Clinton, Top Aides Still Have State Dept. Security Clearances

Free Beacon

BY:

Hillary Clinton and seven of her top aides have retained their State Department security clearances a year after the FBI concluded they were “extremely careless” handling sensitive information.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, revealed Clinton’s current security clearance status on Friday. Grassley released the information to express concern about the State Department’s slow bureaucratic process, Circa reported.

“The State Department confirmed that it is continuing to review the mishandling of classified information that passed through Secretary Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized email server as she and seven former aides retain access to sensitive information,” Grassley’s office said.

Clinton, who served as secretary of state under former President Barack Obama, and seven of her aides were designated as “research assistants” in order to keep their security clearances.

Clinton was under investigation for using a private email address and home-brewed server to send and receive classified information during her tenure at the State Department.

Former FBI Director James Comey said last July that Clinton and her top aides were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

“There is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information,” Comey said.

Comey recommended that the Justice Department not pursue criminal charges, however, because he could not prove Clinton intended to break the law by using a private email server.

Grassley sent a letter to the State Department in late March asking for Clinton’s security clearance details.

Court Rules State Department Must Release Clinton Emails Detailing Obama Response to Benghazi

JUDICIAL WATCH

Trump Administration Asks Court Again to Keep Records Secret

Group Argues Agency Violating FOIA to Cover for Hillary Clinton 

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today announced that U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has ordered the U.S. Department of State to turn over to Judicial Watch “eight identical paragraphs” of previously redact material in two September 13, 2012, Hillary Clinton emails regarding phone calls made by President Barack Obama to Egyptian and Libyan leaders immediately following the terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi.  Both emails had the subject line “Quick Summary of POTUS Calls to Presidents of Libya and Egypt” and were among the emails stored on Clinton’s unofficial email server.  Judge Jackson reviewed the documents directly and rejected the government’s contention that the records had been properly withheld under the FOIA B(5) “deliberative process” exemption.

Judge Jackson ruled:  “the two records, even if just barely predecisional, are not deliberative. [The State Department] has pointed to very little to support its characterization of these two records as deliberative, and the Court’s in camera review of the documents reveals that they do not fall within that category.”

The full emails may reveal what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama knew about the September 11, 2012, terror attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi.

Following Judge Jackson’s March 20 ruling, the State Department asked the court to reconsider.  The State Department argued that, due to an internal “mistake,” it failed to claim that the emails were classified and, therefore, exempt from production under FOIA Exemption B(1).

In response, Judicial Watch argues that the failure was not a mistake, but instead was part of a deliberate effort by the State Department to protect Clinton and the agency by avoiding identifying emails on Clinton’s unofficial, non-secure email server as classified.

Judicial Watch’s filing cites an interview of an FBI employee who told federal investigators that top State Department official Patrick Kennedy pressured the FBI to keep Clinton’s emails unclassified.  The employee told the FBI he “believes STATE ha[d] an agenda which involves minimizing the classified nature of the CLINTON emails in order to protect STATE interests and those of CLINTON.”

Judicial Watch’s filing also cites an interview of a State Department employee who told the FBI that the State Department’s Office of Legal Counsel interfered with the FOIA processing of email from Secretary Clinton’s server, instructing reviewers to use Exemption B(5) (deliberative process exemption) instead of Exemption B(1) (classified information exemption).  According to the FBI interview:

STATE’s Near East Affairs Bureau upgraded several of CLINTON’s emails to a classified level with a B(1) release exemption . [Redacted], along with [Redacted] attorney, Office of Legal Counsel, called STATE’s Near East Affairs Bureau and told them they could use a B(5) exemption on a upgraded email to protect it instead of the B(1) exemption. However, the use of the B(5) exemption, which is usually used for executive privilege-related information, was incorrect as the information actually was classified and related to national security, which would be a B(1) exemption.

Judicial Watch argues:

An agency’s deliberate withholding of a FOIA claim, either to gain a tactical advantage or, as appears to be the case here, to protect the agency’s interests and those of its former head, is “a motive undoubtedly inconsistent with FOIA’s broad remedial purpose …” It “counsels denying the Government’s request.”

The emails in question were sent to then-top administration officials, including Clinton, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, Clinton Deputy Chief of Staff Jacob Sullivan, Special Assistant Robert Russo, and Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough.

“Does President Trump know his State and Justice Departments are still trying to provide cover for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama?” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “An extraordinary court ruling that could result in key answers about the Benghazi outrage is being opposed by the Trump administration.  This may well be an example of the ‘deep state’ trying to get away with a cover up – if so then the Trump administration must put a stop to it.”

Judicial Watch obtained the original documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01511)). The lawsuit was filed on September 4, 2014, after the State Department failed to respond to a June 13, 2014, FOIA request seeking:

  • All records related to notes, updates, or reports created in response to the September 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. This request includes, but is not limited to notes taken by then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or employees of the Office of the Secretary of State during the attack and its immediate aftermath.
  • The timeframe for this request is September 11-15,

Judicial Watch’s numerous FOIA lawsuits have forced the State Department to release hundreds of Benghazi-related documents.

Senator Grassley Asks Why “Extremely Careless” Hillary Still Has Access To Classified…

Zero Hedge

via Free Republic

Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, would very much like to understand why Hillary Clinton and 6 of her closest “research aides” may still have access to classified State Department information despite FBI Director Comey’s assertion that they were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

And, after sending numerous requests to John Kerry’s State Department that ‘shockingly’ fell on deaf ears, Grassely has sent a letter to Secretary of State Tillerson asking why Hillary’s security clearance hasn’t yet been revoked given that “any other government workers who engaged in such serious offenses would, at a minimum, have their clearances suspended pending an investigation.”

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Federal Court Hearing on FBI Clinton Records – Agency Wants Up to Two Years to Turn Over 35 Records

Judicial Watch

Hearing Set for Tuesday, February 7

(Washington DC) – Judicial Watch today announced a hearing will be held Tuesday, February 7, 2017, regarding Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking records held by the FBI containing text messages and emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stored on the equipment of Datto Inc., a commercial data management company, as well as FBI records about the device and what materials were recovered on it (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:16-cv-02369)).  The case is before U.S. District Court Judge Randolph D. Moss.

At the previous hearing Tuesday, January 24, 2017, Trump administration lawyers for the FBI informed Judicial Watch and the court that it located 35 FBI records that concern the Datto device and that it may take up to two years to release the records.  In addition, the FBI recovered approximately 10,000 messages from the Datto device.  The messages were turned over to the State Department to be processed and released on its website.

Tomorrow’s hearing should address whether the Trump FBI will be able to slow walk the release of these records.

Judicial Watch’s lawsuit seeks:

  • All records, including but not limited to emails or text messages (SMSs, MMSs, BBMs, iMessages, etc.), discovered, recovered, retrieved from, or found on any Datto device, equipment, or hardware connected to or used to backup or support former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s clintonemail.com email system.
  • All records relating to the FBI’s efforts to discover, recover, retrieve, or find emails or text messages stored on the Datto device, equipment, or hardware …

Clinton reportedly was using an online backup service called Datto Inc. to create copies of her data during a time when she and her aides were improperly handling classified material. Datto’s website company promises data is “invincible, secure, and instantly restorable at any time.

Datto announced it had turned over a “hardware device” to the FBI, along with all Clinton emails the company had in its possession, possibly including Clinton’s deleted private emails:

“With the consent of our client and their end user, and consistent with our policies regarding data privacy, yesterday, Tuesday, October 6, Datto delivered a hardware device to the FBI containing all backed up data related to Platte Rivers Networks’ client known to be in its possession,” said the company.

The court hearing is scheduled for Tuesday morning:

Date: Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Time: 10 a.m. ET

Location: Courtroom 21

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

333 Constitution Ave NW

Washington, DC 20001

DHS, State Dept. Enlist Terrorist Group to Conduct Anti-Terrorism Training

Judicial Watch

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and State Department teamed up with an Islamic terrorist front group this month to train foreign officials how to protect Muslim civil rights and avoid discrimination and profiling when countering violent extremism. It marks the latest of many collaborations between the Obama administration and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group with extensive links to foreign and domestic Islamists that was founded by three Middle Eastern extremists (Omar Ahmad, Nihad Awad and Rafeeq Jaber) and reportedly raises money for Hamas.

In 2008 CAIR, which claims to be America’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization, was a co-conspirator in a federal terror-finance case involving the Hamas front group Holy Land Foundation. Read more in a Judicial Watch special report that focuses on Muslim charities. Despite the group’s radical ties, it wields tremendous power in the Obama administration. This is especially true when it comes to the way the nation’s local and federal law enforcement agencies conduct anti-terrorism training. In fact, it was CAIR that got the FBI to purge anti-terrorism material determined to be offensive to Muslims. Judicial Watch uncovered that scandal a few years ago and obtained hundreds of pages of FBI documents with details of the arrangement. Judicial Watch also published a special in-depth report on the subject. CAIR also got several police departments in Obama’s home state of Illinois to cancel essential counterterrorism courses over accusations that the instructor was anti-Muslim. The course was called “Islamic Awareness as a Counter-Terrorist Strategy” and departments in Lombard, Elmhurst and Highland Park caved into CAIR’s demands.

This month CAIR’s Florida chapter joined forces with DHS and the State Department to conduct a special training for a delegation of French national security officials in its Tampa headquarters. The weeklong event trained the foreign officials how to “effectively challenge violent extremist individuals of all backgrounds and prevent hate crimes, while protecting civil rights and challenging profiling and discrimination,” according to a CAIR announcement. Listed by name, the French delegation included a deputy police chief, deputy prosecutor, education specialist, public safety director, a radicalization prevention specialist and other French government representatives. Among the highlights of the event was a presentation by the regional operations director of CAIR’s Florida headquarters clumping “hate crimes” in the same category as “violent extremism.”

The local CAIR director, Hassan Shibly, applauded the French national security delegation’s participation and warned that restricting liberty—presumably, cracking down on terrorism—encourages hate crimes and violence. Preserving liberty and civil rights, Shibly told the French security officials, is key to preserving peace and security. Shared democratic values were a common ground that allowed the groups to navigate the importance of security and civil rights protection, according to one of the CAIR directors who organized the training along with the U.S. government.

Besides playing a key role in shaping anti-terrorism training to be Muslim friendly, CAIR has flexed its muscle to block terrorism investigations during the Obama presidency. This includes intercepting an FBI probe involving the radicalization of young Somali men in the U.S. like the ones who carried out the 2013 attack at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Northern Nairobi. Several of the jihadists involved in the attack were Somalis from Minnesota, according to a mainstream news report. Among them was 22-year-old Ahmed Mohamed Isse of St. Paul and 24-year-old Abdifatah Osman Keenadiid of Minneapolis. In the years before the attack, the FBI and Congress launched probes into the radicalization of the Somali American community in Minnesota. Al Shabaab recruits young men in local mosques and ships them off to train and fight in Somalia. CAIR has interfered with the U.S. government’s investigation into this operation and a few years ago it actually hampered an FBI probe into the disappearance of dozens of Twin Cities Somali men.

New Emails Show Hillary Clinton Contacts with Bryan Pagliano – Raise New Questions About Her Sworn Testimony

JUDICIAL WATCH

Clinton’s October 13 Sworn Statement: She ‘Does not Recall’ Communicating with Pagliano about Emails

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released new State Department documents, which were uncovered by the FBI in its investigation of Clinton and her use of the clintonemail.com system. The emails reveal direct communications between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top IT specialist, Bryan Pagliano, about clintonemail.com management problems.  Last week, Clinton claimed under oath to Judicial Watch that she “does not recall having communications” with Pagliano relating to the email system.  Clinton’s emails to Pagliano, who installed and maintained the clintonemail.com computer system in the Clinton’s New York home, relate to email management problems with Clinton’s BlackBerry.  The FBI recovered these new emails from those not turned over by Hillary Clinton.  These new emails are government documents and not personal emails as Hillary Clinton claims in defending her decision to not turn over 30,000 emails sent or received by her as Secretary of State.

The new documents were among the nearly 15,000 Clinton emails discovered by the FBI, and obtained in response to an April 8, 2016, federal court order directing the Department of State to begin producing materials for 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 information about Bryan Pagliano’s involvement with Clinton’s email system.

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Weekly Update: Clinton Scandal Update

Clinton Scandal Update
The State Department Continues Dragging Its Feet
Court Rejects Claim of Racial Distinctions in the Natural Texture of Hair

 

Judicial Watch

Clinton Scandal Update

Hillary Clinton’s use of an email server in the basement of her home while she was secretary of state will leave a permanent stain on our system of justice and on the public’s trust in government.

This became abundantly clear during our “Clinton Scandal Update – Emails and the Clinton Foundation” symposium held here in Washington on September 29, 2016.  The full video is available here – and is well worth watching and sharing.

Chris Farrell, our director of investigations, and I were joined by three distinguished experts: WND senior staff writer Jerome Corsi, author of Partners in Crime: The Clinton’s Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit; Peter Schweizer, author of the New York Times best-seller Clinton Cash; and Joseph E. diGenova, former United States Attorney for the District of Columbia.

Peter Schweizer pointed out that the Clintons’ pay-for-play scandal sets “an extremely dangerous precedent. This is about more than the Clintons,” he said. “If it is not dealt with in a legal manner, it’s going to be imitated.” He also noted that this scandal dwarfs anything we have seen before in terms of efforts to hide what was occurring and in the sheer amount of money involved.

Chris Farrell spoke of the permanent damage done to the reputation of the FBI by Director James Comey’s negligence. “Mr. Comey is personally compromised,” he said. “The institution won’t get over it.” As you know, before joining Judicial Watch Chris worked in national intelligence. He pointed out that we know of at least 22 emails crossing Clinton’s unsecure server that contained “sensitive compartmented information,” a high level of classification. “This puts the United States at grave risk. Any first class intelligence organization would be looking for that kind of information.”

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