Clinton Email Investigation

June 9, 2017 – The State Department is reviewing Clinton’s mishandling of classified information, yet she and her aides retain their security clearances

“The State Department confirmed that it is continuing to review the mishandling of classified information that passed through Secretary Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized email server as she and seven former aides retain access to sensitive information.  In a recent letter from the State Department to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, the Department outlined its procedures for safeguarding and addressing potential mishandling of classified material and answered questions raised by Grassley in March.

In the letter, the State Department confirmed that it initiated a review of the mishandling of classified information in the unauthorized server matter following the conclusion of the FBI investigation. That review is ongoing and could result in loss of security clearances for violators of the department’s protocols guarding sensitive material.

A snippet of the State Department letter sent to Senator Grassley on May 23, 2017.

The State Department also indicated that Clinton may still access materials that were originated, reviewed, signed or received by her during her tenure at the department, which includes classified information. The State Department had previously informed the Judiciary Committee that seven of Clinton’s former aides were designated as “research assistants,” which allows them to take their State Department-issued clearance with them after their official service at the department concludes, and to retain access to specified information originated by Clinton during her tenure as secretary.

Often, during the course of reviews into mishandling of classified information, security clearances of individuals responsible for a potential breach are suspended. (Senate Judiciary Committee, 6/09/2017)

Late May, 2017 – Andrew McCabe wrote a confidential memo recounting details on the firing of James Comey

Andrew McCabe (Credit: Bill Clark/Getty Images)

“The former acting F.B.I. director, Andrew G. McCabe, wrote a confidential memo last spring recounting a conversation that offered significant behind-the-scenes details on the firing of Mr. McCabe’s predecessor, James B. Comey, according to several people familiar with the discussion.

Mr. Comey’s firing is a central focus of the special counsel’s investigation into whether President Trump tried to obstruct the investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia. Mr. McCabe has turned over his memo to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

In the document, whose contents have not been previously reported, Mr. McCabe described a conversation at the Justice Department with the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, in the chaotic days last May after Mr. Comey’s abrupt firing. Mr. Rosenstein played a key role in the dismissal, writing a memo that rebuked Mr. Comey over his handling of an investigation into Hillary Clinton.

But in the meeting at the Justice Department, Mr. Rosenstein added a new detail: He said the president had originally asked him to reference Russia in his memo, the people familiar with the conversation said. Mr. Rosenstein did not elaborate on what Mr. Trump had wanted him to say.

To Mr. McCabe, that seemed like possible evidence that Mr. Comey’s firing was actually related to the F.B.I.’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, and that Mr. Rosenstein helped provide a cover story by writing about the Clinton investigation.

One person who was briefed on Mr. Rosenstein’s conversation with the president said Mr. Trump had simply wanted Mr. Rosenstein to mention that he was not personally under investigation in the Russia inquiry. Mr. Rosenstein said it was unnecessary and did not include such a reference. Mr. Trump ultimately said it himself when announcing the firing.” (Read more: New York Times, 5/30/2018)

May 9, 2017 – Rod Rosenstein’s letter recommending Comey’s dismissal

Rod Rosenstein’s letter, titled, “Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI” recommends FBI Director James Comey’s dismissal. (Credit: BBC)

“President Donald Trump followed the recommendation of his deputy attorney general when he fired FBI boss James Comey. What did Rod Rosenstein say? This is his letter in full.

Memorandum for the Attorney General

FROM: Rod J Rosenstein

SUBJECT: Restoring public confidence in the FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has long been regarded as our nation’s premier federal investigative agency. Over the past year, however, the FBI’s reputation and credibility have suffered substantial damage, and it has affected the entire Department of Justice. That is deeply troubling to many Department employees and veterans, legislators and citizens.

The current FBI Director is an articulate and persuasive speaker about leadership and the immutable principles of the Department of Justice. He deserves our appreciation for his public service. As you and I have discussed, however, I cannot defend the Director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken. Almost everyone agrees that the Director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives.

The director was wrong to usurp the Attorney General’s authority on July 5, 2016, and announce his conclusion that the case should be closed without prosecution. It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement. At most, the Director should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings to federal prosecutors.

The Director now defends his decision by asserting that he believed attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict. But the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department. There is a well-established process for other officials to step in when a conflict requires the recusal of the Attorney General. On July 5, however, the Director announced his own conclusions about the nation’s most sensitive criminal investigation, without the authorization of duly appointed Justice Department leaders.” (Read more: BBC, 05/10/2017)

January 12, 2017 – Justice Department’s internal watchdog to investigate FBI’s handling of Clinton email inquiry

Michael Horowitz (Credit: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

“The Justice Department inspector general’s office said on Thursday it would open an investigation into the decision in October by James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, to inform Congress about a new review in the Hillary Clinton email investigation — a move Mrs. Clinton has said cost her the election.

The inquiry is not a blow for Mr. Comey only. It also draws negative attention again to the F.B.I. on an issue that agents had hoped was behind them.

The inspector general’s office said the investigation had come in response to complaints from members of Congress and the public about actions by the F.B.I. and the Justice Department during the campaign that might be seen as politically motivated.

Chief among those actions was the decision by Mr. Comey to write two letters on the email matter within 11 days of the election, creating a wave of damaging news stories about the controversy late in the campaign. In the end, the new emails that the F.B.I. reviewed — which came up during an unrelated inquiry into Anthony D. Weiner, the estranged husband of a top Clinton aide, Huma Abedin — proved irrelevant.

But the inspector general, Michael Horowitz, said he would also be examining other issues, including whether the deputy director of the F.B.I., whose wife ran as a Democrat for the Virginia State Senate, should have recused himself from any involvement in the Clinton email investigation. Another issue is whether a top Justice Department official gave information to the Clinton campaign.” (Read more: New York Times, 01/12/2017)

November, 2016 – FBI texts show agents discuss recruiting White House sources to spy on the Trump administration for Bureau

“Senior Republican chairmen submitted a letter Thursday to Department of Justice Attorney General William Barr revealing new texts from former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok to his paramour FBI Attorney Lisa Page showing the pair had discussed attempts to recruit sources within the White House to allegedly spy on the Trump administration.

Mike Pence (l) and Joshua Pitcock (Credit: public domain)

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Charles Grassley and Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson revealed the information in a three page letter. The texts had been obtained by SaraACarter.com Tuesday and information regarding the possible attempt to recruit White House sources had been divulged by several sources to this news site last week.

The texts and sources reveal that Strzok had one significant contact within the White House – Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff Joshua Pitcock, whose wife was working as an analyst for Strzok on the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server. A senior White House official told this news site that Pitcock’s wife recused herself from the Clinton investigation as soon as Pence and Trump became the Republican nominees in July 2016. A senior law enforcement official also told SaraACarter.com that Pitcock’s wife no longer worked under Strzok after she recused herself from the Clinton investigation.

However, the text messages uncovered from November, 2016, have left questions lingering about the relationship between Strzok, Pitcock and his wife among congressional investigators and lawmakers.

“The course of our oversight work we have reviewed certain text messages that may show potential attempts by the FBI to conduct surveillance of President-elect Trump’s transition team,” the letter states. “In text messages exchanged between former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and former FBI Attorney Lisa Page, the two discussed the possibility of developing “potential relationships” at a November 2016 FBI briefing for presidential transition team staff. Specifically, it appears they discussed sending “the CI guy” to assess an unnamed person ‘demeanor’ but were concerned because it might be unusual for him to attend.” (Read more: Sarah Carter, 4/26/2019)

October 27, 2016 – Strzok’s ‘fingerprints’ are on Comey’s notification to Congress about the Weiner laptop

“We have added two new pieces to the giant jigsaw puzzle showing the effort to undermine President Trump. They show more of the workings of the disgraced former FBI Director James Comey and fired FBI official Peter Strzok.

We have released 424 pages of FBI records, including an email revealing that Strzok created the initial draft of the October 2016 letter Comey sent to Congress notifying lawmakers of the discovery of Hillary Clinton emails on the laptop of disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner.

Another email suggests that the FBI had not yet completed its review of Clinton’s emails by the time Comey sent a second letter to Congress on November 6, 2016, reconfirming his belief that Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be charged with a crime.”

(…) “The documents reveal that on October 27, 2016, Peter Strzok emailed other senior FBI officials a draft notice letter from Comey to Congress about the Weiner laptop discovery and the reopening of the Clinton investigation. The emails indicated that Strzok and another official Jon (Last Name Unknown) authored the notification to Congress. The notification, according the DOJ IG, came a full month after the emails were discovered by the FBI on the Weiner laptop.

 

According to the documents, at 11:04 pm on Saturday, November 5, 2016, FBI Chief of Staff James Rybicki sent Comey an email containing a redacted draft document which he referred to as a “New Proposal” saying: “Folks, Per our 10:00 pm conversation, below is a revised straw man for discussion. Again, we could use this if the review when completed supports our conclusions. My comments again in ALL CAPS and bold italics.”

Rybicki’s “New Proposal … straw man” apparently refers to a draft of Comey’s letter to Congress concerning the FBI’s review of the 650,000 Clinton emails found on Weiner’s laptop. At the time of the Rybicki email, Comey was preparing his letter informing Congress of the FBI’s findings, and according to page 390 of the June 2018 report from the DOJ Office of the Inspector General, the deliberations regarding the letter began on the afternoon of November 3 and concluded “very early on November 6.”

 

 

Despite Rybicki’s email suggesting late on November 5 that the review of the new emails had not been completed, Comey’s November 6 letter to Congress stated, “[W]e reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State. Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.”

Comey’s “conclusions” in July were that no charges should be filed against Clinton, despite her repeatedly having sent classified information over her unsecured, non-State-Department server. Comey later admitted that he had drafted his July exoneration more than a month earlier.

 

RealClearInvestigations’ reporter Paul Sperry recently reported that “only 3,077 of the 694,000 emails [found on the Weiner laptop] were directly reviewed for classified or incriminating information. Three FBI officials completed that work in a single 12-hour spurt the day before Comey again cleared Clinton of criminal charges.”

These new documents provide more details of the corrupt and dishonest FBI investigation of the incredible revelations that Clinton’s classified and other emails were present on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. When will the Sessions DOJ and Wray FBI finally begin an honest investigation of Hillary Clinton’s national security crimes?” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 9/07/2018)

October 2016 – The DOJ IG report reveals dozens of FBI officials taking bribes from media for information

The IG report on how the FBI handled the Clinton investigation revealed that dozens of FBI officials were actually taking bribes from the media for information:

IG REPORT – We identified numerous FBI employees, at all levels of the organization and with no official reason to be in contact with the media, who were nevertheless in frequent contact with reporters. Attached to this report as Attachments E and F are two link charts that reflect the volume of communications that we identified between FBI employees and media representatives in April/May and October 2016. We have profound concerns about the volume and extent of unauthorized media contacts by FBI personnel that we have uncovered during our review.

DOJ IG Horowitz testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on June 14, 2018. (Credit: public domain)

(…) We do not believe the problem is with the FBI’s policy, which we found to be clear and unambiguous. Rather, we concluded that these leaks highlight the need to change what appears to be a cultural attitude among many in the organization. (link to pdf – page Xii of executive summary)

Perspective:

Later it was revealed that Andrew Weissmann, Robert Mueller’s #1 special counsel prosecutor, was coordinating investigative efforts with the full support of four AP reporters who were giving Weissmann tips. That is information from journalists, provided to Weissmann, for use in his court filings and submitted search warrants.

Make sure you grasp this: The AP journalists were feeding information to their ideological allies within the special counsel.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 1/27/2019)

October 14, 2016 – Hours after FBI found classified Clinton emails on Weiner laptop, Peter Strzok’s wife is promoted to Director of SEC Enforcement

Melissa Hodgman-Strzok (Credit: The Daily Mail)

Hours after the FBI found classified Hillary Clinton emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop, the wife of the FBI agent running the high-profile probe was promoted to a powerful position in the Securities and Exchange Commission, FBI sources said.

This case keeps getting worse for the FBI and embattled agent Peter Strzok, the lead investigator on the Clinton probe. His wife Melissa Hodgman was promoted to deputy director of SEC’s Enforcement Division literally hours after Strzok and FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe were debriefed about the Clinton emails found on Weiner’s computer.

The FBI’s original warrant for Weiner’s laptop was issued in late September 2016 and a subsequent warrant was issued on Oct. 30, 2016 so that the FBI could use Huma Abedin’s & Hillary’s classified emails as evidence in the re-opened Clinton probe.

Hodgman was promoted Oct. 14, 2016, literally hours after investigators started to examine the laptop’s contents for Clinton emails and assorted files, federal sources confirm.

Federal sources said the FBI field office in New York, who handled the original Weiner warrant for then-US Attorney Preet Bharara, reported to Strzok and McCabe that they had found evidence pertaining to the Hillary Clinton email case on Oct. 12, 2016, federal sources said.

About 36 hours later, Hodgman was promoted in the SEC.

The Wall Street Journal’s reporting on the laptop case confirms the early October timeline divulged to True Pundit by FBI sources.

“The latest development began in early October when New York-based FBI officials notified Andrew McCabe, the bureau’s second-in-command, that while investigating Mr. Weiner for possibly sending sexually charged messages to a teenage minor, they had recovered a laptop. Many of the 650,000 emails on the computer, they said, were from the accounts of Ms. Abedin, according to people familiar with the matter.”

Two weeks after Hodgman’s appointment, the FBI secured a subsequent search warrant to use Hillary and Huma emails from the 650,000 warehoused on the computer as evidence.”

(…) “Perhaps Hodgman’s promotion was merely happenstance?

“There are no coincidences here,” one FBI source told True Pundit. “Not with this crew. They wanted his wife in that SEC slot for a reason.”

But why?

Enter the Clinton Foundation.” (Read more: The True Pundit, 12/14/2017)

October 12, 2016 – McCabe/Page texts reveal the FBI clash with the DOJ over potential ‘bias’ of source for surveillance warrant

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

“Just nine days before the FBI applied for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil a top Trump campaign aide, bureau officials were battling with a senior Justice Department official who had “continued concerns” about the “possible bias” of a source pivotal to the application, according to internal text messages obtained by Fox News.

The 2016 messages, sent between former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, also reveal that bureau brass circulated at least two anti-Trump blog articles, including a Lawfare blog post sent shortly after Election Day that called Trump possibly “among the major threats to the security of the country.”

Another article, sent by Page in July 2016 as the FBI’s counterintelligence probe into Russian election interference was kicking off, flatly called Trump a “useful idiot” for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Page told McCabe that then-FBI Director James Comey had “surely” read that piece. Both articles were authored in whole or part by Benjamin Wittes, a Comey friend.

Further, the texts show that on Sept. 12, 2016, Page forwarded to McCabe some “unsolicited comments” calling then-GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy a “total d–k.” Gowdy, at the time, was grilling FBI congressional affairs director Jason Herring at a hearing on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.

But perhaps the most significant Page-McCabe communications made plain the DOJ’s worries that the FISA application to surveil Trump aide Carter Page was based on a potentially biased source — and underscored the FBI’s desire to press on.” (Read more: Fox News, 3/22/2019)

October 4, 2016 – FBI Executive Assistant Director (EAD) Randy Coleman’s notes re Weiner’s laptop mention Hillary Clinton, the Foundation and Crime Against Children

On page 294 of the DOJ OIG report, the IG team reviews an unusual entry in EAD Randy Coleman’s notes that understandably raises eyebrows and leaves room for speculation. What does “Crime Against Children” mean in the context of Coleman’s notes? One would normally presume it would be related to Weiner sexting with the 15 year old girl. A researcher suggested they could be counting Anthony Weiner’s son as a victim and that is a possibility as well. But the plural use of the word “children” written directly below the notation of Hillary Clinton and the Foundation also implies it could mean something else. The IG team appears, somewhat, to have tried getting to the bottom of it, but Comey had a convenient case of amnesia and the other FBI officials questioned, also gave similar responses.