WASHINGTON — Newly released emails show that Hillary Clinton was aware of the security problems with her personal Blackberry but used the device anyway for sending and receiving emails.
Clinton’s knowledge of the Blackberry problem — and her apparent disregard for its implications — marks a crucial point in any potential criminal case that could be made against her by the Department of Justice.
To prove a violation of the Espionage Act of 1913, prosecutors must show that a person’s “gross negligence” allowed national defense information to be “lost, stolen, abstracted or destroyed.”
“I’m so sorry but I’m just seeing this (no blackberry contact permitted in my office) and I’m on the way to the shuttle to NY,” Clinton said in an email to personal Clinton health adviser Mark Hyman on February 27, 2009. The email was obtained by Judicial Watch, a nonprofit transparency group that is suing the State Department.
“Tomorrow I leave for Egypt, Israel, Europe and Turkey for a week. I hope the meeting and the hearing goes well. Let me know,” Clinton added.
Clinton was referring to the fact that her Blackberry was not allowed in her seventh-floor “Mahogany Row” office at the State Department due to its security vulnerability.
But Clinton kept on using the Blackberry for classified information, at least until 2011. Her top aide, Wendy Sherman, made clear in a 2013 video that Clinton was exchanging classified emails on her Blackberry that could not have existed on a non-classified system.
Breitbart News published an extensive report Wednesday detailing six different pieces of evidence that could spell trouble for Clinton as she faces an FBI investigation being worked on by 147 different agents.
Clinton was warned in 2009 to stop using her BlackBerry because her device suffered a security “vulnerability” when she visited East Asian countries, including China, on her first official State Department trip. That warning came days after she acknowledged to Hyman that she couldn’t use her Blackberry in her office.
On March 11, 2009, a State Department official, whose name is redacted, sent an email to another State Department official, whose name is redacted. That email, obtained in a lawsuit by Judicial Watch, might be a smoking gun in the Hillary Clinton email case – at least as it pertains to Clinton possibly losing information due to “gross negligence.”
According to the official, Hillary Clinton approached Ambassador Boswell and asked him about BlackBerry use. Specifically, Clinton asked about the fact that the Department had “intelligence concerning the vulnerability during her recent trip to Asia.”
The official wrote:
After this mornings “management meeting” with the A/Secys, Secretary Clinton approached Ambassador Boswell and mentioned that she had read the IM and that she “gets it.” Her attention was drawn to the sentence that indicates we (DS) have intelligence concerning this vulnerability during her recent trip to Asia.
Secretary Clinton has asked Ambassador Boswell for this information. Please prepare a short informal paper OR provide the A/Secy with a briefing on this matter. Your assistance is appreciated. The Secretary did not provide a “due date”…BUT the Ambassador would like to close this loop as soon as possible.
But Clinton continued to use her BlackBerry as late as 2011, two years after this warning, according to Sherman.
Sherman spoke about Clinton’s BlackBerry use in a speech that was quietly recorded on video and released right before the Iowa caucus, which Clinton barely won over Bernie Sanders.
Former top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills has already been interrogated as part of the federal investigation, but Clinton has yet to be called in.