As the Hillary Clinton private email scandal reaches a boiling point, major revelations are coming out about the former Secretary of State’s conduct in handling official work email on a private server.
Gaps in Clinton’s email disclosures and major discrepancies in the timeline that she provided to the public are raising serious legal questions, and federal Obama administration investigators are hot on her tail.
This can get a little confusing, so let’s break down everything that’s going on:
FBI Finding New Emails On Server
The FBI has managed to extract some of Hillary Clinton’s work-related emails off her private email server, which was turned over to the agency earlier this summer. Though Clinton deleted all of her emails in 2015, and despite reports that she had the server wiped clean, she never properly managed to erase the information on the physical server.
Since she only turned over to investigators emails that her own team considered “work-related,” she managed to skate by for a while without coughing up all of her records. Now, the party’s over.
FBI investigators are able to pull up at least some emails that Clinton thought were gone forever.
The FBI does not seem to be backing down, and the Department of Justice prosecutor overseeing the investigation is the same prosecutor who earned a conviction on the David Petraeus case when the former general was caught leaking classified information to his biographer/mistress. With Joe Biden considering a presidential run, the Obama administration doesn’t seem to be stalling these investigations into the president’s former political rival, either.
Speaking of Petraeus…
Hillary Sent Emails Before The Day She Claims To Have Installed The Server
Investigators have discovered a chain of emails that Clinton exchanged with Petraeus in January and February of 2009. The chain reveals that Clinton was using her private clintonemail.com account as early as January 28, 2009.
However, the Clinton campaign said that she didn’t start using the server until March 18, 2009.
There are five months’ worth of gaps in the work-related emails, including between January 2009 and March 2009. Clinton’s email disclosures to investigators start on March 18, the date when she claims to have started the server.
When confronted on this discrepancy, Hillary didn’t have an answer–except to claim ignorance.
“I can’t control the team aspects of it. I’m not a technical expert,” Clinton said about the missing emails, essentially throwing her own staff under the bus. “I relied on people who were and we have done everything we could in response to the State Department asking us to do this review because they asked all the former secretaries.”
Too bad her technical expert Bryan Pagliano, the man who installed her server, pleaded the Fifth before the House Benghazi Committee.
“While I do not know what information may be ‘responsive’ for purposes of this law suit, I have directed that all my e-mails on clintonemail.com in my custody that were or potentially were federal records to be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done.”
The gaps in Hillary Clinton’s email disclosures throw that sworn statement into doubt. The crime of lying under oath is called perjury.
State Department Trying To Hide Benghazi-Related Emails
The State Department is still fighting to keep some emails hidden from public view. Coincidentally, all of those emails are related to the Benghazi attack.
The department compiled a “Vaughn List” of thirteen email exchanges that respond to the group Citizen United’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request but are still being kept classified. The FOIA request only applied to exchanges involving top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills and Clinton Foundation staffers, so the Vaughn List proves that Mills was trading classified info with the nonprofit foundation. Oh, and all of the emails are about Benghazi. The Department even noted on the Vaughn List when some of the exchanges “do not expressly mention Benghazi.”
The State Department, apparently, really does not want the public to see how it was responding to Benghazi-related congressional inquiries.
Indeed, one of Huma Abedin’s lawyers, Miguel Rodriguez, was actually the “behind-the-scenes point person” on the Obama administration’s Benghazi response during that period.
Clinton Camp Desperate To Move On
Clinton World, desperate to move on, is clearly coordinating on its response to the email controversy.
After Hillary Clinton — and also campaign mascot Bill Clinton — appeared on NBC’s Meet The Press Sunday to defend her private email use, the president of the pro-Clinton super PAC Correct the Record, Brad Woodhouse, and Clinton campaign adviser Karen Finney both tweeted out the same exact talking point. Literally, the same exact talking point.
— Karen Finney (@finneyk) September 27, 2015
— Brad Woodhouse (@woodhouseb) September 27, 2015
Coordination between a political campaign and a super PAC is forbidden by law, but the Clinton camp previously said that it is seeking clarification from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) about coordinating on online content. But the FEC has yet to grant them approval to coordinate and is unlikely to do so.
The case all hinges on whether Hillary Clinton violated the Espionage Act by allowing access to top-secret national defense information to people who are not classified to gain such information. The Espionage Act, passed in 1917 on the eve of U.S. intervention in WWI, is one of the most important legal statutes governing the federal government.
Some of the evidence piling up against Hillary on this front includes: Clinton’s email storage firm Platte River Networks did not have a proper security clearance to house Clinton’s private server, the State Department physically delivered a safe to Clinton’s lawyer’s office to store a thumb drive containing copies of her emails, Clinton Foundation staff was receiving classified information, and Clinton’s private server was wildly unsecure.