Tag: Private Email

Your Daley Gator Hitlery Clinton News Roundup

Hillary Discussed Highly Sensitive Information, Now Classified “Secret,” On Her Private Email, As We Predicted – Andrew C. McCarthy

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Well, you heard it here first.

Today, the State Department released Benghazi-related email from the private server and one of the (at least) two private email accounts on which former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conducted official business – recklessly and in violation of laws and guidelines relating to the exchanging and preservation of electronic communications. Within hours, the Obama administration was forced to concede that at least one of the emails contained classified information.

Mrs. Clinton has previously and dubiously claimed that she did not discuss classified information on her private email account(s). Despite today’s disclosure, she is standing by that claim as, apparently, is the State Department. Her rationale is that the information in question – which relates to suspects in the Benghazi attack and remains highly sensitive ­- was not classified “secret” at the time of the email exchange. Instead, it was upgraded to “secret” status just today by the FBI, which was plainly alarmed at the prospect of its disclosure.

I warned about this situation back in March, when Mrs. Clinton’s violation of federal laws and guidelines in connection with using private email to conduct official business first surfaced. The problem with the rationalization offered by Mrs. Clinton and the administration is twofold.

First, at the time of the Benghazi attack, Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state and an old hand at dealing with classified information. She thus had to have known at the time of the communication in question that information of the type she was dealing with should have been classified as “secret” even if it had not been so classified yet. Obviously, the FBI instantly recognized the significance of the information upon learning that it was about to be disclosed.

Second, it is frequently the case that highly sensitive information is not classified (or not yet classified); nevertheless, government officials are instructed that it is not to be disclosed publicly and not to be discussed on non-government email systems.

As I explained back in March:

Mrs. Clinton [in her press conference] stressed that she never stored classified documents on her private e-mail system. To the uninitiated, this sounded like the strongest point in her defense. Mostly, however, it is a red herring, exploiting the public’s unfamiliarity with how classified information works – and fueling no small amount of irresponsible speculation over the last few days about how the nature of her responsibilities meant classified material must have been stored on her private system. In the government, classified documents are maintained on separate, super-highly secured systems… [I]n general, Mrs. Clinton would not have been able to access classified documents even from a .gov account, much less from her private account – she’d need to use the classified system… That said, there are two pertinent caveats.

First, since we’re dealing with Clintonian parsing here, we must consider the distinction between classified documents and classified information – the latter being what is laid out in the former. It is not enough for a government official with a top-secret clearance to refrain from storing classified documents on private e-mail; the official is also forbidden to discuss the information contained in those documents. The fact that Mrs. Clinton says she did not store classified documents on her private server, which is very likely true, does not discount the distinct possibility that she discussed classified matters in private e-mails…

Second, most of the important but mundane information exchanged in government is not classified. It is a truism that too much information in Washington is classified. Still, it is also true that, for government officials, dealing with classified information is very inconvenient – you are usually not allowed to read it on your office computer, certainly not on your personal computer, not while commuting to work, not at home, etc. Thus, much of the information that government officials deal with is categorized as “sensitive but unclassified” (SBU).

To listen to the commentary over the past week, and to listen to Mrs. Clinton yesterday, one would think there are only two realms of government information: something is either a national defense secret or the seating chart for Chelsea’s wedding reception. Most information, though, is neither classified nor private. When I was a federal prosecutor, for instance, the SBU information I routinely dealt with included: grand-jury transcripts, the secrecy of which must be maintained by law; investigative reports by the FBI, DEA, NYPD, and other investigative agencies; wiretap affidavits that disclosed that investigations were underway, the suspects, the evidence, the wiretap locations, and the identity of government undercover agents, informants, and witnesses; memos outlining investigative or litigation strategies to deal with organized crime and terrorism organizations; plans to orchestrate arrests in multi-defendant cases where flight risk was a concern; financial information of subjects of investigations; personal information (sometimes including family financial and medical information) of lawyers and staff whom I supervised; contact information (including home addresses) of agents with whom I worked on cases often involving violent crime and public corruption; contact information (including home addresses) of judges in the event it was necessary to get a search warrant after hours; and so on.

None of that information was classified. I was permitted to – and needed to – have it ready to hand, but it was also my duty to maintain it in a secure, responsible manner… a duty that became even more important once I was a boss and was expected to set an example for junior lawyers and staff to follow. And mind you, I was just a government lawyer. I was not the secretary of state.

The inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of SBU can do enormous damage. It can even get people killed. That is why the State Department has elaborate rules about SBU – rules that include instructing State Department employees to conduct their e-mail business via government e-mail accounts on government communications systems that have “the proper level of security control to provide nonrepudiation, authentication and encryption, to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of resident information” (U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Affairs Manual, vol. 12, sec. 544.3 ). As Fox News relates, it was on the basis of these concerns that Mrs. Clinton, as secretary of state, directed State Department employees in June 2011 to “avoid conducting official Department [business] from your personal e-mail accounts.”

Thus far, there has been disclosure of only a fraction of Mrs. Clinton’s existing private email – i.e., the email that she did not unilaterally delete despite being on notice that it was relevant to government investigations. Yet it is already clear that, as secretary of state, she did business in a way that was, at a minimum, grossly irresponsible… and quite possibly worse. She had to have realized the near certainty that an official of her stature would have been targeted for surveillance of her private emails by foreign intelligence services. Yet, in her determination not to leave a paper trail that might damage her political prospects, she ignored the risks. The Justice Department, which has prosecuted high government officials for mishandling national defense information, should be investigating – and that includes acquiring custody of Mrs. Clinton’s private server.

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Krauthammer Sounds Off On Hillary Email Dump, Explains Why He Thinks ‘Whole Release Is A Farce’ – The Blaze

Conservative political pundit Charles Krauthammer reacted to the release of the first batch of Hillary Clinton emails, calling the “whole release” a “farce.”

“This is an echo of what her own press secretary said, who said there isn’t a shred of evidence. And as I’ve said there is no shred of evidence because she shredded the evidence. This whole release is a farce,” the syndicated political columnist said. “What is being released now… is stuff that was scrubbed and cleansed and decided upon, chosen by her own people, acting in her own interest, rather than… people with obligation to the public.”

“So we are getting the cleaned up version,” he continued. “And I think they are succeeding, the Clinton people. Because everybody is hungrily looking through stuff pre-scrubbed. They are not going to find anything. The Clinton’s are secretive and deceptive, but they are not stupid.”

Krauthammer then explained how he thought the process will benefit Clinton in the presidential election.

“Whatever is indicating has been scrubbed and removed. So we are going to have this long saga of the release. She will take the credit for, ‘I asked for it to be released, I wanted it to be released.’ But it’s the wrong stuff. And when people attack her later in the campaign, she will say it’s all been released, the press has looked at it,” he said.

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Hillary Slept Through Security Briefing On Benghazi Attack – Gateway Pundit

Figures.

Hillary Clinton slept through the president’s daily briefing on Benghazi. She didn’t wake up until 10:45 AM.

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What difference does it make?

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Hillary Didn’t Even Know Ambassador’s Name After He Was Murdered In Benghazi – Right Scoop

The State Department is releasing a batch of the Hillary emails, because the best way to make sure no one notices is to do it on the beginning of Memorial Day weekend. Hidden in one email is a pretty deplorable absence of interest and care from Hillary.

From the Washington Times:

The night a U.S. ambassador was killed in a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, Hillary Clinton sent a message three senior State Department officials.

The recepients were Jake Sullivan, Deputy Chief of Staff to then-Secretary of State Clinton, Cheryl Mills, an adviser to Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and Counselor and Chief of Staff to the Secretary, and Victoria Jane Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

“Cheryl told me the Libyans confirmed his death. Should we announce tonight or wait until morning?” Clinton says in the email, time stamped 11:38 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2012.

The email had as its subject line: “Chris Smith.” The murdered ambassador was Chris Stevens.

The Secretary of State didn’t even know the name of the U.S. ambassador to Libya – even after terrorists stormed an American compound and killed him.

How deplorable is that. And this is who the Democrats want to make president? Disgusting.

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E-mails: Hillary Knew That State Department Asked YouTube To Block Anti-Muslim Movie Overseas – Hot Air

Not that there was ever much doubt. Three days after the Benghazi attack, the White House admitted it had pressured Google and YouTube to yank “Innocence of Muslims” as some sort of terms-of-use violation. Google refused. A week after that, having failed to twist a major corporation’s arm into censoring a politically unhelpful bit of free speech on its behalf, the State Department started running ads in Pakistan denouncing the movie, in hopes that jihadi savages would be appeased by the show of national contrition and not target any more embassies. Also around this time, YouTube did agree to censor “Innocence of Muslims” by blocking it in Egypt and Libya, the two nations that saw the most violent attacks on U.S. diplomats on September 11, 2012. Hillary Clinton had to have known about and signed off on all this, we naturally assumed. And now here’s evidence that she did: Although the message below is vague, I assume it’s referring to the ban that Google imposed on the video in Africa.

Leaning on corporate cronies to suppress Americans’ speech for political ends would be a disqualifying offense for a candidate in a sane world.

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Fun fact: On the very day that e-mail was sent, the man who made “Innocence of Muslims” was arrested by the feds on a “parole violation.” Hillary’s leisure reading in the weeks before that was interesting too:

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Clinton Foundation Discloses Millions In Additional Payments Under Pressure – Big Government

From the Washington Post:

The Clinton Foundation reported Thursday that it has received as much as $26.4 million in previously undisclosed payments from major corporations, universities, foreign sources and other groups.

Thursday’s disclosure is one of a number of instances in recent weeks in which the foundation has acknowledged that it received funding from sources not disclosed on its Web site.

The ethics agreement was reached between the foundation and the Obama administration to provide additional transparency and avoid potential conflicts of interest with Hillary Clinton’s appointment as secretary of state.

The agreement placed restrictions on foreign government donations, for instance, but the foundation revealed in February that it had violated the limits at one point by taking $500,000 from Algeria.

There was one entity clearly associated with a foreign government that provided speaking fees, of $250,000 to $500,000 for a speech by Bill Clinton: The energy ministry in Thailand.

The U.S. Islamic World Forum also provided $250,000 to $500,000 to the foundation for a speech by Bill Clinton, according to the new disclosure. The event was organized in part by the Brookings Institution with support from the government of Qatar.

In addition, the list is studded with overseas corporations and foundations.

They included the South Korean energy and chemicals conglomerate Hanwha, which paid $500,000 to $1,000,000 for a speech by Bill Clinton.

China Real Estate Development Corp. paid the foundation between $250,000 and $500,000 for a speech by the former president. The Qatar First Investment Bank, now known as the Qatar First Bank, paid fees in a similar range. The bank is described by Persian Gulf financial press as specializing in high-net-worth clients.

The Telmex Foundation, founded by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, provided between $250,000 and $500,000 for a speech by Hillary Clinton.

Read the rest of the story here.

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Hillary Deleted Emails After Congressman Issa Asked Her About Private Email Addresses In 2012

Issa Asked Hillary In 2012 About Private Email Address, Clinton Deleted Emails After Inquiry – Big Government

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Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was asked in an official congressional inquiry from former House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) about whether she used a private email for government work as far back as 2012.

The letter from Issa to Clinton, sent on Dec. 13, 2012 and obtained by Breitbart News after an explosive New York Times expose on it late Tuesday evening, specifically asks eight detailed questions about government record-keeping.

“Have you or any senior agency official ever used a personal e-mail account to conduct official business?” the first question reads. “If so, please identify the account used.”

The next two questions asked about whether she or other senior agency officials used text messages or alias email accounts to send or receive government work messages – and the fourth question asks for specific details on the agency’s policies on such accounts.

“Please provide written documentation of the agency’s policies regarding the use of non-official e-mail accounts to conduct official business, including, but not limited to, archiving and record keeping procedures, as well as disciplinary proceedings for employees in violation of these policies,” Issa asked Clinton.

The next question follows up on that. “Does the agency require employees to certify on a periodic basis or at the end of their employment with the agency they have turned over any communications involving official business that they have sent or received using non-official accounts?” Issa asked Clinton.

The next question asks about social media accounts before the final two of the eight questions to Clinton hone in yet again on agency policies.

“What agency policies and procedures are currently in place to ensure that all messages related to official business sent or received by federal employees and contractors on private, non-governmental e-mail accounts or social networking platforms are properly categorized as federal records?” the seventh question to Clinton from Issa reads.

“Have any agency employees been subject to disciplinary proceedings for using non-official e-mail accounts to conduct official business since January 20, 2009?” the final question from Issa to Clinton reads. “If so, please provide a list of names, dates of proceedings, and final outcomes.”

An identical version of Issa’s letter to Clinton was also sent to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Attorney General Eric Holder, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, NASA administrator Charles Bolden, GSA administrator Daniel Tangherlini, Small Business Administration administrator Karen Mills, and Office of Management and Budget director Jeffrey Zients.

At this time, it is unclear if any other of the agencies responded to Issa’s inquiry. But thanks to a New York Times report from Michael S. Schmidt on Tuesday evening, it is now known that the State Department – through Thomas B. Gibbons, the acting assistant secretary for legislative affairs – responded to Issa’s letter after Clinton left office.

Clinton resigned from the State Department on Feb. 1, 2013 – as Schmidt wrote on Tuesday evening, “seven weeks after the letter [from Issa] was sent to her.”

Gibbons waited several more weeks, until March 27, 2013, to respond to Issa’s letter on the State Department’s behalf. Gibbons did not answer in that letter whether Clinton used a personal email address, and it’s unclear based on the Times report – which does not include the full text of the letter Gibbons sent back to Issa – how specific he was in answering any of the other questions Issa had for Clinton and her State Department.

“When Mr. Issa received a response from the State Department on March 27, all he got was a description of the department’s email policies,” Schmidt wrote.

From the two sections of the letter Schmidt did quote in his piece, however, it is clear that Clinton was in violation of the State Department policy that employees should not be using personal email addresses to conduct official business.

Any employee who had a personal account, Gibbons wrote in the letter according to Schmidt’s report, “should make it clear that his or her personal email is not being used for official business.”

Gibbons added, according to Schmidt, that “employees may use personal email on personal time for matters not directly related to official business, and any employee using personal email ‘should make it clear that his or her personal email is not being used for official business.’”

Schmidt also paraphrased another portion Gibbons’ letter by writing that the “State Department offered training on its record management programs to its employees.”

State Department spokesman Alec Gerlach on Tuesday, Schmidt wrote, “declined” to “answer questions about why it had not addressed Mr. Issa’s question about whether Mrs. Clinton or senior officials used personal email accounts.”

“The department responds to thousands of congressional inquiries and requests for information each year,” Gerlach told Schmidt instead of answering specific questions. “In its March 2013 letter, the department responded to the House Oversight Committee’s inquiry into the department’s ‘policies and practices regarding the use of personal email and other forms of electronic communications’ with a letter that described those policies in detail.”

There are several major takeaways from this development, as it breathes brand new life into the scandal rocking Clinton as she just launched her 2016 presidential campaign this week.

The first is that she was clearly aware that her private email account was a serious issue as far back as during her time at the State Department.

Secondly, she deliberately decided to not respond to the inquiry – waiting for officials at the State Department to do so well after she resigned, and even further after the deadline for a response. The actual deadline was Jan. 7, 2013.

The third major takeaway is that after Clinton was made aware this was an issue, she deleted upwards of 30,000 emails that she or her staff deemed to be private and not government-related. Since the full text of Gibbons’ response to Issa at this time is unavailable, it’s unclear what the official policy was – according to him – for preserving or archiving such records, or ensuring as Issa put it proper categorization of such messages.

At her widely panned press conference at the United Nations last month, Clinton herself claimed that it is a government official’s personal responsibility to determine what messages are worthy of keeping records of and which ones are not.

“In going through the emails, there were over 60,000 in total, sent and received. About half were work-related and went to the State Department and about half were personal that were not in any way related to my work,” she said in response to a question about that angle of the scandal. “I had no reason to save them, but that was my decision because the federal guidelines are clear and the State Department request was clear. For any government employee, it is that government employee’s responsibility to determine what’s personal and what’s work-related. I am very confident of the process that we conducted and the e-mails that were produced. And I feel like once the American public begins to see the e- mails, they will have an unprecedented insight into a high government official’s daily communications, which I think will be quite interesting.”

It’s absolutely clear at this time, however, that she deleted emails after receiving Issa’s inquiry.

In fact, in a document released in early March 2015 – in response to the widespread media scrutiny she was receiving – the “Office of Hillary Rodham Clinton” made clear the decisions about which emails to delete and which ones to keep was made after a 2014 correspondence with senior State Department officials, well after Issa’s letter.

“Following conversations with Department officials and in response to the Department’s October 28, 2014 letter to former Secretaries requesting assistance in meeting the Department’s record-keeping requirements, Secretary Clinton directed her attorneys to assist by identifying and preserving all emails that could potentially be federal records,” the Clinton document reads. “This entailed a multi-step process to provide printed copies of the Secretary’s work-related emails to the Department, erring on the side of including anything that might potentially be a federal record. As the State Department has said, Secretary Clinton was the first to respond to this letter.”

Kurt Bardella, a former senior adviser to Issa when he was chairman of the committee–who, in the interest of full disclosure, now serves as a communications aide for Breitbart News Network–but served with Issa at the time this letter was sent to Clinton, said there are more questions than answers that are coming from this development.

“The fact is in December of 2012, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was directly asked if she used a private e-mail account,” Bardella said. “Why did the State Department wait until after Secretary Clinton left office to respond to the Issa letter? Were Secretary Clinton’s efforts to deliberately conceal her official activities through use of her private e-mail prompted by then-Chairman Issa’s request? As is status-quo with the Clintons, there are far more questions than answers and it’s likely that these revelations of her secrecy are just the tip of the iceberg.”

Clinton has been oddly secretive in her first few days as a presidential candidate. In an interview with Breitbart News earlier on Tuesday, Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus argued that Clinton’s campaign rollout has been deliberately underwhelming, and she is “hiding” because she is afraid of answering any real questions from press or voters about her email scandal.

“The reason why she didn’t give a speech is because she can’t avail herself to the media,” Priebus said. “She cannot get herself in a situation where she’s going to have to deal with a question about Benghazi or about the emails or about her speeches or about the Clinton Foundation or about her disastrous tenure as Secretary of State. She wants to be able to have a few days and a couple weeks of peace and change the subject from what’s been plaguing her and the only way she can do that is by hiding and that’s what she’s doing: Hiding.”

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