Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew that she was not allowed to use mobile devices in her office — so she would walk onto the 8th floor balcony of the State Department building to check her email messages, new FBI documents reveal.
Clinton’s office was located in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), where mobile devices were not allowed. “According to [Huma] Abedin, Clinton primarily used her personal BlackBerry or personal iPad for checking emails, and she left the SCIF to do so, often visiting State’s eighth floor balcony,” the FBI investigation noted.
The 8th floor is at the top of the State Department building in Foggy Bottom, and was opened in 1961 for “special purposes,” according to an official history. These events include diplomatic events, and even tours for the general public. (The view in the photograph above was taken facing southwest, facing the United States Institute of Peace.)
One visitor posted on TripAdvisor.com:
The State Department gives tours of the formal rooms on the eight [sic] floor where diplomatic receptions and dinners take place. A tour can be arranged for groups (or if you know someone who works at the Department they can arrange it. All of the furnishings come from the beginnings of the department which was the first government office formed by the constitution. See furnishings used by Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and other illustrious Secretaries of State. See where treaties have been signed. The balcony boasts one of the best views of the July 4 fireworks.
Presumably, anyone watching the movements of the Secretary of State would have known that when she appeared on the balcony, she was about to use her mobile devices, either to access her email or perhaps to make telephone calls, as soon as she appeared on the balcony.
The report notes that there were never any complaints about Clinton using her personal devices inside the SCIF. It also notes that her staff had asked for permission to use her devices inside the SCIF and had been denied. As a solution, the department discussed setting up an “Internet-connected, stand-alone computer” in her office, but that was never done.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.