by Tom Fitton –
This week we received Department of State emails showing that, during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, Laura Pena, a top aide to Clinton, helped push through the political appointment of Bryan Pagliano, a former Hillary for President IT director, to a political position in the IT group at the State Department.
Yes, that’s a bit odd.
The newly released documents also show the involvement of Patrick Kennedy, under secretary for management, in Pagliano’s hiring.
The emails show that others in the State Department International Resource Management (IT division) in which Pagliano would work questioned why a political appointee was being placed in the office. And the emails reveal that a political appointee could not even report directly to a superior in the International Resource Management division, raising further questions among Pagliano’s supervisors.
Before becoming Clinton’s State Department White House liaison, Pena served as the Hillary for President campaign’s Director of Hispanic Outreach and Deputy Director of Women’s Outreach, leaving that position to become the Deputy Political Director of Clinton’s Friends of Hillary PAC. In January 2009, Pena joined Clinton at the State Department where she helped secure Pagliano’s political appointment one month later.
The significance of all this: While at the State Department, Pagliano allegedly provided tech support for Hillary Clinton’s non-State.gov email system.
The new documents were obtained in response to an April 8, 2016, federal court order directing the Department of State to begin delivering materials to Judicial Watch in response to a September 3, 2015 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-01441)). The lawsuit was filed after State failed to comply with an August 5, 2015 FOIA request seeking the following:
All records concerning the hiring of Bryan Pagliano;
All time sheets, calendars, or similar records of Bryan Pagliano;
All records of travel to/from Chappaqua, NY. Such records include, but are not limited to, expense reports, reimbursement forms, and travel logs;
All records of Bryan Pagliano concerning, regarding, or relating to the maintenance of former Secretary Clinton’s email server. Such records include, but are not limited to, expense reports, reimbursement forms, and maintenance logs; and
All records of communications between Bryan Pagliano and any official, officer, or employee of the Office of the Secretary concerning former Secretary Clinton’s email server.
The emails obtained by Judicial Watch reveal that the political appointment of Pagliano was expedited after Clinton aide Pena sent an initial email to Patrick Kennedy on February 23, 2009:
From: Pena, Laura
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 11:25 AM
To: Patrick Kennedy
Subject: Bryan Pagliano
Please let me know when you are ready to give Brian his assignment at IRM, I’d like to give him a heads up and a better idea of the position.
From: Kennedy, Patrick F.
Sent: Saturday, February 28, 2009 11:48 AM
To: Pena, Laura
Subject: RE: Bryan Pagliano
Susan Swart and Charlie Wisecarver are very interested in him and were calling him to talk.
Will get you a read-out
From: Kennedy, Patrick F.
Sent: 5at Feb 28 11:48:55 2009
To: Wisecarver, Charles D [Deputy, Bureau of Information Resource Management]
Cc: Swart, Susan H [Director, Bureau of Information Resource Management]
Subject: FW: Bryan Pagliano
How did the conversation go and have you reached an agreement?
From: Wisecarver, Charles D
To Taglialatela, Linda S [then Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Human Resources]
Cc: Swart, Susan H; Fedak, Janice J
Sent: Monday, Mar 09 06:54:07 2009
Subject: Schedule C?
Pat passed on resume of a young man who ran technology for the Clinton for President campaign. Janice and I met with him on Friday and see the value in bringing him on.
According to a March 25, 2016, Reuters article, despite Swart’s and Wisecarver’s compliance in moving through the Pagliano appointment, both were concerned because “Schedule C hires usually work in agencies’ executive offices, not in technical areas like an IT department.”
Reuters reported that a letter from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) to Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy in mid-March addressed those concerns. And the emails obtained by Judicial Watch revealed the extent of Swart’s and Wisecarver’s misgivings about the political nature of the Pagliano appointment:
From: Raymos, Jeanne N [former Director, Executive Resources and Performance Management]
Sent: Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:08 PM
To: Wiscarver, Charles D
Subject: RE: Schedule C – Bryan Pagliano
Charlie, As a Schedule C, Bryan must report to a PAS [Presidential Appointee requiring Senate confirmation], and since Ms. Swart is not a PAS, the PD should identify U/S Kennedy as the supervisor.
From: Wisecarver, Charles D
To: Swart, Susan H
Sent: Wed March 11 21:45:45 2009
Subject: FW: Schedule C – Bryan Pagliano
Your not a PAS! What is a PAS? Is this a reference for a confirmed A/S?
From: Swart, Susan H
Sent: Wed March 11, 2009 9:53 PM
To: Wisecarver, Charles D
Subject: RE: Schedule C – Bryan Pagliano
I don’t know what a pas is. PFK [Patrick F. Kennedy] specifically said we didn’t need to be pol apptees but it sure sounds like we do. I am going to ask him. What a bunch a
On May 4, 2016, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan granted Judicial Watch “discovery” in another FOIA lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)) in which Judicial Watch can take testimony from Pagliano and Kennedy.
These documents show that politics played a role in Clinton email witness Brian Pagliano’s hiring at the State Department. Why place a political appointee in the IT department of the State Department? It is no coincidence that this same controversial political hire helped Hillary Clinton with her illicit email system.
Meantime, we have learned that the State Department supposedly can’t find the main compute file containing Pagliano’s State Department’s email records. According to Politico, the Obama State Department thinks we should be satisfied that some of his emails ended up in other employees’ files.
This game is not surprising. The State Department first gave only a few Pagliano documents, but we pushed back at the agency because the public record showed there were more documents. Sure enough, that led to this latest batch of records that were only found because we wouldn’t be fooled by the Obama gang.
We expect more records soon, and Mr. Pagliano’s testimony to Judicial Watch attorneys should happen over the next few weeks.
In the meantime, here, via Fox News, is a good summary of Clinton email developments featuring Judicial Watch.
Whitewater: Twelve Versions of Hillary Clinton Draft Indictment, 451 Pages, Withheld By National Archives
If federal prosecutors are drafting an indictment against Hillary Clinton, it wouldn’t be the first time. New details continue to emerge from Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act fight with the National Archives over the release of draft indictments of Hillary Clinton in the Whitewater case.
Our Chief Investigative Reporter, Micah Morrison, has the details in JW’s Investigative Bulletin:
According to the Archives, release of the indictments—drafted by an independent counsel examining the Clintons’ relationship to a corrupt Arkansas S&L and an alleged cover-up—would violate grand jury secrecy and Mrs. Clinton’s personal privacy. FOIA request denied.
Judicial Watch declined to take “no” for an answer, and so off to court we went. The case is now in the hands of a federal judge.
In the course of litigation, new facts have come to light. Under FOIA, the Archives must produce a “Vaughn Index”—a tantalizing and at times maddening document. A Vaughn Index is the government saying: we are not giving you the documents, but here is an “index” of what we are not giving you, and why we are not giving it to you. Your tax dollars at work.
In the National Archives Vaughn Index for the case, we learn that the government is sitting on at least twelve versions of the draft indictment of Mrs. Clinton, including one “listing overt acts.” From the public record, we know that the Whitewater case centered around whether Mrs. Clinton, while First Lady, lied to federal investigators about her role in the corrupt Arkansas S&L, concealed documents (including material under federal subpoena), and took other steps to cover-up her involvement. Prosecutors ultimately decided not to indict Mrs. Clinton, concluding that they could not win the complicated, largely circumstantial case against such a high-profile figure.
The draft indictments range from three to forty pages—the former likely excerpts or “scraps” from longer documents, the Vaughn Index indicates. Some of the drafts doubtless are copies, but many clearly are not. A total of 451 pages of draft indictments are being withheld by the Archives.
In its final brief in the case, Judicial Watch took a wrecking ball to the Archives’ grand jury secrecy and personal privacy claims. Judicial Watch noted “the truly enormous quantities of grand jury material already made public” in the independent counsel’s final report. Judicial Watch provided the court with a detailed list of grand jury and non-grand jury material that had already been made public. If there ever was a valid claim to grand jury secrecy in this closely scrutinized case, it is long gone.
The Judicial Watch brief noted that the Archives “fails to identify a single, specific privacy interest Mrs. Clinton still has in the draft indictments” following publication of the independent counsel’s report and “hundreds of pages of grand jury materials, non-grand jury materials, and independent counsel legal theories and analysis that are already in the public domain.”
A typical FOIA privacy claim centers on unwarranted invasions of personal privacy. But in Mrs. Clinton’s case, the brief noted, the Archives “makes no claims that disclosure of the draft indictments will reveal any particular personal, medical or financial information about Mrs. Clinton, much less anything intimate or potentially embarrassing.”
Mrs. Clinton of course is one of the most famous women in the world, a former First Lady, senator and secretary of state, and the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee for president of the United States. The findings of an investigation into whether Mrs. Clinton told the truth to federal investigators and withheld evidence under subpoena while she was First Lady is clearly matter of public interest as voters weigh her suitability for the highest office in the land.
The Obama administration tells the court that her draft indictment is only of passing “historic” interest to Americans. If you think this sounds like something out of the Clinton campaign, I’d agree with you. Now, we must wait for the court to decide the issue.
Hillary Clinton Knew Almost Immediately
About Security Risk of Using Private Blackberry
Trying to be objective as I can, it is remarkable that Judicial Watch, a nonprofit educational foundation, is the national leader in uncovering key information about the conduct of the nation’s most significant public figure – Hillary Clinton.
We are still uncovering Hillary Clinton’s emails, for example, the existence of which had previously been unknown – and which could have significant criminal ramifications for Mrs. Clinton.
These new emails are among the 296 pages of State Department documents we released this week. They include a February 27, 2009, email in which Clinton apologized to health care activist/physician Mark Hyman for failing to respond to a message because, “no blackberry contact permitted in my office.”
The new documents also contain a February 22, 2009, email exchange between Clinton and her then-Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, trying to communicate over a secure line after Clinton returned from a trip (evidently to Asia ). Unable to set up a secure communication, Clinton told Mills, “I called ops and they gave me your ‘secure’ cells… but only got a high-pitched whining sound.” When Mills suggested that Clinton try the secure line again, Clinton wrote back, “I give up. Call me on my home #.”
The previously unreleased Clinton emails date back as far as January 2009 and further contradict statements by Hillary Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department and that she did not use her clintonemail.com system until March 18, 2009.
The newly obtained emails cover topics such as: the administration’s Iran policy; Obama’s stimulus program; the sharing of “management issues” with “Maggie” Williams, former campaign manager for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign; confusion over voice mail versus text messages; image coaching from 2008 campaign advisor Doug Hattaway; and a thank you note from Mark Hyman for “opening the door” for a Senate hearing on functional medicine; as well an email detailing incoming calls from China and Russia. The new Clinton documents also include a censored email that shows Clinton and Cheryl Mills were contacted by Maria Haley, a longtime Clinton aide (since deceased) who was implicated the Chinagate scandal. (The Washington Examiner also picked up on how the emails show Clinton helped the corrupt Steven Rattner get a job in the Obama administration as Car Czar.
All these documents were obtained in response to a court order from a May 5, 2015, lawsuit filed against the State Department (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)) 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.
An email from former Democratic National Committee Treasurer Andrew Tobias asks top Clinton aide Huma Abedin to pass along to the secretary his idea for restoring U.S. prestige abroad. Tobias recommended serving a billion dollars a year of “complementary hot chocolate, iced tea, and lemonade” to international tourists standing in line at U.S. airports. According to Tobias, the refreshments would generate “substantial international goodwill.” The State Department records indicate Abedin printed out and forwarded the emails. (Mr. Tobias shows up today in a blockbuster Wall Street Journal report documenting yet more corruption at the racketeering organization known as the Clinton Foundation.)
You will recall that in March we released Clinton State Department emails dating from February 2009 that also call into question her statements about her emails. Those emails contained more evidence of the battle among security officials in the State Department, National Security Administration, Clinton and her staff over attempts to obtain secure Blackberrys.
This drip-drip of new Clinton emails show Hillary Clinton could not care less about the security of her communications. How many other smoking-gun emails are Hillary Clinton and her co-conspirators in the Obama administration hiding from the American people?
Let’s hope honest investigators in the FBI and any principled prosecutors in the Justice Department are following JW’s work.
Tom Fitton – President
425 3rd St, SW Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20024