Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Continues to Change Her Story

Her explanations remind one of Bill's word-splitting playbook.

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28 Dreams/Flickr

While the scandal surrounding the emails sent and received by Hillary Clinton during her time as U.S. secretary of state continues to grow, Clinton has resorted to laughing it off. This past weekend she told an audience of Iowa Democrats that she loves her Snapchat account because the messages automatically disappear. No one in the audience laughed.

Clinton admits deleting 30,000 government emails from her time in office. She claims they were personal, and that because they were also on a personal server, she was free to destroy them. Yet, federal law defines emails used during the course of one's work for the federal government as the property of the federal government.

She could have designated which of the government's emails were personal and then asked the government to send them to her and delete them from government servers. Instead she did the reverse. She decided which of her emails were governmental and sent them on to the State Department. Under federal law, that is not a determination she may lawfully make.

Yet, the 55,000 emails she sent to the feds were printed emails. By doing so, she stole from the government the metadata it owns, which accompanies all digital emails but is missing on the paper copies, and she denied the government the opportunity to trace those emails.

When asked why she chose to divert government emails through her own server, Clinton stated she believed it would enable her to carry just one mobile device for both personal and governmental emails. She later admitted she carried four such devices.

Then the scandal got more serious, as Clinton's lawyers revealed that after she deleted the 30,000 emails, and printed the 55,000 she surrendered to the feds, she had the server that carried and stored them professionally wiped clean.

She had already denied routing classified materials through her server: "I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. … (I) did not send classified material."

Then, the inspector general of the State Department and the inspector general of the intelligence community, each independent of the other, found four classified emails from among a random sample of 40.

Then the State Department inspector general concluded that one of the four was in fact top secret. Since it discussed satellite imagery of a foreign country and since it revealed intercepts of communications among foreign agents, it received additional legal protections that were intended to assure that it was only discussed in a secure location and never shared with a foreign government, not even an ally.

When Clinton was confronted with these facts, she changed her explanation from "I did not send classified material" to "I never sent or never received any email marked classified." Not only is she continually changing her story, but she is being deceptive again. Emails are not "marked classified." They are marked "top secret" or "secret" or "confidential." Her explanations remind one of her husband's word-splitting playbook.

Last weekend the State Department located 305 of her undeleted emails that likely are in the top secret or secret or classified categories.

What should be the consequence of her behavior with the nation's most sensitive secrets?

If Clinton is indicted for failure to secure classified information, she will no doubt argue that if one of the above markings was not on the email, she did not know it was top secret. If she does make that incredible argument—how could satellite photos of a foreign country together with communications intercepts of foreign agents possibly not be top secret?—she will be confronted with a judicial instruction to the jury trying her. The judge will tell the jury that the secretary of state is presumed to know what is top secret and what is not. The only way she could rebut that presumption is to take the witness stand in her own defense and attempt to persuade the jury that she was so busy, she didn't notice the nature of the secrets with which she was dealing.

Not only would such an argument be incredible coming from a person of her intellect and government experience, but it begs the question. That's because by using only her own server, she knowingly diverted all classified emails sent to her away from the government's secure venue. That's the crime.

Will she be indicted?

Consider this. In the past month, the Department of Justice indicted a young sailor who took a selfie in front of a sonar screen on a nuclear submarine and emailed the selfie to his girlfriend. It also indicted a Marine who sent an urgent warning to his superiors on his Gmail account about a dangerous Afghani spy who eventually killed three fellow Marines inside an American encampment. The emailing Marine was indicted for failure to secure classified materials. Gen. David Petraeus stored top-secret materials in an unlocked desk drawer in the study of his secured and guarded Virginia home and was indicted for the same crimes. And a former CIA agent was just sentenced to three years in prison for destroying one top-secret email.

What will happen if the FBI recommends that Clinton be indicted and the White House stonewalls? Will FBI Director Jim Comey threaten to resign as he threatened to do when President George W. Bush wanted him to deviate from accepted professional standards? Will Clinton get a pass? Will the public accept that?

COPYRIGHT 2015 ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO | DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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  1. This is the biggest scandal of the election to date. During her tenure at State, Clinton was a consistent cheerleader for the long term imprisonment of people accused of mishandling classified material like Chelsea Manning. To those who have long advocated for increased government transparency, Clinton’s criminal hypocrisy on this issue is truly shocking. Given her involvment in the review of intelligence intercepts Clinton must have known how trivial it would be to prove that she was rerouting emails. Only the firm belief that she is above the same law that she so ruthlessly applied to others explains her behavior.

    1. Also – I was psyched to see Laura Poitras publicly denounce Clinton for this issue for the same reasons I noted above. This is not a partisan issue and there are many on the left have continued to fight the good fight protecting principled leakers like Snowden. The difference between Clinton and someone like Snowden is that Edward retained classified materials in the hope of sharing them with the American people for the betterment of the country while Clinton retained classified materials to hide them from the American people for the betterment of herself.

    2. Nothing Hillary does can shock me anymore.

    3. It is not Clinton’s hypocrisy that is so shocking, but rather her brazen arrogance.

      1. Not to mention the state of denial her supporters insist on wallowing in.

        OK, that one’s not so much shocking as it is dismaying.

  2. that was like ten paragraphs before the first question mark

  3. Answers:

    None, No, No, No

    All wrong but will be the answers anyway.

  4. The mainstream media is treating the email scandal more like a freak show than a serious investigation. When they adopt the tone of Napolitano and DEMAND answers rather than asking softball questions, I’ll believe it’s finally being taken seriously.

    Also, it speaks volumes about the political influence of Clinton – those who should indict and prosecute her are her potential future subordinates.

  5. My mother volunteers with local Dems running for congress. I consider her a pretty good bellwether for how the D foot soldiers feel. When this all started she spent a lot of time posting about how Jeb did it too, but now she’s moved to complete and utter silence on the subject.

    It seems like the Democrats are going into full on ignore the problem until it goes away mode. Don’t mention it, don’t try to defend it, don’t read anything about it. If you don’t hear or speak about it it doesn’t exist.

    I’m thinking Hillary is not going to suffer any consequences for this ever.

  6. Listen, Hillary has gone above and beyond with compliance and providing information to the FBI. She didn’t have to turn her server over, but she did, just for the sake of being above board, and transparency.

    And she didn’t have to wipe her server clean beforehand, but she did. Just to make sure she didn’t give the FBI any incriminating evidence.

    Above and beyond, people. Fake scandal.

    1. Sarcasm? Certainly bordering on Poe here.

    2. /Stands and Applauds

  7. I have worked for the federal government and also for contractors. If I had stored even just a proprietary email on my own media outside of IT-controlled, secure servers I would have been immediately fired and subject to criminal penalties.

    They made this very clear to us in many training sessions.

    1. In fact, emails and documents that were actually classified were on servers and networks that were completely separate and isolated from our normal work network. There were certain special computers in secure rooms you would use. You had different credentials and the rooms were under guard sometimes. And, no personal electronics s of any kind were allowed in the room.

      1. and, if by chance a classified email, document, what ever was found on a normal network it was a major pain the ass. All hard drives (or computers) had to be turned over so the severity of the leak could be determined. If it was too bad all computers where wiped.

        I forgot about the meta data part of the email. I had to gather emails for litigation issues and it was drilled into me that they (discovery team) needed the electronic emails (for the metadata). They needed all email, they would be the ones deciding if an email was pertinent or not the user (in most cases).

        1. Yes, I forgot about the quarantining and isolating that went on in the case of an escape. I was never deeply involved like it sounds you were.

    2. I wonder if any reporters will bother digging into whether as Secretary of State they had Clinton participate in such training sessions or in the equivalent personal briefings and if the policies she was instructed about are public information. It always seems odd that even the minority non-liberal media doesn’t investigate such things. I know the minuscule libertarian-leaning media would be short of resources, but you’d think places like Fox News would do more. It is odd that some of the details about this story seem to have been broken by UK media, regarding at least the network security company they used. I wonder if even the non-liberal media in this country fears some sort of reprisals, or merely fears asking too many tough questions for fear of “biting the hand that feeds them” easy stories in the government.

      The snails pace of this investigation in certain ways suggests the government is going to do as little as possible unless the GOP and media force them to.

      1. 99.999999% likely she did. As a big G contractor we had to take federally mandated training and sign several documents about proper use every year. I’m sure as a Federal Employee she had the same training or more and had to sign the same documents. Ignorance is no excuse on this.

      2. I recall reading an earlier article (unfortunately I don’t remember where, I think it was the Washington Times) that said that, like all employees of the State Dept, that Hillary and her top associates were required to take the training session. Her Royal Inevitability and most of her lead people (like Huma) said no because… Clinton!

      3. I wonder if any reporters will bother digging into…

        No.

    3. ^This^ If I had done what she did when I was working on a classified program, I’d be in Leavenworth Federal pound me in the ass prison.

      1. So, not white collar resort prison?

    4. I worked for a contractor to the federal government, too. The rules were explicit and strict, as FreeRadical describes. We all signed documents acknowledging and agreeing to them. There were large fines and/or imprisonment, for violations. Everybody took the rules seriously. The SoS should be the person who instructs subordinates re document classification, and who sets an example. I wouldn’t give Clinton the time of day, much less my vote. She is unworthy of either.

  8. I would love to be a fly on the oval office wall. Do the Clintons have something on Obama? Is he just playing with her? Is it pure Team Blue? Or, more likely, IMHO, is that Obama knows that an indictment and investigation would lead to other matters, which the White House is involved in.

    Also, you know who else “never sent or never received any email marked classified?”

    1. My best guess is that Hillary could damage Obama pretty badly, but I think he could return the favor pretty easily, and his presidency is winding down, whereas she faces an uphill battle to get elected. That seems to give him the advantage. He has less to lose at this point. So I think he lets the investigation play out slowly, not saying anything himself, but letting his creatures like Valerie Jarret whisper damaging rumors to the New York Times. The idea being to slowly ratchet up the pressure on her until she bows out, setting up Biden or someone more acceptable to Obama as the Dem nominee.

      1. I wonder if her indictments will depend entirely on her polling. If Bernie or someone else starts to climb and she starts to dwindle, there will be much less political cost to indicting her. But it also depends on how close to the election and end of term, and how he decides to enhance his legacy.

        She has violated the law so thoroughly and publicly by now that it ought to be a straightforward decision, but it’s entirely political.

        1. Agreed. The case against her seems clear already, and will only get worse as more emails are revealed, and if/when the FBI recovers information from her server.

          As for the politics, I’d say her polling numbers already are suffering. But there’s probably still plenty of time to force her out of the race and set the stage for Biden or someone else, maybe with Bernie as the VP since he’s popular with the progs but probably not electable as president. I think Obama can afford to slow-walk this and let her continue to implode. If he’s too aggressive in prosecuting her, she might lash out like a wounded animal and spill what she knows about him.

      2. There’s a Washington Times opinion piece suggesting that Obama is in fact torpedoing Hillary, allowing more damaging information about the emails to be leaked out — all to set up a Biden/Warren ticket. This all fits perfectly with the strategy you describe.

  9. Providing the emails on paper was a dick move although it does make tampering more difficult. Her lawyer still had a digital copy, and soon the FBI will too. Surely it’s gone too far for the lawyer to “lose” or wipe the thumb drive.

    1. That brings up another of her lies. Wasn’t she found to have erased some paragraphs or something when her emails were compared with the ones they got from Sid Blumenthal?

  10. Do we really want another 4-8 years of Obama style government? Hillary has no personal integrity whatsoever. She is the consumate liar. She is devious, arrogant and dishonest. All in all, the perfect Democrat to follow Obamugabe. She will guarantee we lose what is left of our liberty and our country. God forbid!

  11. Do we really want another 4-8 years of Obama style government? Hillary has no personal integrity whatsoever. She is the consumate liar. She is devious, arrogant and dishonest. All in all, the perfect Democrat to follow Obamugabe. She will guarantee we lose what is left of our liberty and our country. God forbid!

  12. In the first paragraph it states that no one in the audience laughed. This is not true, her mindless followers cheered and laughed at this god awful joke. The short video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LK1A0od12CY

    1. Would the proper term for these people be sycophants or lickspittles?

      1. I’m gonna say lickspittles just because it’s so rarely used.

      2. I’ll go with lickspittles too since it’s an awesome word I wasn’t familiar with.

  13. As I have said many times before, she will NOT be indicted or prosecuted in any way, shape, or form. Why? Becuase Big Names.

    If there is a serious investigation into this there will be a LOT of people who sent her information KNOWING that it wasn’t a legal procedure. BO has already said he was aware of the situation. Holder? Kerry? How many military leaders? How many intelligence leaders? Who else sent her information knowing that it wasn’t a .gov email?

    If the entire server of all .gov email is searched for anything sent to her or received from her we will find that laws were broken. But how many people will fall because of her?

    And this is why she will NEVER be indicted. Becuase the only people who are able to prosecute her are at risk of getting swept up into it, as well.

    1. It would be nice if she did get indicted. I agree with you, SimonJester, she won’t. But the most important thing is that she should not become President.

      Step down, Hillary. It’s OK. Lots of people fail to fully achieve their dream of unbridled power. And it’s not just because you’re a woman, OK? (In fact, you’re kind of a dick.)

  14. She later admitted she carried four such devices.
    —————————-
    Later admitted? I thought she had _previously boasted_ to carrying four such devices.

    But anyway, you used “beg the question” properly.

    1. But she would have had to carry eight such devices!

  15. she stole from the government the metadata it owns, which accompanies all digital emails but is missing on the paper copies

    No worries, the NSA has copies…

    1. Funny how all that surveillance doesn’t find any evidence against the powerful.

  16. If the DOJ were using their usual tactics, they would find the person who wiped the server and charge them with 5,000 counts of whatever and get them to testify against the boss. They don’t seem terribly interested in interviewing that person. I wonder why.

  17. Mitt Romney’s innocent gaffes and Harry Reid’s lie about his taxes were huge stories and required several “think” pieces (also known as articles where the author or reader don’t think at all), but this actual scandal doesn’t even show up on the frontpage of CNN anymore.

  18. Six, count ’em, six question marks!

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  23. Clinton ran her own system for two reasons – 1) it’s easier to resist giving up the data in the first place, and 2) it’s her doomsday device against Obama. Her treasure trove of mutually assured destruction.

    1. If el presidente really cared he would have her rendered to Pakistan.

  24. I wonder, if the FBI does recover the info on the server she gave them will it have her emails on it or endless repetitions of this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccSHFQv-1qQ

  25. Then strictures described/mentioned in the above article might apply to mere mortals, ordinary folk like you and I. Obviously, they do not apply, nor will they be applied to the Clinton’s, or to any number of others, equally “well connected”. As to what might happen to Hillary, if she is indicted, Obama will no doubt pardon her. Should that ploy fail, other “arrangements” will be made.

  26. The evidence is growing and growing that Democrats seem to think they are above the law while the GOP must be prosecuted for even small mistakes. If H. Clinton is not indicted, one has to believe that there will be an uprising from the millions of people who believe the laws apply to EVERYONE equally.

  27. Sadly and cynically I do not think anything is going to happen to Hills

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