FEDERAL LAW: Hillary Not Recommended for Prosecution Following FBI Criminal Investigation
The FBI announced today that its criminal probe of Hillary Clinton’s “home brew” private email server did not turn up enough evidence to recommend criminal charges.
The climax of the Clinton email denial, FOIA file, lack of trial and it all took awhile (trademark) perversely unfolded this Independence Day weekend with Clinton’s husband and fellow public service profiteer, Bill Clinton, ambushing Attorney General Loretta Lynch (not in a White House intern way) as their private jets crossed paths at the Phoenix airport Friday; Hillary’s interview with the FBI to wrap up the criminal investigation into her “gross criminal negligence” in setting up a secret personal email server on Saturday; and FBI head James Comey’s announcement Tuesday that Mrs. Clinton is not recommended for prosecution by Mrs. Lynch’s Justice Department. Bring on the fireworks.
Our friends at Good Morning America report:
Clinton’s campaign confirmed the [FBI] meeting early on Saturday. Later, the former secretary of state told MSNBC she had been “eager” to participate in the interview and was “pleased to have the opportunity” to help the justice department bring the investigation to a conclusion.
Really, what took y’all so long? I ain’t no ways tired!
Clinton chided MSNBC’s Chuck Todd when he dared to bring up the interview on Meet the Press Sunday morning.
“Let me just repeat what I have repeated for many months now,” Clinton said. “I never received nor sent any material that was marked classified.”
Mrs. Lynch, less connected than the Clintons, continues to perform political damage control after she conveniently said she’d defer to the judgement of the FBI in prosecuting a mere three days before they also decided not to pursue criminal charges against the self-styled “champion” of the Democratic Party.
“It’s important to make it clear that that meeting with President Clinton does not have a bearing on how this matter will be reviewed and resolved,” Lynch said at the Aspen ideas festival in Colorado.
“The recommendations will be reviewed by career supervisors in the department of justice and in the FBI, and by the FBI director. And then, as is the common process, they present it to me and I fully expect to accept their recommendations.”
Clinton denied to MSNBC the meeting was inappropriate. She wasn’t there, so we’ll just have to trust her trusting her husband, Bill “That depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is” Clinton.
“I think, you know, hindsight is 20/20,” Clinton said. “Both the attorney general and my husband have said they wouldn’t do it again.
“Obviously no one wants to see any untoward conclusions drawn.” (GMA)
The Hill pointed out some new information Mr. Comey decided to share with the public today.
Although Clinton’s campaign and the State Department have repeatedly denied any of 2,000 emails from the server now considered classified by the Federal Government were “marked classified” at the time they were sent or received by Mrs. Clinton and her aides, 113 emails were classified at the time they were sent, according to The Hill.
(This is all about legalese anyway, because as right-wing journalists have emphasized since the revelation of the Secret Server–trademark?–last year, no State Department communications are “marked classified,” ever. There are instead levels of “how badly do we not want the Russians, WikiLeaks and Lucifer to see these national secrets,” including but not limited to “sensitive.”)
In her defense, Hillary understands the classification, and this was her explanation to the little people, according to GMA:
“There is a process for the review of material before it is released to the public and there were decisions made that material should be classified. So therefore it would not be publicly released.”
Comey, however, confirmed what Federal agencies have pointed out as the “not work-related” emails Clinton deleted from the server have been released monthly to settle a lawsuit from Judicial Watch: Clinton’s New York basement server did have sensitive information.
In fact, federal agencies have claimed that 113 emails in more than 50 chains contained sensitive information at the time they were sent or received by her private setup, which she kept at her home in New York. Of those, eight chains contained information considered top secret, the highest level of classification.
Three of the sensitive emails were discovered among the thousands the former secretary of State claimed were purely personal in nature and which she deleted before giving her servers to the FBI last year.
An undisclosed “very small number” of messages “bore markings indicating the presence of classified information,” he said, without divulging additional details.
Clinton’s unilateral decision to wipe over half of the 60,000 emails on her Secret Server because they “weren’t work-related” and therefore not subject to State Department regulations expressly forbidding their deletion (not to be confused with the regulations forbidding use of personal email accounts to conduct any Federal Government business at all) was apparently also false, as the FBI probe found.
“I chose not to keep my private personal emails — emails about planning Chelsea’s wedding or my mother’s funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends as well as yoga routines, family vacations, the other things you typically find in inboxes,” Clinton said in March 2015 in a widely scrutinized press conference at the United Nations.
However, the FBI turned up “several thousand work-related emails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton” to the Federal Government when her Secret Server was discovered.
“Traces” of these emails were present on “machines connected to the private clintonemail.com domain” (Hill), and “fragments” were found on decommissioned servers and the emails of Clinton’s contacts. They’re like semen, they get everywhere.
Comey also said none of the work-related emails were intentionally deleted. So it was like an accident. Sort of like the cash businesses that unintentionally deposit large sums of just under $10,000, prompting the IRS to take everything they own (Google “civil asset forfeiture”).
“We found no evidence that any of the additional work-related e-mails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them. Our assessment is that, like many e-mail users, Secretary Clinton periodically deleted e-mails or e-mails were purged from the system when devices were changed.”
Comey reported Clinton’s Secret Server did not “archive” old emails like Yahoo!, Google and Facebook chat do. What a nice coincidence.
But Clinton’s lawyers, who got to pick and choose which emails (all of which were public record) would be revealed to the public (in redacted form, of course), used a search tool and did not read each individual email.
In doing so, they may have accidentally overlooked some emails that should have been sent to the government. (Hill)
“So it is not surprising that we discovered emails that were not on Secretary Clinton’s system in 2014, when she produced the 30,000 emails to the State Department,” Comey said.
“It is also likely that there are other work-related emails that they did not produce to State and that we did not find elsewhere,” Comey said.
Those messages, he added, are likely “now gone because they deleted all e-mails they did not return to State, and the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery.”
Oops. Oh well.
The FBI investigation also determined that Clinton’s “I did everything on my one (illegal) Secret Server” narrative is false.
Clinton did hand over the hard drive (wiped of all emails) to the FBI months after the lawsuits started flowing in.
“Secretary Clinton used several different servers and administrators of those servers during her four years at the State Department, and used numerous mobile devices to view and send e-mail on that personal domain. As new servers and equipment were employed, older servers were taken out of service, stored and decommissioned in various ways,” Comey continued.
Finally, the FBI found no evidence the Secret Server was hacked by Guccifer, the Chinese, terrorists, activists, etc.
Hackers have targeted people she communicated with, such as longtime confidant Sidney Blumenthal, and her arrangement was relatively well-known and “readily apparent,” Comey said.
“It is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account,” he said.
The Federalist notes that Comey left an opening at the end of his press conference to take future action against lesser, non-royalty Americans who demonstrate similar “gross negligence” (even if they aren’t campaigning to control our nuclear codes):
“To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.”
The Comey hand-washing comes just four days after Clinton’s husband, former president Bill Clinton, met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the airport tarmac in Phoenix on Friday.
Clinton reportedly delayed his departure from the airport to ensure his private jet would be alongside Lynch’s as it arrived, giving Clinton time to board and discuss…well, who knows what they discussed. Shut up and vote for Hillary.
The New York Observer found a source who was present on the airport tarmac and reported the FBI and other security details were not pleased with Mr. Clinton’s maneuvering at the Sky Harbor “Executive Airstrip.”
According to the source, the FBI agents protecting Lynch “knew former POTUS was in town and another executive was coming and knew Lynch was coming so we knew there’d be congestion. We were waiting for her plane to touch down at the executive terminal area of Phoenix’s Sky Harbor where it’s best suited to control. Clinton’s plane was on the ground already. But he wasn’t there. We had been hoping to get him out before she arrived, just to avoid too much traffic. They [their planes] were 75 yards apart. We have a procedure we do to clear [space for] a motorcade. As we were ready to receive her, I saw the other motorcade coming in—we were like, ‘great timing.’
“Nobody knew this was coming. We just knew to be aware there were other events going on. There was no planned meeting. It was just chance contact. The fact is, he just started walking over. I don’t think it was pre-arranged. He just started walking over and [even her security] can’t tell him, ‘you can’t do that.’ He walked in her plane for at least 20 to 25 minutes and the FBI is standing face to face with the Secret Service and just chatting on the hot tarmac like, ‘what the hell.’ ”
The source also reported Mrs. Lynch’s handlers were aware of the horrific optics (even headed into a holiday weekend “news dump” where the circumstances might not be so thoroughly nationalized) and they were “flipping out […] [her staff] saw right away that it was a political problem. After Clinton got off, they were like, ‘that wasn’t good.’”
As we reported previously, Mrs. Lynch had this to say at a press conference the next day:
“Actually, while I was landing at the airport, I did see President Clinton at the Phoenix airport as I was leaving, and he spoke to myself and my husband on the plane,” [Lynch] said. “Our conversation was a great deal about his grandchildren. It was primarily social and about our travels. He mentioned the golf he played in Phoenix, and he mentioned travels he’d had in West Virginia.
“There was no discussion of any matter pending for the department or any matter pending for any other body,” Lynch added. “There was no discussion of Benghazi, no discussion of the State Department emails, by way of example.”
Thanks to our other sources: