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Turns Out Hillary Clinton Had Hundreds Of Potentially Classified Emails On Private Server; Officials Ask For Criminal Investigation [Update]

from the well,-look-at-that dept

Update: In addition to the update already added at the bottom of this story, later on Friday it came out that the initial report was wrong and the call for an investigation was not for a criminal investigation. Original post follows:

Earlier this year there was a bit of a scandal over the fact that Hillary Clinton had used a private server for her emails, something she knew was inappropriate and which clearly exposed her emails to foreign spies. When she finally agreed to address the issue, one of the key points she made in her defense was that she never had classified material on the server:

CLINTON: I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.

So I’m certainly well-aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.

Many — including State Department officials — found this nearly impossible to believe, especially given just how much stuff the State Department classifies (whether or not that information should be classified is another discussion for another day).

A former senior State Department official who served before the Obama administration said that although it was hard to be certain, it seemed unlikely that classified information could be kept out of the more than 30,000 emails that Mrs. Clinton?s staff identified as involving government business.

?I would assume that more than 50 percent of what the secretary of state dealt with was classified,? said the former official, who would speak only on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to seem ungracious to Mrs. Clinton. ?Was every single email of the secretary of state completely unclassified? Maybe, but it?s hard to imagine.?

Back in May, with the first release of a bunch of her emails, some noted that, indeed, they couldn’t find any evidence of classified information, though some were later retroactively classified.

But, of course, that was just one batch of the emails. A few weeks ago, reports started leaking from inside the State Department that, in fact, there was classified information on that server, and late last night the other shoe dropped, with a report in the NY Times that two separate Inspectors General have requested the Justice Department open a criminal investigation into Clinton’s mishandling of sensitive information — in particular the inclusion of “hundreds” of potentially classified emails on her private server.

Two inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether Hillary Rodham Clinton mishandled sensitive government information on a private email account she used as secretary of state, senior government officials said Thursday.

The request follows an assessment in a June 29 memo by the inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence agencies that Mrs. Clinton?s private account contained ?hundreds of potentially classified emails.? The memo was written to Patrick F. Kennedy, the under secretary of state for management.

The report also notes that these same Inspectors General were particularly annoyed with how the State Department has been handling this, saying that one of the emails that was revealed publicly last month contained classified information that should not have been released (though they obviously did not identify which email).

In a second memo to Mr. Kennedy, sent on July 17, the inspectors general said that at least one email made public by the State Department contained classified information. The inspectors general did not identify the email or reveal its substance.


The inspectors general also criticized the State Department for its handling of sensitive information, particularly its reliance on retired senior Foreign Service officers to decide if information should be classified, and for not consulting with the intelligence agencies about its determinations.

Back in March, when the whole email scandal broke, it was pretty clear that Clinton hoped to address it quickly and then hope that the whole thing would blow over. And, for the most part, it actually did. However, a criminal investigation and potential charges would obviously put it back on the front page again. Either way, it still raises serious questions as to what the hell she was thinking and more importantly, what the hell her staff was thinking. There is no way they could not have known how dangerous this was. Clinton’s bizarre defense that the system was secure because the server was physically guarded never made much sense, but it still boggles the mind that everyone allowed this to happen in the first place. At this point, it has to be considered all but confirmed that foreign intelligence agencies had full access to all of her emails, including those that had classified information.

Update: Well, this is interesting. Some have noticed that after it was published, the NY Times quietly “softened” its original story… An hour after publishing it, the report changed so that it no longer said that the question was if “Hillary Clinton mishandled” her emails, but rather if “sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

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Comments on “Turns Out Hillary Clinton Had Hundreds Of Potentially Classified Emails On Private Server; Officials Ask For Criminal Investigation [Update]”

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Wickedsmack (profile) says:


Aside from the very obvious that she was not in compliance with state department protocols for email and electronic documents, how is this even a question at this point? The only reason I could fathom for having a private server is to keep unwanted eyes (read: Government, the Amercian Public, or Law Enforcement) from seeing what she was doing. I do believe time to rattle some cages. Also if this criminal investigation moves forward does she 1. Automatically drop out of the race for President? 2. What exactly is she facing if this goes to trial?

It all seemed shady from the jump, this will not end well.

Dreddsnik says:

Re: Integrity....

” The only reason I could fathom for having a private server is to keep unwanted eyes (read: Government, the Amercian Public, or Law Enforcement) from seeing what she was doing.”

In other words … Nothing to hide, nothing to fear ?

I don’t like her, I won’t vote for her, but the timing of this is suspicious and this maxim is just as fascist when applied to her. Innocent until proven guilty.

tqk (profile) says:

Re: Integrity....

I do believe [it’s] time to rattle some cages.

Ya think? Sorry.

For me, this isn’t exclusively a HRC problem. She’s just a symptom of a systemic problem. How in the world do HRC, Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz, or Donald Trump end up the cream of the crop?!? Come on, USA! You’ve got to up your game. These people are nowhere near what you need to be electing to high public office!

Whatever you think of Sanders’ politics, he’s at least a plausible candidate. Those others? You’re being sold down the river by deep pocketed backroom manipulators, and you shouldn’t be tolerating it. No-one in their right mind could believe those people are going to fix anything that needs fixing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Integrity....

Spoken like someone that knows absolutely nothing about the state of US government IT and probably computing security in general.

The primary reason one would want a private server for e’mail is precisely because Clinton’s own vetted people could manage it, or manage it herself directly. That can improve security against outside intrusion, especially if it’s not widely known where the physical server is located. There are a lot of things that can be done to secure a private server you have direct control over that federal purchasing rules and regulations would make onerous or impossible.

Aside from breaking rules over potential (note it’s not confirmed) legally confidential material passing through the hardware, there’s every reason to maintain a separate physical plant not subject to federal rules that has absolutely nothing to do with avoiding public scrutiny. The politicians harping on this issue themselves barely have a clue on even turning a computer on, let alone using one with competence and even further divorced from the knowledge of how computer server security works (or doesn’t as far as US government computers go, and that’s provable).

These are the same idiots passing moronic laws like the CFAA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) and the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) that have done vastly more to harm computer security than to enhance it.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

I've been saying this for a year or so....

Hillary Clinton will NOT be president. I know everyone thinks she will be, which is part of the reason she won’t be (voter apathy), but even without that, she’s un-electable.

1. She was deeply involved in helping her husband run Arkansas like their own personal piggy bank

2. She was deeply involved in slandering several of her husband’s sexual assault accusers

3. She essentially betrayed women by “standing by her man”, a cheating man who I still think ought to be brought up on war crimes charges for bombing a Sudanese pharma plant to drive attention away from his admittedly silly Lewinsky trial. Despite is sexual deviancy, despite several accusers of actual sexual assault, despite the lies and the crimes, she stood by him….for political reasons. To all my female comrades out there: THAT’S NOT A REASON TO VOTE FOR A WOMAN FOR PRESIDENT.

4. She herself has been lying about her own use of classified material on her own private servers, circumventing security and records keeping. She’s untrustworthy of any public office.

5. While her affiliation with the Clinton Family Foundation while Sec. of State isn’t the humungo mega-scandal that idiots like Rush Limbaugh claim it is, it still creates a massive conflict of interests for future office, as money was directly given to her foundation by entities with which she’d have to interact on the world stage. That’s an untenable situation.

She can not be president.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I've been saying this for a year or so....

She can not be president.

Cannot and will not are two different things. I agree, she is completely unfit to be the President, but the left doesn’t really care about such things. Her goal in being President is just that, to be President. She only wants it as the final feather in her cap. She has a very poor record at nearly every office she has held, yet here she is the, the top Dem candidate.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: I've been saying this for a year or so....

“The left doesn’t care about such things”? Get your head out of your ass.

Most people of a more liberal and socialist mindset have been gravitating towards Bernie because Clinton is such a mess. And if we ignore everything that Dark Helmet has said she still isn’t that great of a left leaning politician. It’s more like “eeeh… she’s better than anything the GOP has been able to put forward for like 10 years or something.”

And even then Bernie is such a long shot it is like hoping for a third party to take the presidency. The 2016 elections are a joke and Trump is the punchline.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: I've been saying this for a year or so....

I don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, so I have no idea what he’s been saying about the Clinton Foundation, but you really ought to read the book Clinton Cash. If you can read that and not think it’s a humungo mega-scandal then you seriously need to get your scandal detector recalibrated.

mcinsand (profile) says:

although it shouldn't be a partisan issue...

If classified material is mishandled, then there should be a criminal investigation. The investigation might clear the person and it might not, but an investigation needs to happen. Sadly, in the current US climate, Joe Voter is generally only going to call for an investigation if the person in question belongs to ‘the other party.’ Whether the person is a Democrat, Republican, or unaffiliated is irrelevant. Whether the material is justifiably Classified is irrelevant. The fact is that the information is marked as being legally-required to being handled with certain protocols.

However, I absolutely cannot help but wonder if there is a partisan motivation behind this. Getting HRC out of the way quickly would be the Democrats best way to secure the presidency in 2016.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: although it shouldn't be a partisan issue...

Yes, the fact that Hillary knowingly kept her email off public servers is a partisan issue. /sarc

This is the problem with the left, no matter how serious their candidate messes up, they stand behind them just because their party starts with a D.

Have you ever noticed, that no matter what happens when a Democrat is in the WH, nothing ever gets investigated? Can you say partisan politics there? Absolutely. I believe that whatever party runs the WH, the other party should appoint the head of the DOJ.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: although it shouldn't be a partisan issue...

“Have you ever noticed, that no matter what happens when a Democrat is in the WH, nothing ever gets investigated?”

Yes, there is obviously a double standard. It’s the easiest to see in the media. When a Republican messes up, typically the media rides them like a rented mule, but when a Democrat mess up, the media spin machine goes into overdrive.

I’m a independent. I vote for the best candidate not the best party. So looking at it from relative neutral ground, it is pretty obvious that the media favoritism towards the left helps drive these investigations. Don’t forget, media is owned, for the most part, by the corporate masters…

It’s actually kind of funny. I always thought the Republicans were the corporate lap dogs. In the last 10 years or so the Democrats have been fighting hard to take the title…. Just look at immigration; Because of the flood of cheap labor, the price of labor at the entry level has taken a dive and profits are way up… doesn’t do much for the struggling American kids with huge debt coming out of college… but meh, that’s who they voted for. You get the Government you deserve right?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: although it shouldn't be a partisan issue...

You sir, get it. Too bad more people don’t. You can see with this administration for sure, who the Dems are really for. They talk about the little guy, yet all of their policies go against the little guy. Even the generous social programs act as a trap, keeping people at the bottom. Instead of helping people advance, they pay them to stay put.

Now I am in no way saying the Repubs are perfect or even close. Just that the Dems are way worse.

steell (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 although it shouldn't be a partisan issue...

“Even the generous social programs act as a trap, keeping people at the bottom. Instead of helping people advance, they pay them to stay put.”

Ah yes, the Republican mantra, based on zero evidence but an enormous ego. Based on 50 years of observation (across 50 States) and first hand experience, I can attest that your statement is a damn lie perpetrated by ignorant self entitled Republicans.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 although it shouldn't be a partisan issue...

LOL. I wouldn’t call our social programs generous, I would say we don’t do enough of the right things. Maybe instead of maintaining people at below poverty levels with hand outs, lets spend more money educating and equipping people to enter the work force. Hopefully people that are already here. We have enough people to fill the worker ranks, we need to take care of them not import more low wage earners by opening our borders. Let’s take care of our own first, and at that point if we need more, then lets utilize immigration.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 although it shouldn't be a partisan issue...

As an aside, if our social programs are screwed up it’s in part due to the push by neoliberals like Clinton and Gingrich. Not saying these programs would be perfect otherwise but a lot of the clowns who complain about waste/abuse in social welfare programs turn a blind eye to corp welfare…

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Your question is VERY easily answered: any other candidate of the current crop carries less baggage than Hillary Clinton, from Bernie Sanders to Scott Walker.

Now, if your question is: find a candidate that doesn’t have serious political negatives, then no, that cannot be done. But I don’t see Bernie Sanders trying to publicly smear sexual assault victims, even if he wrote some weird shit in the 70’s, and I don’t see Scott Walker acting loose with government secrets even if he is the most divisive political candidate currently up for the ballot.

Some of this is likely because Hillary has had more opportunity with a longer public career to fuck up. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t fuck up.

TheResidentSkeptic says:

As far as elections go

We the voters need much earlier primaries with a “none of the above” on the ballot – which must force the party to go and get a new slate of candidates – but we’d have to pass a law making it illegal to change your name to “none of the above”.

As all we get now is “choose the least offensive from the following list” we really have damn little choice.

And this election is shaping up to be a barrel scraper…

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