by Tom Fitton –
Judicial Watch is once again in the center of events this week in Washington. This week the FBI told a federal court in a Judicial Watch open records lawsuit that Hillary Clinton’s conduct is under investigation. This was the first formal confirmation by the FBI that Hillary Clinton is in its sights. Here’s my statement on the FBI letter to U.S. Department of State Principal Deputy Legal Adviser Marry McLeod concerning the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s and her staff’s use of non-“state.gov” email accounts:
The FBI letter is a significant development. The FBI confirms for the first time that Mrs. Clinton’s use of a “private” email server is a matter for law enforcement. Why did it take nearly a week for the Obama Justice Department to file this letter with the court? There’s now no getting around it: Hillary Clinton’s email use could have serious criminal consequences for her and other current and former administration officials.
The FBI letter reads as follows:
Dear Ms. McLeod:
I am writing to update my September 21, 2015, response to your letter dated September 2, 2015, regarding Judicial Watch v. Department of State, 13-cv-1363 (D.D.C.), and your request for information pursuant to the Court’s Order of August 20, 2015. At that time, I informed you that the FBI could neither confirm nor deny the existence of any on-going investigation. Since that time, in public statements and testimony, the Bureau has acknowledged generally that it is working on matters related to former Secretary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server. The FBI has not, however, publically acknowledged the specific focus, scope or potential targets of any such proceedings. Thus, while the FBI’s response to you has changed to some degree due to these intervening events, we remain unable to provide the requested information without adversely affecting on-going law enforcement efforts.
The letter was produced in response to a court order in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit before U.S. District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan. The lawsuit concerns the “special government employee” status of Clinton’s longtime aide Huma Abedin. At the State Department, Abedin was Clinton’s deputy chief of staff. Now, she is vice chairwoman of Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Relying upon the State Department’s representation that the agency conducted a search of Hillary Clinton’s offices, Judicial Watch agreed to dismiss its lawsuit on March 14, 2014. Judge Sullivan reopened the lawsuit on June 19, 2015, in response to revelations about Clinton’s separate email system.
You can imagine how this revelation – once again, thanks to JW, not to Congress or the somnolent and compromised liberal media – shook Washington. Here’s a sampling of headlines:
From NBC News reporter Pete Williams: “FBI formally confirms its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server”
From Fox News: “FBI says Clinton email investigation remains ‘ongoing'”
From Investor’s Business Daily: “Congratulations, Democrats, Your Top Candidate Is Under Federal Probe”
And we were featured over at the Wall Street Journal this week and on Fox News last night with Brett Baier on the Clinton matter.
From my perspective, the criminal issues relating to Hillary Clinton and her gang (see below) are coming to a head. The political class seems to be whistling past the graveyard when it comes to the very real prospect of a criminal indictment of Hillary Clinton. Whatever happens, JW supporters like you can take great satisfaction that our effort to hold Hillary Clinton accountable for her misconduct is succeeding beyond measure.
Hillary Clinton and her Top State Department Aides Received and Circulated Classified Information on Their Non-Government Email Accounts
When she was asked at a recent “debate” if she was concerned about the FBI investigation into her email practices, Hillary Clinton told debate moderators she “is 100 percent confident” nothing will come of the investigation. Of course, what else could she say? “I’m almost certain nothing will come of the criminal investigation?”
Here, at Judicial Watch we are not certain of what might happen. But we can talk to you about what we know and what the latest developments are in the ongoing scandal that now engulfs President Obama’s former secretary of state. We can show you why – at the least – Mrs. Clinton could and almost certainly should be indicted, tried, and convicted.
Let’s talk about Exhibit 999 in the case against Mrs. Clinton. This week, we released nearly 70 pages of State Department records that show that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top aides, Deputy Chiefs of Staff Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan, received and sent classified information on their non-state.gov email accounts. The documents, also available on the State Department website, were obtained in response to a court order from a May 5, 2015, lawsuit filed against the State Department after it failed to respond to a March 18 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking:
• 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-“state.gov” email address.
The new documents show that Hillary Clinton used the clintonemail.com system to ask Huma Abedin (also on a non-state.gov email account) to print two March 2011 emails, which were sent from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (using the moniker “aclb”) to Jake Sullivan on Sullivan’s non-state.gov email account. The Obama State Department redacted the Blair emails under Exemption (b)(1), which allows the withholding of classified material. The material is marked as being classified as “Foreign government information” and “foreign relations or foreign activities of the US, including confidential sources.”
Another email shows that Clinton wanted to know how meetings in Washington, including a four-hour meeting concerning America’s war on Libya, would impact her Hampton vacation. Responding to an email that details the sensitive meetings in DC, Clinton emails Abedin on August 26, 2011: “Ok. What time would I get back to Hamptons?” Again, this email discussion takes place on non-state.gov email accounts.
The documents also include advice to Clinton on Libya from Sidney Blumenthal, a Clinton Foundation employee who, according to a Judicial Watch investigative report, also had business interests in Libya. Clinton wanted Blumenthal’s March 9, 2011, Libya memo to be printed “without any identifiers.” Blumenthal is a despicable political operative and Clinton consigliere that even the Obama White House banned from working in the Clinton State Department. This explains why Hillary Clinton wanted to keep his compromised advice secret, “without any identifiers.”
The newly released Abedin emails include a lengthy exchange giving precise details of Clinton’s schedule using unsecured government emails. The email from Lona J. Valmoro, former Special Assistant to Secretary of State Clinton, to Abedin and Clinton reveals exact times (including driving times) and locations of all appointments throughout the day. Another itinerary email provides details about a meeting at the United Nations in New York at 3:00 on Tuesday, January 31, 2012, with the precise disclosure, “that would mean wheels up from Andrews at approximately 12:00pm/12:15pm.” Heaven forbid that the bad guys got hold of this sensitive information. This email lawlessness by Clinton and her aides put themselves and other innocents at risk.
Various media outlets and blogs have picked up on what your JW has brought to light. The Hot Air blog, for instance, took a deep dive into this latest batch of Clinton documentation:
The memo from Sid Blumenthal has “CONFIDENTIAL” at the top of the message, but that’s from Blumenthal, not a government classification. State released that memo without redactions. The need to strip “identifiers” off of it almost certainly reflected the need to keep Blumenthal’s involvement quiet in the face of intense dislike of him at the White House.
The Tony Blair e-mail will be much more difficult to explain….
These redactions are justified under 5 USC 552 (b)(1), which allows the government to block the release of classified information in the FOIA process. As Judicial Watch points out, the designations 1.4(B) and (D) refer to foreign government information; the (D) can also refer to “confidential sources,” which might describe Blair or perhaps someone else Blair discussed in the redacted message. Note too that both Jake Sullivan and Hillary got this from Blair, with Hillary getting it on her personal e-mail. She then forwards it to Huma Abedin with instructions to print it out. So much for never sending or receiving classified information. Note too that this time the classification notice comes from State, and not the IG from the intel community.
These emails show that Hillary Clinton isn’t the only Obama official who should be worried about being prosecuted for mishandling classified information. Her former top State Department aides (and current campaign advisers) Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan should be in the dock, as well. The Obama State Department has now confirmed that Clinton, Abedin, and Sullivan used unsecured, non-government email accounts to communicate information that should now be withheld from the American people “in the interest of national defense or foreign policy, and properly classified.”
We Americans should demand of the Obama Justice Department: when can we expect the indictments?
Judicial Watch Exposes More on Clinton
Classified Documents Scandal
Just so we’re all clear on where Hillary Clinton’s apologists in the media and in government are concerned, no one now denies that she had emailed classified material. Not the State Department, not anyone else in the Obama administration and nobody on her campaign. Let’s not forget it was your JW that was way out in front in exposing this deceit.
For instance, this week we just released a letter from the Department of State to Hillary Clinton’s lawyers that includes a list of classified records to be either deleted or returned to the State Department. The documents were produced under court order in a FOIA lawsuit for all of Clinton emails and for records about her email practices.
The June 30, 2015, letter from Secretary of State for Management Patrick F. Kennedy to Clinton lawyers David Kendall and Katherine Turner states in part:
I am writing in reference to the e-mails on the attached listing (“listed documents”) that are among the approximately 55,000 pages that were identified as potential federal records and produced on behalf of former Secretary Clinton to the Department of State on December 5, 2014.
Please be advised that portions of the listed documents have now been classified as “Confidential” pursuant to Section 1.7(d) of Executive Order 13526 in connection with a review and release under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In order to safeguard and protect the classified information, I ask – consistent with my letters to you dated March 23 and June 19, 2015 – that you, Secretary Clinton and others assisting her in responding to congressional and related inquiries coordinate in taking the steps set forth below.
1. If there are electronic copies of the listed documents in your possession (other than on the master copies that are being secured at your firm), please delete them. Additionally, once you have done that, please empty your “Deleted Items” folder.
2. Place any non-electronic copies of the listed documents that you locate in a brown envelope, seal it, address it to my office and mark the word “CONFIDENTIAL” on the outside of that envelope. Once that is done, please notify us and we will pick up the envelope from your office.
3. If any of these documents have been further disseminated, the recipients must also be put on notice about their classification. As described above, electronic copies should be deleted and non-electronic copies should be retrieved and provided to the Department.
Finally, please note that the classification of portions of the listed documents pursuant to Executive Order 13526, Section 1. 7(d), does not in itself indicate that any person previously acted improperly with respect to the document or the information contained therein….
Attached to the letter is a list of 25 documents, all dated from 2009, under the label, “Reclassification/Classification of Information Under Section 1.7 (d) of Executive Order 13526”:
2.Meeting Between DSE Farmer and President Preval
3.Note from Bill Burns
5.FW: Update on US Support of GOH Plan
6.Fw: DPRK AMCIT DETENTIONS CONFERENCE CALL – a quick addition
7.Fw: DPRK AMCIT DETENTIONS CONFERENCE CALL – a quick addition
8/Fw: DPRK AMCIT DETENTIONS CONFERENCE CALL
9.Fw: Sri Lanka Update
10.Re: DPRK: AMCIT BORDER DETENTIONS UPDATE #47
11.Re: Call Sheets For S calls to JPN, KOR, CHN, and RUS (SBU)
13.Re: Fwd: From Joe Wilson
14.Re: Call to Chinese FM Yang
16.FW: Late Night Call with Michele Pierre Louis
19.Re: DPRK/CHINA: AMCIT BORDER DETENTIONS UPDATE #11
20.Re: DPRK/CHINA: AMCIT BORDER DETENTIONS UPDATE #13
21.Note for the Secretary on May 6 with Sergei Ryabkov and Anatoly Antonov on the Strategic Arms Reduction Follow-on-Treaty (START FO) and the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE)
24.Fw: 1 Page Trip Report from China, Korea, and Rome
25.Trip Report from Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Rome
China, North Korea, Russia. Is there a hotspot in the world not covered by Hillary Clinton’s egregious mishandling of classified information that could harm our nation’s security?
This letter highlights how the State Department took a casual approach to Hillary Clinton’s violations of law concerning classified information. The Obama State Department should have sent the FBI to retrieve and secure this classified information. Does Hillary Clinton still have other classified material she is hiding from the State Department?
As I told Fox News this week, no wonder the FBI had to intervene.
Before I close, here is a brief update: Last week, I reported to you on how a federal judge ordered the State Department to explain how and when new records from the office of Hillary Clinton were located and why they were not identified previously. I promised a follow up. Well, the State Department filed an explanation this week and it was nonsensical and impossible to follow. Even worse, the State Department was seeking an indefinite deadline to review and turn over any documents due to us under federal law! You can read JW attorneys’ reply to this latest stonewall effort, which was filed just the other day in federal court.
You can see how every JW victory and uncovered document is scratched out through persistent, tough-as-nails lawyering by our fine team of attorneys. Thanks to your support, our legal battalion is every bit the equal to – and better than – the legion of taxpayer-funded and private attorneys (whether for the Clintons or antagonists such as the ACLU) we face in courts across the land.
Tom Fitton – President
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