In response to Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon’s super-informative and not-at-all biased or smug “Fact Check” video on the Clinton private email scandal (and congratulations to the slightly less than 10,000 people who actually watched at least some of it), Breitbart News has put together the definitive explainer of the Hillary Clinton email controversy.
Have you been as hooked on this story as we have? Can’t wait for Hillary to testify before Trey Gowdy’s House Benghazi Committee in October? Or maybe you’re just another everyday aficionado of federal government record-keeping practices (in which case, you’re probably horrified by all of this). Let’s break it down:
Hillary Used A Private Server
Our story begins at just the scene where Mark Halperin and Jon Heilemann’s classic fairy tale “Game Change” leaves off: with President-elect Barack Obama picking his bitter Democratic primary rival Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State, and Clinton saying yes. And then…Clinton’s campaign adviser/State Department adviser Bryan Pagliano installed a private email server, paid for by Clinton’s Senate PAC, in her Chappaqua, New York home. It was Clinton’s second server, and the one she used for most of her four years at the State Department. Pagliano oversaw the server throughout Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, even as it crashed during Superstorm Sandy.
Then the server was turned over to tiny Denver-based IT firm Platte River Networks, which stored it at a data center in New Jersey starting in 2013. But now…
The Server Is In The Possession Of Federal Authorities
Thumb drives containing Clinton’s State Department emails, as well as the server from Platte River Networks, are now in the hands of an inter-agency government task force led by the prosecutor at the Department of Justice that handled the Gen. David Petraeus classified-leak case. A long way from Chappaqua…
Her Emails Were Classified When They Were Sent
Breitbart News led the media in revealing that Clinton exchanged some emails that were born classified — meaning, Clinton knew that she was sending and receiving classified emails on her private server. This is especially important, not only because her campaign repeatedly denied that she did so, but because those classified emails could now be in the hands of any rogue agent who managed to hack into Clinton’s basement server or her personal, non-State Department BlackBerry.
She Wiped The Server
Hillary made worldwide headlines when she joked, bitterly, in a press conference about wiping her email server “with a cloth.” But very few people were laughing. The amount of evidence that has been destroyed in this case is off the charts. Before handing over copies to investigators, Clinton permanently deleted her entire email account earlier this year, effectively wiping clean her server (without a cloth). The State Department acknowledged that it might have destroyed the personal BlackBerry devices used by top Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills. And a federal judge had to actually issue an order to prevent Mills from destroying the emails she had in her possession, which her lawyer said she planned to do.
The Campaign Doesn’t Know How To Respond
Soon after the Department of Justice and FBI seized Clinton’s emails, the Clinton campaign decided to push out a defense based around the premise that any classified emails she exchanged were only classified AFTER the fact.
“What makes it complicated: It’s common for information previously considered unclassified to be upgraded to classified before being publicly released,” Palmieri wrote in an email to supporters. “Some emails that weren’t secret at the time she sent or received them might be secret now. And sometimes government agencies disagree about what should be classified, so it isn’t surprising that another agency might want to conduct its own review, even though the State Department has repeatedly confirmed that Hillary’s emails contained no classified information at the time she sent or received them.”
But that wasn’t true. Next, the campaign tried to claim that Hillary was merely the victim of “overclassification.” The campaign found some 1974 Henry Kissinger conversation that had parts of it classified after it already came out in a history book – you know, to highlight the supposed ridiculousness of the government’s classification process.
”The fact that someone in the intelligence community apparently sought to redact a 40-plus-year-old document, despite it being in the public sphere already in completely unredacted form, drives at exactly the point we are making about how entire agencies within the government can have competing views on what is sensitive and what is not,” said Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon. “This is a window into the phenomenon of overclassification that is currently bottling up the review of former Secretary Clinton’s emails.”
But there weren’t any hackers or foreign agents trying to get at Kissinger’s conversations from 1974.
As for Clinton herself, she said in a press conference that she didn’t send any emails that were “marked classified” at the time.
So which one is it? Even the campaign doesn’t seem to know. But that isn’t stopping Palmieri and Co. from rolling out an “end-of-summer effort to educate the public on the classification process for national security material.”
Oh, boy! An eager nation waits on baited breath for that one…
The Principals Have Lawyered Up
For the defense…a veritable all-star team of Clinton-world lawyers, flying in or Metro-ing over to go to bat for Clinton and her aides. All they need at this point is Robert Kardashian carrying a black bag away from the computer room and they’ll have the new Legal “Deam Team.” National Law Journal counted up the attorneys:
For Huma Abedin: Karen Dunn from the law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner and Miguel Rodriguez from the law firm Bryan Cave (both former Clinton Senate staffers).
For Cheryl Mills: Beth Wilkinson from the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison (and a former Clinton administration Department of Justice official). Wilkinson has also taken on lawyer duties for former Clinton communications advisor Philippe Reins and former Clinton State Department employee Jacob Sullivan.
And for Hillary: David Kendall, from the law firm Williams & Connolly. Kendall is the guy who handed over the thumb drives containing Clinton’s emails to investigators earlier this month. Kendall previously repped the Clintons on the Whitewater and impeachment cases in the 1990s, so he’s practically a made guy.
The State Department Is Stonewalling
Insiders tell Breitbart News that the State Department is stonewalling on the investigation, keeping away inspectors general from its perfunctory search of Clinton’s email records. That search has already turned up more than 300 emails that could have potentially contained classified information. Coupled with the fact that federal judge Emmett Sullivan, who presides over the Judicial Watch case, just ordered the State Department to cooperate with Department of Justice and FBI investigators, it seems that State won’t be able to slow things down for long.
Obama Suspected Of Putting The Screws in Clinton
Former Clinton adviser Dick Morris cites sources in Clinton-world that think the email scandal is being cooked up by Barack and Michelle Obama and their adviser Valerie Jarrett to knock Clinton out after a divisive 2008 primary and a first term in which Clinton offered the president little discernible help – and more headache – on foreign policy matters. Remember when Ed Klein reported in March for The New York Post that Jarrett was behind the original leak of the scandal? Certainly Obama knew all along about Hillary’s private email, and certainly he’s capable of shutting down the investigation, as his administration effectively did on the IRS conservative targeting matter and Fast and Furious. If these theories are true, then who is Obama trying to hand the White House keys to?
Her Poll Numbers Are Dropping
Since the email scandal broke, Clinton has dropped to second place in at least one New Hampshire poll behind her progressive stalking-horse Bernie Sanders. A month ago, her unfavorable rating hit 46 percent nationally compared to a 43 percent favorability rating, and she was viewed more unfavorably than favorably by a margin of 23 points in Iowa and 20 points in New Hampshire. With Joe Biden mulling a Democratic primary challenge, and even calling his pal Dick Harpootlian (the Obama operative who oversaw the Clintons’ destruction in South Carolina in 2008) Clinton needs to be concerned. Democrats might still wipe the slate clean, with a cloth or otherwise, and start over.