State Department and Intelligence Agencies Ask For An Investigation in the Clinton Email Scandal

225px-Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_cropIn a major development on the Clinton email scandal, the New York Times is reporting that the inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence community have asked the Justice Department to open an investigation into whether there was mishandling of classified information by Hillary Clinton using a personal email account while secretary of state. While the newspaper referred to the action as a criminal referral, the Administration quickly moved to counter the story and insist that it is not technically a criminal referral. We have previously discussed this story and the insistence of Clinton that she did nothing wrong in maintaining a private email system and that none of the emails were classified. I disagreed with both premises as well as expressed great skepticism over Clinton’s insistence that she was really not trying to control her emails and insulate them from review but rather simply did not want to carry around two phones. According to the New York Times, investigators believe that Clinton’s email archive contained “hundreds of potentially classified emails.” Nevertheless, the Justice Department appears to be moving to counter any expectation of a criminal investigation against the former Secretary of State under Obama. We have previously discussed the special treatment historically given powerful figures in violating national security rules or practices.

That is if anything a conservative estimate. As I discussed earlier, virtually anything coming out of the office of the Secretary of State would be considered classified as a matter of course. I have had a TS/SCI clearance since Reagan due to my national security work and have lived under the restrictions imposed on email and other systems. The defense is that this material was not technically classified at the time that it was sent. Thus it was not “classified” information. The problem is that it was not reviewed and classified because it was kept out of the State Department system. Moreover, most high-level communications are treated as classified and only individually marked as classified when there is a request for disclosure. You do not generate material as the Secretary of State and assume that it is unclassified. You are supposed to assume and treat it as presumptively classified. Otherwise, there would be massive exposure of classified material and willful blindness as to the implications of the actions of persons disregarding precautions. For example, there is not a person standing next to the President with a classification stamp in the Oval Office. However, those communications are deemed as presumptively classified and are not disclosed absent review. Under the same logic, the President could use a personal email system because his text messages by definition are not marked as classified. This is the whole reason that Clinton and others were told to use the protected email system run by the State Department. We have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to secure such systems.

US-DeptOfJustice-Seal_svgThe Justice Department has confirmed that it has a request for an inquiry and I fail to see any basis upon which it would not open an investigation. This is a major escalation and will make it more difficult for Clinton to maintain the past spin on the scandal as a purely political hatchet job.

It will also make Clinton’s order to destroy thousands of emails even more problematic. Those emails might now be considered to be potential evidence of a crime like destroying classified papers that you improperly brought home and than insisting that you judged them to be unclassified. The investigation could also expose her aides to criminal questioning under the threat of 18 U.S.C. 1001. That could lead to disclosure of what they were told and what they saw in the emails. It also means that the continued refusal of Clinton to turn over the server will be increasingly difficult to maintain.

As impressive as this exclusive statement is for the Times, there is a controversy over changes made at the request of the Clinton campaign that were not disclosed. Politico is reporting that the Clinton campaign insisted on a change of a line that read that the inspector generals asked for an investigation “into whether Hillary Rodham Clinton mishandled sensitive government information on a private email account she used as secretary of state.” That was changed to “into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state.” The headline was also changed from “Criminal Inquiry Sought in Hillary Clinton’s Use of Email” to “Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Account.” Both changes are obviously designed to give Clinton a little deniability as to her own role and accountability. However, she has never denied being fully aware that she was electing to circumvent the State Department account for her communications. Indeed, she has indicated that it was a conscious decision based on her earlier views of convenience and multiple phones. Her repeatedly claim that she was never subject to a subpoena has been described as false by media like CNN after it was disclosed that she had indeed been given a subpoena for the emails.

If there is an investigation, this means that Clinton will have to continue much of her campaign facing a possible criminal indictment and subject to questioning from investigators. It will also mean that media will be hard pressed to ignore the story or accept the past soundbites on convenience or political motivations. It also means that, while Clinton has described the release of the emails as “kind of fun,” it is about to get a lot less fun.

205 thoughts on “State Department and Intelligence Agencies Ask For An Investigation in the Clinton Email Scandal”

  1. Sorry, forgot to give credit to the author, JenniforHillary. Love you Jenn, you’re my kinda woman!

  2. @Byron

    A lot of progressive ideas are stupid. Personally, while more conservative on social issues, I am more of a progressive on many economic issues. For example, I think the minimum wage ought to be a livable wage. But I also think that should be a conservative belief, too. To pay someone less than what it takes for them to live, means that the taxpayers have to pick up the difference, or we have people living in the streets like in third world countries. Less than livable wages equate to some employers becoming looters, in the Ayn Rand sense of the word.

    I also believe that welfare should be for sick people, or old people who are not yet eligible for social security. I am not against it for somebody who is just poor, but it should be a very temporary thing to help someone get on their feet. If done intelligently, poor people could be given help very inexpensively.

    Where those ideas have gone south in this country, is that all the ideas are lost in societal disintegration and financial hemorrhaging on account of welfare and illegal immigration. For example, how could anybody go about helping the feral blacks in Baltimore? Most are too stupid and uneducated to work at anything but manual labor, and they are too lazy and shiftless to do that. You can’t just give them money, or they will have no incentive to do anything better. If they do get off their asses long enough to work,, what they find is 29.5 hours per week at crap wages where they can’t support themselves.

    Sooo, I think you have to fix the social problems first, and get off this whole idiotic “It takes a village” bullpoop. Like my father says, “At two o’clock in the morning, ain’t no village gonna come change the baby’s diaper.”

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  3. Squeaky:

    I don’t know about you but personally I think progressive ideas are nothing but ship and puke. They haven’t outgrown the childish ideas that their parents will tell them what to do and will take care of them.

    Too bad they don’t outgrow those ideas. The world is much better place when people take responsibility for themselves and don’t expect other people to change their diapers when they are able to do so themselves.

    My fascination is how anyone over the age of 25 can even buy into the Marxist BS.

  4. Paul:

    Interesting point but a federal judge could waive the statute of limitations if the executive branch agency mistepresented the facts or committed outright fraud which is what happened with Martin Luther King, Jr. An agency can’t falsify an illegal program that violates the U.S. Constitution and their own oath of office then enjoy statute of limitations protections when it’s declassified. What is ironic is of all the civil rights leaders that advocated violence, Martin Luther King, a Baptist minister, worked through the system in a constitutional non-violent manner.

    Today Martin Luther King, Jr has a mega-monument on the National Mall next to Jefferson, Lincoln and FDR. FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, will soon not be present on any government buildings.

    One could even argue if an executive branch agency can knowingly commit fraud, then classify that fraud it would actually create an “incentive” for future fraud which is what resulted after 9/11. An honest judge will laugh at a statute of limitations defense.

    1. Ross – the judge doesn’t waive the statute of limitations, only the defendant could do that.

  5. I doubt it Squeekers, you are perhaps projecting? Now I must run along. I have an estate sale to attend. I will carry a large purse and take my four grandchildren with me. I hope the clerk is in a good mood and doesn’t scream at my grandchildren this time. Everyone is a bit frightened of her, she is a large woman with a sweaty face and thin hair and an extremely high pitched screechy voice.

  6. Thanks but no thanks Squeekers, that’s a bit too childish for me. I’ve outgrown the toddler’s fascination with poo, pee and pukie about 60 years ago.

  7. @I.Annie

    Thank you! I am glad you liked it! The website had a Sick Penquin, but I didn’t use it because I like penquins.

    Here is the link to that website:

    You pick the emoji you like, and hit the “code” button. Then copy the part that starts with “http”, and ends with “gif”, and VOILA! you have the little thingie, whichever.

    Don’t go wild them, OK?

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  8. Paul:

    Blacklisting is virtually invisible since it subverts the Bill of Rights, primarily the Confrontation Clause, but can destroy lives and livelihoods.

    For example: One of hundreds of tactics, female FBI agents would call Coretta Scott King masquerading as Martin Luther King’s mistresses for the goal of destroying his marriage and quality of life. King was also sent a note by the FBI trying to coerce him to commit suicide through extortion. This was punishment for King, a Baptist minister, exercising his Bill of Rights – that was the crime.

    After 9/11 John Ashcroft exploited the federal Material Witness Statute with the same goal – to destroy or even kill innocent Americans exercising their Bill of Rights. Ashcroft was even severely reprimanded by a federal judge for his betrayal of his oath of office. Ashcroft never served prison time or was disbarred. Blacklisting is used only for illegitimate activities that can’t survive the light of day.

    Bottom line: Civilized societies have written laws that both citizens and the government abide by. These government officials cheated and betrayed their supreme oath of office to follow the U.S. Constitution.

    Best solution: Start criminally prosecuting the surviving FBI agents from the Martin Luther King era today. Those files have been declassified and we could start prosecuting today. It would create a strong disincentive for some (not all) disloyal agents today!

    1. Ross – the statute of limitations has run from the days when the FBI was harassing King and his wife. However, that is not blacklisting. Blacklisting is usually sub rosa, it prevents people from getting work in certain areas.

  9. “…the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.” – Alexander Hamilton


    I just had a crazy thought. Since we live in America, we start implementing the “immigration” theories of the Founders as described in preserved written documents. Things like familiarity, congruity, the ability to assimilate and not being dilutive of, counter or destructive to the American traditions, customs, culture, system of free enterprise and ideology, circa 1789. Seems like the American Founders casually mentioned a vague concept of a potential “melting pot,” not a mandatory global sump – than would certainly exclude the de facto, literal invasion from the country right next door (they’re right next door – what do we have that they don’t, oh yeah, “free stuff”).

    < “Are there no inconveniences to be thrown into the scale against the advantage expected by a multiplication of numbers by the importation of foreigners?” – Thomas Jefferson

    < “Suppose 20 millions of republican Americans thrown all of a sudden into France, what would be the condition of that kingdom?” “If it would be more turbulent, less happy, less strong, we may believe that the addition of half a million of foreigners to our present numbers would produce a similar effect here.”
    – Thomas Jefferson

    < “Prudence requires us to trace the history further and ask what has become of the nations of savages who exercised this policy, and who now occupies the territory which they then inhabited? Perhaps a lesson is here taught which ought not to be despised.” – Alexander Hamilton

    < Safety of the Republic depends “…essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment, on a uniformity of principles and habits, on the exemption of the citizens from foreign bias and prejudice, and on that love of country which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education and family.”
    – Alexander Hamilton

    < “The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society,

    the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.”

    – Alexander Hamilton

    After we've determined who has actually, properly and successfully negotiated the formal immigration process from the ground of their native country, not illegally entering by manipulating that process through the imposition of insidiously deleterious and subversive, unconstitutional amendments or invalid and false claims for "asylum," for example, we could take a vote of citizens who have met the criteria for the right to vote in the American restricted-vote republic, circa 1789, which Ben Franklin admonished, "…a republic, if you can keep it…," which appropriately applied the contemporary criteria of European, male, age 21 with 50lbs. Sterling or 50 acres.

    How about, after we've determined that America is populated with Americans, and voted as Americans we endeavor to understand that the American Revolution threw off the yoke on monarchy and provided Americans freedom and we proceed with the full re-implementation of freedom per the original founding documents which limit government to security and infrastructure that facilitates the completely free "pursuit of happiness" by Americans – no redistribution, no social engineering, no central planning, no control of the means of production, no redistribution of wealth – just freedom.

    That is all.

    You don't legislate etiquette. You don't legislate morality. You don't legislate beauty.
    You don't legislate love.

    Karl Marx came along, 60 years after American freedom and gave us the totalitarian yoke of Social Engineering, Control of the Means of Production, Central Planning and Redistribution of Wealth, overturning American Freedom.

    You can't handle the truth.

    You can't handle freedom.

    It's like Jeopardy, huh? Freedom leads to exclusion on Jeopardy. Survival of the fittest. It's a little old thing called life, AKA nature, AKA freedom.

    Communists have surreptitiously, insidiously and incrementally imposed the principles of communism, one by one, on a "sleeping giant" with too good of a heart; with inordinate, terminal compassion.

    No more Mr. Nice Guy.

    No more terminal compassion.

    No more artifice. No more welfare state. Take care of, adapt to and live with yourself.

    That's all God requires.

    The American thesis is

    Freedom and Self-Reliance.

  10. Oh and thank you kindly Philly T. The sentiment is mutual, I always enjoy your intelligent comments.

  11. Each to their own Squeekers. I’m sure there are as many folks here who feel nauseous at your over the top obsessive rants about gay sex.

  12. @Philly T

    There already is a “button” for I.Annie’s comments! Here it is:


    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  13. phillyT,
    Which of these anonymous contributors are Condi or Colin? Do you really need to know what someone else thinks before you feel it’s safe to offer your own opinion?

  14. I. Annie
    Your posts always leave me wishing this site had a “like” button.

  15. Jonathan Turley should write one of his great articles about blacklisting from McCarthyism until today.

    It’s a very interesting historical trend: McCarthyism was somewhat of an OVERT witch-hunt until Joe McCarthy, DOJ and FBI were publicly humiliated on national television. Due to that public humiliation the DOJ, FBI and other agencies went totally COVERT with full blown blacklisting modeled after the East German Stasi with programs like Cointelpro, Operation Chaos, etc. which was used against national security threats like Martin Luther King, Jr.

    The post 1950’s covert blacklisting never confronted any American citizens directly or ever accused them of anything in violation of the U.S. Constitution and their own oath of office. These agencies played cop, judge, jury and even executioner all within the Executive Branch.

    In the 1970’s the congressional Frank Church Committee investigated and exposed unAmerican Cointelpro tactics and supposedly outlawed them forever. In the 1980’s FBI agents and local government officials were prosecuted for the murder of Black Panther’s leader Fred Hampton using Cointelpro tactics years earlier.

    In October 2001, one month after 9/11, the ACLU essentially warned that John Ashcroft and Congress removing constitutional safeguards could create the environment to put Cointelpro on steroids. Years later the ACLU reported that some state Fusion Centers (terrorism blacklisting centers) had targeted African-American college students attending all-black universities, homosexuals and environmental rights activists as potential threats.

    Today we are blacklisting Black Lives Matter peaceful protesters, Occupy Protesters and some conservatives claim they are being targeted by the IRS and other agencies.

    Would love to see Jonathan Turley cover this issue with possible solutions to end blacklisting once and for all.

  16. Clarification of what nick s said………. I am not an operative of any sort. I am a retired voter.

Comments are closed.