Skip to comments.New Clinton Email Scandal Testimony! [Weekly Update]
Posted on 07/05/2019 3:59:58 PM PDT by jazusamo
Former State Official Warned About Clintons Email Practices
Obama Justice Gave Immunity to Clintons Lawyer Who Destroyed 33,000 Emails
Former State Official Warned About Clintons Email Practices
Judicial Watch attorneys obtained blockbuster testimony from former State Department official John Hackett, who was Director for Information Programs and Services (IPS), which handles records management at the State Department, Mr. Hackett testified under oath that he had raised concerns about former Secretary of State Hillary Clintons missing emails.
Her staff had culled out 30,000 of the secretarys personal emails without following strict National Archives standards, he said in his deposition. The full transcript deposition is here .
His testimony came as part of a series of court-ordered depositions and questions under oath of senior Obama-era State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides.
Hackett also revealed that he believed there was interference with the formal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) review process related to the classification of Clintons Benghazi-related emails.
Hackett served first as deputy director then as director for Information Programs and Services, which handles the FOIA request program and the retirement of and declassification of documents at the State Department. He was at the department from April 2013 to March 2016.
In March 2015, Clinton told reporters that she and her staff had deleted more than 30,000 emails because they were personal and private about matters that I believed were within the scope of my personal privacy. ABC News reported: However, after a year-long investigation, the FBI recovered more than 17,000 emails that had been deleted or otherwise not turned over to the State Department, and many of them were work-related, the FBI has said.
Hackett recalled a conversation about requesting rules or parameters from Secretary Clinton or her attorneys that they used to segregate her personal and official work emails.
Hackett: I recall it wasnt much of a conversation. I I was I mean, I have to say, it was emphatic to the Under Secretary of Management and I didnt speak in tones like that very often to him you know, that we needed these you know, the guidelines.
Judicial Watch: And when you said, the Under Secretary, are you referring to Patrick Kennedy [then-Under Secretary of State for Management]?
Hackett: I think I might have raised it to Rich Visek, the Acting Office of Legal Advisor, or Peggy or Margaret Grafeld [an executive-level State Department FOIA official] raised it to Rich, as well.
Judicial Watch: Why did you feel so strongly that this was necessary, that they provide this information?
Hackett: Well, we heard that there were 50,000 or 60,000 emails, and that they had they being the Secretarys team had culled out 30,000 of these. And which is so we wanted to know what criteria they used. The standard from the National Archives is very strict. If there was if there were mixed records, that would be considered a federal record. If it was mixed personal and mentioned a discussion, that would be under the narrow National Archives rules, it would be considered a federal record.
Judicial Watch: And do you know if the emails that were returned by Secretary Clinton and her attorneys, if they followed that guideline to include an email that would include mixed information, personal and official?
Hackett: I dont know.
Judicial Watch: Was a request ever made by Patrick Kennedy or anybody else who you raised this to?
Hackett: Ambassador Kennedy told me he would ask for the the guidelines.
Judicial Watch: Do you know if the guidelines were ever provided to Patrick Kennedy?
Hackett: Not during my tenure at the State Department.
In August 2014 the State Department sent some documents to the Benghazi Select Committee that included a small number of Clinton emails. Hackett was alerted about this. Hackett was asked if the State Department attorney who gave him the heads asked why he was providing the information. Hackett answered: I think only because he knew that there was going to be publicity involved relating to this.
We also asked Hackett about his concerns over 296 of Secretary Clintons Benghazi-related emails that were made available to Congress. Hackett testified that he had concerns regarding Catherine Duval , an attorney who worked for the Office of Legislative affairs (and who was also involved in the Obama-era IRS scandal):
Judicial Watch: And what was what was your concern there, if you can elaborate?
Hackett: The concern was, in the 296 that there were other agencies equities in those documents, you know, potentially classified information. But any release decisions and doing a FOIA review, we would normally make a referral back to that home agency. And Ms. Duval seemed to imply that she had already done that kind of coordination. But when we asked who she had coordinated with, they were people not familiar in our regular FOIA process.
Judicial Watch: And thats people, when you the people you are referring to, thats is it within just one agency, or is that dispersed through different agencies?
Hackett: It would be different agencies
Hackett: Again, I mean, we were familiar with the our our parallel shops, you know, in other agencies, similar to IPS; we knew all the players there, the other Directors of the office. And, so, we contacted them, and they have not received any referrals from her. So we wondered who she was working with.
We also asked Hackett if, as he had previously stated, he believed there was interference with the formal FOIA review process in 2014? Hackett said he believed that some bureaus were convinced, or and analysts were convinced, once it was explained to them, to redact something but use a B5 exemption [which applies to deliberative process and allows government officials to discuss policy without the discussions being made public, or attorney client privilege] versus a B1 [national security] exemption.
When we asked if he thought that was appropriate, Hackett responded, No, I didnt, and said he voiced that concern to his boss, Grafeld.
Hackett testified that his initial concern over Secretary Clintons email use arose in June 2013 when he said he viewed a photograph on the WTOP website of Clinton sitting on a plane with a BlackBerry. And that got me thinking that, well, what what was that BlackBerry? Was it a government BlackBerry? And if so, where were the emails relating to that BlackBerry? Hackett said.
Hackett testified he went to then-IPS Director Sheryl Walter after seeing that photograph and suggested that we had to be careful about what sort of responses we made relating to Hillary Clintons emails, when it if there was a No Record Located response that was being given out. In fact, I advised Sheryl that we should stop giving No Record Located responses until we come to kind of come, you know find out what that BlackBerry meant, come to ground about what was known about the former Secretarys emailing habits.
Asked how Walter responded, Hackett said, My recollection is, she agreed with me.
The other thing that we did, or I did at that time, was, we wanted to find out what this BlackBerry meant, Hackett testified. So we tasked my recollection is, we verbally tasked Tasha Thian, the departments Records Manager at that time, to look into the BlackBerry. And I believe Tasha contacted Clarence Finney in the Secretarys office to ask him what he knew about the former Secretarys emailing habits.
Asked what Thian found out, Hackett responded: I dont recall exactly what she found out, but she didnt find out much. Tasha also contacted the part of the State Department thats part of the intelligence community, and Intelligence and Research Bureau, to ask to see if there were any classified emails on in the classified systems that the Secretary might have produced. And I do recall that I think Tasha came back with the answer that they did not have any.
Hackett went on to say that, There was a lot of confusion about exactly what that BlackBerry, you know, meant at that time. You had a concern as to how the department was responding to FOIA requests that related to Secretary Clintons emails after you saw the photograph of the Secretary holding a BlackBerry. My recollection is and I had only been there two months that someone had told me that, and I cant remember that she did not have an email account, a government email account. So there was obviously a contradiction here when, you know, theres that photograph. So we were just trying to find out what was the ground truth. So thats why I had a concern about issuing responses that said no records had been located.
Hackett also said he knew of other employees in the State Department who were using their personal email accounts for government business and that some were senior officials, too.
Asked who the senior officials were, Hackett responded: I cant remember the time frame, but the IG did a couple of studies, reviews. I think the Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, was cited as using her personal email account. Thats one that comes to my mind.
Hackett said: We knew that some employees at times had a personal email address for Hillary Clinton, and that they might forward something to her at times. Thats the only thing that we knew. At that time I did not know who those employees were. I mean, the the gist of that email I remember was one person saying to the other person, dont use that remember, youre not supposed to use that email. But I dont remember who those people were. I think one of them might have been in Public Affairs.
Heres my take on his testimony. Its disturbing. It points to an Obama administration conspiracy to hide and destroy Hillary Clinton emails. Even worse, the testimony suggests Clintons Benghazi emails were under-classified in order to protect Hillary Clinton (and mislead Congress). Attorney General Barr needs to prioritize reopening the Clinton email investigation.
Heres the background on the deposition.
On December 6, 2018, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ordered Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers and Clinton aides to be deposed or answer written questions under oath. The court ruled that the Clinton email system was one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency. Judicial Watchs discovery is centered upon whether Clinton intentionally attempted to evade the Freedom of Information Act by using a non-government email system and whether the State Department acted in bad faith in processing Judicial Watchs FOIA request for communications from Clintons office.
The court-ordered discovery comes in Judicial Watchs July 2014 FOIA lawsuit filed after the U.S. Department of State failed to respond to a May 13, 2014 FOIA request ( Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)). Judicial Watch seeks:
Copies of any updates and/or talking points given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency concerning, regarding, or related to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Any and all records or communications concerning, regarding, or relating to talking points or updates on the Benghazi attack given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency.
We have previously released:
We will continue to expose Hillary Clintons blatant efforts to hide what she was up to as Secretary of State.
Obama Justice Gave Immunity to Clintons Lawyer Who Destroyed 33,000 Emails
We have some shocking additional details about the sham nature of the Obama administrations investigation of the Clinton email scandal.
Heather Samuelson, Hillary Clintons White House Liaison at the State Department, and later Clintons personal lawyer, admitted under oath in our deposition of her that she was granted immunity by the U.S. Department of Justice in June 2016:
Samuelson: I was provided limited production immunity by the Department of Justice.
Judicial Watch: And when was that?
Samuelson: My recollection, it was June 2015 [later corrected to 2016].
A complete copy of her deposition is available here .
Samuelson also revealed that, contrary to what she told the FBI in 2016, she was, in fact, aware that Clinton used a private email account while secretary of state:
Judicial Watch: Ms. Samuelson, when did you first become aware that Secretary Clinton used the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org while she was at the State Department?
Samuelson: I believe I first became aware when either she e-mailed me on personal matters, such as wishing me happy birthday, or when I infrequently would receive e-mails forwarded to me from others at the department that had that e-mail address listed elsewhere in the document.
Judicial Watch: Okay. And who were the State Department officials?
Samuelson: I recall Cheryl Mills, but it could have been others.
Samuels admission that she became aware of Clintons non-State.gov emails during her service in the Clinton State Department White House Liaison Office during Clintons tenure as secretary of state (January 2009 February 2013) contradicts the notation in the FBIs May 24, 2016 302 report on Samuelsons interview with FBI agents:
Samuelson did not become aware of Clintons use of a private email account and server until she was serving as Clintons personal attorney.
After Clinton left office, Samuelson worked for a year in the office of the White House Counsel before becoming Clintons personal attorney, where, in 2014, she was primarily responsible for conducting the review of Clinton emails and sorting out personal emails from government emails, which were returned to the State Department under the direction of Cheryl Mills and Clinton lawyer David Kendall. After the emails were returned to State, Clinton deleted the rest of the personal emails from her server, wiping it clean. Samuelson conducted the review of emails on her laptop, using Clinton server files downloaded from Platte River Networks, which housed the Clinton email server. Judicial Watch questioned her about a gap in the emails she discovered:
Judicial Watch: I believe you, during your interview with the FBI, you were asked about a gap in e-mails that you noticed in Secretary Clintons e-mails from January 2009 to March of 2009. Do you recall that?
Samuelson: I do.
Judicial Watch: Okay. Can you explain to me what that gap was?
Samuelson: My understanding is well, Im sorry. I should say my recollection is when we received the documents the file from Platte River Networks, there was a period of time that was missing in her e-mails. And that period of time was January 2009 to March 2009.
Judicial Watch: And what did you do as the result of discovering this gap in the e-mails from January 2009 to March 2009?
Samuelson: I asked Platte River why we did not have why they did not provide those.
Judicial Watch: And what did they tell you?
Samuelson: They said they did not have that information.
Judicial Watch: Did Platte River have access during 2014 to the server that housed Secretary Clintons e-mails to her Clintonemail.com account
and was there any discussion as to whether they could obtain Secretary Clintons e-mails from that server from January 2009 to March 2009?
Samuelson: I did ask them, and they said they did not have any e-mails from that period.
Samuelson also testified in her deposition that she created an after action memo in or around December 2014 to memorialize the email search. Samuelsons lawyer directed her not to answer questions about this memo.
During Hillary Clintons transition as secretary of state during her tenure, Samuelson was in charge of political-nomination (Schedule C) hires for Clintons transition team at the State Department. When questioned by our lawyers about Brock Johnson, whom she hired as a special assistant to Secretary Clinton as a favor to controversial Clinton Foundation official Doug Band (co-founder of Teneo Strategy with Bill Clinton and a top official of the Clinton Foundation, including its Clinton Global Initiative), Samuelson testified that on occasion Band sent referrals of individuals they should consider hiring. Johnson later worked, in coordination with the Obama White House , when the State Department falsely responded to a Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) FOIA request that there were no records showing Clintons email address.
The deposition of Samuelson comes out of our July 2014 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the U.S. Department of State failed to respond to a May 13, 2014 FOIA request ( Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)). Judicial Watch seeks:
The news that the Obama DOJ gave immunity to Heather Samuelson, Hillary Clintons lawyer responsible for the infamous deletion of 33,000 emails, further confirms the sham FBI/DOJ investigation of the Clinton email scandal. And it is curious that Ms. Samuelson changed her story about what she knew and when about the Clinton email system.
Until next week
Off the Wall Ping!
Contact to be added.
Somewhere in DC there is a park needing a dead man in it
Everybody who could be charged was already given immunity by the Kenyaneisan Usurper’s DOJ...
What difference, at this point, does it make?
If I was Hackett I’d keep that in mind.
ON OR ABOUT 2016-Sen Charles Grassley writes to express concerns about the process by which Congress was allowed to view the Wilkinson letters (an atty for Hillary aides Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson) that inappropriately restricted the scope of the FBIs investigation, and that the FBI inexplicably agreed to destroy the laptops knowing that the contents were the subject of Congressional subpoenas and preservation letters.
These limitations would necessarily have excluded, for example, any emails from Cheryl Mills to Paul Combetta in late 2014 or early 2015 directing the destruction or concealment of federal records. Similarly, these limitations would have excluded any email sent or received by Secretary Clinton if it was not sent or received by one of the four email addresses listed, or the email address was altered.
Further, the Wilkinson letters memorialized the FBIs agreement to destroy the laptops. This is simply astonishing given the likelihood that evidence on the laptops would be of interest to congressional investigators. The Wilkinson letters raise serious questions about why DOJ would consent to such substantial limitations on the scope of its investigation, and how Director Comeys statements on the scope of the investigation comport with the reality of what the FBI was permitted to investigate.
Full text of the letter follows:
The Wilkinson letters raise serious questions about why DOJ would consent to such substantial limitations on the scope of its investigation, and how Director Comeys statements on the scope of the investigation comport with the reality of what the FBI was permitted to investigate. So we can better understand the Departments basis for agreeing to these restrictions, please respond to the following questions as
soon as possible, but no later than October 19, 2016:
1. What is the basis for the FBIs legal authorityin any circumstanceto destroy records which are subject to a congressional investigation or subpoena?
2. Why did the FBI agree to terms that allowed it to destroy both laptops?
3. Has the FBI, in fact, destroyed any evidence acquired from the laptops or the laptops themselves?
4. Is there any circumstance in which an email from Ms. Mills to Mr. Combetta (and only Mr. Combetta) in December of 2014 or March of 2015 discovered on Ms. Mills laptop or Ms. Samuelsons laptop would have been turned over to the investigative team under the terms of the Wilkinson letters?
If so, please explain.
5. Given that the range of emails the FBI could view under the terms of the Wilkinson letters were only those sent or received while Secretary Clinton was Secretary of State, how did the FBI intend to investigate the laptop files for evidence of possible intentional destruction of records or obstruction of evidence given the fact many of those emails were out of the allowed date range?
6. Did the filter team identify any emails that were otherwise responsive but were not turned over to the investigative team because they were privileged? Did anyone create a privilege log for such emails?
7. How many total documents were reviewed by the filter team from both laptops? Of those, how many were deemed privileged? Of the total, how many were sent to the investigative team?
8. How many total documents were withheld from the investigative team because they fell out of the date range imposed by the June 10, 2016 agreements?
9. How many of the documents acquired by the FBI from both laptops were classified? Please list each document, the classification level, and the classifying agency.
10. The Wilkinson letters apparently provided for different treatment of email fragments from Secretary Clintons email addresses on the clintonemail.com domain versus her email addresses on the blackberry.net domain. Specifically, email fragments without a date sent to or received by either of the clintonemail.com addresses were included, while email fragments without a date that were sent to or received by either of the blackberry.net addresses were excluded. Please explain the difference in treatment of these email addresses.
11. The Wilkinson letters included a caveat that the FBI was not assuming custody, control, or ownership of the laptops for the purpose of any request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
a. How does that statement square with the reality that the FBI had both laptops in its possession?
b. Has DOJ ever used that statement or a similar statement to avoid compliance with FOIA?
HRC wrecked her chances to be POTUS because of arrogance. That is substantial punishment. However, unless theres a prosecution, this kind of above the law behavior will continue by others.
The disclosure came as the FBI released its second batch of documents from its investigation into Clintons private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. The 189 pages the bureau released includes interviews with some of Clintons closest aides, such as Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills; senior State Department officials; and even Marcel Lazar, better known as the Romanian hacker Guccifer.
In an April 5, 2016 interview with the FBI, Abedin was shown an email exchange between Clinton and Obama, but the longtime Clinton aide did not recognize the name of the sender.
Once informed that the senders name is believed to be a pseudonym used by the president, Abedin exclaimed: How is this not classified? the report says. Abedin then expressed her amazement at the presidents use of a pseudonym and asked if she could have a copy of the email.
Partisan fireworks over Clinton aides immunity deals
By RACHAEL BADE, politico.com
The State Department has refused to make public that and other emails Clinton exchanged with Obama. Lawyers have cited the presidential communications privilege, a variation of executive privilege, in order to withhold the messages under the Freedom of Information Act.
The report doesnt provide more details on the contents of that particular email exchange, but says it took place on June 28, 2012, and had the subject line: Re: Congratulations.
It may refer to the Supreme Courts ruling that day upholding a key portion of the Obamacare law.
Its been known since last year that Obama and Clinton corresponded occasionally via her private account, but the White House has insisted Obama did not know she relied on it routinely and exclusively for official business.
A report on the FBIs June 7, 2016 interview with Guccifer confirms FBI Director James Comeys claim that Lazar falsely asserted that hed surreptitiously accessed Clintons server.
Lazar began by stating that he had never claimed to hack the Clinton server. [An FBI agent] then advised that Fox News had recently published an article which reported that Lazar had claimed to hack the Clinton server. Lazar then stated that he recalled the interview with Fox News, and that he had lied to them about hacking the Clinton server.
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Even if Hillary had been caught in the act of destroying and burning the e-mails herself, and even if she had been caught using a hammer to destroy computers and smartphones full of evidence against her...
She would be thumbing her nose at the DOJ and FBI and Trump and the whole justice system and at congress and at the whole country.
DC protects itself thereby eliminating accountability.
Tyranny marches on.
Will we ever see any justice?
Anyone gonna get frog marched at 6:00 AM by the fbi?
Deposition .pdf file is laid out 4 deposition pages per pdf page. Really hard to read on a monitor. Too much scrolling up and down.
Did you see on news yesterday that Hillary will not be speaking at the Cyber Security convention in October. No explanation just said due to unforeseen circumstances she will not be able to attend.
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