email account.”
He altered that wording in his filing Monday, saying the database of Lerner emails turned over to Congress included messages from her “‘personal home computer and email on her personal email’ account(s).”
The use of secret or extra email accounts has bedeviled the Obama administration, which is has tried to fend off a slew of lawsuits involving former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and her top aides, the White House’s top science adviser, top Environmental Protection Agency officials and the IRS.
Those cases have flooded the federal district court in Washington. Indeed, Judge Sullivan, who is handling the current IRS case, is also presiding over Judicial Watch’s lawsuit seeking Mrs. Clinton’s emails.
Last week, Judge Sullivan ordered the State Department to talk to the FBI about trying to recover messages that Mrs. Clinton may have kept on the email server she ran out of her home in New York.
Mr. Fitton said just as Mrs. Clinton is facing questions over whether she kept classified information on her non-secure email account, Ms. Lerner should face questions about whether she exchanged protected taxpayer information from personal email accounts.
Ms. Lerner’s emails became an issue after she was singled out as a key figure in the IRS’s treatment of tea party and conservative groups who sought tax-exempt status. The IRS improperly delayed hundreds of applications and sent out intrusive questionnaires asking what the agency now says were inappropriate inquiries.
In the wake of the scandal Ms. Lerner retired from the agency. She declined to testify to Congress, citing her right against self-incrimination, but also said she did not break the law.
The Obama administration has declined to pursue the contempt of Congress case that the House brought against her.
The House Ways and Means Committee also approved a criminal referral asking the Justice Department to look into Ms. Lerner’s conduct, but its status is not clear.
Mr. Obama has said the problems at the IRS stemmed from bad laws and lack of funding, not from political bias, and a bipartisan report from the Senate Finance Committee could not reach any firm conclusions about the extent of targeting.
Curiously, the Ways and Means Committee criminal referral mentioned the Toby Miles email address, identified as email@example.com. The address came to light because it was included on an email that also had Ms. Lerner’s official account on the chain of recipients.
An email sent to the msn.com address Monday night went unanswered.
At the time of the referral in April 2014, the committee linked the Toby Miles address to Ms. Lerner’s husband, Michael R. Miles, but said, “The source of the name ‘Toby‘ is not known.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been caught in another lie regarding her private email accounts that she used during her tenure at the agency.
Though her lawyer David Kendall told the House Select Benghazi Committee that Clinton’s “firstname.lastname@example.org” email address “was not an address that existed during Secretary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State,” new emails obtained by the New York Times show that Clinton did indeed use that email address for official business.
Clinton emailed Jake Sullivan, her deputy chief of staff, to his “Sullivanjj@state.gov” government email account on at least three occasions while she was secretary of state from her “email@example.com” account.
Clinton sent Sullivan emails from her “firstname.lastname@example.org” account on April 8, 2011, January 5, 2012, and August 28, 2012, according to emails the Times published. Clinton served as secretary of state from January 21, 2009 to February 1, 2013.
As the Republican National Committee (RNC) pointed out, Hillary Clinton’s office also claimed that her “email@example.com” account was created in March of 2013.
“Secretary Clinton used one email account during her tenure at State (with the exception of her first weeks in office while transitioning from an email account she had previously used),” her office previously said in a statement. “In March 2013, a month after she left the Department, Gawker published the email address she used while Secretary, and so she had to change the address on her account.”
Clinton has already come under fire for using her private “firstname.lastname@example.org” account and a private email server to conduct all of her official business while she was secretary of state. She said she deleted more than 30,000 “personal” emails after she alone decided which emails on her private email server were “personal” or “work-related.” Clinton also reportedly wiped her private email server clean, according to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who chairs the House Select Benghazi Committee.
Hillary Clinton scrubbed her private email server clean – after she was served a subpoena to hand over her emails to the State Department.
The Politico reported:
Hillary Clinton wiped “clean” the private server housing emails from her tenure as secretary of state, the chairman of the House committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi said Friday.
“While it is not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, said in a statement.
Clinton was under a subpoena order from the panel for all documents related to the 2012 attacks on the American compound there. But David Kendall, an attorney for Clinton, said the 900 pages of emails previously provided to the panel cover its request.
Kendall also informed the committee that Clinton’s emails from her time at the State Department have been permanently erased.
Gowdy said that Clinton’s response to the subpoena means he and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will now contemplate new legal actions against Clinton.
Hillary Clinton’s top aides used their personal email accounts to correspond with her about the attack in Benghazi while she was Secretary of State, the New York Times reported Monday.
That detail comes after Clinton, earlier this month, held a news conference to address questions about her use of her personal email account to conduct official business while she was in office. During that event, she said “vast majority of my work emails went to government employees at their government addresses, which meant they were captured and preserved immediately on the system at the State Department.”
Critics said the likely presidential contender’s use of her personal email account may prevent official records from becoming public. Clinton’s email was run from its own server out of her New York state home, and she has said that she deleted thousands of emails she deemed personal.
About 300 emails have been turned over to the Congressional committee investigating the Benghazi attack, the New York Times reported. Some of those emails, according to people who saw them and described them to the Times, showed Clinton and her staff reacting as the Obama administration’s explanation of what happened in Benghazi changed from a “spontaneous” attack – as then-United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice called it – to a planned act of terrorism.
Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s foreign policy adviser, kept her updated on the developments, the Times reported:
Two weeks after that first email assessing Ms. Rice’s appearance, Mr. Sullivan sent Mrs. Clinton a very different email. This time, he appeared to reassure the secretary of state that she had avoided the problems Ms. Rice was confronting. He told Mrs. Clinton that he had reviewed her public remarks since the attack and that she had avoided the language that had landed Ms. Rice in trouble.
“You never said ‘spontaneous’ or characterized their motivations,” Mr. Sullivan wrote.
Hilarious, so she’s not responsible for what her effective understudy, Susan Rice did in her place, in their view. That she didn’t answer questions on the Sunday shows because she was “too tired”.
Actually, Mr. Sullivan, Hillary did characterize the motivation.
About 10:00 p.m.: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issues a statement confirming that one State official was killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Her statement, which MSNBC posted at 10:32 p.m., made reference to the anti-Muslim video.
Clinton: Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.
Subsequently, over the next few days, she continued to refer to the video.
When meeting the bodies of the dead with the family, she lied to the families, saying that the government was going to “arrest the man behind the video” which, of course, they went on to do.
Transparency: Hillary Clinton insists she did everything by the book, that she broke no laws and heeded all regulations. That book is obviously not the State Department records management handbook.
The government’s book says that you don’t get to keep materials, classified or unclassified, in your personal possession and then get to sift through them at your leisure to decide which ones the government that paid you gets to see.
All documents are the property of the government. The State Department determines which ones are returned to you.
As Shannen W. Coffin, a contributing editor at National Review and senior lawyer at both the White House and Justice Department under President George W. Bush, points out, a provision titled “Removal Procedures” requires departing federal employees to relinquish any classified materials at the time of departure and to clear the removal through records-management officials.
State Department employees, from the secretary on down, have to abide by this process.According to Coffin, the records management handbook says, “(The) departing official or a staff member must prepare an inventory of personal papers and non-record materials proposed for removal.”
Then the departing official must “request a review of the materials proposed for removal.”
On leaving, the official must sign Form OF-109, a formal separation statement, certifying under penalty of law the departing official has “surrendered to responsible officials all unclassified documents and papers relating to the official business of the government acquired by me while in the employ of the (State) Department.”
The employee does not get to determine what is classified or not, personal or not, and Clinton’s assertion that she never emailed classified material is, as they say in court, irrelevant and immaterial.
She doesn’t get to return 55,000 pages of documents nearly impossible to search years later. That she returned these materials in paper form, not an electronically searchable form, is a deliberate attempt to slow down and obstruct any investigation.
If an employee violates the terms of the Form OF-109 she or he has signed, that act is punishable by Section 18 U.S.C. § 1001 of the criminal code, which makes it a crime to knowingly and willfully falsify or conceal facts made in statements to federal agencies concerning matters under their jurisdiction.
There’s a warning in the official records management handbook that states: “Fines, imprisonment or both may be imposed for the willful and unlawful removal or destruction of records as stated in the U.S. Criminal Code.” That is the law, and Clinton was sworn to uphold the law.
Remember, she decided on the day she was confirmed as secretary of state to conduct all her official government business using a personal email account on a private server. This was not a matter of “convenience” but of political expedience by someone who knew she was running for president from day one and sought to hide from public view any unflattering or politically damaging information.
If Clinton signed Form OF-109, she should be prosecuted. If she didn’t, we need to know why not and who granted her that waiver. We don’t need a felon running for president.
During the ridiculous press conference which some have characterized as being a big “Eff you” to journalists, Hillary claimed that the 31,000 emails she deleted were personal and had nothing to do with official State Department business. Now we know that was a lie because of this admission of the process used to sift through those emails.
For more than a year after she left office in 2013, she did not transfer work-related email from her private account to the State Department. She commissioned a review of the 62,320 messages in her account only after the department–spurred by the congressional investigation–asked her to do so. And this review did not involve opening and reading each email; instead, Clinton’s lawyers created a list of names and keywords related to her work and searched for those. Slightly more than half the total cache–31,830 emails–did not contain any of the search terms, according to Clinton’s staff, so they were deemed to be “private, personal records.”
There is absolutely no way we can know if she deleted work emails by this process. It’s completely haphazard and improper for her to destroy documentation by use of this method, and I doubt Republicans are going to let her get away with it.
Note: Starts at 3:16 mark.