WASHINGTON, DC — A former State Department official testified that he saw Hillary Clinton using her Blackberry, which was non-secure, both at the Department and on foreign trips during her tenure as Secretary of State.
Veteran Foreign Service officer Lewis Alan Lukens served as deputy executive secretary at the State Department for the majority of Clinton’s term. Lukens testified recently in the civil case filed by the transparency group Judicial Watch, which has been fighting for information on Clinton’s private email scandal.
Lukens said that he saw Clinton using her Blackberry abroad and also outside her office in the hallway. This testimony supports the case that Clinton could have violated the Espionage Act of 1913 by allowing national defense information to be “lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed” through “gross negligence.”
Former State Department official and current member of Clinton’s Democratic Party platform committee Wendy Sherman said in 2011 that Clinton used her Blackberry to exchange information that “would never be on an unclassified system.” Sherman said:
Now we have Blackberries, and it has changed the way diplomacy is done. Things appear on your Blackberries that would never be on an unclassified system, but you’re out traveling, you’re trying to negotiate something. And so they sat there, as they were having the meeting, with their Blackberries, transferring language back and forth between them and between their aides to multitask in quite a new fashion, to have the meeting and at the same time be working on the quartet statement.
As Breitbart News reported, Clinton knew as early as February 2009 that her Blackberry was not secure enough to use in her “Mahogany Row” office at the State Department. Clinton was warned by a State Department official in March 2009 to stop using her BlackBerry because her device suffered a security “vulnerability” when she visited China and other Asian countries on her official State Department trip.
Here are some passages from Lukens’ testimony that detail his observations about Clinton’s Blackberry use:
He acknowledges that she was using her Blackberry to check her email.
ATTORNEY: I guess she was using her BlackBerry as equipment to check her e-mail.
ATTORNEY: Did you know what her e-mail account was?
ATTORNEY: Did you at this point believe that she was using a state.gov e-mail account?
LUKENS: I do not believe that.
Clinton took her Blackberry overseas
ATTORNEY: You traveled with Mrs. Clinton on all of her foreign travel, or — while you were there?
ATTORNEY: Did you ever see Mrs. Clinton send an e-mail?
ATTORNEY: Did you ever see Mrs. Clinton use her BlackBerry?
LUKENS: I saw her holding her BlackBerry.
ATTORNEY: Okay. How often did you see Mrs. Clinton holding her BlackBerry?
LUKENS: Infrequently during trips. I couldn’t put a number on it…
…ATTORNEY: And you — your travel with her was both domestic and international, or just international?
LUKENS: Just international.
ATTORNEY: Okay. So while you were traveling internationally, you just saw her holding or have possession of a BlackBerry a few times a month?
…I don’t believe it was a State Department BlackBerry.
Clinton could not use her Blackberry in her office
LUKENS: I don’t remember if we talked about issuing her a State Department BlackBerry. We did talk about how she could access her BlackBerry.
ATTORNEY: So while you were having those conversations about whether or not she could go to the counselor’s office to use a BlackBerry, your assumption was that it was her personal BlackBerry she wanted to use?
ATTORNEY: If it was a State Department BlackBerry, would she have been able to use it in her office?
Clinton stood in the hallway outside her office to use her Blackberry
LUKENS: No. Can I just go back? Because I did on occasion see Secretary Clinton in the hallway outside the SCIF [Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility] standing there looking at her BlackBerry.
ATTORNEY: Okay. Did you — do you know what she was doing on her BlackBerry at that time?
ATTORNEY: Did you think she was sending personal e-mail or reading personal e-mail at that time?
LUKENS: I had no idea what she was doing.
ATTORNEY: Do you know — you don’t know if she was conducting official government business or not during that time?
LUKENS: I don’t know what she was doing.