Hillary Clinton

How Hillary Clinton's Private Email Setup Continues to Shield Her From Scrutiny

Federal judge says he has no FOIA authority over Clinton's private email system.


Hillary Clinton / Twitter

Hillary Clinton's defenders have argued that her exclusive use of a private email system while serving as Secretary of State was in no way intended to protect her correspondence from FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests—and indeed, couldn't.

In July, for example, journalist Kurt Eichenwald wrote in Newsweek that "Using a private account would not, in any way, shield Clinton's correspondence from congressional or FOIA requests," because anything a State Department "official writes as part of the job—whether by email, telegraph or handwritten on personal stationery—is subject to a FOIA request."

Tell that to the federal judge overseeing a court case about Clinton's emails.

District Judge Reggie Walton ruled yesterday that he could not force Clinton to search for and hand over copies of the roughly 31,000 messages on her personal email server that she did not turn over to the State Department for review and record-keeping, because they were not under the State Department's authority, The Hill reports:

The fact that Clinton used only her personal property in setting up the private email system — and not any devices issued by the State Department — means the issue is beyond the scope of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Walton said.

"I just don't see what my authority under FOIA would be," he said during a hearing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

"It seems to me, having not used State Department devices … it would be difficult … for me to conclude… that the information contained on her private server … is information that the State Department possessed."

Clinton's defenders might protest that the messages that weren't turned over were personal in nature. After all, in August, Clinton signed a document certifying that she had turned over all work-related emails. Shouldn't we trust her?

Probably not, given that the State Department confirmed last month that multiple work-related emails had been found that had not been turned over, despite Clinton's shockingly-not-entirely-true certification to the contrary.

Indeed, Clinton has repeatedly delivered excuses that quickly proved dubious, misleading, or totally false as the email story has developed, enough so that at this point, there's no reason to assume that she's telling the truth about this matter.

Anyway, this isn't the first time that Clinton's unusual private email setup has made her communications unavailable to FOIA requests. Back in 2013, a Gawker reporter asked the State Department for all of Clinton's correspondence with Sidney Blumenthal, a close Clinton-family confidante, but State responded there were no such records.

We now know that Clinton corresponded extensively with Blumenthal, a shady loyalist who was blocked from an official job with Clinton at State by the Obama administration. But the State Department couldn't provide any documents responsive to Gawker's original request because State didn't have any of Clinton's email. It was all in her private possession.

Whatever the intention behind Clinton's private email setup, the remarkably convenient  practical effect is clear: She's been protected from scrutiny and investigation, and with the ruling yesterday, it now appears that she's managed to shield herself from at least some legally mandated transparency too. 

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  1. I think this very scenario is the self evident intention of using a private email server

    1. And why doing so was made illegal by the Federal Records Act.

  2. This is exactly why she did it. It hides her many failures and her auctioning off of U.S. foreign policy with Bill’s help.

  3. Regardless of whether the State Department had the records at the time the emails were sent, they FBI certainly has them now. So the judge doesn’t need to force Clinton to look through the emails. He can just tell the government to do it.

    1. So do the Russians, Chinese, Israelis, and anyone else who cared to see them.

      1. Which is anybody who has the means and has an interest in a Clinton presidency.

      2. The Israelis are almost certain to have hacked her account, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were behind one of the “detected attempts” attributed to another country. They’re really, really good at spying.

        1. They were probably insulted at how easy it was to collect all her information.

          1. Well her password is FuckYouMonicaWithACigar

        2. Amazing how having hostiles directly on your border who actually are trying to kill you makes you good at these sort of things.

          1. Yeah, but they turn most of their spying on the US government and especially US-based industrial companies and military contractors. Believe me.

            1. Not our precious democratic allies! They would never do that!

    2. Yes . see my comments below

  4. OT: El Chappo puts a bounty on The Donald. But it’s not UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE (in The Donald’s circles, anyway).


    1. Solution:101 million dollar bounty on El Chappo!

      1. Florida Man – The Problem Solver!

        *waves tiny American flag*

        1. Look, if you want simple easy solutions that won’t work, I’m your man.

          1. *puts down Rusty Woodchipper drink, picks up ANOTHER tiny American flag and waves it vigorously*

          2. Are you running for an office where I can vote?

            1. Florida Man is an unelected position.

              You have to earn it with a lifetime of impulsive, trashy behavior.

              1. Attaining Florida-Manhood is kind of like attaining sainthood, except the opposite of that.

                1. You have to stop 3 miracles?

                  1. Three abortions would suffice for that, I think – SO YOU’RE IN!

                  2. 3 miracles have to stop you from doing what you do.

                  3. All i’m saying is, St. Francis never handed his beer to one of his disciples and then said “Now watch this!”

            2. Sometimes I think about running for office and then I just smash my penis with a hammer instead.

              1. You should never have gotten snipped. Now you’re going to have to get really creative to get those 3 abortions…

                1. I’ve got loads of coat hangers.

  5. This would actually be funny if it weren’t so appalling. Talk about rule of man and not being one of the little people.

    1. The funny part is how the things Hillary does in her mad, sad, pathetic scramble for power and prestige in the elite circles end up costing her the power and glory she seeks.

      The sad part is the pile of corpses and ruined lives she leaves heedlessly in her wake.

      1. The darkness drops again but now I know
        That twenty centuries of stony sleep
        Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
        And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
        Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

        1. Hopkins? Thomas?

      2. Interesting take. I heard Penn Jillette saying basically the same thing when discussing Trump. He was talking about people going on the Apprentice and cheating to win on a stupid, meaningless game show. He said the sad part wasn’t cheating, and it wasn’t that they wanted so badly to win a game show judged by Trump… what was truly sad was cheating and losing.

        But in Hillary’s defense, they’ve already won. After Bill’s time was up, all they needed was for her eventual election to the presidency to seem probable, or even just plausible. This is the lever that pried all of those millions from corporate coffers and the wallets of the uber-rich. It certainly isn’t her personal charm or their intense, burning desire to see her policy goals finally implemented. So whether she wins or not, she’s gotten more from the process than any candidate in history. And since there isn’t a serious challenger on the D side, she’s got almost another full year to milk the sycophants who want a seat at the Clinton administration food trough, even if she loses.

        1. And if she withdraws or doesn’t get the nomination, she can legally keep all those campaign donations. Not personally, of course, but she can donate them to, say, a favorite non-profit organization that employs her and her family and cronies….

          1. Which isn’t hypothetical. Their foundation has hundreds of millions in pledges that revolved around nuclear materials. We’ve all seen the critiques of a foundation that takes in hundreds of millions tax exempt and spends effectively zero on charitable activities.

            There’s a great website for spreading FUD in support of Hillary.
            Correct the Record compiles a huge list of highly questionable donations and then “debunks” them by basically saying: everybody does it, it was perfectly legal, the people making the donations say there’s no quid pro quo, they were making donations before we helped them out, they were not making donations until after we helped them out, they made donations to lots of other people too…. great debunking!

            1. Yeah, not terribly convincing….

  6. Speaking of, this is a letter sent by Trey Gowdy to Elijah Cummings on the subject. Is it just me, or does this indicate that Sidney Blumenthal was running the war “kinetic action” on Libya? In order to enrich himself? I mean, we basically knew that already, but this is interesting.

    1. I found and OCRed the beginning of the interesting part:

      IV. Sidney Blumenthal’s motivation revealed – money

      Beyond the pure politics that were occurring at this time, perhaps more disturbing is that at the same time Blumenthal was pushing Secretary Clinton to war in Libya, he was privately pushing a business interest of his own in Libya that stood to profit from contracts with the new Libyan government?a government that would exist only after a successful U.S. intervention in Libya that deposed Qaddafi. This business venture was one he shared with Tyler Drumheller and Cody Shearer, the authors of the information sent to Secretary Clinton. It is therefore unsurprising that somebody who knew so little about Libya would suddenly become so interested in Libya and push an old friend in a powerful place to action?for personal profit.

      While Blumenthal and Drumheller have both acknowledged a personal stake in the business venture, known as Osprey Global Solutions, they have downplayed their involvement to the Committee. New documents received by the Committee, however, indicate more extensive involvement than previously known.

  7. To the point: oh, so NOW a Federal judge decides he doesn’t have authority to render a decision on X matter.

    How conveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenient.

    /Church Lady

    1. Indeed.

      Could Reggie Walton be … I don’t know ……. SATAN?!

  8. [I]n August, Clinton signed a document certifying that she had turned over all work-related emails.

    [T]he State Department confirmed last month that multiple work-related emails had been found that had not been turned over,

    If this was a peon or a shiton at what point would perjury charges become likely?

    1. It depends…..

      Does the administration want what the peon had in his email turned over to the department or not?

      Leaks that the White House doesn’t like will get you prosecuted for espionage. Leaks that the White House does like will get you promoted.

      It probably works the same way for emails.

    2. I’m hearing it less, but still hearing it:
      ‘When will the Republicans stop pestering her about her emails?!’

  9. Speaking of Hillary and incompetence, is anyone familiar with her son-in-law’s hedge fund? It lost a shitload of money betting the wrong way on Greece.

    How fucking pathetic is that? His mother-in-law is Secretary of State, and all of her and Bill’s buddies invested in this fund that undoubtedly had inside information. And they still managed to lose millions.

    1. Here we go.

      The fund lost 3.8 percent at a time when similar funds earned over 5 percent. Oh, and every single one of the “investors” is a Clinton crony.

    2. The Clintons seem to be the most successful losers I’ve ever seen. They are talentless, vicious hacks who somehow keep not losing. How do they do it? Pure tenacity? A deal with Satan? They have a pet genie? I don’t get it.

      1. I think they make up for it on sheer volume. They have so many crooked things going on that one of them is bound to succeed.

        1. Yeah, but for normal people, having so many crooked things going on would be basically a guarantee of getting busted, not a guarantee of success. They’re like idiot savants of crookedness.

          “I’m a very good criminal. Dad lets me grift in the driveway. But not on Mondays, definitely not on Mondays.”

          1. I think that Bill Clinton repeatedly getting away with rape might have somehow convinced them that they’re above the law.

            And they would be right.

        2. Diversification is key to any evil portfolio.

          1. “Now we’re cooking with evil gas!”

        3. The cattle futures scam worked well.

    3. Don’t worry, they’ll make up for the losses buying cattle futures.

      1. If a Hindu gang doesn’t beat them to death. I blame Zuckerberg


    4. “His mother-in-law is Secretary of State, and all of her and Bill’s buddies invested in this fund that undoubtedly had inside information.”

      Greek inside info? If they say short, go long.

      1. Right, that’s what I’m getting at. She, as Secretary of State, had access to inside information. She had the US government’s entire intelligence portfolio at her disposal. And yet they lost millions in spite of this.

        That’s how incompetent she is.

        1. Depends who was onother side of the trades.

          1. People without access to inside information, presumably. I’m one of those people.

            1. If you’d scored higher on that “Are you privileged”, you’d be getting the emails every day.

    5. “It lost a shitload of money betting the wrong way on Greece.”

      How can one bet the wrong way on Greece? Slip and check the wrong box? Betting on Greece is a complete no-brainer.

      Are you certain they lost money? Their own money?

      *scratches head*

      Did the cronies have to pay a fee to the Clintons for the privilege of investing? A finder’s fee of some kind? They had to make money off of it somehow.

      Holy shit, if you got ripped off investing in Greece you have to be among the dumbestest people to have ever lived.

      *looks at EU*

  10. HAHA, SUCKERS1!!

  11. “I just don’t see what my authority under FOIA would be,” he said during a hearing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

    This is why God made Special Prosecutors.

    I crack myself up.

  12. OT:

    Now this is a first. Workers are filing discrimination suits alleging that they are being discriminated against because they ARE US Citizens…

    What’s being challenged in sum is the job replacement system created by the H-1B program. US IT workers as a condition for their severance are being made to train H-1B visa-holding contractor replacements to take over their jobs

    While I don’t generally agree with anti discrimination law and think this is a rather spurrious expansion of what that law means I can’t say I am entirely unsympathetic to what they are alleging. Basically the H1B program creates a group of second class workers that are legally cheaper to employ than the native citizens and green card holders putting those individuals at a serious disadvantage in the labor market

    1. It’s a good point on how the regs are killing their jobs, but the precedent that would be set if this made it anywhere would be terrifying. They would essentially be saying you can’t discriminate based upon pay. The guy being paid $90,000 must be considered equal to the guy being paid $60,000. That is just a whole bunch of no.

    2. This is one of the things that’s helped turn me largely anti-immigration. I used to think that there could be no objection to skilled workers, but it turns out there are massive abuses of H-1B visas. It’s hard to take the “furriners takin’ our jerbs!!” mockery seriously when companies are firing American workers so that they can hire H-1Bs, who are often underpaid and exploited.

      1. That’s an argument against the immigration regs, not against immigration itself.

      2. It’s hard to take the “furriners takin’ our jerbs!!” mockery seriously when companies are firing American workers so that they can hire H-1Bs, who are often underpaid and exploited.

        Has even a single company succeeded in obtaining useable work product from these “underpaid and exploited” workers? Lamenting about this seems strange to me. These companies are digging their own graves.

        1. Sure, you can get usable results. A large team of H-1Bs run by a few effective project and product managers can crank out a lot of good, useful, and maintainable code (for example), but inevitably, there are downsides even then.

          One firm I know of cranks out CRM addons for a number of verticals, and the product is pretty good; they manage their team acknowledging the transient nature of the individuals, and all their documentation is written by well-qualified, well-paid, long-term staff, and the engagement managers run a tight ship. From what I understand though, they bring in a lot on temporary/educational visas and those who don’t meet the criteria don’t get an H-1B filed for them. Those that do get H-1Bs are often put thru’ some intensive in-house coaching. So, when you add up the cost of such inefficiencies, the whole proposition might not be as cost effective as you might think.

          But it’s still a bit like a factory farm.

          1. I think there are conflicting narratives here. On the one hand, companies are “firing American workers and replacing them with H-1Bs”; on the other hand, companies are employing H-1Bs in specifically tailored and carefully orchestrated efforts. The two don’t match up. It seems to me that squaring this circle leads to two observations: one is that “the American worker” is a political term that hasn’t got a lot of meaning in practice, and the other is that the “H-1B visa holder” is not really replacing Americans so much as supplementing them.

            In other words, the H-1B situation represents the intersection of all the dysfunctions of law and policy in areas of labor, immigration, and education.

    3. It is self-evident that the H1B visa is the worst of all possible solutions (for workers). However, companies can pay less and have indentured servitude and it provides ample opportunity for graft.

  13. The Most Transparent Person in History? should make public *all* her correspondence.

    How better to get to know the real Hillary by seeing her yoga schedule and iced tea preference?

    1. And I’m sure she has a plausible explanation for the two-month gap in her emails.

      “Oh, *that*. Well, Charlotte was starting to *teethe*, and we all know how that goes!”

      1. Weasel Kennedy at DOS is begging her lawyers to find them, after being turned down stone cold by the FBI. He, Sullivan, and the lady lawyer could be in big do – do themselves. The irony in all this is that feminist proto – ideologue Hillary looks like a walking talking argument against women’s suffrage!

    2. Actually her campaign rather lamely tried to turn it to their advantage. Unfortunately “Stammerin Jen” Palmieri is also something of a walking talking argument against women’s suffrage!

  14. Can’t we just ask the NSA for her emails?

    Seems like everybody in the world has access to the Secretary of State’s emails–except the American people.

    1. That’s a can of worms unless FBI determines the server hacked by foreign govt entities.

  15. “It seems to me, having not used State Department devices … it would be difficult … for me to conclude… that the information contained on her private server … is information that the State Department possessed.”

    It isn’t difficult you fuckwit. The FOIA isnt about government property. It is about transparency for officials performing their duties. It doesn’t matter if she corresponded by writing on a napkin with lipstick, if she was acting in her official capacity the records are subject.

    He is covering her ass.

    Gentlemen, start your woodchippers.

    1. Those of us in the know with good taste prefer the allegedly painless guillotine

  16. Nobody’s doing anything to Hillary until after it’s clear that she either won’t be the President or won’t horsetrade her way into a cabinet position–like she did last time–and thus have the tacit support of the President.

    Another way of saying this is that Hillary won’t drop out of the race until the bitter end.

    That said, even if she does drop out, there’s a good chance that if a Democrat wins, they’ll pull back on an investigation. A Republican President will be reluctant to go after her, too. He’ll be accused of being vindictive and going on a witch hunt.

    I think the best we can do is expose her as a lying liar whose lies about her lying are a bunch of lying lies.

    1. In the law enforcement sector, it’d be called “professional courtesy”.

    2. I still think Barry is going to drop the hammer once Biden takes a lead in the polls

      1. Me too. She’s dead meat.

    3. You know what? I’m okay with a vindictive witch-hunt. We let them go in 2000. Let’s nail her ass to a wall as a distinct warning to others that although we can be lax about enforcement, we do have a limit on graft. If you’re gonna be crooked, you have to retire after a while or get smacked down.

      1. Yeah. Sign me up for a good old fashion witch hunt. It’s time.

    4. Unless it’s Trump! He might let Judicial Watch run his DOJ!

  17. Federal judge says he has no FOIA authority over Clinton’s private email system.

    Huh? He’s got fucking subpoena power over it!

    1. Not really for the sake of a FOIA request.

  18. “It seems to me, having not used State Department devices … it would be difficult … for me to conclude… that the information contained on her private server … is information that the State Department possessed.”

    Wow, so they got to him. Well played, Hillary, well played.

    1. The judge can’t act against precedent establishing 4th amendment privacy protections

  19. Re Clinton’s supposedly private emails, the following comes to mind re their allegedly protected nature. To the extent that they dealt with “government business”, and were done on Public Time, Clinton’s claims to the effect that they were “private communications”, outside the reach of FOIA, are ridiculous on their face.

    1. Exactly. The FBI will uncover innumerable emails reassigned as business, NOT PERSONAL INFORMATION. The judge is working on the operable assumption that all emails not in the hands of DOS are personal. The FBI will find otherwise.

  20. All her emails will become documents in evidence for the FBI investigation and will thus become public records amenable to FOIA requests eventually. The judge is aware of this.

  21. List of indictable offenses explained : http://dailycaller.com/2015/09…..-breaking/

  22. Guilty of perjury. http://www.ijreview.com/2015/0…..1443701355

  23. Clinton criminal defense not likely to be cogent : http://www.nationalreview.com/…..le-defense

  24. Menu of statutes violated : http://thefederalist.com/2015/…..formation/

  25. Indictable now : http://nypost.com/2015/09/27/y…..e-the-law/

  26. ” I was the official responsible ” vs ” I had nothing to do with it ” Pick yer hilrey

  27. ” Evil is the absence of seriousness. ” ~ Joan Didion

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