How The FBI Director Systematically Destroyed Hillary Clinton’s Email Defense

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FBI Director James Comey’s remarks Tuesday about Hillary Clinton’s email use while she was secretary of state directly contradicted much of what Clinton had said publicly about the issue.

Here’s how Comey’s statements stack up against Clinton’s explanations.

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Did Clinton send or receive classified material using her private setup?

What Clinton said:

March 10, 2015: “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email.”

July 2, 2016: “Let me repeat what I have repeated for many months now. I never received nor sent any material that was marked classified.”

What Comey said:

“These [classified] chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending emails about those matters and receiving emails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.

“None of these emails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these emails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government – or even with a commercial service like Gmail.”

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Were the emails classified at the time they were sent, or were they deemed classified only later by government bureaucrats?

What Clinton said:

March 9, 2016: “What you are talking about is retroactive classification. And the reason that happens is when somebody asks or when you are asked to make information public, I asked all my emails to be made public. Then all the rest of the government gets to weigh in.”

What Comey said:

“From the group of 30,000 emails returned to the State Department, 110 emails in 52 email chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification.

Separate from those, about 2,000 additional emails were up-classified to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the emails were sent.”

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Did the emails contain markings demonstrating that they contained classified material?

What Clinton said:

From Clinton campaign’s “facts about Hillary Clinton’s emails” website:”No information in Clinton’s emails was marked classified at the time she sent or received them.”

What Comey said:

“Only a very small number of the emails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information. But even if information is not marked ‘classified’ in an email, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.”

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Was the server ever hacked or otherwise subject to foreign intrusion?

What Clinton said:

March 10, 2015: “There were no security breaches.”

Campaign fact sheet: “There is no evidence there was ever a breach.”

What Comey said:

“We did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal email domain, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked. But, given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence.

We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial email accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account. We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal email extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related emails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account.”

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Did Clinton turn over all of her work-related correspondence?

What Clinton said:

August 8, 2015, court filing: “I, Hillary Rodham Clinton, declare under penalty of perjury that the following is true and correct . . . I have directed all my emails on clintonemail.com in my custody that were or potentially were federal records be provided to the Department of State and on information and belief, this has been done.”

What Comey said:

“The FBI also discovered several thousand work-related emails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014. . . . I should add here that we found no evidence that any of the additional work-related emails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them.”

– – –

How thoroughly was Clinton’s correspondence reviewed to determine which emails were work-related and which were purely personal and could be deleted?

What Clinton said:

Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill to Time Magazine, March 14, 2015: “Every one of the more than 60,000 emails were read. Period.”

What Comey said:

“The lawyers doing the sorting for Secretary Clinton in 2014 did not individually read the content of all of her emails, as we did for those available to us; instead, they relied on header information and used search terms to try to find all work-related emails among the reportedly more than 60,000 total emails remaining on Secretary Clinton’s personal system in 2014.”

– – –

Was the FBI conducting a criminal investigation?

What Clinton said:

Feb. 4, 2016: “This is a security review that was requested. It is being carried out. It will be resolved.”

Clinton campaign fact sheet: “As the Department of Justice and Inspectors General made clear, the IGs made a security referral. This was not criminal in nature as misreported by some in the press. The Department of Justice is now seeking assurances about the storage of materials related to Clinton’s email account.”

What Comey said:

“The investigation began as a referral from the Intelligence Community Inspector General in connection with Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email server during her time as Secretary of State. The referral focused on whether classified information was transmitted on that personal system.

“Our investigation looked at whether there is evidence classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on that personal system, in violation of a federal statute making it a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way, or a second statute making it a misdemeanor to knowingly remove classified information from appropriate systems or storage facilities.”

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What conclusion should be drawn about the decision to use a private server?

What Clinton said:

March 9, 2016: “It wasn’t the best choice. I made a mistake. It was not prohibited. It was not in any way disallowed. And as I have said and as now has come out, my predecessors did the same thing and many other people in the government.”

What Comey said:

“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Rosalind S. Helderman 

{Matzav.com}

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