The inspector general for the intelligence community tells Congress that Hillary Clinton’s mail server held at least two emails classified Top Secret, the highest possible level of classification.
With this news, law enforcement has at long last taken custody of Clinton’s server and the thumb drive full of emails held by her lawyer, steps that should have been taken the minute this scandal broke.
The scoreboard currently stands at a mere forty emails reviewed by the inspectors general, of which five contained classified material, and two were classified Top Secret. Extrapolating that ratio over the 32,000-plus emails Clinton didn’t bother to delete, in defiance of subpoenas, produces a national security threat of staggering proportions.
Clinton’s team is frantically spinning this development as her magnanimously handing over her electronics out of the goodness of her heart, taking advantage of law enforcement’s unwillingness to discuss the case in detail at the moment. CNN reports that as of Wednesday morning, the equipment had not changed hands yet, because “Clinton’s team is working with the Justice Department to arrange the logistics of the handover.” Those logistics should have involved armed law enforcement personnel swarming through the offices of Hillary Clinton and all of her minions six months ago.
“That’s a long time for top secret classified information to be held by an unauthorized person outside of an approved, secure government facility,” Senate Judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) observed. Indeed it is. Grassley’s committee could have recovered that information more quickly by asking the Chinese and Russians to be good sports and hand over their copies.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) of the House Benghazi Committee declared, “The revelation that Secretary Clinton exclusively used private email for official public business, and the multitude of issues that emanated from her decision, including this most recent one, demonstrates what can happen when Congress and those equally committed to exposing the truth, doggedly pursue facts and follow them.”
“If Hillary Clinton believed in honesty and transparency, she would have turned over her secret server months ago to an independent arbiter, not as a last resort and to the Obama Justice Department,” said Republican National Committee chairman Reince Preibus. “Of course, if she really cares about transparency, she would never have had a secret server in the first place.”
Clinton’s final fallback is to claim that she didn’t know she was handling classified material… because, unlike the State Department system she was supposed to be using, her homebrew basement server didn’t automatically mark classified emails as such. In other words, she’s going to try protecting herself from the consequences by blaming everything on the poor performance of the system she irresponsibly created for no good reason.
We learned on Monday that Clinton’s top aides, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, were refusing to swear under penalty of perjury that they handed over all relevant documents to a federal court hearing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit from watchdog group Judicial Watch. In the wake of the Top Secret bombshell, Politico reports that the State Department has become much more interested in Hillary’s aides, although as usual for the Obama Administration, the public is still being kept in the dark about exactly what is going on, and hot potato questions are being lobbed between agency spokespersons:
The notice came as the State Department inspector general’s office acknowledged that it is reviewing the use of “personal communications hardware and software” by Clinton’s former top aides after requests from Congress.
“We will follow the facts wherever they lead, to include former aides and associates, as appropriate,” said Douglas Welty, a spokesman for the State Department’s inspector general.
Despite the acknowledgment, the State Department inspector general’s office has left numerous unanswered questions, including exactly who and what is being investigated. The office initially declined to comment and referred questions to the Intelligence Community inspector general’s office, which said it is not currently involved in any inquiry into aides and is being denied full access to aides’ emails by the State Department. Clinton, herself, is not a target.
The expanding inquiry threatens to further erode Clinton’s standing as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. Since her reliance on private email was revealed in March, polls in crucial swing states show that increasing numbers of voters say Clinton is not honest and trustworthy, in part, because of her use of private emails.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee, wants Clinton and her aides to “come clean and cough up” information about their personal email use.
“Both the State Department and Intelligence Community inspectors general should be looking into the staff use of the Clinton private server for official State Department business. This means giving both inspectors general access and custody of all emails that haven’t already been deleted,” said Grassley of Iowa. “From what is publicly known, it appears that the investigation thus far has focused so much on the former secretary of state, that it’s gotten lost that high-level staff apparently also used this server too.”
Although Senate Republican committee chairs asked inspectors general to look into the danger of Clinton’s many aides transmitting classified information through insecure accounts, Politico notes it remains unclear if such an investigation is actually taking place. It is also noted that State is refusing to hand some material over to the intelligence community due to “jurisdictional issues,” while both Administration officials and Clinton aides “have declined to provide a full list of which aides used personal email for government business or who might have had an email account on Clinton’s personal server.”
This is absolutely absurd.
It was ridiculous from the start that the State Department was so completely in the dark about the activities of Hillary Clinton and her vast retinue. It didn’t have any of her correspondence until it chased her down and demanded it. Most of the headline-grabbing disclosures have come as a result of congressional subpoenas and FOIA suits filed by Judicial Watch. The most important of those subpoenas relate to the Benghazi disaster Clinton presided over – an investigation powerful Democrats have been trying to shut down since ten minutes after the last terrorist mortar round fell on the U.S. consulate, decrying it as an obsessive partisan witch hunt. Clinton aide Cheryl Mills would be destroying federal documents today if Judicial Watch had not learned of her plans and alerted a federal judge.
Absent these investigations, Clinton and her crew would have ridden off into the sunset with no one in the State Department or intelligence communities any the wise about how she violated security protocols.
Any small businessman in America who managed his employees in such a slipshod manner would be fined and sued into oblivion, but in the Obama Administration, it’s standard operating procedure for top officials to bend and break any laws and policies they please. No one knows what anyone alongside or beneath them is doing, a state of affairs exemplified early on by Attorney General Eric Holder slipping out of perjury charges by claiming he had no idea what his underlings were doing in the Operation Fast and Furious gun-running debacle.
Private sector America is bound by thick web of laws that can destroy any of us at a moment’s notice, even for the most innocent violation of a minor regulation by well-meaning citizens, but Democrat royalty can flaunt even the most common-sense requirements of their powerful positions with impunity, getting away with everything from pushing a fraudulent health-care scheme, to poisoning rivers, to jeopardizing national security because they wish to evade congressional oversight. Years after Hillary Clinton left the State Department, her activities, and those of her aides, remain inscrutable mysteries, and reams of important documents remain hidden from congressional oversight and public view.