Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Could Hillary Clinton be sent to prison because of her secret e-mail server?

Your puny laws don't apply to Queen Hillary!

Your puny laws don’t apply to Queen Hillary!

The first way is in the Washington Times.

Excerpt:

The Obama administration will soon find itself in court having to explain to federal judges why it never told anyone former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton used a secret email address, potentially spoiling dozens of open records requests, experts said Wednesday.

And Mrs. Clinton could face up to three years in prison per message if she is found to have broken her word and handled classified information on the secret account, one open records expert told The Washington Times.

The legal challenges have already begun, with The Associated Press filing a federal lawsuit saying the State Department has foiled five years’ worth of requests for Mrs. Clinton’s emails, but never told them or the court that she kept her own server — meaning that her emails weren’t being searched.

The article points out that because Clinton had a secret, personal e-mail server, it will be difficult to prove that she handled classified information unless someone on the other end of one the e-mails shows up.

The State Department itself could face sanctions for refusing to own up to the existence of Hillary’s personal e-mail server when processing Freedom of Information Act requests:

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, which for years has battled for access to State Department records, said they are already preparing to ask several federal courts to review whether the Obama administration was skirting the law by not including Mrs. Clinton’s email server in its searches for documents.

“We had hundreds of requests. The State Department knew from the beginning these records weren’t being searched, and no one told us about it, no one told the courts about it,” Mr. Fitton said.

[…]The Associated Press filed a lawsuit Wednesday that could test the limits of the government’s ability to go after emails. Despite five years of questions, the State Department never said it didn’t have control over Mrs. Clinton’s emails, the AP said, suggesting that officials were breaking the spirit of open records when they said they were conducting searches for records.

“State’s failure to ensure that Secretary Clinton’s governmental emails were retained and preserved by the agency, and its failure timely to seek out and search those emails in response to AP’s requests, indicate at the very least that State has not engaged in the diligent, good-faith search that FOIA requires,” the news organization said in its lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Washington, D.C.

The second way that Hillary Clinton could go to prison is described at Fox News:

A former Justice Department lawyer says Hillary Clinton, despite her claims that she broke no rules or laws, may have committed a violation in leaving the State Department without turning over all official emails and records.

Shannen Coffin, a senior lawyer under the George W. Bush administration, pointed to a “separation” form that he said officials are supposed to sign upon leaving the department.

His argument: If she signed the form, she probably gave a false statement and broke the law; if she didn’t, she ran afoul of department policy.

The form — OF109 — certifies that the person who signs it has turned over all “classified or administratively controlled” materials, as well as all “unclassified documents and papers” relating to official government business.

It’s unclear whether Clinton indeed signed that document. But Coffin told Fox News, “If that’s the case, there’s no question [she broke the law].”

“Making a false statement in this context,  knowingly and willfully — which I can’t imagine anything more knowing and willful than knowing you have 55,000 records sitting in your home — if you do that, it is a felony,” he told Fox News’ “The Kelly File.”

The form cites “criminal penalties” for knowingly falsifying or concealing information.

“Every employee at the State Department has to sign this little piece of paper when they leave,” Coffin said. And if Clinton did not sign that document, he added, “why not?”

Here’s the video:

National Review reports that the State Department spokeswoman declined to produce the form:

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki couldn’t tell reporters on Thursday if Hillary Clinton signed an official records form presented to all employees as they leave the department — a crucial question in determining whether the former Secretary of State committed a felony by failing to turn over government e-mail records.

[…]“A former DOJ attorney has asked if, under department policy, Secretary Clinton — like all officials here in this building, when they depart or separate from this office, has to sign something called a form OF-109,” a reporter asked Psaki on Thursday. “It’s a separation statement declaring that when you leave office, you turn over not just classified materials, but any documents for official purposes. Did she sign –”

“I think this has been asked,” Psaki interrupted. “It was more than two years ago. I don’t have an update on that specific question at this point.”

Here’s the video:

Select Committee chair Trey Gowdy is continuing his Benghazi investigation, and the chair of the National Security Subcommittee of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ron DeSantis is thinking of starting his own investigation of Hillary.

He said this on the Hugh Hewitt show:

HH: I want the audience to know Congressman DeSantis is a Harvard Law grad as well as a veteran of the Armed Services, and knows of which he speaks when it comes to national security. And I believe you were on the National Security Subcommittee of Government Oversight, are you not?

RD: I’m the chairman, Hugh, so this is right up our alley. And we’re definitely going to pursue the security aspect of this, because, and I think it’s been written up pretty well in some of the blogs, the State Department has been hacked before. And they have a lot of resources that they put into to maintaining the integrity of that system. If she used Google or Microsoft or one of those, they put in some resources, too. She set up her own system, and so the question is did she invest any of her personal resources to make sure that this had integrity and was not susceptible to being hacked? And those are answers that we’re going to find out.

HH: How are you going to go about pursuing that, Congressman DeSantis, because I know Trey Gowdy’s got the Select Committee. But their scope begins really with our invasion of Libya, or our intervention in Libya. And the scope of her breaking of official norms begins the day she enters into office if not before with this private email server.

RD: No doubt about it, and I think we’re going to defer for the Libya stuff to Chairman Gowdy. He’s been working on that. But I’m going to urge our chairman, Jason Chaffetz, to use the full committee and as well as my subcommittee to look at all of what she did for her four year period, because we need to know whether there was any type of compromise of sensitive military. You see, in the military, if you send something over unclassified channels that is classified, it does not matter whether somebody actually intercepted. You assume that there’s been a security breach, and you change your affairs accordingly. And I find it hard to believe that she would have had four years as Secretary of State and not discussed sensitive matters over that email. And I think the American people deserve answers to those questions.

Defense analyst Frank Gaffney says that there is no way that Hillary’s claim that she never sent or received classified information is true. So we have to wait for those investigations to find them, then we can hold her accountable.

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Hillary Clinton deleted 32,000 e-mails, refuses to turn over her home-based server

The Washington Times reports on her press conference, which only featured questions from reporters handpicked by her spokesman Nick Merrill.

Excerpt:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton deleted nearly 32,000 emails she deemed private from her time in the Obama administration and refused Tuesday to turn over her personal email server, insisting she “fully complied” with the law and that voters will have to trust her judgment.

Answering questions for the first time about her emails, Mrs. Clinton said she’s turned over to the State Department 55,000 pages of emails she deemed work-related, but said she got rid of the rest last year. She defended her decision to keep control of her emails by using a private account, saying previous secretaries did the same thing, and saying it was more “convenient” for her this way.

“I wanted to use just one device for both personal and work emails instead of two,” she said in a hastily called press conference after she spoke at the U.N. Conference on Women.

She lied about Benghazi, claiming it was a protest caused by a Youtube video. So we know that she is capable of lying for gain.

Well, is she telling the truth this time?

But her explanations are already coming under fire. One conservative group, America Rising PAC, said Mrs. Clinton has previously said she keeps both a BlackBerry and an iPhone.

Mrs. Clinton also said the email server was set up for her husband, former President Clinton, but his office told The Wall Street Journal that he has only sent two emails in his life, and both were during his time as president, which ended in 2001, or eight years before the private server was created.

It’s not a “conservative group” that said that she had two devices – it’s Clinton herself:

Read about that video here.

She deleted half her e-mails:

Of the 62,320 emails in her account, her office said 30,490 were deemed public business, while the remaining 31,830 were deemed private.

And she won’t let anyone see the private server she kept in her home:

Congressional Republicans said Mrs. Clinton shouldn’t take credit for turning over her emails since it was only done under pressure from the House committee probing the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack.

[…]The former first lady flatly rejected turning over her server, saying she’s already done enough in her mind to comply with her obligations.

This is just plain stupid:

Some cybersecurity analysts have said maintaining a private server was an invitation to hacking, but Mrs. Clinton said the system was kept on property guarded by the Secret Service, and she asserted there “were no security breaches.”

Secret Service people walking around outside a home do not prevent penetration attacks.

We have to have the actual server and check to see whether it was secure or not. If she doesn’t give it to us, along with ALL the e-mails, then we don’t know whether it’s been compromised, and we don’t know what the enemies of the United States would have seen in the event of a breach of security. This is not a case where we can “trust” her – we have to know for certain.

Another thing – why is she printing out e-mails and giving it to the State Department for them to then give it to Trey Gowdy’s Select Committee? Why not just give them the server? It’s not easy to conduct an automated search on pieces of paper, that’s why. She is deliberately slowing down the Benghazi investigation by refusing to provide searchable electronic copies.

The concerns about a security breach are not idle. We already KNOW FOR CERTAIN that State Department e-mails were hacked.

In March 2013, an adviser to Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal, had his e-mail hacked by “Guccifer” — the Romanian hacker perhaps best known for revealing George W. Bush’s paintings to the world. At the time, Gawker reported that Blumenthal was communicating with an account that appeared to belong to Clinton at the “clintonemail.com” domain. The content of some of those e-mails was published by RT.com.

The hacked e-mails are the reason why we know that she intentionally set up her domain on the day she took office. This was not done by accident – it was deliberate.

What difference does national security make?

What difference does national security make?

Investor’s Business Daily reminds us other mysteries that the e-mails would shed light on:

What we do know, as Catherine Herridge of Fox News has reported, is that emails scattered through those obtained by Judicial Watch via a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit show that there existed a “Benghazi Group,” a code phrase used inside the State Department for a Benghazi damage-control operation led by Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Philippe Reines, who has been described as Hillary Clinton’s “gatekeeper.”

The two ran interference for Hillary during the 2012 Benghazi attack and were involved in what has been dubbed “Operation Basement” — going through documents and emails and turning over only those not damaging Hillary Clinton’s reputation or political future.

“Cheryl Mills was instrumental in seeing the big lie was put out there,” says Judicial Watch head Tom Fitton. “What’s notable thus far is we received no emails from or to (Clinton). You have to wonder whether these aides went offline and were using secret accounts to communicate with her about the Benghazi attack.”

You also have to wonder if Hillary and her State Department staff were also busy concocting the inflammatory Benghazi video lie.

Ron Fournier of the National Journal advises that the emails may help us “follow the money” that has flowed into Clinton Foundation coffers, a tale of possible “pay for play” involving unknown promises in exchange for donations.

Fournier writes that “Hillary Clinton’s secret communications stash is a bombshell” whose “greatest relevancy is what the emails might reveal about any nexus between Clinton’s work at State and any donations to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation from U.S. corporations and foreign nations.”

But there is more here than just the Benghazi cover-up and the Clinton Foundation donations – there are real national security concerns. We need to get our hands on that server and all the e-mails in order to know whether we have a breach, and if so, what has been breached. It is incredibly unprofessional and a firing offence (in my opinion) for her to tell us “just trust me”. That is not in the best interest of the security of the United States. And it shows why we ought not take Hillary Clinton seriously as a candidate for the Office of the Presidency. She is in it for herself, not for the good of her country. This is all about her – her ambitions.

UPDATE: Two of her top aides were also using personal e-mails, not State Department e-mails.

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E-mails released by Clinton: there are “months, and months, and months” missing

The Daily Signal reports:

During an appearance on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” today, Rep. Trey Gowdy said there are “huge gaps” in the emails he has received from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton related to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.

“There are gaps of months and months and months,” Gowdy told CBS News’ Bob Schieffer.

The South Carolina Republican, who is leading the House’s Benghazi investigation, said he has nearly 800 pages of Clinton’s emails, but none from her 2011 trip to Libya.

Gowdy mentioned the “iconic” photo of then-Secretary Clinton during that trip, looking at her “handheld device.”

“We have no emails from that day. In fact, we have no emails from that trip. So, it strains credibility to believe that if you’re on your way to Libya to discuss Libyan policy that there’s not a single document that’s been turned over to Congress. So there are huge gaps,” said Gowdy.

Gowdy said Clinton doesn’t get to determine what does or does not constitute “public record.”

“I continue to naively believe that people have a right to expect their government to tell them the truth in the aftermath of a tragedy,” said Gowdy.

Gowdy said in the absence of “all” of Clinton’s emails, he wouldn’t be making a “selective release” of the ones he does have.

The important thing to realize about this is that because the e-mails were stored on Clinton’s servers, she can just delete the ones she doesn’t want us to see and we will never see them. There are no back-ups. Now unless you believe she is some sort of saint who couldn’t misuse this situation to hide immoral and or illegal actions, this is very disturbing. Remember that the Clinton Foundation is taking in millions of dollars from foreign governments, as I wrote about before. Who knows what she was offering in exchange for these donations? Since we have no access to her e-mails, we will probably never know. That’s why federal employees are obligated by law to use their secure, backed-up e-mail accounts – to avoid corruption and fraud.

Obama is saying he had no idea that her e-mail address was not a secure, backed-up State Department e-mail address:

President Obama says he first learned from news reports that his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, used a private email account during her tenure, amid reports the White House and State Department may have known as far back as last August that Clinton did not use government email.

“The same time everybody else learned it, through news reports,” Obama told CBS’ Bill Plante, in response to a question of when the president learned of Clinton’s use of a private email account for conducting government business.

This is actually the same line he has used for the many, many scandals afflicting his corrupt administration:

The Obama administration has been engulfed in an unending stream of scandals — and President Barack Obama learned of most of them through news reports.

From the 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans, to the IRS targeting conservative nonprofit groups, to the revelations about veterans dying while waiting for care because of falsified lists at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the president and his top aides have admitted that they found out about them in the media.

“I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this,” Obama said in June 2013 when he was asked about the IRS scandal. “I think it was on Friday.”

Is this corruption a problem?

I think if you are one of the people who vote Democrat because they are essentially paying you to vote for them through government programs, then this isn’t a problem. It’s not even a problem for the clueless millennials who also vote for him, even though they are the ones who are going to be stuck with the bill for the bribes. If you’re a single mother by choice who is getting welfare from the government, then you’ll keep voting Democrat to keep the money coming. But the loan will be paid back by your fatherless child. What a world.

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Hillary Clinton used her private e-mail account to conduct State Department business

Wow. The ultra leftist New York Times just dropped a bomb on Hillary’s 2016 hopes.

Read it:

Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.

Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of emails were given to the department. Mrs. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.

Her expansive use of the private account was alarming to current and former National Archives and Records Administration officials and government watchdogs, who called it a serious breach.

“It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business,” said Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle & Reath who is a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration.

[…]Under federal law, however, letters and emails written and received by federal officials, such as the secretary of state, are considered government records and are supposed to be retained so that congressional committees, historians and members of the news media can find them. There are exceptions to the law for certain classified and sensitive materials.

The problem is, of course, that personal e-mails are not securely transmitted or securely stored. This is an incredible blunder that put our national security at risk.

Why did she do it? The leftist Washington Post has the answer:

The New York Times reported Monday night that, during her tenure at the State Department, Hillary Clinton never used her official email account to conduct communications, relying instead on a private email account. As the Times notes, only official accounts are automatically retained under the Federal Records Act, meaning that none of Clinton’s email communication was preserved.

She did it so that there would be no record of her e-mail communications should there be any investigations or inquiries. It’s sort of like Lois Lerner claiming that the dog ate her hard drive, and the hard drives of all her friends in the IRS. Only this is worse than that. At least we could get the Lois Lerner e-mails back from back-ups.

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air reacts:

According to the New York Times, Hillary Clinton never used the official e-mail system at all. When the time came to produce e-mails for the Benghazi probe, her aides “found” 300 or so that they chose to reveal years after the event — with no guarantee that these represent the entire record, or even a significant portion of it.

Clearly, Hillary had contempt for the mechanisms that provide transparency and accountability for government operations and officials. If any of her communications involved sensitive or classified material, Hillary may have broken more laws than just those dealing with archival of official records. This could very well be huge, and not just in relation to the 2016 election. Just what may have been gleaned by hostile intelligence services? What else may Hillary have been doing while at State? Congress needs to get to the bottom of this ASAP — and the Benghazi select committee should put Hillary Clinton under oath to demand answers about this.

Morrissey notes that the personal e-mail was set up the day of her Senate confirmation hearings for Secretary of State. This was not an accident, this was intentional. Planned. Deliberate. She did not want her e-mails to be on record. And we would never know about this except because Republicans set up a select committee to investigate. We are only finding these things out because of Trey Gowdy’s ongoing Benghazi investigation. Give the man credit. He was the right man for the job, and we are finally getting the answers we sought… a little bit at a time.

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E-mails: Hillary Clinton’s top aides knew in minutes that Benghazi was a terrorist attack

National Review reports on released e-mails from a FOIA request by Judicial Watch.

He says:

From the very first moments of the terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top aides were advised that the compound was under a terrorist attack. In fact, less than two hours into the attack, they were told that the al-Qaeda affiliate in Libya, Ansar al-Sharia, had claimed responsibility.

These revelations and others are disclosed by a trove of e-mails and other documents pried from the State Department by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The FOIA litigation focuses on Mrs. Clinton’s involvement in the government actions before, during, and after the Benghazi attack, in which Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, was murdered by terrorists. Also killed in the attack were State Department information management officer Sean Smith, and two former Navy SEALs, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, who were contract security employees and who had fought heroically, saving numerous American lives. At least ten other Americans were wounded, some quite seriously.

At 4:07 p.m., just minutes after the terrorist attack began, Cheryl Mills, Secretary Clinton’s chief-of-staff, and Joseph McManus, Mrs. Clinton’s executive assistant, received an e-mail from the State Department’s operations center (forwarded to her by Maria Sand, a special assistant to Secretary Clinton). It contained a report from the State Department’s regional security officer (RSO), entitled “U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi is Under Attack.” The e-mail explained that approximately 20 armed people had fired shots at the diplomatic mission, that explosions had been heard as well, and that Ambassador Stevens was believed to be in the compound with at least four other State Department officials.

About a half-hour later, another e-mail — this one from Scott Bultrowicz, then director of diplomatic security (DSCC) — related:

15 armed individuals were attacking the compound and trying to gain entrance. The Ambassador is present in Benghazi and currently is barricaded within the compound. There are no injuries at this time and it is unknown what the intent of the attackers is. At approximately 1600 [4 p.m.] DSCC received word from Benghazi that individuals had entered the compound. At 1614 [4:14 p.m.] RSO advised the Libyans had set fire to various buildings in the area, possibly the building that houses the Ambassador [REDACTED] is responding and taking fire.

At 6:06 p.m., another e-mail that went to top State Department officials explained that the local al-Qaeda affiliate had claimed responsibility for the attack:

Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack (SBU):  “(SBU) Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and call for an attack on Embassy Tripoli”

Despite this evidence that her top staffers were informed from the start that a terrorist attack was underway and that an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group had claimed credit for it, Secretary Clinton issued an official statement claiming the assault may have been in “response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”

Here she is lying to the American people on camera about the nature and cause of the attack:

You’ll remember that she repeated the lie again to the family of the victims.

Should we elect a liar to be President in 2016?

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