“We Do Investigations Here At The FBI”: FBI Director Reportedly Contradicts Clinton On Email Investigation

Hillary_Clinton_Testimony_to_House_Select_Committee_on_BenghaziThe FBI and its director James Comey have been careful not to be swept into the political campaign in comments about the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s personal server. The Clinton campaign, and the candidate herself, have repeatedly scoffed at any danger of an indictment and insisted that this is merely a “security review” or “security inquiry.” Indeed, close Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal was on CNN this morning stressing that this was nothing more than a security review. Now Comey is being quoted by Fox News chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge as directly refuting this core claim by Clinton and saying that this is a criminal investigation. He would also likely disagree with Bill Clinton’s recent claim that the investigation was just a “game” and nothing more.

Jcomey-100Herridge asked Comey if the bureau is conducting a “security inquiry” into the server and Comey responded “I don’t even know what that means, a security inquiry. We do investigations here at the FBI.” While that certainly does not mean that Clinton will be indicted, it directly contradicts her repeated characterization in the scandal — and a virtual mantra by Clinton supporters.

Some of us have been questioning the dismissal of the investigation as an inquiry as well as the clearly misleading argument that the key issue was whether material was marked as classified. The emails never had to be marked to be considered classified. Yet, Hillary Clinton has insisted that “I never sent classified material on my email, and I never received any that was marked classified.” The key of this spin is again the word “marked.” I have previously discussed why that explanation is less than compelling, particularly for anyone who has handled sensitive or classified material. 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. Indeed that understanding was formally agreed to by Clinton when she signed the “Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement,” or SF-312, which states that “classified information is marked or unmarked classified information, including oral communications.” 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. Classified oral communications are not “marked” nor would classified information removed from secure systems and sent via a personal server. Likewise, classified oral communications that are followed up with emails would not be “marked.” 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.

In other developments, the FBI has agreed to some limitations on questioning top Clinton people as evidenced by the walk out of Cheryl Mills when asked about aspects of the email system and the review of emails. There was also a recent disclosure that the State Department is saying that all emails from the IT person responsible for setting up the server have gone missing.

60 thoughts on ““We Do Investigations Here At The FBI”: FBI Director Reportedly Contradicts Clinton On Email Investigation”

  1. The Clinton’s and their staff back in the 1990’s favorite answer when asked a question, ” I don’t recall”! Bonnie and Clyde will never get convicted of anything.

  2. Notes at large on Clinton email scandal
    “Espionage — the removal of state secrets from a secure place to a non-secure place.
    Bryan Pagliano has been given immunity in this scandal. He is the former information technology expert, employed by the State Department whom Mrs. Clinton paid $5,000 to migrate her regular State Department email account and her secret State Department email account from their secure State Department servers to her personal, secret, non-secure server in her home in Chappaqua, New York. This was undoubtedly a criminal act. “No honest FBI will ever not [recommend] criminal charges in this case,” former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova. Also he said, “There are going to be referrals for a series of criminal charges involving violations of the espionage statutes, the grossly negligent mishandling of classified information, the grossly negligent storage of classified information.” Intent is not needed to prove either espionage or for lying to federal agents. Both crimes are prosecuted vigorously. Mr. diGenova is confident Department of Justice prosecutors have convened a grand jury in the Hillary Clinton email case.”

  3. Anyone know what has happened to Aridog, The Marina Dog Pack and Squeeky.

  4. Some of her emails were deemed HUMINT. Human Intelligence is not if your glass had lipstick on it at the Saudi Embassy. Top Secret is not telling your daughter whom to date.

    Why do people laugh and joke about this? Why in the world would using your own server and backing it up on the Cloud, AFTER you’ve been extensively trained in how to handle State information, classified information, and AFTER you’ve sent a memo to all State staff not to use personal email be OK because it’s Hillary?

  5. Jay,
    It’s precisely because opinions vary on what should or should not be considered classified that everything must be treated classified until an appropriate authority reviews and determines its impact on national security. If we combine the determination of what should be classified and the unchecked ability to store that information wherever one finds most convenient in the hands of the user then we lose any reasonable control of our national security.

  6. The “supreme law of the land” says that no government official can violate the U.S. Constitution, which includes our Bill of Rights.

    Since unconstitutional acts were considered “disloyalty” by the Founding Fathers, it’s safe to say that disloyal “unconstitutional” activities were never intended to ever be made secret or classified.

    It would also make sense that only an enforcement agency that operated within “constitutional” boundaries should be investigating anything relating to classification.

    Currently there is no agency with that level of integrity to investigate such things.

  7. In my opinion, the problem with all this is that classification is very subjective. Turley believes that “virtually anything coming out of the office of the Secretary of State would be considered classified as a matter of course.” Has ANY SecDef ever operated in that way? Many other people believe that there is way too much classification, and that it impedes government accountability, to say nothing of timely exchange of information.

    So, who decides what is classified, and what isn’t? There is no Supreme Court for this. Only a zillion different opinions, with many tied to a political desire to either indict or exonerate Clinton.

  8. Why doesn’t the FBI and DOJ criminally prosecute CoinTelPro crimes of blacklisting, employment tampering and defamation of innocent Americans? Those officials swore an oath of office to uphold the U.S. Constitution – which includes protecting our Bill of Rights.

    We desperately need an independent agency with that level of integrity, independent of the politicians.

  9. I believe the FBI’s investigation is taking this long because they are still trying to find out what makes Teflon stick to the pan. Comey doesn’t want to simply put his evidence into the pan to cook her, he wants to get underneath that Teflon pantsuit where her wealth and power are no longer able to protect her. He will only get one shot at this.

    1. Olly – Chelsea and the Clinton Foundation were housed on the same server. That is why Comey is going after the Clinton Foundation.

  10. To fund a War of Aggression is War Crime. Many U.S. politicians are War Criminals in funding and supporting U.S. / Israeli Wars of Aggression. Hillary Clinton is a Supreme War Criminal as are Bush, Obama and their administrations.

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