News dumps are a seedy Washington ritual. If there’s potentially embarrassing, morally dubious or ethically questionable information that legally has to be released to the American public, you can almost guarantee that it’s going to come on a Friday afternoon, preferably before a holiday weekend. The hope is that the TV cameras will be distracted by weekend weather, that news reporters will be clocking out after a long week, and Americans’ tired eyes will be directed somewhere else other than a tedious news story about troublesome details buried in bureaucratic paperwork.
So it was a near-certainty that the pre-Labor Day news dump would contain some interesting nuggets on Hillary Clinton, but it was impossible to predict that the information would be as damning the newly released notes from the FBI investigation into Clinton’s private email turned out to be. Here are the most mind-boggling findings:
- Just days after the New York Times disclosed that Clinton had a private email account, her archived inbox was deleted.
Notes from a 3.5 hour interview with the Justice Department’s top counterintelligence officials reveal that months earlier Platte River, a company Clinton hired to operate the server, was instructed to permanently destroy the e-mails of Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, two of Clinton’s top aides. This didn’t happen. After the Times report was released and a House committee investigating the 2012 attacks subpoenaed emails related to the attacks on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, an unnamed analyst “had an ‘oh shit’ moment” and deleted an unknown number of emails, according to the report.
The Platte River specialist used a program known as BleachBit to delete the emails in such as way as to make it impossible for the FBI to recover their contents.
Five months later when Fox News asked whether or not Clinton “tried to wipe the entire server” in order to prevent officials from reading her work-related emails, the former Secretary of State played dumb. “Like with a cloth or something,” Clinton asked?
2. Clinton did not turn over all of her work-related emails, not even close.
When the story first broke back in March of 2015 Clinton told reporters that she had “absolute confidence that everything that could be in any way connected to work is now in the possession of the State Department.” She would later sign a statement swearing “under penalty or perjury” that she’d turned over all emails that “were or potentially were” related to her work with the State Department. And she testified under that she “provided the department…wth all of my work-related emails—all that I had.”
But a steady drip, drip, drip of information has revealed these statements to be falsehoods. The Weekly Standard reports:
A report by the State Department’s inspector general concluded that Clinton had not turned over any of the work-related emails she sent in her first three-plus months on the job, between January 2009 and April 2009. The Defense Department found 19 emails Clinton and General David Petraeus exchanged that were not included in her production to the government. The Benghazi committee uncovered a batch of undisclosed work-related emails between Clinton and Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime Clinton adviser who wrote to share privately sourced intelligence on Libya and other pressing State Department matters. (At the time of their correspondence, the Clinton Foundation was paying Blumenthal $10,000 per month to serve as a consultant.)
Later, the FBI’s James Comey announced that their investigation “discovered several thousand work-related emails that were not among the group of 30,000 e-mails that were returned by Secretary Clinton. And the recently released notes put a finer point on the depth and breadth of Clinton’s effort to hide her emails. “To date, the FBI has recovered from additional data sources and reviewed approximately 17,448 unique work-related and personal emails from Clinton’s tenure…that were not provided” to the FBI.”
3. Clinton wants the public to believe that she didn’t know that “C” meant classified
Clinton told FBI agents that she was largely ignorant of the government’s classification system. When FBI officials presented Clinton with an email marked with a “(C),” the standard way of indicating that it included confidential information, Clinton said she believed that it “was referenced paragraphs marked in alphabetical order.”
Keep in mind, Clinton was the First Lady for eight years, she was a United States senator for eight years, during which time she was assigned to the Senate Armed Services Committee, and she was secretary of State for four years. And after all that time as a high-level consumer of classified information, Clinton wants Americans to believe that not only did she not know that “(C)” meant classified, but that she believed it had something to do with the alphabeticalization of the paragraphs (despite the lack of any indications of (A)s, (B)s or (D)s). That’s insulting.
4. Clinton’s disappearing devices
Early on in the scandal Clinton assured a skeptical public that her home-brew email set up was set up for the sake of convenience. As it turns out, Clinton had 13 total mobile devices associated with her two known numbers, none of which Clinton’s attorneys could manage to locate. Of course, it’s not hard to see why given that Clinton told the FBI that her devices, which contained classified information, would sometimes disappear. One staffer told investigators that he destroyed two phones “by breaking them in half or hitting them with a hammer.” Not exactly the kind of behavior one expects from a public official required to maintain their records.