national security

May 2, 2018 – Abedin Emails Show Clinton Foundation-State Department Haiti Links

Huma Abedin (Credit: Getty Images)

“Judicial Watch today released 894 pages of new State Department documents, including previously unreleased email exchanges in which former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was sent additional classified information through her unsecure clintonmail.com email account by top aide Huma Abedin. The Abedin emails also include repeated instances of Clinton’s detailed daily schedules being sent to top Clinton Foundation officials at unsecured email addresses.

The records were produced for Judicial Watch by the State Department from the non-state.gov email accounts of Abedin.  The records were obtained in response to a court order from a May 5, 2015lawsuit filed against the State Department (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)) after it failed to respond to a March 18, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking:

  • All emails of official State Department business received or sent by former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin from January 1, 2009 through February 1, 2013 using a non-“state.gov” email address.

The new documents included 29 email exchanges not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date to at least 317 emails that were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department. These records further appear to contradict statements by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department.

The emails show classified information was sent through the clintonemail.com account:

  • In a December 21, 2009, email, Clinton top national security and foreign policy staffer Jake Sullivan forwarded an email to Clinton’s unsecured email account containing classified information heavily redacted under FOIA exemption B1.4(D) – “Information specifically authorized by an executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy … Foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources.” Clinton then forwarded the email, concerning the climate change accord, from her unsecured email account to Abedin’s unsecured email account with the message, “Pls print.”
  • And, on December 24, 2009, Clinton sent an unsecured email from HDR22@clintonmail.com to then-Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson. The classified email, asking Carson to “Pls review the memcon of my call w [French] FM Kouchener [Redacted].” Information in this message was blacked out using FOIA exemptions B1.4(B) – “Foreign government information” and (D).
  • On January 17, 2010, five days after the massive Haitian earthquake, former Bill Clinton aide Justin Cooper emails Hillary Clinton’s then- deputy chiefs of staff, Jake Sullivan and Huma Abedin, to ask if they can do a conference call to discuss Haiti. Clinton Foundation officials Laura Graham and Doug Band are also provided the call-in information for the conference call. (Author Peter Schweizer would later describe in his book “Clinton Cash” how the Obama administration, during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, allowed hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer-funded reconstruction contracts for Haiti to flow through the Clinton Foundation.) “

(Read more: Judicial Watch, 5/02/2018)

November 6, 2016 – Despite Comey assurances, the vast bulk of Clinton emails on Weiner’s laptop are never examined

Part of a letter from FBI director James Comey to Congress on Nov. 6, 2016. Comey tells Congress that a review of the Clinton emails on Weiner’s laptop, “has not changed our conclusions” from earlier this year. (Credit: Jon Elswick/The Associated Press)

“When then-FBI Director James Comey announced he was closing the Hillary Clinton email investigation for a second time just days before the 2016 election, he certified to Congress that his agency had “reviewed all of the communications” discovered on a personal laptop used by Clinton’s closest aide, Huma Abedin, and her husband, Anthony Weiner.

At the time, many wondered how investigators managed over the course of one week to read the “hundreds of thousands” of emails residing on the machine, which had been a focus of a sex-crimes investigation of Weiner, a former Congressman.

Comey testifies to the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 3, 2017. (Credit: J. Scott Applewhite/The Associated Press)

Comey later told Congress that “thanks to the wizardry of our technology,” the FBI was able to eliminate the vast majority of messages as “duplicates” of emails they’d previously seen. Tireless agents, he claimed, then worked “night after night after night” to scrutinize the remaining material.

But virtually none of his account was true, a growing body of evidence reveals.

In fact, a technical glitch prevented FBI technicians from accurately comparing the new emails with the old emails.

Only 3,077 of the 694,000 emails 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.

“Most of the emails were never examined, even though they made up potentially 10 times the evidence” of what was reviewed in the original year-long case that Comey closed in July 2016, said a law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation.

Yet even the “extremely narrow” search that was finally conducted, after more than a month of delay, uncovered more classified material sent and/or received by Clinton through her unauthorized basement server, the official said. Contradicting Comey’s testimony, this included highly sensitive information dealing with Israel and the U.S.-designated terrorist group Hamas. The former secretary of state, however, was never confronted with the sensitive new information and it was never analyzed for damage to national security.

Even though the unique classified material was improperly stored and transmitted on an unsecured device, the FBI did not refer the matter to U.S. intelligence agencies to determine if national security had been compromised, as required under a federally mandated “damage assessment” directive.

The newly discovered classified material “was never previously sent out to the relevant original classification authorities for security review,” the official, who spoke to RealClearInvestigations on the condition of anonymity, said.

Other key parts of the investigation remained open when the embattled director announced to Congress he was buttoning the case back up for good just ahead of Election Day.” (Read much more: RealClearInvestigations, August 28, 2018)  (Archive)

The non-prosecution of Clinton could make it more difficult to get convictions in other cases.

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Gregory Greiner (Credit: public domain)

In the wake of FBI Director James Comey’s decision not to recommend Clinton’s indictment, the Washington Post reports, “The extraordinary case of Hillary Clinton and her emails raises intriguing questions for federal employees facing charges related to classified materials. … Because she has escaped prosecution, will others, too?”

Mark Zaid, a lawyer who specializes in national security employment cases, says that after former CIA Director David Petraeus got what was seen as a very generous plea deal, resulting in no prison time despite pleading guilty to mishandling classified material, he used that case to push for leniency for one of his clients “right away. I mean, literally, the ink was not dry.” Zaid’s client also was charged with mishandling classified information, but “We talked to the prosecutors and said, ‘We want the Petraeus deal.’ We got it.” Zaid plans to use Clinton’s case to push for leniency in future cases.

National security lawyer Gregory Greiner similarly argues that after Clinton’s non-prosecution, defense lawyers will try to raise the bar for prosecutors. He says that it only takes one person on a jury to argue that “this guy didn’t do anything different than what Hillary Clinton did.” (The Washington Post, 7/7/2016)

October 11, 2015 – In the midst of a FBI criminal investigation into Clinton’s emails, Obama claims on 60 Minutes that Hillary made a mistake and it was not a threat to national security

TRANSCRIPT:

“After a short break for a few sips of water, our interview with President Obama resumed turning to politics, Hillary Clinton’s emails and the president’s thoughts about his last 15 months in office.

President Barack Obama: What else you got?

Steve Kroft: OK. Mr. President, there are a lot of serious problems with the world right now, but I want to ask you a few questions about politics.

President Barack Obama: Yeah, go ahead.

Steve Kroft: Did you know about Hillary Clinton’s use of private email server–

President Barack Obama: No.

Steve Kroft: –while she was Secretary of State?

President Barack Obama: No.

Steve Kroft: Do you think it posed a national security problem?

President Barack Obama: I don’t think it posed a national security problem. I think that it was a mistake that she has acknowledged and– you know, as a general proposition, when we’re in these offices, we have to be more sensitive and stay as far away from the line as possible when it comes to how we handle information, how we handle our own personal data. And, you know, she made a mistake. She has acknowledged it. I do think that the way it’s been ginned-up is in part because of– in part– because of politics. And I think she’d be the first to acknowledge that maybe she could have handled the original decision better and the disclosures more quickly. But–

Steve Kroft: What was your reaction when you found out about it?

President Barack Obama: This is one of those issues that I think is legitimate, but the fact that for the last three months this is all that’s been spoken about is an indication that we’re in a presidential political season.

Steve Kroft: Do you agree with what President Clinton has said and Secretary Clinton has said, that this is not– not that big a deal. Do you agree with that?

President Barack Obama: Well, I’m not going to comment on–

Steve Kroft: You think it’s not that big a deal–

President Barack Obama: What I think is that it is important for her to answer these questions to the satisfaction of the American public. And they can make their own judgment. I can tell you that this is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.

Steve Kroft: This administration has prosecuted people for having classified material on their private computers.

President Barack Obama: Well, I– there’s no doubt that there had been breaches, and these are all a matter of degree. We don’t get an impression that here there was purposely efforts– on– in– to hide something or to squirrel away information. But again, I’m gonna leave it to–

Steve Kroft: If she had come to you.

President Barack Obama: I’m going to leave it to Hillary when she has an interview with you to address all these questions.

(60 Minutes, 10/11/2015) (Video archived) 

July 6, 2015 – The Intel Community IG determines the classified national security information in Clinton’s emails may have been “compromised” and shared with a foreign power

Former National Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough (Credit: Getty Images)

“Two secret letters the FBI sent to the State Department have revealed for the first time that the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, and the classified emails sent through it, stemmed from a so-called “Section 811” referral from the Intelligence Community’s Inspector General (ICIG). The ICIG determined that classified, national security information in Clinton’s emails may have been “compromised” and shared with “a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power.”

Section 811 of the Intelligence Authorization Act of 1995 “is the statutory authority that governs the coordination of counterespionage investigations between Executive Branch departments or agencies and the FBI.” A Section 811 referral is a report to the FBI about any unauthorized information that may have been disclosed to a foreign power.

A Section 811 referral “arises whenever there is a compromise of classified information — for whatever reason,” said Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. “It could include espionage, but it could also include negligence, inadvertence, or something else…. Section 811 does not assert a violation of criminal law.”

The two letters, dated October 23, 2015 and January 20, 2016, and marked “For Official Use Only,” were written by Peter Strzok and Charles H. Kable IV, the section chiefs of the FBI’s counterespionage section, and sent to Gregory B. Starr, the assistant secretary at the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. They were written while the FBI was investigating Clinton’s use of an unsecure, private email server and the dissemination of classified information.

A snippet from Peter Strzok’s letter proving he was aware Clinton’s emails may have been compromised by a foreign power.

“The potential compromise was identified when, as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request [by VICE News], the U.S. Department of State (DoS) and the ICIG reviewed electronic mail (email) communications from the private email accounts previously used by a former Secretary of State during her tenure at DoS,” Kable wrote. “An initial review of this material identified emails containing national security information later determined by the US Intelligence Community to be classified up to the Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information Level.”

The letters were turned over to VICE News in response to a FOIA lawsuit we filed against the FBI last year seeking, among other records, correspondence between the FBI and the State Department about Clinton’s private server and the FBI’s probe into it. The FBI had previously said that if it were to disclose the contents of these letters — even the identities of the senders and receivers — it would jeopardize its investigation.” (Read more: VICE News, 8/09/2016) (FBI Vault)

June 2010 – 2013: Secret donations flow to Clinton Foundation amid Uranium One deal

Ian Telfer (Credit: Galit Rodan/Bloomberg News/Getty Images

“At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.” (Read more: New York Times, 4/23/2015)

July 6, 2009 – From Russia with Money: Hillary Clinton, the Russian Reset and Cronyism

“On July 6, 2009, President Barack Obama visited Moscow, and together with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, announced the creation of the U.S. Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission. The Bilateral Commission would be the heart and soul of the Russia reset, with the goal to “improve communication and cooperation between the governments of Russia and the United States.”

(Government Accountability Institute Report, August, 2016)

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