It’s hard time for Anthony Weiner.
Kaja Whitehouse reports: The disgraced ex-congressman broke down crying as he was sentenced to 21 months in prison Monday for convincing a high school student to undress and touch herself via Skype in 2016.
“After the courtroom cleared, Weiner sat crying in his chair with his lawyers patting him on the back. His mom also sat crying on the bench behind him, sitting next to Weiner’s brother Jason and Weiner’s dad.”
“This was a serious crime. It’s a serious crime that deserves serious punishment,” Manhattan federal Judge Denise Cote said as the convicted sext fiend dropped his head into his hand and wept.
After the courtroom cleared, Weiner sat crying in his chair with his lawyers patting him on the back. His mom also sat crying on the bench behind him, sitting next to Weiner’s brother Jason and Weiner’s dad.
“He argued that his online dalliance with the 15-year-old was due to his sick obsession with sexting strangers and addiction — rather than an obsession with underage girls — and claimed he had hit “rock bottom” and is now in recovery.”
The serial sexter’s soon-to-be ex-wife, Huma Abedin, was nowhere to be seen.
In addition to his prison stint, Weiner was sentenced to pay a $10,000 fine for his crime, participate in sex offender outpatient treatment and spend three years on supervised release once his sentence is up.
He will have to surrender to his designated facility by Nov. 6 — his lawyer put in a request for Schuylkill Federal Correctional Facility in Pennsylvania, or another low-security prison near New York.
Weiner, 53, had faced as much as 10 years in the slammer after pleading guilty in May to one count of transferring obscene material to a minor. The feds said Weiner, a former congressman from Brooklyn, began a two-month sexting session with the North Carolina teen shortly after she messaged him on Twitter in January 2016.
He made a tearful last-minute plea for probation so he could continue his treatment, which includes sessions with Sex Addicts Anonymous. Read the rest of this entry »
Federal prosecutors are weighing bringing child-pornography charges against former congressman Anthony Weiner over sexually explicit exchanges he allegedly had with a 15-year-old girl.
Erica Orden and Nicole Hong report: Federal prosecutors are weighing bringing child-pornography charges against former Rep. Anthony Weiner over sexually explicit exchanges he allegedly had with a 15-year-old girl, according to people familiar with the matter.
Mr. Weiner, a New York Democrat, is being investigated by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which seized his electronic devices, including a laptop and a cellphone, as part of the probe.
Officials initiated the investigation last fall, after the Daily Mail in the U.K. reported that Mr. Weiner had exchanged sexually explicit messages and photos with the girl.
In recent weeks, according to some of the people familiar with the matter, attorneys for Mr. Weiner have had discussions with federal prosecutors in Manhattan in hopes of dissuading them from bringing charges, or at least from bringing the most serious one: production of child pornography, which carries a 15-year mandatory minimum prison sentence upon conviction.
These types of discussions can indicate both sides are trying to reach an agreement in which the defendant pleads guilty in exchange for a less-severe charge.
Mr. Weiner could face the production charge, some of the people familiar with the case say, because he allegedly solicited explicit images from the teenager. Read the rest of this entry »
The New York City Campaign Finance Board hit disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner with a $65,000 fine for a number of violations including using campaign funds from his failed 2013 mayoral run for his own personal use.
The board found that Weiner accepted contributions over the donation limit, failed to show that money he spent was in furtherance of his 2013 mayoral campaign and spent money after the election that was not related to the campaign.
The board is also ordering him to return $195,377 in matching campaign funds, DNA Info reported.
The NYC Campaign Finance Board hit disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner with a $65,000 fine for a number of violations including using campaign funds from his failed 2013 mayoral run for his own personal use (pictured above in 2013)
The board found that Weiner (pictured above in 2013) accepted contributions over the donation limit, failed to show that money he spent was in furtherance of his 2013 mayoral campaign and spent money after the election that was not related to the campaign
Money that Weiner spent for personal use included him paying his cell phone bill and another personal line he used for fundraising. For that violation, he was fined $2,308. Read the rest of this entry »
Bob Bryan reports: Paul Krugman, the Nobel-winning economist and New York Times columnist, suggested Thursday that an “alliance” between a faction of the FBI and Russian President Vladimir Putin swung last week’s election in favor of Donald Trump.
“So it looks more and more as if we had an election swung, in effect, by a faction of our own security sector in alliance with Putin.”
— Paul Krugman, during a psychotic break, on Twitter
Krugman said that given the small margin in swing states that decided the election, the FBI’s reactivation of its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server was just enough to change the minds of some voters.
“The economist has frequently taken to Twitter in the days after the election to bemoan the outcome and to draw concern over early policies of Trump.”
FBI Director James Comey announced the discovery of new emails “pertinent” to the case on October 28 — 11 days before the election — before clearing her again a week later.
“As evidence accumulates that Trump benefited from a lot of late deciders breaking his way, the case that it was Comey gets stronger,” Krugman wrote in a tweet.
The US intelligence community publicly accused the Russian government of being behind the hacks of emails of members of Democratic Party organizations and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, whose electronic communications were released in droves by WikiLeaks during the final weeks of the campaign. Read the rest of this entry »
Hillary Clinton’s aides were so sure she would win that they reportedly popped champagne on the campaign plane on Election Day.
Hours later, instead of becoming the nation’s first female president as polls had predicted, Clinton suffered one of the most stunning political defeats in history, and Donald Trump became the new president-elect.
“There is no question that a week from Election Day, Secretary Clinton was poised for a historic win. In the end, late breaking developments in the race proved one hurdle too many for us to overcome.”
The New York Times reported the champagne element on Saturday, as part of a story that detailed Clinton’s comments echoing a memo from her campaign that blamed her shocking loss on FBI Director James Comey.
“Instead of becoming the nation’s first female president as polls had predicted, Clinton suffered one of the most stunning political defeats in history, and Donald Trump became the new president-elect.”
A mere 11 days before the election, Comey sent a letter notifying Congress that the FBI was looking into new emails related to Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state.
The agency discovered the emails while investigating former congressman Anthony Weiner. But the Sunday before Election Day, Comey announced the emails didn’t warrant additional investigation, and again cleared Clinton.
The Clinton campaign and prominent Democrats slammed Comey for his timing, accusing the Republican FBI director of trying to sway the election. Read the rest of this entry »
Party leaders are moving leftward, naively assuming they can win over working-class voters with a socialist-minded message.
Josh Kraushaar writes: In the aftermath of the election, shell-shocked Democrats struggled to pinpoint a reason behind their stunning loss to Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton blamed FBI Director James Comey. Democratic operatives criticized the Clinton campaign team for taking the Rust Belt for granted. Bernie Sanders and his ascendant left-wing flank of the party blames the party’s closeness to Wall Street.
“On issues ranging from the president’s hesitance to label terrorism by its name to an unwillingness to criticize extremist elements of protest groups like Black Lives Matter to executive orders mandating transgender bathrooms, the administration offended the sensibilities of the American public.”
No one is pointing a finger at the most glaring vulnerability—the party’s cultural disconnect from much of the country. On issues ranging from the president’s hesitance to label terrorism by its name to an unwillingness to criticize extremist elements of protest groups like Black Lives Matter to executive orders mandating transgender bathrooms, the administration offended the sensibilities of the American public.
Among liberal-minded millennials, President Obama’s actions were a sign that he was charting “an arc of history that bends towards justice.” But to older, more-conservative Americans, it was a sign that the administration’s views were well outside the American mainstream.
“Among liberal-minded millennials, President Obama’s actions were a sign that he was charting ‘an arc of history that bends towards justice.’ But to older, more-conservative Americans, it was a sign that the administration’s views were well outside the American mainstream.”
Clinton tried to win over moderates by raising red flags about Trump’s foreign policy and his racially charged, misogynistic rhetoric. But she didn’t have a Sister Souljah moment to criticize the excesses of the Left—as Bill Clinton famously did during the 1992 campaign—for fear of alienating the Obama coalition. In fact, her line that “implicit [racial] bias is a problem for everyone” during the first debate was a moment that couldn’t have been more repellent to those white Rust Belt voters who deserted the Democrats this year.
“Democrats will be spending their time in the political wilderness figuring out how to rebuild a shattered party. But early indications suggest that party leaders are veering even further to the left instead of moderating their rhetoric.”
As New York Times columnist Ross Douthat presciently wrote in September: “The new cultural orthodoxy is sufficiently stifling to leave many Americans looking to the voting booth as a way to register dissent.” Opposing political correctness was one consistent theme in Trump’s very muddled campaign message.
“They’ve concluded—with the assistance of Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and polemicist Michael Moore—that they would have performed better with working-class white voters if they only articulated a more populist economic message. They’ve shown no inclination to reject Clinton’s controversial notion that half of Trump’s supporters were deplorable and irredeemable.”
Democrats will be spending their time in the political wilderness figuring out how to rebuild a shattered party. But early indications suggest that party leaders are veering even further to the left instead of moderating their rhetoric. Read the rest of this entry »
President Obama on Thursday will welcome Donald Trump to the White House.
The meeting, which seemed improbable just 72 hours ago, will likely stand as one of the most humbling moments of Obama’s presidency.
Trump rose to political stardom in Obama’s first term by questioning his birthplace, spurring Obama to label him a “carnival barker.” The feud carried over into this year’s campaign, where Obama repeatedly described Trump as unfit for the Oval Office.
Now Obama must begin to hand the keys to the White House to a leader who has pledged to unravel much of his legacy, from ObamaCare to environmental protections to Wall Street reform and the Iran nuclear deal.
“I’m not saying it’s going to be an easy meeting,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.
Dark clouds hung over the White House the day before Trump’s visit, mirroring the mood inside the executive mansion.
But the sky cleared before Obama entered the Rose Garden Wednesday afternoon to put a positive spin on the results.
The president recalled a video he recorded on election night, in which he reminded the country that “the sun would come up in the morning” no matter who won.
“That is one bit of prognosticating that actually came true,” he said. “The sun is up. And I know everybody had a long night. I did as well.
“But the day after, we have to remember that we’re actually all on one team.”
While Obama emphasized the importance of a smooth transition and a unified American government, there was no mistaking the pain felt by those on hand.
Dozens of shell-shocked staffers filed into the Rose Garden to watch the statement, including Valerie Jarrett, Denis McDonough and Susan Rice — all members of the president’s inner circle.
Obama’s team gave him an ovation that lasted for more than a minute after Vice President Biden and he returned to the Oval Office arm in arm.
No two-term president did more than Obama to ensure the election of his preferred successor in Clinton. But her colossal failure on Election Day could result in much of his legacy being wiped away. Read the rest of this entry »
‘The electorate has, in its plurality, decided to live in Trump’s world of vanity, hate, arrogance, untruth, and recklessness’
There are, inevitably, miseries to come: an increasingly reactionary Supreme Court; an emboldened right-wing Congress; a President whose disdain for women and minorities, civil liberties and scientific fact, to say nothing of simple decency, has been repeatedly demonstrated. Trump is vulgarity unbounded, a knowledge-free national leader who will not only set markets tumbling but will strike fear into the hearts of the vulnerable, the weak, and, above all, the many varieties of Other whom he has so deeply insulted.
[Read the entire, self-serving, vicious, inflated, bloated, painful, ridiculous, hysterical, ignorant, hateful rant here, at The New Yorker]
The African-American Other. The Hispanic Other. The female Other. The Jewish and Muslim Other. The most hopeful way to look at this grievous event—and it’s a stretch—is that this election and the years to follow will be a test of the strength, or the fragility, of American institutions. It will be a test of our seriousness and resolve.
Early on Election Day, the polls held out cause for concern, but they provided sufficiently promising news for Democrats in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, and even Florida that there was every reason to think about celebrating the fulfillment of Seneca Falls, the election of the first woman to the White House. Potential victories in states like Georgia disappeared, little more than a week ago, with the F.B.I. director’s heedless and damaging letter to Congress about reopening his investigation and the reappearance of damaging buzzwords like “e-mails,” “Anthony Weiner,” and “fifteen-year-old girl.” But the odds were still with Hillary Clinton.
All along, Trump seemed like a twisted caricature of every rotten reflex of the radical right. That he has prevailed, that he has won this election, is a crushing blow to the spirit; it is an event that will likely cast the country into a period of economic, political, and social uncertainty that we cannot yet imagine. Read the rest of this entry »
It would be too horrible. So, therefore, according to some kind of magical thinking, it couldn’t happen.
Margaret Sullivan writes: To put it bluntly, the media missed the story. In the end, a huge number of American voters wanted something different. And although these voters shouted and screamed it, most journalists just weren’t listening. They didn’t get it.
They didn’t get that the huge, enthusiastic crowds at Donald Trump’s rallies would really translate into that many votes. They couldn’t believe that the America they knew could embrace someone who mocked a disabled man, bragged about sexually assaulting women, and spouted misogyny, racism and anti-Semitism.
It would be too horrible. So, therefore, according to some kind of magical thinking, it couldn’t happen.
“The Election of Donald Trump to the presidency is nothing short of a tragedy for David Remnick,” America writes. https://t.co/7z8lUpCulo
— Mike (@Doranimated) November 9, 2016
Journalists — college-educated, urban and, for the most part, liberal — are more likely than ever before to live and work in New York City and Washington, D.C., or on the West Coast. And although we touched down in the big red states for a few days, or interviewed some coal miners or unemployed autoworkers in the Rust Belt, we didn’t take them seriously. Or not seriously enough.
And Trump — who called journalists scum and corrupt — alienated us so much that we couldn’t see what was before our eyes. We just kept checking our favorite prognosticating sites and feeling reassured, even though everyone knows that poll results are not votes.
After all, you never know who’ll show up to vote, especially when votes are being suppressed as never before. And even the most Clinton-leaning prognosticators allowed for some chance of a Trump win.
But no one seemed to believe it in their bones. We would have President Clinton, went the journalistic conventional wisdom, and although she would be flawed, she would be a known quantity. There was a kind of comfort there.
Make no mistake. This is an epic fail. And although eating crow is never appealing, we’ll be digesting feathers and beaks in the next weeks and months — and maybe years.
The strange thing, of course, is that the media helped to give Trump his chance. Read the rest of this entry »
State Dept. has up to 31,000 Pages of New Clinton Records from the FBI’s Investigation; Wants Five Years to Process ThemPosted: November 7, 2016
(Washington DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding developments during today’s court hearing concerning Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking emails sent or received by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her official capacity during her tenure as secretary of state:
The Obama State Department is doing a political favor for Hillary Clinton for suggesting to a federal court today that Judicial Watch wait as long as five years to see up to 31,000 new Clinton documents found by the FBI. We learned in this lawsuit that the State Department is slow-walking the release of Hillary Clinton’s deleted and hidden emails. Ironically, this Clinton/Obama State Department stonewalling has guaranteed that the Clinton email scandal won’t be resolved for years.
The court has set the next hearing in this case for November 29 to discuss the status of 650,000 emails reportedly found on the computing devices of Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner. Read the rest of this entry »
Hanson, an historian and one of America’s leading conservative intellectuals, is currently a Senior Fellow in classics and military history at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is surely not a spy.
[VIDEO] Huma Abedin Emerges Out of Seclusion for First Time Since New Email Uproar, Says Only One WordPosted: November 5, 2016
Until now…(read more)
The new emails, which prompted the FBI’s announcement last week, came from former congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop.
These emails, CBS News’ Andres Triay reports, are not duplicates of emails found on Secretary Clinton’s private server. At this point, however, it remains to be seen whether these emails are significant to the FBI’s investigation into Clinton. It is also not known how many relevant emails there are.
In a letter to Congress last Friday, FBI Director James Comey indicated that the agency was taking steps to review newly discovered emails relating to Clinton’s private email server. Those emails came from the laptop of Weiner, a former New York congressman. Read the rest of this entry »
Payton mentioned a conversation she had on Monday with a Californian who had been planning to vote for Hillary Clinton, but changed his mind after news broke that the FBI is re-opening its investigation into her use of a private e-mail server during her tenure as secretary of State.
“Early voting is bad for democracy,” she said. “I could see a lot of people who did cast a vote for Hillary Clinton, [who are now] seeing all this kind of stuff, become really frustrated with the political system and the way that powerful people are able to skirt the law.” Read the rest of this entry »
WikiLeaks’ dump of messages to and from Clinton’s campaign chief offer an unprecedented view into the workings of the elite, and how it looks after itself.
Thomas Frank writes: The emails currently are part of some unknown digital collection amassed by the troublesome Anthony Weiner, but if your purpose is to understand the clique of people who dominate Washington today, the emails that really matter are the ones being from the hacked account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta. They are last week’s scandal in a year running over with scandals, but in truth their significance goes far beyond mere scandal: they are a window into the soul of the Democratic party and into the dreams and thoughts of the class to whom the party answers.
“When you search ‘Vineyard’ on the WikiLeaks dump that you realize these people truly inhabit a different world from the rest of us. By ‘vineyard’, of course, they mean Martha’s Vineyard, the ritzy vacation resort island off the coast of Massachusetts where presidents Clinton and Obama spent most of their summer vacations. The Vineyard is a place for the very, very rich to unwind, yes, but as we learn from these emails, it is also a place of high idealism; a land of enlightened liberal commitment far beyond anything ordinary citizens can ever achieve.”
The class to which I refer is not rising in angry protest; they are by and large pretty satisfied, pretty contented. Nobody takes road trips to exotic West Virginia to see what the members of this class looks like or how they live; on the contrary, they are the ones for whom such stories are written. This bunch doesn’t have to make do with a comb-over TV mountebank for a leader; for this class, the choices are always pretty good, and this year they happen to be excellent.
“Everything blurs into everything else in this world. The state department, the banks, Silicon Valley, the nonprofits, the “Global CEO Advisory Firm” that appears to have solicited donations for the Clinton Foundation. Executives here go from foundation to government to thinktank to startup. There are honors. Venture capital. Foundation grants. Endowed chairs. Advanced degrees. For them the door revolves. The friends all succeed. They break every boundary.”
They are the comfortable and well-educated mainstay of our modern Democratic party. They are also the grandees of our national media; the architects of our software; the designers of our streets; the high officials of our banking system; the authors of just about every plan to fix social security or fine-tune the Middle East with precision droning. They are, they think, not a class at all but rather the enlightened ones, the people who must be answered to but who need never explain themselves.
Let us turn the magnifying glass on them for a change, by sorting through the hacked personal emails of John Podesta, who has been a Washington power broker for decades. I admit that I feel uncomfortable digging through this hoard; stealing someone’s email is a crime, after all, and it is outrageous that people’s personal information has been exposed, since WikiLeaks doesn’t seem to have redacted the emails in any way.
There is also the issue of authenticity to contend with: we don’t know absolutely and for sure that these emails were not tampered with by whoever stole them from John Podesta. The supposed authors of the messages are refusing to confirm or deny their authenticity, and though they seem to be real, there is a small possibility they aren’t.
“The dramatis personae of the liberal class are all present in this amazing body of work: financial innovators. High-achieving colleagues attempting to get jobs for their high-achieving children. Foundation executives doing fine and noble things. Prizes, of course, and high academic achievement.”
With all that taken into consideration, I think the WikiLeaks releases furnish us with an opportunity to observe the upper reaches of the American status hierarchy in all its righteousness and majesty.
The dramatis personae of the liberal class are all present in this amazing body of work: financial innovators. High-achieving colleagues attempting to get jobs for their high-achieving children. Foundation executives doing fine and noble things. Prizes, of course, and high academic achievement. Read the rest of this entry »
OH YES THEY DID: Hillary Clinton Staffers Knew Weiner Was Talking to Underage Girl Five Years Ago; Did NothingPosted: October 31, 2016
John Podesta and Neera Tanden, another adviser, were forwarded news of an investigation into Weiner’s online contact with a 17-year-old Delaware high school student by Jennifer Palmieri, the current campaign communications director, in June 2011.
John Podesta – now chair of Clinton’s presidential campaign – and Neera Tanden, another adviser, were forwarded news of an investigation into Weiner’s online contact with a 17-year-old Delaware high school student by Jennifer Palmieri, the current campaign communications director, in June 2011.
“Back in April 2011, the then-teenager openly expressed her love for Weiner, who followed her on Twitter. Palmieri forwarded the news article to Podesta and Tanden with the comment, ‘Oof’.”
At the time he was married to Huma Abedin, another member of Clinton’s inner circle, who is now at the center of fresh FBI investigation into the handling of classified material while Clinton was in office.
The email detailed lurid claims of private messages to an underage girl being investigated by police – and was met with the response ‘oof’ by Podesta.
‘Police on Friday afternoon came to the home of a 17-year-old high school junior to ask her about direct online communications she has had with Rep. Anthony Weiner,’ email read, quoting a Fox News article from the same time.
‘Two officers from the New Castle County Police Department arrived at the girl’s home around 4:30 p.m. and asked to speak with the girl’s mother about the daughter’s contact with Weiner. Another officer appeared at the home a short time later.’
Palmieri forwarded the news article to Podesta and Tanden.
Six days later, on June 16, 2011, Weiner announced his resignation after accidentally tweeting a photo of himself in bulging briefs to all of his followers.
Despite that Abedin stood by him.
Sources close to the 17-year-old at the time told Fox News that the girl and Weiner had direct-messaged each other on Twitter.
Back in April 2011, the then-teenager openly expressed her love for Weiner, who followed her on Twitter.
Palmieri forwarded the news article to Podesta and Tanden with the comment, ‘Oof’
In her feed, she expressed her love of married men, according to Patterico.com.
At one point she said: ‘HE IS MINE ALL MINE HE LOVES ME AND NO ONE ELSE ILY ILY ILY!!!’ and added ‘@RepWeiner I’m in love with you’ two days later.
At the time Weiner admitted that he had contact with the girl, but denied sending inappropriate messages, according to Politico.
The FBI sensationally announced on Friday that it was investigating thousands of emails that might be related to the former secretary of state’s private server. Read the rest of this entry »
Clinton aide said to be unsure how emails ended up in her husband’s laptop, and what their significance could be.
“The newly found emails number in the tens of thousands or more, with at least some pertaining to the period when Abedin worked for the State Department from 2009 to 2013, first as a deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Clinton and later as a consultant, a law enforcement source said. Some of the messages could already be among the large set of messages the FBI pieced together from a variety of different devices and sources during the yearlong inquiry into Clinton’s private email server”
Word that Abedin claims to be unaware of the cache of messages came as a U.S. official revealed that the FBI obtained a warrant to examine the emails in greater detail.
The disclosure of an additional trove of emails that FBI Director James Comey says may be relevant to the Clinton email investigation has rocked the final days of the presidential campaign, with Comey coming under withering criticism for disclosing to Congress last week that new work was underway in the Clinton probe as a result of the discovery of the new set of messages.
“Sources familiar with the investigation said the laptop was seized early in October as part of an FBI probe into allegations that Weiner, a former congressman, traded sexually explicit messages with an underage girl.”
Late Sunday, already intense heat on Comey from the Clinton campaign and its allies grew even more searing. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Comey “may have broken the law” by engaging in partisan political activity. And former Attorney General Eric Holder became the most prominent figure to join a long list of former prosecutors condemning the FBI director’s decision to disclose the new politically sensitive discovery just 11 days before the presidential election.
The newly found emails number in the tens of thousands or more, with at least some pertaining to the period when Abedin worked for the State Department from 2009 to 2013, first as a deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Clinton and later as a consultant, a law enforcement source said. Some of the messages could already be among the large set of messages the FBI pieced together from a variety of different devices and sources during the yearlong inquiry into Clinton’s private email server, officials said.
“Despite sharp disagreement with Comey’s decision to publicize the discovery of the new set of emails just days before the presidential election, Justice Department officials pressed quickly for the warrant once they learned of the messages and are trying to organize a quick review of the emails.”
Abedin had an account on that server, but there were conflicting news reports about whether the newly found set of messages was from her clintonemail.com account and whether it contained messages exchanged with Clinton. Until the warrant was issued Sunday, legal concerns limited the analysis the FBI could do of the messages.
Sources familiar with the investigation said the laptop was seized early in October as part of an FBI probe into allegations that Weiner, a former congressman, traded sexually explicit messages with an underage girl.
Despite sharp disagreement with Comey’s decision to publicize the discovery of the new set of emails just days before the presidential election, Justice Department officials pressed quickly for the warrant once they learned of the messages and are trying to organize a quick review of the emails, a U.S. official told POLITICO.
However, it seems impossible that a full analysis will be completed by Election Day on Nov. 8 because if potentially classified messages that haven’t been found before are located, they will have to be farmed out to various intelligence agencies for classification review. That interagency process often takes months.
“As painful as this is for people, this was not a close call.”
— FBI Director James Comey
While Comey’s extensive public comments on the Clinton email investigation have angered many of his current and former Justice Department colleagues, legal experts said they also created awkwardness for prosecutors seeking to draft arguments that would justify a search or seizure warrant for the new batch of Abedin emails.
For months, Comey has been public about his agency’s conclusion that the evidence obtained in an almost-yearlong investigation into Clinton’s private server setup was not remotely close to what would justify filing criminal charges against the former secretary of state or her advisers.
“As painful as this is for people, this was not a close call,” the FBI chief told skeptical Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee last month.
However, to get the warrant, Justice Department lawyers appear to have mounted nearly the opposite argument: that the newly discovered messages were likely to contain evidence of a crime. Read the rest of this entry »
Federal investigators looking into the Hillary Clinton email matter have obtained the warrant needed to start reviewing the emails found on a laptop used by Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her husband, Anthony Weiner.
FBI Director James Comey told Congress Friday that the agency was again reviewing emails related to Clinton’s personal server, after it learned of additional information that might be relevant to the case.
Comey sent a letter to key members of Congress informing them that although the FBI had previously announced the completion of its investigation into Clinton’s email server, new information had prompted additional review.
“In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation,” Comey wrote in a letter released Friday.
In conversations with FBI counterparts hours before Comey disclosed that the FBI was hoping to review newly discovered emails possibly “pertinent” to the Clinton probe, Justice Department officials emphasized that the department has long steered clear of taking such investigative actions close to an election if those actions could potentially influence the outcome of an election, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News. Read the rest of this entry »
Devlin Barrett reports: As federal agents prepare to scour roughly 650,000 emails to see how many relate to a prior probe of Hillary Clinton’s email use, the surprise disclosure that investigators were pursuing the potential new evidence lays bare building tensions inside the bureau and the Justice Department over how to investigate the Democratic presidential nominee.
“The FBI had searched the computer while looking for child pornography, people familiar with the matter said, but the warrant they used didn’t give them authority to search for matters related to Mrs. Clinton’s email arrangement at the State Department. Mr. Weiner has denied sending explicit or indecent messages to the teenager.”
Metadata found on the laptop used by former Rep. Anthony Weiner and his estranged wife Huma Abedin, a close Clinton aide, suggests there may be thousands of emails sent to or from the private server that Mrs. Clinton used while she was secretary of state, according to people familiar with the matter. It will take weeks, at a minimum, to determine whether those messages are work-related from the time Ms. Abedin served with Mrs. Clinton at the State Department; how many are duplicates of emails already reviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and whether they include either classified information or important new evidence in the Clinton email probe.
“In their initial review of the laptop, the metadata showed many messages, apparently in the thousands, that were either sent to or from the private email server at Mrs. Clinton’s home that had been the focus of so much investigative effort for the FBI. Senior FBI officials decided to let the Weiner investigators proceed with a closer examination of the metadata on the computer, and report back to them.”
The FBI has had to await a court order to begin reviewing the emails, because they were uncovered in an unrelated probe of Mr. Weiner.
The new investigative effort, disclosed by FBI Director James Comey on Friday, shows a bureau at times in sharp internal disagreement over matters related to the Clintons, and how to handle those matters fairly and carefully in the middle of a national election campaign. Even as the previous probe of Mrs. Clinton’s email use wound down in July, internal disagreements within the bureau and the Justice Department surrounding the Clintons’ family philanthropy heated up, according to people familiar with the matter.
The latest development began in early October when New York-based FBI officials notified Andrew McCabe, the bureau’s second-in-command, that while investigating Mr. Weiner for possibly sending sexually charged messages to a minor, they had recovered a laptop with 650,000 emails. Many, they said, were from the accounts of Ms. Abedin, according to people familiar with the matter.
Those emails stretched back years, these people said, and were on a laptop that hadn’t previously come up in the Clinton email probe. Ms. Abedin said in late August that the couple were separating.
The FBI had searched the computer while looking for child pornography, people familiar with the matter said, but the warrant they used didn’t give them authority to search for matters related to Mrs. Clinton’s email arrangement at the State Department. Mr. Weiner has denied sending explicit or indecent messages to the teenager.
“At a meeting early last week of senior Justice Department and FBI officials, a member of the department’s senior national-security staff asked for an update on the Weiner laptop, the people familiar with the matter said. At that point, officials realized that no one had acted to obtain a warrant, these people said.”
In their initial review of the laptop, the metadata showed many messages, apparently in the thousands, that were either sent to or from the private email server at Mrs. Clinton’s home that had been the focus of so much investigative effort for the FBI. Senior FBI officials decided to let the Weiner investigators proceed with a closer examination of the metadata on the computer, and report back to them.
At a meeting early last week of senior Justice Department and FBI officials, a member of the department’s senior national-security staff asked for an update on the Weiner laptop, the people familiar with the matter said. At that point, officials realized that no one had acted to obtain a warrant, these people said. Read the rest of this entry »
The jolting development highlighted not only the intersecting lives of Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Abedin and Mr. Weiner, but also the pattern that has characterized the Clintons’ relationships with the sometimes oddly behaving inhabitants of their insular world.
Amy Chozick and Mark Lander report: In the summer of 2013, Hillary Clinton had just left the State Department and returned to New York. She planned a quiet year, basking in sky-high approval ratings and enjoying a respite from the media spotlight as she laid the groundwork for a second presidential run.
Then Carlos Danger happened.
Anthony D. Weiner, the husband of Mrs. Clinton’s closest aide, Huma Abedin, was running for mayor of New York when news broke that he had continued to exchange lewd messages with women online after the practice cost him his congressional seat. This time, he used the embarrassing Spanish-inspired moniker.
The podcast that makes sense of the most delirious stretch of the 2016 campaign.
The tawdry story line and Ms. Abedin’s closeness to Mrs. Clinton made the events explode far beyond New York, dragging Mrs. Clinton’s name into messy headlines about penis pictures, Mr. Weiner’s descriptions of his sexual appetites and his online paramour named Sydney Leathers.
Now, with Mrs. Clinton seemingly on the cusp of winning the White House, Mr. Weiner, who once described himself as “a perpetually horny middle-aged man,” has pulled her into another drama. Federal investigators looking into his sexual messaging with an underage girl stumbled upon thousands of emails potentially pertinent to the F.B.I. inquiry into Mrs. Clinton’s private email server.
[Read the full story here, at The New York Times]
The jolting development highlighted not only the intersecting lives of Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Abedin and Mr. Weiner, but also the pattern that has characterized the Clintons’ relationships with the sometimes oddly behaving inhabitants of their insular world: Even amid accusations of sexual or financial impropriety, the Clintons’ first instinct is to hunker down and protect those in their orbit, sometimes leading to more ugly eruptions later and, eventually, to messy public breakups.
On Friday, several of Mrs. Clinton’s friends and allies suggested she distance herself from Ms. Abedin, a painful prospect given that Mrs. Clinton has described Ms. Abedin as a surrogate daughter and has relied on her more than anyone else during her nearly two-year pursuit of the White House.
The two women’s closeness has both intimidated those in the Clinton circle of status-conscious advisers and caused envy. Even as Mrs. Clinton learned on Friday that the F.B.I.’s interest in her email server, which she thought had ended in July, had reignited, Ms. Abedin was by her side as she prepared to make a statement to the news media in Des Moines.
Pressed by a reporter there about the emails’ having been discovered during the investigation into Mr. Weiner’s sexting, Mrs. Clinton dismissed the reports as “rumors.”
“We of course stand by her,” her campaign chairman, John D. Podesta, said on Saturday when asked whether Ms. Abedin would step down from the campaign.
Mrs. Clinton has always been circumspect about Mr. Weiner and her feelings toward him. She has steadfastly supported Ms. Abedin, 40, as the younger woman stood by her husband, despite the public ridicule and career damage that resulted from his behavior. The Clintons have never publicly criticized Mr. Weiner. Read the rest of this entry »
Did She, or Didn’t She? Huma Abedin Swore Under Oath She Gave Up ‘All the Devices’ With State Department EmailsPosted: October 29, 2016
The FBI found emails pertinent to its Clinton investigation, reportedly on a computer from her aide’s home. That doesn’t jibe with she told lawyers this summer.
M. L. Nestel and Jackie Kucinich report: In a normal election year, a normal candidate’s close aide who caused even minor embarrassment to a campaign so near to Election Day would be whisked away as quickly as possible to avoid becoming a distraction.
But Huma Abedin is not simply a close aide, she’s a critical member of Hillary Clinton’s tiny inner circle that protects and — at times — enables the deeply flawed and secretive Democratic nominee.
So despite FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that the bureau is reviewing emails from Abedin’s time at the State Department reportedly found on a laptop she shared with her soon-to-be ex-husband Anthony Weiner (confiscated as a part of the FBI’s investigation into allegations he sexted with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl), the campaign made clear on Saturday that she’s not going anywhere.
John Podesta, the chairman of the Clinton campaign, told reporters on a conference call that Abedin had been nothing but cooperative with investigators and sat for hours of depositions last summer as part of the civil lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch.
“There’s nothing that she’s done that we think calls into question anything that she’s done with respect to this investigation… we fully stand behind her,” Podesta said.
But the new information that the FBI found State Department-related email on her home laptop also calls into question whether Abedin in fact turned over all of the devices she used to send and receive email while working at State.
On June 28, 2016, Abedin said under oath in a sworn deposition that she looked for all devices that she thought contained government work on them so the records could be given to the State Department. (These records were subsequently reviewed by the FBI.)
“How did you go about searching for what records you may have in your possession to be returned to the State Department?” Attorney Ramona Cotca for Judicial Watch asked her.
“I looked for all the devices that may have any of my State Department work on it and returned — returned — gave them to my attorneys for them to review for all relevant documents. And gave them devices and paper,” Abedin answered.
Cotca then asked Abedin specifically what devices she gave her attorneys.
“If memory serves me correctly, it was two laptops, a BlackBerry, and some files that I found in my apartment,” Abedin said, adding the BlackBerry was associated with her Clintonemail.com account.
Abedin maintained that she was “not involved in the process” of what records on her devices would be given to the State Department.
The New York Times said on Friday that law enforcement officials had revealed it was the seizure of the devices, and the discovery of emails that were previously not part of the FBI investigation, that had triggered the bureau’s .
The FBI informed Congress on Friday it was investigating whether there was classified information in the new emails. The FBI said in July that its investigation was finished.
However, reports said the emails were not from the former secretary of state’s private device, but from those belonging to her top aide and her ex-husband. Mr Weiner is being investigated amid allegations he sent sexual messages to a 15-year-old girl.
The Associated Press said that in his letter to congressional leaders, FBI Director James Comey said the new emails that had come to light recently had prompted investigators to reopen its probe.
In his letter, Mr Comey, said that emails had surfaced in an unrelated case – now said to be the investigation into Mr Wiener’s alleged sexting – and that they “appear to be pertinent to the investigation”. Read the rest of this entry »
The disclosure came as the FBI released its second batch of documents on Clinton’s email investigation.
President Barack Obama used a pseudonym in email communications with Hillary Clinton and others, according to FBI records made public Friday.
The disclosure came as the FBI released its second batch of documents from its investigation into Clinton’s private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.
The 189 pages the bureau released includes interviews with some of Clinton’s closest aides, such as Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills; senior State Department officials; and even Marcel Lazar, better known as the Romanian hacker “Guccifer.”
In an April 5, 2016 interview with the FBI, Abedin was shown an email exchange between Clinton and Obama, but the longtime Clinton aide did not recognize the name of the sender.
“Once informed that the sender’s name is believed to be pseudonym used by the president, Abedin exclaimed: ‘How is this not classified?'” the report says. “Abedin then expressed her amazement at the president’s use of a pseudonym and asked if she could have a copy of the email.”
The State Department has refused to make public that and other emails Clinton exchanged with Obama. Lawyers have cited the “presidential communications privilege,” a variation of executive privilege, in order to withhold the messages under the Freedom of Information Act.
The report doesn’t provide more details on the contents of that particular email exchange, but says it took place on June 28, 2012, and had the subject line: “Re: Congratulations.” It may refer to the Supreme Court’s ruling that day upholding a key portion of the Obamacare law.
A report on the FBI’s June 7, 2016 interview with “Guccifer” confirms FBI Director James Comey‘s claim that Lazar falsely asserted that he’d surreptitiously accessed Clinton’s server.
“Lazar began by stating that he had never claimed to hack the Clinton server. [An FBI agent] then advised that Fix News had recently published an article which reported that Lazar had claimed to have to Clinton server. Read the rest of this entry »
Jim Geraghty: ‘Picture Comey’s Office When the Complete 68 Pages of the FBI Investigation Comes to his Desk’Posted: September 9, 2016
Jim Geraghty writes:
…Picture Comey’s office when the complete 68 pages of the FBI investigation comes to his desk. It’s a mess for her:
- Despite many public denials, 110 of her e-mails contained classified information. This, by itself, is a crime.
- She and/or her team destroyed e-mails that were under congressional subpoena.
- Her team used BleachBit to erase e-mails that were required to be preserved under public-records laws.
- She had not turned over work-related e-mails as she claimed; several thousand work-related e-mails were not given to the State Department, as required by law.
- Despite her continued insistence that her system was secure, an unknown individual using the encrypted privacy tool Tor to hide their tracks accessed an e-mail account on a Clinton family server.
- The evidence pointed to a deliberate, ongoing effort to keep all of her communications off of the secure State Department system, which would be subject to subpoenas and Freedom of Information Act requests. She used several different e-mail servers on her private system, as well as 13 mobile devices and five iPads.
- At no time did she get permission, as required, to do official work on her mobile devices. Clinton frequently lost her phones — which included her e-mails with classified information — and she and her staff could not account for them. An assistant to former president Bill Clinton lost a laptop holding Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. Again, as secretary of state, she swore an oath to protect that information. As Comey declared in his statement, “even if information is not marked ‘classified’ in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.”
- Either she or her staff lied to the FBI; Clinton said she never had a computer in her Secure Compartmentalized Information Facility (basically, a room that is nearly impossible to bug or eavesdrop). Huma Abedin said she did.
- During the interview with the FBI, Clinton said she “couldn’t recall” more than three dozen times. One portion of the report suggests Clinton could not remember whether or not she received security briefings. But she had previously signed official documents declaring she had been properly briefed.
Comey looked at that report and saw plenty of potential reasons to recommend impaneling a grand jury. But had the FBI recommended seeking an indictment of Hillary Clinton, it undoubtedly would have created a political earthquake.
The entire Democratic Party would have exploded in rage at the bureau. Comey would have instantly been painted as worse than Ken Starr, worse than Inspector Javert, worse than Torquemada. Clinton defenders would charge that the FBI was torpedoing her presidential campaign, and they might just be right: At the time of Comey’s decision, the Democratic convention was just three weeks away. Read the rest of this entry »
Despite signs Clinton’s former chief of staff Cheryl Mills obstructed efforts by investigators to obtain Clinton’s emails, the FBI invited Mills to attend Hillary’s interview at FBI headquarters as one of her lawyers.
Paul Sperry reports: Newly released FBI documents detailing the bureau’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails reveal the aide who would likely follow her into the White House as chief counsel was central to a cover-up of evidence sought by investigators.
“It’s absolutely outrageous. The FBI saw massive document destruction and clear intent to withhold material evidence,” he added, “and they just ignored that obstruction, and even let her sit in on the interview.”
— Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch President
Yet despite signs Clinton’s former chief of staff Cheryl Mills obstructed efforts by investigators to obtain Clinton’s emails, the FBI invited Mills to attend Hillary’s interview at FBI headquarters as one of her lawyers.
The smoking gun is on page 16 of the FBI’s 47-page report. It details how Mills ultimately made the determinations about which emails should be preserved before she and Clinton decided to delete the rest as “personal.” Clinton conducted both government and personal business using a personal email account — clintonemail.com — tied to an unsecured server set up in the basement of her New York home.
The FBI makes clear the procedure Mills used to sort out the emails was suspicious.
“The whole thing was designed to keep Clinton Foundation emails away from investigators.”
For starters, Mills was the one who ordered the server host to move the emails from the server to a laptop where she could screen them. She told investigators she could “not recall” if emails with non-gov addresses were included in the transfer. It’s unlikely they were, because an aide who helped her search told the FBI she only screened for emails sent to or from Clinton with .gov and .mil — not .com — addresses.
That means messages involving government business between Clinton and her then-deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin — the only aide who had an email account on the clintonemail.com system— were not likely captured. Nor were messages sent between Clinton and Mills and other aides using personal email addresses.
“The FBI saw massive document destruction and clear intent to withhold material evidence and they just ignored that obstruction, and even let [Mills] sit in on the interview.”
– Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch President
Correspondence between Clinton and Abedin (who regularly emailed her boss from email@example.com and HAbedin@hillaryclinton.com) is crucial, Fitton says, because Abedin acted as the go-between on requests for access to Clinton from shady foreign Clinton Foundation donors. He says the mushrooming “pay-for-play” scandal is the real reason the former secretary of state set up a private email system in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »
This is baby-sitting — Anthony Weiner-style.
“Weiner then hit ‘send’ on the cringe-inducing image, which shows a bulge in his white, Jockey-brand boxer briefs and his son cuddled up to his left, wrapped in a light-green blanket.”
While his wife, Huma Abedin, travels the country campaigning for Hillary Clinton, the disgraced ex-congressman has been sexting with a busty brunette out West — and even sent her a lurid crotch shot with his toddler son in the picture, The Post has learned.
The stay-at-home cad shot the revealing photo while discussing massage parlors “near my old apartment” shortly after 3 a.m. on July 31, 2015, a screen shot of the exchange shows.
“Someone just climbed into my bed,” Weiner wrote.
“Really?” she responded.
“Screen shots show the electronic chats began in late January 2015 and continued through earlier this month, according to the woman, who spoke to The Post on condition of anonymity.”
Weiner then hit “send” on the cringe-inducing image, which shows a bulge in his white, Jockey-brand boxer briefs and his son cuddled up to his left, wrapped in a light-green blanket.
“You do realize you can see you[r] Weiner in that pic??” the woman wrote.
Moments after forwarding the photo, Weiner freaked out over the possibility he had accidentally posted it publicly — just as he did during the infamous episode that forced him to resign from Congress in 2011.
“Ooooooh . . . I was scared. For half a second I thought I posted something. Stop looking at my crotch,” Weiner wrote back.
“Whatever. You did it on purpose,” she replied.
“The object of Weiner’s affections is his polar opposite politically: a self-avowed supporter of Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association who’s used Twitter to bash both President Obama and Clinton.”
“O I see you thought you posted on your TL [public timeline] not DM [direct message]. S–t happens be careful,” she added.
The object of Weiner’s affections is his polar opposite politically: a self-avowed supporter of Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association who’s used Twitter to bash both President Obama and Clinton.
Screen shots show the electronic chats began in late January 2015 and continued through earlier this month, according to the woman, who spoke to The Post on condition of anonymity.
And while Weiner repeatedly invited her to visit him in New York City, she said, “We never met.”
Asked for comment, Weiner admitted he and the woman “have been friends for some time.”
“She has asked me not to comment except to say that our conversations were private, often included pictures of her nieces and nephews and my son and were always appropriate,” he said.
But the picture featuring his son was one of more than a dozen selfies sent to the woman by Weiner, 51 — and most show him posing shirtless to flaunt his well-toned physique.
One is even a near-replica of the crotch shot that first turned him into a national laughingstock — except he was wearing white boxer briefs instead of gray ones.
Weiner wrote, “My mood . . .” before sending the overtly sexual photo on June 14, 2015, prompting the woman to respond, “O goodness.”
Many of Weiner’s messages show him bragging about his manhood and shamelessly lusting after the woman.
The latest online dalliance developed when Weiner began exchanging direct messages with her via Twitter following an online clash with a second woman, according to the gal.
As their conversation progressed, she mentioned having “over 30 nieces and nephews,” at which point Weiner responded by asking: “Wow. Got your own? (Weiner sees opening to ask about [your] status).”
When she tried to end the conversation by saying “it’s time for bed,” Weiner wrote back: “Sleeping alone? Asking for a friend?” before adding, “That was a fib.”
“One is even a near-replica of the crotch shot that first turned him into a national laughingstock — except he was wearing white boxer briefs instead of gray ones.”
Weiner frequently steered the conversation toward sex, as many of their discussions initially involved such mundane topics as their respective workout regimens.
“I am always, uh, raging after the gym,” he wrote in one of several apparent references to his genitalia.
Another time, he wrote about how “Id [sic] put someone’s eye out with this thing. #Overdue.”
When the woman sent Weiner a selfie that showed her in a cleavage-baring, red lace dress, Weiner’s response was “Holy f–kity f- -k,” while another shot of her standing next to a woman at the same event prompted him to write: “Conjured some high school fantasies.” Read the rest of this entry »
It took Clinton only about 50 seconds to unpack it before a crowd at LeMoyne-Owen College.
“I gotta tell you,” Hillary said with a distinct drawl, “I loved coming to Memphis in the past.
“You know, I didn’t live too far away for a long time, just across the river. Do we have anybody from Arkansas here toniiiiight?” she asked.
“Now, after the 2008 election, then president-elect Obama called me and asked me to come see him in Chicagooooo,” Clinton said….(read more)
Source: The American Mirror
Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley called into question a $33,000 payment Abedin received from the State Department for leave she hadn’t used.
Sarah Westwood reports: An investigation may have found evidence a top State Department aide to Hillary Clinton took advantage of government employment rules with potential conflicts of interest and overpayments.
“As an example of the potential conflicts of interest at play, Grassley cited an email exchange in which Band pressed Abedin to encourage her State Department boss, Hillary Clinton, to facilitate a White House appointment for one of his clients.”
In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday, Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said an inspector general probe suggested Huma Abedin leveraged her State Department job to benefit her two other employers at the time: the Clinton Foundation and a consulting firm called Teneo Strategies.
Teneo Strategies was founded by a longtime aide to Bill Clinton, Douglas Band, and boasted the former president as a paid board member when it first launched in 2011.
Abedin allegedly sent or received more than 7,000 emails on her government account that involved Band, the letter said.
As an example of the potential conflicts of interest at play, Grassley cited an email exchange in which Band pressed Abedin to encourage her State Department boss, Hillary Clinton, to facilitate a White House appointment for one of his clients.
Judith Rodin, the Teneo client in question, was then president of the Rockefeller Foundation, “which donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, a fact which Mr. Band allegedly noted in his email to Ms. Abedin,” the letter said.
“[E]mail evidence allegedly suggests that Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills shared a desire to find a way to ensure the Department paid for Ms. Abedin’s travel to and from New York,” the letter continued. Read the rest of this entry »
Japanese media said the bureau chief, who is in his forties, had meant to send the picture to a female friend, but instead uploaded it through popular messaging app Line
Japanese broadcaster TV Asahi apologised Saturday after its Bangkok bureau chief posted an image of his genitals on a mobile forum set up by Thailand’s foreign ministry, which warned of “consequences”.
A spokesman for the channel said the unnamed employee had been removed from the job due to his “extremely inappropriate” behaviour.
“We deeply apologise to the Thai foreign ministry and other people concerned.”
— Spokesman for the channel
The ministry demanded an explanation for the graphic picture that appeared late Monday in the forum, which was set up for foreign journalists working in Thailand.
“We deeply apologise to the Thai foreign ministry and other people concerned,” the spokesman said, adding the journalist had been urged to “seriously reflect” on the incident.
Japanese media said the bureau chief, who is in his forties, had meant to send the picture to a female friend, but instead uploaded it through popular messaging app Line to about 150 journalists who belong to the forum.
He left the forum immediately after the incident, prompting a warning that “actions will be taken” from a ministry official and a vomiting emoji from one group member as a few others in the forum questioned what had just happened.
“May we remind you that this (forum) is for official purposes. Actions will be taken,” the ministry official said.
“Just leaving the room does not mean this action won’t have consequences.”
Cases of so-called “sexting,” or sending sexually explicit images by phone, have exploded with the prevalence of smartphones and other mobile devices. Read the rest of this entry »
“That two-month period also coincides with a senior Clinton aide obtaining a special exemption that allowed her to work both as a staff member to the secretary and in a private capacity for Clinton and her husband’s foundation. The Associated Press has sued to obtain emails from Clinton’s account about the aide, Huma Abedin.”
“The status of Clinton’s emails has become an explosive political issue ever since The New York Times revealed that the then-Secretary of State was using a private email server to handle her official correspondence. Cybersecurity experts believe the homebrew system opened Clinton and her colleagues to targeting from online spies.”
That two-month period also coincides with a senior Clinton aide obtaining a special exemption that allowed her to work both as a staff member to the secretary and in a private capacity for Clinton and her husband’s foundation. The Associated Press has sued to obtain emails from Clinton’s account about the aide, Huma Abedin.
The status of Clinton’s emails has become an explosive political issue ever since The New York Times revealed that the then-Secretary of State was using a private email server to handle her official correspondence. Cybersecurity experts believe the homebrew system opened Clinton and her colleagues to targeting from online spies. The State Department and Intelligence Community Inspector Generals have asked the Justice Department to look into possible disclosure of classified information.
Regarding the security situation in Libya, there was plenty for Clinton and her team to discuss via email. On May 22, 2012, the International Red Cross’s Benghazi office was hit by rocket-propelled grenades.
And you thought shipping glitter was all the rage.
This month, the Internet has borne witness to the launch of not one, but two major sites that let you ship your enemies—or your friends, for that matter—a bag of gummy dicks…. 715 more words
The messages criticized a source for being a “lying liar” and what the aide described as a reporter’s “cockamamie theory.”
The heated exchange was the latest chapter in the growing controversy over Clinton’s use of a private email address for official business when she was secretary of state from 2009 until 2013.
It began after Gawker writer J.K. Trotter published a story indicating two of Clinton’s top aides used “secret email accounts” while they worked for her at the State Department.
CJ Ciaramella, a reporter for Vice and the Washington Free Beacon, subsequently emailed Philippe Reines, a veteran Clinton communications aide, asking about the Gawker story. In his response, Reines CC’d multiple media critics and Trotter. Among other things, Reines’ email criticized Trotter’s “creepy” reporting methods and accused him of relying on a source who lied about Clinton.
Update (March 5, 2014 11:18 a.m.): An internal email Gawker editor-in-chief Max Read sent to Trotter and his executive editor for investigations, John Cook, was published on the site’s story about this chain. We included it here to ensure our version of the email chain is complete.
Trotter’s piece said an unnamed source who “has worked with Clinton in the past” alleged both Reines and another top Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, used private email addresses on the domain clintonemail.com when they worked under Clinton at the State Department. The accusation came on the heels of a New York Times report published Monday that suggested Clinton’s use of a private clintonemail.com address to conduct official State Department business may have violated federal regulations and prevented the government from preserving her communications.
Clinton’s team has insisted her use of the private email complied with the rulesand did not interfere with recordkeeping.
In his email to Trotter and Ciaramella, Reines vehemently denied he ever used personal email without including his government address.
Reines provided Business Insider with a copy of the exchange on Wednesday. In addition to Trotter and Ciaramella, Reines included Washington Post media reporter Erik Wemple and CNN’s senior media correspondent Brian Stelter. Reines explained his rationale for bringing Wemple and Stelter in the conversation at the beginning of his message.
“Since this fundamentally comes down to honesty, transparency and accountability, I thought we’d go through an exercise together – with Erik Wemple of The Washington Post and Brian Stelter of CNN included as observers,” Reines wrote.
Reines proceeded to offer a point-by-point rebuttal of Trotter’s article. In the story, Trotter wrote that Lexis Nexis records indicated Abedin had a clintonemail.com address. He also noted he wrote to the address listed in Nexis and the message did not bounce back. Reines dismissed this as “creepy” and questioned whether Trotter attempted to use similar techniques to check if he also had a clintonemail.com address.
“Did you attempt to verify your source’s assertion of my use of such an email using the same creepy methods you did with my close friend and colleague Huma Abedin? Assuming you did, why doesn’t your piece note the results of your creepy methods?” Reines wrote, adding, “Did you attempt to send an email to me at that domain, and if so did it go “through without bouncing”? Assuming you did, why don’t you note the results of your test?”
Reines went on to question whether Trotter’s unnamed source had been able to provide email exchanges proving Clinton’s aides used the private addresses.
“If your lying liar pants on fire source worked with me at a federal agency as you and they contend, did you ask them to provide even a single email exchange with my using that account?” Reines asked in the email, which was first reported by The Washington Post.
On Wednesday, Trotter sent a response to Reines, which he posted on Gawker. In it, he addressed each of the criticisms and defended his work.
Trotter’s initial story said the source’s claim that Reines and Abedin used private email addresses might explain “the State Department’s puzzling response to several FOIA requests filed by Gawker in the past two years.” The first of those requests was sent by Gawker in September 2012. Trotter said the request sought correspondence between Reines and a “variety of reporters” in the wake of a memorable, expletive-filled exchange Reines had with the late BuzzFeed reporter Michael Hastings in 2012.
“That request was confoundingly denied on the grounds that the State Department had no record of Reines—whose job it was to communicate with reporters—emailing Hastings or any other journalists (Gawker is currently appealing the rejection),” Trotter wrote.
Trotter also claimed a 2011 FOIA request from Gawker to the State Department asking for copies of Abedin’s correspondence was also denied.
In his email, Reines suggested the idea private email addresses would prevent the State Department from responding to FOIA requests for his communications with the media was a wild “conspiracy.”
“Is your cockamamie theory that the reason there is no record of my emailing with reporters is because I improperly used my personal email address to email with those reporters in an attempt to circumvent FOIA, and that every one of the many reporters you reasonably assume I emailed with are in on this conspiracy of having only emailed with me on my non-official email?” Reines asked. “All sorts of media outlets reached out to me, including FOX and The Daily Caller. Are they in on it? Is everyone in on it aside from Gawker?”
Last March, Business Insider filed our own FOIA request asking the State Department for records of Reines’ communications with several news organizations from the start of 2012 until after Clinton left her position as secretary of state in February 2013. A response sent to Business Insider by the State Department on March 21, 2014 indicated they would “being processing” the request and that they do have records of Reines’ emails with the media.
“Unusual circumstances (including the number and location of Department components involved in responding to your request, the volume of requested records, etc.) may arise that would require additional time to process your request,” the State Department response said.
The State Department, which has been criticized for failing to respond to records requests related to Clinton in a timely manner, rejected Business Insider’s request for expedited processing and has not returned any records of Reines’ communications.
Ciaramella responded to Reines and began with a greeting for the many reporters CC’d on the exchange.
“Hi Philippe, And hello JK and Erik and Brian and Nick. It’s wonderful that we can all be here, together,” he wrote.
Ciaramella went on to note that, if Reines’ claim he “didn’t use private email” is correct, then the State Department was “either lying through its teeth or wildly incompetent” in its response to Gawker’s FOIA request.
Ciaramella concluded by pointing out that BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith tweeted a claimed that Reines used a private Gmail account for his exchange with Hastings. This would seem to be solid evidence Reines was indeed using private email for State Department business.
Reines responded with another email where he looped in Smith.
“Let me welcome Ben to our little party, because, well, he’s flat out wrong,” Reines wrote. “Michael emailed me that morning on my State account, I responded from my State account, I even added a second State person’s State account to that exchange, and it entirely remained on our State accounts without my personal account being referenced or used in any way. … But hey, why let truth or facts get in the way of a good Tweet.”
Smith answered with an apology for the tweet, which he said was incorrect.
“Hey guys: this is my fault. I misremembered. I’m sorry for sewing confusion,” Smith wrote. “I have corresponded with Philippe on his gmail, but this was not that.”
Read the entire email exchange Reines sent to Business Insider below. It was lightly edited for consistent formatting and to remove all personal contact information.
From: CJ Ciaramella
To: Philippe Reines
Date: Tuesday, March 3, 6:47 p.m.
Subject: Comment on private email address at State Dept
This is CJ Ciaramella, a reporter for the Washington Free Beacon and Vice. Wondering if you have any response to this Gawker article alleging that you and Huma Abedin used private email addresses to conduct official government business while at the State Dept: http://gawker.com/source-top-clinton-aides-used-secret-email-accounts-at-1689246408
As I’m sure you well know, not archiving official business conducted on a private email address is a violation of the Federal Records Act. A FOIA request for your State Dept. emails is also currently being appealed. Please email or call: [phone number redacted]
From: Philippe Reines
To: CJ Ciaramella, J.K. Trotter, Erik Wemple, Brian Stelter, Nick Merrill
Date: Tuesay, March 3, 9:57 p.m.
Hi CJ. And hi JK.
Since this fundamentally comes down to honesty, transparency and accountability, I thought we’d go through an exercise together – with Erik Wemple of The Washington Post and Brian Stelter of CNN included as observers.
In your piece, which CJ references below, you wrote
“’Her top staffers used those Clinton email addresses’ at the agency, said the source, who has worked with Clinton in the past. The source named two staffers in particular, Philippe Reines and Huma Abedin, who are said to have used private email addresses in the course of their agency duties.”
That’s a pretty clear assertion by you through your source that they had firsthand knowledge of my having and using an email account on the clintonemail.com domain. You then wrote:
“We were able to independantly [SIC] verify that Abedin used a ClintonEmail.com address at some point in time. There are several email addresses associated with Abedin’s name in records maintained by Lexis-Nexis; one of them is firstname.lastname@example.org. An email sent to that address today went through without bouncing.”
A few questions:
1) Did you attempt to verify your source’s assertion of my use of such an email using the same creepy methods you did with my close friend and colleague Huma Abedin? Assuming you did, why doesn’t your piece note the results of your creepy methods?
2) Did you attempt to send an email to me at that domain, and if so did it go “through without bouncing”? Assuming you did, why don’t you note the results of your test?
3) If your lying liar pants on fire source worked with me at a federal agency as you and they contend, did you ask them to provide even a single email exchange with my using that account?
4) Better yet, in the off chance they don’t have every single email they ever sent or received, have you availed yourself of the same FOIA laws to petition the lying liar’s agency for any email between them and me that you have with our email?
I mean, you either naively or knowingly swallowed quite the whopper. Not sure which is worse. Actually, that’s not true.
Now, on the subject of FOIA…
You have to ask State about your requests, appeals, etc.
But while I have you I’m really hoping you can explain something to me. You wrote that “The use of private email addresses may explain the State Department’s puzzling response to several FOIA requests filed by Gawker in the past two years,” continuing, “That request was confoundingly denied on the grounds that the State Department had no record of Reines—whose job it was to communicate with reporters—emailing Hastings or any other journalists.”
So, is your cockamamie theory that the reason there is no record of my emailing with reporters is because I improperly used my personal email address to email with those reporters in an attempt to circumvent FOIA, and that every one of the many reporters you reasonably assume I emailed with are in on this conspiracy of having only emailed with me on my non-official email? All sorts of media outlets reached out to me, including FOX and The Daily Caller. Are they in on it? Is everyone in on it aside from Gawker?
Now, to answer your question: email is a two way street. You’d be surprised how many reporters deliberately email government officials to their personal accounts. You’d be equally surprised to know that when they did, I moved the exchange to my state.gov account because, between you and me, my personal account is about the last place I want to be emailing reporters or conducting work.
Which brings me to my last question(s) – for both JK & CJ:
Have either of you ever deliberately emailed a US Government official anywhere other than their official address to discuss official US Government business? If so, why? Have you ever received an email from a US Government official from anywhere other than their official address to discuss official US Government business? If so did you ask them why?
Looking forward to your responses!
Philippe Read the rest of this entry »
On a personal note, Andrew Breitbart is one of the reasons punditfromanotherplanet exists. I read his book, two or three years ago, and it ignited a series of events and discoveries that inspired and activated me–like a lot of people exposed to Andrew’s magnetic, generous personality–it’s not passive reading, it’s a call to join the revolution, and raise some hell. If you’ve not read it yet, it’s available as an ebook now, too.
From the book’s manic introduction, to its updated conclusion (to include the Weiner episode and crazy press conference) it’s a wild ride. He’d just taken down Anthony Weiner, and had to defend his own reputation against a breathtakingly vicious smear effort. Andrew emerged–with style–stronger and more victorious, principled, and fair, than any of his critics would have imagined.
Sunday, October 27, 2013, William A. Jacobson writes:
…may be the best interview of Andrew I’ve ever seen.
And it’s as relevant, if not more so, now as it was back then.
There’s so much in it, listen to it all.
At 8:45 Andrew describes highly-credentialed mainstream journalists as “the most arrogant bastards you could possibly meet in your entire life.” Sounds about right. Maybe understatement.
Two years later Andrew died.