James O’Keefe Video Shows Weakness in James Comey’s Initial FBI Clinton Email Investigation

Hillary Clinton and James Comey. (Reuters and AFP/Getty Images)
Reuters and AFP/Getty Images

A new video from Project Veritas shows just how lax the initial FBI investigation into the Hillary Clinton email scandal was. James O’Keefe’s team shows that the Bureau never interviewed a State Department worker who spoke to Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin for a half hour in December 2010 about problems then-Secretary of State Clinton and Abedin were having with her private email system.

One week ago, FBI director James Comey sent a shockwave through the Hillary Clinton campaign by saying the FBI investigation into the Hillary Clinton email scandal would continue after agents learned about the existence of tens of thousands of emails on a computer used by Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin and her estranged husband, disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner.

Since that revelation, accusations have flown that the initial FBI investigation was so shoddy that agents inside the FBI were revolting and that James Comey was forced to continue the investigation.

Now, for the first time, Project Veritas has video proof of just how shoddy James Comey’s original investigation was, after a Project Veritas reporter spoke with State Department worker Cindy Almodovar on November 3rd and 4th. On the video, Mrs. Almodovar makes it clear that not only has she never been talked to by any other journalist, but she was never spoken to by the FBI.

On December 17, 2010, U.S. Department of State IT Systems Administrator Cindy Almodovar reported that she met with Huma Abedin for thirty minutes regarding email issues with the @clintoneail.com site.

From: Almodovar, Cindy T

Sent: Friday, December 17, 2010 11:17 AM



Subject: Meeting with Huma

December, 2010, US Department of State IT Systems Administrator Cindy Almodovar reported that she met with Huma Abedin for thirty minutes regarding emails at the then unknown, but now notorious, @clintoneail.com site.

I met with Huma for about 30 minutes to go over mail issues.

She gave me some examples listed below, but also, things are inconsistent. But issue #1 is of an e-mail which was sent to her twice this morning, did get received on <REDACTED> but was not delivered. See details below.

I have a contact for the @clintonemail site, his name is Bryan Pagliano and he actually now works for State, but he apparently set all of this up.

Huma sent several tests from her clintonemail account to Lona and myself – they were received. But there are many messages and responses not received.

o   She sent a message this morning from her state.gov account to cheftwan@mail.house.gov.

§  Recipient responded, but she didn’t get the response. I found that the response arrived and is on <REDACTED> as “submitted to Categorizer” at 6:47 this morning.

§  It was resent at 7:11 am by sender to huma, received and also “submitted to Categorizer” on <REDACTED>

o   On 12/14, hdr22@clintonemail.com sent a message to huma@clintonemail.com and Valmoroli@state.gov at 10:03 pm. The subject line was blank. Huma received at Clinton address, but Lona did not receive on her state.gov account.

Cindy Trodden Almodovar

S/ES Supervisory Systems Administrator


U.S. Department of State

Even in the course of a routine investigation, the FBI would have had reason to at least question Almodovar because of her conversation with Abedin, but there was another reason to question Almodovar, since her immediate supervisor made statements that directly contradict another government report.

As the report from the State Department’s Office of Inspector General says on page 40, two different staff members raised concerns with their supervisor about Secretary of State Clinton’s exclusive use of her private email account for work business, but both were rebuffed. The two staff members worked in the State Department’s office of the Executive Secretariat Information Resource Management division (aka S/ES-IR) — a group supervised by a man named John Bentel.

Bentel is one of five people that, it was recently revealed, received an immunity deal from Loretta Lynch’s Department of Justice and the FBI. These immunity deals have come under sharp criticism from people such as Republican congressman and House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, who criticized the agencies for “handing out immunity agreements like candy.”

The immunity deal is especially troubling given the details reported in the OIG report claiming that John Bentelwas was warned by subordinates about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account but attempted to cover it up. As the IRG report says:

Two staff in S/ES-IRM reported to OIG that, in late 2010, they each discussed their concerns about Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email account in separate meetings with the then-Director of S/ES-IRM. In one meeting, one staff member raised concerns that information sent and received on Secretary Clinton’s account could contain Federal records that needed to be preserved in order to satisfy Federal recordkeeping requirements. According to the staff member, the Director stated that the Secretary’s personal system had been reviewed and approved by Department legal staff and that the matter was not to be discussed any further. As previously noted, OIG found no evidence that staff in the Office of the Legal Adviser reviewed or approved Secretary Clinton’s personal system. According to the other S/ES-IRM staff member who raised concerns about the server, the Director stated that the mission of S/ES-IRM is to support the Secretary and instructed the staff never to speak of the Secretary’s personal email system again.

As is the convention in such reports, neither the staffers who made the complaints nor supervisor John Bentel are mentioned by name in the OIG report.

According to their notes, the FBI interviewed John Bentel on June 10, 2016 – about two weeks after the OIG report was released. Bentel was a career civil servant, having served 39 years with the State Department until he retired in 2012 as Director of the Executive Secretariat Information Resource Management.

In his interview with the FBI, Bentel claimed to have no knowledge that Secretary of State Clinton was using a private server. As the FBI notes say:

BENTEL did not learn that HILLARY CLINTON was using a private email server while she was at DOS until it came out in the press last year. He had no knowledge of the server while he was at DOS.

In his FBI interview, Bentel went further and claimed that, aside from not being aware of the hardware used to host the email, Bentel had no knowledge of Clinton’s use of a personal email account for work-related matters until it was exposed in the press in 2015.

BENTEL stated that he did not know CLINTON was using a personal email account for DOS business until after it was released in the papers. BENTEL clarified he knew that CLINTON had a personal email account but that he did not know that she was using it for work related matters. BENTEL did not know if CLINTON had a DOS issued email account.

This contradicts the claims made in the OIG report. If John Bentel was informed by two employees in 2010 that they were concerned about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account, then Bentel is making a false claim to say he was not aware that she was using the personal email account until 2015.

According to the FBI file, Bentel also denied that he had ever been approached by anyone with concerns about Sec. Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email account.

BENTEL was aware of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) report from May of 2016 in which it was reported that subordinates raised concerns about the Secretary’s server to BENTEL in 2010 and he instructed them not to discuss the matter any further. BENTEL denied that anybody had raised such concerns to him. He further stated that the account provided by the OIG report was inconsistent with his open and welcoming management style.

If Bentel is telling the truth, then the OIG got the story completely wrong from two different State Department employees and then published an official report with this erroneous information.

Of course, the FBI did have a way to confirm which version of events was correct; they simply could have interviewed the two employees that the OIG claims went to Bentel with their concerns.

However, nowhere in their notes is there any indication that the FBI interviewed the two employees that the OIG claims went to Bentel and were then told to “never speak” about their concerns over Hillary Clinton’s email use.

As a member of the State Department who worked for Bentel, it would have made sense for the FBI to question Almodovar to see what she knew, but as O’Keefe’s team shows, Almodovar was never contacted.

At a deposition by Judicial Watch just days ago on October 24th, Bentel asserted his Fifth Amendment right more than 90 times.

Bentel’s legal team at high-priced law firm Baker Botts includes Randy Turk. In 1995 Turk was hired by Craig Livingstone, head of personnel security at the Clinton White House, to represent him in the “Filegate” scandal. As the Daily Caller reported:

In 1997, it emerged — thanks to a subpoena from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee — that the Clintons had set up a legal defense fund for Livingstone. Fifty-five of the first couple’s allies and friends pitched in $9,550 to help defray Livingstone’s legal expenses.

Bentel could not be reached for comment.


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