Clinton Emails
October 19, 2019

Three years later and the results are in.

In a letter sent to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) earlier this week, which was released Friday, the State Department said it found "no pervasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information" after wrapping up its internal investigation launched in 2016 related to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of private email during her tenure.

That appears to be mostly good news for Clinton and the Department, but the investigators did, however, determine that 38 unidentified current and former State Department officials were "culpable" in 91 cases of sending classified information that ended up in Clinton's personal email, meaning the use of private email did increase the vulnerability of such information.

Any of the 38 officials still working for the State Department could reportedly face some form of disciplinary action, while the violations will be noted in the files of all 38, and will be considered when applying for or renewing security clearances. All in all, the investigation covered 33,000 emails and found 588 violations, though it could not assign fault in 497 cases. Read more at The Associated Press and The Guardian. Tim O'Donnell

December 30, 2017

The State Department on Friday published about 2,800 work-related emails from Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's top aide during her tenure as secretary of state and on the campaign trail.

Abedin's messages were sent from a private email address and were found on a laptop belonging to her husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), with whom she has filed for divorce. Weiner's computer was searched by the FBI as part of an investigation into his lewd messages sent to an underage girl, for which he is now in prison. Five of the emails include redacted classified information.

Publication was prompted by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought by a conservative organization called Judicial Watch. The lawsuit seeks "all emails of official State Department business received or sent by former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin from January 1, 2009 through February 1, 2013 using a non-'' email address." Bonnie Kristian

November 13, 2016

In a call with donors Saturday, Hillary Clinton blamed her loss on FBI Director James Comey, who sent a letter to Congress 11 days before the election reopening his agency's investigation into her use of a private email server while secretary of state based on the discovery of new emails.

"There are lots of reasons why an election like this is not successful," Clinton said, and "our analysis is that Comey's letter raising doubts that were groundless, baseless, proven to be, stopped our momentum."

Worse than the initial letter, Clinton said, was the second letter Comey sent two days before the election saying no new evidence justifying prosecution had been found, news she argued undecided voters interpreted as evidence for Donald Trump's allegations of a rigged system. In the run-up to the election, conventional wisdom suggested the second letter — if it arrived in time — would be to Clinton's advantage, not her detriment. Bonnie Kristian

November 8, 2016

After "an edifying weeklong orgy of media speculation" about Hillary Clinton's emails, FBI Director James Comey said there was nothing relevant in the newly discovered trove, Samantha Bee sighed on Monday's Full Frontal. The pundits declared that Clinton still has a "cloud of suspicion" over her head, and Bee was not amused, saying in the clip's one NSFW moment: "Oh for f—'s sake, you created the cloud! Don't let one off in our nation's elevator and say, 'Who did that? Was it Hillary?'"

"You want to talk about emails instead of policy? Fine, let's do it," Bee said. "Thanks to a heroic transparency fetishist who refuses to tell Swedish authorities whether or not he raped someone, we already know what Hillary's staff used email for," she said, and thanks to WikiLeaks and also FOIA requests, we've also seen Hillary's. What's in them? "We looked," Bee said. "About a million of them are just Hillary and Huma emailing 'U up?' to each other — they clearly don't know what that means, which makes me doubt Huma ever opened up her husband's laptop. We were a little scandalized to learn that Hillary can't use a printer," she added.

"But what about shady emails showing Hillary doing special favors for people? Oh, we found them," Bee said, noting the one where Clinton sought to help a 10-year-old Yemeni girl. "Typical Hillary — still pandering to the child-bride vote," she deadpanned. "Thanks to WikiLeaks, we discovered the real Hillary — a somewhat tech-averse workaholic who wants people to have medicine and wants her staff to print out this television show for her, large font please. And now, here to perform her one-woman show, Hillary's Emails: Yes I Am Up, please welcome Full Frontal's best new intern, Sarah Paulson." That would be the actress from Orange is the New Black and American Horror Story. You can watch her riveting performance below. Peter Weber

November 7, 2016

On Sunday, 10 days after upending the 2016 presidential race by informing Congress that the FBI found new emails potentially "pertinent" to the Hillary Clinton email investigation, FBI Director James Comey said never mind, telling Congress that after reviewing "all the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state," the FBI has "not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July," when Comey had said no reasonable prosecutor would indict Clinton. Donald Trump, who has been saying on the campaign trail that the new emails would certainly lead to criminal charges, took a new tack after Comey's announcement.

Clinton is "being protected by a rigged system," Trump said at a rally in Michigan. "You can't review 650,000 new emails in eight days. You can't do it, folks."

Trump doesn't use a computer, so maybe he gets a pass. But Trump wasn't the only one touting the idea that computers at America's top domestic law enforcement agency can't check text at a rate of more than 1 email per second. Bernard Kerik, a former New York City police commissioner, and retired Gen. Michael Flynn, a top Trump adviser and former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, had remarkably similar responses:

So, how long should it take? Your laptop could analyze those emails in minutes or hours, according to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden:

The idea that it's not particularly time-consuming to check 650,000 searchable electronic documents shouldn't have been much of a surprise to anyone who has searched through their own email inbox, or used Google.

As it turns out, a "senior law enforcement official" told NBC News, nearly all of the pertinent emails on the laptop shared by Anthony Weiner and Clinton aide Huma Abedin were duplicates of those already seen by the FBI, and the handful that were new were unrelated to government business. Peter Weber

November 6, 2016

FBI Director James Comey said in a letter to the House Intelligence Committee Sunday that after examination of all the relevant new emails from Hillary Clinton's private server uncovered in connection to the investigation of former Congressman Anthony Weiner's sexting scandal, the bureau has uncovered no evidence leading it to alter its July decision to recommend no criminal charges against Clinton.

The FBI had to sort through some 650,000 messages found on Weiner's laptop to reach this conclusion, leading some to fear that they could not be reviewed by Election Day and that Comey's decision to reopen the Clinton investigation was merely a political ploy.

Read the whole letter below. Bonnie Kristian

November 1, 2016

On Monday afternoon — after CNBC reported that FBI Director James Comey had urged the U.S. not to publicly disclose Russia's meddling in the U.S. election a month out from Election Day — Hillary Clinton's campaign said Comey appeared to have at least two sets of standards for what constitutes need-to-know news.

"Director Comey has made it known that he felt that he owed the information about the emails to Congress, but he has no problem depriving information to the American people, Sen. Harry Reid, and to House members who have been inquiring about Russia's attacks on our elections and our democracy," Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said on a conference call with reporters. "It is impossible to view this as anything less than a blatant double standard." Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon said Comey has "set a standard for narrating a play-by-play for matters involving Hilary Clinton," but not Russian hacking of Democratic groups, and he "owes the public an explanation for this inconsistency."

Comey has faced criticism from Democrats, Republicans, legal experts, and former Justice Department officials for breaking protocol and longstanding practice by commenting on a nascent investigation, especially involving a candidate in an election only about a week away. But he won over Donald Trump, who said at a rally Monday in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that "it took a lot of guts" for Comey to publicly disclose the potentially new emails. "I really disagreed with him" when he recommended against filing charges in July, Trump said. "I was not his fan. But what he did brought back his reputation."

Clinton, campaigning in Ohio, focused her fire on Donald Trump. Peter Weber

November 1, 2016

Megyn Kelly had noted legal scholar Alan Dershowitz on Monday's Kelly File to talk about — what else? — FBI Director James Comey's cryptic letter to Congress on Friday about Hillary Clinton and emails. Kelly asked if Comey did the right thing. "I think he did the right thing by making a statement, I think his statement was wrong," Dershowitz said. "What he should have said is this: 'I don't know what's in these emails, I haven't seen them, the 4th Amendment precludes any of us from looking at them. I'm going to look at them now, but don't infer anything, don't change your vote based on my announcement — it is a technical announcement designed to inform Congress.'" He added that Comey is "a man of great integrity," but he just set a dangerous precedent that could be exploited by "a J. Edgar Hoover in the future."

Kelly turned to a popular Clinton parlor game at Fox News since Friday. "Let's just say she gets indicted, which is a far step away from where we are right now," Kelly said. "It's not going to happen," Dershowitz interjected. "But people are wondering how it would affect the election," Kelly pressed on. "Let's say she wins on Tuesday, and then she gets indicted, can she still be president?" "Yes, but let's turn it around," Dershowitz said. "Let's assume she loses on Tuesday and then on Dec. 1 Comey announces, 'There's nothing in any of these emails, they're simply duplicates.' He becomes the villain of the piece. He should not be having an impact either way."

The Clintons are handling this wrong, too, since criticizing Comey puts "unconscious pressure on him to find something, because if in fact he finds nothing, he'll look terrible," Dershowitz said. "You never benefit from criticizing the director of the FBI." Kelly returned to the indictment speculation, suggesting if Clinton were indicted and convicted before inauguration, Tim Kaine would be president, but if she were convicted afterward, could she pardon herself? "She can't pardon herself, she's not going to be indicted," Dershowitz said. "It's more likely that Trump will be indicted for his Trump University, for his relationships with Russia, for all of that." "He's not going to be indicted for any of that," Kelly said, laughing. "Of course not, that's my point," Dershowitz said. "Neither of them are getting indicted." Watch below. Peter Weber

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