Hillary Clinton’s “inevitable” cruise to the presidency has crashed onto the twin sandbars of the Sanders surge and the FBI’s seizure Wednesday of the private computer server and thumb drives that likely contain classified documents. Thus, it is useful to review her initial statements on E-mailgate. In hindsight, she swaddled journalists in lies.
‐“I did not e-mail any classified material to anyone on my e-mail. There is no classified material,” Clinton declared at her March press conference.
This was a lie. There was classified material.
Among the 30,490 e-mails that Clinton handed the State Department last December, the inspector general for the intelligence community (ICIG) sampled 40 and discovered that four (or 10 percent) were classified. Of these, two (or 5 percent) “when originated” were designated “TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN.”
This information was not just sensitive, such as the date when Clinton might visit, say, Islamabad — which could tantalize the Pakistani Taliban. Rather, this involved such things as satellite images and electronic intercepts. Executive Order 12356 of 1982 specifies that these secrets’ unauthorized disclosure could cause “exceptionally grave damage to the national security.” If the ICIG’s sample mirrors Clinton’s other e-mails, some 1,500 could be top secret.
“I am confident that I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received,” Clinton claimed on July 25.
Why such confidence?
A State Department official told Fox News, “Someone would have had to strip the classification markings from that information before it was transmitted to HRC’s personal e-mail.” If true, this would have helped Clinton say that she never saw anything labeled “classified.” If Clinton and any aides colluded in such document tampering, this would constitute a criminal conspiracy.
‐“I opted for convenience to use my personal e-mail account,” Clinton said in March. “I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal e-mails instead of two.”
On February 24, just two weeks before her press conference, Clinton boasted about her technophilia. She told the Silicon Valley Conference for Women: “I’m like two steps short of a hoarder. I have an iPad, a mini iPad, an iPhone, and a BlackBerry.”
‐Clinton told journalists in March: “I have absolute confidence that everything that could be in any way connected to work is now in the possession of the State Department.”
At a minimum, Clinton seems to have withheld from State nearly 30 e-mails, largely regarding Libya, sent by Sidney Blumenthal, the Clintons’ real-life Doug Stamper and someone whom Obama forbade her to hire. Instead, the Clinton Foundation paid Blumenthal, who in turn supplied unvetted back-channel intelligence to America’s then-top diplomat — as Monica Crowley first noticed. Among Blumenthal’s 30 e-mails to Clinton, State forwarded only one to the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Blumenthal furnished the other 29.
‐Clinton’s e-mail server, she said, “was on property guarded by the Secret Service. And there were no security breaches.”
Perhaps the server “was” in Chappaqua, surrounded by the Secret Service. On Wednesday, however, the FBI seized the device across the Hudson River — in a New Jersey facility affiliated with Platte River Networks, a Colorado-based technology company. Evidently, PRN moved the server there in June 2013.
• “The system we used was set up for President Clinton’s office,” Hillary told the media.
“Those briefed on the server setup say the device installed for Bill Clinton was deemed too small for the addition of a sitting Cabinet official,” the Washington Post reported Wednesday. “Instead, a server that had been purchased for use by Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign was installed at the Chappaqua home.”
‐Clinton said, “It was my practice to communicate with State Department and other government officials on their .gov accounts, so those e-mails would be automatically saved in the State Department system to meet recordkeeping requirements.”
Clinton communicated with top adviser Huma Abedin via Abedin’s private clintonemail.com account. It’s one thing to exchange personal messages via such means (e.g. “See you for yoga after the Cabinet meeting”). It’s quite another to conduct foreign policy outside official e-channels.
“Mrs. Clinton did something here that went well beyond occasional or incidental use of private e-mail accounts,” former Justice Department official Shannen Coffin has written. “She eschewed the use of an official account entirely.”
As former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy has observed, “It was a violation of government guidelines (and very likely of federal law) for Mrs. Clinton and her closest aides to have systematically conducted government business on a private e-mail system.”
U.S. Code Title 18 § 2071 makes it a federal felony when a custodian of government records “willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same.”
#related#Through her efforts to “conceal,” “remove,” and possibly “obliterate” such records during and after her tenure, Clinton yet may endure this law’s penalties: a fine, up to three years in prison, and becoming “disqualified from holding any office under the United States.”
Those nine words of federal law could sink Hillary Clinton’s titanic ambitions.
Most disturbing, Team Clinton still takes none of this seriously.
“This kind of nonsense comes with the territory of running for president,” Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri said. “We know it, Hillary knows it, and we expect it to continue from now until Election Day.”
E-mailgate burst into the news on March 2. Clinton’s press conference was March 10. She had eight days to recall details, check records, consult with advisers, and then step forward and tell journalists the truth. Instead, she stood up and wove a tapestry of lies.