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‘Comey’s Agents Were Forgiving About Some Incriminating Evidence’

blind-comey

The FBI’s Blind Clinton Trust.

The closer we look at the FBI’s investigative file on Hillary Clinton’s emails, the more we wonder if Director James Comey always intended to let her off the hook. The calculated release before the long Labor Day weekend suggests political favoritism, and the report shows the FBI didn’t pursue evidence of potential false statements, obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence.

“The notes also show the G-men never did grill Mrs. Clinton on her “intent” in setting up her server. Instead they bought her explanation that it was for personal convenience. This helped Mr. Comey avoid concluding that her purpose was to evade statutes like the Federal Records Act. Mr. Comey also told Congress that indicting her without criminal intent would pose a constitutional problem.”

Mr. Comey’s concessions start with his decision not to interview Mrs. Clinton until the end of his investigation, a mere three days before he announced his conclusions. Regular FBI practice is to get a subject on the record early then see if his story meshes with what agents find. In this case they accepted Mrs. Clinton’s I-don’t-recall defenses after the fact.

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“Ms. Mills has a particular reason for denying early knowledge of the server: She became Mrs. Clinton’s personal lawyer after they both left State. If Ms. Mills knew about the server while at State, she’d be subject to questions about the server. But if she didn’t know about the server until leaving State, she can argue that conversations with Mrs. Clinton are protected by attorney-client privilege. The FBI ignored all this, and it even allowed Ms. Mills to accompany Mrs. Clinton to her FBI interview as Mrs. Clinton’s lawyer.”

The notes also show the G-men never did grill Mrs. Clinton on her “intent” in setting up her server. Instead they bought her explanation that it was for personal convenience. This helped Mr. Comey avoid concluding that her purpose was to evade statutes like the Federal Records Act. Mr. Comey also told Congress that indicting her without criminal intent would pose a constitutional problem. But Congress has written many laws that don’t require criminal intent, and negligent homicide (for example) has never been unconstitutional.

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The FBI notes also blow past evidence that Clinton advisers may have engaged in a cover-up. Consider page 10 of the FBI report: “Clinton’s immediate aides, to include [Huma] Abedin, [Cheryl] Mills, Jacob Sullivan, and [redacted] told the FBI they were unaware of the existence of the private server until after Clinton’s tenure at State or when it became public knowledge.”

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

That’s amazing given that Ms. Abedin had her own email account on the private server. It is also contradicted by page 3: “At the recommendation of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s long-time aide and later Deputy Chief of Staff at State, in or around fall 2008, [ Bill Clinton aide Justin] Cooper contacted Bryan Pagliano . . . to build the new server system and to assist Cooper with the administration of the new server system.”

The FBI must also have ignored two emails referred to by the State Inspector General showing Ms. Mills and Ms. Abedin discussing the server while they worked at State: “hrc email coming back—is server okay?” Ms. Mills asked Ms. Abedin and Mr. Cooper in a Feb. 27, 2010 email. Read the rest of this entry »

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BREAKING: Clinton Tech Aide Bryan Pagliano Plans to Take the Fifth at Deposition

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“Mr. Pagliano will invoke his right under the Fifth Amendment and decline to testify at the deposition. Given the constitutional implications, the absence of any proper purpose for video recording the deposition, and the considerable risk of abuse, the Court should preclude Judicial Watch, Inc. … from creating an audiovisual recording of Mr. Pagliano’s deposition.”

Josh Gerstein reports: A former information technology adviser to Hillary Clinton plans to exercise his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination at a deposition next week and wants to prevent any video recording being made of the session. Lawyers for former State Department tech specialist Bryan Pagliano said in a court filing Wednesday that there’s no valid reason to make an audio or video recording of the session since Pagliano doesn’t plan to answer any of the questions he’s asked by the conservative group Judicial Watch, which is pursuing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit related to Clinton’s private email server. The group is scheduled to take Pagliano’s deposition on Monday.

“Judicial Watch may move to unseal the materials at any time. Furthermore, in the event of a leak or data breach at the court reporting company, Mr. Pagliano would be hard-pressed to prevent further dissemination and republication of the video.”

“Mr. Pagliano will invoke his right under the Fifth Amendment and decline to testify at the deposition,” Pagliano’s lawyers Mark MacDougall and Connor Mullin wrote. “Given the constitutional implications, the absence of any proper purpose for video recording the deposition, and the considerable risk of abuse, the Court should preclude Judicial Watch, Inc. … from creating an audiovisual recording of Mr. Pagliano’s deposition.”

“Given that there is no proper purpose for videotaping the deposition in the first place, Judicial Watch’s preference should yield to the significant constitutional interests at stake.”

[Read the full story here, at POLITICO]

Acting on a request from another former aide to Clinton, Cheryl Mills, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan already ruled that videos of the sessions should be put under seal. However, Pagliano’s lawyers say there’s still a chance the video could emerge later either with or without permission from the court. Read the rest of this entry »


Huma Abedin Warned State Department Staffer: Hillary Clinton Is ‘Often Confused’

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(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released more than 35 pages of emails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin revealing that Abedin advised Clinton aide and frequent companion Monica Hanley that it was “very important” to go over phone calls with Clinton because the former Secretary of State was “often confused.”

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The emails, from Abedin’s “Huma@clintonemail.com” address, also reveal repeated security breaches, with the Secretary’s schedule and movements being sent and received through Abedin’s non-governmental and unsecured Clinton server account.  The emails document requests for special State Department treatment for a Clinton Foundation associate and Abedin’s mother, a controversial Islamist leader.

confuze

The Abedin email material contains a January 26, 2013, email exchange with Clinton aide Monica Hanley regarding Clinton’s schedule in which Abedin says Clinton is “often confused:”

  • Abedin: Have you been going over her calls with her? So she knows singh is at 8? [India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh]
  • Hanley: She was in bed for a nap by the time I heard that she had an 8am call. Will go over with her
  • Abedin: Very imp to do that. She’s often confused.

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[Read the full text here, at Judicial Watch]

The newly released Abedin emails included a lengthy exchange giving precise details of the Clinton schedule on the Secretary’s final full day in office, Wednesday, January 31, 2013. The email from Lona J. Valmoro, former Special Assistant to Secretary of State Clinton, to Abedin, other top State Department staff, and Clinton associates, reveals exact times (including driving times) and locations of all appointments throughout the day:

8:25 am           DEPART Private Residence

En route to State Department

[drive time: 10 minutes]

***

1:40 pm           DEPART State Department

En route to Council on Foreign Relations

[drive time: 15 minutes]

***

3:05 pm           DEPART Council on Foreign Relations

En route to State Department

[drive time: 15 minutes]

***

6:00 pm           DEPART State Department

En route to Private Residence

[drive time: 5 minutes]

The detailed schedule provided in the Abedin email contains an annotation reading: “The information contained in this email is not to be shared, forwarded or duplicated.”

Another Abedin email provides details about a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s leadership. Read the rest of this entry »


FBI Refuses to Cooperate in Server Probe 

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The FBI refused to cooperate Monday with a court-ordered inquiry into former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email server, telling the State Department that they won’t even confirm they are investigating the matter themselves, much less willing to tell the rest of the government what’s going on.

“We still do not know whether the FBI — or any other government agency for that matter — has possession of the email server that was used by Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin to conduct official government business during their four years of employment at the State Department.”

— Judicial Watch

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan had ordered the State Department to talk with the FBI and see what sort of information could be recovered from Mrs. Clinton’s email server, which her lawyer has said she turned over to the Justice Department over the summer.

Masked_FBI_Agent_Wide

The FBI’s refusal, however, leaves things muddled.

“At this time, consistent with long-standing Department of Justice and FBI policy, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any ongoing investigation, nor are we in a position to provide additional information at this time,” FBI General Counsel James A. Baker wrote in a letter dated Monday — a week after the deadline the Justice Department had set for the FBI to reply.

Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that is pursuing at least 16 open records cases seeking emails from Mrs. Clinton and her top aides, said at this point it’s not even clear what Mrs. Clinton provided, since all that’s been made public at this point are the former secretary of state’s public comments and some assertions, made through her lawyer, to the State Department.

“We also do not know whether the server purportedly in the possession of the FBI — an assumption based on unsworn statements by third parties — is the actual email server that was used by Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin to conduct official government business during their four years of employment at the State Department or whether it is a copy of such an email server. Nor do we know whether any copies of the email server or copies of the records from the email server exist.”

Judicial Watch is prodding the courts to try to delve more deeply into Mrs. Clinton’s emails, and the group said a number of questions persevere about both Mrs. Clinton and top aides such as Huma Abedin, who did public business on an account tied to the server Mrs. Clinton maintained.

“These emails Judicial Watch forced out through a federal lawsuit show that Huma Abedin used her separate clintonemail.com account to conduct the most sensitive government business, endangering not only her safety but the safety of Hillary Clinton and countless others.”

— Judicial Watch

“We still do not know whether the FBI — or any other government agency for that matter — has possession of the email server that was used by Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin to conduct official government business during their four years of employment at the State Department,” Judicial Watch said.

[Read the full text here, at Washington Times]

“We also do not know whether the server purportedly in the possession of the FBI — an assumption based on unsworn statements by third parties — is the actual email server that was used by Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin to conduct official government business during their four years of employment at the State Department or whether it is a copy of such an email server. Nor do we know whether any copies of the email server or copies of the records from the email server exist,” the group said in its own court filing Monday afternoon. Read the rest of this entry »


SMIDGEN REPORT: Federal Attorney Says Backup of Lois Lerner Emails Exist

Tom Fitton discussing the new revelation

Via Judicial Watch:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced the following developments in the IRS’ missing emails investigation. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton stated:smdg-tv2

Department of Justice attorneys for the Internal Revenue Service told Judicial Watch on Friday that Lois Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe.  The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search.  The DOJ attorneys also acknowledged that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is investigating this back-up system.

We obviously disagree that disclosing the emails as required would be onerous, and plan to raise this new development with Judge Sullivan.

This is a jaw-dropping revelation…(read more)

Here is the second set of sworn declarations by IRS officials in response to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s investigation into the missing emails of Lois Lerner and other IRS officials. The declarations were provided after close of business on Friday, August 22. Read the rest of this entry »