State Department Refutes Key Statements By Clinton On Email Scandal; Finds That She Violated Clear Rules

Hillary_Clinton_Testimony_to_House_Select_Committee_on_BenghaziWhile the New York Times has reported that the “State Department’s inspector general sharply criticized Hillary Clinton’s exclusive use of a private email server” and “undermined some of Mrs. Clinton’s previous statements”, the report did far more than criticize and undermine. It directly contradicted Clinton’s assertions on a number of key points. It further indicated not only clear violations of the State Department rules, but rules that were made clear to Clinton and her staff.  (The Washington Post took a more critical view of Clinton’s statements in light of the report).  Moreover, while this report deals with State regulations and rules (as well as the Federal Records Act), it does have bearing on the ongoing criminal investigation to the degree that it shows knowledge or reckless disregard of the security protocols and rules. It does show precisely that.

The report clearly establishes a number of damaging facts. First, the State Department made clear that a personal server was not allowed and would present serious security risks for the country. Second, Clinton never asked or received permission for such a server. Third, the State Department would
never have approved such a server. Fourth, Clinton’s objections to using the secure State Department system was not convenience (as she previously stated) but access to her personal emails. Fifth, her actions failed to comply with the Federal Records Act. Sixth, Clinton suspected that she was being hacked but continued to use her personal server exclusively. Finally, the report indicates that Clinton did not fully cooperate with the subsequent inquiries and investigation.

The contradictions with past statements are glaring and will not help Clinton already historic lows for trustworthiness or honesty with voters. For example, in March 2015 Clinton stated at a press conference that:

“Third, after I left office, the State Department asked former Secretaries of State for our assistance in providing copies of work-related emails from our personal accounts. I responded right away and provided all my emails that could possibly be work-related, which totalled roughly 55,000 printed pages, even though I knew that the State Department already had the vast majority of them. We went through a thorough process to identify all of my work- related emails and deliver them to the State Department.”

However the statement department found that

“At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.”

She waited two years to turn over emails after deleting tens of thousands deemed “private.”

Likewise, Clinton previously insisted “under the Federal Records Act, records are defined as reported information, regardless of its form or characteristics, and in meeting the record keeping obligations, it was my practice to email government officials on their state or other .gov accounts so that the emails were immediately captured and preserved.” This has led to the dubious claim that over 90 percent of the emails were preserved due to the recipients being in the system. However, no one has supported that still repeated claim and the State Department did not have those emails. The report further states “sending emails from a personal account to other employees at their Department accounts is not an appropriate method of preserving any such emails that would constitute a federal record.” It further noted that these emails were not saved beyond a couple years and thus could not be viewed as complying with the system.

Clinton also repeatedly stated “It was allowed under the rules of the State Department. And, again . . . it was allowed. You know, one of my predecessors did the same thing. Others in our government have done the same thing at very high levels because the rules did change after I left state department. But at the time and in prior years the rules allowed it.”

However, the State Department clearly and unambiguously rejected this claim. It states that she never asked permission to use her own server and that such a request would have been denied. It further said that the security risks for such an act were clearly high and would never have been considered as acceptable.

Clinton has also insisted that she has always been entirely cooperative and transparent with the State Department. However, the State Department said that Clinton declined to be interviewed by the State Department’s inspector general as did top aides.

Does this mean that she will clearly be charged with a crime? No. Does this have bearing on a criminal investigation? Yes. Prosecutors often look at elements like (1) a failure to fully disclose or cooperate with an investigation; (2) knowledge or reckless disregard of security protections; (3) awareness of the danger of hacking; (4) false statements made in the wake of disclosure; and (5) the circumvention of standard procedures or personnel. Notably, Clinton acknowledges that she believed that there may have been a hacking effort, but still retained her personal server. Moreover, while part secretaries of state are referenced for sending unprotected emails, Clinton is clearly identified as being a far more egregious case in the use of her own server and taking these actions after the use of such a server was clearly improper.

I have been writing that the security violations involved in the email system are serious and should not be dismissed by the media or the public. As is often case in Washington, the scandal was made worse by the habitual denials and evasion from the Clinton camp. The odds still favor Clinton in avoiding criminal charges but she and her staff have maximized their exposure through their actions and public statements.

What is fascinating is that the spin from Clinton supporters is now the final line of defense: there is no evidence that she was actually hacked. Many of us have expressed our view that such hacking or compromise of the system seems highly likely since the Secretary of State is one of the priority targets for foreign intelligence. Moreover, a hacker who says that he routinely hacked the account has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the government. This spin seems an effort to kick the can down the road to get beyond the convention and secure the nomination before this new line of defense could be contradicted. That is a continuation of the approach from the outset of not getting out in front of the scandal but evading the allegations and adding layers of denial. The Clinton team seems absolutely confident that the Administration will not move on any criminal charges but that is a considerable risk, particularly for top aides implicated in these findings.

76 thoughts on “State Department Refutes Key Statements By Clinton On Email Scandal; Finds That She Violated Clear Rules”

  1. Steve,
    “Prarie Rose: Good point about Obama having had to know Hillary was using a private server, although before she installed the server Obama would have had to know when was her reply address.”

    Are there any legal consequences for higher-ups knowing subordinates are disregarding the rules? For instance, Nixon knew about the burglary. He faced impeachment, but I cannot remember if he faced criminal charges, too. (That was before my time and my history classes all barely made it to the Vietnam War, so I have more to learn about Watergate.)

    1. Prarie Rose writes, “Are there any legal consequences for higher-ups knowing subordinates are disregarding the rules?”

      Aiding and abetting; conspiracy, etc., would be my guess, but as we’ve seen time and time again politics trumps the rule of law in this country. The elite ruling class Hamilton envisioned controls the peasantry.

      Gotta go. Got pigs to feed.

  2. Paul S.,
    “it appears that Obama has claimed executive privilege for all of his emails to Hillary.”

    Something’s rotten in Denmark.

  3. tofubamboo:

    I would vote for warm excrement in an old shoe over Trump.

    So it boils down generally to policy. Abortion, climate change, potential Supreme Court nominees, etc.: Clinton is just better — that is, when compared with Dump.

    Writing-in another candidate is equal to staying home, realistically. And while some see the latter as a sort of symbolic vote not to vote, nevertheless it permits orange Kardashian to step closer 1600. So again, sadly, voting liar Clinton.

  4. “IG report states that she used the private server EXCLUSIVELY throughout her tenure as Secretary of State. That means she never used the secure government system she was required to use. Seems to me that everything beyond that, once established, makes very clear she had no regard whatsoever of the rules and regulations surrounding keeping government secrets safe not to mention the public records act. ”

    Surely Hillary Clinton sent emails to President Obama at some point, keeping him updated on little things like Libya, etc. He had to have noticed that her email did not end the same way his did. He must have known she was disregarding government policy. Can this be shown by the email trail? If this is the case, why did he not speak out? Or, did she really circumvent the process so that even the President was duped?

    1. Prairie Rose – it appears that Obama has claimed executive privilege for all of his emails to Hillary.

    2. Prarie Rose: Good point about Obama having had to know Hillary was using a private server, although before she installed the server Obama would have had to know when was her reply address.

  5. I am afraid that you have missed a couple details, Jonathan. It was not her aides who signed the nondisclosure agreements she was required to sign, but Clinton herself.

    Paul Thompson has done some very scholarly work on this scandal. Here is a link to an interview with him where Thompson names and sequences communications.

  6. Forgive me if I repeat something already stated but I assume you have fallen into the same talking points the rest of the media has. It’s all Hillary. Not saying several wrongs make a right but you did read the statement in the report that says the other secretaries of state did the same.
    There seems to be a Clinton derangement syndrome going on here similar to Benghaziiiii!!, Vince Foster, u name it.
    She followed what the others did. Why do we not see the previous secretaries of state being dragged through the same swamp? A violation is a violation. Course we’ll never know what the others did because all their emails are erased along with the other 2,000,000 or 3,000,000 emails the Bush admin mysteriously lost. But that’s all fair, right? IOKIYAR.

  7. I was told about this blog by someone who thinks we need the Donald and don’t need the Hillary. I get some good fodder here to throw at her and to show to my friends who talk about voting for her. We need to gang up on her despite the truth or consequences. I was for Ryan but I will go for Trump. If he will really build that Wall. If he does not build it then we can vote him out in four years. Keep showing the ugly photos of her.

  8. Good news for Sanders supporters. Sanders out-polls Trump in every major poll.
    Welcome President Sanders.

  9. Thank you!!
    ““At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and”

    It is so good to FINALLY see this in print. I have been screaming it for years. She walks out on her last day with all her file cabinets containing government files and no one says a word and she has made no per-arrangments to give them back.

    In addition, she is an attorney that should be very familiar with discovery riles. She knew she was under investigation and she wipes the server clean. Two words – Arthur Anderson.

  10. @Dave137: how could you possibly, with any degree of sanity, vote for that lying, corrupt Hillary Clinton who has put our nation at risk with her many devious and illegal acts? Really!!!


    EXCLUSIVE: Video footage showing Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Chinese billionaire Wang Wenliang at Hillary’s house revealed as FBI probes campaign donations

    Footage shows McAuliffe and Wang entering Clinton’s home separately for 2013 fundraiser
    Both men spent more than an hour there and left the event after dark
    McAuliffe said this week he wouldn’t know Wang ‘if he sat in the chair next to me.’
    The two men shook hands at the event, a source told Time Magazine this week
    CNN reported Monday that federal investigators were probing $120,000 in contributions a subsidiary of Wang’s company made to McAuliffe’s campaign
    McAuliffe’s lawyer says there is no evidence of wrongdoing and the feds were focused on statues governing lobbying on behalf of foreign governments – not campaign fundraising
    The governor blasted the ‘leak’ of information about the investigation
    Wang pledged $2 million to the Clinton Foundation and is believed to have close ties to the Chinese government
    McAuliffe is a longtime friend Bill and Hillary Clinton’s, chaired fundraising for her failed 2008 campaign and run the DNC

  12. Thank you Paul. I didn’t know if there is legal precedent on this or not.

    So if Bernie isn’t chosen, as her replacement, we can expect a 1968 mob mentality again. Something democrats are great at.

  13. Joe Biden! We can not have some Democrat. The blog is wholly correct here today. No more Clintons. Nothing wrong with Trump. Time to move on. Oh, and build up that Wall. I think we should keep everyone out for four years and then see how ISIS and other terrorists are doing.

  14. The IG of the State Department stated that Hillary Clinton violated statute 18USC SEC1924. For having a private server at her home to conduct government business without permission.

    She officially can never have a top secret security clearance and therefore unqualified to be president or hold any government job.

    She never cooperated with an Obama appointed inspector and committed perjury.

    Now. . . . if this were Donald Trump we were talking about, the press would have grand mal seizures, trying to knock him out of the presidential race.

  15. I believe that Hillary Clinton will not face any real consequences, because the law does not apply to the government ruling class. Which is another sign that we are on our way to becoming a banana republic.

    And for those considering socialism, it’s working out just swimmingly in Venezuela- toilet paper shortages, burned by people alive over $5, hideous poverty and the misery typical of socialism. They’re on top of massive oil reserves and socialism still managed to wreck their economy. A sad state of affairs for a country where “people used to fall out of banana trees into Cadillacs.”

  16. Can the Democrats put in another candidate, if Clinton is charged with a crime ‘after’ she is the nominee. . . .

    I doubt that any other candidates besides Clinton or Trump would get the votes to be president, if Hillary is charged with a crime.

    So if Clinton is the Democrat (not democratic) nominee and is charged with a crime, legally she can remain in the race, but if she resigns her spot as the democrat nominee, then Donald Trump would win for sure.

    He will win, even if she remains in the race. Looks like the welfare state and all the cheating lying conniving thieving government agencies are getting a cleaning out soon. Lol 🙂

    1. Lisa – according to the Supreme Court, they can change candidates at any point. There is some chatter that Joe Biden is being set up to ‘parachute’ in.

  17. Personally I think Hillary will be indicted and soon. This report just adds more fuel to the fire.

    Her and cult that follows her defense is that other Secretaries of State have done the same thing which we can plainly see is total BS.

    That having an off-site server was legally approved by the OMB is total crap and that although claiming otherwise she violated the National Records Act.

    Not to mention the most important point of exposing classified files to exposure to foreign intel agencies by having an non-secured illegal server even if unintentional is still gross negligence and a violation of the National Security Act.

    Also all she and her staff have done about all this is lie, lie, lie or obfuscate the issue by claiming that the FBI was doing a “security review” when in fact the review in question was actually being done by the IG and the FBI is in fact doing a criminal investigation.

    One wonders how such a person would have the audacity to run for president never mind claiming to be the presumptive candidate.

    As far as I’m concerned the woman is pure poison to the party that supports her and if they run her as their chosen candidate they can not blame, Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders or some third party candidate but only themselves for intentionally losing the election.

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