Email Timeline Post-Election 2016

2000 – Hillary says to a donor: “As much as I’ve been investigated and all of that, you know, why would I — I don’t even want — why would I ever want to do e-mail?”

Footage from a 2001 report by ABC News‘ Brian Ross about a disgruntled donor shows  Clinton talking about how she had chosen to avoid email for fear of a paper trail.

“As much as I’ve been investigated and all of that, you know, why would I —- I don’t even want -— why would I ever want to do e-mail?” she’s seen on tape telling Peter Paul on a home video captured at a fundraiser.

“Can you imagine?” she said.

Hillary’s largest, unreported donor, Peter Paul (www.hillcap.org), published home videos that prove Hillary knew him well and solicited illegal contributions from him while running for the Senate.

November 2000 – New revelations show Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign profited off ‘Pardongate’: Book

“According to new details about the Clinton-era “Pardongate,” the last of several scandals that plagued the administration and further sullied the former president’s reputation as he left office, the Democrat pushed for so many pardons to help his wife and cronies that lawyers running the eleventh-hour operation resorted to internet searches to determine the “fitness” of applicants.

“None profited more than Hillary Rodham Clinton,” said Sinclair Broadcast investigative reporter Mark Hyman in his upcoming book, Pardongate: How Bill & Hillary Clinton and Their Brothers Profited from Pardons.

He told Secrets that 50 of Clinton’s eventual 457 clemency approvals directly aided allies of Hillary Clinton, including many that helped in her 2000 New York Senate victory that paved the way for her two failed presidential campaigns.

“It was Hillary Rodham Clinton who was the key influence behind the worst of the worst pardons and commutations that disgraced the office of the president, undermined the legal system and demonstrated that justice could be sold,” Hyman wrote in his Post Hill Press book, out later this month.

“Imagine to what extent a ‘President’ Hillary Rodham Clinton would thoroughly abuse the legal system to turn loose unrepentant, hardened criminals; reward wealthy donors; enrich her family and friends, and turn the executive clemency process into a glorified eBay get-out-of-jail-free card,” he added.

(Read more: Washington Examiner, 6/05/2020)   (Archive)

Justin Cooper provides computer help to Clinton and her aides well before Clinton becomes secretary of state.

In September 2015, Clinton’s future deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin will be interviewed under oath by the House Benghazi Committee. She will reveal that when she had an email or other computer problem while working on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, or even earlier working as an aide when Clinton was a senator, Abedin would turn to Justin Cooper for help. “I usually called Justin. He was our go-to guy. He always was, you know, ‘I’m having a problem, can you help me fix it,’ and he always did…” She would also call on Cooper whenever Clinton was having an email problem.

Cooper will also be the person who suggests she get a clintonemail.com email account on Clinton’s private server shortly before Clinton becomes secretary of state, and then sets it up for her. This suggests his involvement managing Clinton’s private server starts early. Cooper is a longtime aide to Bill Clinton, but he apparently never has a government job or security clearance. (House Benghazi Committee, 10/21/2015)

January 27, 2006 – The same foreign lobbyists and Russians tied to Trump probe, are associated with McCain during his presidential run in 2008

The Nation publishes a photo of McCain and Rick Davis, celebrating his seventieth birthday in Montenegro in August 2006. On the same day, the Queen K, a mega yacht owned by Oleg Deripaska, is moored in the same bay. (Credit: The Nation

(…) “In fact, McCain’s drama involved the same foreign lobbyist Paul Manafort; one of the same Russian oligarchs, Oleg Deripaska; the same Russian diplomat, Sergey Kislyak, and the same wily Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, that now dominate the current Trump controversy.

The FBI has said that there is no evidence to date that Trump ever met with a Russian figure banned from the United States.

McCain actually met twice with Deripaska, a Russian businessman and Putin ally whose visa was blocked by the United States amidst intelligence community concerns about his ties to Moscow. The meetings were arranged by Manafort and his lobbying firm partner Rick Davis, who later would become McCain’s campaign manager, according to interviews and documents. Deripaska, a metals magnet, is president of United Company RUSAL, and is considered to be one of the richest men in the world worth an estimated at $5.1 billion, according to Forbes.“My sense is that Davis and Manafort, who were already doing pro-Putin work against American national interests, were using potential meetings with McCain — who didn’t know this and neither did we until after the fact — as bait to secure more rubles from the oligarchs,” John Weaver, one of McCain’s top advisers at the time, told Circa in an interview this month.

Then Governor of Virginia Mark Warner, Senator John McCain, David Gergen and John Sununu are captured during the session ‘The Future of US Leadership’ at the Annual Meeting 2006 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 27, 2006. (Credit: Flickr)

(…) “In 2006, Davis and Manafort arranged two meetings with McCain and Deripaska in group settings while the senator was overseas on official congressional trips.

The first occurred in January 2006 in Davos, Switzerland, where McCain had traveled with fellow Republicans for a global economics conference.

When McCain and his other Senate colleagues, John Sununu and Saxby Chambliss, arrived at an apartment for drinks, Davis was present as a host with Deripaska by his side. A group of about three dozen then went to dinner, McCain and Deripaska included.”

(…) “Davis was McCain’s campaign manager in both 2000 and 2008. Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager for a brief time, resigned in August 2016, over questions of prior work with Ukrainian political parties.

During the 2008 campaign, the Davis Manafort firm disclosed through its U.S. partner Daniel J. Edelman Inc., that it was working for the political party in Ukraine supporting Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who was backed by Putin.

“Davis Manafort International LLC is directed by a foreign political party, the Ukraine Parties of Regions, to consult on the political campaign in Ukraine,” the January2008 ForeignAgent Registration Act filing showed.

The work included developing “a communications campaign to increase Prime Minister Yanukovych’s visibility in the U.S. and Europe,” the report added, indicating that Davis and Manafort were being paid a $35,000 a month retainer for the work that began in spring 2007.” (Read more: Circa, 6/21/2017)

State Department rules prohibit the way some sensitive information will later be used on Clinton’s private server.

According to the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM), department employees are allowed to send most Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) information unencrypted over the Internet only when necessary.

In August 2008, the FAM is amended to further toughen the rules on sending SBU information on non-department-owned systems at non-departmental facilities – such as Clinton’s later use of a private email server. Employees have to:

  • ensure that SBU information is encrypted
  • destroy SBU information on their personally owned and managed computers and removable media when the files are no longer required
  • implement encryption certified by the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST)

The FBI will later determine that SBU information was frequently and knowingly sent to and from Clinton’s private server, but none of these steps were taken. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

August 2008 – May, 2020 – Chelsea’s ‘best friend’ wins $11 mil in Defense contracts with no clearance

Jacqueline Newmyer-Deal (Credit: public domain)

A company whose president is “best friends” with Chelsea Clinton received more than $11 million in contracts over the last decade from a highly secretive Department of Defense think tank, but to date, the group lacks official federal approval to handle classified materials, according to sensitive documents TheDCNF was allowed to review.

Jacqueline Newmyer, the president of a company called the Long Term Strategy Group, has over the last 10 years received numerous Defense Department contracts from a secretive think tank called Office of Net Assessment.

The Office of Net Assessment is so sensitive, the specialized think tank is housed in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and reports directly to the secretary.

To date, the Long Term Strategy Group has received $11.2 million in contracts, according to USAspending,gov, a government database of federal contracts.

But after winning a decade of contracts from the Office of Net Assessment, the federal agency is only now in the process of granting clearance to the company. Long Term Strategy Group never operated a secure room on their premises to handle classified materials, according to the Defense Security Service, a federal agency that approves secure rooms inside private sector firms. Long Term Strategy Group operates offices in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge, Mass.

(…) Clinton and Newmyer first met each other while attending Sidwell Friends School, an exclusive private Quaker school in the nation’s capital. They were in each other’s weddings, and in 2011 Chelsea referred to Newmyer as her “best friend.”

In numerous emails, Chelsea’s mom, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, actively promoted Newmyer and attempted to assist her in securing Defense Department contracts.

Secretary Clinton put Newmyer in contact with Michèle Flournoy, then-President Barack Obama’s undersecretary of defense, according to the emails from Clinton’s private email server released by the Department of State under a lawsuit filed by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.

Hillary followed up in a July 19, 2009 email, asking Newmyer, “By the way, did the DOD contract work out?”  (Read more: The Daily Caller, 9/27/2017)  (Archive)

It is decided to replace Clinton’s first private server with a larger server built by Pagliano.

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The Mac OS X Logo (Credit: Apple)

Justin Cooper is an aide to former President Bill Clinton, and he is the administrator for the private server located in the Chappaqua, New York, house where Bill and his wife Hillary live. Cooper will later be interviewed by the FBI, and he will say that the decision is made to replace the server because the current server (being run on an Apple OS X computer) is antiquated and people using it are having email troubles.

At the recommendation of Hillary Clinton’s longtime aide Huma Abedin, Cooper contacts Bryan Pagliano, who worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign as an information technology specialist, to build a new server system and to assist Cooper with administrating it. Pagliano was getting rid of the computer equipment from Clinton’s presidential campaign, so it is decided to use some of this equipment for the new server at the Chappaqua house.

According to a later FBI interview, Hillary Clinton “told the FBI that at some point she became aware there was a server in the basement of her Chappaqua residence. However, she was unaware of the transition from the Apple server managed by Cooper to another server built by Pagliano and therefore, was not involved in the transition decision.”

Between the fall of 2008 and January 2009, Pagliano gets computer equipment from Clinton’s former presidential campaign headquarters, and also works with Cooper to buy additional necessary equipment.

Clinton becomes secretary of state on January 20, 2009, and begins using a clintonemail.com email address around that time, which is hosted on the old Apple server. The new server won’t be operational until March 2009. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

October 18, 2008 – Podesta emails reveal Citigroup has major role in shaping and staffing Obama’s first term

Michael Froman (Credit: public domain)

“According to emails released by WikiLeaks yesterday, which came from a hack of the email account of John Podesta, a co-chair of Obama’s 2008 Transition Team,  we learn that despite the obvious fact that Citigroup was both corrupt and derelict in handling its own financial affairs, Barack Obama gave executives of that bank an outsized role in shaping and staffing his first term.

In an email dated Saturday, October 18, 2008, Michael Froman, using his official Citigroup email address of fromanm@citi.com, sent the following email to Obama’s advisors:

“Review Teams

“Attached is the latest version of the Agency Review teams. It is a closely held document, so please treat it with the same sensitivity as ours. If you all could take a quick look at the lists for the agencies in your area, that would be helpful. I think the hope is that, while there are no guarantees, some of the people on these lists might make their way into the agencies ultimately. Our role, therefore, is to check whether there is much overlap between the names here and the names were seeing/generating for sub-cabinet positions in each agency. There doesn’t need to be total overlap, but if there is a total disconnect, it would probably be better to rectify that now vs. later.

“I hate to ask, since I just send you another long spreadsheet to check, but if you could do this tomorrow and get back to Lisa (copied here) and myself, that would be great. Thanks.”

Froman had served in the Clinton administration and moved to Citigroup along with Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin. (Rubin would collect compensation of $126 million during his decade at the bank after helping to deliver the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, legislation that had previously prevented Citigroup from owning an insured bank along with high-risk brokerage and investment banking.) According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Froman was a Managing Director of Citigroup Management Corp. from 1999 to 2009.

Obama appointed Froman to the position of U.S. Trade Representative in 2013. This is how Politico sums up how trade deals are being deliberated under his command:

“If you want to hear the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the Obama administration is hoping to pass, you’ve got to be a member of Congress, and you’ve got to go to classified briefings and leave your staff and cellphone at the door.

“If you’re a member who wants to read the text, you’ve got to go to a room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center and be handed it one section at a time, watched over as you read, and forced to hand over any notes you make before leaving.”

According to the WikiLeaks emails released yesterday, Froman began plotting who would serve in the Obama administration long before the election results came in.

In an email to John Podesta dated September 18, 2008, Froman wrote:

“Mark Gittenstein called to say he was in the process of inserting people into all of the work streams and indicated that Ron Klain would be their representative on the Personnel Working Group. I know and like Ron and am happy to work with him. Do let me know how you’d like to handle information flow, role in decisionmaking, etc. Thanks.”

In another email dated October 15, 2008, Froman further shows he is playing a pivotal role in personnel issues. He writes to Podesta and Obama advisor Pete Rouse:

“Please see attached. Pete, need to chat with you today about a time-sensitive Treasury issue. Please call at your convenience. 917-499-[xxxx]. John, got some feedback that Blair could well be interested in DNI. Also, spent some more time with Oszag last night and think he could be enticed to the NEC. Also, spent 2 hours (!) with Gene yesterday.”

Another email suggests that Podesta allowed Froman to screen  potential new hires. Podesta wrote to Froman on October 13, 2008 to inquire:

“Subject: Gerald Corrigan

“Rahm raised as possible Treasury Deputy. Said he didn’t know him, but his name had been raised by others. You probably do. Worth considering?”

Froman responded: “Yes, though quite a bit out of date.”

Froman was not the only Citigroup executive to be tapped to shape Obama’s first term. In an email dated just five days after Obama won the 2008 election, Daniel Tarullo, an Obama advisor who now sits as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and functions in the quasi-role as supervisor of the too-big-to-fail bank holding companies like Citigroup, emailed Jack Lew at Citigroup. Lew was Chief Operating Officer of the very division that toppled the bank. Tarullo tells Lew the following:

“Jack – Here’s what I wanted to speak with you about: (1) possibility of meeting in Chicago to brief BO/JRB on budget/stimulus. People have been talking about Wed, Thur, or Fri, but nothing yet firmly set to my knowledge. Assuming it goes forward, how should we present (in 90 minutes for both!) the key issues? (2) your willingness to do some oversight on what Jason is doing on budget preparation, at least until such time as we have an OMB Director designate. Dan”

Robert Rubin was also contacted on November 1, 2008 at his official Citigroup email address by Tarullo. The same email was copied to another Clinton Treasury Secretary, Larry Summers, who was then at a hedge fund, DE Shaw. The email indicates that Tarullo was seeking the opinion of Rubin, Summers and others in Obama’s closely knit circle as to whether Obama should attend a G20 Summit as President Elect. (Clip on the top tab “attachments” to read the full memo.) (Read more: Wall Street On Parade, 10/11/2008)

October 29, 2008 – Podesta emails suggest FBI denies security clearance for top Obama National Security Advisor

Emails published by Wikileaks that were purportedly hacked from an account belonging to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta suggest a top national security advisor to President Obama struggled to obtain a security clearance.

Cassandra Butts and Ben Rhodes (Credit: public domain)

“An email from late October 2008 appears to show the FBI denied an interim security clearance for Ben Rhodes during the Obama administration transition period, prior to the 2009 inauguration. Rhodes now serves as the White House Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and has played a key role advising President Obama on national security matters, including the Iran nuclear agreement.

In an email dated October 29, 2008, Obama transition team lawyer Cassandra Butts informed Podesta that the FBI told her they were unlikely to approve a request to provide Rhodes with an interim security clearance.

“The FBI has indicated that they are inclined to decline interim security clearance for Benjamin Rhodes who is OFA senior speechwriter and national security policy person,” Butts wrote. “They have not shared an explanation as to why. If his interim status is denied, the FBI will still undertake a full-clearance process review of his application post-election and make a final determination.”

She added, “In terms of our options, we could ask the FBI for an explanation on the denial and make a determination if it is worth pushing to obtain an interim status, or we can wait for the full review post-election.”

Butts appears to have sent a follow up email to Podesta later that evening informing him the transition team had decided not to challenge the denial.

(…) She then seemingly explained that Rhodes was the only person denied a clearance out of close to 200 people who applied.

“For your information, out of the approximately 187 people who we have moved through the process Benjamin was the only person declined interim status,” the Butts email stated.” (Read more: Law & Crime, 11/03/2016)

The State Department rolls out an easy way to preserve emails for record keeping, but Clinton’s office elects not to use it and Clinton will later claim she never even heard of it.

Ernie Milner, division chief for SMART Testing and Implementation, and Kevin Gatlin, division chief for SMART Messaging, in the State Department SMART lab in Newington, VA. (Credit: American Diplomacy / University of North Carolina)

Ernie Milner, division chief for SMART Testing and Implementation, and Kevin Gatlin, division chief for SMART Messaging, in the State Department SMART lab in Newington, VA. (Credit: American Diplomacy / University of North Carolina)

In 2009, the first year Clinton is secretary of state, the State Department begins using the State Messaging and Archive Retrieval Toolset (SMART), which allows employees to electronically tag emails to preserve a copy for posterity. This allows employees to easily comply with record keeping regulations, instead of having to print out copies of each email.

Although most of the State Department starts using SMART in 2009; the Office of the Secretary elects not to use the SMART system to preserve emails, partly due to concerns that the system would “allow overly broad access to sensitive materials.” (This quote is from an FBI report, but the name of the official who said it is redacted.)

Representatives from the Executive Secretariat (which includes Clinton’s office) ask to be the last to receive the SMART rollout. Ultimately SMART is never used by the Executive Secretariat Office or Clinton for the rest of Clinton’s four-year tenure.

This leaves printing out each email as the only approved method by which the Clinton or her staff in the Office of the Secretary could preserve emails for record keeping. But when Clinton leaves office in February 2013, she won’t even do that.

Remarkably, when Clinton will be interviewed by the FBI in July 2016, the FBI summary will indicate: “Clinton was not aware how other State [Department] staff maintained their records and was unaware of State’s State Messaging and Archive Retrieval Toolset (SMART).” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

SMART will have security and cost overrun problems for the rest of Clinton’s tenure, and beyond.

Huma Abedin allegedly wants Clinton’s email account on a private server and not on a server that is managed by someone else, so that is what is arranged.

In a September 2016 Congressional hearing, Justin Cooper will reveal some information about how Clinton’s use of a private email account on her private server begins. He will state: “Secretary Clinton was transitioning from her presidential campaign and Senate role and had been using primarily a BlackBerry for email correspondence. There were limitations to her ability to use that BlackBerry as well as desire to change her email address because a number of people have received her email address over the course of those activities. So we created with a discussion, I believe, with [Clinton aide] Huma Abedin at the time [about] what domains might be of interest. We obtained a domain and we added it to the original server used by President Clinton’s office for [Hillary Clinton] to use with her BlackBerry at the time…”

Note that Cooper registers three domain names on January 13, 2009, so this discussion must have occurred before then.

Representative Mark Meadows (Credit: public domain)

Representative Mark Meadows (Credit: public domain)

Representative Mark Meadows (R) will ask Cooper in the hearing: “So, your testimony here today is that Huma Abedin said that she would prefer to have Ms. Clinton’s email on a private server versus a server that was actually managed by someone else? That’s your testimony?”

Cooper will reply, “My testimony is that that was communicated to me.”

He will also clarify that when it came to talking to Abedin, “I don’t recall conversations with her about the setting up of the server.” But he also will say, “At some point I had a conversation with her about the setting up of an email account for Secretary Clinton on the server.” (US Congress, 9/13/2016)

However, in Abedin’s April 2016 FBI interview, she will say nothing like this. In fact, she will deny even knowing the server existed until it was mentioned in the media, despite her having an email account hosted on the server for the entire duration of Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state and at least three email exchanges that show her discussing the server during that time. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

January 2009 – 2012: Ghislaine Maxwell’s nephew is a high-ranking official in Clinton’s State Department

(…) Alexander Djerassi, who is Ghislaine Maxwell’s nephew, was a high-ranking official in Hillary Clinton’s State Department.

Here is Alexander Djerassi’s bio from his time as an associate with the Carnegie Endowment:

“Alexander Djerassi was a nonresident associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where his research focused on Tunisia and U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East and North Africa. From 2009 to 2012, Djerassi was chief of staff and special assistant in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, covering U.S. relations with Arab states, Israel, and Iran. He worked on matters relating to democratization and civil society in the Arab world, the Arab uprisings, and Israeli-Palestinian peace. Djerassi has served as a U.S. representative to the Friends of Libya conferences, Friends of the Syrian People conferences, U.S.-GCC Strategic Coordination Forum, and several UN General Assemblies.”

(…) Dale Djerassi, who gave $8,200 to Clinton’s “New York Senate 2000” committee in June, participated in the bizarre “St. Batman Crucifixion” in Woodside, Calif., in 1994.

The performance art piece was a re-enactment of the crucifixion of Jesus, featuring a naked man wearing a Batman medallion and mask being tied to a giant cross by Djerassi and another man.

For the sake of posterity, and art, the event was photographed and can be viewed on the web (BatmanCrucifixion)(Read more: National File, 12/07/2019)  (Archive)

Most State Department officials claim they don’t know Clinton has a private email address or uses a private server.

A sample email of the "H" as it appears in an email sent by Clinton. (Credit: public domain)

A sample address with the “H” as it appears in an email sent by Clinton. (Credit: public domain)

A September 2016 FBI report will indicate that “some Clinton aides and senior-level State [Department] employees were aware Clinton used a personal email address for State business during her tenure [as secretary of state]. Clinton told the FBI it was common knowledge at State that she had a private email address because it was displayed to anyone with whom she exchanged emails. However, some State employees interviewed by the FBI explained that emails from Clinton only contained the letter ‘H’ in the sender field and did not display her email address.”

The report also notes, “The majority of the State employees interviewed by the FBI who were in email contact with Clinton indicated they had no knowledge of the private server in her Chappaqua residence.”

Even Clinton’s closest aides like her chief of staff Cheryl Mills and deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin will claim they didn’t know, though there is evidence that suggests otherwise (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Evidence suggests Clinton regularly keeps her BlackBerry stored inside a secure area against regulations, but she will later deny this.

While Clinton is secretary of state, she has an office on the seventh floor of State Department headquarters, in an area often referred to as “Mahogany Row.” Her office and the surrounding area is considered a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF). Mobile devices such as BlackBerrys are not allowed in SCIF rooms, because they can be taken over by hackers and used to record audio and video.

But according to a September 2016 FBI report, “Interviews of three former DS [Diplomatic Security] agents revealed Clinton stored her personal BlackBerry in a desk drawer in a [Diplomatic Security] post which was located within the SCIF on Mahogany Row. State personnel were not authorized to bring their mobile devices into [the post], as it was located within the SCIF.”

A view from the 8th floor balcony at the State Department. (Credit: Thomas V. Dembski)

A view from the 8th floor balcony at the State Department. (Credit: Thomas V. Dembski)

However, according to Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin, Clinton would leave the SCIF to use her BlackBerry, often visiting the eighth floor balcony to do so. Former Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Eric Boswell will later tell the FBI that he never received any complaints about Clinton using her BlackBerry inside the SCIF.

In contrast to the above evidence, in her July 2016 FBI interview, Clinton will claim that after her first month as secretary of state, she never brought her BlackBerry into the SCIF area at all, because she had been clearly told not to do that. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Hundreds of Clinton’s emails are printed out by a Bill Clinton staffer; he may have a relevant security clearance.

Clinton presents a letter of congratulations and signed photo to Chief Culinary Specialist Oscar Flores during his retirement ceremony aboard the USS Makin Island on April 1, 2010. (Credit: Chief Mass Communication Specialist John Lill / US Navy)

Clinton presents a letter of congratulations and signed photo to Chief Culinary Specialist Oscar Flores during his retirement ceremony aboard the USS Makin Island on April 1, 2010. (Credit: Chief Mass Communication Specialist John Lill / US Navy)

A September 2016 FBI report will mention that the FBI determined “hundreds of emails” were sent by Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin and other State Department staffers to a member of Bill Clinton’s staff so he could print them out for Clinton. His name will be redacted, but he is almost certainly Oscar Flores, because the report will mention that he is a member of the US Navy Reserves, which Flores is at the time.

Some of these emails will later be determined to contain information classified at the “confidential” level, including six email chains forwarded by Abedin and one email chain forwarded by Clinton.

But the FBI will determine that Flores received a security clearance at the “secret” level on October 25, 2007 from the Defense Department. Furthermore, although Flores retires from the US Navy Reserves in September 2010, there is no indication his security clearance is deactivated at that time. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Hundreds of classified emails are sent or received by Clinton while she is outside the US, including some to or from President Obama.

Clinton boards the State Department jet with her BlackBerry, destination unknown. (Credit: Andrew Harnik / The Associated Press)

Clinton boards the State Department jet while using her BlackBerry, date and location are unknown. (Credit: Andrew Harnik / The Associated Press)

This is according to a September 2016 FBI report. The report indicates that Clinton and her immediate staff were repeatedly “notified of foreign travel risks and were warned that digital threats began immediately upon landing in a foreign country, since connection of a mobile device to a local network provides opportunities for foreign adversaries to intercept voice and email transmissions.”

Additionally, the State Department has a Mobile Communications Team responsible for establishing secure mobile voice and data communications for Clinton and her team wherever they travel. But even so, Clinton and her staff frequently use their private and unsecure mobile devices and private email accounts while overseas.

The number of Clinton emails sent or received outside the US will be redacted in the FBI report. Although it will mention that “hundreds” were classified at the “confidential” level, additional details are redacted. Nearly all mentions of “top secret” emails are redacted in the report, so it’s impossible to know if any of those are sent while Clinton is overseas.

The report will mention that some emails between Clinton and President Obama are sent while Clinton is overseas. However, the exact number will be redacted. None of these overseas emails between them will be deemed to contain classified information. According to the report, “Clinton told the FBI that she received no particular guidance as to how she should use President Obama’s email address…”

The details of the FBI’s report on Clinton’s July 2016 FBI interview will indicate that Clinton emailed Obama on July 1, 2012 from Russia. However, it is not clear if she sent the email from on the ground or on a plane. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Clinton may regularly carry two mobile devices at once, although she will later claim otherwise.

In March 2015, after it becomes public knowledge that Clinton exclusively used a private email account for all her email usage, she will claim she did this for “convenience,” so she wouldn’t have to carry two personal devices at once.

During a trip to the Middle East, Clinton is seen using two Blackberrys while being filmed for a National Geographic documentary called “Inside the State Department” on June 15, 2010. (Credit: National Geographic)

During a trip to the Middle East, Clinton is seen using two Blackberrys while being filmed for a National Geographic documentary called “Inside the State Department” on June 15, 2010. (Credit: National Geographic)

However, in 2016, Justin Cooper, an aide to Bill Clinton who helps manage the Clinton private server, will claim otherwise. In an FBI interview, “Cooper stated that he was aware of Clinton using a second mobile phone number. Cooper indicated Clinton usually carried a flip phone along with her BlackBerry because it was more comfortable for communication and Clinton was able to use her BlackBerry while talking on the flip phone.”

However, in Clinton’s 2016 FBI interview, “she did not recall using a flip phone during her tenure [as secretary of state], only during her service in the Senate.” In their FBI interviews, Clinton’s aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills “advised they were unaware of Clinton ever using a cellular phone other than the BlackBerry.”

According to FBI investigators, Clinton has “two known phone numbers… which potentially were used to send emails using Clinton’s clintonemail.com email addresses.” One is associated with her BlackBerry usage. Toll records associated with the other phone number “indicate the number was consistently used for phone calls in 2009 and then used sporadically through the duration of Clinton’s tenure and the years following. Records also showed that no BlackBerry devices were associated with this phone number.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Clinton uses 11 different BlackBerrys and four iPads while she is secretary of state.

In March 2015, after it becomes public knowledge that Clinton exclusively used a private email account for all her email usage, she will claim she did this for “convenience,” so she wouldn’t have to carry two personal devices at once.

A 2009 Blackberry Bold 9700 (left) and a 2013 Blackberry 9720. (Credit: public domain)

A 2009 Blackberry Bold 9700 (left) and a 2013 Blackberry 9720. (Credit: public domain)

However, the FBI will later determine that Clinton actually used in succession 11 email-capable BlackBerrys while secretary of state. She uses two more BlackBerrys with the same phone number after her tenure is over. The FBI will not be able to obtain any of the BlackBerrys to examine them.

The FBI will later identify five iPad devices associated with Clinton which might have been used by Clinton to send emails. The FBI will later obtain three of the iPads. They will only examine two, because one was a gift that Clinton gave away as soon as she purchased it.

Clinton aide Monica Hanley often buys replacement BlackBerrys for Clinton from AT&T stores. Justin Cooper, a Bill Clinton aide who helps run Clinton’s private server, usually sets up the new devices and then syncs them to the server so she can access her email inbox. According to an FBI interview with Clinton aide Huma Abedin, “it was not uncommon for Clinton to use a new BlackBerry for a few days and then immediately switch it out for an older version with which she was more familiar.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Clinton’s frequently discarded BlackBerrys are sometimes destroyed and sometimes disappear.

The FBI will later determine that Clinton uses 11 BlackBerrys while secretary of state and two more using the same phone number after she leaves office. In a 2016 FBI interview, “Clinton stated that when her BlackBerry device malfunctioned, her aides would assist her in obtaining a new BlackBerry, and, after moving to a new device, her old SIM cards were disposed of by her aides.”

Justin Cooper, a Bill Clinton aide who helps manage Clinton’s private server, will later tell the FBI that he “did recall two instances where he destroyed Clinton’s old mobile devices by breaking them in half or hitting them with a hammer.”

However, according to Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Monica Hanley, “the whereabouts of Clinton’s devices would frequently become unknown once she transitioned to a new device.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Clinton signs a non-disclosure agreement promising to safeguard a type of top secret information.

Hillary's signature on the non-disclosure agreement (NDA). (Credit: public domain)

Hillary’s signature on the non-disclosure agreement (NDA). (Credit: public domain)

The non-disclosure agreement (NDA) concerns “sensitive compartmented information” (SCI), which is a type of “top secret” classification. In signing the agreement, Clinton acknowledges any “breach” could result in “termination of my access to SCI and removal from a position of special confidence and trust requiring such access as well as the termination of my employment or any other relationships with any department or agency that provides me with access to SCI.” (US Department of State, 11/5/2015)

This is one of two NDAs Clinton signs on this day.

It will later be revealed that out of the over 30,000 emails Clinton turned over to the State Department in December 2014, three of them were deemed “top secret / Sensitive Compartmented Information.”

Colin Powell warns Clinton to “be very careful” because if she uses a BlackBerry for official business, her emails could become official records.

Clinton emails former Secretary of State Colin Powell two days after she is sworn in as secretary of state, and asks about his use of a BlackBerry while he was secretary of state from January 2001 to January 2005. A full copy of the email will be released on September 7, 2016.

Clinton writes: “I hope to catch up soon [with] you, but I have one pressing question which only you can answer! What were the restrictions on your use of your BlackBerry? Did you use it in your personal office? I’ve been told that the DSS [Diplomatic Security] personnel knew you had one and used it but no one fesses up to knowing how you used it! President Obama has struck a blow for Berry addicts like us. I just have to figure out how to bring along the State Dept. Any and all advice is welcome.”

Powell replies to Clinton, “I didn’t have a BlackBerry. What I did do was have a personal computer that was hooked up to a private phone line (sounds ancient.)  So I could communicate with a wide range of friends directly without it going through the State Department servers. I even used it to do business with some foreign leaders and some of the senior folks in the department on their personal email accounts. I did the same thing on the road in hotels.”

Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton (Credit: Jonathan Ernst / Getty Images)

Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton (Credit: Jonathan Ernst / Getty Images)

Powell also warns Clinton,  “there is a real danger. If it is  public that you have a BlackBerry and it is  government and you are using it, government or not, to do business, it may beome an official record and subject to the law.” (US Senate, 9/7/2016)

Powell further writes, “Reading about the President’s BB [BlackBerry] rules this morning, it sounds like it won’t be as useful as it used to be.” Powell is referring to a New York Times article published the day before, regarding Obama winning the fight to use a BlackBerry during his presidency.  (New York Times, 01/22/09)

Powell further advises Clinton, “Be very careful. I got around it all by not saying much and not using systems that captured the data.”

Clinton emails back the same day,  “[I] want to thank you for all the advice about Berries, security, and life on the seventh floor [of State Department headquarters]! I hope we’ll have a chance to visit in person sometime soon.” (US Senate, 9/7/2016)

In a 2016 FBI interview, “Clinton [will indicate] to the FBI that she understood Powell’s comments to mean any work-related communications would be government records, and she stated Powell’s comments did not factor into her decision to use a personal email account.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Clinton’s decision to use a private email account on a private server had already been made before this email exchange.

Clinton allegedly wants to use an iPad in her office but is not allowed to do so; however the iPad won’t be released until one year later.

The first Apple iPad was released in January, 2010. (Credit: public domain)

The first Apple iPad (Credit: public domain)

Around February 2009, the NSA refuses to make a BlackBerry for Clinton that’s secure enough to use in SCIF rooms, citing security concerns. (Highly classified materials can only be read in SCIF rooms, and Clinton’s office in State Department headquarters is a SCIF room.)

According to a September 2016 FBI report, at roughly the same time, Clinton’s executive staff also ask about the possibility of Clinton using an iPad to read her emails in her office. But “this request was also denied due to restrictions associated with the Secretary’s office being in a SCIF.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

However, the FBI will fail to mention that the iPad won’t actually be announced by Apple until January 2010, and won’t be released until a couple of months after that, making the above claim impossible. (Apple.com, 1/27/2010)

Clinton will buy an iPad and begin using it a couple of months after it comes out, in July 2010.

In FBI Vault Hillary R. Clinton Part 36 of 36 release, the following email was found confirming her use of an iPad after she was officially told she could not use one.

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An email suggests Clinton gets a new cell phone, despite her later claims that she didn’t use one.

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Clinton talks on a flip phone in Washington, DC on November 14, 2006. (Credit: Karen Bleir / Agence France Presse / Getty Images)

An email sent to or received by Clinton on this day has the subject heading: “Re: New cell.” It won’t be found in the over 30,000 Clinton emails given to the State Department in December 2014. Thus, the details are known because she will be asked about it in her July 2016 FBI interview.

According to a later FBI report, “Clinton stated she was familiar with the phone number ending in [redacted] referenced in the email. She believed the number was that of her BlackBerry because she did not recall using a flip phone during her time at State, only while in the Senate.”

However, in the FBI Clinton email investigation final report, evidence will be mentioned that Clinton actually had two phone numbers. One was for her BlackBerry, which she used just for emails, and one for her flip phone, which she used for phone calls. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

2009 – 2010: FBI watches then acts as Russian spy moves closer to Hillary Clinton

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov receives a “reset” button from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Geneva Switzerland, March, 2009. (Credit: CNN)

“As Hillary Clinton was beginning her job as President Obama’s chief diplomat, federal agents observed as multiple arms of Vladimir Putin’s machine unleashed an influence campaign designed to win access to the new secretary of State, her husband Bill Clinton and members of their inner circle, according to interviews and once-sealed FBI records.

Some of the activities FBI agents gathered evidence about in 2009 and 2010 were covert and illegal.

A female Russian spy posing as an American accountant, for instance, used a false identity to burrow her way into the employ of a major Democratic donor in hopes of gaining intelligence on Hillary Clinton’s department, records show. The spy was arrested and deported as she moved closer to getting inside State, agents said.

Other activities were perfectly legal and sitting in plain view, such as when a subsidiary of Russia’s state-controlled nuclear energy company hired a Washington firm to lobby the Obama administration. At the time it was hired, the firm was providing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in pro bono support to Bill Clinton’s global charitable initiative, and it legally helped the Russian company secure federal decisions that led to billions in new U.S. commercial nuclear business, records show.

Agents were surprised by the timing and size of a $500,000 check that a Kremlin-linked bank provided Bill Clinton with for a single speech in the summer of 2010. The payday came just weeks after Hillary Clinton helped arrange for American executives to travel to Moscow to support Putin’s efforts to build his own country’s version of Silicon Valley, agents said.

There is no evidence in any of the public records that the FBI believed that the Clintons or anyone close to them did anything illegal. But there’s definitive evidence the Russians were seeking their influence with a specific eye on the State Department.

“There is not one shred of doubt from the evidence that we had that the Russians had set their sights on Hillary Clinton’s circle, because she was the quarterback of the Obama-Russian reset strategy and the assumed successor to Obama as president,” said a source familiar with the FBI’s evidence at the time, speaking only on condition of anonymity, because he was not authorized to speak to the news media.” (Read more: The Hill, 10/22/2017)

February 2009 – February 2013: It is suspected China hacked Clinton’s private email server throughout her term as Secretary of State

James Comey states in a July 5, 2017 press conference, his agency will recommend the US Department of Justice (DoJ) not to press official charges against Hillary Clinton. (Credit: MSNBC)

“A Chinese-owned company operating in the Washington, D.C., area hacked Hillary Clinton’s private server throughout her term as secretary of state and obtained nearly all her emails, two sources briefed on the matter told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Chinese firm obtained Clinton’s emails in real time as she sent and received communications and documents through her personal server, according to the sources, who said the hacking was conducted as part of an intelligence operation.

The Chinese wrote code that was embedded in the server, which was kept in Clinton’s residence in upstate New York. The code generated an instant “courtesy copy” for nearly all of her emails and forwarded them to the Chinese company, according to the sources.

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found that virtually all of Clinton’s emails were sent to a “foreign entity,” Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, said at a July 12 House Committee on the Judiciary hearing. He did not reveal the entity’s identity, but said it was unrelated to Russia.

Two officials with the ICIG, investigator Frank Rucker and attorney Janette McMillan, met repeatedly with FBI officials to warn them of the Chinese intrusion, according to a former intelligence officer with expertise in cybersecurity issues, who was briefed on the matter. He spoke anonymously, as he was not authorized to publicly address the Chinese’s role with Clinton’s server.

Among those FBI officials was Peter Strzok, who was then the bureau’s top counterintelligence official. Strzok was fired this month following the discovery he sent anti-Trump texts to his mistress and co-worker, Lisa Page. Strzok didn’t act on the information the ICIG provided him, according to Gohmert.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 8/27/2018)

An external hard drive backs up the data on Clinton’s private server, but it is unclear what happens to it or its replacement.

The Seagate Expansion External Hardrive (Credit: Seagate)

The Seagate Expansion External Hard Drive (Credit: Seagate)

When Clinton’s first server is upgraded with a new server in March 2009, a Seagate external hard drive is attached to the server to store back-up copies of all of its data.

Bryan Pagliano, who manages the server at the time, will later tell the FBI that daily changes are backed up onto the hard drive every day, and a complete back-up is made once a week. As space on the hard drive runs out, backups are deleted on a “first in, first out” basis.

This continues until June 2011. That month, Pagliano travels from Washington, DC, where he works in the State Department, and goes to where the server is, in Chappaqua, New York. Pagliano replaces the Seagate external hard drive with a Cisco Network Attached Storage (NAS) device, also to store backups of the server.

The Cisco FS 5500 and 5700 Series Integrated NAS. (Credit: Cisco)

The Cisco FS 5500 and 5700 Series Integrated NAS. (Credit: Cisco)

It is unclear what becomes of either back-up device or the data they contained. The FBI’s September 2016 final report on the Clinton email investigation will only mention: “The FBI was unable to forensically determine how frequently the NAS captured backups of the Pagliano Server.” But the report will also complain about the “FBI’s inability to recover all server equipment,” and there will be no mention of any data recovered from either back-up device. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Also in September 2016, Justin Cooper, who helped Pagliano manage the server, will be asked about these hard drives at a Congressional hearing. He will say he only heard about them from reading the FBI final report. (He claims he handled customer service while Pagliano handled the technical aspects.)

He will also be asked if FBI agents ever came to the Clinton’s Chappaqua house to seize any equipment. Cooper worked as an aide to Bill Clinton in the house, but he will say he is unaware of the FBI ever coming to the house. (US Congress, 9/13/2016)

Clinton’s personal email server is replaced; she will use the new one for the rest of her term as secretary of state.

Justin Cooper, an aide to former President Bill Clinton, has been working with Bryan Pagliano, who worked as a computer technician on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, to build a new private server located in the Clintons’ Chappaqua, New York, house. Some time in March 2009, Pagliano and Cooper met at the Chappaqua house to physically install the server and related equipment in a server rack in the basement.

Once the new server is up and running, Pagliano migrates the email data from the old server to the new one. Pagliano will later be interviewed by the FBI, and he will claim that after the migration, no email content should have remained on the old server. He will tell the FBI that he only transferred clintonemail.com email accounts for Clinton aide Huma Abedin and others (whose names will later be redacted), and he was unaware of and did not transfer an email account for Hillary Clinton.

However, Clinton emails using a clintonemail.com domain address start getting sent in January 2009, showing she must had had an account on the old server since that time. Cooper will also later be interviewed by the FBI, and he will say he believed Clinton had a clintonemail.com email account on the old server and Abedin did not. The FBI will be unable to obtain the old server to analyze it, so the dispute has not been fully resolved.

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The Dell Power Edge 2900 (Credit: public domain)

This new server will be used for the rest of Clinton’s term as secretary of state, then will be replaced in 2013. Later in March 2009, the old server is repurposed to serve as a personal computer for household staff at Clinton’s Chappaqua house. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

The Washington Post will later report, “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.” (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

According to the FBI, the new server initially consists of the following equipment: “a Dell PowerEdge 2900 server miming Microsoft Exchange for email hosting and management, a Dell PowerEdge 1950 server miming BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) for the management of BlackBerry devices, a Seagate external hard drive to store backups of the Dell PowerEdge 2900 server, a Dell switch, a Cisco firewall, and a power supply.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

In 2015, Hillary Clinton will say of her server, “It was sitting there in the basement. It was not any trouble at all.” (The Wall Street Journal, 9/27/2015)

Bryan Pagliano and Justin Cooper jointly manage Clinton’s private server.

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Bryan Pagliano (left), Justin Cooper (right) (Credit: public domain)

In March 2009, Clinton’s private email server is replaced by a larger one built by her computer technician Pagliano. Cooper had been the only person with administrative access for the previous server, but now both him and Pagliano have administrative accounts on the new one.

Pagliano handles all software upgrades and general maintenance. He works at the State Department in Washington, DC, and there is only evidence of him going to Chappaqua, New York, to directy work on the server three times: in March 2009, to install the server; in June 2011, to upgrade the equipment; and in January 2012, to fix a hardware issue.

By contrast, in a later FBI interview, Cooper will describe his role as “the customer service face.” He can add users or reset passwords on the email server. He also works at the Chappaqua house as an aide to former President Bill Clinton, so it is much easier for him to physically interact with the server there.

Cooper and Pagliano both handle the selection and purchase of server-related items.

In a later FBI interview, Hillary Clinton will state “she had no knowledge of the hardware, software, or security protocols used to construct and operate the servers. When she experienced technical issues with her email account she contacted Cooper for assistance in resolving those issues.”

The roles of Cooper and Pagliano will be phased out in mid-2013, with the Platte River Networks company winning a contact to manage Clinton’s server on May 31, 2013.

Pagliano is warned that classified information could be sent to Clinton’s private server, but there is no sign he takes action or passes this warning on.

When Clinton’s computer technician Bryan Pagliano is interviewed by the FBI in December 2015, he will recall a conversation with a person whose name is redacted that takes place at the beginning of Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. According to the FBI, this person “advised he would not be surprised if classified information was being transmitted to Clinton’s personal server.”

Pagliano joins the State Department in May 2009, and he also is the main person to manage problems with the server. But there is no mention of him taking any action about this warning or passing it on to anyone else. The unnamed person also gives Pagliano advice on how to improve the server security that goes unheeded as well. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Clinton sends a department-wide email encouraging the preservation of records in response to FOIA requests.

An email entitled “Message from the Secretary on FOIA” goes out in Clinton’s name to the entire State Department. In it, she encourages full cooperation responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. “As a Department, we should respond to requests in a timely manner, resolve doubts in favor of openness, and not withhold information based on speculative or abstract fears. Preserving the record of our deliberations, decisions, and actions will be at the foundation of our efforts to promote openness.” (US Department of State, 6/18/2015)

Ironically, Clinton will not turn over any work-related emails (which are official records) when she leaves the department in February 2013, and FOIA requests for any of her emails will be ignored until the controversy over her use a private server becomes front-page news in March 2015.

Clinton writes about designing a system for how her documents are handled by the State Department.

Chris Cillizza (Credit: Institute of Politics and Public Service)

Chris Cillizza (Credit: Institute of Politics and Public Service)

Clinton writes in an email: “Dear Lauren [Jiloty] and Huma [Abedin], I have just realized I have no idea how my papers are treated at State. Who manages both my personal and official files? […] Are there personal files as well as official ones set up? […] I think we need to get on this asap to be sure we know and design the system we want.”

Abedin replies, “We’ve discussed this. I can explain to you when I see [you] today.” (US Department of State, 5/31/2016)

In June 2016, Chris Cillizza will write in the Washington Post: “[T]his email to Abedin—which came at the start of her four-year term in office—suggests a bit more active agency than Clinton has previously let on. ‘I think we need to get on this asap to be sure we know and design the system we want,’ doesn’t strike me as Clinton simply wanting convenience and following the instructions of her IT people on how to make that happen. It reads to me as though Clinton is both far more aware of the email setup and far more engaged in how it should look than she generally lets on publicly.” (The Washington Post, 6/28/2016)

In her July 2016 FBI interview, Clinton will be asked about this email. According to the FBI, “Clinton stated this email pertained to how her ‘files’ were going to be treated at [the] State [Department]. Clinton relayed while in the Senate, she maintained a personal and official paper file. This process was not implemented through Senate procedure or guidance but through Clinton’s own personal process. Clinton was not aware how other State staff maintained their records and was unaware of State’s State Messaging and Archive Retrieval Toolset (SMART).” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Clinton’s top aides privately complain that people who know Clinton’s old email address still have emails forwarded to her.

A State Department official (whose name is later redacted) sends an email to Clinton. The unnamed official had been sponsored by Clinton for a security position but had failed the security tests, and so he directly appeals to her for assistance.

Clinton forwards the email to her chief of staff Cheryl Mills and her deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin and asks them, “Could you follow up on this?”

It is unknown what becomes of the official’s request. However, Mills then complains in an email just to Abedin, “Personally, I think this is outrageous that staff go straight to her on this stuff.”

Abedin replies to Mills, “This is unbelievable. And she also should not be giving her email to everyone [because] she will get stuff like this.”

Mills then responds back, “She’s not giving her email to new people. People who emailed her old Senate address are still being forwarded to her new address. Most of her Senate staff had access to that address. Justin [Cooper] can fix it but I need her berry [BlackBerry] and she takes that thing to every toilet, to the shower, so [it’s] hard to get my hands on that thing…” (US Department of State, 6/9/2016)

During an overseas trip, Abedin reveals in an email that she has left Clinton’s daily schedule in an unlocked hotel room.

090418ClintonTrinidadKevinCoombsReuters

Clinton arrives for the start of the first plenary session of the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on April 18, 2009. (Credit: Kevin Coombs / Reuters)

Clinton’s deputy secretary of state Huma Abedin is attending a conference in the country of Trinidad and Tobago. State Department aide Melissa J. Lan, who is also at the conference, emails her to borrow Clinton’s day book binder, a presumably sensitive document containing Clinton’s daily schedule.

Abedin replies: “Yes. It’s on the bed in my room. U can take it. My door is open. I’m in the lobby.”
(US Department of State, 6/30/2016)

Clinton’s top staffers appear to be doing a favor for someone connected to the Clinton Foundation.

Douglas Band sends an email with the subject heading “A favor” to Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills and Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin. At the time, Band is both working for the Clinton Foundation and serving as a personal aide to former President Bill Clinton. Band writes that it was “important to take care of” – but the name of the person and several following lines of text are later redacted.

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The April 22, 2009 email from Doug Band to Huma Abedin and her response. (Credit: public domain)

Abedin responds, “We have all had him on our radar. Personnel has been sending him options.” The person may somehow be related to Clinton Foundation work being done in Haiti, because Band’s email includes a forward of an email from a person whose name is redacted, but who had just returned from a trip to Haiti involving charity work.

Upon becoming secretary of state earlier in 2009, Clinton promised to avoid any possible conflict of interest between State Department work and Clinton Foundation work. (CBS News, 8/10/2016) (US Department of State, 6/30/2016)

Clinton’s top staffers provide help for a top Clinton Foundation donor due to a request from the Clinton Foundation.

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Gilbert Chagoury, Chairman of The Chagoury Group (left), Bill Clinton (center) and Ronald Chagoury, Chief Executive Officer (right) attend the Eko Atlantic City Dedication Ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria on February 21st, 2012. (Credit: public domain)

Douglas Band sends an email to Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills and Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin. At the time, Band is both working for the Clinton Foundation and serving as a personal aide to former President Bill Clinton. Band asks for the State Department’s “substance person” in Lebanon to contact Gilbert Chagoury. “As you know, he’s key guy there and to us and is loved in Lebanon. Very imp [important].”

Abedin responds that the “substance person” Is “Jeff Feltman,” a former US ambassador to Lebanon. “I’m sure he knows him. I’ll talk to Jeff.”

Fifteen minutes later, Band sends another email to Abedin, writing, “Better if you call him. Now preferable. This is very important.” After some redacted text, he adds, “He’s awake I’m sure.”
(US Department of State, 6/30/2016)

CBS News will late call Chagoury “a Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire philanthropist who was one of the Clinton Foundation’s top donors.” He gave between $1 and $5 million to the foundation. In addition, he pledged $1 billion to the Clinton Global Initiative. He was convicted in 2000 in Switzerland for money laundering,  but agreed to a plea deal and repaid $66 million.

Upon becoming secretary of state earlier in 2009, Clinton promised to avoid any possible conflict of interest between State Department work and Clinton Foundation work. (Judicial Watch, 8/12/2016) (CBS News, 8/10/2016)

In August 2016, a spokesperson for Chagoury will claim that Chagoury had been seeking to contact someone in the State Department to offer his perspective on the coming elections in Lebanon, and had not been seeking official action by the State Department. (Politico, 8/11/2016)

Colin Powell allegedly advises Clinton at a party to use private email, but nobody at the party later supports Clinton’s claim that this happens.

In August 2016, the New York Times will publish an article based on a claim by former Salon reporter Joe Conason about an incident that occurred at a dinner party in June 2009, during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. Conason will have recently interviewed Hillary Clinton for a book he is writing about Bill Clinton, and he may have heard about the incident through her.

Former secretaries of state (L-R) Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton participate in the ceremonial groundbreaking of the future U.S. Diplomacy Center at the State Department's Harry S. Truman Building September 3, 2014. (Credit: Jonathan Ernst / Getty Images)

From left to right, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton participate in the ceremonial groundbreaking of the future U.S. Diplomacy Center on September 3, 2014. (Credit: Jonathan Ernst / Getty Images)

The party is hosted by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and several other former secretary of states are also in attendance: Colin Powell, Henry Kissinger, Condoleezza Rice, and William Christopher.

Conason will claim that, “Albright asked all of the former secretaries to offer one salient bit of counsel to the nation’s next top diplomat [Clinton]. 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. Saying that his use of personal email had been transformative for the department, he thus confirmed a decision she had made months earlier — to keep her personal account and use it for most messages.” (New York Times, 08/18/16)

Clinton will also tell a similar story in her July 2016 FBI interview. NBC News journalist Andrea Mitchell will report, “Clinton told the FBI that former Secretary of State Colin Powell recommended on two occasions that she use a private email account for unclassified communication.”

Drawing from Conason’s original report, Mitchell will write, “Powell made the suggestions at a small dinner party shortly after Clinton took over at the State Department in 2009 and in an email exchange around the same time.” Two sources later confirm to NBC News that Clinton gave that account to investigators during her FBI interview. (NBC News, 08/19/2016)

In a January 2009 email, Powell warned her that should that become “public,” her emails would become “official record[s] and subject to the law.” “Be very careful. I got around it all by not saying much and not using systems that captured the data.”

Clinton said that Powell’s comments did not factor into her decision to use a personal email address. (Federal Bureau of Investigations (09/02/16)

However, Powell will later claim he doesn’t recall Albright even asking that question, but he does remember an email exchange with Clinton on January 23, 2009. Conason appears to be confusing the email with the dinner party.

Colin Powell’s emails will be hacked and released to the public  September 13, 2016. The email leak will include an exchange between Powell and Rice on August 28, 2016. Powell will write, “I was [with] Maddy [Madeline Albright] the other evening and she doesn’t remember an email conversation or even asking us a question recently.”

Rice will write back, ” Yes — I’m sure it never came up.”

Thus, the alleged Albright question at her party, and Powell’s reply, may never have happened at all. Though Clinton will say it did, Albright, Rice, and Powell will say it did not.

A lobbyist uses his rare direct email access to Clinton to arrange more aid for the country of Palau.

06-2009JeffreyFarrow

Jeffrey Farrow (Credit: Mauricio Pascual)

Palau is a single island with a population of only 20,000. The lobbyist, Jeffrey Farrow, had worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. But it’s not known how he got her new email address, which she started using after becoming secretary of state in January 2009.

Farrow begins emailing Clinton in June 2009, at a time when the US is deciding how much financial aid to give Palau, and while Palau becomes the first country to accept prisoners from the US military prison in Guantanamo, Cuba. Farrow talks about how Palau is going to take 17 Guantanamo prisoners and then suggests that US aid to the country is “far too low.” Clinton forwards the emails to her aide Jake Sullivan and asks him to “do some recon outreach and advise what, if anything, we should do.”

In an October 30, 2009 email, Farrow again asks for more US aid to Palau. Clinton forwards that email to Sullivan and other aides with the note, “As I have said repeatedly, I do not want to see Palau shortchanged.” In September 2010, the US announces a large multi-year aid package to Palau worth over $250 million. (Politico, 7/1/2015)

In a September 2010 email, Farrow praises Clinton and Sullivan for helping to get the aid package done, and jokingly promises Clinton a medal and a free vacation in Palau. (US Department of State, 9/30/2015) Farrow also forwards a thank you letter from Palau President Johnson Toribiong in April 2011, belying Clinton’s claim that she only ever had email contact with one foreign official, from Britain.  (US Department of State, 10/30/2015) (US Department of State, 10/30/2015)

A Blumenthal email suggests he is working on projects for Bill and Hillary Clinton.

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Doug Band (Credit: Vanity Fair)

Clinton confidant and private citizen Sid Blumenthal sends Clinton an email with the subject heading, “My role, Germany, Iran, etc.” He writes: “I spoke with Doug Band yesterday, discussed things with him, and we will go from there. It would be helpful if you and I speak soon to define parameters of what projects I should pursue. We should discuss your speech to the Council, among other things.”

Band is a close personal aide to Hillary’s husband Bill Clinton, and also works at the Clinton Foundation. Blumenthal then writes about other matters relating to Germany and Iran. Clinton speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) two weeks later. (US Department of State, 12/31/2015) (US Department of State, 6/30/2015)

In May 2015, Clinton will downplay the link between herself and Blumenthal when she was secretary of state, saying, “He sent me unsolicited emails which I passed on in some instances.” Blumenthal is paid a $120,000 yearly salary by the Clinton Foundation despite not doing any charity work there, but Clinton will deny that is compensation for his emailed intelligence reports. (Real Clear Politics, 5/20/2015)

Clinton’s meeting with major business leaders on this day is just one of dozens of meetings later not listed on her official calendar.

Clinton attends a meeting with New York Stock Exchange president Duncan Niederauer and various business leaders on September 21, 2009. (Credit: public domain)

Clinton attends a meeting with New York Stock Exchange president Duncan Niederauer and various business leaders on September 21, 2009. (Credit: public domain)

In June 2016, the Associated Press will finally gain access to some planning schedules from when Clinton was secretary of state. A comparison of these planning schedules with Clinton’s official calendar from that time will show that at least 60 meetings with Clinton’s donors and other outside interests were omitted. The Associated Press will give one specific example of a meeting on this day that is omitted from the calendar, even though the names of attendees to other meetings on the same day are not. Clinton meets with 13 major business leaders for a private breakfast discussion at the New York Stock Exchange:

  • David M. Cote, CEO of Honeywell International Inc.;
  • Fabrizio Freda, CEO of the Estee Companies Inc.;
  • Lewis Frankfort, chair of Coach Inc.;
  • Robert Kelly, CEO of the New York Bank of Mellon;
  • Ellen Kullman, CEO of DuPont;
  • Harold McGraw III, chair of McGraw Hill Companies;
  • Duncan Niederauer, CEO of  the New York Stock Exchange;
  • Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo;
  • Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks Corp;
  • Steven Schwarzman, chair of the Blackstone Group;
  • James Taiclet, chair of the American Tower Corp.;
  • James Tisch, president of Loews Corp.; and
  • John D. Wren, CEO of Omnicom Group.

All the companies represented except Coach Inc. lobby the US government in 2009. Four companies—Blackstone, Honeywell, Omnicom, and DuPont—lobby the State Department that year. All the companies except for American Tower and New York Bank of Mellon donate to the Clinton Foundation, and two attendees—Schwarzman and Frankfort—personally donate to the foundation. Four of the companies—PepsiCo, the Blackstone Group, DuPont, and Honeywell International Inc.—also donate to what the Associated Press calls “Clinton’s pet diplomatic project of that period,” the US pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo. (The Associated Press, 6/24/2016)

December 29, 2009 – Obama issues an Executive Order making it clear, all communications with a foreign government are automatically deemed classified information

(…) “In the first year of his administration (December 29, 2009, to be exact), President Obama issued Executive Order 13526, entitled “Classified National Security Information.” It explains what information is deemed classified if its disclosure would cause “damage to the national security.” Beyond that, whether the classified information is categorized as “top secret,” “secret,” or “confidential” depends on how serious the damage would be.

With that as background, the order makes clear that there is one category of information that is automatically deemed classified: information from foreign governments. Section 1.1(d) of the executive order decrees: “The unauthorized disclosure of foreign government information is presumed to cause damage to the national security.”

The reason for this is plain: It is not just the often sensitive nature of diplomatic communications; it is the fact that, in order to protect our national security, the United States must rely on intelligence from foreign governments; if our government does not keep that information strictly confidential, the foreign governments will be unwilling to share it – endangering American lives. As Secretary of State, Clinton not only knew this elementary rule; it was her duty to ensure that the rule was followed throughout her department.

After an artist prints out 62,000 pages of Hillary Clinton’s emails as part of an art exhibition titled “HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails” in Venice, Italy, the former Democratic presidential nominee shows up and spends an hour reading them. She even poses for a picture that she posted on Twitter and jokes that someone should “alert the House GOP.” (Credit: Reuters)

As has been clear from the beginning, and is now patent after the latest disclosure of a subset of 6,000 of the emails Clinton deigned to preserve, at least 125 of which reportedly contain classified information, the emails Clinton sent, received and stored via her private server system were rife with information from foreign governments. This information was born classified. It makes no difference that these emails were not stamped “top secret”; all national security officials with security clearances know that foreign government information is deemed classified and must be handled as such. Period.

Indeed, since it is the State Department that deals most directly with foreign governments, the Secretary of State has the highest obligation and interest when it comes to assuring them that the information they share with the U.S. government is being handled with appropriate care.” (Read more: National Review, 9/01/2015)

Clinton appears in a cybersecurity video for State Department personnel.

It will remain publicly unknown until the video is leaked to Fox News in October 2016.

A photo capture of Clinton as she appears in the 2010 cybersecurity video. (Credit: Fox News)

A photo capture of Clinton as she appears in the 2010 cybersecurity video. (Credit: Fox News)

In the video, Clinton says that employees have a “special duty” to recognize the importance of cybersecurity. “The real key to cybersecurity rests with you. Complying with department computing policies and being alert to potential threats will help protect all of us.”

According to a later account by Fox News, “Clinton goes on in the video to underscore the important work the State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security and IT department were doing to guard against cyber-attacks. She warns hackers try to ‘exploit’ vulnerabilities and penetrate department systems. She then urges staffers to log onto the internal cybersecurity awareness website or subscribe to their ‘cybersecurity awareness newsletter.’”

Representative Jason Chaffetz (R), chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, will later find the video ironic, given Clinton’s own security issues with her private email server. He will say, “Hillary Clinton needs only to look into the mirror to find the biggest cybersecurity risk.”

Clinton spokesperson Brian Fallon will say, “This is not new. It has been widely reported that during Clinton’s tenure the State Department issued these kinds of warnings about possible cybersecurity to employees. These warnings were more than appropriate given that it was subsequently confirmed that State’s email was hacked.” (Fox News, 10/22/2016)

April 2010 – Present: China reads emails of top US officials

A secret NSA map obtained exclusively by NBC News shows the Chinese government’s massive cyber assault on all sectors of the U.S economy, including major firms like Google and Lockheed Martin, as well as the U.S. government and military. (Credit: NBC News)

“China’s cyber spies have accessed the private emails of “many” top Obama administration officials, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official and a top secret document obtained by NBC News, and have been doing so since at least April 2010.

The email grab –- first codenamed “Dancing Panda” by U.S. officials, and then “Legion Amethyst” –- was detected in April 2010, according to a top secret NSA briefing from 2014. The intrusion into personal emails was still active at the time of the briefing and, according to the senior official, is still going on.

In 2011, Google disclosed that the private gmail accounts of some U.S. officials had been compromised, but the briefing shows that private email accounts from other providers were compromised as well.

The government email accounts assigned to the officials, however, were not hacked because they are more secure, says the senior U.S. intelligence official.

The senior official says the private emails of “all top national security and trade officials” were targeted.

The Chinese also harvested the email address books of targeted officials, according to the document, reconstructing and then “exploiting the(ir) social networks” by sending malware to their friends and colleagues.

The time period overlaps with Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account while Secretary of State from Jan. 21, 2009 to Feb. 1, 2013. The names and ranks of the officials whose emails were actually grabbed, however, were not disclosed in the NSA briefing nor by the intelligence official.” (Read more: NBC News, 8/10/2015)

June 29, 2010 – Hillary Clinton opposes the Magnitsky Act at the same time Bill Clinton gives a speech in Moscow for Renaissance Capital

Bill Clinton makes a cool half a million after giving a speech to Renassaince Capital on June 29, 2010. (Credit: public domain)

“In December 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that Hillary Clinton opposed the Magnitsky Act while serving as secretary of state. Her opposition coincided with Bill Clinton giving a speech in Moscow for Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank—for which he was paid $500,000. “Mr. Clinton also received a substantial payout in 2010 from Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank whose executives were at risk of being hurt by possible U.S. sanctions tied to a complex and controversial case of alleged corruption in Russia.

Members of Congress wrote to Mrs. Clinton in 2010 seeking to deny visas to people who had been implicated by Russian accountant Sergei Magnitsky, who was jailed and died in prison after he uncovered evidence of a large tax-refund fraud. William Browder, a foreign investor in Russia who had hired Mr. Magnitsky, alleged that the accountant had turned up evidence that Renaissance officials, among others, participated in the fraud.” The State Department opposed the sanctions bill at the time, as did the Russian government. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pushed Hillary Clinton to oppose the legislation during a meeting in St. Petersburg in June 2012, citing that U.S.-Russia relations would suffer as a result.

The Wall Street Journal report continued, “A few weeks later [June 29, 2010], Bill Clinton participated in a question-and-answer session at a Renaissance Capital investors conference. He was paid $500,000. After the appearance, Mr. Clinton received a personal thank-you call from Vladimir Putin, then the Russian prime minister, the government news agency TASS reported.”

A spokesperson for Hillary Clinton denied the connection between her stance against the bill and Bill Clinton’s paid speech, but the conflict of interest is undeniable. During the presidential election, the Clinton campaign even took measures to stop a story reporting the link. An email released by Wikileaks from a Clinton Campaign [staffer]  and Chair John Podesta in May 2015 noted, “With the help of the research team, we killed a Bloomberg story trying to link HRC’s opposition to the Magnitsky bill to a $500,000 speech that WJC gave in Moscow.” (Read more: The Observer, 7/13/2017)

After contacting a Secret Service agent about frequent hacking attacks on Clinton’s server, the managers of the server apparently never contact anyone else from other government departments for help.

Justin Cooper (Credit: Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Justin Cooper (Credit: Alex Wong / Getty Images)

According to a September 2016 FBI report, Justin Cooper, a Bill Clinton aide who is helping to manage Clinton’s private server, contacts a Secret Service agent at some point during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. It is not clear when this happens, but apparently it is not long after the server begins to be frequently targeted by brute force hacking attacks around the middle of 2010.

Cooper will be asked about this in a September 2016 Congressional hearing shortly after the FBI report is published. He will say, “when we first experienced some of the repeated failed login attempts, I reported them to the Secret Service. … There was an instance where we shared some logs with [them]. … The Secret Service looked at logs from the server and made some recommendations to [server manager Bryan] Pagliano about the possible origins of those failed logins and some techniques he might use to mitigate that problem.” (The Secret Service agent will give advice on improving the server’s security that will not be followed.)

However, when Cooper is asked by Representative Blake Farenthold (R), “Did you turn over the logs and notifications that you received to the FBI, the emails of brute force attacks?” Cooper will say the FBI was not contacted.

Representative Jody Hice (Credit: Twitter)

Representative Jody Hice (Credit: Twitter)

Additionally, when Representative Jody Hice (R) will ask if Cooper consulted with any other “department or agency in the government,” Cooper will say, “No. No consultations of that type.” He will also specifically mention the State Department wasn’t consulted. (US Congress, 9/13/2016)

It’s possible that Pagliano contacted others, but the FBI will interview both Cooper and Pagliano in its investigation and then will mention only the contact with the Secret Service in its final report.

The number of hacking attacks steadily grows through the rest of Clinton’s time in office. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

“Brute force” hacking attempts on Clinton’s private server begin and steadily increase, but it is unknown if any are successful.

Blake Farenthold (Credit: Bill Clark / Congressional Quarterly Roll Call)

Blake Farenthold (Credit: Bill Clark / Congressional Quarterly)

Bryan Pagliano, the manager of Clinton’s private server while she is secretary of state, will be interviewed by the FBI in December 2015. According to an FBI report, he will claim that the server suffered no known security breaches. However, “he was aware there were many failed login attempts, which he referred to as brute force attacks. He added that the failed attempts increased over the life of the [server], and he set up the server’s logs to alert [Justin] Cooper when they occurred. Pagliano knew the attempts were potential attackers because the credentials attempting to log in did not match legitimate users on the system. Pagliano could not recall if a high volume of failed login attempts emanated from any specific country.”

The FBI report will explain, “A brute force attack is a trial-and-error method used to obtain information, such as a password… In a brute force attack, passwords may be attempted manually or automated software can be used to generate a large number of consecutive guesses as to the targeted information.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Cooper, a Bill Clinton aide who helped Pagliano manage the server, will be asked about brute force attacks in a September 2016 Congressional hearing. He will respond, “I can’t say with any specificity how many had happened. They happened with some limited frequency over the period of, I’d say the last two and a half years, while she was in office. But we had developed systems to tamper these down.”

Representative Blake Farenthold (R) will ask Cooper that if the brute force attacker managed to enter the correct user name and password, “you wouldn’t have been notified, would you? You would have thought it was Mrs. Clinton or some legitimate user actually getting in?”

After further questioning, Cooper will admit that he only looked at failed attempts and didn’t check for related successful log-ins. (US Congress, 9/13/2016)

A Secret Service agent advises Pagliano to take a step to improve the security of Clinton’s private server, but the step is not taken.

After Bryan Pagliano sets up Clinton’s new private server in January 2009, he sets up Internet Protocol (IP) filtering on the firewall, once a firewall is established in late March 2009. Pagliano will later tell the FBI that he tried to review the firewall log files once a month.

The US Secret Service Badge (Credit: public domain)

The US Secret Service Badge (Credit: public domain)

At some point, Justin Cooper, a Bill Clinton aide who is helping Pagliano manage the server, puts Pagliano in contact with a US Secret Service agent. The timing of this is not clear. However, in a September 2016 Congresssional hearing, Cooper will say it happened after Clinton’s server started to get frequent “brute force” hacking attacks, and that begins around the middle of 2010.

This agent recommends that Pagliano should also perform outbound filtering of email traffic. According to a September 2016 FBI report, “Pagliano further considered, but ultimately did not implement, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or two-factor authentication to better secure administrative access to the server system by him and Cooper.”

The FBI report will explain: “‘VPN’ is a private network that runs on top of a larger network to provide access to shared network resources, which may or may not include the physical hard drives of individual computers… VPN offers an additional layer of security by encrypting the data traveling to the private network before sending it over the Internet. Data is then decrypted when it reaches the private network. … ‘Two-factor authentication’ is a method of confirming a user’s claimed identity by utilizing a combination of two different components…” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016) (US Congress, 9/13/2016)

Clinton suggests letting someone working for her aide’s husband to send her a secure phone.

 Democratic Senate candidate for New York Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign stop in 2000, while then Brooklyn Congressman Anthony Weiner looks on. (Credit: Reuters)

Clinton speaks in New York, while then Congressperson Anthony Weiner looks on in 2000. (Credit: Reuters)

Huma Abedin, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, writes to Clinton in an email, “OK I will [redacted] just FedEx secure cell phone from [Washington] DC. Anthony leaving office to bring me to airport now so hopefully will make it just in time.”

Four hours later, Clinton responds, “Maybe one of Anthony’s trusted staff could deliver secure phone?”

“Anthony” is a reference to Anthony Weiner, who is both Abedin’s husband and a member of Congress at the time. He will resign one year later, due to a sex scandal.

The Associated Press will later comment, “The emails show the degree of trust Clinton had for Weiner before he was hit by scandal.”

It is unclear where Clinton is on this day. State Department schedules list no public events for her between July 27, 2010 and August 2, 2010. But the Associated Press will also note, “The use of secure cell phones is commonplace among State Department staff when traveling to countries with advanced cyber-espionage capacities, such as China or Russia.”

These emails will be released in November 2016. They were not part of the 30,000 work-related emails Clinton turned over in December 2014, even though they are clearly work-related. It will be one of thousands of emails deleted by Clinton that were later recovered by the FBI.

After the release, State Department spokesperson Mark Toner will say it is unclear how the phone might have been delivered, or if it was at all. He will suggest that, in theory, sending a secure phone through FedEx could have been appropriate if the necessary safeguards were taken. “In 2010, secure cell phones were available to State Department employees, and they could be configured in such a way as to render them suitable for transport. When configured in this manner, the device would be inoperable until paired with additional components.” (The Associated Press, 11/3/2016)

An email forwarded to Clinton apparently reveals an aide to the leader of Afghanistan is being paid by the CIA.

Dexter Filkins (Credit: Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Dexter Filkins (Credit: Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Matt Lussenhop, a press officer at the US embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, sends an email to over a dozen other US officials. The email is sent to Clinton aide Jake Sullivan, who emails it to Clinton. Lussenhop’s email concerns an article that New York Times reporter Dexter Filkins is about to get published. Filkins contacted the embassy in Kabul to get quotes for his story, which alleges that Muhammed Zia Salehi, an aide to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, is on the payroll of the CIA. The email is two paragraphs long, but the first paragraph will later be completely redacted and deemed classified at the “secret” level, the level below “top secret.” (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

The article will be published in the Times two days later, on August 25, 2010. (The New York Times, 8/25/2010)

Matt Lussenhop (Credit: public domain)

Matt Lussenhop (Credit: public domain)

In Clinton’s July 2016 FBI interview, she will be asked about this email. According to the FBI, “Clinton stated she did not remember the email specifically. [She] stated she was not concerned the displayed email contained classified information [redacted] but stated she had no reason to doubt the judgment of the people working for her on the ‘front lines.'”  (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Salehi was arrested by Afghan police in July 2010, one month before the Times article about him, due to a US government wiretap on him as part of an anti-corruption case. But he was released the next day on the orders of Karzai. In 2013, Foreign Policy will confirm that not only was Salehi working for the CIA, but he actually was an intermediary who was giving secret CIA cash payments to Karzai. (Foreign Policy, 5/4/2013)

Given that this is one of a small number of emails Clinton will be asked about in her FBI interview, as well its classification at the “secret” level, it stands to reason that Lussenhop confirmed Salehi’s CIA connection.

October 6, 2010 – May, 2017: Steele’s back channel to Senator Warner was a lobbyist for Russia’s Foreign Minister

Adam Waldman (Credit: public domain)

“Waldman began working for Deripaska in 2009 to help the billionaire with visa issues, according to lobbying disclosures filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

The State Department revoked Deripaska’s visa in 2006 because of concerns about ties to Russian organized crime.

Deripaska pays Waldman $40,000 per month plus expenses for the contract, which is still active. He has yet to obtain a U.S. visa.

(…) In Oct. 2010, Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, hired Waldman as part of the campaign to help Deripaska as well as to serve as his legal counsel in Washington, D.C.

Waldman’s FARA disclosures show that his work for Lavrov involves engaging “in correspondence and meetings with U.S. policymakers” as well as acting “as counsel” to the Russian diplomat “on political and legal matters as requested, including issues related to diplomatic matters.”

(Credit: efile.fara.gov)

Adam Waldman FARA filing for work for Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Waldman received no compensation from Lavrov, according to FARA filings.

One of Waldman’s filings includes a Sept. 15, 2010 letter sent by Lavrov thanking him for his work for Deripaska.

“A persistent state of limbo regarding Mr. Deripaska’s ability to travel freely between our two countries has become an impediment to the promotion of mutually advantageous contacts between the business communities of the two countries,” Lavrov wrote.

FARA records show that the relationship between Waldman and Lavrov was terminated on May 31, 2017. (Read more: The Daily Caller, 2/09/2018)  (Archive)

October 22, 2010: Biden’s energy adviser and Burisma deal-maker also aided in Russia’s purchase of Uranium One

Annie Medaglia (l) of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, moderates a June 1 discussion with Todd Foley of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE); Amos Hochstein of the US State Department; and Adnan Z. Amin of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). (Credit: Larry Luxner/Atlantic Council)

(…) Between his visits to Congress (and well-connected think tanks) to apprise decision makers of Putin’s energy antics, [Amos] Hochstein was Biden’s right-hand man meeting with numerous world leaders. He frequently flew to Ukraine (and other nations) with Biden to work out energy deals.

But Hochstein had a secret.

Time and again, Biden’s advisor failed to mention that he had witnessed Putin’s energy strategy firsthand. Hochstein communicated Putin’s energy dominance strategy in the oil and gas sectors very effectively, but he never mentioned Russia’s attempts to corner the global uranium market. It was something he had assisted personally.

While working as a U.S. lobbyist in the private sector, Hochstein had advised Rosatom’s subsidiary: Tenex.

Hochstein became a revolving door extraordinaire early in his Beltway career. As he weaved in and out of the private sector, his positions (and profits) rose substantially. From 2001 to 2007, Hochstein worked in various capacities at Washington lobbying powerhouse Cassidy & Associates. In 2006, then-Governor Mark Warner (D-Va.) hired Hochstein to serve as a senior policy advisor. Hochstein purportedly left Cassidy in January 2007 to join Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd’s presidential campaign, according to a press release by the firm. …

Yet, Hochstein continued to work for Cassidy’s deep-pocketed foreign clients, even while he was employed by Governor Warner and Senator Dodd’s presidential campaign. In 2006, Russian nuclear corporation Tenex asked Doug Campbell (unaware that he was an FBI operative) to find a Beltway lobbying powerhouse to help further their interests.

By March 2006, Campbell found himself meeting with Hochstein, who ensured that Tenex hired Cassidy & Associates. Cassidy claimed that Hochstein left the firm in January 2007, but Hochstein continued to meet with Putin’s top nuclear officials throughout 2007 and 2008 while he was working with powerful Democrats.

Did Warner and Dodd know that Hochstein was simultaneously serving Russian interests? Hochstein’s public bios make no mention of his work on behalf of Tenex, although he does acknowledge returning to Cassidy in August 2008 (and remaining there until 2011).

Before long, he was directly advising Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, her successor John Kerry, and finally Vice President Biden (and even President Obama). His LinkedIn profile is meticulously manicured to show no overlap between his public and private sector gigs, but, in fact, Hochstein advised multiple public officials and simultaneously worked to advance foreign interests while on the payroll of Cassidy.

According to the Obama White House’s visitor records, Hochstein visited more than 150 times between December 2010 and September 2016, including several trips to the Situation Room. His first visits occurred while he was still working with Cassidy.” (Read more: Just the News, 7/13/2020)  (Archive)

Clinton will have no explanation why a work-related email sent this day won’t be included in all the work-related emails she will later hand over.

An email sent or received by Clinton on this day has the subject title ‘‘MbZ call – 7:15am.” Very little is publicly known about its content, such as who sends or receives it, because it will not be included in the over 30,000 work-related emails Clinton will give to the State Department in December 2014. But the FBI will recover the email through other means and ask Clinton about it in her July 2016 FBI interview.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gestures as she delivers a statement about WikiLeaks lead at the State Department in Washington November 29, 2010.REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Clinton gestures as she delivers a statement about WikiLeaks on November 29, 2010. (Credit: Yuri Gripas / Reuters)

According to the FBI summary of that interview, “Clinton stated she recalled the time period of the WikiLeaks disclosures because it was a difficult time for State. She spent long hours on the phone with foreign diplomats addressing the WikiLeaks disclosures and ensuring no one was in danger as a result of the disclosures. Regarding the specific email, Clinton did not know why it was not in the approximately 30,000 emails produced to [the] State [Department] and, based on its content, would expect it to be considered work-related.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

From Clinton’s comments, it can be surmised the email deals with the disclosure of 250,000 State Department cables by WikiLeaks, which actually takes place two days later, on November 28, 2010.

Ironically, Clinton makes a public speech on November 29, 2010, that contradict her private reassurances to foreign diplomats that no one was endangered by the leaks. She says, “The United States strongly condemns the illegal disclosure of classified information. It puts people’s lives in danger, threatens our national security, and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems… So whatever are the motives in disseminating these documents, it is clear that releasing them poses real risks to real people, and often to the very people who have dedicated their own lives to protecting others.” (US Department of State, 11/29/2010)

2010 – 2011: Killing C.I.A. Informants, China Cripples U.S. Spying Operations

An honor guard outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (Credit: Wang Zhao/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

“The Chinese government systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward.

Current and former American officials described the intelligence breach as one of the worst in decades. It set off a scramble in Washington’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies to contain the fallout, but investigators were bitterly divided over the cause. Some were convinced that a mole within the C.I.A. had betrayed the United States. Others believed that the Chinese had hacked the covert system the C.I.A. used to communicate with its foreign sources. Years later, that debate remains unresolved.

But there was no disagreement about the damage. From the final weeks of 2010 through the end of 2012, according to former American officials, the Chinese killed at least a dozen of the C.I.A.’s sources.

Still others were put in jail. All told, the Chinese killed or imprisoned 18 to 20 of the C.I.A.’s sources in China, according to two former senior American officials, effectively unraveling a network that had taken years to build.

Assessing the fallout from an exposed spy operation can be difficult, but the episode was considered particularly damaging. The number of American assets lost in China, officials said, rivaled those lost in the Soviet Union and Russia during the betrayals of both Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen, formerly of the C.I.A. and the F.B.I., who divulged intelligence operations to Moscow for years. (New York Times, 5/20/2017)

December 24, 2010 – Court forces release of Clinton Wikileaks discussion email that confirms State Dept knew about her email account

“Judicial Watch announced today that the State Department provided a previously hidden email which shows that top State Department officials used and were aware of Hillary Clinton’s email account.

On December 24, 2010, Daniel Baer, an Obama State Department deputy assistant secretary of state, writes to Michael Posner, a then-assistant secretary of state about Clinton’s private email address:

Baer: “Be careful, you just gave the secretary’s personal email address to a bunch of folks …”

Posner answers: “Should I say don’t forward? Did not notice”

Baer responds: “Yeah-I just know that she guards it pretty closely”

Mr. Posner had forwarded Clinton’s email address, which was contained in an email sent to State Department senior leadership, about WikiLeaks.

It appears the State Department produced this email in 2016 in redacted form, blacking out Clinton’s personal email address and the discussion about Clinton’s wanting to keep her email address closely guarded.

Judicial Watch sought the email after a former top Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) State Department official testified to Judicial Watch about reviewing it between late 2013 and early 2014.

The testimony and the email production comes in discovery granted to Judicial Watch on the Clinton email issue in a FOIA lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)). Clinton also faces potential questioning under oath in this lawsuit.

Despite a recent court order requiring production of the email, the DOJ and State Departments only produced it 10 days ago after Judicial Watch threatened to seek a court order to compel its production.

“Judicial Watch just caught the State Department and DOJ red-handed in another email cover-up – they all knew about the Clinton email account but covered up the smoking-gun email showing this guilty knowledge for years,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 9/30/2019)

One of Clinton’s “top secret” email chains begins with an email written by Clinton.

In July 2016, the State Department will reveal some limited details about 22 “top secret” emails involving Clinton. One email chain is sent sometime in 2011, and involves two “top secret” emails. The first is sent by Clinton to her aide Jake Sullivan, and the second is Sullivan’s reply. The content of the emails remain unknown. (Vice News, 7/22/2016)

One of Clinton’s “top secret” email chains includes three emails written by Clinton.

In July 2016, the State Department will reveal some limited details about 22 “top secret” emails involving Clinton. One email chain is sent sometime in 2011, and involves seven “top secret” emails. The chain begins with an email from Clinton’s aide Jake Sullivan to Clinton. It goes back and forth, with three emails from Clinton to Sullivan, and three more emails from Sullivan to Clinton. The content of the emails remains unknown. (Vice News, 7/22/2016)

One of Clinton’s “top secret” email chains includes one email written by Clinton.

In July 2016, the State Department will reveal some limited details about 22 “top secret” emails involving Clinton. One email chain is sent sometime in 2011, and involves two “top secret” emails. The chain begins with an email written by an unnamed State Department official. It makes its way to Sullivan, who forwards it to Clinton. Clinton then sends a reply to Sullivan. The contents of the emails remain unknown. (Vice News, 7/22/2016)

One of Clinton’s “top secret” email chains includes two emails written by Clinton.

In July 2016, the State Department will reveal some limited details about 22 “top secret” emails involving Clinton. One email chain is sent sometime in 2011, and involves five “top secret” emails. The chain begins with an email from Clinton’s aide Jake Sullivan to Clinton. The chain goes back and forth, with two emails from Clinton to Sullivan, and two more emails from Sullivan to Clinton. The contents of the emails remain unknown. (Vice News, 7/22/2016)

One of Clinton’s “top secret” email chains ends with an email sent by Jake Sullivan to Clinton.

In July 2016, the State Department will reveal some limited details about 22 “top secret” emails involving Clinton. One email chain is sent sometime in 2011, and involves two “top secret” emails. The chain begins with an email written by an unnamed State Department official. It makes its way to Sullivan, who forwards it to Clinton. There is no known reply from Clinton. The contents of the emails remain unknown. (Vice News, 7/22/2016)

April 2011 – July 2012: Hillary’s Libya emails and several “inexplicable gaps during key times of her involvement with Libyan policy”

(Credit: Wall Street Journal Graphic)

(…) “The deteriorating security situation in Libya generally, and Benghazi specifically, was a dominant theme in the emails. Clinton defenders have sought to insulate her from criticism of inadequate security before the attacks by suggesting that decisions about security for U.S. diplomatic personnel were made well below her level. There are many reasons to be skeptical of those claims. The emails make clear that Clinton was deeply involved in virtually every aspect of Libya policy; one internal State Department email lays out the many ways she drove administration decision-making on Libya. Was Clinton a deeply engaged, hands-on manager of every aspect of Libya policy other than security?

If Clinton wasn’t involved in security decisions, the emails make clear that she should have been. Reports that Clinton received and circulated, from both official and unofficial channels, demonstrate the dire security challenges for Americans in Libya.

It’s not just Blumenthal’s emails that raise additional questions. An email sent at 9:17 a.m. on September 15, 2012—four days after the fatal attack in Benghazi—by an aide advises Clinton that Dan Pfeiffer, the director of communications at the White House, “has some sensitive items that he would like to personally show you when he arrives.” Clinton slept in and missed the meeting and wrote back later in the morning to request that Pfeiffer return to brief her. It’s possible that these “sensitive items” had nothing to do with Benghazi. But the request for a meeting came after a flurry of emails the previous evening between officials from the White House, the State Department, and various national security agencies. Those emails concerned edits to the administration’s much-discussed Benghazi “talking points” and included strong objections from the State Department’s “building leadership” to some of the language. White House officials emailed the group to assure everyone that the objections would be addressed the following morning at a meeting of the Deputies Committee.

Clinton testifies to the House Select Committee on Benghazi in January 2013. (Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/The Associated Press)

An email sent to several top administration officials, including top Clinton aide Jake Sullivan, at 11:08 that same morning is introduced this way: “Per the discussion at Deputies, here are the revised TPs for HPSCI [talking points for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence]. Let me know what you think.” The language in the revised talking points is redacted in its entirety.

Given what we know about the various iterations of the talking points, it’s unlikely that these redactions conceal anything not already known. But as that example suggests, what’s missing from the emails is often as provocative as the content. On April 8, 2011, Clinton forwarded a Blumenthal email to Sullivan. In the version of that email released by the State Department, most of Clinton’s note is redacted. It reads: “FYI. [Redacted].” But the same email was obtained and published by the New York Times before the State Department release, and in that version, the sentence is unredacted. It reads: “FYI. The idea of using private security experts to arm the opposition should be considered.”

Why did the State Department—or Clinton herself—want that sentence redacted? That’s unclear. And there may well be an innocent explanation. But the note raises additional questions. Did the idea of supplying arms to the Libyan opposition through private security experts receive the consideration Clinton wanted? Did it happen? Was Blumenthal involved?

Beyond these questions, the Select Committee on Benghazi notes several “inexplicable gaps” in Clinton’s email records “during key times of her involvement with Libyan policy.” There are no emails between September 14 and October 21, 2011, five weeks surrounding Clinton’s trip to Libya. (The committee notes that this was when a “now-famous picture of Clinton on her BlackBerry was taken.”) There is another gap between October 21, 2011, and January 5, 2012, “when the State Department was extending the Benghazi mission for another year.” And a third major gap occurs between April 27 and July 4, 2012, a period of “increased security” when the U.S. compound and the British ambassador were both attacked.

It’s hardly necessary to be a conspiracy-minded conservative to be skeptical of the claim that Clinton—who, by the State Department’s own account, drove Libya policy—neither sent nor received any Libya-related emails during these long stretches of heavy Libya-related policy-making.

Perhaps the most important effect of these latest emails is the simplest one. They demolish the claim that we already know the answers to the important questions about the attacks and the administration’s response.” (Read more: The Washington Examiner, 6/08/2015 )  (Archive)

June 8, 2011 – A Clinton/Blumenthal email reveals a detailed intelligence report on Sudan

(…) The latest court-ordered dump of her email, just placed online by the State Department, brings more troubles for Team Hillary. This release of over 3,000 pages includes 66 “Unclassified” messages that the State Department subsequently determined actually were classified; however, all but one of those 66 were deemed Confidential, the lowest classification level, while one was found to be Secret, bringing the total of Secret messages discovered so far to seven. In all, 1,340 Hillary emails at State have been reassessed as classified.

“But the biggest problem may be in a just-released email that has gotten little attention here, but plenty on the other side of the world. An email to Ms. Clinton from a close Clinton confidant late on June 8, 2011 about Sudan turns out to have explosive material in it. This message includes a detailed intelligence report from Sid Blumenthal, Hillary’s close friend, confidant and factotum, who regularly supplied her with information from his private intelligence service. His usual source was Tyler Drumheller, a former CIA senior official and veteran spy-gadfly, who conveniently died just before EmailGate became a serious problem for Hillary’s campaign.”

However, the uncredited June 8 memo, which Mr. Blumenthal labeled as “Confidential”—his personal classification system, apparently—but which the State Department has labeled Unclassified, doesn’t appear to be from Drumheller, whose assessments were written just like CIA intelligence reports. This is not.

Remarkably, the report emailed to Hillary by “sbwhoeop,” which was Mr. Blumenthal’s email handle, explains how Sudan’s government devised a clandestine plan, in coordination with two rebel generals, to secure control of oil reserves in the disputed region of Abyei. This is juicy, front-page stuff, straight out of an action movie, about a region of Africa that’s of high interest to the American and many other governments, and the report is astonishingly detailed.

Its information comes from a high-ranking source with direct access to Sudan’s top military and intelligence officials, and Mr. Blumenthal’s write-up repeatedly states the sources—there turn out to be more than one—are well-placed and credible, with excellent access. It’s the usual spytalk boilerplate when you want the reader to understand this is golden information, not just gossip or rumors circulating on the street, what professionals dismiss as “RUMINT.” Needless to add, this is generating a lot of talk in Sudan, where the media is asking about this shady affair—and how Mr. Blumenthal, who’s not exactly an old Africa hand, knew all about it.

But the most interesting part is that the report describes a conversation “in confidence” that happened on the evening of June 7, just one day before Mr. Blumenthal sent the report to Secretary Clinton. It beggars the imagination to think that Mr. Blumenthal’s private intelligence operation, which was just a handful of people, had operators who were well placed in Sudan, with top-level spy access, able to get this secret information, place it in a decently written assessment with proper espionage verbiage, and pass it all back to Washington, D.C., inside 24 hours. That would be a feat even for the CIA, which has stations and officers all over Africa.

In fact, the June 8, 2011 Blumenthal report doesn’t read like CIA material at all, in other words human intelligence or HUMINT, but very much like signals intelligence or SIGINT. (For the differences see here). I know what SIGINT reports look like, because I used to write them for the National Security Agency, America’s biggest source of intelligence. SIGINT reports, which I’ve read thousands of, have a very distinct style and flavor to them and Blumenthal’s write-up matches it, right down to the “Source Comments,” which smack very much of NSA reporting and its “house rules.”

But is this an NSA assessment? If so, it would have to be classified at least Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information, a handling caveat that applies to most SIGINT, and quite possibly Top Secret/SCI, the highest normal classification we have. In that case, it was about as far from Unclassified as it’s possible for an email to be. (Read more: The Observer, 1/09/2016) (Archive)

November 11, 2011 – An email between John Podesta and Chelsea Clinton reveals another private email account and possible Chinese hacking

“Another private email address surfaces in the Wikileaks Podesta emails, and it apparently belongs to Chelsea Clinton aka Anna James. Most notable in her conversation with John Podesta right before Thanksgiving, 2011, is an admission to their “technology was all compromised” during a recent visit to China.

 

 

In June 2011, Google Inc. publicly warned that hackers based in China were targeting the Gmail email accounts of senior US officials. (The Wall Street Journal, 6/2/2011

On July 26, 2011, Clinton shows awareness of the problem through a joke.

Another State Department official sends Clinton an email, and some confusion results about the official’s two email accounts.

Clinton writes, “I just checked and I do have your state but not your Gmail – so how did that happen. Must be the Chinese!”

US Department of State, 9/3/2015)  (Wikileaks, 11/20/2011)  (Thompson Timeline, 7/26/2011)

One of Clinton’s “top secret” email chains includes two emails written by Clinton.

002012WilliamBurnsReuters

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns (Credit: Reuters)

In July 2016, the State Department will reveal some limited details about 22 “top secret” emails involving Clinton. One email chain is sent sometime in 2012, and involves two “top secret” emails. The chain begins with an email written by an unnamed State Department official to other unnamed department officials. It makes its way to Sullivan, who forwards it to Clinton, Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills, and Deputy Secretary of State William Burns. Clinton then replies to Sullivan. Then there’s another back and forth between Clinton and Sullivan. The contents of the emails remain unknown. (Vice News, 7/22/2016)

One of Clinton’s “top secret” email chains ends with an email sent by Jake Sullivan to Clinton.

In July 2016, the State Department will reveal some limited details about 22 “top secret” emails involving Clinton. One email chain is sent sometime in 2012, and involves two “top secret” emails. The chain begins with an email written by an unnamed State Department official. It makes its way to Sullivan, who forwards it to Clinton and Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills. There is no known reply from Clinton. The content of the emails remain unknown. (Vice News, 7/22/2016)

A Justice Department memo clarifies a policy of avoiding interference in elections.

Eric Holder (Credit: public domain)

Eric Holder (Credit: public domain)

Eric Holder, the US attorney general from 2009 until 2015, writes a memo during the 2012 US presidential race outlining Justice Department policy on how to avoid interfering in elections. It states that department employees (which includes the FBI) “must be particularly sensitive to safeguarding the department’s reputation for fairness, neutrality, and nonpartisanship.” If an employee is “faced with a question regarding the timing of charges or overt investigative steps near the time of a primary or general election,” that person should contact the department’s public integrity section “for further guidance.”

The department has had such policies for decades, and they usually are restated every presidential election, but the memo adds clarity to them. (The Washington Post, 10/29/2016) (US Department of Justice, 3/9/2012)

This department policy will be tested in 2016, when the FBI reopens an investigation into Clinton’s emails just 11 days before Clinton is on the ballot for the US presidential election.

An email chain shows Clinton asking help from Pagliano when she has trouble getting her emails.

There is an email chain this day started by Clinton, with all emails in it between Clinton, Justin Cooper, Bryan Pagliano, and Oscar Flores. Cooper (a Bill Clinton aide) and Pagliano (a State Department official) are jointly managing Clinton’s private server, with Cooper doing more of the customer service and Pagliano more of the technical aspects. Flores helps manage Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, New York, where the server is located.

Clinton begins the email chain with the subject heading “Help!” She writes: “Once again, I’m having BB [BlackBerry] trouble. I am not receiving emails although people are getting ones I send but I get their replies on my IP [iPad]. I’ve taken out the battery and done what I know to do but with no luck yet any ideas?”

Cooper sends two replies trying to solve the problem, with Clinton giving a short reply to one of them.

Hillary Clinton (Credit: Robert Shiro / The Associated Press) and Bryan Pagliano (Credit: Fox News)

Hillary Clinton (Credit: Robert Shiro / The Associated Press) and Bryan Pagliano (Credit: Fox News)

Then Pagliano writes, “Let me take a look at the server to see if it offers any insight. iPhone is not much different from iPad, however in both cases the security landscape is different from the BlackBerry. -Bryan”

Then Clinton replies, “Thanks again. I’m back in business.” (US Department of State, 10/12/2016)

None of these five emails will be included in the 30,000 work-related emails Clinton gives the State Department in December 2014, even though the inclusion of Pagliano, a department official, in the chain makes them work-related. (One email that will be included is simply Pagliano wishing Clinton a happy birthday in 2012.) Instead, one of the emails in the chain will be later recovered by the FBI from Clinton’s deleted emails (with the text of the other four emails included in the reply).

These emails will be released to Judicial Watch on October 12, 2016, in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, and Judicial Watch will make them public on October 19, 2016. (US Department of State, 10/12/2016)

Ironically, in the same time frame, on October 13, 2016, Clinton’s written responses to a court deposition will be made public. In one answer, she will write: “Secretary Clinton states that she does not recall having communications with Bryan Pagliano concerning or relating to the management, preservation, deletion, or destruction of any emails in her clintonemail.com email account.” (Judicial Watch, 10/13/2016)

All of the emails between Clinton and Pagliano many never be found, since the FBI could only recover about half of Clinton’s deleted emails, and the file containing all of Pagliano’s emails from his time working at the State Department was mysteriously lost.

Clinton’s BlackBerry emails could be intercepted by Saudi Arabia while she visits that country.

Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, Ambassador to the Clinton meets with King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia on March 30, 2012. (Credit: US Embassy Riyadh)

Clinton meets with King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia on March 30, 2012. (Credit: US Embassy Riyadh)

Clinton travels to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from March 30 to 31, 2012. (US Department of State, 3/30/2012)

This is notable because a September 2016 FBI report will reveal that Clinton regularly used her unsecure BlackBerry while outside the US, including sending and/or receiving “hundreds” of emails containing classified information. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Furthermore, in August 2010, it was reported that Research in Motion (RIM), the company that makes BlackBerrys, agreed to locate three computer servers within Saudi Arabia, “putting them under the jurisdiction of local security forces,” according to an article at the time by the Register.

Headquarters of Research In Motion (RIM) located in Waterloo, Ontario (Credit: public domain)

Headquarters of Research In Motion (RIM) located in Waterloo, Ontario (Credit: public domain)

The effective result is that the Saudi government was able to intercept emails that have to briefly pass through the servers. RIM did not want to agree to this, but the Saudi government briefly suspended BlackBerry service until RIM gave in. Even emails sent through Saudi Arabia using personal encryption keys could be easily intercepted due to this agreement. (The Register, 8/9/2010)

Clinton is sent emails virtually every day, and her days in Saudi Arabia are no exceptions. One email classified at the “confidential” level is sent to Clinton on March 31, 2012, though it’s not clear if she is in Saudi Arabia at the time or not. The email concerns politics in Sudan and South Sudan. (US Department of State, 1/29/2016)

 

April – May, 2012: Wikileaks proves Syria is about Iran & Israel

In 2011-2012, Secretary of State Clinton was busy drumming up support for an attack on Syria, and supporting armed ‘rebel’ terrorists in Syria. (Credit: IB Times)

“Wikileaks’ exposure of Hillary Clinton’s emails reveals that US intrusion in the Syrian Civil War is really all about Iran and Israel and is part of a master plan that started with Hillary’s advice to enter the Libyan Civil War. Hillary’s War is another expensive American adventure in nation building as the US inserts itself into another civil war, ostensibly to restrain ISIS (or “ISIL” as the Obama Admin. prefers); but Obama’s manner of fighting this war supports Wikileaks‘ revelation that US involvement is all about regime change.

According to this massively revealing document pillaged from Hillary Clinton’s email archives, Obama needed to bring down Assad’s regime in order to calm Israel into accepting the eventual nuclear agreement he was working out with Iran. So, US involvement in the Syrian Civil War is even less about Assad than it is about Iran and Israel — at least in the State Department’s strategizing.

Connect the dots: First, Hillary counseled the president to establish regime change in Libya, the easiest target for such change. Then, with that success weighing on Assad’s fears, the State Department advised seeking regime change in Syria, emphasizing to the president that overthrowing the Assad regime would be essential to his establishment of a nuclear agreement with Iran. The theory was that Assad’s newfound fears from the regime change in Libya coupled with US empowered opposition in his own country, would get him to step down. Underlying the whole plan for regime change in Syria is the motive of weakening Iran, calming Israel and transforming the entire Middle East.

(Note if you look it up that the Wikileaks document shows dates that refer to when the document was unclassified, not when written. The date of the State Department’s creation of this document can be determined by its content: “the talks between the world’s major powers and Iran that began in Istanbul this April and will continue in Baghdad in May.” The switch from past tense to future tense dates the document sometime between April, 2012, which is when the talks began in Istanbul, and May, 2012, when they continued in Baghdad.)

That same document provides evidence the connection between Hillary’s War in Libya and the next war in Syria clearly became a part the Department of State’s strategy under Hillary: (Note how it states that Libya was an easier case, following the wording in the advice Hillary had been given by Blumenthal about overthrowing Qaddafi as a way to make regime change in Syria more accomplishable.) (Read more: The Great Recession Blog, 10/09/2016)

April 19, 2012 – Shawn Henry, former head of the FBI’s cyber crime investigations, joins Crowdstrike, the lone source for “Russia hacked the DNC” narrative

Shawn Henry (Credit: Chip Somodeville/Getty Images)

“One of the FBI’s top cyber experts, Shawn Henry, has joined a new company, CrowdStrike, which bills itself as a “stealth-mode security start-up.” Amid the established field, CrowdStrike is taking a ninja approach, advertising for “kick a** coders, consultants and experts” to help companies in their “pursuit of the enemy.”

In a mission statement and video message posted on the company’s website, Henry explained his decision to retire from the FBI last month at the age of 50. He said he can “continue to hunt the adversary” from the private sector as well as he did as an FBI agent and senior executive. He also said he relishes working “with meat-eaters again, not vegetarians – not that there’s anything wrong with that,” he said.

CrowdStrike was founded by two executives from McAfee, the software security maker. Its website has a menacing look with a flying bird logo that bears a striking resemblance to the ubiquitous insignia of “The Hunger Games,” which has grossed more than $330 million since its release.” (Read more: CBS News, 4/19/2012)

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Steven Chabinsky will  join the company as senior vice president for legal affairs and chief risk officer on September 6, 2012. (Read more: Reuters, 9/6/2012)

April 2012 – The memo to Clinton that helped kill a half million people in Syria

Leon E. Panetta talks with Clinton at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, April 18, 2012. (Credit: Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo/DOD )

A memo sent to Hillary Clinton that WikiLeaks made public in 2016 has not gotten the attention it deserves. Now is the time. After President Donald Trump tweeted that he was pulling American troops out of Syria, Clinton joined his vociferous critics who want more war in Syria.

“Actions have consequences, and whether we’re in Syria or not, the people who want to harm us are there & at war,” Clinton tweeted in response to Trump. “Isolationism is weakness. Empowering ISIS is dangerous. Playing into Russia & Iran’s hands is foolish. This President is putting our national security at grave risk.”

Actions indeed have consequences.

The memo shows the kind of advice Clinton was getting as secretary of state to plunge the U.S. deeper into the Syrian war. It takes us back to 2012 and the early phase of the conflict.

At that point, it was largely an internal affair, although Saudi arms shipments were playing a greater and greater role in bolstering rebel forces. But once the President Barack Obama eventually decided in favor of intervention, under pressure from Clinton, the conflict was quickly internationalized as thousands of holy warriors flooded in from as far away as western China.

The 1,200-word memo written by James P. Rubin, a senior diplomat in Bill Clinton’s State Department, to then-Secretary of State Clinton, which Clinton twice requested be printed out, begins with the subject of Iran, an important patron of Syria.

The memo dismisses any notion that nuclear talks will stop Iran “from improving the crucial part of any nuclear weapons program—the capability to enrich uranium.” If it does get the bomb, it goes on, Israel will suffer a strategic setback since it will no longer be able to “respond to provocations with conventional military strikes on Syria and Lebanon, as it can today.” Denied the ability to bomb at will, Israel might leave off secondary targets and strike at the main enemy instead.

Consequently, the memo argues that the U.S. should topple the Assad regime so as to weaken Iran and allay the fears of Israel, which has long regarded the Islamic republic as its primary enemy. As the memo puts it:

“Bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon to Israel’s security, it would also ease Israel’s understandable fear of losing its nuclear monopoly.  Then, Israel and the United States might be able to develop a common view of when the Iranian program is so dangerous that military action could be warranted.”

This document, making the case to arm Syrian rebels, may have been largely overlooked because of confusion about its dates, which appear to be inaccurate.

The time stamp on the email is “2001-01-01 03:00” even though Clinton was still a New York senator-elect at that point. That date is also out of synch with the timeline of nuclear diplomacy with Iran.

But the body of the email gives a State Department case and document number with the date of 11/30/2015. But that’s incorrect as well because Clinton resigned as secretary of state on Feb. 1, 2013.

Central to the Great Debate

Consequently, anyone stumbling across the memo in the Wikileaks archives might be confused about how it figures in the great debate about whether to use force to bring down Syrian President Bashir al-Assad. But textual clues provide an answer. The second paragraph refers to nuclear talks with Iran “that began in Istanbul this April and will continue in Baghdad in May,events that took place in 2012. The sixth invokes an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour conducted with then-Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak “last week.” Since the interview took place on April 19, 2012, the memo can therefore be dated to the fourth week in April.

The memo syncs with Clinton’s thinking on Syria, such as calling for Assad’s overthrow and continuing to push for a no-fly zone in her last debate with Donald Trump even after Gen. Joseph Dunford had testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee that it could mean war with Russia.

The memo was sent to her shortly before Clinton joined forces with then-CIA Director David Petraeus to push for an aggressive program of rebel military aid.” (Read more: Consortium News, 1/14/2019)

June 2012 – Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, is invited to the Clintons home during the final year of her secretary of state tenure

Victor Pinchuk, Leonid Kuchma, Bill Clinton, and Olena Pinchuk attend the 4th Yalta Summit in June 2007. (Credit: Pinchuk Foundation)

“Emails made public Tuesday show a Ukrainian businessman and major Clinton Foundation donor was invited to Hillary Clinton’s home during the final year of her diplomatic tenure, despite her spokesman’s insistence in 2014 that the donor never crossed paths with Clinton while she served as secretary of state.

Amid scrutiny of Clinton’s ties to Pinchuk in 2014, the Democratic nominee’s spokesman, Nick Merrill, said Pinchuk had never met with Clinton during that time. He told the New York Times that, “from Jan. 21, 2009, to Feb. 1, 2013,” the Ukrainian businessman “was never on her schedule.”

Pinchuk, who has given up to $25 million to the Clinton Foundation, appeared on the guest list that was sent between Dennis Cheng, an executive at the foundation, and Huma Abedin, then Clinton’s deputy chief of staff at the State Department, ahead of a June 2012 dinner. Abedin noted in a subsequent email that the gathering would be hosted in Clinton’s home.

Pinchuk’s dinner invitation was exposed in a series of emails obtained by Citizens United.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 8/24/2016)  (WSJ Archive)

2012 – 2017: DOJ Political Surveillance – From the IRS, to the FISA Court

An assembly of government reports and public records now indicates political exploitation of the NSA database, for weaponized intelligence surveillance of politicians, began mid-2012.  After an initial attempt to exploit IRS records, the legal tool used to access the NSA database was the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or FISA.

With research files on the ’15, ’16 and ’17 political surveillance program; including information from the Mueller report and information from the IG Horowitz report; in combination with the Obama-era DOJ “secret research project” (their words, not mine); we are able to overlay the Obama-era domestic IC operations & gain a full understanding of how political surveillance was conducted over a period of four to six years.

The FISA-702 database extraction process, and utilization of the protections within the smaller intelligence community, became the primary process only after a previous DOJ effort ran into trouble. The established record from the 99-page FISC opinion rendered by Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer on April 26, 2017, helps explain the details.

I would strongly urge everyone to read the FISC report because Judge Collyer outlines how the DOJ, which includes the FBI, had an “institutional lack of candor” in responses to the FISA court.  Very specifically, the court outlined how the Obama administration was continually lying to the court about both their activity and the rate of fourth amendment violations for illegal searches and seizures of U.S. persons’ private information. These violations continued for multiple years throughout Obama’s terms.

Unfortunately, due to intelligence terminology, Judge Collyer’s brief and ruling is not an easy read for anyone unfamiliar with the FISA processes outlined. The complexity also helps the media avoid discussing, and as a result, most Americans have no idea the scale and scope of the issues. So we’ll try to break down the language.

For the sake of brevity and common understanding, CTH will highlight the most pertinent segments showing just how systemic and troublesome the unlawful electronic surveillance was.

Early in 2016, NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers was alerted of a significant uptick in FISA-702(17) “About” queries using the FBI/NSA database that holds all metadata records on every form of electronic communication.

The NSA compliance officer alerted Admiral Mike Rogers who then initiated a full compliance audit on/around March 9th, 2016, for the period of November 1st, 2015, through May 1st, 2016.

While the audit was ongoing, due to the severity of the results that were identified, Admiral Mike Rogers stopped anyone from using the 702(17) “about query” option and went to the extraordinary step of blocking all FBI contractor access to the database on April 18, 2016 (keep these dates in mind).

Here are some significant segments:

The key takeaway from these first paragraphs is how the search query results were exported from the NSA database to users who were not authorized to see the material. The FBI contractors were conducting searches and then removing, or ‘exporting’, the results. Later on, the FBI said all of the exported material was deleted.

Searching the highly classified NSA database is essentially a function of filling out search boxes to identify the user-initiated search parameter and get a return on the search result.

FISA-702(16) is a search of the system returning a U.S. person (“702”), and the “16” is a checkbox to initiate a search based on “To and From“. For example, if you put in a date and a phone number and check “16” as the search parameter the user will get the returns on everything “To and From” that identified phone number for the specific date. Calls, texts, contacts, etc. Including results for the inbound and outbound contacts.

FISA-702(17) is a search of the system returning a U.S. person (702), and the “17” is a checkbox to initiate a search based on everything “About” the search qualifier. For example, if you put a date and a phone number and check “17” as the search parameter the user will get the returns of everything about that phone. Calls, texts, contacts, geolocation (or GPS results), account information, user, service provider, etc. As a result, 702(17) can actually be used to locate where the phone (and user) was located on a specific date or sequentially over a specific period of time which is simply a matter of changing the date parameters.

And that’s just from a phone number.

Search an IP address “about” and read all data into that server; put in an email address and gain everything about that account. Or use the electronic address of a GPS enabled vehicle (about) and you can withdraw more electronic data and monitor in real-time. Search a credit card number and get everything about the account including what was purchased, where, when, etc. Search a bank account number, get everything about transactions and electronic records, etc. Just about anything and everything can be electronically searched; everything has an electronic ‘identifier’.

The search parameter is only limited by the originating field filled out. Names, places, numbers, addresses, etc. By using the “About” parameter there may be thousands or millions of returns. Imagine if you put “@realdonaldtrump” into the search parameter? You could extract all following accounts who interacted on Twitter, or Facebook, etc. You are only limited by your imagination and the scale of the electronic connectivity.

As you can see below, on March 9th, 2016, internal auditors noted the FBI was sharing “raw FISA information, including but not limited to Section 702-acquired information”.

In plain English, the raw search returns were being shared with unknown entities without any attempt to “minimize” or redact the results. The person(s) attached to the results were named and obvious. There was no effort to hide their identity or protect their 4th amendment rights of privacy:

But what’s the scale here? This is where the story really lies.

Read this next excerpt carefully.

The operators were searching “U.S Persons”. The review of November 1, 2015, to May 1, 2016, showed “eighty-five percent of those queries” were unlawful or “non-compliant.”

85% !! “representing [redacted number].”

We can tell from the space of the redaction the number of searches was between 1,000 and 9,999 [five digits]. If we take the middle number of 5,000 – that means 4,250 unlawful searches out of 5,000.

The [five digit] amount (more than 1,000, less than 10,000), and 85% error rate, was captured in a six month period, November 2015 to April 2016.

Also, notice this very important quote:

”many of these non-compliant queries involved the use of the same identifiers over different date ranges.”

This tells us the system users were searching the same phone number, email address, electronic “identifier”, or people, repeatedly over different dates.

Specific people were being tracked/monitored.

Additionally, notice the last quote: “while the government reports it is unable to provide a reliable estimate of” these non-lawful searches “since 2012, there is no apparent reason to believe the November 2015 [to] April 2016 coincided with an unusually high error rate”.

That means the 85% rate of unlawful FISA-702(16)(17) database abuse has likely been happening since 2012.

2012 is an important date in this database abuse because a network of specific interests is assembled that also shows up in 2016/2017:

  • Who was the 2012 FBI Director? Robert Mueller.  The same Mueller selected by the FBI group to become a special prosecutor in 2017.
  • Who was Robert Mueller’s chief-of-staff? Aaron Zebley.  The same Aaron Zebley, who became one of the lead lawyers on the Mueller special counsel.
  • Who was the 2012 CIA Director? John Brennan.
  • Who was the 2012 ODNI? James Clapper.
  • Remember, the NSA is inside the Pentagon (Defense Dept) command structure. Who was Defense Secretary? Ash Carter.

Now it becomes important to remember in 2016:

  • Who wanted NSA Director Mike Rogers fired? Brennan, Clapper, and Carter.
  • And finally, who wrote and signed-off-on the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment and then lied about the use of the Steele Dossier? John Brennan, James Clapper

Tens of thousands of searches over four years (since 2012), and 85% of them are illegal. The results were extracted for?…. (I believe this is all political opposition use, and I’ll explain why momentarily.)

OK, that’s the stunning scale; but who was involved?

Private contractors with access to “raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to FBI’s requests“:

And as noted, the contractor access was finally halted on April 18th, 2016.

[Coincidentally (or not), the wife of Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson, Mary Jacoby, goes to the White House the next day on April 19th, 2016.]

None of this is a conspiracy theory.

All of this is laid out inside this 99-page opinion from FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer who also noted that none of this FISA abuse was accidental in a footnote on page 87: “deliberate decisionmaking“:

This specific footnote, if declassified, would be key. Note the phrase: “([redacted] access to FBI systems was the subject of an interagency memorandum of understanding entered into [redacted])”, this sentence has the potential to expose an internal decision; withheld from congress and the FISA court by the Obama administration; that outlines a process for access and distribution of surveillance data.

Note also: “no notice of this practice was given to the FISC until 2016“, that is important.

Important summary of this aspect: •The FISA court identified and quantified tens-of-thousands of search queries of the NSA/FBI database using the FISA-702(16)(17) system dating back to around 2012.  •The NSA database was repeatedly used by persons with contractor access who unlawfully searched and extracted the raw results without redacting the information and shared it with an unknown number of entities. •The same people had multiple searches performed against their private information from November of 2015 to May of 2016, the exact time of the Republican presidential primary.

The outlined process certainly points toward a political spying and surveillance operation, and we are not the only one to think that’s what this system is being used for.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 3/09/2020)  (Archive)

Cheryl Mills conducts interviews to find the Clinton Foundation’s next leader while working as Clinton’s chief of staff, raising a possible conflict of interest.

120619CherylMillsFoundationReuters

Cheryl D. Mills speaks during a commitment workshop titled “Haiti: Lessons for the Future” at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting on September 24, 2012. The CGI logo is in the background. (Credit: Reuters)

On June 19, 2012, Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills travels from Washington, DC, to New York City. The next day, she interviews two high-level business executives in order to help the Clinton Foundation find a new leader.

When Clinton became secretary of state, she and the Clinton Foundation agreed to abide by rules specially created in an agreement with the Obama administration not to “create conflicts or the appearance of conflicts for Senator Clinton as Secretary of State.”

When news of this trip is made public in August 2016, Clinton’s campaign will claim that any work Mills did for the Clinton Foundation, such as this trip, was strictly voluntary.

The two executives interviewed by Mills had worked at Pfizer and WalMart, companies that CNN points out “have been huge donors to Foundation, and have worked with the Clinton Global Initiative.” However, neither of them get the job. (CNN, 8/11/2016)

Clinton’s reply to a Blumenthal email indicates she knows Blumenthal is getting his intelligence from a former CIA official.

Hillary Clinton and Sidney Blumenthal (Credit: Zumey Press and Evangelical Press Association)

Hillary Clinton and Sidney Blumenthal (Credit: Zumey Press and Evangelical Press Association)

Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal sends Clinton an email with the subject heading: “H: Here it is: latest, latest intell on MB/SCAF inside deal. Sid.” “MB” stands for the “Muslim Brotherhood,” who recently took power in Egypt, and “SCAF” stands for the “Supreme Council of the Armed Forces” of Egypt. The email alleges to contain inside intelligence about political intrigues in that country.

Clinton forwards the email to her aide Jake Sullivan with the comment: “Fyi [For your information]. Worth forwarding.”

Sullivan replies, “Will do. Wonder who his source is.”

Clinton answers, “Former US intell w continuing contacts.” (US Department of State, 1/7/2016)

The FBI will ask her about this in a July 2016 interview. The State Department later marked the email unclassified and left it entirely unredacted. But presumably the FBI is interested in her “Former US intell w continuing contacts” comment, which indicates she knows Blumenthal’s emails are mainly based on intelligence from former CIA official Tyler Drumheller, and she might have some knowledge of Drumheller’s contacts.

But Clinton’s answer doesn’t appear to address that. According to the FBI, “Clinton commented it was a confusing time in Egypt and [the] State [Department] was trying to obtain all of the intelligence it could on Egypt. However, she had no concerns regarding the classification of the email.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Clinton sends President Obama an email from on or above Russian soil; Obama uses a pseudonym for his email address.

Clinton meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in St. Petersburg, Russia, on June 29, 2012. (State Department)

Clinton meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in St. Petersburg, Russia, on June 29, 2012. (State Department)

It has been reported that Clinton and President Obama exchanged 18 emails in the four years of Clinton’s secretary of state tenure. However, very few details have been released about any of them, except for this one. This email is an exception because when Clinton will be interviewed by the FBI in July 2016, she will be asked about the email, apparently since it was sent from Russia. A September 2016 FBI report will mention it is sent on July 1, 2012 and that the subject line is: “Fw: Congratulations!”

Additionally, an FBI summary of her interview will mention, “Clinton stated she received no particular guidance as to how she should use the president’s email address [redacted]. Since the foregoing email was sent from Russia, Clinton stated she must have sent it from the plane.”

Elsewhere in the FBI report, it will be mentioned that the FBI was unable to determine whenever Clinton sent emails overseas while on the ground or in an airplane because the State Department didn’t give the FBI detailed enough information about her travel schedule. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin will be asked about this email in an April 2016 FBI interview, though it will be described as “an email chain dated June 28, 2012, with the subject ‘Re: Congratulations!'” According to the FBI summary, “Abedin did not recognize the name of the sender. Once informed that the sender’s name is believed to be a pseudonym used by [President Obama], Abedin exclaimed ‘How is this not classified?’ Abedin then expressed her amazement at the president’s use of a pseudonym and asked if she could have a copy of the email. Abedin provided that she did not go on the trip to St. Petersburg [Russia] and noted that security protocols in St. Petersburg were not necessarily the same as they were in Moscow, where they were not allowed use to their BlackBerrys.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/23/2016)

Based on Abedin’s comments, it appears probable that Clinton sends an email in the chain with her BlackBerry from St. Petersburg, Russia, though it is unclear if she is on an airplane at the time or not, or if the plane is flying on on the ground.

Accordng to some basic details that will be revealed about the Clinton-Obama emails in September 2016, it appears Obama emails Clinton on June 28, 2012, then Clinton replies to him on June 28, 2012, which coincides with her time in St. Petersburg, on June 28 and 29, 2012. Then her aide Monica Hanley sends an email to Obama on July 1, 2012. It is not clear why this Hanley email will later be included in a list of Obama-Clinton emails or why the FBI wil refer to a July 1, 2012 email in Clinton’s FBI interview instead of the June 28, 2012 Clinton email mentioned in the Abedin FBI interview. (Vice News, 09/15/16) (Vicc News, 09/15/16)

Clinton gets another email clearly marked as “classified,” contradicting her later claims.

Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan meets with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, unseen, at the Great Hall of People in Beijing on Tuesday, March 27, 2012. Syria accepted a peace plan by Annan, which includes a cease-fire by Syrian forces and a daily two-hour halt to fighting to evacuate the injured, Annan's spokesman said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Lintao Zhang, Pool)

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (Credit: Lintao Zhang / The Associated Press)

Clinton is sent an email by State Department official Monica Hanley regarding a phone call to United Nations/Arab League Joint Special Envoy for Syria Kofi Annan. The email is a call sheet to help Clinton with her talking points while speaking to Annan. The first paragraph starts with the text: “(C) Purpose of Call.”  The “(C)” is an official code known as a “portion marking,” and it indicates the information is classified at the “confidential” level. Other sections of the email are marked with (SBU), a code meaning “sensitive but unclassified.” (US Department of State, 11/30/2015)

This is the second time it is known Clinton received an email clearly marked as classified, after getting another one from Hanley in April 2012.  (US Department of State, 1/29/2016) This email’s existence won’t be publicly noticed until after FBI Director James Comey will comment on July 5, 2016 that a very small number of Clinton’s emails were marked classified at the time. (The New York Times, 7/5/2016)

August 3, 2012 – Documents confirm: Google wants to help Hillary overthrow Syria

Jared Cohen (Wikipedia)

“While it appears that the civil war in Syria is finally winding down, it is quite apparent that Washington and the military-industrial-Congressional complex most definitely did not get the result that it had hoped for; the removal of Bashar al-Assad and the end of the Assad family regime.

Looking back and with thanks to Google and WikiLeaks, we can the see the lengths that the “Deep State” which includes America’s technology sector was willing to take to help the Obama Administration and, in particular, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, achieve one of its/her key goals in the Middle East.

Now that we have a clear understanding of why the uprising in Syria was so important (i.e. Israel needed it to assure its nuclear primacy in the region), as promised, here is one of Hillary Clinton’s emails dated August 3, 2012 which clearly shows us how Google was willing to help the Secretary achieve her goals in Syria:

The original email was from Jared Cohen, then a director at Google Ideas and now CEO at Jigsaw, the renamed Google Ideas.  Here is his entire resume from the Council on Foreign Relations website where he is touted as one of the great “global thinkers” whatever that might be:

Mr. Cohen was one of the very few members of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s Policy Planning Staff that remained when Hillary Clinton took over in 2009 under the Obama Administration.  He left this position on September 2, 2010, taking a position with the Council on Foreign Relations and was also hired as the first director of Google Ideas (aka Jigsaw) in October 2010.  For those of you who are not aware of Jigsaw, it is a technology incubator that was created by Google with the mantra that it is using its capabilities to build “tools to make the world safer.” (Read more: Russia-Insider, 3/16/2019)

August 12, 2012 – A DIA intelligence report reveals Obama gave “willful” aid to Al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria

Lt. General Michael Flynn (Credit: public domain)

“Despite warnings about the consequences from senior U.S. officials, the Obama administration made a “willful decision” to support al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other jihadist terror groups in Syria, according to former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) chief Michael Flynn. That deliberate aid to Islamic terrorists battling Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad played a crucial role in the rise of the “Islamic State” (ISIS or ISIL). While multiple top U.S. officials have already admitted that Obama’s so-called anti-ISIS coalition helped create, arm, and fund ISIS, Flynn is the highest-ranking administration official to publicly discuss the U.S. role in spawning the savage terror group now slaughtering Christians and other minorities across the Middle East. Almost incredibly, the establishment press and Congress have largely ignored the explosive revelations — even as the White House steps up its military aid to jihadist “rebels” in Syria with air support and training.

Speaking during an in-depth interview on Al Jazeera, the Qatari government-sponsored broadcaster, DIA chief Flynn was asked about a 2012 report produced by his agency. The document, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Judicial Watch, contained a number of revelations that should have seen a wide array of senior administration officials prosecuted under U.S. anti-terrorism laws. The secret report confirms what The New American has been reporting almost from the start of the war in Syria: The globalist-backed “revolution” against Assad was a “holy war” being led by al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other jihadist terrorists. The document also highlights the fact that the West and its Sunni Islamic dictator allies were supporting those same forces, and that they wanted to see the rise of a fundamentalist Islamic state in parts of Syria.

(…) During the Al Jazeera Head to Head interview, Lieutenant General Flynn (Ret.), who also served as a commander of the shadowy terror-war assassination squad known as the “Joint Special Operations Command” (J-SOC), confirmed the enormity of the revelations in the document. Despite attempts to downplay the 2012 document by the establishment media, Flynn said he “paid very close attention” to the report when it crossed his desk, and that “the intelligence was very clear.” He also said he had warned the administration against supporting jihadists in Syria. But the White House ignored the warnings, and instead continued providing material support — weapons, PR, communications, funding, training, international legitimacy, and more — to those officially designated terrorist organizations. An everyday U.S. citizen could face decades in prison, or worse, for doing the same actions.” (Read more: New American Magazine, 8/11/2015)

(Timeline editor’s note: The DIA report mentioned by Lt. General Flynn, lists Hillary Clinton as one of many Obama administration officials who were recipients of this report.)

August 26, 2012 – Clinton passed along Blumenthal advice to Obama White House

“Hillary Clinton passed along to the White House advice from close personal adviser Sid Blumenthal on how President Barack Obama would do well to use a looming natural disaster as a tool for his reelection bid, despite Blumenthal’s disgraced standing with the Obama administration.

“H: FYI. In case you or Bill have use for this. Done quickly am in spirit of John Lennon (“I read the news today, oh, boy”). Sid,” Blumenthal wrote in the subject line of his email, sent Aug. 26, 2012, two days before Hurricane Isaac made landfall in Louisiana.

 Blumenthal’s memo, addressed to then-White House chief of staff Jack Lew, notes that former President George W. Bush’s “popularity collapsed” at the moment Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in August 2005. Vice President Joe Biden and the director of FEMA should be “on the scene before Isaac hits,” he added, to raise his profile.
(snip)

For its part, the White House viewed Blumenthal as persona non grata, rejecting him as an official national security adviser at the start of Obama’s administration. Obama aides have harbored a grudge about Blumenthal’s role during the 2008 presidential primary fight between Obama and Clinton. But that did not stop Clinton from sharing his intelligence on this or numerous other occasions.

On Aug. 27, Clinton responded, “I passed this on to the White House. We’ll see what happens.”  Read more: ( Read more: Politico, 1/08/2016)

September 6, 2012 – An email reveals the Clintons cozy relationship with the repressive Sultan of Brunei

“Among the thousand cuts Donald Trump delivered to Hillary Clinton en route to her political death was the accusation that she was cozy with the repressive Sultan of Brunei. A 2012 email released Thursday by the U.S. State Department seems to back him up.

In the message, Clinton aide Huma Abedin told the then-presidential candidate that Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, worth a reported $20 billion, wanted to see her and husband Bill for an intimate ‘family style dinner.

Brunei government officials ‘say [the] sultan sees wjc [William Jefferson Clinton] as part of his family and this is treating you in this “informal” way,’ she wrote.

The sultan’s embrace of brutal Muslim Sharia law to guide his nation’s criminal justice system made him the center of controversy two years later when Hollywood celebrities discovered that it criminalized homosexuality – and imposed a potential death penalty for ‘sodomy.

The Sultan of Brunei (left) invites Clinton to an intimate dinner in September 2012. (Credit: Agence France Presse/Getty Images)

The criminal code there also requires stoning to death for adultery, the amputation of limbs for theft, and flogging for abortion and alcohol consumption.

Former ‘Tonight’ show host Jay Leno led a group of picketers outside the Beverly Hills Hotel, which the sultan owns, saying that ‘evil flourishes when good people do nothing, and that is pretty much what this is. This is not complicated. These are not crazy left-wing wacko people.

Daytime TV host Ellen DeGeneres boycotted the hotel, and other sultan-owned properties. So did businessman Richard Branson and Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

Trump raised the issue in a June 2015 speech, saying that Clinton ‘accepted $58,000 in jewelry from the government of Brunei when she was Secretary of State – plus millions more for her foundation.

The Sultan of Brunei has pushed oppressive Sharia law, including the punishment of death by stoning for being gay. The government of Brunei also stands to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of Hillary’s Trans-Pacific Partnership, which she would absolutely approve if given the chance.

The September 2012 email from Huma Abedin lays out the plan for Clinton to visit with the sultan in a more intimate setting than he would allow with most other world leaders.

Clinton, it emerged later, followed the ethics rules requiring her to turn the jewelry over to the federal government for its archives. But Clinton Foundation records show gifts totaling between $1 million and $5 million from the sultan.

Trump also blasted the foundation for taking ‘up to $25 million from Saudi Arabia, where being gay is also punishable by death. Hillary took millions from Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and many other countries that horribly abuse women and LGBT citizens.

Huma Abedin’s email to Clinton noted a previous ‘visit’ with the sultan by Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton – and Hillary’s mother Dorothy Howell Rodham, who had died in 2011. (Read more: Daily Mail, 1/06/2017)

September 12, 2012 – The day after the Benghazi attack in Libya, the Defense Intelligence Agency (Michael Flynn) releases a report saying the attack was planned 10 days in advance

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton honor the victims of the Benghazi terrorist attacks at Andrews Air Force Base on September 14, 2012. (Credit: public domain)

“Judicial Watch announced today that it obtained more than 100 pages of previously classified “Secret” documents from the Department of Defense (DOD)and the Department of State revealing that DOD almost immediately reported that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was committed by the al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood-linked “Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman” (BCOAR), and had been planned at least 10 days in advance. Rahman is known as the Blind Sheikh, and is serving life in prison for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other terrorist acts.  The new documents also provide the first official confirmation that shows the U.S. government was aware of arms shipments from Benghazi to Syria.  The documents also include an August 2012 analysis warning of the rise of ISIS and the predicted failure of the Obama policy of regime change in Syria.

(…) A Defense Department document from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), dated September 12, 2012, the day after the Benghazi attack, details that the attack on the compound had been carefully planned by the BOCAR terrorist group “to kill as many Americans as possible.”  The document was sent to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Obama White House National Security Council.  The heavily redacted Defense Department “information report” says that the attack on the Benghazi facility “was planned and executed by The Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman (BCOAR).”  The group subscribes to “AQ ideologies:”

The attack was planned ten or more days prior on approximately 01 September 2012. The intention was to attack the consulate and to kill as many Americans as possible to seek revenge for U.S. killing of Aboyahiye ((ALALIBY)) in Pakistan and in memorial of the 11 September 2001 atacks on the World Trade Center buildings.

“A violent radical,” the DIA report says, is “the leader of BCOAR is Abdul Baset ((AZUZ)), AZUZ was sent by ((ZAWARI)) to set up Al Qaeda (AQ) bases in Libya.”  The group’s headquarters was set up with the approval of a “member of the Muslim brother hood movement…where they have large caches of weapons.  Some of these caches are disguised by feeding troughs for livestock.  They have SA-7 and SA-23/4 MANPADS…they train almost every day focusing on religious lessons and scriptures including three lessons a day of jihadist ideology.”

The Defense Department reported the group maintained written documents, in “a small rectangular room, approximately 12 meters by 6 meters…that contain information on all of the AQ activity in Libya.”

(Azuz is again blamed for the Benghazi attack in an October 2012 DIA document.)

Hillary Clinton appears before a Senate committee to testify on the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya. (Credit: Jack Gruber/USA Today)

The DOD documents also contain the first official documentation that the Obama administration knew that weapons were being shipped from the Port of Benghazi to rebel troops in Syria. An October 2012 report confirms:

Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.

During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.

The DIA document further details:

The weapons shipped from Syria during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s and 125mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.  The numbers for each weapon were estimated to be: 500 Sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 total rounds, and approximately 400 howitzers missiles [200 ea – 125mm and 200ea – 155 mm.]

The heavily redacted document does not disclose who was shipping the weapons.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 5/18/2015)

September 12, 2012 – Defense, State Dept documents reveal Obama administration knew that al Qaeda terrorists planned Benghazi attack 10 days in advance

Clinton with Libyan rebels upon her departure from Tripoli in Libya on October 18, 2011. (Credit: Reuters)

“Judicial Watch announced today that it obtained more than 100 pages of previously classified “Secret” documents from the Department of Defense (DOD)and the Department of State revealing that DOD almost immediately reported that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was committed by the al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood-linked “Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman” (BCOAR), and had been planned at least 10 days in advance. Rahman is known as the Blind Sheikh, and is serving life in prison for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other terrorist acts.  The new documents also provide the first official confirmation that shows the U.S. government was aware of arms shipments from Benghazi to Syria.  The documents also include an August 2012 analysis warning of the rise of ISIS and the predicted failure of the Obama policy of regime change in Syria.

The documents were released in response to a court order in accordance with a May 15, 2014, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against both the DOD and State Department seeking communications between the two agencies and congressional leaders “on matters related to the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi” (Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of State(No. 1:14-cv-00812)).

Spelling and punctuation are duplicated in this release without corrections.

Defense Department document from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), dated September 12, 2012, the day after the Benghazi attack, details that the attack on the compound had been carefully planned by the BOCAR terrorist group “to kill as many Americans as possible.”  The document was sent to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Obama White House National Security Council.  The heavily redacted Defense Department “information report” says that the attack on the Benghazi facility “was planned and executed by The Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman (BCOAR).”  The group subscribes to “AQ ideologies:”

The attack was planned ten or more days prior on approximately 01 September 2012. The intention was to attack the consulate and to kill as many Americans as possible to seek revenge for U.S. killing of Aboyahiye ((ALALIBY)) in Pakistan and in memorial of the 11 September 2001 atacks on the World Trade Center buildings.

“A violent radical,” the DIA report says, is “the leader of BCOAR is Abdul Baset ((AZUZ)), AZUZ was sent by ((ZAWARI)) to set up Al Qaeda (AQ) bases in Libya.”  The group’s headquarters was set up with the approval of a “member of the Muslim brother hood movement…where they have large caches of weapons.  Some of these caches are disguised by feeding troughs for livestock.  They have SA-7 and SA-23/4 MANPADS…they train almost every day focusing on religious lessons and scriptures including three lessons a day of jihadist ideology.”

The Defense Department reported the group maintained written documents, in “a small rectangular room, approximately 12 meters by 6 meters…that contain information on all of the AQ activity in Libya.”

(Azuz is again blamed for the Benghazi attack in an October 2012 DIA document.)

The DOD documents also contain the first official documentation that the Obama administration knew that weapons were being shipped from the Port of Benghazi to rebel troops in Syria. An October 2012 report confirms:

Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.

During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.

The DIA document further details:

The weapons shipped from Syria during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s and 125mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.  The numbers for each weapon were estimated to be: 500 Sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 total rounds, and approximately 400 howitzers missiles [200 ea – 125mm and 200ea – 155 mm.]

The heavily redacted document does not disclose who was shipping the weapons.

Another DIA report, written in August 2012 (the same time period the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist Muslim groups: “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.” The growing sectarian direction of the war was predicted to have dire consequences for Iraq, which included the “grave danger” of the rise of ISIS:

The deterioration of the situation has dire consequences on the Iraqi situation and are as follows:

This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters. ISI could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.

Some of the “dire consequences” are blacked out but the DIA presciently warned one such consequence would be the “renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena.”

From a separate lawsuit, the State Department produced a document created the morning after the Benghazi attack by Hillary Clinton’s offices, and the Operations Center in the Office of the Executive Secretariat that was sent widely through the agency, including to Joseph McManus (then-Hillary Clinton’s executive assistant).  At 6:00 am, a few hours after the attack, the top office of the State Department sent a “spot report” on the “Attack on U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi” that makes no mention of videos or demonstrations:

Four COM personnel were killed and three were wounded in an attack by dozens of fighters on the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi beginning approximately 1550 Eastern Time….

The State Department has yet to turn over any documents from the secret email accounts of Hillary Clinton and other top State Department officials.

“These documents are jaw-dropping. No wonder we had to file more FOIA lawsuits and wait over two years for them.  If the American people had known the truth – that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other top administration officials knew that the Benghazi attack was an al-Qaeda terrorist attack from the get-go – and yet lied and covered this fact up – Mitt Romney might very well be president. And why would the Obama administration continue to support the Muslim Brotherhood even after it knew it was tied to the Benghazi terrorist attack and to al Qaeda? These documents also point to a connection between the collapse in Libya and the ISIS war – and confirm that the U.S. knew remarkable details about the transfer of arms from Benghazi to Syrian jihadists,” stated Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president.  “These documents show that the Benghazi cover-up has continued for years and is only unraveling through our independent lawsuits. The Benghazi scandal just got a whole lot worse for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.” (Judicial Watch, 5/18/2015)

September 29, 2012 – Judicial Watch obtains an email that proves Clinton and Jake Sullivan immediately knew the Benghazi attack was not a spontaneous response to an internet video

Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee re the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, on January 23, 2013. (Credit Saul Loeb/Agence France Presse/Getty Images)

“Judicial Watch made public on Oct. 21, a 2012 email chain showing multiple senior U.S. State Department executives used then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unsecured private email to discuss the most sensitive details of the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, died in the assault, which within hours was attributed by the Obama White House to an internet video that critically portrayed Islam and its founder, Mohammed.

(…) The first email in the long chain, dated Sept. 29, 2012, was from Jacob Sullivan, Clinton’s then-senior adviser and deputy chief of staff, to Clinton and copied to Mills.

The email was also forwarded to Philippe Reines, who was Clinton’s then-deputy assistant secretary of state for communications. The occasion for Sullivan’s email was Clinton’s need for Benghazi information to use in a forthcoming telephone call to an unidentified U.S. senator.

After first apologizing for a briefing that apparently angered Clinton, Sullivan then said “the White House and [then-White House national security adviser] Susan [Rice] were not making things up. They were going with what they were told by the IC [intelligence community].

The real story may have been obvious to you from the start (and indeed I called it an assault by heavily armed militants in my first statement), but the IC gave us very different information. They were unanimous about it.”

Sullivan’s comment that “the real story may have been obvious to you from the start” indicates Clinton suppressed her initial view that the attack had been planned beforehand and instead, for several days afterward, she publicly attributed it to “spontaneous” protests sparked by the internet video.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 10/21/2019)  (Archive)

October 2012 – A State Department investigator accuses officials of using drugs, soliciting prostitutes, having sex with minors, and several investigations were influenced, manipulated or called off by senior officials

Aurelia Fedenisn ( Credit: CBS News)

CBS News‘ John Miller reports that according to an internal State Department Inspector General’s memo, [dated October 2012], several recent investigations were influenced, manipulated, or simply called off. The memo obtained by CBS News cited eight specific examples. Among them: allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” on foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries” — a problem the report says was “endemic.”

The memo also reveals details about an “underground drug ring” was operating near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and supplied State Department security contractors with drugs.

Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator with the State Department’s internal watchdog agency, the Inspector General, told Miller, “We also uncovered several allegations of criminal wrongdoing in cases, some of which never became cases.”

In such cases, DSS agents told the Inspector General’s investigators that senior State Department officials told them to back off, a charge that Fedenisn says is “very” upsetting.

“We were very upset. We expect to see influence, but the degree to which that influence existed and how high up it went, was very disturbing,” she said.

In one specific and striking cover-up, State Department agents told the Inspector General they were told to stop investigating the case of a U.S. Ambassador who held a sensitive diplomatic post and was suspected of patronizing prostitutes in a public park.

The State Department Inspector General’s memo refers to the 2011 investigation into an ambassador who “routinely ditched … his protective security detail” and inspectors suspect this was in order to “solicit sexual favors from prostitutes.”

Sources told CBS News that after the allegations surfaced, the ambassador was called to Washington, D.C. to meet with Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, but was permitted to return to his post.

Fedenisn says “hostile intelligence services” allow such behavior to continue. “I would be very surprised if some of those entities were not aware of the activities,” she said. “So yes, it presents a serious risk to the United States government.”

A draft of the Inspector General’s report on the performance of the DSS, obtained by CBS News, states, “Hindering such cases calls into question the integrity of the investigative process, can result in counterintelligence vulnerabilities and can allow criminal behavior to continue.” (Read more: CBS News, 6/10/2013)

US Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman, with his wife in Brussels, was investigated over claims he solicited prostitutes and minor children. (Credit: Zuma Press)

The following day, Foreign Policy writes, “In a fast-developing story, U.S. ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman has been named as the diplomat accused of soliciting “sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children,” according to State Department documents obtained by NBC News. Gutman denied the allegations, in a statement to The Cable and other outlets.

“I am angered and saddened by the baseless allegations that have appeared in the press and to watch the four years I have proudly served in Belgium smeared is devastating,” he said. “At no point have I ever engaged in any improper activity.” (Read more: Foreign Policy, 6/11/2013)

On June 17, 2013Foreign Policy writes, “The State Department investigator who accused colleagues last week of using drugs, soliciting prostitutes, and having sex with minors says that Foggy Bottom is now engaged in an “intimidation” campaign to stop her.

Last week’s leaks by Aurelia Fedenisn, a former State Department inspector general investigator, shined a light on alleged wrongdoing by U.S. officials around the globe. But her attorney Cary Schulman tells The Cable that Fedenisn has paid a steep price: “They had law enforcement officers camp out in front of her house, harass her children and attempt to incriminate herself.”

Fedenisn’s life changed dramatically last Monday after she handed over documents and statements to CBS News alleging that senior State Department officials “influenced, manipulated, or simply called off” several investigations into misconduct. The suppression of investigations was noted in an early draft of an Inspector General report, but softened in the final version.

Erich Hart, general counsel to the Inspector General, did not reply to a request for comment. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said last week that “we hold all employees to the highest standards. We take allegations of misconduct seriously and we investigate thoroughly.” She also announced that the department would request additional review by outside law enforcement officers on OIG inspection processes.” (Read more: Foreign Policy, 6/17/2013)

The State Department is responding to claims that officials may have covered up alleged illegal and inappropriate behavior by department personnel, while an ambassador is accused of “routinely” soliciting sexual favors. NBC’s Chuck Todd reports. (Today, 6/11/2013) 

Blumenthal appears to be secretly working with the State Department to influence the media’s portrayal of Clinton and the department on Benghazi.

Media Matters Logo (Credit: public domain)

Media Matters Logo (Credit: public domain)

Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal sends Clinton an email with the message, “Got all this done. Complete refutation on Libya smear. Philippe can circulate these links. Sid.” The email also includes links to four recent Media Matters stories questioning aspects of the House Benghazi Committee’s investigation of the government’s response to the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack that is very critical of Clinton and her State Department. For instance, one of the stories, published the same day Blumenthal’s email is written, has the title: “Right-Wing Media’s Libya Consulate Security Mythology Falls Apart.”

None of the articles have a Blumenthal by-line, but his “got this done” comment suggests he is somehow involved in making them. Media Matters is a pro-Clinton media watchdog group chaired by David Brock, who will later head Clinton’s main Super PAC for her 2016 presidential campaign.

Clinton replies with the message “Passing on,” and forwards the email to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philippe Reines, as Blumenthal requested. (US Department of State, 11/30/2015) (Media Matters, 10/10/2012) (Media Matters, 10/10/2012) (Media Matters, 9/26/2012) (Media Matters, 10/9/2012)

In June 2015, Blumenthal will reveal under oath that he was paid around $200,000 a year by Media Matters for a part-time consulting beginning in late 2012, or around the time of this email. (Fox News, 6/19/2015) (The Los Angeles Times, 6/27/2016)

In early 2009, President Obama banned Clinton from giving Blumenthal a State Department job, but this email suggests the ban was not entirely effective.

Clinton receives an email that reveals undercover CIA officers use State Department cover in Afghanistan.

Jeremy Bash (left) Leon Panetta (right) (Credits: public domain)

Jeremy Bash (left) Leon Panetta (right) (Credits: public domain)

Jeremy Bash, who is chief of staff to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the time, sends an email to four other US officials, including Clinton aides Jake Sullivan and Cheryl Mills. Sullivan then forwards the email to Clinton. The email has the subject heading: “This a.m. Green on Blue.” That is an idiom referring to when police attacks soldiers. The email refers to an Afghan police officer triggering a suicide vest and killing or wounding 14 Americans or Afghans, including one dead American.

The email will later be classified at the “secret” level, suggesting some important classified information in it, but its redactions make it difficult to understand. There is no indication of a reply from Clinton. (US Department of State, 1/29/2016)

In Clinton’s July 2016 FBI interview, she will be specifically asked about this email, again suggesting something unusual about it. However, her answer will also be heavily reacted. For instance, “Clinton believed she would be speculating if she were to state what [redacted] meant when he referred to [redacted].” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Dario Lorenzetti (public domain)

Dario Lorenzetti (public domain)

On February 4, 2016, NBC News will reveal that the email concerns undercover CIA officer Dario Lorenzetti. He died in the suicide attack described in the email. Lorenzetti’s CIA connection was leaked to the media by anonymous officials four days after his death and was widely reported in the news media, although his CIA cover was not lifted until later.

According to NBC News, in the redacted portions of the email, it seems Bash was trying “to preserve the CIA officer’s cover. But some of the language he used, now that Lorenzetti is known to have been a CIA officer, could be read as a US government acknowledgement that CIA officers pose as State Department personnel in a specific country, Afghanistan — something widely known but not formally admitted.” This is why the email is classified at the “secret” level.

Bash ends the email by instructing a CIA spokesperson to “please lash up with [redacted].” NBC News will indicate the missing word is “presumably either the spy agency or one of its employees.” (NBC News, 2/4/2016)

This may be the phrase that the FBI asked Clinton about, and to which she replied that “she would be speculating if she were to state what [redacted] meant when he referred to [redacted].” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

NBC News will also interview Bash about this email. Bash will claim that the email “did not reference the individual’s name, employer, nor any identifying description or information.” Additionally, once the CIA posthumously lifted Lorenzetti’s cover, “the original unclassified email could be read to confirm the general use of cover, prompting the redactions we now see. But any suggestion that this email contained confirmation about the person or his cover, or any inappropriate information, is flat wrong.” (NBC News, 2/4/2016)

Clinton’s private server is down for 11 days due to Hurricane Sandy.

This is the longeest down time by far during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. The only other significant outage is for three days during Hurricane Irene in August 2011. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

 

Clinton’s chief of staff Mills is sent an email about a FOIA request from Clinton’s emails, but does nothing about it; Clinton may get the email as well.

On December 6, 2012, the non-profit group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) files a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, asking for records that show the number of Clinton’s email accounts. (US Department of State, 7/29/2016)

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Brock Johnson (Credit: Facebook)

Five days later, State Department official Brock Johnson sends an email to Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills about this. It has the subject heading: “FW: Significant FOIA Request.” This email will be made public in July 2016 due to a different FOIA request by Judicial Watch.

Johnson writes in his email: “FYI [For your information] on the attached FOIA request from: ‘The request by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) ask for “records sufficient to show the number of email accounts of or associated with Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton.”‘” Then he forwards an email to him about the request, and also includes the entire request as an attachment. (US Department of State, 7/29/2016)

A snippet of Brock Johnson's email to Cheryl Mills. (Credit: public domain)

A snippet of Brock Johnson’s email to Cheryl Mills. (Credit: public domain)

It appears likely that Mills then forwards this email to Clinton, because Clinton will be interviewed by the FBI in July 2016, and she will be asked about over a dozen specific emails sent to her, and she will be asked about an email sent on the same date, December 11, 2012, with the exact same subject heading, “FW: Significant FOIA Report.” If Clinton is sent the email, it isn’t included in the over 30,000 work-related emails Clinton will give to the State Department in December 2014.

According to a later FBI report, “Clinton stated she did not recall the specific request and was not aware of receiving any FOIA requests for information related to her email during her tenure as secretary of state. [The] State [Department] had a FOIA department and Clinton relied on the professionals in that department to address FOIA matters.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Although it has not been confirmed Clinton gets the email, there’s no doubt Mills does. And even though Mills is very aware of Clinton’s private email address since she frequently sends emails to it, she doesn’t take any action and merely has an aide monitor the progress of CREW’s request.

Melanie Sloan (Credit: CREW)

Melanie Sloan (Credit: CREW)

Melanie Sloan, the executive director of CREW, will later say, “Cheryl Mills should have corrected the record. She knew this wasn’t a complete and full answer.”

In May 2013, the State Department will respond to CREW, “no records responsive to your request were located.” Other requests for Clinton’s records will meet the same fate until the House Benghazi Committee finds out about her private email account in 2014.

Steve Linick, the State Department’s inspector general, will conclude in a 2016 report that the State Department gave an “inaccurate and incomplete” response about Clinton’s email use to CREW and in other similar cases. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016) (The Washington Post, 1/6/2016)

Blumenthal starts getting paid an “eye-popping” salary for part-time work at Clinton-affiliated organizations.

American Bridge Logo (Credit: public domain)

American Bridge Logo (Credit: public domain)

When Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal will be questioned by the House Benghazi Committee in June 2015, he will reveal that in addition to the $120,000 a year he is paid for working at the Clinton Foundation, starting at “the very end of 2012,” he is also paid about $200,000 a year consulting part-time for Media Matters and related organizations. He will also say at the time of the interview that he is still being paid that much or even more.

Media Matters is a pro-Clinton media watchdog group chaired by David Brock, who also will run Clinton’s main Super PAC in her 2016 presidential campaign. Additionally, Blumenthal will say he works for Correct the Record, American Bridge, and American Independent Institute, which also are pro-Clinton organizations run by Brock.

In June 2016, when this information is publicly revealed by accident in a document released by Congressional Democrats, the Los Angeles Times will call Blumenthal’s part-time salary an “eye-popping amount of money” which “exposes once again the absurd amounts of money people in the orbit of the Clintons sometimes seem to rake in just for, well, being in the orbit of the Clintons.” (The Los Angeles Times, 6/27/2016) (Fox News, 6/19/2015)

Someone accesses the email account of one of Bill Clinton’s staffers on the private server used to host Hillary Clinton’s emails.

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The Tor Logo (Credit: public domain)

This is according to a FBI report that will be released in September 2016. It is known the staffer whose account gets breached is female, but her name will be redacted. The unnamed hacker uses the anonymity software Tor to browse through this staffer’s messages and attachments on the server.

The FBI will call this the only confirmed “successful compromise of an email account on the server.” But the FBI will not be able to determine who the hacker is or how the hacker obtained the staffer’s username and password to access her account. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Wired will later comment, “The compromise of a Bill Clinton staffer—who almost certainly had no access to any of then-Secretary Clinton’s classified material—doesn’t make the security of those classified documents any clearer. But it will no doubt be seized on by the Clintons’ political opponents to raise more questions about their server’s security.”

Dave Aitel (Credit: Immunity)

Dave Aitel (Credit: Immunity)

Clinton’s computer technician Bryan Pagliano is in charge of monitoring the server’s access logs at the time.

But Dave Aitel, a former NSA security analyst and founder of the cypersecurity company Immunity, will later comment that the breach shows a lack of attention to the logs. “They weren’t auditing and restricting IP addresses accessing the server. That’s annoying and difficult when your user is the secretary of state and traveling all around the world… But if she’s in Russia and I see a login from Afghanistan, I’d say that’s not right, and I’d take some intrusion detection action. That’s not the level this team was at.” (Wired, 9/2/2016)

When Pagliano is interviewed by the FBI in December 2015, he will claim that he knew of no instance when the server was successfully breached, suggesting he didn’t know about this incident. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

And when Justin Cooper, a Bill Clinton aide who helped Pagliano manage the server, will be asked about the incident in September 2016, he will say he knew nothing about it until he read about it in the FBI report released earlier that month. (US Congress, 9/13/2016)

Clinton later claims she wasn’t given any instructions on how to preserve her emails when she left office.

In a July 2016 FBI interview, “Clinton [will state] that she received no instructions or direction regarding the preservation or production of records from [the] State [Department] during the transition out of her role as secretary of state in early 2013. Furthermore, Clinton believed her work-related emails were captured by her practice of sending emails to State employees’ official State email accounts.”

A May 2016 State Department inspector general report will conclude this wasn’t a proper method, and Clinton should have printed and filed her emails when she left office. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

January 21, 2009 – February 1, 2013: FBI Vault – Clinton Email Homepage

Hillary Rodham Clinton served as U.S. Secretary of State from January 21, 2009 to February 1, 2013. The FBI conducted an investigation into allegations that classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on a personal e-mail server she used during her tenure.

FBI Records: The Vault – Hillary Clinton


Twitter user @walkafyre provides an alternative way to read all of the FBI Clinton vault releases:

Welcome to the MYE Files

This site was created to better organize and research the FBI files related to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s personal email server, code-named “Midyear Exam,” or “MYE” for short, which have been released by the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). This site provides users the ability to research and organize the MYE documents released under FOIA in a more structured environment. For additional information on how an FBI’s case system is organized, FOIA procedures, or the structure/organization of this site, please visit the About section using the tab above.

At least one manager of Clinton’s server does very little during a transition phase, despite the Guccifer hack threat.

At the end of Clinton’s tenure of secretary of state in February 2013, her private server is still being managed by Bryan Pagliano and Justin Cooper, with Pagliano doing most of the technical work and Cooper doing most of the customer service work. The management of the server will be taken over by the Platte River Networks (PRN) computer company in June 2013. It seems possible that the server is not as actively managed in the months in between.

Justin Cooper testifies to the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee. (Credit: Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Justin Cooper testifies to the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee on September 13, 2016. (Credit: Alex Wong / Getty Images)

In September 2016, Cooper will be questioned by a Congressional committee. Representative Jason Chaffetz (R) will ask him, “[Y]ou stepped back from the day-to-day activities with the Clintons about the time of the transition, is that correct? As she left office?”

He will reply, ‘Yes.”

When asked about his knowledge of what happened to server security after the hacker known as Guccifer broke into the email account of a Clinton confidant and publicly exposed Clinton’s email address on the server in March 2013, Cooper will reply, “At that point in time I was transitioning out of any role or responsibility with the server as various teams were selecting Platte River Networks to take over the email services and I don’t know that I had any sort of direct response.”

Additionally, when Cooper will be asked about his contact with PRN, he will say, “My interaction was handing over user names and passwords and that was the totality of the interaction I’ve had. I’ve never had interaction with them.” (US Congress, 9/13/2016)

It is not known if Pagliano similarly cuts down his involvement with managing the server during this time, since he has refused to publicly comment about his experiences. The FBI has mentioned nothing about the management of Pagliano or Cooper during this time period. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

February 16, 2013 – Missing Clinton email claims Saudis financed Benghazi attacks

“Something that has gone unnoticed in all the talk about the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails is the content of the original leak that started the entire investigation to begin with. In March of 2013, a Romanian hacker calling himself Guccifer hacked into the AOL account of Sidney Blumenthal and leaked to Russia Today four e-mails containing intelligence on Libya that Blumenthal sent to Hillary Clinton.

For those who haven’t been following this story, Sidney Blumenthal is a long time friend and adviser of the Clinton family who in an unofficial capacity sent many “intelligence memos” to Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State. Originally displayed on RT.com in Comic Sans font on a pink background with the letter “G” clumsily drawn as a watermark, no one took these leaked e-mails particularly seriously when they came out in 2013. Now, however, we can cross reference this leak with the e-mails the State Department released to the public.

The first three e-mails in the Russia Today leak from Blumenthal to Clinton all appear word for word in the State Department release. The first e-mail Clinton asks to have printed and she also forwards it to her deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan. The second e-mail Clinton describes as “useful insight” and forwards it to Jake Sullivan asking him to circulate it. The third e-mail is also forwarded to Jake Sullivan. The fourth e-mail is missing from the State Department record completely.

The original Blumenthal email released by Guccifer and missing from Clinton’s emails. (Credit: Guccifer)

This missing e-mail from February 16, 2013 only exists in the original leak and states that French and Libyan intelligence agencies had evidence that the In Amenas and Benghazi attacks were funded by “Sunni Islamists in Saudi Arabia.” This seems like a rather outlandish claim on the surface, and as such was only reported by conspiracy types and fringe media outlets. Now, however, we have proof that the other three e-mails in the leak were real correspondence from Blumenthal to Clinton that she not only read, but thought highly enough of to send around to others in the State Department. Guccifer speaks English as a second language and most of his writing consists of rambling conspiracies, it’s unlikely he would be able to craft such a convincing fake intelligence briefing. This means we have an e-mail from a trusted Clinton adviser that claims the Saudis funded the Benghazi attack, and not only was this not followed up on, but there is not any record of this e-mail ever existing except for the Russia Today leak.

Why is this e-mail missing? At first I assumed it must be due to some sort of cover up, but it’s much simpler than that. The e-mail in question was sent after February 1st, 2013, when John Kerry took over as Secretary of State, so it was not part of the time period being investigated. No one is trying to find a copy of this e-mail. Since Clinton wasn’t Secretary of State on February 16th, it wasn’t her job to follow up on it. (Read more: William Reynolds, 3/07/2016)

A back-up of all of Clinton’s emails are put onto a laptop and then forgotten about.

Monica Hanley (Credit: Bolton-St. Johns)

Monica Hanley (Credit: Bolton-St. Johns)

In the spring of 2013, Clinton aide Monica Hanley works with Bill Clinton aide Justin Cooper to create an archive of Clinton’s emails. Clinton aide Huma Abedin will later tell the FBI that the archive was created as a reference for the future production of a book. Whereas Hanley will later tell the FBI that the archive was created as a security precaution after Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal had his email account broken into on March 14, 2013, publicly exposing Clinton’s email address.

Cooper gives Hanley an Apple MacBook laptop from the Clinton Foundation and helps her through the process of remotely transferring Clinton’s emails from Clinton’s server to the laptop and a thumb drive. These two copies of the Clinton emails are intended to be stored in Clinton’s houses in Chappaqua, New York, and Whitehaven, Washington, DC. However, Hanley will tell the FBI that this doesn’t happen because she forgets to give the laptop and the thumb drive to Clinton’s staff.

Nearly a full year will pass before Hanley finds the laptop again. She will send it though the mail, only to apparently have it get permanently lost somehow. It is unclear what happens to the thumb drive, but it will not be seen again either. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Clinton’s private server is repeatedly scanned shortly after Guccifer’s hack revealed her server domain.

On March 14, 2013, the Romanian hacker known as Guccifer broke into the email account of Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal and learned Clinton’s private email address and thus her clintonemail.com server domain.

A September 2016 FBI report will reveal that “An examination of log files [of Clinton’s server] from March 2013 indicated that IP addresses from Russia and Ukraine attempted to scan the server on March 15, 2013, the day after the Blumenthal compromise, and on March 19 and March 21, 2013. However, none of these attempts were successful, and it could not be determined whether this activity was attributable to [Guccifer].” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Cheryl Mills expresses concerns to Bryan Pagliano about the security of Clinton’s private email server after the Guccifer hack.

On March 14, 2013, the Romanian hacker nicknamed Guccifer broke into the email account of Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal and made Clinton’s private email address public. Cheryl Mills was Clinton’s chief of staff until January 2013, when both she and Clinton left the State Department. But Mills continues to assist Clinton, and in August 2016 she will mention in written answers to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that she was concerned at this time how the Guccifer hack could impact the running of Clinton’s private email server.

She says she discussed the issue with Bryan Pagliano, Clinton’s computer technician “in or around March 2013, when the email account of Sidney Blumenthal was compromised by a hacker known as Guccifer. As I recall, these discussions involved whether this event might affect Secretary Clinton’s email.”

Clinton changed her email address several days after the Guccifer hack was discovered. However, the server continued to operate and her new email address was also hosted on the same server. It is still unknown whether Pagliano or anyone else took any other security steps in response to the hack. (Politico, 8/10/2016)

March 28, 2013 – Emails reveal Podesta Group’s work for Pro-Russia Ukrainian political party

“Judicial Watch today released new documents from the U.S. Department of State showing the Podesta Group working on behalf of the pro-Russia Ukrainian political group “Party of Regions.” The new documents also show longtime Obama and Clinton counselor John Podesta lobbying on behalf of his brother’s firm.

Judicial Watch obtained the documents in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the State Department filed on November 20, 2017, (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:17-cv-02489)). The lawsuit was filed after the State Department failed to respond to a September 13, 2017, FOIA request for:

  • All records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Department of State and any principal, employee, or representative of Podesta Group, Inc.
  • All records produced related to any meetings or telephonic communications between any official, employee, or representative of the Department of State and any principal, employee, or representative of Podesta Group, Inc.
  • All records regarding the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine.
  • The FOIA request covers the timeframe of January 1, 2012 to the present.

A March 28, 2013, email from now-Deputy Executive Secretary in the Office of the Secretary of State Baxter Hunt shows the Podesta Group, led by Tony Podesta, a Clinton bundler and brother of Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman John Podesta, represented the Party of Regions, a pro-Kremlin political party in Ukraine.

In the March 2013 email, to a number of officials including then-U.S. Foreign Service Officer John Tefft (who would go on to be U.S. Ambassador to Russia in 2014) and State Department director for the Office of Eastern Europe Alexander Kasanof, Hunt writes:

See below, I also stressed to them the need for GOU to take concrete steps to get new SBA with IMF and avoid PFC/loss of GSP. Podesta Group is noted among host of Ukraine lobbyists in article I’ll forward in article on low side.

  • Ben Chang and Mark Tavlarides of the Podesta Group, which is representing the Party of Regions, told us they were working with Klyuyev on a visit he plans to make to Washington in early May. They are working to broaden the POR’s contacts on the Hill, including setting up a meeting for Klyuyev with Chris Smith, and have advised Kyiv to stop trying to justify their actions against Tymoshenko in Washington. They also noted that during his recent meeting with former EC President Prodi, HFAC Chairman Ed Royce said that Congress would not be enacting sanctions legislation against Ukraine.

The Party of Regions served as the pro-Kremlin political base for Ukraine’s former President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia in 2014.

Like Paul Manafort, who is currently under indictment in the errant special counsel Russia investigation, the Podesta Group had to retroactively file Foreign Agent Registration Act disclosures with the Justice Department for Ukrainian-related work. The filing states that the Podesta group provided for the nonprofit European Centre for a Modern Ukraine “government relations and public relations services within the United States and Europe to promote political and economic cooperation between Ukraine and the West. The [Podesta Group] conducted outreach to congressional and executive branch offices, members of the media, nongovernmental organizations and think tanks.” Unlike Manafort and his partner Rick Gates, the Mueller special counsel operation hasn’t indicted anyone from the Podesta Group. (Read more: Judicial Watch, 5/17/2018)

The State Department responds to a FOIA request that there is no evidence of a Clinton email address when there clearly is.

On December 6, 2012, the non-profit group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, asking for records that show the number of Clinton’s email accounts.

Anne Weismann (Credit: public domain)

Anne Weismann (Credit: public domain)

On this day, State Department official Sheryl Walter sends a response letter to CREW’s chief counsel Anne Weismann that states “no records responsive to your request were located.” No details or reasons are given. (US Department of State, 8/29/2016)

In fact, Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills was informed about this FOIA request while Clinton was still secretary of state, and she knew Clinton’s private email address was responsive to the request, but she took no action and merely had another official monitor the progress of the request. Clinton may have been sent an email about it as well.

Also, in the months since the FOIA request was made, Clinton’s exact email address was revealed to the media, due to the Guccifer hack of a Clinton associate in March 2013. But the department’s “no response” reply would mean she used no email address for work.

Steve Linick, the State Department’s inspector general, will conclude in a 2016 report that the State Department gave an “inaccurate and incomplete” response about Clinton’s email use in this case and in other similar cases. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016) (The Washington Post, 1/6/2016)

Clinton sends an email containing classified information despite having left the State Department.

Clinton sends an email to former Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, former Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, State Department official Jeffrey Feltman, Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s former chief of staff Cheryl Mills, and Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin. Many of the email recipients continue to advise Clinton after leaving the department at the same time she did, around February 2013.

130528StateOfficialsUpdate

From left to right, William Burns (Credit: public domain) Kurt Campbell (Credit: public domain) Jeffrey Feltman (Credit: PatrickTsui / FCO)

In the email, Clinton recalls “remember how after US signed 123 deal [with] UAE [the United Arab Emirates] and we were in Abu Dhabi [the capital of the UAE].” This is a reference to a 2009 pact between the US and the UAE to share nuclear energy information and materials, with the UAE also agreeing not to pursue building a nuclear weapon. Much of the rest of the email is unintelligible because it is heavily redacted for containing information that is later considered classified, at the “confidential” level.

The email will be made public in August 2016 due to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents sent by Clinton after her tenure as secretary of state ended to officials still at the State Department. This is the only email in response to the FOIA request sent or received by Clinton later deemed classified.

Department spokesperson John Kirby will later comment: “I am not going to speak to the content but I would point you to that one of the FOIA exemptions here we used was 1.4B which is foreign government information. And as we previously explained, while foreign government information may be protected from public release, both the executive order on classification and the foreign affairs manual acknowledge that foreign government information can often be maintained on unclassified systems.” (NBC News, 9/1/2016) (US Department of State, 6/26/2016)

A device is bought to make back-ups of Clinton’s private server, but a Clinton company makes clear it doesn’t want any back-up data stored remotely.

130531austinmcchorderiktraufmannhearstctmedia1

Datto Cloud engineer Charles Lundblad (left) chats with CEO and founder of Datto, Austin McChord, at the firm’s Norwalk, CT headquarters. (Credit: Erik Traufmann / Hearst Connecticut Media)

On May 31, 2013, Platte River Networks (PRN) takes over management of Clinton’s private server. On the same day, PRN buys a Datto SIRIS S2000 data storage device, which is made by Datto, Inc. Over the next month, this is attached to Clinton’s server to provide periodic back-up copies of the data on the server. PRN sends a bill for the device to Clinton Executive Service Corp. (CESC), which is a Clinton family company.

CESC employees work with PRN employees on how the Datto device is configured. Datto offers a local back-up and a remote back-up using the Internet “cloud.” CESC asks for a local back-up and specifically requests that no data be stored in the Internet cloud at any time.

However, due to an apparent misunderstanding, back-up copies of the server will be periodically made both locally and in the cloud. This will only be discovered by PRN as a whole in August 2015. (US Congress, 9/12/2016)

However, despite internal PRN emails from August 2015 indicating many PRN employees didn’t know about the Datto cloud back-up until that time, the FBI will later find evidence that an unknown PRN employee deleted data from the cloud back-up in March 2015, meaning that at least one PRN employee had to have known about the cloud back-up by that time.

Clinton’s server is relocated and then replaced by a new server, but the old server keeps running.

After Platte River Networks (PRN) is selected to manage Clinton’s private email server on May 31, 2013, the company decides to immediately relocate the server and then also replace it with a better one.

130601PlatteRiverFoundersPlatteRiverNetworks

The founders of Platte River Network: Brent Allshouse (left) and Treve Suavo (right). (Credit: Platte River Networks)

PRN assigns two employees to manage the new server (which will be the third server used by Clinton). The FBI will later redact the names of these two employees, but it is known that one of them works remotely from his home in some unnamed town and will handle the day-to-day administration of the server, and the other one works at PRN’s headquarters in Denver, Colorado, and handles all hardware installation and any required physical maintenance of the server. Media reports will later name the two employees as Paul Combetta, who works from Rhode Island, and Bill Thornton.

The employee at PRN’s headquarters (who logically would be Thorton) works with Clinton’s computer technician Bryan Pagliano to help with the transition. Around June 4, 2013, this person is granted administrator access to the server, as well as any accompanying services.

130601EquinixLogo

Equinix Logo (Credit: public domain)

On June 23, 2013, this person travels to Clinton’s house in Chappaqua, New York, shuts down the server, and transports it to a data center in Secaucus, New Jersey, run by Equinix, Inc. This older server will stay at the Equinix facility until it is given to the FBI on October 3, 2015.

The PRN headquarters employee (still likely to be Thornton) turns the old server back on in the Equinix data center so users can continue to access their email accounts. Then he spends a few days there setting up a new server. When he leaves, all the physical equipment for the new server is successfully installed except for an intrusion detection device, which Equinix installs later, once it gets shipped.

Meanwhile, the PRN employee who works remotely (Combetta) does his remote work to get the new server online. Around June 30, 2013, this employee begins to transfer all the email accounts from the old server to the new one. After several days, all email accounts hosted on the presidentclinton.com, wjcoffice.com, and clintonemail.com domains are transferred. However, PRN keeps the old server online at the Equinix data center along with the new server to ensure email continues to be delivered. But the old server no longer hosts email services for the Clintons.

According to an FBI report made public in September 2016, “The new Clinton email server hosted email for [Hillary] Clinton, President Clinton, [redacted], and their respective staffs.”

130601DellPowerEdgeR620

The Dell PowerEdge R620 (Credit: public domain)

This same FBI report will explain that the new server consists of the following equipment: “a Dell PowerEdge R620 server hosting four virtual machines, including four separate virtual machines for Microsoft Exchange email hosting, a BES for the management of BlackBerry devices, a domain controller to authenticate password requests, and an administrative server to manage the other three virtual machines, a Datto SfRlS 2000 to store onsite and remote backups of the server system, a CloudJacket device for intrusion prevention, two Dell switches, and two Fortinet Fortigate 80C firewalls.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

The FBI report will not make entirely clear what happens to the data on the old server. But a September 2015 Washington Post article will assert that after PRN moved all the data onto a new server, everything on the original server was deleted until it is “blank.” However, it was not wiped, which means having the old files overwritten several times with new data until they can never be recovered. (The Washington Post, 9/12/2015)

Some of Clinton’s emails are later recovered due to a back-up of computer files made on this date.

130629DattoSIRISS2000Datto

The Datto SIRIS S2000 (Credit: Datto, Inc.)

In June 2013, Platte River Networks (PRN) takes over management of Clinton’s server. Late in the month, they replace the server with a new one and then transfer the data to it. They subcontract with the company Datto, Inc. and purchase a device called the Datto SIRIS S2000 to make periodic back-ups of all the data on the new server. The first such back-up takes place on June 24, 2013.

But data is still being transferred from the old server to the new one. The June 29, 2013 back-up will later prove to be the most important one for FBI investigators, as it apparently is the first one after the data transfer is completed. From that point onwards, emails from Clinton’s four years as secretary of state are likely to only get lost from the server, not added.

The FBI will later report that all of Clinton’s emails at the start of Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, from January 23, 2009 to March 17, 2009 were missing from the over 30,000 emails Clinton handed over. But the FBI’s Clinton investigation recovered some these emails because they were “captured through a Datto backup on June 29, 2013. However, the emails obtained are likely only a subset of the emails sent or received by Clinton during this time period.”

Clinton’s first server was replaced around March 18, 2009 by the same server that PRN then decided to replace in June 2013. But presumably some of the emails on the first server were transferred to the second server, from instance by being in email inboxes, and then were transferred again by PRN to the newest (and third) server.

One thing that isn’t clear is how many of the emails from after March 18, 2009 were recovered by the FBI. It also isn’t clear if the FBI recovered emails from a Datto device attached to the new server, or if it was from a copy of the data that Datto kept in the “cloud,” over the Internet. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Clinton’s emails still are not encrypted.

According to an unnamed Platte River Networks (PRN) employee, Clinton’s server has encryption protection to combat hackers, but the individual emails have not been protected with encryption. With PRN taking over management of the server in June 2013, this employee will later tell the FBI that “the Clintons originally requested that email on [Clinton’s] server be encrypted such that no one but the users could read the content. However, PRN ultimately did not configure the email settings this way, to allow system administrators to troubleshoot problems occurring within user accounts.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

State Department officials find 17 FOIA requests relating to Clinton’s emails at the time the department found her email address, but none of the requesters are told about the emails.

Sheryl Walter (Credit: Facebook)

Sheryl Walter (Credit: Facebook)

In December 2012, the non-profit group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, asking for records that show the number of Clinton’s email accounts. (US Department of State, 7/29/2016) But in May 2013, State Department official Sheryl Walter sent a response letter to CREW that stated “no records responsive to your request were located.” US Department of State, 8/29/2016)

In early June 2013, some State Department officials looking over material to possibly give to a Congressional investigation discovered Clinton’s private email address. Then, in the ensuing weeks, senior department officials debated if they were required to turn over such information. In fact, regulations state they are required to do so, but they ultimately fail to share the address with anyone anyway. (US Department of State, 5/25/2016)

During this apparent debate period, on August 7, 2013, employees of the department’s FOIA response team search for FOIA requests related to Clinton’s emails.

Geoff Hermesman (Credit: LinkedIn)

Geoff Hermesman (Credit: LinkedIn)

Margaret Grafeld mentions in an email to John Hackett, Sheryl Walter, Karen Finnegan, Geoff Hermesman, and two other department officials, “John, you mentioned yesterday requests for Secretary Clinton’s emails; may I get copies, pls [please] and thx [thanks].”

Sheryl Walter replies to the group, “Goeff, can you get a copy of all requests related to this request? Karen, I don’t think we have any litigation on this topic, do we? Did we respond to the CREW request yet?” (Walter actually was the one who wrote CREW in May 2013 that no emails had been found.)

Geoff Hermesman then replies to Sheryl Walter and the group, “Sheryl, A search of the F2 database identified 17 FOIA cases that contain Clinton in the subject line and can be further construed as requests for correspondence between the Secretary and other individuals and/or organizations. Of these, four specifically mention emails or email accounts.” He also mentions that two of those four cases are open and the other two are closed.

Gene Smilansky (Credit: New York Times)

Gene Smilansky (Credit: New York Times)

Walter then emails just Karen Finnegan and Gene Smilansky, “What about the CREW request? Is that still outstanding?”

Finnegan explains in subsequent emails to Walter and Smilansky that CREW was sent a response, and then provides the exact quote of the CREW request.

Smilansky, who is a department lawyer and legal counsel, then asks Walter and Finnegan to discuss it with him over the phone, so that is the end of the email trail. (US Department of State, 8/29/2016)

There is no evidence any of the 17 FOIA requesters are told about Clinton emails that are responsive to their cases, presumably due to the above-mentioned higher-level department debate. Only in the later half of 2014 will the department change this policy, after a new Congressional committee search for documents.

Clinton’s server gets anti-hacking protection after going several months without any.

The CloudJacket Logo (Credit: public domain)

The CloudJacket Logo (Credit: public domain)

From late June 2013 until October 2013, Platte River Networks (PRN) is managing the server, apparently without any anti-hacking software. In October 2013, the software they have been waiting for arrives and is installed. This is an intrusion detection and prevention system called CloudJacket from SECNAP Network Security.

According to a later FBI report, it “had pre-configured settings that blocked or blacklisted certain email traffic identified as potentially harmful and provided real-time monitoring, alerting, and incident response services. SECNAP personnel would receive notifications when certain activity on the network triggered an alert. These notifications were reviewed by SECNAP personnel and, at times, additional follow-up was conducted with PRN in order to ascertain whether specific activity on the network was normal or anomalous. Occasionally, SECNAP would send email notifications to [an unnamed PRN employee], prompting him to block certain IP addresses. [This employee] described these notifications as normal and did not recall any serious security incident or intrusion attempt.”

Additionally, “PRN also implemented two firewalls for additional protection of the network. [This PRN employee] stated that he put two firewalls in place for redundancy in case one went down.”

The FBI report will also conclude, “Forensic analysis of alert email records automatically generated by CloudJacket revealed multiple instances of potential malicious actors attempting to exploit vulnerabilities on the PRN Server. FBI determined none of the activity, however, was successful against the server.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

In a private speech, Clinton says she had to leave her phone and computer in a special box when traveling to China and Russia, but there is evidence she sent at least one email from Russia.

Clinton is greeted by Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg Oleg Markov as US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul looks on in St. Petersburg, Russia, on June 28, 2012.

Clinton is greeted by Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg Oleg Markov, as US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul looks on in St. Petersburg, Russia, on June 28, 2012. (Credit: public domain)

Clinton gives a private paid speech for Goldman Sachs, a financial services company. In it, she says, “[A]nybody who has ever traveled in other countries, some of which shall remain nameless, except for Russia and China, you know that you can’t bring your phones and your computers. And if you do, good luck. I mean, we would not only take the batteries out, we would leave the batteries and the devices on the plane in special boxes. Now, we didn’t do that because we thought it would be fun to tell somebody about. We did it because we knew that we were all targets and that we would be totally vulnerable.”

She will make similar comments in a private paid speech on August 28, 2014: “[E]very time I went to countries like China or Russia, I mean, we couldn’t take our computers, we couldn’t take our personal devices, we couldn’t take anything off the plane because they’re so good, they would penetrate them in a minute, less, a nanosecond. So we would take the batteries out, we’d leave them on the plane.”

The comments from both speeches will be flagged as potentially politically embarrassing by Tony Carrk, Clinton’s research director. Although the comments are made in private, Carrk’s January 2016 email mentioning the quotes will be made public by WikiLeaks in October 2016. (WikiLeaks, 10/7/2016)

Based on information from 2016 FBI interviews of Clinton and her aide Huma Abedin, it appears Clinton used her BlackBerry while still secretary of state to send an email to President Obama from St. Petersburg, Russia on June 28, 2012.

In a private speech, Clinton says that her department officials “were not even allowed to use mobile devices because of security issues.”

Clinton gives a private paid speech for Goldman Sachs, a financial services company. In it, she says, “[W]hen I got to the State Department, we were so far behind in technology, it was embarrassing. And, you know, people were not even allowed to use mobile devices because of security issues and cost issues, and we really had to try to push into the last part of the Twentieth Century in order to get people functioning in 2009 and ’10.

The comments will be flagged as potentially politically embarrassing by Tony Carrk, Clinton’s research director, due to Clinton’s daily use of a BlackBerry mobile device during the same time period. Although the comment is made in private, Carrk’s January 2016 email mentioning the quote will be made public by WikiLeaks in October 2016. (WikiLeaks, 10/7/2016)

In a private speech, Clinton asks why the computers of a fugitive whistleblower were not exploited by foreign countries “when my cell phone was going to be exploited.”

Clinton was keynote speaker at Goldman Sachs annual dinner that was hosted at the Clinton Global Initiative on September 23, 2013. (Credit: public domain)

Clinton was keynote speaker at Goldman Sachs annual dinner that was hosted at the Clinton Global Initiative on September 23, 2014. (Credit: public domain)

Clinton gives a private paid speech for Goldman Sachs, a financial services company. In it, she says, “[W]hat I think is true, despite [NSA fugitive whistleblower Edward] Snowden’s denials, is that if he actually showed up in Hong Kong [China] with computers and then showed up in Mexico with computers. Why are those computers not exploited when my cell phone was going to be exploited?” (Snowden was on the run from the US government and eventually settled in Russia earlier in 2013.)

The comments will be flagged as potentially politically embarrassing by Tony Carrk, Clinton’s research director, due to later revelations of Clinton’s poor security of her BlackBerry while Secretary of State. FBI Director James Comey will later call her “extremely careless.” Although the comment is made in private, Carrk’s January 2016 email mentioning the quote will be made public by WikiLeaks in October 2016. (WikiLeaks, 10/7/2016)

October 30, 2013 – Ukraine president Yanukovich is pressured to join the EU by Victoria Nuland threat to extradite and imprison Dmitry Firtash

“A Vienna, Austria, court has ruled that Victoria Nuland (right), the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, attempted to pressure the President of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovich (left), into accepting Ukrainian association with the European Union (EU) by threatening Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash with arrest, extradition to the US, and imprisonment on allegations of bribery several years ago in India.

The details were exposed for the first time in public in a proceeding in the Landesgerichtsstrasse Regional Court last Thursday (April 30, 2015). Austrian judge Christoph Bauer was presiding on the application by the US Government for the extradition of Firtash. The transcript of the proceeding has not yet been issued publicly, nor the official text of the judge’s ruling from the bench.

Judge Bauer rejected extradition, ruling there had been improper political interference by the US Government in the Firtash case. This is a violation, according to Bauer’s judgement, of Article 4, section 3 of the US-Austria Extradition Treaty of 1998. “Extradition shall not be granted,” the proviso declares, “if the executive authority of the Requested State determines that the request was politically motivated.” Read the treaty in full here.

A New York Times reporter, David Herszenhorn (below, left), tweeted during the proceedings against Firtash (right, centre), and then published a report of what was translated for him from the German.

The newspaper version: “Mr. Firtash’s lawyers asserted that an initial request by the United States for his arrest, on Oct. 30, 2013, was directly tied to a trip to Ukraine by an assistant secretary of state, Victoria Nuland, in which she sought to prevent Mr. Yanukovych from backing out of a promise to sign sweeping political and trade agreements with Europe. Ms. Nuland left Washington on the day the arrest request was submitted to Austria. The request was rescinded four days later, said a lawyer, Christian Hausmaninger, after Ms. Nuland came to believe she had received assurances from Mr. Yanukovych that he would sign the accords. From that point, nothing happened in the Indian bribery case, Mr. Hausmaninger [defence lawyer for Firtash] said, until Feb. 26, 2014four days after Mr. Yanukovych was ousted after months of street protests. The arrest request was renewed then, and the Austrian authorities detained Mr. Firtash two weeks later, the same day the new Ukrainian prime minister, Arseniy P. Yatsenyuk, was visiting President Obama at the White House.”

A different record of what was said in court can be read in Herszenhorn’s twitter feed for April 30, 2015; there were 87 separate tweets. This record reveals that Judge Bauer heard evidence that the US Government had shown political favour for Yulia Tymoshenko to replace President Victor Yanukovich; intervened to block the Firtash-supported candidacy of Vitaly Klitschko as Ukrainian president after Yanukovich’s ouster on February 22, 2014; and sought reallocation of Firtash’s assets in the gas and titanium sectors. For more on the US interest in Ukrainian titanium, read this. For the file on the US decision not to prosecute Tymoshenko for corruption, making and receiving bribes, click this.

Herszenhorn hints that the Austrian government intervened administratively to swing the outcome of the case against the US. “At least 4 lawyers arguing for #Firtash in Vienna court, more in gallery or not here. Only 1 Austria govt lawyer in support US extradition.”

The US State Department has yet to respond. “We are disappointed with the court’s ruling” Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said in an e-mailed statement to US newspapers. On the telephone to a London outlet on Friday, Carr claimed the Justice Department has “filed an appeal”.

The timeline for the US charges against Firtash was first reported here. The allegations claim bribery commenced in April 2006. Transactions identified in the published indictment are dated between April 2006 and July 2010. The Chicago grand jury investigation is dated January 2012. The official indictment, according to the Austrian documents, was not dated until June 2013. The US request to the Austrian government for the arrest of Firtash on the extradition warrant was dated October 30, 2013, then withdrawn on November 4, 2013. It was re-issued on February 27, 2014. The Austrian arrest took place on March 12, 2014.

(Credit: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

The US Government officials in charge of this process included Eric Holder (right), who was US Attorney-General from February 3, 2009 until April 27, 2015; Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State from January 21, 2009, until February 1, 2013; and Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State from September 18, 2013. In that same month, September 2013, there was a change of director at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – Robert Mueller was replaced on September 4, 2013, by James Comey.

The FBI Chicago office conducted the investigation. At the start, the agent in charge in Chicago was Robert Grant, who was in his position from 2004 until September 2012. Grant was replaced by Cory Nelson on November 2, 2012, but he lasted only seven months until July of 2013. His temporary substitute was Robert Shields until Robert Holley took over on November 12, 2013.

The US District Attorney in charge of the Firtash grand jury was Patrick Fitzgerald (below, left), but he resigned in June of 2012. He was then succeeded temporarily by a deputy until Zachary Fardon (right) took office on October 23, 2013.

The State Department announced Nuland’s visit to Kiev for November 3 and 4, 2013. According to the US Embassy in Kiev, in a transcript of Nuland’s statement on November 4, Nuland had “a very good and very long meeting with the President.” She claimed in addition: “The President made clear in that meeting that Ukraine has made its choice and its choice is for Europe. The United States supports Ukraine’s right to choose, and we are committed to supporting Ukraine as it works to meet the remaining few requirements for an Association Agreement with the European Union and the trade benefits that come with it. We also took the opportunity tonight to congratulate Ukraine on all of the work it has already done to meet the conditions that the European Union has set forth — literally dozens of pieces of legislation. I delivered a letter this evening from Secretary Kerry to the President.”

In the wake of the revelations in the Austrian court proceeding a record of part of what Nuland and Yanukovich discussed has surfaced. Tape-recordings of Nuland’s confidential remarks in Kiev have surfaced in the past and can be read here. The following content cannot be corroborated, and its accuracy should be treated with caution:

NULAND: Mr President, we will have Firtash arrested unless you agree to sign the [EU] Association Agreement.

YANUKOVICH: Okay, I’ll sign.

In the background, a telephone rings. Audible footsteps, mumbling, as Yanukovich excuses himself to take the call. In his absence, Nuland whispers to Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt.

NULAND: We got the guy by the [f…… b….], huh?

PYATT: Way to go, Toria!

(Separate telephone tape, in Russian)

YANUKOVICH: You’re off the hook, Dima. The АМЕРИКАНКА fell for it.

FIRTASH: МОЛОДЕЦ! Mr President.”

According to Herszenhorn’s twitter feed, “True or not #Firtash lawyers have strung together a fascinating narrative of his legal travails rising/falling based on US State Dept goals.” (John Helmer, 5/02/2015)  (Archive)

(Republished with permission)

Clinton’s old server, no longer being used, is turned off.

In June 2013, Platte River Networks (PRN) took over the management of Clinton’s private server. They immediately moved her server to an Equinix data center in Secaucus, New Jersey, and then transferred the data to a new server. The old server remained turned on next to the new one, apparently to assist with the delivery of incoming emails.

According to a September 2015 FBI interview with Paul Combetta, the PRN employee who does most of the active management of the server, around December 2013, PRN decides that email delivery on the new server is working well. As a result, the old server is turned off. It, along with a NAS back-up hard drive attached to it, will remain disconnected until the FBI picks it up on August 12, 2015. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/23/2016)

The data on Clinton’s first private server is transferred to another computer, causing some of Clinton’s emails to be lost.

When Clinton became secretary of state in January 2009, her emails were hosted on her first private email server, which was an Apple computer (either an Apple Power Macintosh G4 or G5 tower). In March 2009, the server was replaced by a new one built by Clinton’s computer technician Bryan Pagliano. The old server was repurposed to serve as a personal computer and/or workstation for household staff at Clinton’s Chappaqua, New York, house.

At some unknown point in 2014, the data on this Apple computer is transferred to an Apple iMac computer. The hard drive of the old Apple computer is then discarded. Clinton’s emails from January 2009 until around March 18, 2009, are apparently lost as a result.

On October 14, 2015, Williams & Connolly, the law firm of Clinton’s personal lawyer David Kendall, tells the Justice Department that a review of the iMac was conducted, as requested by the Justice Department, and no emails were found belonging to Clinton from when she was secretary of state. The FBI will not directly examine the iMac. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

In a private speech, Clinton says when she got to State Department, employees “were not mostly permitted to have handheld devices.”

Clinton attends a meeting with General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt and various business leaders on September 21, 2009. (Credit: public domain)

Clinton gives a private paid speech for General Electric. In it, she says that when she arrived at the State Department as secretary of state, employees “were not mostly permitted to have handheld devices. I mean, so you’re thinking how do we operate in this new environment dominated by technology, globalizing forces? We have to change, and I can’t expect people to change if I don’t try to model it and lead it.”

The comments will be flagged as potentially politically embarrassing by Tony Carrk, Clinton’s research director, due to Clinton’s daily use of a BlackBerry mobile device during the same time period. Although the comment is made in private, Carrk’s January 2016 email mentioning the quote will be made public by WikiLeaks in October 2016. (WikiLeaks, 10/7/2016)

February 2014 – Clinton and DNC collusion began in 2014 with the Voter Expansion Project

Hillary Clinton proudly accepts the 2016 nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA.. (Credit: Gage Skidmore/HuffPo)

(…) “In February 2014, Former President Clinton and Hillary Clinton announced their commitment to support the “Voter Expansion Project“, the new DNC initiative announced in the winter of 2013. Beyond a short blurb on NPR, this project and its relevance to the ever-unfolding events of Hillary Clinton’s failed second run for president remains largely unexamined.

The Clintons were central to the Voter Expansion Project, which the DNC officials believed would appeal to their donor base and that, in turn, “would help the Clintons raise money to help extinguish the DNC’s nearly $16 million in debt left from its 2012 effort to re-elect President Obama”. The Clintons pledged to help retire that debt, but as it turns out, they did not. Instead, according to Donna Brazile’s book excerpt published by Politico, they used this debt as an opportunity to exploit campaign financing laws and contractually take over the operations of the DNC in August 2015, a year prior to Hillary becoming the official DNC nominee for President. When Brazile audited the DNC books, she discovered former chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a staunch Clinton loyalist, continued to pay high retainer fees to consultants and firms siphoning money to people and organizations that displayed fealty to the Clintons or their neoliberal ideals.

Seth Rich (Credit: public domain)

What is important to note is the Clintons had their hands on the DNC voter data and likely began to plot Hillary’s state-by-state campaign strategy when they took over the Voter Expansion Project in February 2014. This directly contradicts her version of events that when she inherited the DNC as the nominee in late July 2016, “it was bankrupt, it was on the verge of insolvency, its data was mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong.” And there wouldn’t have been anyone more knowledgeable about DNC data than the Voter Expansion Project’s Data Director, Seth Rich, but he was murdered on July 10, 2016, just two weeks before the DNC convention in Philly. The case still remains unsolved. Although Hillary Clinton continues to blame the condition of the DNC, in part, for her loss, none of this would prevent her from campaigning for Wasserman Schultz’s 2016 reelection bid, even after her forced resignation from the DNC, giving the appearance of “all’s good” crooked cronyism.

(…) “Despite two years of strategizing, hundreds of millions of dollars spent, the overwhelming support of liberal corporate media, and the manipulation of superdelegates, Hillary Clinton still lost to the worst candidate in U.S. history, Donald J. Trump.

When Donna Brazile’s explosive claims came out, Hillary Clinton had been enjoying her time “stumping”, as it were, to reinforce her false narrative of campaign events; all blame pointing outward – to Russia, Bernie, Seth’s data, to the DNC, to misogyny. Truth be told, Hillary Clinton is not a victim as she hopes we’ll believe, but a very wealthy, powerful, privileged woman who went to great lengths to rig the primary against Senator Bernie Sanders and to win the presidency at all costs, even at risk of a Trump presidency.” (Read more: Huffington Post, 11/07/17)

A laptop containing all of Clinton’s emails from one year earlier is permanently lost in the mail.

In the spring of 2013, Clinton aide Monica Hanley made a copy of all of Clinton’s emails on a MacBook laptop to make a safe back-up copy of them. Then she apparently forgot to do anything with it for nearly a full year.

The 2013 Apple Mac Book Air Laptop (Credit: public domain)

The 2013 Apple MacBook Air Laptop (Credit: public domain)

In early 2014, Hanley finds the laptop where it has been stored at her personal residence. She attempts to transfer the archive of Clinton’s emails to Platte River Networks (PRN), the computer company which is managing Clinton’s private server by this time. She works with PRN employee Paul Combetta. After trying unsuccessfully to remotely transfer the emails to him, Hanley ships the laptop to his residence in February 2014. Combetta then transfers Clinton’s emails from the laptop onto Clinton’s private server.

This server already should contain all of Clinton’s old emails. But the server that existed when Hanley made the back-up in the spring of 2013 was replaced in June 2013 by a new server, so it is possible that some emails get transferred at the time didn’t get successfully transferred before.

Combetta transfers all of the Clinton email content to a personal Gmail email address he created. Then he downloads all the emails from the Gmail account to a mailbox on the new Clinton server. He will later tell the FBI that he used the Gmail as a middle step because he had format compatibility issues.

Hanley will later tell the FBI that she recommended that PRN wipe the laptop after the emails were transferred to the server. (“Wiping” means repeatedly overwriting the data so it can never be recovered.) However, Combetta will tell the FBI that once the transfer was done, he deleted the emails from the laptop but didn’t do any wiping. He also deleted the emails uploaded to the Gmail account.

According to the FBI’s final report, Combetta then ships the laptop to a person whose name will later be redacted, but works on Clinton’s staff in some capacity. He ships it through the mail, using United States Postal Service (USPS) or United Parcel Service (UPS). The unnamed Clinton staffer will later tell the FBI that she never received the laptop. She will say that Clinton’s staff was moving offices at the time, and it would have been easy for the package to get lost during the transition period.

According to Combetta’s September 2015 FBI interview, he “shipped the foregoing MacBook back to [redacted], but recalled nothing about the return shipment.” That would presumably mean he shipped it back to Hanley, since she shipped it to him. But in Hanley’s January 2016 interview, she will claim to have asked another woman (whose name is redacted) if they ever received laptop and were told they did not. Thus it would appear Combetta and Hanley will have different accounts of who is sent the laptop.

The laptop is apparently permanently lost. However, some of Clinton’s emails will somehow be recovered from the Gmail account in 2016, even though they were all deleted. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016) (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/23/2016)

February 4-27, 2014 – The Obama administration’s involvement in the 2014 Ukrainian coup

(…) “On or shortly before Feb. 4, 2014, Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs in the Obama State Department, had a conversation with the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, which was intercepted and leaked.

In the call, Nuland and Pyatt appeared to be discussing the ouster of Yanukovych and the installation of opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk as prime minister.

Nuland favored opposition leader Yatsenyuk over his main rivals Vitali Klitschko and Oleh Tyahnybok, telling Pyatt: “I think Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. He’s the … what he needs is Klitschko and Tyahnybok on the outside.”

Toward the end of the conversation, then-Vice President Biden was discussed as being willing to help cement the changeover in Ukraine:

Geoffrey Pyatt: “We want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing. The other issue is some kind of outreach to Yanukovych, but we probably regroup on that tomorrow as we see how things start to fall into place.”

Victoria Nuland: “So, on that piece Geoff, when I wrote the note [Biden’s national security adviser Jake] Sullivan’s come back to me VFR [direct to me], saying you need Biden, and I said probably tomorrow for an atta-boy and to get the deets [details] to stick. So Biden’s willing.”

Nuland and Pyatt met with Ukrainian opposition leaders Klitschko and Yatsenyuk, along with then-President Yanukovych, just days later on Feb. 7, 2014.

Events then moved swiftly. On Feb. 22, 2014, Yanukovych was removed as president of Ukraine and fled to Russia. On Feb. 27, 2014, Yatsenyuk, the candidate favored by Nuland, was installed as prime minister of Ukraine. Klitschko was left out. Notably, Yatsenyuk would later resign in April 2016 amid corruption accusations. (Read more: The Epoch Times, 4/26/2019)

March 2014 – January 2015: The Clintons bag at least $3.4 million for 18 speeches funded by Keystone Pipeline banks

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce head office in Toronto, Ontario (Credit: public domain)

(…)”Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and TD Bank—two of the Keystone XL pipeline’s largest investors—fully or partially bankrolled eight Hillary Clinton speeches that “put more than $1.6 million in the Democratic candidate’s pocket,”

(…) “Clinton’s first swing through Canada started on March 5, 2014, with a speech that cost the Vancouver Board of Trade $275,500. While Clinton’s financial disclosure form reported the board as the payer, an invite to the event also lists “presenting sponsors” as TD Bank and Vancouver City Savings Credit Union. Following her speech, Clinton participated in a question-and-answer session hosted by TD Bank Deputy Chairman Frank McKenna.

Frank McKenna (Credit: Wikipedia)

The next day in Calgary, Clinton gave another speech reportedly paid for by tinePublic at a cost of $225,500. McKenna also came along to interview her after the speech. Martin confirmed that TD Bank also sponsored this speech.

In June, Clinton gave a speech in Toronto for a price of $150,000. The primary sponsor was TD Bank, according to an invite. Other sponsors included the Canadian Club of Toronto, Blakes Lawyers, KPMG and the Real Estate Investment Network. For the third time, McKenna interviewed Clinton after the speech.

Clinton went west to the city of Edmonton on June 18 to give another tinePublic-paid speech for a $100,000 price. The chief sponsor of this speech, according to the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, was CIBC. Victor Dodig, then senior executive vice president at CIBC, interviewed Clinton on stage after her remarks.

On Oct. 6, 2014, Clinton traveled up north again to speak at a meeting hosted by the liberal think tank Canada 2020. CIBC, which is also a funder of Canada 2020, was the primary sponsor of this $215,500 speech, according to a Canada 2020 web page for the event. Lesser sponsors included Air Canada, the Canadian Real Estate Association, Johnson & Johnson, Ernst & Young, Stampede Group and Telus. Again, Dodig, by then promoted to president and CEO, handled the Q&A session.

Over a span of two days in January, Clinton gave three more speeches — one directly paid for by CIBC and two paid by tinePublic, but sponsored by CIBC. On Jan. 21, she spoke in Winnipeg for $262,000 and then Saskatoon for $262,500. The next day she spoke at that CIBC event in Whistler for $150,000 — the only speech directly reported on her financial disclosure form as having been paid for by a Canadian bank. Dodig pitched questions to Clinton after each of these three speeches.

CIBC and TD Bank both have large energy portfolios and have pushed for the U.S. government to approve final construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would link the Canadian oil sands in Alberta through the middle of the United States to Texas and the Gulf of Mexico.” (Read more: Huffington Post, 5/31/2015)

April 2014 – March 2016: Joe Biden faces conflict of interest questions re Ukraine

“Two years after leaving office, Joe Biden couldn’t resist the temptation last year to brag to an audience of foreign policy specialists about the time as vice president that he strong-armed Ukraine into firing its top prosecutor.

In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling Poroshenko.

“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event, insisting that President Obama was in on the threat.

Interviews with a half-dozen senior Ukrainian officials confirm Biden’s account, though they claim the pressure was applied over several months in late 2015 and early 2016, not just six hours of one dramatic day. Whatever the case, Poroshenko and Ukraine’s parliament obliged by ending Shokin’s tenure as prosecutor. Shokin was facing steep criticism in Ukraine, and among some U.S. officials, for not bringing enough corruption prosecutions when he was fired.

But Ukrainian officials tell me there was one crucial piece of information that Biden must have known but didn’t mention to his audience: The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings that employed Biden’s younger son, Hunter, as a board member [in April 2014].

U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts — usually more than $166,000 a month — from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia.

Joe Biden’s last visit to Kiev, January 17, 2017. (Credit: Genya Savilov/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

The general prosecutor’s official file for the Burisma probe — shared with me by senior Ukrainian officials — shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.

Shokin told me in written answers to questions that, before he was fired as general prosecutor, he had made “specific plans” for the investigation that “included interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden.”

He added: “I would like to emphasize the fact that presumption of innocence is a principle in Ukraine” and that he couldn’t describe the evidence further.” (Read more: The Hill, 4/01/2019)

April 18, 2014 – Hunter Biden is appointed to the Burisma board, four days later Joe Biden addresses the Ukrainian Parliament offering support and money

(…) In April, Biden would get personally involved, as would his son, Hunter. On April 18, 2014, Hunter Biden was appointed to the board of directors for Burisma–one of the largest natural gas companies in Ukraine.

VP Joe Biden addresses the Ukrainian parliament, April 22, 2014. (Credit: The Associated Press)

Four days later, on April 22, 2014, Vice President Biden traveled to Ukraine, offering his political support and $50 million in aid for Yatsenyuk’s shaky new government. Poroshenko, a billionaire politician, was elected as president of Ukraine on May 25, 2014.

Biden became close to both men and helped Ukraine obtain a four-year, $17.5 billion IMF package in March 2015.

In October 2016, Foreign Policy wrote a lengthy article, “What Will Ukraine Do Without Uncle Joe,” which described Biden’s role in the removal of Ukraine’s general prosecutor, Victor Shokin. Shokin, the choice of Poroshenko, was portrayed as fumbling a major corruption case and “hindering an investigation into two high-ranking state prosecutors arrested on corruption charges.”

The United States pushed for Shokin’s removal, and Biden led the effort by personally threatening to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees. In an interview with The Atlantic, Biden recalled telling Poroshenko: “Petro, you’re not getting your billion dollars. It’s OK, you can keep the [prosecutor] general. Just understand—we’re not paying if you do.” Shokin was removed by Poroshenko shortly thereafter, in early 2016.

But according to reporting by The Hill, at the time of his firing, Shokin had been investigating Burisma. Shokin’s investigation into Burisma had previously been disclosed in June 2017, by Front News International.

Burisma is owned by Nikolai Zlochevsky (also known as Mykola Zlochevsky), the former minister of ecology for Ukraine. According to Front News, Zlochevsky issued a “special permit for the extraction of a third of the gas produced in Ukraine” to his own company, Burisma.

According to the Ukrainian nonprofit Anti Corruption Action Center, Zlochevsky owns 38 permits held by 14 different companies—with Burisma accounting for the majority with 33 of the permits. Zlochevsky left Ukraine after Yanukovych fled to Russia during the Ukrainian Revolution known as Euromaidan.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 4/26/2019)

April 30, 2014 – March 15, 2016: The Kolomoisky pyramid starts with Hillary Clinton and Victoria Nuland at the State Department and Christine Lagarde of the IMF

(Credit: John Helmer)

“When Igor Kolomoisky (lead image, centre) financed anti-Russian units operating with the Ukrainian Army in the Ukrainian civil war, he was a staunch ally of Petro Poroshenko’s government in Kiev and the Obama Administration’s chief Ukraine policymakers, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (left) and her Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, Victoria Nuland (right).

They in turn dominated the voting on the board of directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by managing director Christine Lagarde. Following the US regime change which installed Poroshenko’s regime in the spring of 2014, the IMF voted massive loans for the Ukraine to replace the Russian financing on which the regime of Victor Yanukovich had depended.  More than a third of the fresh IMF money was paid out by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), the state’s central bank, into PrivatBank controlled by Kolomoisky and his partner, Gennady Bogolyubov.

At the time, investigations of Kolomoisky’s business and banking practices, and the special relationship he cultivated with the NBU, reported he was stealing the money through a pyramid of front companies lending each other the IMF cash which was not intended to be repaid. Clinton, Nuland, Lagarde and the IMF staff and board of directors ignored the evidence, as they continued to top up Kolomoisky’s pyramid. Criminal investigations by the US Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were also reported at the time; they were neutralized by their superiors.

A new Delaware state court filing a month ago, triggering new US media reports, appears to signal a shift in US Government policy towards Kolomoisky. Or else, as some Ukrainian policy experts believe, it is a move by US officials to put pressure on the new Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, whom Kolomoisky supported in his successful election campaign to replace Poroshenko.

In the new court papers, front company names and the count and value of US transactions between them,  which PrivatBank has dug out of its own bank records,  is published for the first time. But the scheme itself is not new. It was fully exposed in 2014-2015 in this archive.  Nor is it news, as subsequent US media reports claim, that the FBI is investigating Kolomoisky and his US associates for criminal racketeering. The FBI investigation was first reported here.

(Credit: Steve Bell, August 28, 2014)

What is missing is an explanation of why it has taken so long for the PrivatBank case against Kolomoisky to surface in the US courts and in the US press. Also missing is a list of the accomplices and co-conspirators in the scheme. These include officials of the IMF,  the US and Canadian Governments who knowingly directed billions of dollars into the NBU,  from which, as they knew full well at the time, the money went out to Kolomoisky’s PrivatBank, the largest single Ukrainian recipient of the international cash. At the top of the list of accomplices, immediately subordinate to Clinton, Nuland and Lagarde, are David Lipton, the US deputy managing director  at the IMF, and the head of the IMF in Ukraine until 2017, Jerome Vacher.

The plaintiff in the Delaware Court of Chancery is PrivatBank; it is represented by the Quinn Emanuel law firm of New York and Washington, DC.

In addition to Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov, his business partner and co-shareholder in the bank, three other individuals are named as defendants – Mordechai Korf, Chaim Schochet, and Uriel Laber. They are based in the US where they have run the US trading, production, management and investment companies which Privat now alleges were on the receiving end of the embezzlement from the bank and the onward money-laundering chain.

The story of Kolomoisky, Korf and Schochet was first reported in April 2015 here.

Left to right: Mordechai Korf; Chaim Schochet, Korf’s brother-in-law; and Uriel Laber.  Because Korf, Schochet and Laber all live in Miami, the local newspaper has investigated some of their other schemes; here’s an investigation of the environmental damage of their manganese mine in Georgia. A catch-up investigation was reported by the Kyiv Post in May 2019.

The central allegation of the new court case is: “From at least 2006 through December 2016, the UBOs  [Ultimate Beneficial Owners – Kolomoisky, Bogolyubov] were the majority and controlling stockholders of PrivatBank, one of Ukraine’s largest privately-held commercial banks. During that time period, the UBOs used PrivatBank as their own personal piggy bank—ultimately stealing billions of dollars from PrivatBank and using United States entities to launder hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of PrivatBank’s misappropriated loan proceeds into the United States to enrich themselves and their co-conspirators.”

Gennady Bogolyubov (l) and Igor Kolomoisky (Credit: public domain)

The racket – called the Optima schemes in the court papers after the names of several of the Delaware-registered companies used as fronts for moving the money into US assets – was this: “Through the Optima Schemes, the UBOs [Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov] exploited their positions of power and trust at PrivatBank to cause PrivatBank to issue hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of illegitimate, inadequately-secured loans to corporate entities also owned and/or controlled by the UBOs and/or their affiliates (the “Optima Scheme Loans”). To facilitate and fraudulently conceal the Optima Schemes from discovery, the UBOs created and utilized a secretive business unit within PrivatBank’s operations (the “Shadow Bank”) to fund the fraudulent loans and launder those loan proceeds through a sophisticated money laundering process.”

“The stated purpose for each loan involved in the Optima Schemes was typically for financing the activities of the ostensible corporate borrower. The Optima Scheme Loans, however, were sham arrangements and the proceeds were not in fact used for that purpose. Instead, sometimes within minutes of being disbursed, the loan proceeds were cycled through dozens of UBO-controlled or affiliated bank accounts at PrivatBank’s Cyprus branch (“PrivatBank Cyprus”) before being disbursed to one of multiple Delaware limited liability companies or corporations (or other United States-based entities), all of which were [controlled by the UBOs].”

“In effect, the UBOs utilized a Ponzi-type scheme: old loans issued by PrivatBank would be ‘repaid’ (along with the accrued interest) with new loans issued by PrivatBank, and those new loans issued by PrivatBank would then be repaid with a new round of loans. The UBOs and their co-conspirators continuously carried out this process to conceal their frauds. Thus, proceeds from new PrivatBank loans were used to give the appearance that the initial PrivatBank loans (along with the accrued interest) were repaid by the borrower when in fact there was no actual repayment.”

“The proceeds from the new PrivatBank Ukraine loans were then laundered through various accounts at PrivatBank Cyprus to disguise the origin of the funds (i.e., a new loan from PrivatBank), and then used to purport to pay down the initial loans plus accrued interest. On paper, this appeared to be a repayment, but in reality, it was a sham and fraud, as PrivatBank was repaying itself and increasing its outstanding liabilities in the process. This process was carried out over and over again, over a period of many years, giving the appearance that PrivatBank’s corporate loan book was performing when, in fact, new loans were being continually issued to new UBO-controlled parties to ‘pay down’ the prior, existing loans. As a result, the size of the ‘hole’ in PrivatBank’s corporate loan book grew and grew, with each iteration of a loan plus interest being ‘repaid’ through the issuance of a new loan, which accrued interest itself before being ‘repaid’ through the issuance of yet a further new loan.

(…) Most of the fresh evidence presented in Privatbank’s court papers has been gathered from Cyprus. There, according to the bank’s case, 41 front companies were used to move money. “Even though the Laundering Entities had billions of dollars moving in and out of their accounts, in reality, the entities had no business, assets, operations, or employees and were shell entities deployed for money laundering purposes.”

When the money was moved to the US,  it was then spent on real estate – four commercial buildings in Cleveland, Ohio;  two in Dallas, Texas;  one in Harvard, Illinois – together with six ferro-alloy and steel production and trading companies operating in several US states.  The court papers report the value of the real estate at acquisition at just over $287.5 million; the value of the metals companies, $468.7 million.

In addition, there were miscellaneous financial transfers with no clear end-purpose or investment target. “Based on information analyzed to date, Defendants laundered approximately $622.8 million worth of fraudulently obtained loan proceeds into the Optima Conspirators, including $188.1 million to Optima Group, $162.3 million to Optima Ventures, $153.7 million to Optima Acquisitions, $103 million to Optima International, $9 million to Warren Steel Holdings, and $6.7 million to Felman Trading. PrivatBank received no consideration in exchange for these transfers and the loans associated with the transfers were not repaid in full.”

Grand total, $1,379 million.

(…) Lawyers for the defendants are not commenting on the Delaware allegations. It can be anticipated that Kolomoisky will argue the Privatbank loans weren’t shams, and that they were repaid to the bank.  Kolomoisky has already won counter claims against PrivatBank in courts in London and Kyiv; he is now negotiating with the Kiev government to recover a 25% stake in the bank. “We have always said that we are open to negotiations. We believe that we are the injured party, that we have been robbed,” Kolomoisky has told Reuters. “Kolomoisky calculates he is due a 25 percent stake in the bank because of the capital he had put into it. Give us then our 25 percent and keep 75, we will have a joint-stock company. There will be a 25 percent participation and 75 percent by the state, as one of the options.”

Reuters also reports the Ukrainian central bank and the IMF believe Privat “was used as a vehicle for fraud and money-laundering while Kolomoisky owned it, and said the government was forced to inject $5.6 billion of taxpayers’ money into the lender to shore up its finances.” For more detail, click to read this.

The work on the transactions detailed in the Delaware court papers was commissioned by PrivatBank and the NBU from Kroll, a due diligence firm as well known for white-washing the affairs of its clients as for investigating fraud. Kroll’s report was then leaked to Graham Stack. In his report, published on April 19, Stack concludes: “The money was moved through a PrivatBank subsidiary in Cyprus. The arrangement helped hide the fact that cash was disappearing because the National Bank of Ukraine treated the Cyprus branch of PrivatBank the same as it would domestic branches. This designation meant officials never detected that cash transferred to Cyprus was leaving Ukraine. Meanwhile, Cypriot regulators either failed to detect that the various bank transfers totalling $5.5 billion were backed by bogus contracts, or didn’t take the necessary action to stop them.”

The IMF’s staff head for Ukraine, Nikolai Gueorguiev,  claimed that in March 2015 he had ordered “a new wave of  bank diagnostics” to monitor related-party lending, liquidity and capital adequacy at PrivatBank; he was dissembling.

Graham Stack (Credit: public domain)

Stack (right) also reports Kolomoisky’s response to the Delaware case: “‘I categorically deny the allegations made by the National Bank of Ukraine,’ Kolomoisky said, adding that regulators had all the access they needed to monitor his bank’s activities. He painted the authorities’ nationalization of his lending business as an asset grab. ‘Management of the [Ukrainian central bank] had as its main purpose not the support of the country’s largest bank, but its nationalization and the expropriation of the assets provided as security, together with the persecution and pressuring of the former shareholders,’ Kolomoisky said.”

Stack is an independent researcher and reporter of Ukrainian business and politics. Anders Aslund is an employee of Victor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch with bank, media and steel interests who has long been a rival of Kolomoisky’s. Aslund, a former Swedish government official, has worked for US think-tanks funded by Pinchuk. Aslund is now at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC. The council lists Pinchuk’s foundation as having giving it up to $500,000 in financing for research, including Aslund’s pay.  The US State Department, the British Foreign Office, and George Soros’s foundations are also listed as large donors.

[Anders] Aslund (left) reported on the charges on June 4. Aslund claims to be reading about the stealing scheme for the first time. “The money trail is surprisingly simple. To begin with, the ultimate beneficiary owners collect retail deposits in Ukraine by offering good conditions and service. The money then flows to their subsidiary, PrivatBank Cyprus. In Cyprus, they benefit from the services of two local law firms. Untypically, the ultimate beneficiary owners did not take the precaution to establish multiple layers of shell companies in Cyprus, the British Virgin Islands, and Cayman Islands, as is common among Russians with seriously dirty money. Instead, they operated with three US individuals in Miami, who helped them to set up a large number of anonymous LLCs in the United States, mainly in Delaware, but also in Florida, New Jersey, and Oregon.”

Aslund expresses surprise that among Kolomoisy’s investments there were US ferro-alloy and steel plants and traders. “More remarkable is that Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov, according to the suit, purchased several ferroalloy companies in the United States, Felman Production Inc., in West Virginia; Felman Trading Inc. and Georgian Manganese, LLC; Warren Steel Holdings in Warren, Ohio; Steel Rolling Holdings Inc., Gibraltar, Michigan; CC Metals and Alloys, LLC, in Kentucky; Michigan Seamless Tubes, Michigan. These appear to be medium-sized companies in small places. Real people worked in these enterprises. Why didn’t anybody raise questions about the dubious owners?” (Read much more: John Helmer, 6/30/2019)  (Archive)

(Republished in part, with permission)

May 7, 2014 – September 21, 2016: Joe Biden’s influence over law enforcement in Ukraine

Google Chrome translation:

(…) “The investigation has reason to believe that, using the political and economic levers of influence already on the new Ukrainian government and manipulating the issue of providing Ukraine with financial assistance, Joe Biden actively promoted the closure of criminal cases against Zlochevsky and other representatives of Burisma Group.

Joe Biden and Nikolai Zlochevsky (Credit Forum Daily/Ukraine)

In addition, for several years he managed to actually block the activity of Ukraine’s law enforcement agencies in restoring state-owned assets appropriated by private individuals as a result of criminal activities, including other representatives of the Yanukovych regime. How can you not remember the lists of innocent persons that the US ambassador to Ukraine, according to Yury Lutsenko, passed to him?

In the course of these efforts and with the assistance of the American side in May 2014, Vitaly Kasko (a partner and one of the leaders of the law firm Arzinger) was appointed Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine. By his direct intervention, the investigation suggests that criminal cases initiated by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine (GPU) in 2014 – 2015 against those who appropriated state assets were frozen, and it was impossible to write off funds stored in Burisma Group’s arrested accounts.

These cases include:

7 of May 2014 of the GPU opened a criminal case No. 42014000000000375 on the fact of tax evasion by officials of LLC ESCO-Pivnich, LLC Pari, LLC First Ukrainian Oil and Gas Company, Research and Production Company. OOO Zond, OOO Infoks (all companies are part of the Burisma Group holding).

5 on August 2014, criminal case No. 42014000000000805 was opened on suspicion of Zlochevsky of committing a criminal offense under 3, article 368-2, of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (acquisition of property rights by a person in a particularly responsible position and authorized to perform state functions). In particular, he was accused of receiving improper income in the amount of 35 million dollars while serving as deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine from December 2013 of the year to January 2014 of the year. 10 January 2015, Zlochevsky was put on the national wanted list.

In the second half of 2014, as part of an ongoing investigation, the British Anti-Fraud Authority arrested the accounts of Brociti Investments LTD (part of the Burisma Group), which held 23,5 million dollars (recall, a little earlier, in April 2014 of the year, on the board of the Burisma Group John Biden’s son entered, Hunter). Wherein The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine did not timely provide the information requested by this British agency, which could confirm the illegal origin of funds, and Zlochevsky’s lawyers provided the court with false information about the legal origin of the arrested funds. This data was confirmed in his testimony by an accomplice of Zlochevsky and his lawyer, who participated in the falsification of documents. Due to the lack of evidence in January 2015, the London court overturned the arrest of these accounts. “Frozen” funds were immediately transferred to offshore accounts in Cyprus.

Vitaly Kasko (Credit: public domain)

It should be noted that the draft request to the United Kingdom for the provision of international legal assistance and the continuation of the arrest of Brociti Investments LTD funds was waiting for Kasko to sign with December 31 2014. But he used his public office to delay the sending of this request, citing the need for its consideration and improvement. As a result, the final version of the document was sent to the British side only on January 21 2015 of the year, after a London court decided to cancel the arrest of accounts.

The former US ambassador to Ukraine, Jeffrey Payette [sic], commenting on this situation, called for an investigation into the “misconduct” of prosecutors who delayed providing data, but did not mention in a single word about the connection of the son of the US Vice President writes NYT.

In addition, in March 2015, in order to remove the issue of returning state ownership of Ukraine from the jurisdiction of Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, the American side initiated the creation of an interdepartmental working group to coordinate the return to Ukraine of assets illegally obtained by former Ukrainian high-ranking officials. This group was led by Kasko. The only result of the group’s activity was the draft law “On the National Agency of Ukraine for the Identification and Management of Assets Assigned by Persons as a Result of Corruption and Other Crimes”. This document received a positive assessment of the US Department of Justice, but caused a lot of critical comments from the European Commission and Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine committees.

Despite strong criticism, this bill was passed by Parliament in November 2015. The law was signed by the President of Ukraine 9 December 2015 of the year, immediately after Joe Biden’s visit to Kiev (07-08 December 2015), which may indicate American pressure on the Ukrainian authorities.

Thus, the processes of collecting proceeds from crime were put under the control of representatives of the US State Department due to organizational and legal measures and were blocked for 2,5, which gave Zlochevsky and his foreign partners time to settle all issues with the Ukrainian authorities outside the court.

Law enforcement authorities of Ukraine under the influence of the United States

Another way to prevent the investigation of the criminal activities of former representatives of the Yanukovych regime was the creation of new law enforcement agencies to combat corruption, which are fully controlled by the American side – the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office.

In particular, the law on NABU was adopted a month before Joe Biden’s planned visit to Kiev, after which 20 million US dollars were allocated to Ukraine exclusively for anti-corruption reforms in the field of law enforcement. In addition, during negotiations with the Ukrainian government, the US Vice President assured that the Obama administration would consider allocating credit guarantees to Ukraine worth 1 billion US dollars in 2015 in the event that the creation of anti-corruption bodies was successfully completed under the conditions set by Washington.

Joe Biden also actively intervened in the process of appointing heads of established anti-corruption bodies. In particular, with the help of 16 on April 2015 of the year, Artem Sytnik, managing partner of Legal Guarantees, was appointed director of NABU. According to the information available, the main argument in favor of Sytnik was his consent to active cooperation with US government and law enforcement agencies.

In September 2017, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko accused NABU of illegally tapping 140 of Ukrainian officials from various branches of government. 24 January 2018, MP Borislav Rosenblatt, filed a lawsuit with the district administrative court of the city of Kiev with a request to invalidate Sytnik’s actions involving the involvement of FBI officers in intelligence operations in Ukraine without first concluding a relevant bilateral agreement. In addition, Sytnik was accused of initiating a criminal case against Alexander Onishchenko with the goal of removing companies under his control from the Ukrainian gas market in favor of Burisma Group.

Statements by his authorized persons, made in December 2017, about the possible termination of financial support for Ukraine by the United States in the event of Sytnik’s dismissal testify to Joe Biden’s interest in preserving Sytnik’s position as director of NABU.

After the creation of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office in September 2015, Joe Biden, US Ambassador to Ukraine Jeffrey Payette [sic] and the leadership of the Ukrainian office of Transparency International openly lobbied Kasko’s appointment as head of this department, including by exerting pressure on members of the selection committee through non-governmental organizations and the media information. However, on November 30, 2015, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Shokin appointed Nazar Kholodnitsky to the post of his deputy and head of the specialized anti-corruption prosecutor’s office.

At the same time, Shokin organized and personally supervised the investigation into the facts of the corrupt activities of Zlochevsky and Joe Biden in Ukraine.

This caused Joe Biden’s sharp discontent and during his visit to Kiev 7-8 December 2015, the US Vice President in the ultimatum form demanded that the President of Ukraine dismiss Shokin, threatening to refuse to provide Ukraine credit guarantees in the amount of 1 billion dollars.

As a result, this pressure led to the resignation of Shokin in April 2016 of the year, which unblocked the processes of Ukraine receiving American financial assistance. 3 June 2016, the US government and Ukraine signed an agreement on the provision of loan guarantees in the amount of 1 billion dollars.

Moreover, Joe Biden actively used the capabilities of the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies he controls to fight his political opponents in the United States. In particular, it was NABU and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office that conducted a special information operation aimed at discrediting the head of Trump’s campaign headquarters Paul Manafort.

In the fall of 2016, in connection with the upcoming US presidential elections, and also because of his possible resignation, Joe Biden initiated activities aimed at ending the criminal prosecution of Zlochevsky and Burisma Holding Limited, since the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine achieved new arrests of the company’s assets.

First, Biden again tried to use the need of Ukraine for financial assistance. Thus, during his meeting with the President of Ukraine in the framework of the UN General Assembly (21.09.2016, New York), Biden said that the United States was ready to allocate another billion guarantees to 1. However, this proposal did not interest Kiev, since it was within the purview of the new administration of the US President, who was to be elected in less than two months.

As a result, an agreement was reached with Zlochevsky: they decided to stop criminal prosecution against him in exchange for transferring to the state budget of Ukraine part of the holding’s profit in the form of accrued additional taxes over the past years in the amount of UAH 180 million, which amounted to only a small amount of income received by the holding company in the result of criminal activity.” (Read more: Forum Daily, 3/26/3029)

May 13, 2014 – Hunter Biden joins the team of Burisma Holdings

Hunter Biden (Credit: Burisma Holdings)

R. Hunter Biden will be in charge of the Holdings’ legal unit and will provide support for the Company among international organizations. On his new appointment, he commented: “Burisma’s track record of innovations and industry leadership in the field of natural gas means that it can be a strong driver of a strong economy in Ukraine. As a new member of the Board, I believe that my assistance in consulting the Company on matters of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities will contribute to the economy and benefit the people of Ukraine.”

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Burisma Holdings, Mr. Alan Apter, noted: “The company’s strategy is aimed at the strongest concentration of professional staff and the introduction of best corporate practices, and we’re delighted that Mr. Biden is joining us to help us achieve these goals.”

R. Hunter Biden is a counsel to Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, a national law firm based in New York, USA, which served in cases including “Bush vs. Gore”, and “U.S. vs. Microsoft”. He is one of the co-founders and a managing partner of the investment advisory company Rosemont Seneca Partners, as well as chairman of the board of Rosemont Seneca Advisors. He is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Masters Program in the School of Foreign Service.

Mr. Biden has experience in public service and foreign policy. He is a director for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, The Center for National Policy, and the Chairman’s Advisory Board for the National Democratic Institute. Having served as a Senior Vice President at MBNA bank, former U.S. President Bill Clinton appointed him an Executive Director of E-Commerce Policy Coordination under Secretary of Commerce William Daley. Mr. Biden served as the Honorary Co-Chair of the 2008 Obama-Biden Inaugural Committee.

Mr. Biden is a member of the bar in the State of Connecticut, and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Court of Federal Claims. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

R. Hunter Biden is also a well-known public figure. He is chairman of the Board of the World Food Programme U.S.A., together with the world’s largest humanitarian organization, theUnited Nations World Food Programme. In this capacity he offers assistance to the poor in developing countries, fighting hunger and poverty, and helping to provide food and education to 300 million malnourished children around the world.

Company Background:
Burisma Holdings is a privately-owned oil and gas company with assets in Ukraine and operating in the energy market since 2002. To date, the company holds a portfolio with permits to develop fields in the Dnieper-Donets, the Carpathian and the Azov-Kuban basins. In 2013, the daily gas production grew steadily and at year-end amounted to 11.6 thousand BOE (barrels of oil equivalent – incl. gas, condensate and crude oil), or 1.8 million m3 of natural gas. The company sells these volumes in the domestic market through traders, as well as directly to final consumers. (Burisma Holdings, 5/13/2014)

May 14, 2014 – Glenn Greenwald describes Hillary Clinton: “Banal, corrupted, principle-free, power-hungry…”

In May 2014 during a Q & A with GQ, Glenn Greenwald is asked the following question about the upcoming 2016 election, following with his reply:

How do you feel about the early presidential jockeying?

“Hillary is banal, corrupted, drained of vibrancy and passion. I mean, she’s been around forever, the Clinton circle. She’s a fucking hawk and like a neocon, practically. She’s surrounded by all these sleazy money types who are just corrupting everything everywhere. But she’s going to be the first female president, and women in America are going to be completely invested in her candidacy. Opposition to her is going to be depicted as misogynistic, like opposition to Obama has been depicted as racist. It’s going to be this completely symbolic messaging that’s going to overshadow the fact that she’ll do nothing but continue everything in pursuit of her own power. They’ll probably have a gay person after Hillary who’s just going to do the same thing.

I hope this happens so badly, because I think it’ll be so instructive in that regard. It’ll prove the point. Americans love to mock the idea of monarchy, and yet we have our own de facto monarchy. I think what these leaks did is, they demonstrated that there really is this government that just is the kind of permanent government that doesn’t get affected by election choices and that isn’t in any way accountable to any sort of democratic transparency and just creates its own world off on its own.” (GQ, 5/14/2014)

Later, in November 2014, Greenwald writes about Hillary’s forthcoming run for the Presidency. Here are some excerpts from the Intercept:

It’s easy to strike a pose of cynicism when contemplating Hillary Clinton’s inevitable (and terribly imminent) presidential campaign. As a drearily soulless, principle-free, power-hungry veteran of DC’s game of thrones, she’s about as banal of an American politician as it gets. One of the few unique aspects to her, perhaps the only one, is how the genuinely inspiring gender milestone of her election will (following the Obama model) be exploited to obscure her primary role as guardian of the status quo.

But one shouldn’t be so jaded. There is genuine and intense excitement over the prospect of (another) Clinton presidency. Many significant American factions regard her elevation to the Oval Office as an opportunity for rejuvenation, as a stirring symbol of hope and change, as the vehicle for vital policy advances. Those increasingly inspired factions include:

Wall Street

Down on Wall Street they don’t believe (Clinton’s populist rhetoric) for a minute. While the finance industry does genuinely hate Warren, the big bankers love Clinton, and by and large they badly want her to be presidentMany of the rich and powerful in the financial industry—among them, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, Tom Nides, a powerful vice chairman at Morgan Stanley, and the heads of JPMorganChase and Bank of America—consider Clinton a pragmatic problem-solver not prone to populist rhetoric. To them, she’s someone who gets the idea that we all benefit if Wall Street and American business thrive. What about her forays into fiery rhetoric? They dismiss it quickly as political maneuvers. None of them think she really means her populism. (Read more: The Intercept, 11/14/2014)

In October 2016, candidate Donald Trump was of the same opinion:

The House Benghazi Committee reaches an agreement relating to the production of Clinton’s emails.

The committee reaches an agreement with the State Department “regarding the production of records.” This will be mentioned in a September 2016 FBI report in the context of Clinton’s emails. However, further details are not known. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

The manager of Clinton’s server asks for help in a social media forum to remove Clinton’s address from her emails.

A captured shot of Combetta's 'stonetear' GMail account with picture included. (Credit: public domain)

A captured shot of Combetta’s ‘stonetear’ GMail account with picture included. (Credit: public domain)

A Reddit user by the name of “stonetear” makes a Reddit post that will later cause controversy. Overwhelming evidence will emerge that “stonetear” is Paul Combetta, one of two Platte River Networks (PRN) employees actively managing Clinton’s private server at the time. The post reads:

“Hello all — I may be facing a very interesting situation where I need to strip out a VIP’s (VERY VIP) email address from a bunch of archived email that I have both in a live Exchange mailbox, as well as a PST file. Basically, they don’t want the VIP’s email address exposed to anyone, and want to be able to either strip out or replace the email address in the to/from fields in all of the emails we want to send out. I am not sure if something like this is possible with PowerShell, or exporting all of the emails to MSG and doing find/replaces with a batch processing program of some sort. Does anyone have experience with something like this, and/or suggestions on how this might be accomplished?”

July 24, 2014 Reddit post contained this request for advice about “stripping out” the email address of a “VERY VIP” email account. (Credit: Reddit)

This July 24, 2014 Reddit post contained a request for advice about “stripping out” the email address of a “VERY VIP” email account. (Credit: Reddit)

A response captured in the Reddit chat warning Combetta that what he wants to do is illegal. (Credit: Reddit)

A response captured in the Reddit chat warning Combetta that what he wants to do could result in “major legal issues.” (Credit: Reddit)

The post in made in a sub-forum frequented by other people who manage servers. One poster comments: “There is no supported way to do what you’re asking. You can only delete emails after they’re stored in the database. You can’t change them. If there was a feature in Exchange that allowed this, it would result in major legal issues. There may be ways to hack a solution, but I’m not aware of any.”

Despite this warning, “stonetear” replies, “As a .pst file or exported MSG files, this could be done though, yes? The issue is that these emails involve the private email address of someone you’d recognize and we’re trying to replace it with a placeholder as to not expose it.” (Reddit, 9/19/2016)

The post occurs one day after the House Benghazi Committee reached an agreement with the State Department on the production of records relating to Clinton’s communications. It also came one day after Combetta sent some of Clinton’s emails to Clinton’s lawyers so they could begin sorting them.

After Combetta is discovered to have authored the post in September 2016, Fortune Magazine will comment, “it’s not clear if there is anything illegal about the Reddit request. But the optics sure don’t look good, and strongly suggest that Combetta turned to social media for advice about how to tamper with government records that should been preserved.” (Fortune, 9/21/2016)

Heather Samuelson, one of Clinton’s lawyers, allegedly leads the sorting of over 60,000 of Clinton’s emails.

Heather Samuelson (Credit: public domain)

Heather Samuelson (Credit: public domain)

Samuelson’s task is to sort all the emails from Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state into those deemed work-related and those deemed personal. She appears to have no security clearance and no special skills or experience for such a task.

In late July 2014, Platte River Networks (PRN), the company managing Clinton’s private server, emails some of Clinton’s emails to the laptops of Samuelson and Cheryl Mills, another Clinton lawyer (and her former chief of staff). PRN sends Samuelson and Mills the rest of Clinton’s emails in late September 2014. In 2016, Samuelson will tell the FBI that the sorting review takes several months and is completed just prior to December 5, 2014, when copies of the work-related emails are given to the State Department.

According to Samuelson’s 2016 FBI interview, she does the sorting on her laptop. She puts the work-related emails she finds into a computer folder. She first adds all emails sent to or from Clinton’s email account with .gov and .mil email addresses. Then she searches the remaining emails for the names of senior leaders in the State Department, as well as members of Congress, foreign leaders, or other official contacts.

Finally, she conducts a keyword search of terms such as “Afghanistan,” “Libya,” and “Benghazi.” Samuelson will claim that she reviews the “to,” “from,” and “subject” fields of every email; but she doesn’t read the content of every individual email. In some instances, she decides a if an email is work or personal by only reviewing the “to,” “from,” and “subject’ fields.

After Samuelson finishes her sorting, she prints all of the emails to be given to the State Department using a printer in Mills’ office. Then Mills and Kendall subsequently reviews emails that Samuelson printed. Any hard copy of an email Mills and Kendall deem not to be work-related is shredded, and the digital copy of the email is removed from the computer folder Samuelson created of all of the work-related emails.

Mills will later tell the FBI that, she only reviewed emails where Samuelson requested her guidance. There is no sign in the FBI’s final report that Kendall was interviewed about this matter.

With the sorting process completed, Samuelson creates a .pst file containing all of the work-related emails, and also makes sure that all work-related emails are printed to give to the State Department. The .pst file is given to Kendall on a USB thumb drive. On August 6, 2015, Kendall will give this thumb drive to the FBI, with consent from Clinton.

This account appears to be based mostly or entirely on the accounts of Samuelson and Mills. An FBI report will note: “The FBI was unable to obtain a complete list of keywords or named officials searched from Samuelson, Mills, or Clinton’s other attorneys due to an assertion of [attorney-client] privilege. ”

The 30,068 emails deemed work-related are given to the State Department, while the 31,830 deemed personal will later be deleted. The FBI will eventually find over 17,000 of the deleted emails, and thousands of them will be determined work-related after all. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

In Clinton’s July 2016 FBI interview, she will claim that she had no role whatsoever in the sorting process, other than telling her lawyers to do it.

Clinton and her future campaign chair Podesta appear to discuss classified information before Podesta warns her to stop.

John Podesta and Hillary Clinton in 2007. (Credit: Flickr)

John Podesta and Hillary Clinton in 2007. (Credit: Flickr)

Clinton forwards an email to her future campaign chair John Podesta. It is not clear where the forwarded email comes from, especially considering that Clinton is a private citizen at the time, since the sender’s name is not included. But it discusses nine detailed points on how to deal with the ISIS Islamist movement in Iraq and Syria. The forwarded email starts with the sentence: “Note: Sources include Western intelligence, US intelligence and sources in the region.”

Podesta replies with some brief commentary on the email.

Then Clinton emails him back, writing, “Agree but there may be opportunities as the Iraqi piece improves. Also, any idea whose fighters attacked Islamist positions in Tripoli, Libya? Worth analyzing for future purposes.”

Podesta then replies, “Yes and interesting but not for this channel.” (WikiLeaks, 11/3/2016)

The email chain will be released by WikiLeaks in November 2016. Thus, it is unknown what parts of the chain might be deemed classified by the US government.

In a private speech, Clinton admits it was against the rules for some State Department officials to use BlackBerrys at the same time she used one.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the Nexenta OpenSDx Summit, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 (Credit: Noah Berger / The Associated Press)

Clinton speaks at the Nexenta OpenSDx Summit, August 28, 2014. (Credit: Noah Berger / The Associated Press)

Clinton gives a private paid speech for Nexenta Systems, a computer software company. In it, she says, “Let’s face it, our government is woefully, woefully behind in all of its policies that affect the use of technology. When I got to the State Department, it was still against the rules to let most — or let all foreign service officers have access to a BlackBerry.”

The comments will be flagged as potentially politically embarrassing by Tony Carrk, Clinton’s research director, due to Clinton’s daily use of a BlackBerry during the same time period. Although the comment is made in private, Carrk’s January 2016 email mentioning the quote will be made public by WikiLeaks in October 2016. (WikiLeaks, 10/7/2016)

 

September 21, 2014 – The Hillary Letters – Hillary Clinton, Saul Alinsky correspondence is revealed

Class leader Hillary Rodham of Wellesley College talking about student protests which she supported in her commencement speech. (Credit: Lee Balterman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

“Previously unpublished correspondence between Hillary Clinton and the late left-wing organizer Saul Alinsky reveals new details about her relationship with the controversial Chicago activist and shed light on her early ideological development.

Clinton met with Alinsky several times in 1968 while writing a Wellesley college thesis about his theory of community organizing.

Clinton’s relationship with Alinsky, and her support for his philosophy, continued for several years after she entered Yale law school in 1969, two letters obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show.

The letters obtained by the Free Beacon are part of the archives for the Industrial Areas Foundation, a training center for community organizers founded by Alinsky, which are housed at the University of Texas at Austin.

The letters also suggest that Alinsky, who died in 1972, had a deeper influence on Clinton’s early political views than previously known.” (Read more: The Washington Free Beacon, 9/21/2014)  (Archive)

The Hillary Letters by Washington Free Beacon on Scribd

Clinton’s lawyers are sent the rest of Clinton’s emails so they can finish sorting them.

In late July 2014, the State Department informally requested Clinton to provide all her work-related emails from when she was secretary of state. Cheryl Mills, one of Clinton’s lawyers (as well as her former chief of staff), then had Platte River Networks (PRN), the company managing Clinton’s private server, send her and Clinton lawyer Heather Samuelson copies of all of Clinton’s emails that were sent to or received from anyone with a .gov email address.

According to a later FBI report, in late September 2014, Mills and Samuelson then ask an unnamed PRN employee to send them all of Clinton’s emails from her tenure as secretary of state, including emails sent to or received from non-.gov email addresses. Mills and Samuelson will later tell the FBI that “this follow-up request was made to ensure their review captured all of the relevant.” The PRN employee does so. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Although the name of the PRN employee is unknown, the only two employees actively managing Clinton’s server at the time are Paul Combetta and Bill Thornton. Combetta sent the earrlier batch of emails in late July 2014.

October 2014 – Clinton Speech for Deutsche Bank was designed to give cover for Wall Street coziness

The email details how campaign operatives discussed manipulating journalists over her paid speeches to Wall Street banks and was sent on November 20, 2015. (Credit: llP/Flickr)

“Hillary Clinton did a paid speech for Deutsche Bank in 2014 that was written by a speechwriter so she had something to show if people ever asked what she said “behind closed doors for two years to all those fat cats.”

The email sent on November 20, 2015, comes from hacked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, which were published by WikiLeaks.

“In October 2014, HRC did a paid speech in NYC for Deutsche Bank,” speechwriter Dan Schwerin recalled. “I wrote her a long riff about economic fairness and how the financial industry has lost its way, precisely for the purpose of having something we could show people if ever asked what she was saying behind closed doors for two years to all those fat cats.”

“It’s definitely not as tough or pointed as we would write it now, but it’s much more than most people would assume she was saying in paid speeches.”

Schwerin proposed giving a full transcript of the speech to a reporter so a story would be published that would help her with her image as a pro-Wall Street politician.

“Perhaps, at some point there will be value in sharing this with a reporter and getting a story written. Upside would be that when people say she’s too close to Wall Street and has taken too much money from bankers, we can point to evidence that she wasn’t afraid to speak truth to power. Downside would be that we could then be pushed to release transcripts from all her paid speeches, which would be less helpful (although probably not disastrous).”

“In the end, I’m not sure this is worth doing, but wanted to flag it so you know it’s out there,” he wrote.

Scwherin floated this idea because the campaign believed Clinton needed “more arrows” in their “quiver on Wall Street.” (Read more: Common Dreams, 10/14/16)

October 14, 2014 – The National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) is formed in Ukraine, with Joe Biden and the FBI’s help

(…) “Following the successful overthrow of Yanukovych, Joe Biden had a direct hand in the formation of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), as he personally “pushed for the creation of an independent anti-corruption bureau to combat graft,” according to an Oct. 30, 2016, article by Foreign Policy.

NABU was formally established in October 2014 in response to pressure from not only the U.S. State Department and Biden, but also by the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission.

FBI instructors train NABU special forces in SWAT tactics in July 2016. (Credit: public domain)

Despite the international push, the fledgling anti-corruption unit took more than a year to actually become a functioning unit. During this time, NABU officials began establishing a relationship with the FBI. In early 2016, NABU Director Sytnyk announced that his bureau was very close to signing a memorandum of cooperation with the FBI and by February 2016, the FBI had a permanent representative onsite at the NABU offices.

On June 5, 2016, Sytnyk met with U.S. Ambassador Pyatt to discuss a more formalized relationship with the FBI and, on June 30, 2016, NABU and the FBI entered into a memorandum of understanding that allowed for an FBI office onsite at NABU offices to focus on international money laundering cases. The relationship was renewed for an additional two years in June 2017.

NABU has repeatedly refused to make the memorandum of understanding with the FBI public and went to court in 2018 to prevent its release. After receiving an unfavorable opinion from the Kyiv District Administrative Court, NABU appealed the ruling, which was overturned in its favor by the Sixth Administrative Court of Appeal.

Sytnyk, along with parliamentarian Leshchenko, became the subject of an investigation in Ukraine and in December 2018, a Kyiv court ruled that both men “acted illegally when they revealed that Manafort’s surname and signature were found in the so-called black ledger of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions,” the Kyiv Post reported on Dec. 12, 2018.

The court noted the material was part of a pre-trial investigation and its release “led to interference in the electoral processes of the United States in 2016 and harmed the interests of Ukraine as a state.”

Leshchenko had publicly adopted a strong anti-Trump stance, telling the Financial Times in August 2016 that “a Trump presidency would change the pro-Ukrainian agenda in American foreign policy” and that it was “important to show not only the corruption aspect but that he is [a] pro-Russian candidate who can break the geopolitical balance in the world.” Leschenko noted that the majority of Ukrainian politicians were “on Hillary Clinton’s side.”

In December 2017, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Lutsenko accused Sytnyk of allowing the FBI to conduct illegal operations in Ukraine, claiming that the “U.S. law enforcers were allegedly invited without the permission required and in breach of the necessary procedures.” Lutsenko continued by asking, “Who actually let the foreign special service act in Ukraine?”

Taras Chornovil, a Ukrainian political analyst, also questioned the FBI’s activities, writing that “some kind of undercover operations are being conducted in Ukraine with direct participation (or even under control) of the FBI. This means the FBI operatives could have access to classified data or confidential information.”

Lutsenko called for an audit of NABU, claiming to “possess information of interest to the auditors” and was pushing for Sytnyk’s resignation, along with that of Nazar Kholodnitskiy, the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAP). According to reporting by Euromaidan Press, Lutsenko’s efforts failed “thanks to the reaction from Ukraine’s American partners.”

Michael Carpenter, an adviser to Joe Biden, personally issued a public warning to Lutsenko and others pushing for Sytnyk’s removal, stating, “If the Rada votes to dismiss the head of the Anticorruption Committee and the head of the NABU, I will recommend cutting all U.S. government assistance to #Ukraine, including security assistance.”

Sytnyk remains in his position as NABU’s director.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 4/26/2019)

A computer file from Platte River has a key role in how Clinton’s emails are sorted, according to testimony by Cheryl Mills.

Cheryl Mills after testifying privately to the House Benghazi Committee while Representatives Elijah Cummings and Trey Gowdy stand behind her, on September 3, 2015. (Credit Stephen Crowley / The New York Times)

On September 3, 2015, Clinton’s former chief of staff Cheryl Mills will testify under oath in front of the House Benghazi Committee. After being asked about her role in sorting and deleting Clinton’s emails, Mills says that “after the letter came” from the State Department on October 28, 2014 asking for Clinton’s work-related emails, “Secretary Clinton asked [Clinton’s personal lawyer] David Kendall and myself to oversee a process to ensure that any records that could be potentially work-related were provided to the department.”

Mills is asked if she or Kendall were in physical possession of the server at the time.

She replies, “No. … [T]hat server, as I understand it, doesn’t contain any of her records. So we asked Platte River to give us a .pst [computer file] of all of her emails during the tenure where she was there, which they did. And we used that .pst to first search for and set aside all of the state.gov records, then to actually do a name search of all of the officials in the department so that we could ensure that all the senior officials that she would likely be corresponding with got looked at and searched for by name, and then a review of every sender and recipient so that you knew, if there was a misspelling or something that was inaccurate, that you would also have that review done, as well. And then that created the body of, I think, about 30,000 emails that ended up being ones that were potentially work-related, and not, obviously, completely, but it was the best that we could do, meaning obviously there were some personal records that are turned over, and the department has advised the Secretary of that.”

Mills further explains that she and Kendall “oversaw the process. The person who actually undertook it is a woman who worked for me.” This woman is another lawyer, Heather Samuelson, who Mills admits doesn’t have any specialized training or skills with the Federal Records Act or identifying official records.

Then Mills is asked what happened to the “universe of the .pst file” after the work-emails had been sorted out.

She replies: “So the potential set of federal records, we created a thumb drive that David Kendall kept at his office. And then the records themselves, that would have been the universe that they sent, Platte River took back. […] So they just removed it. So it ended up being on system, and they just removed it. And I don’t know what is the technological way they do it, because it’s a way you have to access it, and then they make it so you can’t access it anymore.” (House Benghazi Committee, 10/21/2015)

Clinton’s emails are copied to a different server, but the FBI will never check if that server had any of her work-related emails.

Paul Combetta is the Platte River Networks (PRN) employee doing most of the active managing of Clinton’s private server. In a September 2015 FBI interview, he will claim that a person working for the Clinton family company Clinton Executive Service Corp. (CESC) whose name is later redacted contacts him around December 2014 and tells him that Clinton and her aide Huma Abedin are getting new email accounts on a different server not administered by PRN. Indeed, other sources indicate that in December 2014, Clinton and Abedin get new email accounts on a server with the hrcoffice.com domain name.

As part of this change, Combetta copies Clinton’s email from her hrod17@clintonemail.com email address to her new hrcoffice.com address. Clinton began using the hrod17@clintonemail.com address in late March 2013, shortly after her tenure as secretary of state ended. Combetta will claim that nobody told him “to transfer any archived email to the new server.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/23/2016)

However, Clinton’s earlier emails could have been transferred to her new email address around the time it was created in late March 2013, in which case they too would get copied to the hrcoffice.com server. But the FBI will never search this server to see if any of Clinton’s emails from her tenure as secretary of state can be recovered from it.

2014 – 2017: State Dept. official, Jonathan Winer, plays a key role in facilitating dossier author Christopher Steele’s access to other top government officials and business executives

Christopher Steele (l) and Jonathan Winer (Credit: public domain)

“Judicial Watch today released 43 pages of documents from the U.S. Department of State revealing that State Department “Special Coordinator for Libya” Jonathan Winer played a key role in facilitating dossier author Christopher Steele’s access to other top government officials, prominent international business executives. Mr. Winer was even approached by a movie producer about making a movie about the Russiagate targeting of President Trump.

In an email on December 11, 2014, Winer places pressure on his colleague, Nina Miller to assist Steele by getting “O Reports” [likely Orbis] to Toria [Victoria] Nuland and Paul Jones ASAP.” Nuland at the time was the State Department Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs; Jones the European and Eurasian Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary.

From: Winer, Jonathan

Sent: Thu, 11 Dec 2014 17:41:32 +0000

To: Miller, Nina A

Subject: Please get “O Reports” to Toria Nuland and Paul Jones ASAP – they are time [sp]

I know you have other burdens, but this one needs to get done if you can as soon as possible.

In a series of emails on November 20, 2014, Winer openly acts as a liaison for Steele, attempting to set up meetings for “Chris” and referencing “Three Orbis Reports” in the subject line of the email. This meeting was scheduled to be with Marialuisa Fotheringham, office manager to the principal deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian affairs and, again, Paul W. Jones.

In a series of emails on November 20, 2014, Winer negotiates a time with Ariuna Namsrai, APCO Worldwide’s senior director and managing director for Russia, CIS and Central Asia for her to meet Christopher Steele at “lunch or dinner.” APCO bills itself as one of the world’s leading advisory and advocacy communications consultancies.

In a series of emails on January 13-14, 2015, with the subject line “Morocco immediate need,” Winer introduces Steele to Marc Ginsberg, former Ambassador to Morocco under Bill Clinton, former APCO Worldwide Senior Vice President and Managing Director and former CEO of One Voice Movement Foundation.

Winer writes to Ginsberg: “Marc, Chris Steele is a friend of mine who has a very, very high­ end business intelligence service based in London. He formerly worked for the UK government.”

Ginsberg replies to Winer: “I spoke to Chris… complicated!”

(…) On July 13, 2015, while trying to schedule a dinner in London with Steele, Winer discloses to Steele from an unsecure BlackBerry that he is scheduled to have a Secure Video Teleconference Call [SVTC] with “higher ranked people than I am at the NSC.” Steele later confirms their dinner appointment, and says, “I shall wait for you on the park bench in the main square facing the front of the embassy building.”

In an email exchange on November 20, 2014, Winer attempts to introduce Steele to Nelson Cunningham, President of McLarty Associates, an international consulting firm co-founded by former Clinton White House Counselor Thomas ‘Mack’ McLarty. In the email to Nelson, Winer describes Steele as “An old friend of mine,” and “a former senior British intelligence officer focusing on former Soviet Union with a number of US and European private sector clients these days…”

In an email on January 12, 2017, Hollywood producer Eric Hamburg forwards an article about the Steele dossier to Winer, asking him if he would be interested in working on a movie about it.

Hamburg writes: “Dear Jonathan, I have been meaning to write to you, and just came across this article which mentions your name… Let’s do a movie about this!

I was wondering if you have decided what your next position will be after leaving government. I’d like to keep in touch and get together next time I’m in Washington. I’m currently working on a mini-series about Watergate for ABC with John Dean.”

(…) In February 2018, Winer wrote an op-ed claiming anti-Trump dossier author Christopher Steele and Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal approached him with separate dossiers. Winer wrote: “In the summer of 2016, Steele told me that he had learned of disturbing information regarding possible ties between Donald Trump, his campaign and senior Russian officials.” Also, “While talking about that hacking, Blumenthal and I discussed Steele’s reports. He showed me notes gathered by a journalist I did not know …”

(Read more: Judicial Watch, 6/10/2019)

Copies of Clinton’s emails are deleted from the computers of two of Clinton’s lawyers.

On October 28, 2014, the State Department formally asked Clinton for copies of all her work-related emails, after asking informally for several months. Three lawyers working for Clinton, Cheryl Mills, David Kendall, and Heather Samuelson, then sorted Clinton’s emails into those they deemed work-related or personal.

Paul Combetta (Credit: Facebook)

Paul Combetta (Credit: Facebook)

According to a later FBI report, “on or around December 2014 or January 2015, Mills and Samuelson requested that [Platte River Networks (PRN) employee Paul Combetta] remove from their laptops all of the emails from the July and September 2014 exports. [Combetta] used a program called BleachBit to delete the email-related files so they could not be recovered.” PRN is the computer company managing Clinton’s emails at the time.

The FBI report will explain, “BleachBit is open source software that allows users to ‘shred’ files, clear Internet history, delete system and temporary files and wipe free space on a hard drive. Free space is the area of the hard drive that can contain data that has been deleted. BleachBit’s ‘shred files’ function claims to securely erase files by overwriting data to make the data unrecoverable.”

141201ScreenConnectLogo

ScreenConnect Logo (Credit: public domain)

Combetta then remotely connects to the laptops of Mills and Samuelson using the computer program ScreenConnect to complete the deletions. Clinton’s emails are being stored in a .pst file. Combetta will later tell the FBI “that an unknown Clinton staff member told him s/he did not want the .pst file after the export and wanted it removed from the [Clinton server]” as well.

The Clinton emails are deleted from the laptops of Mills and Samuelson around this time. But another copy of all the emails exist on the server. Combetta will delete those emails as well, in late March 2015. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Clinton finally stops using the clintonemail.com domain and server for her daily emails.

Since early 2009, Clinton and her aide Huma Abedin have had private email accounts on the clintonemail.com domain, which is hosted on Clinton’s private email server.

Chelsea Clinton and Huma Abedin chat while on the campaign trail in 2008. (Credit: Reuters)

Chelsea Clinton and Huma Abedin chat while on the campaign trail in 2008. Huma also appears to be holding two flip phones and a BlackBerry. (Credit: Reuters)

According to a September 2016 FBI report, the new domain hrcoffice.com is created in December 2014. In a later FBI interview, Abedin stated the clintonemail.com system was “going away,” and after the initiation of the new domain, she didn’t have access to her clintonemail.com account anymore. Presumably the same is true for Clinton (and the few others who had email accounts on the domain, such as Chelsea Clinton).

The FBI report will indicate the hrcoffice.com domain is hosted on different equipment, which presumably means a different server. But the clintonemail.com server will continue to run until October 2015, when it will be confiscated by the FBI.

As part of the transfer process, Platte River Networks employee Paul Combetta copies all of Clinton’s emails from her current account on the clintonemail.com server to her new acccount on the hrcoffice.com server.

In Clinton’s July 2016 FBI interview, the FBI will summarize Clinton as saying: “Clinton transitioned to an email address on the hrcoffice.com domain because she had a small number of personal staff, but no physical office or common email domain. To address these issues, she moved to a common email domain and physical office space. After this move, Clinton did not recall any further access to clintonemail.com.”

The switch comes about one month after the State Department formally asked Clinton for all of her work-related emails from her secretary of state tenure, when she used her clintonemail.com account. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

The House Benghazi Committee asks Clinton for all Benghazi-related emails from her personal email address.

Gowdy shakes hands with Clinton after she testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on October 22, 2015. (Credit: CNN)

Gowdy shakes hands with Clinton after she testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on October 22, 2015. (Credit: CNN)

Representative Trey Gowdy (R) sends a letter to Clinton’s personal lawyer David Kendall on behalf of the House Benghazi Committee, which he chairs. In the letter, he cites over a dozen examples of emails from Clinton’s private clintonemail.com email address relating to the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack that have been recently uncovered. He suggests there are probably many more relevant emails still to be discovered. He also notes evidence that Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin has a clintonemail.com email address.

The letter concludes with a formal request for all emails relevant to the Benghazi attack from Clinton’s clintonemail.com address from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2012, to be turned over by December 31, 2014. (US Department of State, 2/4/2016)

Clinton will give the State Department over 30,000 emails just three days later, but these will not yet be available to the House Benghazi Committee. The committee will not get the Benghazi-related emails until February 13, 2015, and they will be sent from the State Department, not from Clinton’s lawyer.

Two out of 14 boxes of Clinton’s work-related emails may get lost.

An unnamed State Department official who worked in the Office of Information Programs and Services (IPS) will be interviewed by the FBI on August 17, 2015.

She says that, “Initially, IPS officials were told there were 14 bankers boxes of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails at Clinton’s Friendship Heights office” near Washington, DC. But “on or about December 5, 2014, IPS personnel picked up only 12 bankers boxes of Clinton’s emails from Williams & Connolly,” which contains the office of David Kendall, Clinton’s personal lawyer. The State Department officials involved were not sure if the boxes “were consolidated or what could have happened to the two other boxes.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/23/2016) December 5, 2014 is the day Clinton gives 55,000 pages containing 30,000 of her work-related emails to the State Department.

Although it’s unclear if any emails actually got lost, Fox News will publish an article about this on October 6, 2016, not long after the FBI interview of the official is made public. (Fox News, 10/6/2016) Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will then mention the lost boxes in a presidential debate against Clinton three days later.

Clinton tells Mills she doesn’t need her “personal” emails, resulting in Mills telling those managing Clinton’s server to delete them.

In 2016, Clinton’s former chief of staff Cheryl Mills will be interviewed by the FBI. Mills will claim that in December 2014, Clinton decided she no longer needed access to any of her emails older than 60 days. This comes shortly after the State Department formally asked Clinton for all of her work-related emails, on October 28, 2014. This decision has to take place before an email discussing it on December 11, 2014, written Paul Combetta, the Platte River Networks (PRN) employee managing Clinton’s private server.

Paul Combetta (Credit: Facebook)

Paul Combetta (Credit: Facebook)

Even so, Mills will claim she instructed Combetta to modify the email retention policy on Clinton’s clintonemail.com email account to reflect this change. (PRN is managing Clinton’s private server at the time.) This means that the 31,830 Clinton emails that Mills and Clinton’s other lawyers David Kendall and Heather Samuelson recently decided were not work-related will be deleted after 60 days.

However, Combetta will later say in an FBI interview that he forgot to make the changes to Clinton’s clintonemail.com account and didn’t make them until late March 2015.

Clinton will also later be interviewed by the FBI. She will claim that after her staff sent her work-related emails to the State Department on December 5, 2014, “she was asked what she wanted to do with her remaining personal emails. Clinton instructed her staff she no longer needed the emails. Clinton stated she never deleted, nor did she instruct anyone to delete, her emails to avoid complying with FOIA [Freedom of Information Act], State [Department], or FBI requests for information.”

However, Clinton saying her personal emails were no longer needed, then having Mills tell PRN to have them delete them after 60 days, will result in all of Clinton’s emails that her lawyers deemed personal getting permanently deleted. The FBI will later recover some of the emails through other means and discover that thousands actually were work-related. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

The manager of Clinton’s private server asks for Internet advice on how to keep copies of some of Clinton’s personal emails after changing a setting to delete them all.

On December 10, 2014, “stonetear” asks for advice from Reddit users on how to implement a 60-day email “purge” policy. This will later be revealed to be an alias for Paul Combetta, a Platte River Networks (PRN) employee actively managing Clinton’s private server at the time.

He writes: “Hello. I have a client who wants to push out a 60 day email retention policy for certain users. However, they also want these users to have a ‘Save Folder’ in their Exchange folder list where the users can drop items that they want to hang onto longer than the 60 day window.
All email in any other folder in the mailbox should purge anything older than 60 days (should not apply to calendar or contact items of course). How would I go about this? Some combination of retention and managed folder policy?”

141210stonetear60dayretention

Combetta as ‘stonetear’ asking Reddit users for help. (Credit: Reddit)

Cheryl Mills (Credit: Andrew Harrer / Getty Images)

Cheryl Mills (Credit: Andrew Harrer / Getty Images)

In 2016, Clinton’s former chief of staff Cheryl Mills will be interviewed by the FBI. Mills will claim that in December 2014, Clinton decided she no longer needed access to any of her personal emails, and they could be deleted after 60 days. This comes shortly after the State Department formally asked Clinton for all of her work-related emails, on October 28, 2014.

According to a later FBI report based on a February 2016 interview with Combetta, Combetta communicates with Mills and/or Clinton lawyer Heather Samuelson by email on December 10 and 12, 2014, as well as by phone on December 9 and 10,  2014. In these communications, they tell Combetta they want the last 60 days of the emails of Clinton and Clinton aide Huma Abedin moved to new accounts. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/23/2016)

However, as can be seen from Combetta’s Reddit post, it appears Mills wanted Combetta to figure out how to keep some of the emails “longer than the 60 day window,” in contradiction to the later claim in Combetta’s interview, as well as Clinton’s later claim that all of her over 31,000 personal emails were unwanted and should be permanently deleted.

The person who will later delete Clinton’s emails refers to a “Hillary cover-up operation,” which might or might not be a joke.

Paul Combetta (Credit: CSpan)

Paul Combetta (Credit: CSpan)

Paul Combetta is a Platte River Networks (PRN) employee who helps manage Clinton’s private server. In his February 18, 2016 FBI interview, his second, he will be asked about some communications from December 2014. An FBI summary of the interview published in September 2016 will state: “December 11, 2014 with the subject line ‘RE: 2 items for IT support,’ and a December 12, 2014 work ticket referencing email retention changes and archive/email cleanup, [Combetta] stated his reference in the email to ‘…the Hillary cover-up operation …’ was probably due to the recently requested change to a 60 day email retention policy and the comment was a joke. He did not recall the prior retention policy.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/23/2016)

Nothing more has been publicly released about this. However, it has been reported that Clinton decided in  December 2014 to change the email retention policy on her private server to 60 days, effectively permanently wiping all her emails from her tenure as secretary of state. Combetta is the one given this job, but he will not do it until late March 2015, under mysterious and controversial circumstances.

Note that the FBI summary will merely report Combetta’s claim that “Hillary cover-up operation” comment was a joke and doesn’t give an opinion if that is true or not.

2015 – 2016: A former Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) employee, claims President Poroshenko and Clinton Foundation donor Victor Pinchuk, diverted IMF funds into Clinton 2016 campaign

During the US election campaign in 2016, the Ukrainian authorities led by President Petro Poroshenko (r), openly and actively support Hillary Clinton. (Credit: public domain)

(Timeline editor’s note: This is an excerpt from an article written by Vasily Prozorov who is a former employee of the Ukrainian security service SBU. All of his work can be found at ukr-leaks.org. We hope documents will eventually be released to further verify the story.)

Auto-translated in Chrome:

(…) “Manafort is only one of the participants in the drama, called “Ukraine Gate”. Another story is related to the financial support of Hillary Clinton from Ukraine. The intrigue is that during the presidential race in the United States, official Kiev helped the Democratic candidate not only politically and informationally, but also used the money stolen from the IMF tranches, to sponsor your favorite.

So, according to the information available to me, Ukraine is currently continuing investigation of criminal proceedings regarding the theft of IMF funds received by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU).

Vasily Prozorov (Credit: public domain)

It was assumed that foreign aid would be intended to support the financial sector of Ukraine. Under this program, the NBU allocated funds to various private credit organizations of the country. Their owners transferred the received amounts to offshore companies, transferring the agreed kickbacks to the head of the NBU Valeria Gontareva and her patron Petro Poroshenko, for whom she had previously worked in the ICU investment campaign.

Such banks of Ukraine as Tavrika, Pivdenkombank, Avtokrazbank, Moscow Commercial Bank (Converse Bank), Finrostbank, Terra Bank, Kiivska Rus, Vernum Bank participated in this scheme, “Credit Dnipro”, “Delta Bank” and others. Money was transferred from the country to offshore via Austrian bank MeinlBank AG.

The largest volumes of monetary assets were received by two credit organizations – Credit Dnipro and Delta Bank. These banks are closely associated with one of the richest Ukrainian oligarchs – Victor Pinchuk, son-in-law of former President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma. The Ukrainian billionaire maintained contacts with the former IMF representative in Ukraine, Jerome Wash, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former IMF managing director, was a member of the Credit Dnipro Supervisory Board. It is hard to imagine that these distinguished gentlemen were not aware of the financial transactions of their Ukrainian friends. Therefore, it is possible that an international group was engaged in the theft of billions of foreign aid to Ukraine.

At the next stage, IMF loans went to the offshore companies MelfaGroup LTD (Belize), TandiceLimited (Cyprus), TosalanTradingLimited (Cyprus), AgaluskoInvestmentLimited (Cyprus), WintenTrading LTD (Cyprus), SilistenTradingLimited “NasternoCommercialLimited.” These offices, as it turned out, also associated with Victor Pinchuk.

But this was not the end of the financial chain. Most of the money from these foreign assets of Pinchuk went to the accounts of his main “washing machine” – The Victor Pinchuk Foundation. And already the “laundered money” was transferred to the Clinton Foundation. Since 2012, for almost five years, the family of the former US president has been listed more than 29 million dollars. Moreover, the largest tranches from the Pinchuk Foundation to the Clinton Foundation were held in 2015 and 2016. By a “coincidental” coincidence, it was at this time that Hillary fought for the post of US president.

Scheme of theft of IMF money tranches and their transfer to the Clinton fund.

Obviously, such a scheme was implemented with the direct participation of the head of the National Bank, Mrs. Gontareva, and the assistance of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.” (Read more: Ukraine Leaks/Archived, 7/26/2019) (Direct link)

January 1, 2015 – December 7, 2017: DOJ records show numerous Bruce Ohr communications with Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele

Christopher Steele and Bruce Ohr (Credit: public domain)

“Judicial Watch announced today it received 339 pages of heavily redacted records from the U.S. Department of Justice which reveal that former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr remained in regular contact with former British spy and Fusion GPS contractor Christopher Steele after Steele was terminated by the FBI in November 2016 for revealing to the media his position as an FBI confidential informant.

The records show that Ohr served as a go-between for Steele by passing along information to “his colleagues” on matters relating to Steele’s activities. Ohr also set up meetings with Steele, regularly talked to him on the telephone and provided him assistance in dealing with situations Steele was confronting with the media.

The timeframe for the requested records is January 1, 2015, to December 7, 2017.

The emails between Bruce Ohr and Steele were heavily redacted, including some of the dates they were sent and received.

On Friday, July 29, 2016, Steele emails Bruce Ohr about a meeting that is to include Bruce’s wife Nellie Ohr, who then worked for Fusion GPS, at the Mayflower Hotel:

Steele: Dear Bruce,

Just to let you know I shall be in DC at short notice on business from this PM till Saturday eve, staying at the Mayflower Hotel. If you are in town it would be good to meet up, perhaps for breakfast tomorrow morn? Happy to see Nellie too if she’s up for it. Please let me know. Best, Chris

Ohr: Dear Chris –

Nice to hear from you! Nellie and I would be up for breakfast tomorrow and can come into town. What would be a good time for you? Bruce

Steele: Thanks Bruce.

On me at the Mayflower Hotel, Conn Ave NW at 0900 should work but I’ll confirm the time for definite this eve if I may. Looking forward to seeing you. Chris

Ohr: Sounds good, but we won’t let you pay for breakfast! I’ll wait for your confirmation on time. Bruce

Steele: Let’s do 0900 then. See you in the lobby. Chris

Ohr: Very good. See you at 900.

On Saturday, July 30, 2016, Steele sends his thanks to Bruce Ohr for the meeting, “Great to see you and Nellie this morning:”

Ohr: Great to see you and Nellie this morning Bruce. Let’s keep in touch on the substantive issues/s. Glenn [Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson] is happy to speak to you on this if it would help. Best, Chris

On Friday, September 16, 2016, Steele and Ohr begin planning a meeting in the Capital Hilton:

Steele: Dear Bruce,

I hope you are well. I am probably going to visit Washington again in the next couple of weeks on business of mutual interest. I would like to see you again in person and therefore to coordinate diaries. So when are you planning to be in town please? Thanks and Best, Chris

P.S. I don’t think I have up to date cell or landline phone numbers for you. Grateful if you could send met them.

Ohr: Hi Chris –

It would be great to see you I DC. I’ll be out of town Sept 19-21 but should be here the rest of the time. My numbers are office 202 307 2510 and cell [Redacted] Let me know what works best for you.

Steele: Dear Bruce,

I have now arrived in DC and am staying at the Capital Hilton, 1101 16th Street NW. I don’t know my client-related programme yet but am keen to meet up with you. Might we provisionally say breakfast on Friday morn or even tomorrow morn if necessary? Look forward to hearing back from you. Best, Chris

Ohr: Hi Chris

Would tomorrow for breakfast still work for you? My calendar is pretty good tomorrow morning, not so good on Friday. An early breakfast Friday, say 8 am?, would work too. Should I come to your hotel? Bruce

Steele: Thanks Bruce.

0800 on Friday would still be better for me, at the hotel. More useful to all I think, after my scheduled meetings tomorrow. Thanks, Chris

Ohr: Chris –

Perfect. I’ll see you Friday at your hotel at 8 am. Bruce

(Read more:Judicial Watch, 3/07/2019)

January 2015 – May 25, 2016: There are 14,409 emails in the Wikileaks DNC email archive that are taken after Crowdstrike installs their security software

“Yesterday, Scott Ritter published a savage and thorough critique of the role of Dmitri Alperovitch and Crowdstrike, who are uniquely responsible for the attribution of the DNC hack to Russia. Ritter calls it “one of the greatest cons in modern American history”.  Ritter’s article gives a fascinating account of an earlier questionable incident in which Alperovitch first rose to prominence – his attribution of the “Shady Rat” malware to the Chinese government at a time when there was a political appetite for such an attribution. Ritter portrays the DNC incident as Shady Rat 2.  Read the article.

My post today is a riff on a single point in the Ritter article, using analysis that I had in inventory but not written up.  I’ve analysed the dates of the emails in the Wikileaks DNC email archive: the pattern (to my knowledge) has never been analysed. The results are a surprise – standard descriptions of the incident are misleading.

Nov 7, 2017: story picked up by Luke Rosniak at Daily Caller here 

On April 29, DNC IT staff noticed anomalous activity and brought it to the attention of senior DNC officials: Chairwoman of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, DNC’s Chief Executive, Amy Dacey, the DNC’s Technology Director, Andrew Brown, and Michael Sussman, a lawyer for Perkins Coie, a Washington, DC law firm that represented the DNC. After dithering for a few days, on May 4, the DNC (Sussman) contacted Crowdstrike (Shawn Henry), who installed their software on May 5.

Dmitri Alperovich sits before a Crowdstrike/DNC timeline published by Esquire, with one addition by an observant viewer. (Credit: Christopher Leaman/Esquire)

According to a hagiography of Crowdstrike’s detection by Thomas Rid last year, Crowdstrike detected “Russia” in  the network in the early morning of May 6:

At six o’clock on the morning of May 6, Dmitri Alperovitch woke up in a Los Angeles hotel to an alarming email. Alperovitch is the thirty-six-year-old cofounder of the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, and late the previous night, his company had been asked by the Democratic National Committee to investigate a possible breach of its network. A CrowdStrike security expert had sent the DNC a proprietary software package, called Falcon, that monitors the networks of its clients in real time. Falcon “lit up,” the email said, within ten seconds of being installed at the DNC: Russia was in the network.

In many accounts of the incident (e.g. Wikipedia here), it’s been reported that “both groups of intruders were successfully expelled from the systems within hours after detection”. This was not the case, as Ritter pointed out: data continued to be exfiltrated AFTER the installation of Crowdstrike software, including the emails that ultimately brought down Wasserman-Schultz:

Moreover, the performance of CrowdStrike’s other premier product, Overwatch, in the DNC breach leaves much to be desired. Was CrowdStrike aware that the hackers continued to exfiltrate data (some of which ultimately proved to be the undoing of the DNC Chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and the entire DNC staff) throughout the month of May 2016, while Overwatch was engaged?

This is an important and essentially undiscussed question.

Distribution of Dates

The DNC Leak emails are generally said to commence in January 2015 (e.g. CNN here) and continue until the Crowdstrike expulsion. In other email leak archives (e.g Podesta emails; Climategate), the number of emails per month tends to be relatively uniform (at least to one order of magnitude).  However, this is not the case for the DNC Leak as shown in the below graphic of the number of emails per day:

Figure 1. Number of emails per day in Wikileaks DNC archive from Jan 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. Calculated from monthly data through March 31, 2016, then weekly until April 15, then daily. No emails after May 25, 2016.

There are only a couple of emails per month (~1/day) through 2015 and up to April 18, 2016. Nearly all of these early emails were non-confidential emails involving DNCPress or innocuous emails to/from Jordan Kaplan of the DNC.  There is a sudden change on April 19, 2016 when 425 emails in the archive. This is also the first day on which emails from hillaryclinton.com occur in the archive – a point that is undiscussed, but relevant given the ongoing controversy about security of the Clinton server (the current version of which was never examined by the FBI) The following week, the number of daily emails in the archive exceeded 1000, reaching a maximum daily rate of nearly 1500 in the third week of May. There is a pronounced weekly cycle to the archive (quieter on the week-ends).

Rid’s Esquire hagiography described a belated cleansing of the DNC computer system on June 10-12, following which Crowdstrike celebrated:

Ultimately, the teams decided it was necessary to replace the software on every computer at the DNC. Until the network was clean, secrecy was vital. On the afternoon of Friday, June 10, all DNC employees were instructed to leave their laptops in the office. Alperovitch told me that a few people worried that Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, was clearinghouse. “Those poor people thought they were getting fired,” he says. For the next two days, three CrowdStrike employees worked inside DNC headquarters, replacing the software and setting up new login credentials using what Alperovitch considers to be the most secure means of choosing a password: flipping through the dictionary at random. (After this article was posted online, Alperovitch noted that the passwords included random characters in addition to the words.) The Overwatch team kept an eye on Falcon to ensure there were no new intrusions. On Sunday night, once the operation was complete, Alperovitch took his team to celebrate at the Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão.

Curiously, the last email in the archive was noon, May 25 – about 14 days before Crowdstrike changed all the passwords on the week-end of June 10-12. Two days later (June 14), the DNC arranged for a self-serving article in the Washington Post in which they announced the hack and blamed it on the Russians. Crowdstrike published a technical report purporting to support the analysis and the story went viral.

There were no fewer than 14409 emails in the Wikileaks archive dating after Crowdstrike’s installation of its security software. In fact, more emails were hacked after Crowdstrike’s discovery on May 6 than before. Whatever actions were taken by Crowdstrike on May 6, they did nothing to stem the exfiltration of emails from the DNC. (Read more: Climate Audit/Steve McIntire, 9/02/2017)

2015 – 2016: The IMF money withdrawal and laundering scheme, from Ukraine to the Clinton campaign

Translated:

(…) “In May 2016, according to the decision of the Kiev Pechersk Court, some Ukrainian credit organizations used shadow schemes for withdrawing funds through the correspondent accounts of the Austrian Meinl Bank AG, the damage from their actions amounted to more than $ 800 million.

(Credit: Kate Matberg/Mediapart)

Another “ingenious scheme” worked smoothly as follows. Ukrainian banks entered into custody and collateral agreements with a non-resident Austrian bank, in which all amounts of funds on correspondent accounts, accrued interest and any future receipts to these accounts were pledged to the foreign bank. The pledge was provided to ensure the fulfillment of obligations under the loan agreements that the non-resident bank, in turn, concluded with third parties – non-resident companies in Ukraine. The latter were associated with the owners of Ukrainian banking institutions. And the borrowers did not fulfill their loan obligations, for which Meinl Bank AG unilaterally extrajudicially charged (i.e., debited from the accounts of Ukrainian banks) all funds in its favor.

And now let’s take a closer look at the list of these Ukrainian banks and using their own reporting documents (by the way, already removed from the Internet, but still recorded by the author before this sad event), we will analyze some of their activities.

Former Ukraine Minister of Finance, Natalie Jaresko is named to manage Puerto Rico’s financial crisis on March 24, 2017. (Credit: public domain)

Of the 36 banks that were granted loans by the National Bank of Ukraine at the expense of IMF tranches, 11 were closed without returning borrowed funds (June 10, 2014 – March 15, 2018, Chairman of the Board Ms. Gontareva), 11 were closed without returning borrowed funds. It seems not so much in the framework of the “struggle for the purification and improvement of the financial and credit system of the state”.

However, the true scope, excuse my French, the scam becomes clear when it turns out that only eight credit institutions received up to 95% of this money. They strenuously pumped them through the already familiar Austrian Meinl Bank AG with a further withdrawal to private offshore companies in Cyprus and Belize. As a result, six of them have already left the orderly ranks of the banking system of Ukraine. And it happened somehow quietly, almost without ceremony, which suggests the national scale of such “Mummery”. Yes, and the ratio of the numbers 11 to 36, or 6 out of 11, not all the same – 6 out of 8 rather confirms our conjecture that Ms. N. Yaresko who held the post of Minister of Finance from February 12, 2014 to April 14, 2016 owned the situation.

It would not be superfluous to recall that Ms. N. Yaresko, a citizen of the United States treated by the highest presidential power, obtained the citizenship of Ukraine, so to speak, from the hands of Mr. Poroshenko for “special merit.” Was it only for merits to the state and what exactly were her merits?  Maybe in the ability to “correctly” distribute and divide financial flows, primarily taking care of the welfare of Mr. Poroshenko’s “team” and his inner circle?

Former IMF representative in Ukraine, Jerome Vacher (Credit: public domain)

Two more banks – participants of this scheme are PJSC “Credit Dnipro” and PJSC “Delta Bank” affiliated with it (declared insolvent in 2015, the bankruptcy procedure is not completed) continue to operate. Their owner is oligarch Pinchuk V.M. – son-in-law of the former President of Ukraine Kuchma L.D. Mr. Pinchuk maintained close ties with the former representative of the IMF in Ukraine, Mr. Jerome Vacher. In addition, the supervisory board of the IMF Dominique Strauss-Kahn is on the supervisory board of PJSC “Credit Dnipro”. It should also be noted that Mr. Pinchuk is the founder of the “Victor Pinchuk Foundation”, which is funded, including through some private offshore companies.

Do you think this is another final link in the chain of funds adventure allocated by the IMF? Do not hurry! Since 2012, for almost five years, only through the Pinchuk’s fund, “Clinton Foundation” received more than $ 29 million. Yes, my dear Ukrainian reader, Mr. Pinchuk, in fact, became one of the largest financial donors to the former American presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Simultaneously, Mr. Pinchuk did not forget Mr. Poroshenko, paying for his election campaign in the media. Mr. Dudnik A.P. was responsible for this truly significant event for one of the leading Ukrainian oligarchs – yes, exactly the head of the supervisory board of the PJSC “Credit Dnipro” bank.

And this already really looks like a “state level” of the highest standard, especially considering the “State Dept” past of Ms. N. Yaresko. Isn’t it a perfect mediator and “watchwoman” for all interested parties?!

Clinton Foundation mega-donor Victor Pinchuk, (l), Toomas Hendrik (c), President of the Republic of Estonia and Petro Poroshenko (r), President of Ukraine. (Credit: Pinchuk Fund)

So instead of financing own economy, the current Ukrainian government headed by Mr. Poroshenko in effect, created a corrupt scheme of international scope, replenished its personal reserves “for a rainy day” and pleased the “democrats” ruling in the USA at that time. However, the Ukrainian president is not very successful with the current American “partners”. Violating the laws of at least two countries, as well as all conceivable principles of democracy and decency (yes, they also exist in politics, to put it mildly, are peculiar, but still) the US Democratic Party actually received uncontrollable income at the expense of the world financial organization allocated to support economy of another state – Ukraine. A crime? Yes! And it is very similar to the “payoff”! (Read more: Kate Matberg/Mediapart, 4/15/2019)

(Timeline editor’s note: We hope documents will be released to further verify this information.)

Clinton’s press secretary has “teed-up stories” for a New York Times reporter before and she has “never disappointed.”

Maggie Haberman (Credit: public domain)

Maggie Haberman (Credit: public domain)

Nick Merrill, Clinton’s campaign press secretary, writes an email memo to Clinton’s other core staffers (including John Podesta and Robby Mook) who are developing a strategy that is described as being “designed to plant stories on Clinton’s decision-making process about whether to run for president.”

The email names Maggie Haberman who at the time writes for Politico, but will switch to covering the election for the New York Times one month later. Merrill writes, “We have ha[d] a very good relationship with Maggie Haberman of Politico over the last year. We have had her tee up stories for us before and have never been disappointed. … [F]or this we think we can achieve our objective and do the most shaping by going to Maggie.”

According to a later article by the Intercept, “The following month, when she is at the Times, Haberman publishes two stories on Clinton’s vetting process.”

The Intercept will be given this email and others by the hacker known as Guccifer 2.0 in October 2016. The Intercept will comment that the email is just one of many “Internal strategy documents and emails among Clinton staffers” that “shed light on friendly and highly useful relationships between the campaign and various members of the US media, as well as the campaign’s strategies for manipulating those relationships. … At times, Clinton’s campaign staff not only internally drafted the stories they wanted published but even specified what should be quoted “on background” and what should be described as “on the record.” (The Intercept, 10/09/2016) (Wikileaks, 10/13/2016)

2015-2017: A mini-timeline: The Uncovering – Mike Rogers’ investigation, Section 702 FISA abuse & the FBI

John Carlin (Credit: Heratch Photography)

“John Carlin was an Assistant Attorney General – and Head of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division (NSD).

On September 27, 2016, Carlin announced his resignation. He formally left the NSD on October 15, 2016. Carlin had been named Acting Assistant Attorney General in March 2013 and was confirmed in the spring of 2014.

Carlin had previously served as chief of staff to then-FBI Director Robert S. Mueller.

Carlin was replaced with Mary McCord – who would later accompany Acting Attorney General Sally Yates to see White House Counsel Don McGahn regarding General Michael Flynn.

Carlin announced his resignation exactly one day after he filed the Government’s proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications. His signature can be found on page 31.

(…) At the time Carlin’s sudden resignation went mostly unnoticed.

But there was more to the story.

Here is the official explanation as provided by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence:

After submitting its 2016 Certifications in September 2016, the Department of Justice and ODNI learned, in October 2016, about additional information related to previously reported compliance incidents and reported that additional information to the FISC. The NSA also self-reported the information to oversight bodies, as required by law. These compliance incidents related to the NSA’s inadvertent use of U.S. person identifiers to query NSA’s “upstream” Internet collection acquired pursuant to Section 702.

The FISA Court was more direct in a 99-page April 26, 2017 unsealed FISA Court Ruling.

On October 24, 2016the government orally apprised the Court of significant non-compliance with the NSA’s minimization procedures involving queries of data acquired under Section 702 using U.S. person identifiers. The full scope of non-compliant querying practices had not been previously disclosed to the Court. Two days later, on the day the Court otherwise would have had to complete its review of the certifications and procedures, the government made a written submission regarding those compliance problems…and the Court held a hearing to address them.

The government reported that it was working to ascertain the cause(s) of those compliance problems and develop a remedial plan to address them. Without further information about the compliance problems and the government’s remedial efforts, the Court was not in a position to assess whether the minimization procedures would comply with the statutory standards and were consistent with the requirements of the Fourth Amendment.

But that still doesn’t begin to describe the breadth and scope of what occurred.

It wasn’t the Obama Administration that self-disclosed before the FISA Court on October 24 and 26, 2016.

Admiral Mike Rogers testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee in April 2016, on the nation’s cyber infrastructure. (Credit: CSpan)

It was National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers. And he deserves a medal for his efforts.

Here’s what actually happened:

On January 7, 2016, the NSA Inspector General, George Ellard, released a report on NSA Controls & FISA compliance. Starting on page ii:

Agency controls for monitoring query compliance have not been completely developed.

The Agency has no process to reliably identify queries performed using selectors associated with 704 and 705(b) targets.

The rest of the highlights are fully redacted. But more information lay within the report (pages 6-7):

We identified another [redacted] queries that were performed outside the targeting authorization periods in E.O. 12333 data, which is prohibited by the E.O. 12333 minimization procedures. We also identified queries performed using USP selectors in FAA §702 upstream data, which is prohibited by the FAA §702 minimization procedures.

Downstream collection involves the government acquiring data from the companies providing service to the user – like Google or Facebook.

However, some Section 702 collection is obtained via “upstream” collection.

In simple parlance, upstream collection means the NSA accesses the high capacity fiber optic cables that carry Internet traffic and copies all the data flowing through those cables.

The agency is then supposed to filter out any “wholly domestic” communications that are between Americans located in the U.S.

Data collected “incidentally” on U.S. Citizens is generally not destroyed. It is minimized. As we will see later, this became a problem.

Intelligence Agencies can then search the data using “To”, “From” or “About” queries on a target of Section 702 collection.

“About” queries are particularly worrisome.

They occur when the target is neither the sender nor the recipient of the collected communication – but the target’s selector, such as an email address, is being passed between two other communicants.

For more information see FISA Surveillance – Title I & III and Section 702.

“About” queries were abruptly halted by NSA Director Mike Rogers on October 20, 2016. This was formally announced by the NSA on April 28, 2017.

The events leading to this decision are described in this post.

This brings us to a table from the Inspector General’s Report.

Table 3 (page 7) shows four types of violations. The most frequent violation – 5.2% of the total – came from Section 702 upstream “About” queries.”

The Inspector General’s Report is heavily redacted – but even a casual reading indicates there were significant compliance and control issues within the NSA regarding the use of Section 702 data.

It’s unclear if NSA Director Rogers discovered the 702 violations and reported them in early 2015, or if it was the Inspector General who found them. Either way, Rogers became aware of Section 702 violations sometime in 2015.

Following NSA Inspector General Ellard’s report, Rogers implemented a tightening of internal rules at the NSA.

However, the NSA Inspector General’s report and Roger’s tightening of internal rules did not halt the Query Compliance Problems.

Outside Agencies – specifically the DOJ’s National Security Division and the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division – were still routinely violating Section 702 procedures.

In 2015, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz (not to be confused with NSA IG Ellard) specifically requested oversight of the National Security Division. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates responded with a 58-page Memorandum, that effectively told the Inspector General to go pound sand.

As noted earlier, John Carlin was the Head of the DOJ’s National Security Division and was responsible for filing the Government’s proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications.

This filing would be subject to intense criticism from the FISA Court following disclosures made by NSA Director Rogers. Significant changes to the handling of raw FISA data would result.

Bill Priestap remains the Head of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division – appointed by FBI Director Comey in December 2015. See FBI Counterintell