Showing posts with label State Department. Show all posts
Showing posts with label State Department. Show all posts

Saturday, September 5, 2015

[VIDEO] Clinton family reportedly personally paid State Dept. staffer to maintain private server

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton and her family reportedly paid a State Department staffer to maintain the private email server she used during her tenure as secretary of state.
The Washington Post, citing an unnamed campaign official, reports the arrangement helped Clinton maintain her personal control over the server that she used to conduct public and private business. The official also said it also ensured that taxpayers weren’t paying for the upkeep of the server that was shared by Clinton, her husband, the former president, and their daughter as well as former aides, the Post reports.
The State Department staffer in question, Bryan Pagliano, told a congressional committee that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights instead of testifying about the private server. A congressional source told Fox News on Friday that investigators on the Benghazi Select Committee hoped to question Pagliano, a former IT specialist, over possible destruction of evidence.
Pagliano served as Clinton’s IT director of her 2008 campaign committee and then on her political action committee, according to The Post. He installed and managed her server and left his IT job at the State Department in February 2013, the same month Clinton stepped down as secretary.
The Post reports the Clintons paid Pagliano $5,000 for “computer services” prior to him joining the State Department, according to a 2009 financial disclosure form he filed. After he arrived on the State Department’s staff in 2009, he continued to be paid by the Clintons to maintain the server, a campaign official and another person familiar with the arrangement told The Post.
When asked about whether the former IT specialist had been paid privately to maintain the server, a State Department official said the agency “found no evidence that he ever informed the department that he had outside income,” The Post reports. This week, a different State Department official, couldn’t clarify to the newspaper Pagliano’s pay situation.
Pagliano reportedly didn’t list any outside income in the required personal financial disclosures he filed each year. The Post reports he remains a State Department contractor doing work on “mobile and remote computing functions,’ according to the State Department.
It’s not known exactly when or who “wiped” Clinton’s personal email server. However, it seems clear the move came after October 2014, when the State Department requested personal emails be returned as part of her business records.
Committee Republicans have long argued they don’t have all the documents that should be available to the investigation, after Clinton, using her personal discretion, purged some 30,000 emails.
Fox News put additional questions to Pagliano’s attorney, Mark J. MacDougall, Friday about whether his client played a direct role or had knowledge of the server scrub, but MacDougall said there was nothing further to add beyond the letter.
An intelligence source who confirmed to Fox that the FBI’s “A-team” was handling the Clinton email case, described the investigation as “moving along well,” adding investigators remain “confident” deleted records can be recovered because whoever did the scrub may “not be a very good IT guy. There are different standards to scrub when you do it for government vs. commercial.”

Hillary’s Highly Paid IT Guru At State Department Had No National Security Experience

Hillary Clinton with her personal IT staffer Bryan Pagliano (right). (Facebook)
Clinton’s politically appointed State Department information technology manager had no national security experience and may have enjoyed a 55 percent pay hike after Clinton departed as secretary of state in February 2013, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.
Bryan Pagliano joined Clinton in 2009 as a top-level IT strategist and adviser. He previously was IT director of Clinton’s unsuccessful campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. The White House personnel office must approve political appointees before they are hired.
Pagliano was hired as a GS-15 even though he had no national security experience or security clearance. He was paid $140,000 annually at the outset but that was reduced to $136,000 in 2011 and 2012, according to the Asbury Park Press, which posts federal compensation data.
Pagliano described himself at the State Department on his LinkedIn page as a “strategic advisor and special projects manager” to the department’s Chief Technology Officer.
He was assigned to the State Department’s Bureau of Information Resource Management, a highly classified system which manages the digital traffic of 50,000 U.S. diplomats and foreign service officers at the 250 U.S. embassies and consulates located around the world.
Prior to working for Hillary’s presidential campaign, Pagliano was a senior systems engineer at Community IT Innovators, a small IT firm that catered to non-profit organizations. The organization represented liberal advocacy groups, community services organizations, schools and NGO’s, according to its web site.

Friday, September 4, 2015


Hillary Rodham Clinton
The State Department waited almost two weeks to barely comply with a judge’s order that it cooperate with the FBI in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email use.
In a September 2 letter obtained by Breitbart News, State Department legal adviser Mary McLeod wrote to FBI general counsel James Baker asking FBI investigators to hand over any information that might be relevant to the nonprofit group Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department. McLeod only asked for information that is not already in the State Department’s possession.
Judge Emmett Sullivan ordered the State Department to cooperate two weeks ago. McLeod’s one-page letter, signed a full thirteen days after Sullivan’s order, fulfills the absolute minimum level of cooperation mandated by Sullivan’s order. The State Department did not volunteer to help FBI investigators, but merely to send over any new documents before September 14, when the State Department’s status report about its cooperation in the case is due to Sullivan.
Judicial Watch is not impressed.
“It is jaw-dropping that the Obama State Department would wait 13 days to comply with an urgent August 20 federal court order requiring the State Department to coordinate with the Justice Department and FBI about making sure that documents from the seized Clinton email records are searched and produced in our FOIA litigation,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement provided to Breitbart News.
“The bare-bones September 2 letter itself shows that the Obama administration has zero interest in quickly recovering, searching and producing records it seized from Mrs. Clinton. The Obama administration continues to protect Hillary Clinton by cover-up, delay, and inaction.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

[VIDEO] Heilemann: New Clinton Foundation Reports Worry Hillary Supporters

Bloomberg host John Heilemann said Friday that new revelations about the Clinton Foundation are causing concern among those close to Hillary Clinton, who thought controversy surrounding the political charity had finally subsided.
“This story coming back has a lot of people nervous, because it’s something a lot of folks who are around her thought was behind them, and now it’s back again,” Heilemann said.
ABC News reported Friday morning that Bill Clinton asked the State Department for approval to give lucrative speeches in two of the world’s poorest and most brutal regimes, Congo and North Korea.
The former president has made over $100 million from speeches since leaving office in 2001, sometimes from foreign government and business interests.
Some of his most lucrative speeches were delivered while Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state, a fact which has raised questions about whether organizations sought to influence State Department policy by paying the Clintons.
Heilemann noted that this intriguing discovery about Bill Clinton, and concurrent discoveries about Clinton aide Huma Abedin, were drawing attention away from Hillary Clinton’s burgeoning email scandal.
“For the past few weeks, the political world has been fixated on Hillary Clinton’s emails, but now two stories have changed the subject—and not in a good way,” Heilemann said.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ambassador Kennedy used private email, watchdog says

Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and senior staff at the U.S. embassy in Japan used personal email accounts for official business, an internal watchdog report said Tuesday -- making Kennedy the latest Obama administration official to run afoul of email security guidelines.
The State Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) report said it received reports concerning the use of private email accounts for official business, and identified instances where emails labeled "sensitive but unclassified" were sent from or received by personal email accounts. 
“On the basis of these reports, OIG’s Office of Evaluations and Special Projects conducted a review and confirmed that senior embassy staff, including the Ambassador, used personal email accounts to send and receive messages containing official business. In addition, OIG identified instances where emails labeled Sensitive but Unclassified were sent from, or received by, personal email accounts," the report said.
The OIG stressed that department policy says employees generally should not use private accounts for official business, citing the risk of hacking and data loss. 
"Employees are also expected to use approved, secure methods to transmit sensitive but unclassified information when available and practical," the report says.
The report, conducted between January and March, comes as the same OIG office reviews email use and policies across the department amid the controversy over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email and server. The FBI is reviewing the security of that server, with questions mounting over whether classified material was improperly shared or stored on the Clintons' private account. 
Email issues aren't confined to the State Department. The IRS admitted Monday to a federal court there was a second personal email account -- set up under the name "Toby Miles" -- that Lois Lerner, the official at the heart of the Tea Party targeting scandal, used to conduct agency business.
But State Department messages can cover a range of sensitive and classified material involving America's allies and enemies. The OIG report does not appear to suggest a serious information breach. Sensitive but unclassified information can be shared outside of the government, though officials are required to use discretion. However, it puts further spotlight on the department's struggle to keep its information secure.
Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy, has been ambassador to Japan since November 2013.
The report also noted the economic section of the embassy – which works closely with the United States Trade Representative on the Trans-Pacific Partnership – was not maintaining centralized files, and the embassy has not enforced department or federal regulations on managing records.
“Officers have individual files based on their own filing systems, located in personal folders on a shared drive and in Microsoft Outlook email personal folders. These files are not accessible to anyone else and are not archived, retired, or retrievable,” the report said.
Asked about the report, a State Department official told The Associated Press that the embassy in Japan requires the use of official email accounts to conduct official business whenever possible, and indicated that Kennedy and other staff are acting on the inspector's recommendations.
"Ambassador Kennedy uses an official email address for official business. As the report reflects, in the past, like others at the mission, Ambassador Kennedy infrequently used her personal email account for official business," said the department official, who was not authorized to speak on the record and requested anonymity.
"This is allowed, so long as measures are taken to ensure that official records sent or received on personal email are preserved and other requirements are observed. The ambassador and embassy staff are implementing the OIG recommendations, including those regarding emails," the official said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Via: Fox News
Continue Reading....

Monday, August 24, 2015

[VIDEO] DHS has no record of State Dept. giving info for Clinton server audit, despite rules

The State Department does not appear to have submitted legally required information regarding Hillary Clinton's secret computer server to the Department of Homeland Security during her term as secretary, has learned. 
All federal government agencies are mandated to submit a list of systems, vulnerabilities and configuration issues to DHS every 30 days. The department then performs a "cyberscope audit" to ensure security, a responsibility the agency has had since 2010. learned of the lapse as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request submitted June 11. It is not clear if State Department officials in charge of compliance with the DHS audits knew of their boss's server, which has been shown to have included "top secret" information in emails. 
Clinton headed the agency from 2009-2013. The DHS established the "Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation" program in 2010, amid growing concerns government systems could be vulnerable to cyber attack. But Clinton's computer server, through which she and key aides sent and received tens of thousands of emails, was apparently never audited, according to DHS, which conducted a comprehensive search of Office of Cyber Security and Communications records after lodged its request. 
"Unfortunately, we were unable to locate or identify any responsive records," wrote Sandy Ford Page, chief of Freedom of Information Act operations for DHS. 
The revelation means DHS never audited Clinton's server, and the State Department allowed Clinton to operate outside the federal mandate aimed at hardening defenses in federal networks, one cyber expert told Fox News. 
The State Department has not provided a substantive response to a similar FOIA submitted by in early June. 
The State Department did not comment on media requests about why it did not comply with the DHS security review requirement. 
"There are reviews and investigations under way, including by the IG and Congress," said State Department Spokesman Alec Gerlach. "It would not be appropriate to comment on these matters at this time." 
Denver-based Platte River Networks upgraded and maintained the server Clinton shares with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, after she left the State Department. 
The company is not on the list of contractors approved by the Pentagon's Defense Security Service, the only federal agency with the authority to review and approve private contractors. The department administers the National Industrial Security Program on behalf of the Pentagon and 30 other federal agencies, including the State Department. About 13,000 companies have received clearance. 
"But Platte River is not one of them," a spokesman for the DSS told Fox News. "As Platte River Networks is not a cleared facility under the National Industrial Security Program, DSS has no cognizance over the facility and cannot comment further." 
Clinton, the leading contender for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, and the State Department have been under fire in recent months after it was revealed Clinton had a "homebrew" server and private Blackberry system that could have left classified or sensitive government data open to hackers. 
Clinton maintains her use of a private email server was allowed under government regulations and her system was secure. 
But this followed the news Clinton wiped her server of some 31,000 private email messages, turning over just 30,000 hard copies of her emails to the State Department amid a congressional investigation into her actions during the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, where four U.S. personnel including the U.S. ambassador to Libya were killed. 
While Clinton has maintained that she neither sent nor received information marked classified on her private server or Blackberry, Reuters reported last week that dozens of emails that passed through Clinton's server while she was secretary of state, under the U.S. government's own regulations, were automatically considered classified. 
That includes 30 email threads starting as early as 2009, which contained information on foreign governments, Reuters said. 
The FBI has opened an investigation to determine whether or not Clinton's private email server was secure and if classified material was improperly shared or stored on the Clintons' private email account. 
A federal court hearing last week only added to the intrigue. The State Department asserted in a court filing that it did not give personal electronic devices to Clinton and may have destroyed the smartphones of her top aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills. 
"If the State Department was not providing secure email devices to Mrs. Clinton, who was? Best Buy? Target? Mrs. Clinton clearly did whatever she wanted, without regard to national security or federal records keeping laws," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, who took the State Department to court over its lack of disclosure on the email and server issues.

Friday, August 21, 2015

[VIDEO] Hillary Campaign Defends Against Emails: It’s Fine, Trust Us

Hillary Clinton’s press secretary Brian Fallon released a video Friday responding to Tweets regarding Hillary’s private email server, saying John Boehner is “dead wrong” in asserting that Clinton is under criminal investigation.
Thursday, U.S. District Court judge Emmet Sullivan stated in regards to Hillary Clinton, “We wouldn’t be here today if this employee had followed government policy.”
Brian Fallon: When John Boehner tells you that Hillary Clinton is under criminal investigation for mishandling of classified emails, he is dead wrong. Number one, the Justice Department, itself has said that this is a noncriminal inquiry. Number two, Hillary Clinton herself is not the target. Number three, in every case that has surfaced to date, the State Department has said that none of the information was classified at the time it was sent.

Watchdog: Two National Security Laws Appear Broken in Clinton Email Scandal

Hillary aides refused judge’s order on returning documents
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Clinton and two aides appear to have violated two national security laws by sending classified information on a private email server, according to a former Army counterintelligence agent and investigator for a public interest law group.
Additionally, the two Clinton aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, disregarded a federal judge’s order this month requiring both to make sworn statements to the court that all government documents in their possession will be returned to federal officials, said Chris Farrell, director of investigations for Judicial Watch, the law group.
“What we have is a secretary of state, the only cabinet official in our history, who established her own private email server … in an effort to avoid the normal protocols for unclassified and classified communications. It’s an end run,” he said.
Farrell, in a briefing on the Clinton email affair at the Judicial Watch offices, said supporters of Clinton have sought to portray the use of the private email system to send classified information as a minor administrative matter.
“It is not,” he said. “It is a national security crime, and should be a national security crime investigation,” he said, noting that Clinton created the private email server a week before she took up her duties at Foggy Bottom, indicating that she planned to avoid using official email that must be stored under federal rules.
Two laws apply to the mishandling of classified data on unsecure networks, Farrell said.
The first is 18 USC Sec. 1924, which outlaws the unauthorized removal and storage of classified information. Penalties can include fines and imprisonment for up to one year.
That statute was used to prosecute retired Army General David Petraeus, a former CIA director who provided classified documents to his mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell. Petraeus was sentenced to two years’ probation and a $40,000 fine as part of a plea deal in March.
A second federal statute that prosecutors could use to charge Clinton and her aides is 18 USC Sec. 793, a more serious felony statute Farrell described as a “hammer.”
That law covers national defense information and people who misuse it to injure the United States or benefit a foreign power.
Those convicted of violating that law face fines and up to 10 years in prison.
Farrell said he that as an Army counterintelligence officer, he has conducted investigations in the past that are similar to the Clinton email probe. He also worked at a special security officer who was in charge of SCIFs—special facilities used for handling sensitive intelligence.
“When it comes the law on these, intent doesn’t matter,” Farrell said. Mishandling top-secret information should bring down the full weight of the law on violators, he said.
The Clinton email matter is a “serious national security crime issue,” Farrell said. “It’s not two agencies fighting over classification after the fact.”
Judicial Watch currently has 18 lawsuits pending against the State Department seeking access to records under the Freedom of Information Act.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Email Scandal Deepens: Surprise: State Department Can't Find BlackBerrys of Clinton's Closest Aides, Say They Were Probably Destroyed

Surprise: State Department Can't Find BlackBerrys of Clinton's Closest Aides, Say They Were Probably Destroyed - Katie Pavlich
Do old phone models get turned in, replaced and ultimately destroyed? Yes. Does it make a bad situation surrounding Hillary Clinton's wiped out personal email server look worse? Absolutely. 
According to a report published in The Hill late yesterday, BlackBerry devices belonging to Clinton's closest aides were likely destroyed. 
State Department BlackBerry devices issued to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's aides Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin have likely been destroyed or sold off, the department said in a court filing on Wednesday.

Mills and Abedin “were each issued BlackBerry devices,” department Executive Secretary Joseph Macmanus wrote in the filing.

The department, however, “has not located any such device,” and believes that they would have been destroyed or removed from the department's control.

“Because the devices issues to Ms. Mills and Ms. Abedin would have been outdated models, in accordance with standard operating procedures those devices would have been destroyed or excessed,” Macmanus added.

State Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed later on Wednesday afternoon that the two former officials’ devices were returned to the department after they left office.

“They belong to the United States government, and when you leave an agency you just turn it in,” Kirby said. “So yes, they were turned in. Where they are now I couldn’t begin to tell you.

“It’s also likely, because this was a while ago, that those devices may have been destroyed,” he added. “I don’t have the records of it because they were old and outmoded and often times we purchase new devices” in those circumstances.
And here's this little nugget:
In the same court filing, the State Department confirmed its previous claim that Clinton used a personal BlackBerry during her time in office that was not issued by the federal government. 
You know what that means? That Clinton was using an unsecure device, which contained top secret classified information, with an unsecure personal email system and server.
Last week we learned the personal server Hillary Clinton was forced to turn over the the FBI was wiped clean of data beforehand. The good news is, the FBI can recover at least some of what was erased.
Meanwhile, Clinton Press Secretary Brian Fallon is trying to argue that any classified information the former Secretary of State was in possession of was given to her as a "passive recipient of unwitting information."

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

[VIDEO] Is Hillary Above the Law?

Hillary Clinton decided when she took the office of Secretary of State that she was above the law.
Hillary knew that she was supposed to use a secure government controlled server for email and other communications, but she believed that she was part of an elite class of people who are not subject to the same laws as average Americans.
The Clintons are the political equivalent of royalty and Bill proved that he was above the law.
The Daily Mail put together an excellent time line of events in this developing scandal. A Romanian hacker named ‘Guccifer’ exposed screen shots of Clinton’s longtime confidant Sidney Blumenthal’s AOL email account in March of 2013 that contained emails from the Secretary of State.
Since that date, evidence is mounting of a Clinton cover up.
According to the Daily Mail time line, in June of 2013, Hillary shifted control of email domain to IT contractor and sent her original server hardware to a data center facility in New Jersey where it was erased. Erasing, or wiping, the hard drive shows that Hillary did not want anybody to second-guessing the way she handled her email that likely contained, what most people would consider, classified information.
The Associated Press reported on June 30, 2015, “senior Obama administration officials knew as early as 2009 that Hillary Rodham Clinton was using a private email address for her government correspondence.” This implicates others like former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Obama confidant David Axelrod.
According to the AP “the newly released emails show Clinton sent or received at least 12 messages in 2009 on her private email server that were later classified ‘confidential’ by the U.S. government. Those emails were censored because officials said they contained activities relating to the intelligence community, or had discussed the production and dissemination of U.S. intelligence information. At least two dozen emails were also marked ‘sensitive but unclassified’ at the time they were written, including a December 2009 message from top Clinton aide Huma Abedin about an explosion in Baghdad that killed 90.” This is strong evidence that Hillary is lying about her emailing of sensitive information.

Dems start to face reality: Hillary is a terrible candidate

HotAir — Politics, Culture, Media, 2015, Breaking News from a conservative viewpoint
We’ve been pointing that out for months, but Democrats can be forgiven for not taking our word for it. They may not be forgiven for putting all of their eggs in Hillary Clinton’s basket, though, after months of watching the presumed nominee proving that her fumble of a certain nomination in 2008 was no fluke. The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza hears from Democratsthat they’ve begun to see Hillary as an albatross, but with no other options on the horizon, they’re lost as to how to handle it:
Increasingly, Democrats — privately, of course — have begun to wonder whether the problem is not the campaign but the candidate.
“She has always been awkward and uninspiring on the stump,” said one senior Democratic consultant granted anonymity to candidly assess Clinton’s candidacy. “Hillary has Bill’s baggage and now her own as secretary of state — without Bill’s personality, eloquence or warmth.”
That same consultant added that he expected Clinton to easily win the Democratic nomination despite her weaknesses. “None of her primary opponents this time are Obama,” the consultant said. “Each lacks the skills, message and charisma to derail this train unless she implodes.”
But. “The general [election] is another question.”
The latest round of hand-wringing got an adrenaline-panic boost after Democrats watchedHillary’s attempt at stand-up comedy in Iowa. Making cracks about disappearing messages turned out not to be a winner, not even among the cheering sections:
That sentiment was echoed repeatedly in a series of conversations I had over the past few days with Democratic strategists and consultants not aligned with Clinton or her campaign. And it’s evident anecdotally as well. Clinton’s decision to make light of her e-mail problems — she joked that she liked Snapchat because the messages disappear automatically — during a speech at a Democratic event in Iowa over the weekend rubbed lots of people in the party the wrong way.
“The combination of messy facts, messy campaign operation and an awkward candidate reading terrible lines or worse jokes from a prompter is very scary,” admitted one unaligned senior Democratic operative. 
Apparently, none of the Democrats interviewed by Cillizza see Bernie Sanders as a viable option. Why not? He’s pulling massive crowds, not too dissimilar to Barack Obama eight years ago when Hillary tried this the first time. Presumably, they see the dangers of offering a declared socialist as the party’s standard-bearer without any of the mitigating rhetorical and demographic advantages that Obama brought to the party in 2007-8. Sanders might be drawing crowds now, but those crowds are not likely to change election outcomes — and Sanders’ hard-Left ideology will almost certainly lose voters in the middle.
That leaves Democrats with few options, but they’d better not look to Obama administration officials for a rescue. The latest developments from the State Department on Philippe Reines’ e-mails makes it clear that Hillary is not the alpha and omega of cover-ups in this administration,as I argue in my column today for The Week:
This is a really big deal. Until now, the transparency and honesty issue has focused solely on Hillary Clinton. However, by early 2013, Clinton had left the State Department. John Kerry had taken over as secretary of state. If the lack of transparency was limited to the State Department under Hillary Clinton’s direction, then why did it continue under Kerry — and in such an obviously clumsy way?
It is entirely possible, and frankly likely, that the lack of transparency didn’t start and end with Hillary Clinton, although she may have pushed it to the point of damaging national security. Though liberals are loathe to admit it, the Obama administration has too often suppressed transparency, be it the Department of Justice in the Operation Fast and Furious scandal or the IRS or now the State Department.
And because of that, Clinton’s scandal could stick to the two men getting the most mention as possible emergency replacements for her in the Democratic primary. John Kerry’s State Department seemed perfectly willing to hide Clinton’s potential issues from public oversight. How could he take the 2016 mantle from her? And if Joe Biden ran for president, the argument for his candidacy would explicitly rest on continuity from the Obama years — years in which those in power tried to manipulate courts and avoid legitimate oversight.
If this scandal gets any worse, Democrats may have no one left to rescue them from a disaster of their own making.
After the release of the video from this exchange with Black Lives Matter activists, expect that panic to increase exponentially.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

305 Hillary Clinton emails flagged for possibly classified information

The State Department, which is reviewing Hillary Clinton's emails from her tenure as secretary of state, has flagged 305 emails for further review to determine if they contain classified information.
In a court document filed Monday, the State Department said it would be able to meet a schedule for publicly releasing the Clinton emails, since just 305 -- or about 5 percent of the emails reviewed so far -- need further examination.
The agency is in the process of reviewing 30,000 emails for public release in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The flagged emails will be sent to the intelligence agencies from which the information in question originated for further review.
Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter on Friday to David Kendall, Clinton's private attorney, asking about his security clearance and his handling of Clinton's emails. Kendall was previously in possession of a thumb drive that held Clinton's emails.
Following the revelation that at least four of Clinton's emails should have been marked asclassified, Grassley wrote, "it appears the FBI has determined that your clearance is not sufficient to allow you to maintain custody of the emails."
Grassley asked Kendall to respond to a series of questions, such as, "Which government entity granted you and your associates a security clearance to be a custodian of Secretary Clinton's emails?

Monday, August 17, 2015

State Dept. turns up thousands of emails from top Clinton aide

State Dept. turns up thousands of emails from top Clinton aide | TheHill
State Department officials have uncovered thousands of emails between Philippe Reines, a top Hillary Clinton aide, and members of the media, they previously said did not exist.
In a court filing last Thursday, the State Department estimated that a recent search turned up more than 81,000 emails from Reines’s official account while at the State Department. And 17,855 potentially fall within a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by Gawker earlier this year.
That is a reversal from 2013, when the State Department said a thorough search turned up no responsive records for Gawker’s request. In 2012, Gawker requested all emails between Reines and reporters from 34 media outlets.
The State Department did not explain the reversal in the court document, nor did it return a request for comment.
It will begin releasing a tranche of Reines's emails by the end of September.
After it was revealed earlier this year that Clinton, and potentially some of her aides, used personal email accounts for official business, Gawker sued the State Department over its initial request for communications between Reines and reporters.
Gawker asserted the search must not have been exhaustive if it turned up no emails between the press and a State Department spokesman, who regularly communicated with the media.
In March, Reines said reporters would have to ask the State Department about the apparent discrepancy.
In last week’s court filing, the State Department estimated it would begin releasing some of those emails that do not fall within an exemption on Sept. 30. It will release more every 30 days as they are reviewed.
The agency said it does not know how many of the 17,855 are exempt from disclosure and will have to be redacted or handed over to other agencies for redaction. It said it is willing to negotiate with Gawker to narrow the scope of the request.
The emails at issue from Reines’s official State Department account are separate from the 20 boxes of emails from his personal account that he handed over to the State Department last month, related to the controversy about Clinton’s use of a private email account and server.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Clinton campaign Abedin's history at State Department poses liability for Clinton White House bid

Huma Abedin -- a close aide to Hillary Clinton at the State Department and now a top campaign official -- is facing more questions about her activities at the agency, causing potential problems for Clinton’s presidential bid.
A federal judge ordered the State Department to have Clinton, Abedin and Cheryl Mills, another Clinton aide when she was secretary of state, confirm they have turned over all government records and describe how they used Clinton’s private server to conduct official business.
They had until Friday to turn over the information “under penalty of perjury.”
Clinton is already facing questions about using the server and private email accounts while she was the country’s top diplomat from 2009 to 2013.
The former secretary of state has turned over about 55,000 pages of private emails but deleted those she deemed personal, resulting in voters increasingly doubting her trustworthiness, according to recent polls.
Some emails show the extent to which Clinton's closest aides managed the details of her image. Abedin, for example, sent her an early-morning message in August 2009 advising Clinton to "wear a dark color today. Maybe the new dark green suit. Or blue."
Clinton later held a joint news conference with the Jordanian foreign minister. She wore the green suit, according to The Associated Press.
Abedin has for months been facing scrutiny about being part of a controversial State Department program that allowed her to work part time at the agency and have a private sector job.
She went from full-time deputy chief of staff for Clinton to a part-timer, then started working for Teneo, a consulting firm led by former President Clinton aide Douglas Band.  
The agency’s inspector general’s office this spring confirmed an investigation on the matter and on email exchanges between Abedin and Clinton.
Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has since 2013 led the effort to learn more about Abedin’s time at the State Department.
Via: Fox News
Continue Reading....

Friday, August 7, 2015

[EDITORIAL] Jailtime For IRS' Political Hacks

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen testifies on Capitol Hill on June 2, 2015.  AP
Corruption: After a year's stalling by the IRS, the Senate Finance Committee has released its bipartisan report, denouncing the tax-collection agency's partisanship and incompetence. When are these people going to jail?
The Senate report wasn't entirely satisfactory, given that its criticism was primarily in the compromise language of "gross mismanagement" to describe the agency's targeting of Tea Party dissident groups.

Using legal technicalities to silence and repress political dissent under the color of the nation's most feared enforcement agency isn't mismanagement. It's a crime.

It's incompatible with democracy and it shatters public confidence in the rule of law. It's the very crime the State Department is now condemning in Venezuela: the use of legal technicalities to halt popular opposition candidates from running for office. Until now, this kind of activity has had no precedent in our country, and it must be stopped before it becomes the standard.

This is far from mere incompetence or gross mismanagement. It was a highly competent operation to silence dissent. Yet no one has been sanctioned or punished, despite there being laws on the books dating back to the beginning of a professional civil service, that forbid and punish partisan motives in what should be impartial law. Already some observers believe the IRS swung the last election for the Democrats with these activities.

Not only did the IRS target Tea Party groups with unconscionable delays and intrusive questions, it went for their families, too. Young Bristol Palin learned yesterday that just being the daughter of former Alaska Gov. and Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin put her in the IRS' sights. Sarah Palin's father was targeted, too.

The agency also obstructed justice, first falsely claiming that its illegal targeting was only the work of rogue agents in its Cincinnati office. Then, as that lie fell apart, IRS moved to destroy evidence in the thousands of missing emails on IRS tax exempt organizations chief Lois Lerner's computer. Conveniently for them, it was declared lost forever in a hard drive crash — until it wasn't.

Now it's relying on its allies in the Senate and among anti-Tea Party Democrats in the House for cover, having them declare it incompetence, not a crime.

Allies? Yes. IRS top executive John Koskinen is a major financial contributor to Democrat campaigns, having donated nearly $100,000 to Democrats since 1979. And the National Treasury Employees Union, the IRS agents' union, is an even more notable donor to Democrats, with 94% of its members donating to leftists, and the 150,000-strong union itself endorsing Obama for president both in 2008 and 2012.

Lerner herself called Tea Party members "crazies" and spewed other anti-GOP insults in her emails.

To say that the IRS didn't have an interest in repressing dissent and was just unwittingly incompetent is ridiculous. IRS bureaucrats saw an illicit advantage for their Democrat friends — and wrongly took it.

That's illegal, and it demands a strong response from the law if the agency ever expects to recover public confidence. If it doesn't care enough about that, well, then what difference is there between the U.S. and a lawless banana republic?

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