Archive for the ‘Clinton unsecured server’ category

Is it time for the DOJ to reopen the probe into Clinton?

July 19, 2017

Is it time for the DOJ to reopen the probe into Clinton? Judicial Watch via YouTube, July 19, 2017

(But that would be misogynistic and besides, it’s just old news.  Let’s just keep trying to impeach President Trump. That gets lots of headlines.– DM)

 

In Clinton Caper, Comey Was the Most Visible Player, Not the Most Consequential

May 10, 2017

In Clinton Caper, Comey Was the Most Visible Player, Not the Most Consequential, PJ MediaAndrew C. McCarthy, May 10, 2017

FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015 (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

If Comey had gone the other way, his recommendation to file charges would have been rejected, and his wings would have been clipped in a hurry. He is being cast as the official responsible for key decisions in the Clinton case and the fate of the Clinton candidacy. But the decisive scandal is Hillary Clinton’s alone, and the key decisions were never Jim Comey’s to make.

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At National Review last weekend, I addressed the Democrats’ loopy claim that the FBI became a Trump partisan in the 2016 election. The claim is worth more examination in light of President Trump’s dismissal of FBI Director James Comey.

In Clinton World, self-absorption always triumphs over self-inspection, so nothing could be more predictable than Hillary Clinton’s scapegoating of Comey, a diversion from acknowledging what really cost her the election: her own manifest flaws. Congressional Democrats are along for the ride: those who were swooning over Comey in July when he announced that Clinton would not be charged, then ripped him in October when he reopened and quickly reclosed the FBI’s investigation, and then branded him a Trump partisan hack after the votes were counted, are suddenly back in swoon mode.

Comey, of course, hasn’t changed through all of this. He’s always been the same guy. The laughably transparent explanation for all the careening around him is politics.

Mrs. Clinton was hoping to put the e-mail scandal behind her by arguing that she had been vindicated by a thorough, highly professional FBI investigation. But she lost, so the investigation that was to be her credential for office became the downfall that denied her. Comey thus became Rationalization 1 for her defeat … at least until Rationalization 1A, Russia, got some media traction. So now, Comey has gone from villainous J. Edgar Hoover to valiant Elliot Ness again – not out of anything he did, but because Democrats calculate that framing his termination as part of a “cover-up” may resuscitate the Trump-Russia narrative, which has grown stale in the absence of concrete evidence of collusion.

Note that in all of this, Comey is always in the center of events, but he has never been in control of events. Don’t be fooled by appearances. The FBI director has been the most visible player, but he has not come close to being the most consequential.

Yes, the FBI that actually carries out the dual functions of criminal inquiry and foreign intelligence collection. In either type of investigation, it is the Bureau that performs the rubber-meets-the-road work of gathering information and analyzing it, searching for the connections that prove actions and intentions. Consequently, Director Comey has gotten top billing in this drama – a happenstance made more pronounced by the director’s very forceful personality. It has made him look more important than, in fact, he has been.

Some perspective, please. There could have been no indictment against Hillary Clinton unless the Obama Justice Department approved it. Comey headed an investigative agency; he had no authority to exercise prosecutorial discretion – to decide whether charges got filed.

In the Clinton caper, Comey ostensibly seized the Justice Department’s decision-making power. In reality, though, he exercised it within obvious limitations, and under circumstances in which his superiors factored decisively.

Those superiors were President Obama, the chief executive, who made crystal clear in his public comments that he did not want Clinton indicted; and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the head of the real decision-making department – the Justice Department. Contrary to media-Democrat intimations, Lynch never actually recused herself after being caught in a shameful private meeting with Bill Clinton. That was right before the Justice Department – not Comey, the Justice Department – declined prosecution against Mrs. Clinton.

Lynch could have ignored Comey, and surely would have if he had not come out the “right” way. In effect, Comey was able to project the authority of the official making a tough call as long as the call he made was against filing an indictment.

The Obama Justice Department was never, ever going to indict Hillary Clinton. Even if he had wanted to push against that outcome, Comey had to know doing so would have been futile. But as long as he accepted the inevitable – as long as he defended the decision with dizzying disquisitions on mens rea and other criminal law esoterica – he would be given a wide berth.

That is what enabled him to do some highly irregular things: e.g., the July press conference describing the damning evidence but recommending against criminal charges, and the late October letter informing Congress that the investigation had been reopened (but, significantly, not suggesting that any charges were anticipated). The point, if I may speculate, was to protect the reputation of the FBI as much as possible under circumstances in which the Bureau was unavoidably embroiled in a political controversy. Comey knew there would be no indictment. That meant the FBI was vulnerable to charges of participation in a whitewash. The director no doubt convinced himself that it was essential, for the sake of the rule of law, to show that the FBI had not been corrupted – that it had investigated as thoroughly as the constraints imposed by the Justice Department allowed.

Comey’s agenda to protect the FBI happened to coincide with the political agenda of Obama and Lynch. They, too, needed to show that there had been a thorough, professional investigation – they knew they could prevent any charges from being filed, and they reckoned that a solid FBI investigation would make their non-prosecution decision look like good-faith law enforcement rather than partisan politics. With a little help from their media friends, the general public would remain in the dark regarding the instances in which Lynch’s Justice Department frustrated the FBI’s ability to investigate: the close working relationship with Clinton team defense lawyers, the cutting off of salient areas of inquiry, the bizarre immunity grants.

What the public would see was Hillary “exonerated” after the FBI “left no stone unturned.”

Undoubtedly, Obama and Lynch were not thrilled by Comey’s press conference, laying out the FBI’s investigation. They may even have been quite angry about it. But they also realized that Comey remained a net positive in the equation. Because of their vulnerabilities – Obama because he could not be seen as interfering with law enforcement, and Lynch because of her bone-headed meeting with Bill Clinton – they needed the decision not to indict to appear to be made by someone with bipartisan credibility. Comey fit the bill, so they were willing to put up with a lot … as long as he held firm on the bottom line.

But make no mistake: If Comey had gone the other way, his recommendation to file charges would have been rejected, and his wings would have been clipped in a hurry. He is being cast as the official responsible for key decisions in the Clinton case and the fate of the Clinton candidacy. But the decisive scandal is Hillary Clinton’s alone, and the key decisions were never Jim Comey’s to make.

The Saga of Hillary’s Emails Continues

December 28, 2016

The Saga of Hillary’s Emails Continues, Front Page Magazine (The Point), Daniel Greenfield, December 28, 2016

notme

Hillary is increasingly disposable. It’s now a matter of whom else she may take down with her.

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It’s not over until the pantsuit sings.

In a new legal development on the controversy over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails, an appeals court on Tuesday reversed a lower court ruling and said two U.S. government agencies should have done more to recover the emails.

The ruling from Judge Stephen Williams, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, revives one of a number of legal challenges involving Clinton’s handling of government emails when she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

While the State Department and National Archives took steps to recover the emails from Clinton’s tenure, they did not ask the U.S. attorney general to take enforcement action. Two conservative groups filed lawsuits to force their hand.

A district judge in January ruled the suits brought by Judicial Watch and Cause of Action moot, saying State and the National Archives made a “sustained effort” to recover and preserve Clinton’s records.

But Williams said the two agencies should have done more, according to the ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Since the agencies neither asked the attorney general for help nor showed such enforcement action could not uncover new emails, the case was not moot.

Obviously the case.

The government’s people repeatedly obstructed investigations and the investigations of their obstructionism will likely drag on long after Obama is out of office as one of the dirty polluted remnants of his tainted legacy. The IRS, the emails and Benghazi, along with so much else represent a prolonged battle between activist investigators and radical government figures embedded in the system.

The difference is that Hillary is increasingly disposable. It’s now a matter of whom else she may take down with her.

Remember when the Russians Hacked the White House’s Computers?

December 12, 2016

Remember when the Russians Hacked the White House’s Computers? Power Line, John Hinderaker, December 11, 2016

Now, the same news outlets that refused to cover the Russian government’s hacking into White House and State Department computers and email systems try to tell us that an intrusion into Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s and John Podesta’s email accounts by someone–allegedly the same Russian government–is a story of world-historical importance. What a load of bulls–t.

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You probably don’t. We broke the story on Power Line in October 2014, writing about it here, here, here, here, here and here. The White House’s computers were down for weeks because of the intrusion by a “foreign power,” which the administration finally identified as Russia. It wasn’t just the White House, either; it was the entire Executive Office of the President, which comprises a good chunk of the executive branch. Nor was that all: the State Department’s computer system was hacked, too.

While we pounded away at the story, the White House refused to respond to our inquiries. The Washington press corps, which must have known that the White House’s computers were out of action, maintained a discreet silence, declining to write about the Russian hack, even though many D.C. reporters no doubt followed the story on Power Line. Why the coy silence? Because it was October 2014, weeks before the midterm elections, and the story reflected poorly on the Obama administration, which didn’t even discover the intrusion itself. It turned out that American officials were alerted to the Russian hack of the White House and State Department by an unidentified ally (I’m guessing Israel).

Only when the election was safely over did news outlets like CNN report the story (“How the U.S. thinks Russians hacked the White House”). Throughout, the Obama administration minimized the story, claiming that no harm was done and only unclassified material was accessed–an excuse that, as CNN wrote post-election, “belies the seriousness of the intrusion.”

Now, the same news outlets that refused to cover the Russian government’s hacking into White House and State Department computers and email systems try to tell us that an intrusion into Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s and John Podesta’s email accounts by someone–allegedly the same Russian government–is a story of world-historical importance. What a load of bulls–t.

Obama, Russia, The Election, and A Visitor From Mars

December 11, 2016

Obama, Russia, The Election, and A Visitor From Mars, PJ Media, Claudia Rosett, December 10, 2016

(But Obama says his Administration is the most transparent in history.

You can see right through him. — DM)

So, as chance would have it we are currently hosting a newly arrived visitor from Mars, who has been avidly following the headlines. Having studied our world for some time, he is intrigued by the news, as reported first by the Washington Post on Friday: “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House.”

This is the story in which U.S. “officials” told the Post it is “now ‘quite clear’ that electing Trump was Russia’s goal.” Earlier in the week, according to White House spokesman Eric Schultz, President Obama “instructed the intelligence community to conduct a full review of the pattern of malicious cyber activity related to our presidential election cycle.” Obama wants this report completed and submitted to him before the end of his term, Jan. 20 — now less than six weeks ahead.

Since this story broke, we have been trying to field questions from our inquisitive Man from Mars, who seems oddly disinclined to take things at face value. (We think our visitor is a he, so I’ll proceed on that assumption, though we have not inquired about gender identification).

I’m sharing below some excerpts from our chat. For convenience, I’ve abbreviated “Man from Mars” as MFM. Our replies, I am attributing simply to “Us.”

MFM: This is shocking news about Russia, but surely meddling in America’s elections is not new. What were the findings of the deep-dive report produced at speed by the Obama administration, its concerns leaked in advance to the press, over the effects, starting early in his first term, of the IRS targeting conservative groups?

Us: There was no such report. There were congressional hearings in which a prominent witness from the IRS took the Fifth. There were tussles over destroyed hard drives, emails not turned over, or some turned over long after the deadlines, and this year brought news that the targeting may still be going on — see Kim Strassel’s May 19 column in the Wall Street Journal on the “The IRS’s Ugly Business as Usual.”

MFM: But wasn’t Obama deeply worried that this targeting might silence a lot of conservatives, skew public debate and warp America’s political process?

Us: Nah. In 2014, Obama in a TV interview dismissed it all as nothing worse than “bone-headed decisions,” saying there was “not even a smidgen of corruption.” So much for that.

MFM: OK. But what about the deep-dive report Obama demanded, urgently, prior to the 2012 presidential election, to shed light on his own administration’s lies about the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi. You remember, all that “messaging” about an ad hoc mob, and blaming the “video.” That sure looked like Obama was trying to mislead the American public in order to bolster his campaign line that “the tide of war is receding,” plus his administration’s claims that leading-from-behind in Libya was a success. I mean, there were four Americans murdered, including — as I discern from your Earth records — the first American ambassador killed on the job in 33 years. Obama, who had the authority to send help directly to Benghazi, never did. What does Obama’s urgently ordered, in-depth and surely impartial report tell you about what Obama himself was doing that night?

Us: Get real. Obama was hardly likely to order an all-out urgent investigation of himself and his team, especially during the final weeks of his reelection campaign. He was already booked to go to Vegas, he needed his sleep. Anyway, by the morning after the Benghazi attack, the damage was already done. So — as somebody-or-other told Congress — “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

MFM: Right-o. I can see that a president needs his sleep. But I’m still puzzled over these latest news stories that imply President Obama thinks Russia is an enemy trying to subvert the United States. Yes, but…wasn’t Obama a buddy of Vladimir Putin?

Us: Well, yes. But only for the first six or seven of Obama’s eight years in office. There was Obama’s chummy 2009 “Reset” with Russia — you remember that mislabeled red button Hillary Clinton presented to Russia’s foreign minister. Obama threw in, as a bit more swag for Putin, the gift of shelving missile defense plans for Eastern Europe. And when NATO missile-defense plans became a sore point with the Kremlin during Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, there was that open-microphone moment in which Obama was caught promising Putin’s sidekick, Dmitry Medvedev, “After my election I will have more flexibility.” To which Medvedev replied, companionably, “I will transmit this information to Vladimir, and I stand with you.” Pretty friendly, actually. But, hey, dude, that was like four years ago.

MFM: Fair enough. But wasn’t there a bit more to it?

Us: OK, yeah, but let’s not get too bogged down in the past. There was Obama’s 2013 red line in Syria over chemical weapons, which he erased by way of basically turning over the Middle East to Putin — and, of course, to Iran. And of course there was the case that same year of Edward Snowden, the guy who fled the U.S. with a trove of National Security Agency secrets. After a quick sojourn in Hong Kong, Snowden washed up as Putin’s guest in Russia, where Putin has not gotten around to sending him back. Obama apparently didn’t like that, but he didn’t let a transient thing like wholesale plundering of the NSA, or Moscow’s asylum for the plunderer, interfere with buddying up to Moscow to clinch the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

MFM: Well, at least when Putin snatched Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, Obama made him give it back.

Us: Umm, actually, no, he didn’t. Russia now owns Crimea, has roughed up more of Ukraine and seems to be eyeing the Baltics. Though Obama did impose sanctions on Russia, which Putin didn’t like.

MFM: And those sanctions, of course, stopped Russian aggression and put Putin back in his box?

Us: Would you like more coffee?

MFM: Thanks. You Earth people have such nice customs.

Us: Coffee’s even better with sugar, not salt. Try it.

MFM: Wow. Who knew? Which brings me to just a few more questions. In the stories this week about the urgent report Obama has ordered — following up on conclusions reached secretly with “high confidence” by U.S. “intelligence agencies” that Russia acted covertly to promote Donald Trump over Hillary — why are all the official sources anonymous? I see a couple of officials quoted by name, commenting on the need for such a report, including Obama’s counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, who had breakfast recently with some reporters. But the whole thing seems based on specifics which the press has attributed only to anonymous “officials briefed on the matter,” or officials “who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.”

Us: Look, this is delicate stuff. The intel guys have to worry about exposing sources, and there are clearly big secrets involved. Check out the cloak-and-dagger stuff in the penultimate paragraph of the Washington Post story, telling how administration officials briefed select members of Congress, in ” a secure room in the Capitol used for briefings involving classified information.” That ought to tell you just how extremely secret and classified this stuff is.

MFM: Call me an idiot, but how secret is an assessment that has details of its contents leaked to one of America’s major newspapers, including the sweeping conclusion that, as one nameless “senior U.S. official” told the Post, “Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected.” Isn’t Obama, with his concerns for the integrity of state secrets, trying frantically to stop these anonymous officials from leaking these secrets to the press? Haven’t people lower down the food chain gone to prison for leaking classified information?

Us: Yes, but as you say, those jailbirds were lower down the food chain. Maybe Obama doesn’t know who exactly is leaking this information to the press. As you say, they’re anonymous.

MFM: Give me a break. If these anonymous officials have it right about Russia’s cyber abilities, I’d bet the Russians already know who these same anonymous officials really are. Surely Obama could find out. If he can’t find out direct, maybe he could order U.S. intelligence to steal the information from the Russians? Can’t he order up another urgent report, to get to the bottom of who’s leaking some of the state secrets that inspired him to order up the original urgent report?

Us: Enough already. You may know plenty about Mars, but you’ve got a lot to learn about White House politics under Obama.

MFM: Speaking of Mars, we Martians love conspiracy theories. There’s lots here that we don’t know, but all this leaking seems tilted toward delegitimizing the victory of Donald Trump, even before he takes office. I mean, how does someone defend himself, when accusations are all over the headlines, conveyed by anonymous officials, while the actual basis for these stories is officially secret? Is that what Obama meant when he promised to run the most “transparent” administration ever?

Us: Give it a rest. U.S. elections are sacred to our democracy, and if anyone — and we mean anyone — tries to fiddle them, we have to get to the bottom of it.

MFM: Calm down. I’m just curious. If the Russians did try to intervene, by hacking and flooding the public with emails humiliating to Hillary and the Democrats, but not to Trump, then did Trump have any control over this? Wasn’t it the responsibility of Obama to protect the country, and the election, from any such intrusions?

Us: You’ve been reading too much fake news. Obama’s a busy guy. He’s been trying for years to control the level of the oceans. He can’t cover everything.

MFM: And if the Russians, emboldened by Obama’s reset and flexibility and vanished red lines, did actually try to tip the 2016 American election, did they succeed? Did it make a difference?

Us: Look, please stop with the questions. We’re just the little guys here. Normal Americans. We don’t have time to read reams of emails dumped out by anybody. We come home tired from our day jobs. Or we’ve been reading about the wealth and fashions of the liberal elite, and the fat pensions of the federal bureaucracy, while we work the part-time night shifts, and look for any extra income we can scrounge up.

I’ll tell you what we read during the recent presidential campaign. We read the letter that arrived a week before the election, from our health insurance company, informing us of the double-digit rate hike slated for our premiums, yet again. We read about the terrorist attacks — in Paris, Nice, San Bernardino, Orlando — inspired or linked to ISIS, the “JV team” that was expanding its murderous reach while Obama was still boasting about killing Osama bin Laden. We listened to Obama exhorting people to vote for Hillary, in order to cement and extend his legacy. We listened to Hillary denouncing tens of millions of Americans as “deplorables.” Did Russia make her do that?

MFM: Don’t ask me. I’m from Mars.

Us: We get it. But watch out. If you keep asking questions like these, someone’s going to report you as part of a Russian plot. Speaking of… enough with the coffee. It’s gonna take more than caffeine to get through these next six weeks. Ever tried vodka?

Report: Hillary’s maid had access to top-secret documents

November 6, 2016

Report: Hillary’s maid had access to top-secret documents, American ThinkerThomas Lifson, November 6, 2016

(Please see also, Clinton ordered maid to print out top secret information on YouTube.

— DM)

In between making the beds and dusting the antiques, Marina Santos, Hillary’s housekeeper in her Washington, DC mansion, printed up state secrets for her boss. And she had access to the secure room where top secret docuemnts were housed.

Hillary Clinton had such contempt for national security rules that Paul Sperry, a well respected writer for the New York Post, sourcing unnamed “e-mails and FBI memos,” writes that the Filipina immigrant maid:

…was called on so frequently to receive e-mails that she may hold the secrets to E-mailgate — if only the FBI and Congress would subpoena her and the equipment she used.

Those subpoenas will have to await Congress going back into session, since Obama/Lynch will not permit a grand jury under current circumstances.

For anyone who cares about national security, the details of Hillary’s recklessness are stunning.

Clinton would first receive highly sensitive e-mails from top aides at the State Department and then request that they, in turn, forward the messages and any attached documents to Santos to print out for her at the home.

Among other things, Clinton requested Santos print out drafts of her speeches, confidential memos and “call sheets” — background information and talking points prepared for the secretary of state in advance of a phone call with a foreign head of state.

“Pls ask Marina to print for me in am,” Clinton e-mailed top aide Huma Abedin regarding a redacted 2011 message marked sensitive but unclassified.

In a classified 2012 e-mail dealing with the new president of Malawi, another Clinton aide, Monica Hanley, advised Clinton, “We can ask Marina to print this.”

“Revisions to the Iran points” was the subject line of a classified April 2012 e-mail to Clinton from Hanley. In it, the text reads, “Marina is trying to print for you.”

Both classified e-mails were marked “confidential,” the tier below “secret” or “top secret.”

Santos also had access to a highly secure room called an SCIF (sensitive compartmented information facility) that diplomatic security agents set up at Whitehaven, according to FBI notes from an interview with Abedin.

From within the SCIF, Santos — who had no clearance — “collected documents from the secure facsimile machine for Clinton,” the FBI notes revealed.

Just how sensitive were the papers Santos presumably handled? The FBI noted Clinton periodically received the Presidential Daily Brief — a top-secret document prepared by the CIA and other US intelligence agencies — via the secure fax.

Does Hillary Clinton not understand the concept of a deep cover agent? One of the most popular (and “eerily authentic”) TV shows of the last few years has been all about the practice.

I bet Huma Abedin does.  Hillary should ask her.

 

Undercover Video Exposes Early Clinton Email Witness Who Was Never Interviewed by FBI

November 4, 2016

Undercover Video Exposes Early Clinton Email Witness Who Was Never Interviewed by FBI, Project Veritas via YouTube, November 4, 2016

Clinton Cash Revisited, National Security Edition

November 4, 2016

Clinton Cash Revisited, National Security Edition, PJ MediaRoger Kimball, November 4, 2016

shhh

And people worry that Donald Trump had a few nice things to say about Vladimir Putin.  The Clintons, to feather their own nest, have actually empowered him. Extraordinary. Despicable. Disqualifying.

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Back in May, I had the opportunity to see a screening of Clinton Cash, the documentary based on Peter Schweizer’s  book of the same title. I wrote about it in this space here.  Now that the commentariat is finally beginning to catch up with reality — at last count, there were five, count ’em five, FBI investigations into the machinations of the money factory known as the Clinton Foundation — I thought it might be worth briefly revisiting the subject.

In May, I asked my readers: “Are you worried about ‘money in politics’?” If so, I suggested that they “Stop the car, get an extended-stay room, and take a long, hard look at the Clintons’ operation for the last sixteen years.”

 The Associated Press estimated that their net worth when they left the White House in 2000 was zero (really, minus $500K). Now they are worth about $200 million.

How did they do it? By “reading The Wall Street Journal” (classical reference)?

Not quite. The Clintons have perfected pay-to-play political influence peddling on a breathtaking scale. Reading Clinton Cash [which I recommend] is a nauseating experience.

At the center of the book is not just a tale of private greed and venality. That is just business as usual in Washington (and elsewhere). No, what is downright scary is way the Clintons have been willing to trade away legitimate environmental concerns and even our national security for the sake of filthy lucre.

It’s this last item that’s most worrisome.  That the Clintons are a greedy, money-hoovering machine has been clear since they left the White House with cartloads of swag in tow (the exact amount is disputable: that they did so is not). There are some who say her mishandling of classified material is no big deal — it’s  just a technicality, who really cares? Can’t we put this behind us? Can’t we move on? At this point what difference does it make?

Well, there used to be such people.  If they still exist, they are scarce on the ground now.  Thanks to Wikileaks and some recent FBI revelations, it is now clear that Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified material was no casual act of inadvertence. It was not, as she at first claimed with false naiveté, done simply as a matter of convenience by someone who was technically ill-informed and maladroit.

No, the whole process was a thoroughly calculated tactic. Given what we know now, there is something slightly nauseating about watching clips of Clinton lie when asked about her emails.  One classic is this clip, in which, when asked about whether she wiped her server she said coyly “Like with with a cloth or something?” She knew all about wiping servers, since her IT guys employed a sophisticated tool called Bleach Bit to do the job. (The company even uses an image of Hillary Clinton at their web page.)

Scrutinize Clinton’s performance in this clip. In a way it’s quite masterly.  Watch how she coolly modulates between impatience, naiveté, evasion, and outright lies.  We turned over the server, she says, what more can we do?  “We turned over everything that was work related, every single thing.”

We now know (well, we’ve always known, but now we really do know) that assertion is a lie — not just an untruth, but a deliberate lie.

It’s hard to know what is the most brazen thing about her behavior.  Turning over a server for investigation after having it professionally wiped is a candidate for the prize.  But for my money the most outrageous thing was responding to a Congressional subpoena by destroying 33,000 emails. (Andy McCarthy lays out the whole story with his customary clarity here.)

The revelation by the FBI last week that material that could be “relevant” to the Clinton email investigation had been found on a laptop shared by Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her estranged husband, amateur photographer and penpal to pubescent multitudes Anthony Weiner, propelled the story to a new and vertiginous stage. Apparently, we are talking about 650,000 emails. How many had to do with yoga routines? How many concerned State Department business?  How many did Anthony Weiner see or share?  These are just a few of the questions prompted  by this ever more bizarre story.

The really amazing thing about the Clintons’ greed is how cavalier it has made them about national security issues. “Oh, that’s just a despicable right-wing talking point,” I sometimes here. Well, here’s what that well known right-wing publication The New York Times had to say in a long and devastating story about the how the Clintons sold out some twenty percent of American uranium assets to a Russian company controlled by Vladimir Putin. “At the heart of the tale,” the Times reported:

… 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.

Worried yet? It gets worse:

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.

And people worry that Donald Trump had a few nice things to say about Vladimir Putin.  The Clintons, to feather their own nest, have actually empowered him. Extraordinary. Despicable. Disqualifying.

The Clinton E-mails Are Critical to the Clinton Foundation Investigation

November 2, 2016

The Clinton E-mails Are Critical to the Clinton Foundation Investigation, National Review, Andres C. McCarthy, November 1, 2016

lynchagAttorney General Loretta Lynch (Reuters photo: Shannon Stapleton)
 

(Please see also, Am I back in Argentina? — DM)

The Wall Street Journal’s report that, for over a year, the FBI has been investigating the Clinton Foundation for potential financial crimes and influence peddling is, as Rich Lowry said Monday, a blockbuster. As I argued over the weekend, the manner in which the State Department was put in the service of the Foundation during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary is shocking. It is suggestive of a pattern of pay-to-play bribery, the monetizing of political influence, fraud, and obstruction of justice that the Justice Department should be investigating as a possible RICO conspiracy under the federal anti-racketeering laws.

The Journal’s Devlin Barrett buries the Clinton Foundation lede in the 14th paragraph of his report. Even more astonishing are his final three paragraphs:

In September, agents on the foundation case asked to see the emails contained on nongovernment laptops that had been searched as part of the Clinton email case, but that request was rejected by prosecutors at the Eastern District of New York, in Brooklyn. Those emails were given to the FBI based on grants of partial immunity and limited-use agreements, meaning agents could only use them for the purpose of investigating possible mishandling of classified information.

Some FBI agents were dissatisfied with that answer, and asked for permission to make a similar request to federal prosecutors in Manhattan, according to people familiar with the matter. [FBI Deputy Director Andrew] McCabe, these people said, told them no and added that they couldn’t “go prosecutor-shopping.”

Not long after that discussion, FBI agents informed the bureau’s leaders about the Weiner laptop, prompting Mr. Comey’s disclosure to Congress and setting off the furor that promises to consume the final days of a tumultuous campaign.

Let me unpack this.

Readers are unlikely to know that the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn is not just any United States attorney’s office. It is the office that was headed by Attorney General Loretta Lynch until President Obama elevated her to attorney general less than two years ago.

It was in the EDNY that Ms. Lynch first came to national prominence in 1999, when she was appointed U.S. attorney by President Bill Clinton — the husband of the main subject of the FBI’s investigations with whom Lynch furtively met in the back of a plane parked on an Arizona tarmac days before the announcement that Mrs. Clinton would not be indicted. Obama reappointed Lynch as the EDNY’s U.S. attorney in 2010. She was thus in charge of staffing that office for nearly six years before coming to Main Justice in Washington. That means the EDNY is full of attorneys Lynch hired and supervised.

When we learn that Clinton Foundation investigators are being denied access to patently relevant evidence by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, those are the prosecutors — Loretta Lynch’s prosecutors — we are talking about.

Recall, moreover, that it was Lynch’s Justice Department that:

refused to authorize use of the grand jury to further the Clinton e-mails investigation, thus depriving the FBI of the power to compel testimony and the production of evidence by subpoena;

consulted closely with defense attorneys representing subjects of the investigation;

permitted Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson — the subordinates deputized by Mrs. Clinton to sort through her e-mails and destroy thousands of them — to represent Clinton as attorneys, despite the fact that they were subjects of the same investigation and had been granted immunity from prosecution (to say nothing of the ethical and legal prohibitions against such an arrangement);

drastically restricted the FBI’s questioning of Mills and other subjects of the investigation; and

struck the outrageous deals that gave Mills and Samuelson immunity from prosecution in exchange for providing the FBI with the laptops on which they reviewed Clinton’s four years of e-mails. That arrangement was outrageous for three reasons: 1) Mills and Samuelson should have been compelled to produce the computers by grand-jury subpoena with no immunity agreement; 2) Lynch’s Justice Department drastically restricted the FBI’s authority to examine the computers; and 3) Lynch’s Justice Department agreed that the FBI would destroy the computers following its very limited examination.

As I have detailed, it was already clear that Lynch’s Justice Department was stunningly derelict in hamstringing the bureau’s e-mails investigation. But now that we know the FBI wassimultaneously investigating the Clinton Foundation yet being denied access to the Clinton e-mails, the dereliction appears unconscionable.

It had to be screamingly obvious that the Clinton State Department e-mails, run through a server that also supported Clinton Foundation activities, would be critically important to any probe of the Foundation. Consider, for example, the issue of criminal intent, over which much has been made since Director Comey stressed the purported lack of intent proof in recommending against an indictment of Mrs. Clinton for mishandling classified information.

I believe, to the contrary, that there is abundant intent evidence. The law presumes that people intend the natural, foreseeable consequences of their actions: When you’re the secretary of state, and you systematically conduct your government business on private, non-secure e-mail rather than the government’s secure servers, you must know it is inevitable that classified information will be transmitted through and stored on the private server. Still, even though Clinton’s misconduct was thus willful and grossly negligent, no sensible person believes she was trying to harm the United States; the damage she did to national security was an easily foreseeable consequence of her scheme, but that damage was not what motivated her actions.

In such circumstances, it is a common tactic of defense lawyers to confound motive and criminal intent. Every criminal statute has an intent element (i.e., a requirement to prove that conduct was knowing, willful, intentional, or grossly negligent). Prosecutors, however, are virtually never required to prove motive. To be sure, they usually do introduce evidence of motive, because establishing a motive often helps to prove intent. But motive can sometimes confuse matters, so proving it is not mandatory.

A common, concrete example is helpful here: the guy who robs a bank because he is strapped for cash and his mom needs an operation. Although it was not the robber’s purpose to petrify the bank teller, proving that he had a desperate need for money helps demonstrate that his theft of money was quite intentional — not an accident or mistake. So even though we can all agree that our bank robber did not have a motive to do harm, his benign motive does not absolve him of guilt for the bank robbery he fully intended to commit.

Yet, such absolution is exactly what Comey offered in claiming there was insufficient proof of criminal intent to charge Clinton with mishandling classified information.  It was a rationale that echoed public comments by President Obama and Lynch’s Justice Department. They would have you believe that because Clinton was not motivated by a desire to harm national security she cannot have intended to violate the classified-information laws. It is sleight-of-hand, but it was good enough for Democrats and the media to pronounce Clinton “exonerated.”

Now, however, let’s consider the Clinton Foundation. While Clinton may not have been motivated to harm our national security, she was precisely motivated to conceal the corrupt interplay of the State Department and the Clinton Foundation. That was the real objective of the home-brew server system: Mrs. Clinton wanted to shield from Congress, the courts, and the public the degree to which she, Bill, and their confederates were cashing in on her awesome political influence as secretary of state. That is exactly why she did business outside the government system that captures all official e-mails; and, critically, it perfectly explains why she deleted and attempted to destroy 33,000 e-mails — risibly claiming they involved yoga routines, Chelsea’s wedding, and the like.

While knowing the purpose of the private server system may not advance our understanding of the classified-information offenses, it greatly advances our understanding of the scheme to make the Clinton Foundation a State Department pay-to-play vehicle. Consequently, the Clinton e-mails generated in the course of this scheme are apt to be highly probative of  public-corruption offenses.

With that in mind, let’s go back to the Journal’s account of why Loretta Lynch’s EDNY prosecutors have blocked the FBI’s Clinton Foundation investigators from examining the Clinton e-mails found on the laptop computers of Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson:

Those emails were given to the FBI based on grants of partial immunity and limited-use agreements, meaning agents could only use them for the purpose of investigating possible mishandling of classified information.

The Journal’s report says the FBI’s Clinton Foundation team was “dissatisfied” with this explanation — as well they should have been. The grants of immunity and limited-use agreements were disgraceful for the reasons outlined above. Significantly, however, the limitations imposed on the classified-information investigation should not, in the main, be binding on the Clinton Foundation investigation. Of course, the immunity grants to Mills and Samuelson must be honored even though they should never have been given in the first place. But those agreements only protect Mills and Samuelson. They would not prevent evidence found on the computers and retained by the FBI from being used against Hillary Clinton or any other possible conspirator.

Clearly, that is why agents on the FBI’s Clinton Foundation team wanted to get their investigation out of the EDNY’s clutches and move it to the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York (my office for many years, as well as Jim Comey’s). The SDNY has a tradition of relative independence from the Justice Department and a well-earned reputation for pursuing political-corruption cases aggressively — a reputation burnished by U.S. attorney Preet Bharara’s prosecutions of prominent politicians from both parties. Alas, the Clinton Foundation agents were said to be barred from “prosecutor shopping” by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe — the official whose wife’s Virginia state senate campaign was infused with $675,000 in cash and in-kind contributions by political committees controlled by Governor Terry McAuliffe, a notorious Clinton fixer and former Clinton Foundation board member.

Because of Democratic and media furor over Director Comey’s reopening of the Clinton e-mails investigation last week, the FBI is now under enormous pressure to review tens of thousands of e-mails stored on the laptop shared by Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner. The point is to hound the bureau into announcing before Election Day (seven days from now) whether any new classified e-mails have been found. If none are found, this outcome will be spun as yet another “exoneration” of Hillary Clinton.

Here, however, is the real outrage: Beneath all this noise, Loretta Lynch’s Justice Department is blocking the FBI from examining Clinton e-mails in connection with its investigation of the Clinton Foundation — an investigation that is every bit as serious.

Were it not for the Clinton Foundation, there probably would not be a Clinton e-mail scandal. Mrs. Clinton’s home-brew communications system was designed to conceal the degree to which the State Department was put in the service of Foundation donors who transformed the “dead broke” Clintons into hundred-millionaires.

At this point, the reopened classified-information investigation is a distraction: Under the Comey/DOJ “insufficient intent evidence” rationale, there would be no charges even if previously undiscovered classified e-mails were found on the Abedin/Weiner computer. Instead, what is actually essential is that the FBI’s Clinton Foundation investigators get access to all the thousands of Clinton e-mails, including those recovered from the Mills and Samuelson laptops. The agents must also have the time they need to piece together all the Clinton e-mails (from whatever source), follow up leads, and make their case.

No one seems to notice that they are being thwarted. Hillary hasn’t even been elected, but already we are benumbed by Clinton Scandal Exhaustion Syndrome.

Weekly Update: Clinton Email Crimes?

October 29, 2016

Weekly Update: Clinton Email Crimes? Judicial Watch, October 28, 2016

Clinton State Department IT Official John Bentel Takes the Fifth
U.S. Spends Millions on “Green Bus Corridor” in Mexico, “Bicycle Highway” in Colombia
Judicial Watch Will Monitor Virginia Polls on Election Day
Special Report: Clinton’s Pay to Play Scheme

 

Clinton State Department IT Official John Bentel Takes the Fifth

The bureaucrats Hillary Clinton worked with at State still are withholding what they know about her illicit email practices.

You can see that in the deposition transcript of John Bentel, the State Department’s former Director of Information Resource Management of the Executive Secretariat, who was ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to respond to our questions. We released the transcript this week.

Mr. Bentel, whose office handles information technology for the Office of the Secretary, answered 87 questions with: “On advice from my legal counsel, I decline to answer the question and I invoke my Fifth Amendment rights.”

We had the same experience with IT political appointee Bryan Pagliano, the Clinton State Department IT official who reportedly provided support for the Clinton email system.

Bentel asserted his Fifth Amendment right in answer to many key questions about issues raised directly by Judge Sullivan. On August 19, 2016, Judge Sullivan granted Judicial Watch’s request to depose Bentel, citing significant discrepancies in Bentel’s previous statements on the Clinton non-state.gov email system:

The Court is persuaded that Mr. Bentel should be deposed because the record in this case appears to contradict his sworn testimony before the [House Select] Benghazi Committee . . .. Specifically, Mr. Bentel testified that he was not aware that Secretary Clinton’s email account was housed on a private server until media reports in 2015 . . .. However, several emails indicate Mr. Bentel knew about the private server as early as 2009.

Bentel asserted his Fifth Amendment rights in response to all questions about what he knew about Hillary Clinton’s email system and its impact on the Freedom of Information Act.

In ordering Bentel’s deposition, Judge Sullivan also cited a May 2016 Inspector General’s report that found that Mr. Bentel told employees in his office that Secretary Clinton’s email arrangement had been approved by the State Department’s legal staff and also instructed his subordinates not to discuss the Secretary’s email again:

In one meeting, one staff member raised concerns that information sent and received on Secretary Clinton’s account could contain Federal records that needed to be preserved in order to satisfy Federal recordkeeping requirements. According to the staff member, the Director stated that the Secretary’s personal system had been reviewed and approved by Department legal staff and that the matter was not to be discussed any further . . . . According to the other S/ES-IRM staff member who raised concerns about the server, the Director stated that the mission of S/ES-IRM is to support the Secretary and instructed the staff never to speak of the Secretary’s personal email system again.

Bentel asserted his Fifth Amendment right when asked about this reference to the State Department Inspector General’s report and about his FBI interview.

Mr. Bentel, on advice of the Obama Justice Department and personal counsel, refused to answer any questions about whether Hillary Clinton was paying his legal fees or offered him employment or other financial incentives. Pagliano also declined to say who was paying for his legal representation.

We previously deposed seven former Clinton top aides and current State Department officials, including top Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin. We also deposed IT official Bryan Pagliano, who asserted his Fifth Amendment right not to testify during the Judicial Watch deposition. And Clinton last week answered our questions under oath regarding her non-government email system.

The depositions come in connection with a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks records about the corrupt patronage job given to Clinton confidante Huma Abedin, who served as deputy chief of staff to former Secretary Clinton (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).

The fact that yet another State Department official took the Fifth highlights the disturbing implication that criminal acts took place related to the Clinton email system and our FOIA requests.

 

U.S. Spends Millions on “Green Bus Corridor” in Mexico, “Bicycle Highway” in Colombia

A recent survey revealed that Americans most fear government corruption and that the climate doesn’t even make the Top Ten list of worries.

Our Corruption Chronicles blog illustrates why Americans should worry about climate change – because of the government corruption involved in supposedly combatting it:

Surprise, surprise: The U.S. is the first to donate millions of dollars to yet another global warming experiment—run by the famously corrupt United Nations—that aims to forge “climate resilient infrastructure” in third-world countries.

The money will help build a bicycle highway in Colombia and bring electric buses and a “green bus corridor” to Mexico, issues that are unlikely to keep most American taxpayers up at night.

It’s part of an initiative called C40 Cities Finance Facility, launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris last year. The global warming powwow in France has already cost American taxpayers a chunk of change, and Judicial Watch made the numbers public over the summer after obtaining records from the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of the Air Force.

The documents offer a detailed breakdown of the cost, but the total expenditure to have President Obama attend the ludicrous Paris shindig was an eye-popping $4,165,068. Judicial Watch had to file a lawsuit to get the information because the administration refused to provide it under the federal public-records law that was enacted to keep government in check.

During the Paris conference, the C40 Cities Finance Facility was launched to provide much-needed cash for a 10-year-old program called C40 that claims to be a “network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change.” The conglomerate specializes in tackling climate change in developing countries by driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks.

Evidently, it’s come up with some brilliant ideas in the last decade to accomplish its mission but not enough money to implement them. As is the case in many of these global, feel-good initiatives, Uncle Sam has generously opened his checkbook for this important cause. Germany is the other “funding partner” listed along with the U.S.

The first $2 million, doled out this month by the U.S., will fund two urban pilot projects in Latin America that are expected to bring “climate change adaptation and mitigation benefits.” The first project is a 25-kilometer bicycle highway in Bogota, Colombia, that will connect citizens from low, middle and high-income neighborhoods to work, education, and recreation opportunities.

An announcement published by the U.S. government calls the project a “first-of-its-kind” traversing the Colombian city from south to north. The rest of the money will buy a fleet of at least 100 electric buses for Mexico City and install a “green bus corridor” in one of its major thoroughfares. It’s expected to serve an estimated 133,400 Mexicans daily, providing connections to metro lines. This is an important investment for the U.S., a government official says in the announcement, because the impacts of climate change are impeding cities from delivering reliable services, “especially to the poorest.”

Years ago, the Obama administration determined that the poor will feel the brunt of climate change and it has cost American taxpayers monstrous sums. In the last few years the U.S. government has funded a number of programs, both domestic and international, to prepare those communities for the impact.

Back in 2012 the administration asked Congress for a whopping $770 million to help developing countries with climate change initiatives after it had already spent $323 million on a project called Global Climate Change Initiative that helps “meet the adaptation and mitigation needs of developing countries, including deploying clean energy technologies.”

Earlier this year, a federal audit revealed that a $25 million project to help Guatemala combat the ills of climate change is rife with problems that include data errors and discrepancies. The program is officially known as Climate Nature and Communities in Guatemala (CNCG).

Ideology wrapped in dubious science = taxpayer boondoggle. Is it any wonder that people are tired of corrupt politicians?

 

Judicial Watch Will Monitor Virginia Polls on Election Day

As part of our ongoing Election Integrity Project, we plan to have Judicial Watch volunteer poll observers will monitor polling sites in Virginia on Election Day. We have significant concerns about the integrity of the election process there:

  • 1,046 aliens, or residents who are not U.S. citizens, were on the voter rolls in 8 Virginia counties.  If that rate of non-citizen registration held in the rest of Virginia’s counties, that would mean that about 6,500 non-citizens are registered to vote in Virginia.
  • A September 2016report by the Public Interest Legal Foundation and the Virginia Voter’s Alliance shows: “In the 8 jurisdictions that provided us with lists of aliens recently removed from their voter rolls, we discovered that 31 non-citizens had cast a total of 186 votes between 2005 and 2015. The most alien votes were cast in 2012 followed by 2008, the year President Obama was elected to his first term.” There are 133 total Virginia voting jurisdictions, so the number in this report represents a mere fraction of the true total of illegal votes.
  • 19 deceasedindividuals recently re-registered to vote in Virginia.
  • In 2013, the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program (Crosscheck), which provides a lists of voters who are registered in more than one of the 26 states participating in the program, revealed that57,923 Virginia voters were registered to vote in at least one other state. Of course this number would be much higher if the Crosscheck program included every state – including New York, California, and Texas, the most populous states in the country.

Our Election Integrity Project leader, Robert Popper, will train Virginia’s poll watchers.  Bob is a former deputy chief of the Voting Section in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and a veteran poll observer for the Department of Justice.

The Election Integrity project began in February 2012. Since that time Judicial Watch has put several state and county officials on notice when they are in violation of federal laws requiring them to clean up their voter rolls.

We also took action in lawsuits defending photo ID and other commonsense election integrity measures.  And there are also our historic and  successful lawsuits in states like Ohio and Indiana that resulted in cleaner voter rolls and have achieved victories in the United States Supreme Court to stop race-based elections in Hawaii.

Our team also fought in court against the Left (i.e. the Obama administration) that wants to make it easier for non-citizens to register to vote, and harder to remove them once they are illegally registered. And Judicial Watch has conducted election monitoring before, for example in New Hampshire in 2014.

“Judicial Watch election monitors will be neutral and silent observers at select polling places in Virginia,” Popper noted. “We do not oppose or endorse candidates for public office. Our election monitoring in Virginia is wholly independent of any party or candidate.”

Recent polls show that voters are becoming “deeply skeptical” about election integrity. One poll found that 98 percent of people believe that voter fraud occurs: 74 percent believed that “some” or a “great deal” of voter fraud is going on, and 24 percent said hardly any. A poll in The Washington Post found that: “60% of Republicans believe illegal immigrants vote; 43% believe people vote using dead people’s names.”

Virginia residents interested in monitoring a local polling site on Election Day may respond by email to Eric Lee at elee@judicialwatch.org.

The integrity of our government begins with our ability to trust what happens in the voting booth. Incidents of voting fraud now flaring up around the country are an indication that our concern is not misplaced.

 

Special Report: Clinton’s Pay to Play Scheme

Let me encourage you to watch the “One America News Network Special Report: Clinton’s Pay-to-Play Scheme.”

This well-crafted report reveals how the Clintons went from being “broke” to being worth hundreds of millions. In it, you will hear the experts, including representatives from Judicial Watch, disclose how the Clinton Foundation traded government access in exchange for donations. You also will see the evidence of an FBI “cover-up” of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

You can watch it here. It is worth your time.