Benghazibabeatclintonemaildotcom

You can say this about the Clintons; they fill our desire for drama in the annual breaks between episodes of TV serials. “Downton Abbey” ends for the season and Clinton Follies is on tap again as the New York Times reports as old news, something known for at least two years: Hillary never used the Department of State’s official email account 

If you’ve been busy leading a full and rich life and missed this week’s excitement here it is in a nutshell: on the day of her confirmation hearing for the position of secretary of state, Hillary Clinton set up an internet server in her home (purchased under an apparent pseudonym “Eric Hoteham”). Perhaps the domain was even run out of two commercial web hosting firms, instead of the home server: 

For her entire term at the department she exclusively used this unprotected email server, utilizing at last count about 9 different email addresses for all her Internet communications. These entire addresses end in clintonemail@com, which signaled to anyone reading the message that this was not sent on a government server.

This tactic allowed her to avoid disclosure of her correspondence to Freedom of Information Act and other document production requests, including Congressional inquiries.

Can she claim she didn’t know this violated Federal laws and regulations requiring this correspondence be kept where it can be archived and, if required, disclosed? Hardly. All officials are routinely warned about such things. In fact, she ordered our ambassador to Kenya fired for failing to use a government server for his communications.

In connection with Congressional hearings the department was asked to provide her email correspondence and, so the story goes, they had none, so Hillary had her staff go through her records and late last year provided 50,000 emails, and claimed others might be found in the recipients’ files.

There is also little doubt, given this functional definition, that e-mail has been covered by the Federal Records Act since its adoption by the federal government during the Clinton administration. As Ian Tuttle correctly notes, the State Department’s own manual has plainly provided, since 1995, that e-mail records must be preserved under the Federal Records Act.

[snip]

Best practices have always been that an employee using a private account for government business has to either print the e-mail (which rarely happens) or copy or forward the e-mail to the employee’s official government e-mail account for preservation. Those practices, which reflected the law as it existed before Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state, were codified by National Archives Regulations in 2009, which required that any records created on private e-mail accounts must be saved to the federal-records system. And Congress confirmed that in 2013, by adopting a prohibition on the use of private e-mail, unless the employee forwards to or copies an official e-mail account within 60 days of the record’s creation. But Mrs. Clinton did something here that went well beyond occasional or incidental use of private e-mail accounts. She eschewed the use of an official account entirely, and deliberately established a private e-mail account, apparently maintained on a server in the Clintons’ New York home. As a result, her e-mails were at no time during her tenure in office subject to the Federal Records Act. (She provided some of the e-mails only after she left office, and only when the Department of State asked for them back.) As our friends at Judicial Watch will no doubt remind everyone, there were plenty of Freedom of Information Act requests that would have implicated her e-mails. But they were never searched, even though a reasonable search of all responsive federal records must be made in response to FOIA requests. And the records would have been relevant to congressional inquiries as well, including continuing investigations of the Benghazi attacks. Why does that matter? Well, a federal criminal law makes it a felony when any custodian of official government records “willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same.” The crime is punishable by up to three years in prison. And interestingly, Congress felt strongly enough about the crime that it included the unusual provision that the perpetrator shall “forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.”

(See also)

This was not merely a failure to follow the rules. It created serious national security issues, devastatingly I should think for a candidate who seems to be planning a campaign around two themes:

(1) I am a grandmother/woman and

(2) I am knowledgeable on foreign affairs and tough on defense .

Not only was this insecure form of communication hackable, but it was in fact hacked by “Guccifer”, a  Romanian  who widely distributed what he found two years ago:

Armed with confidential memos to Hillary Clinton that were stolen from the e-mail account of a former White House aide, a hacker has distributed some of the documents to a wide array of congressional aides, political figures, and journalists worldwide.

In a series of weekend e-mail blasts, the hacker known as “Guccifer” disseminated four recent memos to Clinton from Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime confidant of the former Secretary of State.

The 64-year-old Blumenthal, who worked as a senior White House adviser to President Bill Clinton, had his AOL e-mail account hacked last week by “Guccifer,”

[snip]

The hacker’s e-mails went to hundreds of recipients, though the distribution lists were dotted with addresses for aides to Senate and House members who are no longer in office. But many of the addresses to which the Blumenthal memos were sent are good

[snip]

Most of the e-mail recipients were sent four separate memos that were e-mailed to Clinton by Blumenthal during the past five months. Each memo dealt with assorted developments in Libya, including the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi. One memo marked “Confidential” was sent to Clinton on September 12.

Blumenthal’s memos and e-mails to Clinton were sent to her at a non-governmental e-mail address through the web domain "clintonemail.com."

As TSG reported last week, after Blumenthal’s e-mail account was compromised, the hacker searched it for e-mails sent to Clinton, and further sorted the mail to segregate any attachment -- like Word files -- that were included in Blumenthal’s correspondence to Clinton. Many of these pilfered documents were memos to Clinton on foreign policy and intelligence matters.

It’s unclear what other emails are in Guccifer’s hands and when and whether he will release them. Nor is it clear that Guccifer is the only person who hacked the email accounts or that their intentions are at all benign.

Whatever her motivations for such a blatant disregard for the law -- and I think it’s a combination of her need to control and her belief she is above the law -- she seems to have seriously compromised our security.

Already there are signs that this is hurting her public image:

Will she face criminal charges? Unlikely. With the current attorney general an Obama appointee it is beyond imagining that this administration would prosecute her, the wife of such a popular ex-president. Though her staffers who knew and set up and used this account may be vulnerable and I advise them to find counsel pronto. Congressman Trey Gowdy has already subpoenaed the records of Hillary and her longtime close aide Huma Abedin who also had an account at this domain. And certainly both women should be concerned that he has in his possession emails of which they are unaware against which to test the thoroughness of their submissions.

Still Andrew McCarthy raises some interesting questions about Gowdy’s role in this:

Gowdy let something else slip while unburdening himself to Politico: he and his committee have known since last summer that Mrs. Clinton conducted business by private e-mail. So what you’re just finding out now, Gowdy has known for at least six months. So what did he do about it? According to Politico, “He said the committee has worked with Clinton advisers and the department to gain access to documents relating to the Benghazi attacks.” Fabulous! Gowdy just got finished railing about how Clinton used private e-mail precisely to avoid the government-mandated paper trail. So what’s he been doing about it for six months? Discussing the matter with Clinton’s loyal staffers -- i.e., people who helped her carry out the scheme -- and with the State Department -- i.e., the people he just got done telling you have neither the relevant e-mails nor access to them. That’s it: no subpoenas, no hearings, no nothing. Just as Mrs. Clinton did not turn over any of her private e-mails until the State Department finally asked for them, Gowdy, by his own account, did not issue a subpoena to address a scandal he has long known about until the scandal became public. That in itself is a scandal.

This inaction only fuels suspicions that the Republicans soft-pedal the Benghazi scandal because they were fully aware of what Hillary was engaged in with Ambassador Stevens in Libya and want to avoid disclosure of that.

Some have gone so far as to suggest that the administration is attacking Clinton by leaking this information now, right after it leaked that an indictment for corruption against Senator Robert Menendez is forthcoming just days after he publicly criticized the administration’s Iran policy, because they fear she will distance herself from Obama’s policies in her campaign. I find this far-fetched, although Valerie Jarrett and others seem to be hanging Hillary out to dry on this one.

Perhaps with this hanging over her head, Clinton had it leaked to the New York Times so she could -- she thought -- timely spin it out of consideration of low information and short-memory voters. The Clinton tactic of delaying coming clean for ages and then when the bombs burst, brushing the scandal aside as “old news” is well known. There certainly was evidence of some coordination between her and the Times. Having elevated old news this week, days later that paper reported she’d tweeted she was going to release all her emails before she actually did tweet that. 

Maybe they hacked into her email accounts, too.

You can say this about the Clintons; they fill our desire for drama in the annual breaks between episodes of TV serials. “Downton Abbey” ends for the season and Clinton Follies is on tap again as the New York Times reports as old news, something known for at least two years: Hillary never used the Department of State’s official email account 

If you’ve been busy leading a full and rich life and missed this week’s excitement here it is in a nutshell: on the day of her confirmation hearing for the position of secretary of state, Hillary Clinton set up an internet server in her home (purchased under an apparent pseudonym “Eric Hoteham”). Perhaps the domain was even run out of two commercial web hosting firms, instead of the home server: 

For her entire term at the department she exclusively used this unprotected email server, utilizing at last count about 9 different email addresses for all her Internet communications. These entire addresses end in clintonemail@com, which signaled to anyone reading the message that this was not sent on a government server.

This tactic allowed her to avoid disclosure of her correspondence to Freedom of Information Act and other document production requests, including Congressional inquiries.

Can she claim she didn’t know this violated Federal laws and regulations requiring this correspondence be kept where it can be archived and, if required, disclosed? Hardly. All officials are routinely warned about such things. In fact, she ordered our ambassador to Kenya fired for failing to use a government server for his communications.

In connection with Congressional hearings the department was asked to provide her email correspondence and, so the story goes, they had none, so Hillary had her staff go through her records and late last year provided 50,000 emails, and claimed others might be found in the recipients’ files.

There is also little doubt, given this functional definition, that e-mail has been covered by the Federal Records Act since its adoption by the federal government during the Clinton administration. As Ian Tuttle correctly notes, the State Department’s own manual has plainly provided, since 1995, that e-mail records must be preserved under the Federal Records Act.

[snip]

Best practices have always been that an employee using a private account for government business has to either print the e-mail (which rarely happens) or copy or forward the e-mail to the employee’s official government e-mail account for preservation. Those practices, which reflected the law as it existed before Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state, were codified by National Archives Regulations in 2009, which required that any records created on private e-mail accounts must be saved to the federal-records system. And Congress confirmed that in 2013, by adopting a prohibition on the use of private e-mail, unless the employee forwards to or copies an official e-mail account within 60 days of the record’s creation. But Mrs. Clinton did something here that went well beyond occasional or incidental use of private e-mail accounts. She eschewed the use of an official account entirely, and deliberately established a private e-mail account, apparently maintained on a server in the Clintons’ New York home. As a result, her e-mails were at no time during her tenure in office subject to the Federal Records Act. (She provided some of the e-mails only after she left office, and only when the Department of State asked for them back.) As our friends at Judicial Watch will no doubt remind everyone, there were plenty of Freedom of Information Act requests that would have implicated her e-mails. But they were never searched, even though a reasonable search of all responsive federal records must be made in response to FOIA requests. And the records would have been relevant to congressional inquiries as well, including continuing investigations of the Benghazi attacks. Why does that matter? Well, a federal criminal law makes it a felony when any custodian of official government records “willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same.” The crime is punishable by up to three years in prison. And interestingly, Congress felt strongly enough about the crime that it included the unusual provision that the perpetrator shall “forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.”

(See also)

This was not merely a failure to follow the rules. It created serious national security issues, devastatingly I should think for a candidate who seems to be planning a campaign around two themes:

(1) I am a grandmother/woman and

(2) I am knowledgeable on foreign affairs and tough on defense .

Not only was this insecure form of communication hackable, but it was in fact hacked by “Guccifer”, a  Romanian  who widely distributed what he found two years ago:

Armed with confidential memos to Hillary Clinton that were stolen from the e-mail account of a former White House aide, a hacker has distributed some of the documents to a wide array of congressional aides, political figures, and journalists worldwide.

In a series of weekend e-mail blasts, the hacker known as “Guccifer” disseminated four recent memos to Clinton from Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime confidant of the former Secretary of State.

The 64-year-old Blumenthal, who worked as a senior White House adviser to President Bill Clinton, had his AOL e-mail account hacked last week by “Guccifer,”

[snip]

The hacker’s e-mails went to hundreds of recipients, though the distribution lists were dotted with addresses for aides to Senate and House members who are no longer in office. But many of the addresses to which the Blumenthal memos were sent are good

[snip]

Most of the e-mail recipients were sent four separate memos that were e-mailed to Clinton by Blumenthal during the past five months. Each memo dealt with assorted developments in Libya, including the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi. One memo marked “Confidential” was sent to Clinton on September 12.

Blumenthal’s memos and e-mails to Clinton were sent to her at a non-governmental e-mail address through the web domain "clintonemail.com."

As TSG reported last week, after Blumenthal’s e-mail account was compromised, the hacker searched it for e-mails sent to Clinton, and further sorted the mail to segregate any attachment -- like Word files -- that were included in Blumenthal’s correspondence to Clinton. Many of these pilfered documents were memos to Clinton on foreign policy and intelligence matters.

It’s unclear what other emails are in Guccifer’s hands and when and whether he will release them. Nor is it clear that Guccifer is the only person who hacked the email accounts or that their intentions are at all benign.

Whatever her motivations for such a blatant disregard for the law -- and I think it’s a combination of her need to control and her belief she is above the law -- she seems to have seriously compromised our security.

Already there are signs that this is hurting her public image:

Will she face criminal charges? Unlikely. With the current attorney general an Obama appointee it is beyond imagining that this administration would prosecute her, the wife of such a popular ex-president. Though her staffers who knew and set up and used this account may be vulnerable and I advise them to find counsel pronto. Congressman Trey Gowdy has already subpoenaed the records of Hillary and her longtime close aide Huma Abedin who also had an account at this domain. And certainly both women should be concerned that he has in his possession emails of which they are unaware against which to test the thoroughness of their submissions.

Still Andrew McCarthy raises some interesting questions about Gowdy’s role in this:

Gowdy let something else slip while unburdening himself to Politico: he and his committee have known since last summer that Mrs. Clinton conducted business by private e-mail. So what you’re just finding out now, Gowdy has known for at least six months. So what did he do about it? According to Politico, “He said the committee has worked with Clinton advisers and the department to gain access to documents relating to the Benghazi attacks.” Fabulous! Gowdy just got finished railing about how Clinton used private e-mail precisely to avoid the government-mandated paper trail. So what’s he been doing about it for six months? Discussing the matter with Clinton’s loyal staffers -- i.e., people who helped her carry out the scheme -- and with the State Department -- i.e., the people he just got done telling you have neither the relevant e-mails nor access to them. That’s it: no subpoenas, no hearings, no nothing. Just as Mrs. Clinton did not turn over any of her private e-mails until the State Department finally asked for them, Gowdy, by his own account, did not issue a subpoena to address a scandal he has long known about until the scandal became public. That in itself is a scandal.

This inaction only fuels suspicions that the Republicans soft-pedal the Benghazi scandal because they were fully aware of what Hillary was engaged in with Ambassador Stevens in Libya and want to avoid disclosure of that.

Some have gone so far as to suggest that the administration is attacking Clinton by leaking this information now, right after it leaked that an indictment for corruption against Senator Robert Menendez is forthcoming just days after he publicly criticized the administration’s Iran policy, because they fear she will distance herself from Obama’s policies in her campaign. I find this far-fetched, although Valerie Jarrett and others seem to be hanging Hillary out to dry on this one.

Perhaps with this hanging over her head, Clinton had it leaked to the New York Times so she could -- she thought -- timely spin it out of consideration of low information and short-memory voters. The Clinton tactic of delaying coming clean for ages and then when the bombs burst, brushing the scandal aside as “old news” is well known. There certainly was evidence of some coordination between her and the Times. Having elevated old news this week, days later that paper reported she’d tweeted she was going to release all her emails before she actually did tweet that. 

Maybe they hacked into her email accounts, too.