Questions about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s exclusive use of personal email and a private server for government business – first exposed as part of the investigation by the House Select Committee on Benghazi – continue to grow.
The Washington Post reports:
The FBI has begun looking into the security of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private e-mail setup, contacting in the past week a Denver-based technology firm that helped manage the unusual system, according to two government officials.
Also last week, the FBI contacted Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, with questions about the security of a thumb drive in his possession that contains copies of work e-mails Clinton sent during her time as secretary of state.
The FBI’s interest in Clinton’s e-mail system comes after the intelligence community’s inspector general referred the issue to the Justice Department in July. Intelligence officials expressed concern that some sensitive information was not in the government’s possession and could be “compromised.” …
The inquiries are bringing to light new information about Clinton’s use of the system and the lengths to which she went to install a private channel of communication outside government control ….
The inquiries by the FBI follow concerns from government officials that potentially hundreds of e-mails that passed through Clinton’s private server contained classified or sensitive information.
That would be the classified information she and her team swore did not exist in her personal emails. We now know it was classified at the time she possessed it, and that it “contained information from five U.S. intelligence agencies and included material related to the fatal 2012 Benghazi attacks,” according to McClatchy.
So Team Clinton’s reassurances were just some of the many false claims they made, and this report revealed another.
In March, former Secretary Clinton claimed that “the [email] system we used was set up for President [Bill] Clinton’s office. And it had numerous safeguards. … So, I think that the use of that server, which started with my husband, certainly proved to be effective and secure.”
The Washington Post’s report exposed this explanation as highly misleading at best:
[T]he server installed in her Chappaqua, N.Y., home as she was preparing to take office as secretary of state was originally used by her first campaign for the presidency, in 2008, according to two people briefed on the setup. A staffer who was on the payroll of her political action committee set it up in her home, replacing a server that Clinton’s husband, former president Bill Clinton, had been using in the house. …
In 2008, responsibility for the system was held by Justin Cooper, a longtime aide to the former president who served as a personal assistant and helped research at least two of his books. Cooper had no security clearance and no particular expertise in safeguarding computers, according to three people briefed on the server setup. Cooper declined to comment. …
Those briefed on the server setup say the device installed for Bill Clinton was deemed too small for the addition of a sitting Cabinet official. Instead, a server that had been purchased for use by Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign was installed at the Chappaqua home.
The report also contains a comment from Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill that shows she and her team are shifting their story in another effort to mislead Americans:
|Statements by ...||Then||Now|
|Hillary Clinton||“I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.” (3/10/15)||“I did not receive anything that was marked as classified.” (7/25/15)|
|Clinton's team||“Was classified material sent or received by Secretary Clinton on this email address? No.” (3/15)||“She did not send nor receive any emails that were marked classified at the time.” (8/4/15)|
As national security author Gabriel Schoenfeld explains:
Clinton says in her defense that the emails were not marked “classified” at the time. But that may only reflect the fact that she herself — negligently — did not mark them so as required.
Columnist Marc Thiessen points out:
Taking intelligence from classified documents and putting it in unclassified e-mails does not make the information unclassified. Indeed, that is arguably an additional offense.
In other words, of course the classified information Clinton sent was not “marked” as such – because she didn’t mark it.
Editorial boards around the country recently noted Team Clinton’s “serially deceptive” statements. Americans shouldn’t be fooled by them.