A three-year investigation by the U.S. State Department has cleared former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of any mishandling of classified information through the use of a private email server.
This result concurs with former FBI Director James Comey’s similar conclusions in 2016 that found Clinton hadn’t broken any laws.
From the Washington Post:
A multiyear State Department probe of emails that were sent to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s private computer server concluded there was no systemic or deliberate mishandling of classified information by department employees, according to a report submitted to Congress this month.
The report appears to represent a final and anticlimactic chapter in a controversy that overshadowed the 2016 presidential campaign and exposed Clinton to fierce criticism that she later cited as a major factor in her loss to President Trump.
In the end, State Department investigators found 38 current or former employees “culpable” of violating security procedures — none involving material that had been marked classified — in a review of roughly 33,000 emails that had been sent to or from the personal computer system Clinton used.
For those found culpable, the violations will be noted in their files and will be considered when applying for or renewing security clearances.
It’s worth noting that this State Department investigation was performed under the Trump administration. If they were going to find anything, this would have been the group to do it.
And, again, they found nothing to hang on Hillary.
As the WaPo adds, while Donald Trump continues to rant on the campaign trail about the phony, twice-disproved conspiracy theory regarding her emails, his own representatives have been found to be using private cell phones and texting apps while working on his behalf.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited an art installation by Kenneth Goldsmith at the Venice Biennale and posed for a photo with a replica of the Oval Office’s Resolute Desk and 62,000 pages of paper containing every single email sent from her private email server.
After spending about an hour flipping through pages and pages of her own emails, she told reporters, “It was and is still one of the strangest most absurd events in American political history. Anyone can go in and look at them, there’s nothing there. “
“The exhibition is further proof that nothing wrong or controversial can be found on these emails,” she added. “It makes them accessible to everyone and allows everyone to read them. … They are just a bunch of boring emails.”
As we all remember, Donald Trump spent much of the 2016 presidential campaign lambasting Clinton for using a private email server, which at the time, was not illegal.
Since being elected to office, it’s been widely reported that Trump’s daughter Ivanka has used private email herself in violation of federal records rules. Because irony is dead.
(lead image via Kenneth Goldsmith/Twitter)
Former White House communications director Hope Hicks apparently told members of the House Intelligence Committee last week that one of her email accounts had been hacked.
From NBC News:
Under relatively routine questioning from Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., about her correspondence, Hicks indicated that she could no longer access two accounts: One she used as a member of President Donald Trump’s campaign team and a personal account, according to four people who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the closed meeting of the Intelligence Committee was supposed to remain private.
Hicks, who portrayed herself as not savvy in matters of technology, told lawmakers that one of the accounts was hacked, according to two sources who were in the room. It is unclear if Hicks was referring to a campaign or personal account.
NBC News goes on to note that Hicks did not offer when or why her accounts might have been hacked. And since Hicks was appearing before the committee voluntarily, it seems none of the lawmakers asked those follow-up questions.
I’m guessing it was during the same period of questioning that Hicks admitted to telling “white lies” for Donald Trump.
|Vice-president Mike Pence
But, but, but… Hillary’s emails???
It turns out Vice-president Mike Pence, during his tenure as governor of Indiana, used a private email account (on AOL no less).
Vice President Mike Pence reportedly used a private email account to conduct public business, including homeland security matters, while he was governor of Indiana. Records of the emails were obtained by IndyStar through a public records request. Dwight Adams/IndyStar
Vice President Mike Pence routinely used a private email account to conduct public business as governor of Indiana, at times discussing sensitive matters and homeland security issues.
Emails released to IndyStar in response to a public records request show Pence communicated via his personal AOL account with top advisers on topics ranging from security gates at the governor’s residence to the state’s response to terror attacks across the globe. In one email, Pence’s top state homeland security adviser relayed an update from the FBI regarding the arrests of several men on federal terror-related charges.
Cyber-security experts say the emails raise concerns about whether such sensitive information was adequately protected from hackers, given that personal accounts like Pence’s are typically less secure than government email accounts. In fact, Pence’s personal account was hacked last summer.
Furthermore, advocates for open government expressed concerns about transparency because personal emails aren’t immediately captured on state servers that are searched in response to public records requests.
As a member of Team Trump, Pence spent much of last year lambasting Hillary Clinton for using a private email account.
|FBI Director James Comey
In light of FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation ahead of the 2016 election, Comey, the FBI and the Department of Justice will now be the subject of an investigation themselves.
The review was requested by several sources including members of Congress and outside organizations.
Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz will be investigating these issues (via press release):
Allegations that Department or FBI policies or procedures were not followed in connection with, or in actions leading up to or related to, the FBI Director’s public announcement on July 5, 2016, and the Director’s letters to Congress on October 28 and November 6, 2016, and that certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations;
Allegations that the FBI Deputy Director should have been recused from participating in certain investigative matters;
Allegations that the Department’s Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs improperly disclosed non-public information to the Clinton campaign and/or should have been recused from participating in certain matters;
Allegations that Department and FBI employees improperly disclosed non-public information; and
Allegations that decisions regarding the timing of the FBI’s release of certain Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents on October 30 and November 1, 2016, and the use of a Twitter account to publicize same, were influenced by improper considerations.
FBI Director Comey issued this statement in response:
“I am grateful to the Department of Justice’s IG for taking on this review,” he said. “He is professional and independent and the FBI will cooperate fully with him and his office. I hope very much he is able to share his conclusions and observations with the public because everyone will benefit from thoughtful evaluation and transparency regarding this matter.”
I can’t imagine this going anywhere as of January 21st, the day after Donald Trump becomes president, can you?
The Clinton campaign has accused Donald Trump and Russia of criminal theft in a newly penned essay to be shared on Medium today.
POLITICO has the inside story:
Four decades after five men broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is trying to frame the hacking of her campaign chairman’s email as a repeat of the most famous political scandal in American history – and to directly implicate Donald Trump.
“What did Trump know, and when did he know it?” the campaign asks in an essay that will post on Medium, a play on the famous line from the Senate’s Watergate investigation. (“What did the President know and when did he know it?” Sen. Howard Baker asked then.)
“We’re witnessing another effort to steal private campaign documents in order to influence an election,” Clinton campaign spokesman Glen Caplin writes in an early version of the post, which was shared with POLITICO. “Only this time, instead of filing cabinets, it’s people’s emails they’re breaking into…and a foreign government is behind it.”
Clinton’s campaign has been increasingly frustrated by media coverage of campaign chairman John Podesta’s stolen emails, which are being released by the thousands every morning on Wikileaks.
Major news outlets have treated the internal correspondence of top campaign officials as a treasure trove of unfiltered information about how Clinton’s operatives navigated a thorny and prolonged primary challenge, and dealt with the almost-crippling State Department email scandal, which defined the early months of Clinton’s campaign.
Private email conversations about Chelsea Clinton, where former presidential aide Doug Band accused her of acting like a “spoiled brat kid” who “hasn’t found her way and has a lack of focus in her life” have had internal repercussions.
“Donald Trump needs to condemn these illegal hacks and denounce Russian efforts to intervene in our election,” Caplin writes. “Why is Trump protecting Putin by lying about Russia’s role in these hacks? What did his campaign know and when did they know it? Why won’t he condemn this? With less than a month until Election Day, these are the questions we need answered — and soon.”
Podesta last week claimed Trump operatives colluded with the Russians in an effort to derail Clinton and meddle in the U.S. election. Speaking to reporters aboard the Democratic nominee’s campaign plane, he pointed to longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone as an operative who has bragged about his back-channel connection to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, and said it was safe to assume Stone had advanced warning about the hack. Stone has vehemently denied the accusation.
Trump has denied any colluding with Russia and any involvement in the hack of the Democratic National Committee last summer. “I don’t know Putin,” he said at the second presidential debate. “I notice anything wrong happens, they like to say the Russians. She doesn’t know it’s the Russians doing the hacking. Maybe there is no hacking.”