Hillary Clinton Email Scandal Explained
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hillary Clinton is in the spotlight over the worst scandal for a presidential candidate since Watergate.
The FBI has a search warrant for Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s laptop, obtained Sunday night after new emails surfaced in the law enforcement investigation of Abedin’s husband Anthony Weiner for allegedly sexting with a minor.
The Hillary Clinton email scandal can seem complicated. But it’s easy to understand. Here is the full story:
Hillary Clinton set up a private email server, and a private email network for herself and her family and Abedin. Doing so could prevent her emails from being “accessible” to the federal government, not to mention Congress.
The private network allowed Clinton, Abedin, and aides Cheryl Mills and Jake Sullivan to swap emails with the Clinton Foundation, various world leaders, and Doug Band’s global consulting firm Teneo Holdings, where Abedin also worked during her time at the State Department. This would have been problematic, considering Clinton’s 2009 ethics agreement, leaked on Cryptome, in which she vowed not to coordinate with the Clinton Foundation.
The FBI investigation began with one simple premise: that Hillary Clinton violated the Espionage Act of 1913 by allowing national defense information to be “lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed” through “gross negligence.” Clinton team emails have now ended up in the hands of Julian Assange — a man who lives sequestered in an Ecuadorian embassy — and in the hands of detectives in the Anthony Weiner sexting case.
Both Clinton and Abedin face the possibility of additional charges, including perjury and obstruction of justice, for contradicting sworn statements and telling falsehoods to the FBI, not to mention Congress. The photograph of Abedin crying on the Clinton campaign plane after the FBI announced that it was re-opening the case — with Clinton standing by — will linger in the American political consciousness:
Huma Abedin crying on plane as Clinton shows true colors staring in hate as she finds out about FBI
— Adjusted Well (@Adjustedwell) October 29, 2016
Huma Abedin has reason to be nervous. In fact, she was the one who came up with the idea for Clinton to use a private email server, according to former Bill Clinton aide Justin Cooper’s testimony in the case. Cooper was Clinton-World’s go-to computer guy, and he set up Abedin’s own personal account on clintonemail.com.
Hillary’s 2008 campaign IT specialist Bryan Pagliano labored for months in a room on K Street in Washington, D.C., building the server for Clinton to use.
Hillary Clinton kicked off her State Department career in Foggy Bottom in January 2009 with a private Apple server, then switched to Pagliano’s handcrafted server in March 2009.
Huma Abedin later told the FBI that she didn’t even know about Clinton’s private server when she was at the State Department, and Bryan Pagliano pleaded the Fifth.
Hillary Clinton claimed that her server was kept in the basement of her Chappaqua, New York home. But really, the server was stored at a Clinton-owned office in Midtown Manhattan, where it shared physical space with the Clinton Foundation’s server. Hillary’s homebrew server was operating on the same email network as the Foundation’s server and the server for Chelsea Clinton’s office.
Hillary Clinton went to great lengths to hide the fact that she was using a private email server. She emailed with President Obama while Obama was using a pseudonym. She kept her own State Department IT Help Desk in the dark about her secret email activities, because her private email account got flagged when she tried to send emails to her own staff. “It bounced back. She called the email help desk at state (I guess assuming u had state email) and told them that. They had no idea it was YOU,” Abedin told her. Clinton even paid a firm in Jacksonville called “Perfect Privacy LLC” to plug in phony owner names for her email network on Internet databases.
The server had an open webmail portal, making it easily vulnerable to run-of-the-mills hackers. James Comey noted evidence showing hacks by “hostile actors.” Capitol Hill sources speak in hushed tones about the “Russian Files,” which are said to include information about a Russian hack. Clinton was warned of a security “vulnerability” on her BlackBerry on her first official trip to China, and the State Department told her to stop using it. But Clinton decided to keep using it. She told a private audience in a paid speech that her BlackBerry was under attack constantly by the Chinese and Russians.
Hillary Clinton had a lot of classified information on that server.
“There was nothing marked classified on my emails, either sent or received,” Hillary Clinton told the House Benghazi Committee in sworn testimony in 2015.
“That’s not true,” FBI director James Comey told Congress, referring to Clinton’s sworn statement. Comey’s first investigation found 113 emails that had classified information in them, including emails that were clearly marked classified when they were sent. Clinton, for her part, claimed that she didn’t know that a “C” marking on an email meant that it was classified or confidential.
Hillary’s statement to the Benghazi Committee is one of multiple statements that could open Clinton up to charges of perjury or obstruction of justice. And it is one of many areas in which Breitbart News led the media in exposing a Clinton falsehood. But Hillary Clinton did not simply expose national secrets. She put people’s lives in jeopardy.
Hillary Clinton posted and shared the names of CIA-protected intelligence sources on her private email server, including a defense attache and other covert U.S. agents working on matters including Iran and the Taliban and Pakistan.
Clinton’s server contained at least five different emails revealing the exact location or travel plans of U.S. Libyan ambassador Chris Stevens, who was murdered in the 2012 Benghazi attack. Stevens’ killers, of course, knew exactly where he was going to be when they got him.
When all was said and done, Clinton deleted thousands of emails with a software program called “BleachBit.” Bill Clinton’s former aide Justin Cooper came back into the picture to deal with at least two of Clinton’s 13 mobile devices. Cooper smashed them with a hammer or broke them in half, according to the FBI. The server itself was shipped off to an obscure company in Denver called Platte River Networks.
Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin used their private server while running the State Department. Now, with eight days until the election, those doings could finally see the light of day.