Regime uses sanctions relief to beef up weaponry, leading their neighbors to do the same.
When a speedboat manned by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) personnel approached American vessels operating in open water, the U.S. Navy patrol craft USS Thunderbolt issued a series of warnings, all translating as “stay away, keep safe distance.” The Revolutionary Guards kept coming, as they often do, probing until the USN reacts.
A fanatic’s boat weaving among American warships could disrupt the U.S. formation and cause a collision. Tehran propagandists would tout that as a victory at sea. Worse, an Iranian boat might be a water-borne bomb capable of sinking a big ship. The deadly October 2000 terror attack on the USS Cole is very much on the minds of Navy sailors when Iran’s small boats appear. Read the rest of this entry »
Former Official: Obama Admin ‘Systematically Disbanded’ Units Investigating Iran’s Terrorism Financing NetworksPosted: June 9, 2017
Susan Crabtree reports: The Obama administration “systematically disbanded” law enforcement investigative units across the federal government focused on disrupting Iranian, Syrian, and Venezuelan terrorism financing networks out of concern the work could cause friction with Iranian officials and scuttle the nuclear deal with Iran, according to a former U.S. official who spent decades dismantling terrorist financial networks.
David Asher, who previously served as an adviser to Gen. John Allen at the Defense and State Departments, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday that top officials across several key law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the Obama administration “systematically disbanded” law enforcement activities targeting the terrorism financing operations of Iran, Hezbollah, and Venezuela in the lead-up to and during the nuclear negotiations with Tehran.
“Senior leadership, presiding, directing, and overseeing various sections [of these agencies] and portions of the U.S. intelligence community systematically disbanded any internal or external stakeholder action that threatened to derail the administration’s policy agenda focused on Iran,” he testified.
Asher now serves on the board of directors of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies‘ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance and is an adjunct fellow at the Center for New American Security, two national security think tanks.
He attributed the motivation for decisions to dismantle the investigative units to “concerns about interfering with the Iran deal,” a reference to the nuclear deal forged between the U.S., five other world powers, and Iran during the final years of the Obama administration.
As a result, “several top cops” retired and the U.S. government lost their years of expertise. Read the rest of this entry »
Timing of hack occurred within days of the nuclear deal overcoming opposition in Congress.
Susan Crabtree writes: State Department officials determined that Iran hacked their emails and social media accounts during a particularly sensitive week for the nuclear deal in the fall of 2015, according to multiple sources familiar with the details of the cyber attack.
The attack took place within days of the deal overcoming opposition in Congress in late September that year. That same week, Iranian officials and negotiators for the United States and other world powers were beginning the process of hashing out a series of agreements allowing Tehran to meet previously determined implementation deadlines.
Critics regard these agreements as “secret side deals” and “loopholes” initially disclosed only to Congress.
Sources familiar with the details of the attack said it sent shockwaves through the State Department and the private-contractor community working on Iran-related issues.
It is unclear whether top officials at the State Department negotiating the Iran deal knew about the hack or if their personal or professional email accounts were compromised. Sources familiar with the attack believed top officials at State were deeply concerned about the hack and that those senior leaders did not have any of their email or social media accounts compromised in this particular incident.
Wendy Sherman, who served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs for several years during the Obama administration and was the lead U.S. negotiator of the nuclear deal with Iran, could not be reached for comment.
A spokeswoman for Albright Stonebridge LLC, where Sherman now serves as a senior counselor, said Tuesday that Sherman is “unavailable at this time and cannot be reached for comment.”
Asked about the September 2015 cyber-attack, a State Department spokesman said, “For security reasons we cannot confirm whether any hacking incident took place.”
At least four State Department officials in the Bureau of Near East Affairs and a senior State Department adviser on digital media and cyber-security were involved in trying to contain the hack, according to an email dated September 24, 2015, and multiple interviews with sources familiar with the attack.
The Obama administration kept quiet about the cyber-attack and never publicly acknowledged concerns the attack created at State, related agencies, and within the private contractor community that supports their work.
Critics of the nuclear deal said the Obama administration did not publicly disclose the cyber-attack’s impact out of fear it could undermine support right after the pact had overcome political opposition and cleared a critical Congressional hurdle.
The hacking of email addresses belonging to the State Department officials and outside contractors began three days after the congressional review period for the deal ended Sept. 17, according to sources familiar with the details of the attack and the internal State Department email.
In the week leading up to that deadline, Senate Democrats blocked several attempts to pass a GOP-led resolution to disapprove of the nuclear deal. The resolution of disapproval needed 60 votes to pass but the most it garnered was 58.
President Trump, during his trip to the Middle East in late May, talked tough against Iran and its illicit ballistic missile program but has so far left the nuclear deal in place. A Trump State Department review of the deal is nearing completion, the Free Beaconrecently reported, and some senior Trump administration officials are pushing for the public release of the so-called “secret side deals.”
State Department alerts outside contractors of cyber-attack
State Department officials in the Office of Iranian Affairs on Sept. 24, 2015 sent an email to dozens of outside contractors. The email alerted the contractors that a cyber-attack had occurred and urged them not to open any email from a group of five State Department officials that did not come directly from their official state.gov accounts. Read the rest of this entry »
“The worrisome thing here is the outside partner. This is not just a three sided game, North Korea, South Korea, and the U.S. — it’s the Chinese reaction. The Chinese are watching the United States after eight years of withdrawal, accommodation, and essentially no response to Chinese expansion — they’re seeing the United States now asserting itself. The U.S.S. Carl Vinson an aircraft carrier is now in the South China Sea. Trump has just sent B-52’s into South Korea as a way to threaten the North Koreans, and everyone knows what they carry, they carry nuclear weapons. But the worst thing from the Chinese point of view is the THAAD: This is the antimissile system. The Chinese react to that the way the Russians did to the anti-missile system we wanted to put in Eastern Europe. They get very upset because it can be applied against them. Yes, our reason for doing it is to defend the South Koreans against the North. But the overall effect is to put up a missile shield that could degrade and weaken the Chinese arsenal. They know that. They are very worried about that. And they’re getting semi-hysterical. Global Times which is a government-friendly publication just this week said that the government of China will no longer rule out a first nuclear strike. That’s a big deal. That’s not an official statement, but it tells you how much the Chinese are upset, which is why we are now rushing to install the THAAD by the end of April before the election so at least it’s a fait accompli — but this is a tinderbox.”
Source: National Review
Iran seeking revenge for Trump’s halt on immigration
Adam Kredo reports: The Trump administration is emphasizing warnings against travel to Iran by U.S. citizens in light of the Islamic Republic‘s latest effort to implement a travel ban on Americans, which comes in response to the White House’s new immigration order temporarily halting all immigration from Iran and several other Muslim-majority nations designated as terrorism hotspots, according to U.S. officials.
Iranian officials announced this week that they are poised to implement their own travel ban on U.S. individuals and entities they described as aiding “terrorist groups or [helping] regional dictatorial rulers crack down on their nations,” according to comments carried in the country’s state-controlled media.
Iran said the effort is part of a package of reprisals against the United States for the Trump administration’s latest immigration order, which stops Iranian citizens and others from entering the United States for several months as American authorities seek to strengthen vetting procedures.
When questioned about Iran’s potential travel ban on Monday, a State Department official confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon that the Trump administration is aware of the effort and emphasized current warnings against travel to Iran by U.S. citizens. Read the rest of this entry »
The Ruling Class of America is not up to the challenge of leading America in the world, partly because it has engaged for several generations now in a process of reverse merit selection.
“Having been a college professor for many years I saw students become ever more confident of their own intelligence and their own preparation while they were becoming less able to do the most elementary things.”
As the ruling class wannabes, has beens, might’ve beens and I ams gather for today’s inauguration ceremony to offer laud and narcissistic supply to the most perfect exemplar of the ruling class that they have ever seen, Codevilla’s observations about the rapidly imploding ratio of competence to confidence among America’s elite are a breath of contrarian sanity.
“That’s what happens so often to ruling classes: they protect themselves against their competitors. Their greatest interest is in perpetuating their own cushy positions.”
The discussion is available here. Although the first section is devoted to foreign affairs and the second to the ruling class, this column will focus on the second of the two topics. What follows are my notes from the wide ranging and fascinating discussion. I hope you won’t limit yourself to my jottings about the conversation, but go on to the conversation itself. The following is a collection of paraphrased quotes from Codevilla.
“The Soviet system was completely closed. Our system becomes more closed as the years go on….today’s American ruling class differs from even a generation ago…now they come to the ruling class almost exclusively from the most prestigious universities and through institutions which are connected to government.”
Our ruling class has practiced negative selection for several generations now. I point you to a very, very interesting piece of research by a man called Ron Unz.
“Very few people now rise independent of the ruling class itself: you have to rise through the ruling class to get to the ruling class.”
Ron Unz, a wealthy entrepreneur, has just conducted interesting research on the admissions policies of America’s elite universities and has found that there is an iron quota against Asians in these universities: a limit of roughly 16 percent in these universities, even though the proportion of Asians relative to other ethnic groups among high achievers in the country has risen…they account for something like 40 percent of high achievers in the national merit scholar competition, national math and science competitions, etc.
“Our ruling class rules on the basis of sheer, unearned self-confidence. They are not up to running the nation, its economy, its markets, its school system, its philanthropies or its foreign affairs. It is a ruling class of pygmies who walk on stilts and call themselves giants. They are not giants and the moment the rest of us realize this, the long con is over.”
What you’ve got here is a ruling class in these universities which has perpetuated itself and has become more like itself, and has excluded alien elements. The element most excluded happens to be also the most numerous, which is to say ‘white non-Jewish Americans,’ and hence the overwhelming majority of high achievers. Yet the percentage of white non-Jewish admittees has continued to drop; there is especially a virtual absence of Christians among these admittees. The point being that this ruling class, which is increasingly styling itself as meritocratic, is anything but meritocratic and has renewed itself by cooption. Read the rest of this entry »
The public’s loathing and distrust of the media is richly deserved and indicative of one of Western society’s greatest failings: the free press has failed.
“The American media turned itself inside out trying to portray Trump as a misogynist, a racist and an authoritarian populist whipping up mobs and inciting violence. All this was unmitigated rubbish.”
The public’s loathing and distrust of the media is richly deserved and indicative of one of Western society’s greatest failings: the free press has failed. Only the fact that there is no alternative keeps it going. Few people now pay much attention to the common misrepresentation of public issues and people; nor should they. The American media turned itself inside out trying to portray Trump as a misogynist, a racist and an authoritarian populist whipping up mobs and inciting violence. All this was unmitigated rubbish. President Barack Obama strutted about the campaign trail in a last-ditch effort to salvage the Clinton campaign (despite the notorious absence of any affection between the Obamas and the Clintons), and accused Trump of being a sympathizer of the Ku Klux Klan. The president would have his listeners believe that Trump, who has an unblemished record as an equal opportunity employer, approves of thugs surging about in hoods and bedsheets, burning crosses on the lawns of African-Americans, Jews and Roman Catholics (most of whose 30 million voters cast their ballots for Trump).
“Fareed has generously invited me back this Sunday. But his program wasn’t fair comment or thoughtful information: it was propaganda, less virulent and hateful, certainly, than that of infamous promoters of the big lie in totalitarian states, but almost as lacking in integrity or balance.”
The media screamed for Trump’s blood when the Clinton campaign released an 11-year-old tape of boorish remarks about women, though what Trump said was the bland and pious reflection of a Baptist minister compared to the normal conversation of Lyndon Johnson, or the actual conduct, while discharging presidential business, of Bill Clinton. It was magnificent watching the Clinton News Network (CNN) robots on autocue scurrying around like asphyxiated roaches as it became clear that Trump would do the impossible and win, and that the public saw through the animosity of the lazy, complacent, boot-licking, myth-making claque of the Washington media, with its liars, defamers, frauds and idiots.
Last Sunday, I was a token expositor of a positive view of Trump, though I am no Clinton-basher, on Fareed Zakaria’s television program GPS. Fareed, a pleasant and capable man and a friend of many years, opened with a frenzied recitation of Trump’s status as a sexist, racist, xenophobic and crooked demagogue. What followed for 45 minutes, apart from Zbigniew Brzezinski’s artful debunking of the Obama foreign policy (“engaged but ineffectual”), was a sequence of Clinton-parrots. There was a debate between two pollsters about the breadth of Hillary Clinton’s almost inevitable margin of victory. I politely demurred from all this when my turn came after 50 minutes, and Fareed has generously invited me back this Sunday. But his program wasn’t fair comment or thoughtful information: it was propaganda, less virulent and hateful, certainly, than that of infamous promoters of the big lie in totalitarian states, but almost as lacking in integrity or balance. 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 »
Qatari officials pledged the money in 2011 to mark the 65th birthday of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s husband, and sought to meet the former U.S. president in person the following year to present him the check, according to an email from a foundation official to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta. The email, among thousands hacked from Podesta’s account, was published last month by WikiLeaks.
Clinton signed an ethics agreement governing her family’s globe-straddling foundation in order to become secretary of state in 2009. The agreement was designed to increase transparency to avoid appearances that U.S. foreign policy could be swayed by wealthy donors.
If a new foreign government wished to donate or if an existing foreign-government donor, such as Qatar, wanted to “increase materially” its support of ongoing programs, Clinton promised that the State Department’s ethics official would be notified and given a chance to raise any concerns.
Clinton Foundation officials last month declined to confirm the Qatar donation. In response to additional questions, a foundation spokesman, Brian Cookstra, this week said that it accepted the $1 million gift from Qatar, but this did not amount to a “material increase” in the Gulf country’s support for the charity. Cookstra declined to say whether Qatari officials received their requested meeting with Bill Clinton.
Officials at Qatar’s embassy in Washington and in its Council of Ministers in the capital, Doha, declined to discuss the donation.
The State Department has said it has no record of the foundation submitting the Qatar gift for review, and that it was incumbent on the foundation to notify the department about donations that needed attention. A department spokeswoman did not respond to additional questions about the donation.
According to the foundation’s website, which lists donors in broad categories by cumulative amounts donated, Qatar’s government has directly given a total of between $1 million and $5 million over the years.
The Clinton Foundation has said it would no longer accept money from foreign governments if Clinton is elected president and would spin off those programs that are dependent on foreign governments. 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 »
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 »
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 »
New Clinton emails found during Anthony Weiner sexting probe
The devices were seized after it was revealed that Weiner, a former member of Congress and mayoral candidate, had been sexting with an underage girl.
The feds began to investigate Weiner, 52, after he sent a slew of sexual messages and shirtless selfies to a 15-year-old North Carolina girl.
Weiner allegedly shared his “rape fantasies” with the teen and even sent her pornographic videos.
He also is alleged to have asked the teen to get on Skype to undress and masturbate.
The former politician engaged in his possibly criminal activity using the handle “T Dog.”
“Look, this brings us back full-circle to where we started. The original question was: ‘Why does she have a private e-mail?’ She said convenience — obviously, that was ridiculous, she’s carrying around a whole lot of devices — it was obvious she was hiding something. Think about it: She set it up in 2009, before becoming secretary of state. So she anticipated having exchanges that she would not want anyone to see.”
“We have been asking ourselves on this set for a year almost, “What exactly didn’t she want people to see? Well now we know. As we speculated, the most plausible explanation was the rank corruption of the Clinton Foundation and its corrupt — I don’t know if it’s illegal, but corrupt relationship with the State Department. And her only defense, as we saw earlier, the Democrats are saying, ‘Well, there was nothing that she did — as in the Raytheon case — that was corrupted by donations.’ You can believe that if you want, there’s a reason that people give donations in large amounts. That’s to influence the outcome of decisions. We are getting unfolding to us exactly what she anticipated having to hide. And it’s really dirty business.”
Source: National Review
[VIDEO] Krauthammer: ‘Hard to Deny That There Is a Quid Pro Quo’ between the FBI and State DepartmentPosted: October 17, 2016
Charles Krauthammer said that newly released documents show that the FBI’s coordination with the State Department on the Hillary Clinton case indicates corruption.
“There are so many ironies here. The first is that this is probably normal procedure inside any administration, inside a bureaucracy: trading off favors, trading off probably shady maneuvers. But the problem is this — the charge that Republicans, Trump in particular, are making against Hillary Clinton is precisely that she represents business as usual. You can defend Clinton and say saying ‘Oh, this goes on all the time,’ but that’s the point. They are trying to wipe away this sort of culture of corruption. It is hard to deny that there is a quid pro quo, or at least one was proposed, when the phrase ‘quid pro quo’ is used to describe the transaction in the documents.”
“This is the ‘camera and sausage’ factor. I don’t think that we should be shocked that this happens in any bureaucracy, but once you see it in black in white, and you hear the charge that Clinton represents business as usual — and corrupt business as usual — that, I think, accentuates the charge, and makes it a very serious one.”
Hillary Clinton finally submitted her court-ordered written response to 25 questions posed by Judicial Watch regarding her private email practices. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the deposition it’s this: Clinton has absolutely committed perjury.
Why? Let’s break down the facts.
In Clinton’s sworn deposition to Judicial Watch she says she never got permission for her private, unsecure email server, and that she got the idea from former Secretary of State Colin Powell. But she told the FBI in July that she didn’t get the idea from Powell. She also told the House Select Committee on Benghazi she’d gotten permission for her server.
All three of those stories can’t be true.
Deductive reasoning says:
- If her Judicial Watch testimony is true, then she lied to the FBI about Powell. That’s a crime.
- If her Judicial Watch testimony is true, then she lied to the Benghazi Committee about the server. That’s a crime.
- If her FBI testimony is true, then she lied in a deposition. That’s a crime, and it’s what got Bill Clinton impeached and disbarred.
- If her Benghazi Committee testimony is true, then she lied in a deposition. That’s a crime, and it’s what got Bill Clinton impeached and disbarred.
Furthermore, the fact that she wasn’t under oath when speaking to the FBI is irrelevant. It is a crime to lie to the FBI in any interview setting.
The Judicial Watch press release is below, along with all of Clinton’s answers.
Judicial Watch Releases New Hillary Clinton Email Answers Given under Oath
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released received responses under oath from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton concerning her email practices. Judicial Watch submitted twenty-five questions on August 30 to Clinton as ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan.
The new Clinton responses in the Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit before Judge Sullivan was first filed in September 2013 seeking records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former deputy chief of staff to Clinton. The lawsuit was reopened because of revelations about the clintonemail.com system (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).
Judicial Watch has already taken the deposition testimony of seven Clinton aides and State Department officials.
Below is text from the document filed with the court today:
NON-PARTY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON’S RESPONSE
TO PLAINTIFF’S INTERROGATORIES
Pursuant to the Court’s August 19, 2016 order and Rule 33 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Non-Party Hillary Rodham Clinton hereby responds to Plaintiff’s Interrogatories dated August 30, 2016. The General Objections and the Objections to the Definitions set forth below are incorporated into each of the specific responses that follow. Any specific objections are in addition to the General Objections and Objections to the Definitions, and failure to reiterate a General Objection or Objection to the Definitions does not constitute a waiver of that or any other objection.
- Secretary Clinton objects to the Interrogatories on the ground that any discovery of Secretary Clinton is unwarranted in this case, for the reasons set forth in Secretary Clinton’s Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion to Depose Hillary Rodham Clinton, Clarence Finney, and John Bentel (Dkt. #102) and Surreply in Further Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion to Depose Hillary Rodham Clinton, Clarence Finney, and John Bentel (Dkt. #109), and as stated by Secretary Clinton’s counsel during the Court hearing on July 18, 2016. Secretary Clinton will answer the Interrogatories notwithstanding this objection, subject to the other objections stated herein.
- Secretary Clinton objects to the Interrogatories insofar as they request information outside the scope of permitted discovery in this case. The Court permitted discovery of Secretary Clinton on the topics of “the purpose for the creation and operation of the clintonemail.com system for State Department business,” as well as “the State Department’s approach and practice for processing FOIA requests that potentially implicated former Secretary Clinton’s and Ms. Abedin’s e-mails and State’s processing of the FOIA request that is the subject of this action.” Dkt. #124, at 14, 19 (internal quotation marks omitted). Secretary Clinton will answer the Interrogatories insofar as they seek non-privileged information related to those topics.
- Secretary Clinton objects to the Interrogatories insofar as they request information relating to events that occurred, or actions taken by Secretary Clinton, after her tenure as Secretary of State. Such post-tenure actions or events are not within the scope of the permitted topics of discovery set forth in General Objection No. 2.
- Secretary Clinton objects to the Interrogatories insofar as they request information about Secretary Clinton’s use of her clintonemail.com account to send and receive e-mails that were personal in nature, as such use is not within the scope of the permitted topics set forth in General Objection No. 2. Secretary Clinton will construe the Interrogatories to ask only about her use of her clintonemail.com account to send and receive e-mails related to State Department business.
- Secretary Clinton objects to the Interrogatories insofar as they request information about management, retention, and/or preservation of federal records. This action arises under FOIA, which does not govern management, retention, or preservation of federal records. See Kissinger v. Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 445 U.S. 136, 152 (1980). Accordingly, management, retention, and/or preservation of federal records are not within the scope of the permitted topics of discovery set forth in General Objection No. 2.
- Secretary Clinton objects to Instruction No. 1 insofar as it purports to require Secretary Clinton to provide information that is not within her personal knowledge. The purpose of the limited discovery permitted by the Court is to obtain Secretary Clinton’s “personal knowledge of her purpose in using the [clintonemail.com] system.” Dkt. #124, at 16; see also id. at (directing Plaintiff “to propound questions that are relevant to Secretary Clinton’s unique first-hand knowledge”). Secretary Clinton is answering these Interrogatories based on her direct personal knowledge. She is not undertaking to provide information known only to other persons, including but not limited to her attorneys, representatives, persons acting under, by, or through her, or subject to her control or supervision, or other persons acting on her behalf.
- Secretary Clinton objects to these Interrogatories to the extent that they call for the production of information that is privileged or otherwise protected from discovery by the attorney-client privilege, the work product doctrine, or any other applicable privilege, protection, or immunity. Secretary Clinton will respond only to the extent privileged or otherwise protected information is not required and to the extent that the Interrogatory is not otherwise objectionable.
- Secretary Clinton objects to Instruction No. 5 insofar as it purports to require Secretary Clinton to identify the factual and legal basis for a claim of privilege. Secretary Clinton is not providing herewith a privilege log.
OBJECTIONS TO DEFINITIONS
- Secretary Clinton objects to the definition of “Clintonemail.com email system” insofar as it refers to e-mail system(s), server(s), provider(s), and infrastructure used to host her clintonemail.com e-mail account after her tenure as Secretary of State. Information concerning the e-mail system(s), server(s), provider(s), and infrastructure used to host her clintonemail.com account after her tenure as Secretary of State is not relevant to the purpose for the creation and operation of the clintonemail.com account during her tenure as Secretary of State, and therefore is outside the scope of the permitted discovery. In answering these Interrogatories, Secretary Clinton will construe the term “Clintonemail.com email system” to refer to the e-mail system(s), server(s), provider(s), and infrastructure used to host her clintonemail.com e-mail account during her tenure as Secretary of State.
- Secretary Clinton objects to the definition of “Clintonemail.com account” insofar as it refers to e-mail addresses used by other individuals ending in the domain name “clintonemail.com.” In answering these Interrogatories, Secretary Clinton will construe the term “Clintonemail.com account” to refer to firstname.lastname@example.org, which was the clintonemail.com account used by Secretary Clinton during her tenure.
RESPONSES TO INTERROGATORIES
- Describe the creation of the clintonemail.com system, including who decided to create the system, the date it was decided to create the system, why it was created, who set it up, and when it became operational.
Response: Secretary Clinton objects to Interrogatory No. 1 as outside the scope of permitted discovery. The clintonemail.com system, as that term is defined in the Instructions and subject to Secretary Clinton’s objection to that definition, consisted of equipment set up to host e-mail for President Clinton’s staff. Information regarding the creation of that system, including the reasons for its creation, is irrelevant to this lawsuit and outside the scope of permitted discovery. The Court permitted discovery in this case on the question of “the purpose for the creation and operation of the clintonemail.com system for State Department business.” Dkt. #124, at 17 (emphasis added). That question is the subject of Interrogatory No. 2, which is answered below.
- Describe the creation of your clintonemail.com email account, including who decided to create it, when it was created, why it was created, and, if you did not set up the account yourself, who set it up for you.
Response: In the Senate, when Secretary Clinton began using e-mail, she used a personal e-mail account for both work-related and personal e-mail. Secretary Clinton decided to transition from the account she used in her tenure at the Senate to the clintonemail.com account. She recalls that it was created in early 2009. Secretary Clinton did not set up the account. Although Secretary Clinton does not have specific knowledge of the details of the account’s creation, her best understanding is that one of President Clinton’s aides, Justin Cooper, set up the account. She decided to use a clintonemail.com account for the purpose of convenience.
- When did you decide to use a clintonemail.com email account to conduct official State Department business and whom did you consult in making this decision?
Response: Secretary Clinton recalls deciding to use a clintonemail.com e-mail account to conduct official State Department business in early 2009. She does not recall any specific consultations regarding the decision to use the clintonemail.com account for official State Department business.
- Identify all communications in which you participated concerning or relating to your decision to use a clintonemail.com email account to conduct official State Department business and, for each communication, identify the time, date, place, manner (e.g., in person, in writing, by telephone, or by electronic or other means), persons present or participating, and content of the communication.
Response: Secretary Clinton objects to Interrogatory No. 4 insofar as it purports to request information about communications after her tenure as Secretary of State, which communications would be irrelevant to the purpose for the creation and operation of her clintonemail.com account while she was Secretary of State. Subject to the foregoing objection, Secretary Clinton states that she does not recall participating in any communications before or during her tenure as Secretary of State concerning or relating to her decision to use a clintonemail.com account to conduct official State Department business. Read the rest of this entry »
A federal official told KING that further investigation revealed that Cetin is a naturalized U.S. citizen. That means he was legally registered to vote.
For days after the shooting, Cetin was described by local and federal law enforcement as being a permanent U.S. resident. He immigrated to the U.S. from Turkey when he was a child, after his mother married an American citizen.
On Thursday, a federal official told KING that further investigation revealed that Cetin is a naturalized U.S. citizen. That means he was legally registered to vote.
KING’s initial story on Sept. 28 questioned state officials about how Cetin could register and vote without being a citizen.
ORIGINAL STORY FROM SEPT. 28 IS BELOW:
The Cascade Mall shooting suspect, Arcan Cetin, may face an additional investigation related to his voting record and citizenship status.
Federal sources confirm to KING 5 that Cetin was not a U.S. citizen, meaning legally he cannot vote. However, state records show Cetin registered to vote in 2014 and participated in three election cycles, including the May presidential primary….(read more) 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 »
[VIDEO] Krauthammer: Powell Shows Resentment toward Clintons, Along with ‘Scathing Remarks’ on TrumpPosted: September 15, 2016
With all the attention on the leaked Colin Powell e-mails, Charles Krauthammer noted how the former secretary of state has been critical of both presidential candidates.
“Well he’s an equal-opportunity skeptic. He’s been near, particularly, to the Clintons, so he’s seen them in action. I can understand why he’d be particularly upset that he is dragged into this saga of e-mail, of cover-ups, of destroyed documents, and somehow associated with it in a very tenuous way by Clinton. And I can understand his resentment; it makes total sense.”
“This is a real day for: ‘If you believe that, you’ll believe anything.’ It makes you really want to walk away in disgust from politics and the media. That is an outright — well, I won’t call it a lie — that is not a believable statement.”
“As you say, it’s a second or two. It isn’t a question of time; they were covering for them! And the reason it’s important — it’s a slip, yes — but it’s in the context of a couple who hide stuff. They have been hiding stuff for 30 years, and what everyone is asking: are they hiding something more serious? The ‘frequently’ and the ‘rarely’ is a huge difference, and he said both. So which is true? You have to see them if you are going to make a choice.”
Read more at The Corner
The Department of State funded a Peace Corps program created by Dr. Vanessa Kerry and officials from both agencies, records show. The Peace Corps then awarded the money without competition to a nonprofit Kerry created for the program.
Ethan Barton reports: More than $9 million of Department of State money has been funneled through the Peace Corps to a nonprofit foundation started and run by Secretary of State John Kerry’s daughter, documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation show.
The Department of State funded a Peace Corps program created by Dr. Vanessa Kerry and officials from both agencies, records show. The Peace Corps then awarded the money without competition to a nonprofit Kerry created for the program.
Initially, the Peace Corps awarded Kerry’s group — now called Seed Global Health — with a three-year contract worth $2 million of State Department money on Sept. 10, 2012, documents show. Her father was then the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, which oversees both the Department of State and the Peace Corps. Read the rest of this entry »
Chaffetz called the hearing to question officials about why whole and partial documents had been withheld from Congress, including unclassified files.
Sarah Westwood reports: FBI Director James Comey refused to attend a classified briefing with the House Oversight Committee despite receiving an invitation to testify about the bureau’s reluctance to disclose thousands of pages of evidence compiled in its year-long investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email use.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, the committee’s top Democrat, said Monday that Comey had declined to appear at the meeting because he had “already bent over backwards” to explain the FBI’s decision-making in the Clinton email case.
But Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the Oversight Committee, disputed the suggestion that he had invited Comey to the public hearing on redactions in notes from the Clinton email case, noting he had discussed specific points of concern in a personal phone call with the FBI director but had not issued a subpoena for Comey’s presence at the hearing.
Chaffetz called the hearing to question officials about why whole and partial documents had been withheld from Congress, including unclassified files.
“I don’t expect to have to issue a subpoena to see unclassified information,” Chaffetz said. Read the rest of this entry »
REWIND: July 2016, Katie Pavlich reported: Just one week before FBI Director James Comey announced the Bureau would not recommend charges be filed against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for storing and transferring top secret, classified information on multiple private, unsecured email servers, Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a private meeting with former President Bill Clinton on her private jet in Phoenix.
After being caught by a local reporter, Lynch claimed the email investigation wasn’t discussed and that social topics like grandchildren and golf were the topics of the day. She said the same yesterday during congressional testimony.
But according to a report from the New York Post, FBI agents believe an inside deal was struck on that plane to keep Hillary Clinton free of indictment. Considering the severe retaliation inside the Obama administration against those who speak out, FBI agents are cited anonymously. FBI agents investigating the Clinton email servers were also forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
In an unusual move, FBI agents working the Hillary Clinton e-mail case had to sign a special form reminding them not to blab about the probe to anyone unless called to testify. 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 »
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.
“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.
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.”
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 »
Arguing that the Obama administration is affected by the Iran payment, Charles Krauthammer said that the information as well as how it came to light are humiliating.
UPDATE: Obama Administration Transferred $1.7 BILLION to Iran as Hostages Were Released, Four Times Original AmountPosted: September 6, 2016
The Obama administration disclosed to Congress on Tuesday that it transferred a total of $1.7 billion in cash through Swiss banks to Iran around the time American hostages were released this year, about four times the amount originally disclosed to the public, sources told Circa.
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 »
…Clinton could not even recall when she got her security clearance. She told FBI agents she wasn’t sure if she carried it over from the U.S. Senate or if she got it from State. But perhaps even worse, Clinton told FBI agents she couldn’t even remember any briefing or training by State “related to the retention of federal records or handling of classified information.”
That admission could raise the question if Clinton was ever trained at all in handling secret information.
Below is the list of things Clinton could not recall in the FBI interview:
- When she received security clearance
- Being briefed on how to handle classified material
- How many times she used her authority to designate items classified
- Any briefing on how to handle very top-secret “Special Access Program” material
- How to select a target for a drone strike
- How the data from her mobile devices was destroyed when she switched devices
- The number of times her staff was given a secure phone
- Why she didn’t get a secure Blackberry
- Receiving any emails she thought should not be on the private system
- Did not remember giving staff direction to create private email account
- Getting guidance from state on email policy
- Who had access to her Blackberry account
- The process for deleting her emails
- Ever getting a message that her storage was almost full
- Anyone besides Huma Abedin being offered an account on the private server
- Being sent information on state government private emails being hacked
- Receiving cable on State Dept personnel securing personal email accounts
- Receiving cable on Bryan Pagliano upgrading her server
- Using an iPad mini
- An Oct. 13, 2012, email on Egypt with Clinton pal Sidney Blumenthal
- Jacob Sullivan using personal email
- State Department protocol for confirming classified information in media reports
- Every briefing she received after suffering concussions
- Being notified of a FOIA request on Dec. 11, 2012
- Being read out of her clearance
- Any further access to her private email account from her State Department tenure after switching to her HRCoffice.com account
Andrew C. McCarthy writes:
…Among the most eye-popping claims Clinton made to the FBI was that she was unfamiliar with the markings on classified documents. Yes, you read that correctly: one of the highest ranking national security officials in the United States government – an official whose day-to-day responsibilities extensively involved classified information; who had secure facilities installed in her two homes (in addition to her office) so she could review classified information in them; and who acknowledged to the FBI that, as secretary of state, she was designated by the president as “an Original Classification Authority,” meaning she had the power to determine what information should be classified and at what level – had the audacity to tell the interviewing agents that she did not know what the different classification symbols in classified documents signified…
“I nearly fell out of my chair upon reading the very first paragraph of the notes of Clinton’s interview, which identifies the lawyers for Clinton who were permitted to be present for the interview. Among them is Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s longtime confidant and chief-of-staff at the State Department.”
…Clinton also claimed that she “did not pay attention to the ‘level’ of classified information.” The interview notes do not explain how the FBI squared this with, for example, (a) Clinton’s acknowledgement that top-secret “special access program” (SAP) information was delivered to her by paper in her office and she knew it was supposed to be handled with extraordinary care; and (b) Clinton’s admission that she made use of her Original Classification Authority at times (though she couldn’t say how often). That means she had to have assigned to some information the very classification levels with which she portrays herself as scarcely familiar.
We also learn in the FBI documents not only that Mrs. Clinton frequently lost her Blackberry devices, but that the FBI failed to account for some thirteen of them, most if not all of which she used while transmitting the over 2,000 classified emails the FBI identified.
“As Clinton’s chief-of-staff, Mills was intimately involved in issues related to Clinton’s private email set up, the discussions about getting her a secure BlackBerry similar to President Obama’s, and questions that were raised (including in FOIA requests) about Clinton’s communications.That is to say, Mills was an actor in the facts that were under criminal investigation by the FBI.”
Clinton aides told the FBI that her devices – loaded with stored emails – would at times disappear and their whereabouts would become unknown. Interestingly, in the notes of Mrs. Clinton’s interview, the FBI says she told them that her BlackBerry devices would occasionally “malfunction”; when this happened, “[h]er aides would assist in obtaining a new BlackBerry.” I have not yet found indications that the FBI asked her about lost rather than malfunctioning devices.
We do learn, though, that on February 9, 2016, the Justice Department asked Clinton’s lawyers to turn over all 13 mobile devices that the FBI identified as having potentially transmitted emails. Almost two weeks later, on February 22, the lawyers told the FBI “they were unable to locate any of these devices.” As a result, the notes recount, “the FBI was unable to acquire or forensically examine any of these 13 mobile devices.” Read the rest of this entry »
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey uses his legal expertise to tackle the FBI’s verdict on the Hillary Clinton email scandal, the Obama administration’s counterterrorism policies, the objectivity of judges, and more in this Viewpoint interview.
New Abedin Emails Reveal Hillary Clinton State Department Gave Special Access to Top Clinton Foundation DonorsPosted: August 22, 2016
Crown Prince of Bahrain Forced to Go Through Foundation to See Clinton, after Pledging $32 Million to Clinton Global Initiative.
Hollywood Executive Casey Wasserman, Slimfast Mogul Daniel Abraham, Controversial Appointee Rajiv Fernando also among Clinton Foundation Donors Granted Special Favors from Clinton State Department.
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released 725 pages of new State Department documents, including previously unreleased email exchanges in which former Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin provided influential Clinton Foundation donors special, expedited access to the secretary of state. In many instances, the preferential treatment provided to donors was at the specific request of Clinton Foundation executive Douglas Band.
The new documents included 20 Hillary Clinton email exchanges not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date to 191 of new Clinton emails (not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department). These records further appear to contradict statements by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department.
The Abedin emails reveal that the longtime Clinton aide apparently served as a conduit between Clinton Foundation donors and Hillary Clinton while Clinton served as secretary of state. In more than a dozen email exchanges, Abedin provided expedited, direct access to Clinton for donors who had contributed from $25,000 to $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. In many instances, Clinton Foundation top executive Doug Band, who worked with the Foundation throughout Hillary Clinton’s tenure at State, coordinated closely with Abedin. In Abedin’s June deposition to Judicial Watch, she conceded that part of her job at the State Department was taking care of “Clinton family matters.”
Included among the Abedin-Band emails is an exchange revealing that when Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain requested a meeting with Secretary of State Clinton, he was forced to go through the Clinton Foundation for an appointment. Read the rest of this entry »
The State Department admitted Thursday that the US would not hand over $400 million in cash to Iran until it released four American hostages — two weeks after President Obama insisted the payment was not a “ransom.”
State Department spokesman John Kirby was asked at Thursday’s press briefing: “In basic English, you’re saying you wouldn’t give them $400 million in cash until the prisoners were released, correct?”
“That’s correct,” Kirby replied.
In an Aug. 4 press conference, President Obama said the opposite.
“We do not pay ransom. We didn’t here, and we won’t in the future,” the president told reporters, speaking of the Jan. 17 payment and hostage release.
Families “know we have a policy that we don’t pay ransom. And the notion that we would somehow start now, in this high-profile way, and announce it to the world, even as we’re looking in the faces of other hostage families whose loved ones are being held hostage, and saying to them ‘We don’t pay ransom,’ defies logic,” Obama added at the time. Read the rest of this entry »
Administration officials have refused to publicly disclose how and when the
cash transfer ransom payment authorized by Mr. Obama took place.
WASHINGTON — Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee report: New details of the $400 million U.S. payment to Iran earlier this year depict a tightly scripted exchange specifically timed to the release of several American prisoners held in Iran.
“‘Our top priority was getting the Americans home,’ said a U.S. official. Once the Americans were ‘wheels up’ on the morning of Jan. 17, Iranian officials in Geneva were allowed to take custody of the $400 million in currency, according to officials briefed on the exchange.”
The picture emerged from accounts of U.S. officials and others briefed on the operation: U.S. officials wouldn’t let Iranians take control of the money until a Swiss Air Force plane carrying three freed Americans departed from Tehran on Jan. 17. Once that happened, an Iranian cargo plane was allowed to bring the cash home from a Geneva airport that day.
President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials have said the payment didn’t amount to ransom, because the U.S. owed the money to Iran as part of a longstanding dispute linked to a failed arms deal from the 1970s. U.S. officials have said that the prisoner release and cash transfer took place through two separate diplomatic channels.
“The picture emerged from accounts of U.S. officials and others briefed on the operation: U.S. officials wouldn’t let Iranians take control of the money until a Swiss Air Force plane carrying three freed Americans departed from Tehran on Jan. 17.”
But the handling of the payment and its connection to the Americans’ release have raised questions among lawmakers and administration critics.
“Once that happened, an Iranian cargo plane was allowed to bring the cash home from a Geneva airport that day.”
The use of an Iranian cargo plane to move pallets filled with $400 million brings clarity to one of the mysteries surrounding the cash delivery to Iran first reported by The Wall Street Journal this month. Administration officials have refused to publicly disclose how and when the cash transfer authorized by Mr. Obama took place. Executives from Iran’s flagship carrier, Iran Air, organized the round-trip flight from Tehran to Geneva where the cash—euros and Swiss francs and other currencies—was loaded onto the aircraft, these people said.
“Our top priority was getting the Americans home,” said a U.S. official. Once the Americans were “wheels up” on the morning of Jan. 17, Iranian officials in Geneva were allowed to take custody of the $400 million in currency, according to officials briefed on the exchange.
“Mr. Obama said on Aug. 4 the payment had to be in cash because the U.S. and Iran have no banking relationship, eliminating the possibility of a check or wire transfer.”
The payment marked the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement the Obama administration announced it had reached with Tehran in January to resolve a decades-old legal dispute traced back to the final days of Iran’s last monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. His government paid $400 million into a Pentagon trust fund in 1979 for military parts that were never delivered because of the Islamic revolution that toppled him. Read the rest of this entry »
‘A $400 million payoff in laundered money, delivered in the dead of night in an unmarked cargo plane, isn’t what it looks like!’Posted: August 5, 2016
‘We would not, we have not, we will not pay ransom to secure the release of US citizens.’
It came to mind this week when the White House and State Department insisted that the charge the US paid a ransom to get back American hostages was purely circumstantial. Sometimes, a $400 million payoff in laundered money, delivered in the dead of night in an unmarked cargo plane, isn’t what it looks like.
“Sometimes you just have to marvel at the way smart people can talk themselves into stupidity.”
Jan. 16 was “Implementation Day” for the nuclear deal between the United States and Iran, in which the state sponsor of terror received sanctions relief possibly worth as much as $150 billion — which would be roughly equivalent to 40 percent of its GDP — in exchange for some guarantees against developing nuclear weapons … for a while. (The merits, and even the nature, of the Iran nuclear deal are hotly disputed, but that’s a topic for another time.)
That same day, the Obama administration announced a prisoner swap between the US and Iran, in which we traded seven Iranian criminals and removed another 14 from an Interpol “most wanted” list. In exchange, they returned four innocent Americans, illegally held by the Iranian regime.
Back then, Secretary of State John Kerry boasted about what a masterful diplomatic breakthrough it was. Those Americans were freed thanks to “the relationships forged and the diplomatic channels unlocked over the course of the nuclear talks,” Kerry preened.
Yes, well, maybe. But few things really cement a solid working relationship like $400 million in cash. Kerry failed to mention that part in his press conferences or congressional testimony. In fact, the Obama administration kept the whole thing a secret.
“The whole point of not paying ransoms to terrorists isn’t to save money. The reason we don’t pay kidnappers is that we understand that it will only encourage more kidnapping.”
The White House concedes that it all looks very bad. But it insists this was in no way a ransom payment; the trout got in the milk for perfectly normal reasons. You see, the Iranians were suing for funds deposited with the Pentagon in 1979 for a weapons purchase that was later blocked when the ayatollahs deposed the Shah. Read the rest of this entry »