August 22, 2019 – A federal judge criticizes State and Justice departments on Clinton email cover-up; gives Clinton and Mills 30 days to oppose being deposed
“Judicial Watch released the transcript today from their hearing on Thursday, August 22, 2019, where U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth granted significant new discovery to Judicial Watch on the Clinton email issue (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)).
During the hearing, Judge Lamberth specifically raised concerns about a Clinton email cache recently discussed in a letter to Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and wants Judicial Watch to “shake this tree” on this issue.[J]ust last week, the Senate’s – Senate Finance and Homeland Security Committees released documents revealing that Clinton IT aide Paul Combetta copied all but four of the missing emails to a Gmail account that does not appear to have ever been reconstructed and searched. The court thinks Judicial Watch ought to shake this tree.
Judge Lamberth also criticized the State Department’s handling and production of Clinton’s emails in this case stating, “There is no FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] exemption for political expedience, nor is there one for bureaucratic incompetence.”
At the beginning of their oral arguments, lawyers for the State Department wrongfully stated that Judicial Watch could no longer continue their discovery. The court stopped their arguments saying that Judicial Watch can continue to find more evidence in this case:
STATE DEPARTMENT: … it is, of course, Judicial Watch’s burden to explain to Your Honor why there has been good cause to reopen discovery now that discovery has closed in this case.
THE COURT: Well, I didn’t close discovery. So your premise is wrong.
STATE DEPARTMENT: Fair enough, Your Honor. Whether you want to call it closed or not, it is still —
THE COURT: I didn’t close it. I said I would have a status after they took this initial discovery, and that’s what I’m doing today. I didn’t close discovery.
STATE DEPARTMENT: That’s right, Your Honor, but it is still Judicial Watch’s —
THE COURT: So they don’t need any good cause —
STATE DEPARTMENT: Whether
THE COURT: — Today the good cause continues from whether or not State was acting in good faith, and I’ll tell you everything they’ve discovered in this period raises serious questions about what the hell the State Department’s doing here.
The court rejected DOJ and State efforts to derail further Judicial Watch discovery. Judge Lamberth called their arguments “preposterous” and cited a prior Judicial Watch FOIA case in which he ordered U.S. Marshals to seize records from a Clinton administration official.
I’ll tell you another thing I didn’t like in your brief. I’ll tell you right now upfront. You put in your brief the most preposterous thing, I thought, in your brief was the very idea that — let me read you the line. Competitive Enterprise Institute was a case of first impression and that some District Judge bought that and the Court of Appeals reversed it. Now, that wasn’t a case of first impression at all. The first impression with me was a case I had involving Ron Brown and the travel records of whether or not, in the Commerce Department — and it was a Judicial Watch case — whether or not the Commerce Department was selling seats on trade missions, and I had a Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce who took a box of records home and then they gave a no-records response and, in the course of that, I found out he had taken the records home and they said they had no records. I sent marshals over and they got the box at his house, and I ordered them – the marshals — to seize the records. That was the first case.
The Judge also stated that the government has mishandled this case and the discovery of information including former Secretary Clinton’s emails so poorly that Judicial Watch may have the ability to prove they acted in “bad faith,” which would entitle them to attorney’s fees.
Judge Lamberth detailed how the State Department “spent three months from November 2014 trying to make this case disappear,” and that after discovering the State Department’s actions and omissions, “Now we know more, but we have even more questions than answers. So I won’t hold it against Judicial Watch for expanding their initial discovery request now.”
Judge Lamberth stated his goal was to restore the public’s faith in their government, which may have been damaged because of the Clinton email investigation:
When I authorized discovery back in December, I described my goal: to rule out egregious government misconduct and vindicate the public’s faith in the State and Justice Departments. That’s still my goal today. This isn’t a case I relish, but it’s the case before me now, and it’s a case of the government’s making.”
The court granted Judicial Watch seven additional depositions, three interrogatories and four document requests related to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Hillary Clinton and her former top aide and current lawyer Cheryl Mills were given 30 days to oppose being deposed by Judicial Watch.
Below is the court’s ruling from the bench granting Judicial Watch’s significant new discovery:”
April 27, 2018 – Another batch of Strzok, Page text messages are released by the DOJ
“Much of the messaging is disjointed because of the one-sided capture. However, some information is decipherable and very interesting.
FBI Head of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap, Peter Strzok’s boss, features heavily in convos. This makes sense since the perspective in the release is from Strzok’s side of their communications. The name “Jen” also figures prominently and appears to be a person within the FBI Counterintelligence Unit that Strzok views as a competitor of sorts.
Important Note – It definitely appears Page and Strzok were using joint G-Mail account. Notes to “clear GMail” indicates they were using a running draft to talk at length about ongoing activities. [This is also a common tactic of terrorist group communications]”
March 19, 2016 – The phishing email that hacks the account of John Podesta
“This appears to be the phishing email that hacked Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s Gmail account. Further, The Clinton campaign’s own computer help desk thought it was real email sent by Google, even though the email address had a suspicious “googlemail.com” extension.”
The email, with the subject line “*Someone has your password,*” greeted Podesta, “Hi John” and then said, “Someone just used your password to try to sign into your Google Account firstname.lastname@example.org.” Then it offered a time stamp and an IP address in “Location: Ukraine.”
“Google stopped this sign-in attempt. You should change your password immediately.” And it then offered a link to change his password.
“This is a legitimate email,” Charles Delevan at the HFA help desk wrote to Podesta’s chief of staff, Sara Latham. “John needs to change his password immediately, and ensure that two-factor authentication is turned on his account.”
Delevan included the Gmail link that would be used to change a user’s password, but whoever changed Podesta’s password instead clicked on the shortened URL that was in the original phishing email. This is the same technique used to hack Colin Powell’s emails and the Democratic National Committee emails, according to the website Motherboard.” (Read more: CBS News, 10/28/2016) (Wikileaks – Podesta Emails)
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!”