Like the eye of a hurricane, Donald J. Trump almost magically keeps himself at the very center of attention, no matter what chaos surrounds him. This phenomenon and the relentless and exhausting drama of the Democratic and GOP presidential primaries largely have kept the eyes of the world off Hillary Clinton and the increasingly ominous developments in the E-mailgate scandal. Despite the former secretary of state’s impressive ballot-box victories, her ethical woes multiply.
‐The number of classified e-mails on Clinton’s private computer server totals 2,115. At her initial March 10, 2015, news conference on this fiasco, Clinton claimed that “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.” Actually, “no” such e-mails actually exceed by 99 the number of years since the birth of Christ.
If the first reports on this intelligence catastrophe indicated that Clinton’s server contained two thousand one hundred and fifteen classified e-mails, the Duchess of Chappaqua would have left her press conference in the back of a squad car.
Clinton’s server held at least 22 e-mails that are too Top Secret to be made public, even if redacted. Moreover, the Washington Post reports that Clinton’s server contained 104 dispatches in which “officials have determined that material Clinton herself wrote in the body of email messages is classified.”
The Post quoted a former senior functionary who is angered by today’s public display of e-mails that were sent securely and expected to remain quiet.
“I resent the fact that we’re in this situation,” the official said, “and we’re in this situation because of Hillary Clinton’s decision to use a private server.”
Yes, mistakes are made. And accidents will happen. But these 2,115 classified e-mails went well beyond the occasional glitch.
During Clinton’s almost exactly four-year tenure at State, she abused — on average — 529 classified e-mails per year, 44 per month, 10 per week, and two per business day. That’s one before lunch and another by quitting time Monday through Friday, the whole time Clinton was at Foggy Bottom. Far from a few forgivable slip-ups, this was a quilt-like pattern of behavior that was grotesquely negligent — at best.
‐Bryan Pagliano, Clinton’s former State Department information technologist, has received immunity and has been singing, apparently to FBI agents and career federal prosecutors. Topic: Why and how was Clinton’s private e-mail server installed and operated?
“Bryan Pagliano is a devastating witness and, as the webmaster, knows exactly who had access to [Clinton’s] computer and devices at specific times,” an intelligence source told Fox News. “His importance to this case cannot be over-emphasized.”
Clinton reportedly paid Pagliano $140,000 on the side to manage her private server. If so, that six-figure sum contradicts Clinton’s claim that “I saw it as a matter of convenience” to place that gear in her Chappaqua home, 267 miles northeast of her office. The convenient thing would have been for Clinton to keep $140,000 and simply follow State’s standard procedures.
‐Clinton and her spokesmen have blamed her E-mailgate travails on “right-wing outfits,” “right-wing attacks,” and “Republicans in Congress.”
But Pagliano was not immunized by Glenn Beck or the notorious Koch Brothers. Rather, he has been shielded by a federal judge, at the request of Obama-administration prosecutors. Clinton no longer can call E-mailgate a GOP fishing trip — unless she considers Obama a Republican.
As legendary Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein told CNN: “The vast right-wing conspiracy didn’t put the server in her damn closet.”
‐ The Justice Department seems poised to interrogate Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, and other top Clinton aides, to see whether, among other things, they exchanged passwords to read secret documents to which they had no authorized access. They may have copied classified passages from materials on secure government computers, pasted them into unprotected e-mails, and forwarded them to Clinton’s unguarded and possibly hacked home server.
If true, this goes far beyond hitting “reply all” and unwittingly sending two or three classified e-mails to unapproved recipients.
Classified messages must have been moved, physically, from State’s secure system and then onto Clinton’s freelance server. This may have involved retyping classified text from secure computers onto unprotected PCs or by transporting documents between systems via thumb drives.
‐Clinton may face interrogation by the FBI and DOJ prosecutors, possibly before a grand jury. If so, this will be nearly impossible to hide from the campaign press corps. Even Clinton’s most devoted fans in the media will have to cover this wall-to-wall.
‐Something supremely disturbing may emerge from all of this: Clinton’s abuse of state secrets may have alerted al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamofascist terrorists to the vulnerabilities of the U.S. consulate at Benghazi, and even to the movements of the late U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.
As Breitbart’s Aaron Klein reported, an April 10, 2011, e-mail forwarded to Clinton’s server described Libya’s growing danger as well as Stevens’s location.
The situation in Ajdabiyah has worsened to the point where Stevens is considering departure from Benghazi. The envoy’s delegation is currently doing a phased checkout (paying the hotel bills, moving some comms to the boat, etc). He will monitor the situation to see if it deteriorates further, but no decision has been made on departure. He will wait 2-3 more hours, then revisit the decision on departure.
An e-mail that March 27 revealed that “the current game plan is for Mr. Stevens to move no later than Wednesday from Malta to Benghazi. . . . The goal of this one day trip is for him to lay the groundwork for a stay of up to 30 days.”
As another e-mail that April 24 explained:
Stevens will be meeting with MFA in one hour and will make a written request for better security at the hotel and for better security-related coordination. He still feels comfortable in the hotel. They are looking into the idea of moving into a villa, but that is some way off.
Could such an “Ambassador Stevens is here” message from the day of the deadly Benghazi terrorist attack be among the roughly 30,000 “personal” e-mails that Clinton conveniently erased?
#related#Either way, as if to confirm how profoundly out of touch she is, Clinton told MSNBC Tuesday: “We didn’t lose a single person” in Libya.
Hillary Clinton is many things — among them, lucky. How E-mailgate unfolds over the next few months will demonstrate whether her good fortune truly is infinite.