Posted tagged ‘Clinton unsecured server’

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