Family Security Matters
What was their security-clearance level?
What was the legal rationale under which Hillary Clinton quite intentionally shared classified information with her lawyers, including David Kendall, Cheryl Mills, and Heather Samuelson?
As I outlined in last weekend’s column, we know that Clinton’s e-mails were replete with classified information. According to the FBI, the classified e-mails included intelligence graded at the most closely guarded level: eight top-secret e-mails, and seven designated as “special access program” (SAP) information. (While FBI director James Comey’s presentation understandably left this vague, the likelihood is that seven of the eight top-secret e-mails are SAP.) Under President Bill Clinton’s 1995 executive order, top-secret intelligence is information the mishandling of which “could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.” The SAP designation is added when the unauthorized disclosure of intelligence could compromise critical intelligence-gathering methods or imperil the lives of intelligence sources.
That is why access to this information is so tightly restricted, and its unauthorized disclosure is routinely prosecuted.
With that as our backdrop, let’s get two things straight.
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit to obtain Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) records relating to its “investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a non-government email server during her tenure.” The lawsuit includes a demand for FBI “302” documents, which are reports of FBI investigation interviews. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:16-cv-02046).
The Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit was filed after the Justice Department failed to comply with a July 7, 2016, FOIA request seeking the following:
- All FD-302 forms prepared pursuant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server during her tenure.
- All records of communications between any agent, employee, or representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding, concerning, or related to the aforementioned investigation. This request includes, but is not limited to, any related communications with any official, employee, or representative of the Department of Justice, the Executive Office of the President, the Democratic National Committee, and/or the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.
- All records related to the meeting between Attorney General Lynch and former President Bill Clinton on June 27, 2016.
There is significant controversy about whether the FBI and Obama Justice Department investigation gave Clinton and other witnesses and potential targets preferential treatment.
The FBI extended numerous immunity agreements, including: Clinton’s former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills; John Bentel, former director of the State Department’s Office of Information Resources Management; Heather Samuelson, Clinton’s executive assistant; Brian Pagliano, an IT employee at the State Department who serviced the Clinton non-government server; and an employee at Platt River Networks, the company that maintained it. It is not clear whether Hillary Clinton received some type of immunity.
Adding to the growing controversy about the handling of the Clinton matter, The Wall Street Journal recently reported this week that finance records show longtime Clinton supporter Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s PAC gave a $467,500 campaign donation to the wife of Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s deputy director. His wife ran for the Virginia Senate in 2015. At the time of the campaign and of McAuliffe’s support, McCabe was associate deputy director. McCabe continues to be involved in the investigation of Clinton’s email case. Fox News reports that he was recently asked to brief House Oversight Committee on allegations that a State Department official offered a “quid pro quo” with the FBI in an attempt to declassify an email.
On June 29, 2016, Attorney General Loretta Lynch is reported to have met privately with former President Bill Clinton on board a parked private plane at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona. The meeting occurred during the then-ongoing investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s email server, and mere hours before the Benghazi report was released publicly involving both Mrs. Clinton and the Obama administration. Judicial Watch filed a request on June 30 that the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General investigate that meeting.
The FBI has released to the public some Clinton investigation materials, other records remain withheld.
“FBI Director James Comey’s promise to the American people of transparency about the FBI’s investigation of Clinton was an empty promise – otherwise we wouldn’t be in federal court seeking this information,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “An air of corruption surrounds the FBI/Justice Department investigation of Hillary Clinton and so, through this lawsuit, Judicial Watch is investigating the investigators.”