Hillary turns over email server to DoJ as 'top secret' emails found
Hillary Clinton's attorney turned over her personal email server to the Department of Justice yesterday amid questions about at least 7 emails in Clinton's possession containing classified information.
At least two of the emails were classified as "top secret" despite Clinton's longtime denial that any classified material was ever stored in the server.
Two separate investigations into the email controversy are muddying the waters, as the State Department inspector general and intelligence community IG are viewing the email scandal from two different perspectives. The intel community wants to know if any classified information was compromised. The State Department is trying to respond to FOIA requests, specifically from Judicial Watch, as well as investigate who was using the private server among Clinton aides and hand over email communications that survive to the appropriate congressional committee.
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s attorney has agreed to provide the FBI with the private server that housed her e-mail during her four years as secretary of state, Clinton’s presidential campaign said Tuesday.
Her attorney also has agreed to give agents a thumb drive containing copies of thousands of e-mails that Clinton had previously turned over to the State Department.
The FBI has been looking into the security of Clinton’s unusual private system, which has emerged as an issue in her campaign amid growing questions from Republicans and some U.S. intelligence officials about whether government secrets might have been put at risk.
The development in the FBI inquiry came the same day that a top intelligence official whose office has been reviewing some of Clinton’s e-mails informed congressional leaders that top-secret information had been contained in two e-mails that traveled across the server.
The finding, contained in a letter sent to leaders of key oversight committees, marked the first indication from government officials that information regarded as top secret — the government’s highest category of security designation — may have passed across Clinton’s server while she led the State Department.
A State Department spokesman late Tuesday described the top-secret designation as a recommendation and said they had not been marked classified at the time, but said staffers “circulated these e-mails on unclassified systems in 2009 and 2011 and ultimately some were forwarded to Secretary Clinton.”
Nick Merrill, a Clinton spokesman, said Tuesday night that Clinton is cooperating with the FBI probe. He declined to say whether the FBI ordered that she turn over the devices and when her attorney, David Kendall, had done so.
“She directed her team to give her e-mail server that was used during her tenure as secretary to the Department of Justice, as well as a thumb drive containing copies of her e-mails already provided to the State Department,” Merrill said. “She pledged to cooperate with the government’s security inquiry, and if there are more questions, we will continue to address them.”
Has Clinton already committed perjury? Hillary certified to a federal judge on Sunday that all emails in her possession had been turned over to the State Department. You have to wonder if they can recover any emails from the server and, if they can, why Clinton didn't make a more substantial effort to do so.
The real story here might be emails in possession of Clinton's top aides, especially Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills. Abedin had an account on Clinton's private server, while Mills apparently didn't.
Administration officials and Clinton aides have declined to provide a full list of which aides used personal email for government business or who might have had an email account on Clinton’s personal server.
Clinton acknowledged that Huma Abedin, her deputy chief of staff and one of Clinton’s closest confidants, had an account on her personal server in a sworn affidavit filed Monday in a Freedom of Information lawsuit seeking State Department records.
Clinton’s affidavit was her first disclosure that any of her former aides used personal accounts or accounts on her personal server to conduct business. Clinton said that her chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, did not have an account on the server.
Mills, Jake Sullivan, also a deputy chief of staff, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philippe Reines have turned over records to the State Department, including personal emails, in response to a subpoena by the House committee investigating the fatal attacks in Benghazi, Libya in 2012, according to the State Department.
Mills had planned to delete her emails after submitting them to the State Department, according to an Aug. 6 letter from her attorney to the State Department submitted as evidence in the Freedom of Information suit by Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest group that also has sued the State Department seeking Clinton aides’ emails. Her attorneys planned to keep a copy.
But U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is presiding over the suit, issued an order Friday instructing the State Department to direct Clinton, Mills and Abedin not to destroy any records.
Reines and Sullivan did not respond to messages nor did attorneys for Mills and Abedin.
The Justice Department insists that Clinton is not under investigation, although you have to scratch your head over that one. How can you investigate the email controversy without investigating the principal? Also, this notion that the information in the emails was not classified at the time but is classified now is weird. You would think it would be the other way around: classified info released following declassification. But in this case, information is being classified after the fact.
The overall picture is getting cloudier and cloudier, but one thing is certain: the scandal is dragging Hillary Clinton's numbers down to the point were her main rival for the nomination – Bernie Sanders – has vaulted ahead of her in New Hampshire:
Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has rocketed past longtime front-runner Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, a stunning turn in a race once considered a lock for the former secretary of state, a new Franklin Pierce University/Boston Herald poll shows.
Sanders leads Clinton 44-37 percent among likely Democratic primary voters, the first time the heavily favored Clinton has trailed in the 2016 primary campaign, according to the poll of 442 Granite-Staters.
Vice President Joe Biden got 9 percent support in the test primary match-up. The other announced Democrats in the race, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee and former Virginia Gov. Jim Webb, barely register at 1 percent or below.
These two stories connect in a way that has got to worry the Clinton camp. The more revelations that come out about the email scandal, the farther her numbers drop. The professional politicians in the Democratic party are scared witless about a Sanders nomination, given that he is far out of the mainstream on foreign and domestic policy, which makes a Biden run all the more likely.
Imagine: Joe Biden – Democratic party savior.
Clinton could still right the ship, but unless she shows more political acumen than she has demonstrated in the past, that will probably not happen.
Thomas Lifson adds:
Hillary is foundering, starting to sink. Public Policy Polling, which leans left, finds her losing Iowa, a swing state, to four Republicans. Niall Stannage in The Hill:
The Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released Tuesday showed Clinton getting the worse of match-ups against GOP candidates Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and retired surgeon Dr. Ben Carson.
The results are likely to be of particular concern to Democrats given that President Obama carried the Hawkeye State during both of his election victories, in 2008 and 2012. Clinton is the dominant front-runner in the race for the Democratic nomination, while Republicans are locked in a dogfight.
Other polls show Clinton well ahead in Iowa of her rivals for the Democratic nomination, but the new survey is likely to add to the sense that Clinton could be vulnerable in a general election battle.
With the incredibly weak Democrat bench, I have got to wonder what is going on inside Elizabeth Warren’s head.