Emails Reveal Clinton Had Extensive Knowledge of the Operation and Security Issues with Her Non-‘State.gov’ Email System.
Judicial Watch on Friday released 78 pages of new records from the U.S. Department of State containing emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent and received over her unsecured, non-state.gov email system. Three of the email interactions include classified information and Judicial Watch released a breakdown of some of those emails.
The emails, in addition, uncovered that Clinton had a complete understanding of the security issues within her non-State Department email system. On March 8, 2011, Hillary Clinton sent classified information regarding Bahrain to Justin Cooper, who reportedly had no security clearance, with instructions to show it to Bill Clinton. Cooper was the Bill Clinton aide who asked State Department IT specialist Bryan Pagliano to build a server for Clinton in early 2009 as she started her new job as Secretary of State.
On August 24, 2010, Clinton emailed Cooper additional classified information to print, including the secretary’s call sheet for Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
In a February 13, 2010, email exchange, Hillary Clinton passed along classified information to Cooper, which originally was sent to Cheryl Mills (Clinton’s then-chief of staff) by U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual. The classified information included a note from Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa to Hillary Clinton. In the email to Cooper, Clinton asks him to “look for Espinosa’s note and respond.”
The documents are part of the accelerated schedule of production ordered by U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg, which requires the State Department to complete processing by September 28, 2018, the remaining documents of the 72,000 pages recovered by the FBI in its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s illicit email server. These latest classified and other emails appear to be amongst those that Clinton had attempted to erase or had otherwise failed to divulge.
Judge Boasberg’s November 30, 2017, the order came in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on May 6, 2015, (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00687)) seeking the following:
All emails sent or received by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in her official capacity as Secretary of State, as well as all emails by other State Department employees to Secretary Clinton regarding her non-“state.gov” email address.
The newly released documents also reveal Hillary Clinton’s knowledge of system vulnerabilities; Cooper giving computer security advice; and foreign policy advice from Sidney Blumenthal, who was rejected by the Obama administration for a position at the State Department:
The emails reveal that Hillary Clinton was warned about “overseas” and other security issues concerning her emails and her personal BlackBerrys. An email from Cooper to Clinton on June 6, 2011, states:
“All of your older messages will remain on the server. There is a way for me to move everything on to the new device, but the security whizzes have convinced me that this is a horrible thing to do because you also transfer any viruses, spyware and junk overseas providers hide on there. We also have some new security features and polices [sic] that I would like to add to any new berry you have — the most noticeable difference will require a more complex password. It is a constant fight to keep up with the security measures and unfortunately we keep seeing reminders of why we need to.
Clinton was the subject of a grand jury investigation into her BlackBerry email accounts. In June 2017, Judicial Watch submitted evidence to the court that Clinton knowingly used an unsecured BlackBerry device despite being warned by “security hawks” against doing so.
The emails also reveal that despite Clinton’s claims that she “really didn’t stop to think about what kind of email system there would be,” she was deeply involved in a wide variety of issues involving her server and her use of the non-secure email system.
Email discussions include:
A March 8, 2012, email exchange among Cooper, Pagliano and Clinton about the server and email. A September 29, 2009, email exchange between Cooper and Clinton discusses the backup of emails. An August 31, 2011, email between Cooper and Hillary Clinton discusses the setting up of Clinton’s iPad. In an email on February 12, 2010, Sidney Blumenthal writes Clinton a memo passing along a speech on Saudi Arabia by Chas Freeman, former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, urging closer U.S. ties with the Saudi Kingdom. Blumenthal also reportedly worked for the Clinton Foundation.
“The fact that Hillary Clinton and her agents tried to destroy or hide emails shows how she flagrantly and knowingly violated the laws that protect classified information and government records,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And these new emails refute Hillary Clinton’s repeated claims of having little or no knowledge about her email system. She clearly was fully in charge of setting up her outlaw email system and overseeing its use. When will the Justice Department act?”
Judicial Watch reported that in 2017, the FBI uncovered 72,000 pages of documents Clinton attempted to delete or did not otherwise disclose. Until the court intervened and established a new deadline, the State Department had been slow-walking the release of those documents at a rate that would have required Judicial Watch and the American people to wait until at least 2020 to see all the releasable Clinton material.
Prior to the FBI investigation, Clinton repeatedly stated that the 55,000 pages of documents she turned over to the State Department in December 2014 included all of her work-related emails. In response to a court order in another Judicial Watch case, she declared under penalty of perjury that she had “directed that all my emails on clintonemail.com in my custody that were or are potentially federal records are provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done.”
In a related case involving emails found on the laptop of disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, who is the husband of former Clinton aide Huma Abedin, Judicial Watch has discovered that Clinton failed to turn over 67 additional emails, bringing the total to at least 694 emails that Hillary Clinton failed to turn over and further contradicting a statement that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails had been turned over to the State Department.
Hillary Clinton unauthorized disclosure of “classified information” in the United States is a crime under the Espionage Act of 1917 and under Title 18 of the U.S. Code, Section 798 which means that any person (s) who knowingly and willfully communicates; furnishes; transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person. Furthermore, publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information.
The type of classified information is any information either concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes.
The penalty for such a crime is up to 10 years in prison, a substantial fine, or both.
Legislative Attorney of the Congressional Research Service, Jennifer K. Elsea spelled out in May 2017 concerning laws about the release of classified documents. In her write-up, she said, information may be classified at “one of three levels” based on the amount of danger that its unauthorized disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause to national security. Information is classified as “Top Secret” if its unauthorized disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause “exceptionally grave damage” to national security. The standard for “Secret” information is “serious damage” to national security, while for “confidential” information the standard is “damage” to national security.
Information security at the State Department is governed by 12 FAM 500 and 600. The Bureau of Administration is responsible for implementing E.O. 13526 as it applies to the classification and declassification of material, the marking of classified material, and relevant training and guidance. The Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) is responsible for protecting classified information and special access programs. Senior agency officials have the primary responsibility for overseeing their respective agency’s information security program, while supervisors are charged with safeguarding classified information within their organizational units. Individual employees having access to classified material are responsible for maintaining its security.
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