In long past blogs, I have been arguing that the former Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton’s supposed email scandal, based on when she served in this post from 2009-2013, was blown way out of proportion to what it should have been. While it was a news worthy story, the amount of coverage was way over the top. AND then it was fueled by the news media frequently printing headline stories about her emails, in collusion with Russia’s and WikiLeaks’ well timed leaks of stolen emails regarding Mrs. Clinton and other democratic officials, without the appropriate context and/ or caveat of how the material was obtained. These were news items which constantly haunted the democratic candidate Mrs. Clinton throughout her 2015-2016 presidential campaign.
It didn’t help that the democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton initially avoided the press when pressed with questions by reporters about the email issue, and then when she did try to explain, she never presented an easy to understand accounting of what and how her emails were handled.
The Clinton email debacle propped up again at the 5/2/17 US Senate Intelligence hearing where the senators were asking questions of the FBI Director James Comey over his gratuitous statement that some of the newly discovered Hillary Clinton’s emails which was the basis of his October 28, 2016 controversial letter, included classified material (100S OF THOUSANDS) which had been sent by Mrs. Clinton’s aid to her husband, Anthony Weiner’s computer. This comment invoked inquiries by the senators as to why this wasn’t considered criminal activity.
Later on 5/8/17, the FBI issued a letter that the FBI Director James Comey had in fact, mispoke. As per a 5/8/17 ProPublica article by Peter Elkind, “The (FBI) bureau addressed the matter in a two-page letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee from its congressional liaison, explaining that it was “intended to supplement” Comey’s testimony, by providing “the full context of what was reviewed and found on the laptop. In it, the FBI acknowledged that only a “small number” of more than 49,000 “potentially relevant” emails found on Weiner’s laptop had been forwarded from Clinton deputy Huma Abedin to Weiner, her husband, not hundreds or thousands as Comey had stated. The FBI said just 2 of those messages contained classified information.”
Here is the rest of the story…
What the FBI Director Comey has never explained well to anyone’s satisfaction, is how the system works within the state department. If I could request just one thing of news reporters and /or US House representatives, it would be for them to find and interview a current or recently separated state department employee, to verify for themselves what the real story is regarding the Clinton’s email saga.
The mail, data, whatever correspondence comes into the state department is reviewed and then separated by experienced eyes into classified data and non classified material. This is why documents, as per standard procedure, require the heading “CLASSIFIED,” at the top in bold letters.
THE NON CLASSIFIED MATERIAL is what the former secretary of state and her aid were dealing with through whatever computer system was used at the state department for non classified data. Nothing they received, responded to or forwarded, was supposed to be of a classified nature.
And if an audit were to be done before Hillary Clinton took office (2009-2013) and afterwards, there would be similar number of mistakes as what Director Comey reported for Mrs. Clinton’s work product. There would still be classified data slipping through with the non classified material that should have been appropriately separated out and marked “classified” at the start. That is why a small percentage of these documents are retroactively marked as “classified.”
What Mr. Comey discovered after reviewing all of her emails was about 110 out of thousands that should have been marked “classified’ and 3 which were not headed with the word “classified” at the top of the page but there was a “C” in the body of the document.
This is why, the FBI Director Comey was never in a position to prove INTENT TO PASS CLASSIFIED DATA to anyone not cleared to view it, which is a requisite standard to criminally charge anyone. The question he should be asked, is what steps has his office and/ or the state department have taken to improve the state department’s rate of accuracy in dividing correspondence between that which is classified and that which isn’t?
Incidentally, the government server that Secretary Hillary Clinton and her aid were expected to use was not a secure system and never has been. Also, it has been hacked successfully on more than one occasion in recent times, including by the Russians.
And contrary to the FBI Director Comey’s assertions, I can state with 100% confidence that the Russians did not hack into Mrs. Clinton’s private server, because they definitely would have shared her personal emails if they had possession of them. Those emails have never been produced which is absolute proof that they did not penetrate her private server.
Plus, at the time when Mrs. Clinton was serving as secretary of state from 2009-2013, nothing was codified into law until late 2014, which would have prevented her from using a private server. as her predecessors have admitted to doing. Thus, the only way, the FBI Director Comey could have criminally charged Mrs. Clinton, is if she ever lied to the FBI, which of course, she did not.
As per an 11/7/16 ABC News report, “President Obama signed the Federal Records Act into law in late November 2014, requiring the head of each agency (including the state department) to “make and preserve records containing adequate and proper documentation of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures and essential transactions of the agency.”
THIS BLOG WAS UPDATED ON 5/10/17.