Hillary Clinton

Top-Secret Material Among Hillary's 'Lost' Emails

While we've been fixated on Trump, federal prosecutors continue to examine Clinton's tenure as secretary of state.

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Damien [Phototrend.fr]/Flickr

While the country has been fixated on Donald Trump's tormenting his Republican primary opponents and deeply concerned about the government's efforts to identify any confederates in the San Bernardino, California, killings, a team of federal prosecutors and FBI agents continues to examine Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state in order to determine whether she committed any crimes and, if so, whether there is sufficient evidence to prove her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

What began as an innocent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by Judicial Watch, a D.C.-based public advocacy group promoting transparency in the executive branch, has now become a full criminal investigation, with Clinton as the likely target.

The basic facts are well-known, but the revealed nuances are important, as well. When the State Department responded to the Judicial Watch FOIA request by telling Judicial Watch that it had no emails from Clinton, Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit. When the State Department made the same representation to the court—as incredible as it seemed at the time—the judge accepted that representation, and the case was dismissed.

Then The New York Times revealed that Clinton used a private email server instead of the government's server for all of her work-related and personal emails during her four years as secretary of state. After that, the Judicial Watch FOIA case was reinstated, and then the judge in the case demanded of State that it produce Clinton's emails.

When Judicial Watch expressed frustration to the judge about the pace at which it was getting emails, the judge ordered Clinton, "under penalty of perjury," to certify that she had surrendered all her governmental emails to the State Department.

Eventually, Clinton did certify to the court that she did surrender all of her governmental emails to the State Department. She did so by sending paper copies of selected emails, because she had wiped clean her server. She acknowledged that she decided which emails were personal and which were selected as governmental and returned the governmental ones to the State Department. She has denied steadfastly and consistently that she ever sent or received any materials marked "classified" while secretary of state using her private server.

All of her behavior has triggered the FBI investigation because she may have committed serious federal crimes. For example, it is a crime to steal federal property. What did she steal? By diverting to her own venue the digital metadata that accompany all emails—metadata that, when attached to the work-related emails of a government employee, belong to the government—she stole that data. The metadata do not appear on her paper copies—hence the argument that she stole and destroyed the government-owned metadata.

This is particularly troublesome for her present political ambitions because of a federal statute that disqualifies from public office all who have stolen federal property. (She is probably already barred from public office—though this was not prominently raised when she entered the U.S. Senate or the Department of State—because of the china, silverware, and furniture that she and her husband took from the White House in January 2001.)

Clinton may also have committed espionage by failing to secure the government secrets entrusted to her. She did that by diverting those secrets to an unprotected, nongovernmental venue—her own server—and again by emailing those secrets to other unprotected and nongovernmental venues. The reason she can deny sending or receiving anything marked "classified" is that protected government secrets are not marked "classified."

So her statement, though technically true, is highly misleading. The governmental designations of protected secrets are "confidential," "secret," and "top secret"—not "classified." State Department investigators have found 999 emails sent or received by Clinton in at least one of those three categories of protected secrets.

Back when Clinton became secretary of state, on her first day in office, she had an hour-long FBI briefing on the proper and lawfully required care of government secrets. She signed a statement, under penalty of perjury, acknowledging that she knew the law and that it is the content of emails, not any stamped markings, that makes them secret.

Earlier this week, my Fox News colleagues confirmed the certain presence of top-secret materials among the 999 emails. Intelligence from foreign sources or about foreign governments is always top-secret, whether designated as such or not. And she knows that.

As well, she may have committed perjury in the FOIA case. When the House Select Committee on Benghazi, in its investigation of her role in the deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, gathered emails, it found emails she did not surrender to the State Department.

Last week, the State Department released emails that give the FBI more areas to investigate. These emails may show a pattern of official behavior by Clinton designed to benefit the financial interests of her family's foundation, her husband, and her son-in-law. Moreover, the FBI knows of a treasure-trove of documents that may demonstrate that the Clinton Foundation skirted the law and illegally raised and spent contributions.

Two months ago, a group of FBI agents sat around a conference table and reviewed the evidence gathered thus far. Each agent was given the opportunity to make or detract from the case for moving forward. At the end of the meeting, it was the consensus of the group to pursue a criminal investigation. And Clinton is the likely target.

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

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  1. I mostly expect … bupkis. But there is a chance that Obama and other Top.Dems will decide she is an obstacle to winning the White House and even a drag on Congressional races, and decide to indict her just to scuttle her campaign in favor of, say, the Massachusetts squaw. Not Bernie, he is too old and too radical and too independent. But Lizzie would fit the bill very well, and I think there is a reason she has been keeping quiet so far.

    1. I don’t expect much either.

      But I wil say that this investigation has spread very wide. There are too many people involved to be able to cover it up.

      1. I reallly doubt the FBI is about to issue arrest warrents on Hillary. No matter how many laws she broke. Maybe, if in perfect world where Sam Vimes was in charge, she would face criminal charges. But we all know that’s not going to happen.

        1. He’s the Watch Commander we need.

        2. I reallly doubt the FBI is about to issue arrest warrents on Hillary.

          Yeah, I fully expect them to chicken out. What will most likely happen is they’ll conduct a “thorough” investigation, but conclude that there isn’t enough evidence to indict her. Then a couple of weeks before the election (if not after) they’ll release a several hundred page report on the investigation that no one will have time to go through and dig out the juicy details until after she’s already inaugurated corronated as queen. By then it will be too late, and the progtards will say “Why are you rat-fucking misogynist teabaggers still bringing that up?! It’s old news! FORWARD, COMRADES!!!1!!!”

          1. She needs to be executed for treason.

        3. I’m betting the software company that Clinton outsourced to set up the servers and some low level staff will get indicted.

          1. Unlikely, unless they signed national security agreements like she did, along with being granted security clearances.

        4. I fully expect the FBI to express their disgust and anger with Mrs. Clinton by immediately arresting the leader of the nearest Tea Party group for having a spent shell casing.

        5. Too true, but, oh, to see Hilary doing a perp-walk in handcuffs would be so very delightful.

    2. This “investigation” will end up like the one into the IRS abuses of TEA party groups.
      It will be blamed on incompetence of low-level employees, and that is something they can’t say is illegal.
      It’s all about intent, don’t you know?
      And everyone will be expected to ignore the fact that HiLIARy relied on incompetents to handle sensitive national security information.

  2. Thank you for a great article compiling the full story.

  3. Here is the big issue I see on the Dems allowing anything to happen to her.

    Part of the documentation you sign (and they all do – or should) is to report any person that is improperly handling government information. Many people from Obama down had to receive emails from Hillary and never reported her. I’m sure they sent emails to her, which is a huge no-no also. They are all guilty of mishandling government information. In truth, if she goes down all of them should also face repercussions.

    This is why I don’t thing anything will come of the email issue, unfortunately.

    There might be something come out of the Foundation issue though. That is separate and wholly Clinton.

    1. The FBI is handling the investigation not the Dem.

      The head of the FBI is appointed to a ten year term and doesn’t have to answer to the President or anyone else.

      1. I know FBI is handling the investigation but I still don’t think it will go where it should. To many “top men” would be implicated with the information handling piece.

        I have zero trust that FBI will do the right thing in this kind of situation.

      2. Did the head of the FBI interact with Secretary of State Clinton via email?

      3. The FBI cannot indict, however.
        It is up to the DOJ, through the AG, to decide and she is, directly, under the control of 0blama, even if she wasn’t a fellow traveler, as she has shown herself to be.

      4. “The FBI is handling the investigation ”
        Oh well we know it won’t be political then.

  4. When can we look forward to her wearing a number? I imagine Obama will pardon her if it came to that, but it would benefit all of us for her not to be allowed to hold public office anymore.

    I look forward to her American Greed episode next spring.

  5. The “Justice” system is a joke. We all know she won’t be prosecuted regardless of what they find.

  6. We shall see. I’ll guess the FBI decision makers know that giving compelling info to the Justice Department will go no place fast, and are possibly hoping for a Republican president. Just a guess.
    We have really become a banana republic. I guess it was always possible – just never really thought it would happen.

  7. This is a great summation of the facts… but, to quote someone’s famous words, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

    She WILL win because it is: A) her turn; B) her supporters will continue to stand behind her regardless — even if it was revealed that she bathes in the blood of murdered virgin girls a la Countess Bathory, they would back her; and C) she and hubby have quite brilliantly put up one of their rich old friends and campaign donors to serve as the de-facto leader of the opposition while simultaneously trolling the rival party and making himself completely unelectable except among his 30% of rabid mouthbreather supporters.

    1. Good thing we have a nuanced sophisticate such as yourself to tell everyone in the flyover states who to vote for, right?

      1. Ha! As if I’d ever vote for her. While I expect politicians to be pretty corrupt and ethically slippery, she makes Nixon look like Mother Theresa. Besides, even apart from her self-serving arrogance, her agenda sounds like more of the same big-government crap that has failed for decades. No thank you.

    2. *She WILL win because it is: A) her turn; *

      It was her “turn” in 2008. How’d that turn out?

      *B) her supporters will continue to stand behind her regardless*

      She has less supporters than you might think. See also: 2008. The D’s are dumber than rocks not to run anyone against her. Sanders doesn’t count.

      I think the D’s want the R’s to win this time because they know the economy is going to tank and they don’t want to take the blame when it does.

      1. I’m being facetious when I say it’s “her turn.” It’s ridiculous that anyone should feel they are entitled to be president.

        I hope you’re right about the low number of her supporters. But the Repubs have done such a fantastic job of digging themselves into a hole, with the only halfway decent candidate in the low single digits in a field crowded with idiots, that I’m afraid she may win pretty much by default.

        As for the D’s wanting to lose, I doubt it. Power is very addictive, especially when you can continue to expand on an imperial presidency. And if the economy tanks, they will blame it on something else. No way they would ever accept responsibility.

  8. “Earlier this week, my Fox News colleagues confirmed the certain presence of top-secret materials among the 999 emails. Intelligence from foreign sources or about foreign governments is always top-secret, whether designated as such or not. And she knows that.”

    Really Judge? If Fox News said it was sunny and cloudless I’d wear a raincoat.

    1. So are you accusing Fox News of fabricating the information or that they have bad and unreliable sources? And who do you rely upon for your accurate news?

  9. Hillary has been scrupulously cautious in how she responds to the press regarding any question over her email: aware this could still go to court (sadly, not guaranteed), she’s been speaking both to the obvious press audience as well trying to cover herself for the possible legal proceedings. If this can’t be done, she simply ends the interview. Therefore, if Hillary makes it to the general election, there is one question that IMO she absolutely must be asked in a venue where she can’t flee or duck the question (like one of the televised debates):

    “With your experience as a member of the investigative team against Richard Nixon, and in your personal opinion, how many email messages would you say equals 17 minutes of audio tape?”

    Now, I’m not actually convinced that would sink her (there’s enough “true believers” that she could spin a statement that won’t scare them off), but the reminder to the rest of the political class that we’ve impeached a sitting president for what she’s already done should scare her just enough….

    1. Did you just say you can’t duck a question in a debate?

  10. “So her statement, though technically true, is highly misleading. The governmental designations of protected secrets are “confidential,” “secret,” and “top secret”?not “classified.”

    The term “classified” is a collective term used to describe any material that has been given a security designation. So any document that is designated “confidential”, “secret”, or “top-secret”, can be said to have been classified. And documents not given a security designation are therefore “unclassified”.

    Either way, Clinton has lied, but you should at least be clear on the point.

    1. Political-speak is styled for the benefit of polls but carefully constructed to evade the technicality of law. I can imagine the meetings before her press conference where the nuances are carefully thought thru so that she can lie now but later, while under oath, claim that she didn’t.

      The sheer number of scandals associated with the Clintons and the fact that none of them really stuck is evidence of mastery for knowing how not to get caught.

      1. Rule #1: If you’re going to break the rules, don’t get caught!

  11. Democrats don’t care about following the law unless it suits them. That’s why planned parenthood sold dead baby parts. That’s why they’re in favor of amnesty for ILLEGAL immigrants. That’s why they let the SCOTUS instead of the people decide same-sex marriage. and on and on…..

  12. All of her behavior has triggered the FBI investigation because she may have committed serious federal crimes. For example, it is a crime to steal federal property. What did she steal? By diverting to her own venue the digital metadata that accompany all emails?metadata that, when attached to the work-related emails of a government employee, belong to the government?she stole that data. The metadata do not appear on her paper copies?hence the argument that she stole and destroyed the government-owned metadata.

    In what way is metadata “property”? Metadata isn’t a creative expression of anything, hence it can’t be copyrighted. This kind of tortured and nonsensical argument isn’t going to convince voters, it is just going to make Clinton’s opponents look ridiculous.

  13. Earlier this week, my Fox News colleagues confirmed the certain presence of top-secret materials among the 999 emails. Intelligence from foreign sources or about foreign governments is always top-secret, whether designated as such or not. And she knows that.

    That’s a better argument, but still not a good one. Ultimately, classification is something the president and vice president have authority over, and unless they make a legal case, there really isn’t one to be made. Furthermore, unless there is clear evidence that information has fallen into the wrong hands, the argument that she mishandled the data isn’t going to be very convincing; if she’s allowed to take classified paper mail into her home, why shouldn’t she do the same with electronic mail?

    As a top level member of the federal government, the appropriate place for judging Hillary Clinton is the ballot box. Trying to make a criminal case just isn’t going to convince voters. Clinton’s supporters will view any discussions of classification and email server security as technicalities and view any legal efforts as a political misuse of the legal system; this would simply serve to drag down the reputation of the legal system.

    1. The reputation of the legal system is so high, how much could it hurt to drag it down, a little?
      /sarc off

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