When FBI director James Comey stunned America last week by exonerating Hillary Clinton for being "grossly negligent" in her abuse of professional duties, but not criminal, he opened up a whole new can of worms for the presidential candidate, namely that she had repeatedly perjured herself and lied to both Congress and the American people.
As a result, House Republicans said Thursday they would seek a new FBI probe whether Clinton lied to Congress about her handling of classified information, as well as whether she perjured herself under oath during an 11-hour testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, That referral could lead to a new investigation, once again putting Clinton under the glare of the Justice Department.
It will hardly be difficult for an objective investigation to refute that Hillary lied: here is a brief summary of points which Hillary has made both on Capitol Hill and elsewhere, which the FBI report officially refuted:
"I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email”
As the Hill reminds us, this was one of first claims that Clinton made about her email setup, in a press conference at the United Nations shortly after it was revealed last year. We now know that more than 2,000 emails now contain information considered classified, but most of that was upgraded after it was sent. According to Comey, a total of 113 emails contained information that was classified at the time the messages were sent or received. Among those are eight threads containing 22 emails classified as top secret — the highest tier of classification. “There was classified material emailed,” Comey told the House Oversight Committee on Thursday.
“It was allowed, but it was not a good choice”
Clinton has repeatedly described her email setup as permitted under the letter of the rules, though perhaps "unwise" as she put it in the middle of her Benghazi Committee testimony. Both the State Department’s inspector general and the FBI disagree with that claim. The department’s internal watchdog released a harshly critical report earlier this year saying that the setup “would not” have been approved, had Clinton sought permission. Had employees within the FBI had a similar system, Comey testified this week, they might have been subject to a range of punishments up to and including being fired. “You could be walked out or, depending on the nature of the facts, you could be reprimanded,” the FBI director testified in the House.However, the bureau would not have been able to prosecute them for federal crimes, he added. And there would be no punishments that could be handed down after the official had left office.
“I provided the department with all of my work-related emails, all that I had”
Hillary also claimed repeatedly that all of her work-related messages were contained within the roughly 30,000 messages given to the State Department in 2014. Another batch of a similar size was purely personal, she has said, and those messages destroyed. This quote also came from the hearing in the Select Committee on Benghazi. The FBI managed to recover some of those deleted emails, through inboxes of her colleagues and from electronic breadcrumbs on decommissioned severs that Clinton used. According to Comey, “thousands” of those allegedly personal emails pertained to her work at the State Department. At least of them contained classified information.
“I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two”
This is another early claim of Clinton’s, given during her March 2015, press conference explaining why she used a private server out of convenience. The rationale, she said at the time, was to use just her one BlackBerry device for all email traffic, instead of switching between multiple devices. But in fact, Clinton used “multiple devices” throughout her four years as the nation’s top diplomat, according to the head of the FBI chief. “The FBI has the server that was used during the tenure of my State Department service” The common understanding of Clinton’s setup is that she used a single server throughout all four years, as this quote during the Benghazi Committee hearing seems to assert. But the FBI said that she used “several” different machines, which were taken offline as they became outdated and replaced.
“The FBI has the server that was used during the tenure of my State Department service”
The common understanding of Clinton’s setup is that she used a single server throughout all four years, as this quote during the Benghazi Committee hearing seems to assert. But the FBI said that she used “several” different machines, which were taken offline as they became outdated and replaced.
“There were no security breaches”
It’s still unclear precisely what security mechanisms Clinton used to protect her servers from hackers, but her presidential campaign has repeatedly said that there is no evidence that the machine was hacked. The FBI was not able to uncover any evidence that hackers did break into her system, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Recall that almost two months ago, infamous Romanian hacker Guccifer - who penetrated Sidney Blumenthal's email account- claimed he gained access to Hillary's "completely unsecured" server. "It was like an open orchid on the Internet," Lazar told NBC News. "There were hundreds of folders." It is strange that nobody has confirmed nor denied that claim to date. Additionally, hackers did break into the email accounts of people who had communicated with Clinton, Comey said, so they might have been able to map out her system as well. “Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account,” Comey warned.
* * *
But the biggest lie is one which Clinton not only repeated constantly before the FBI's report, but more disturbingly, after.
In fact, just yesterday in an interview with MSNBC, she once again said that “There was nothing marked classified on my emails, either sent or received.”
Here are the facts that we know of: at least three emails among the more than 30,000 reviewed by the FBI have included some markings indicating information was classified. “There were a small number of portion markings on, I think, three of the documents,” Comey testified this week. Those markings, however, were incomplete and according to the State Department made out of “human error.” Classified documents are supposed to be marked as such at multiple points throughout the document, including at the top and next to each sensitive portion. The three emails in Clinton’s inbox did not include the markings at the top of the page, just the ones next to particular sections. And the relevant portions did not actually contain classified information.
According to Comey, Clinton might have not understood that the section markings — upper-case “C”s in parentheses — indicating that the information was supposed to be confidential, the lower tier of classification. In other words, Comey suggests Clinton was too stupid to understand what she was doing, and as a result was jeopardising American lives and tactics not due to intent but because she was merely incompetent: “I don't think that our investigation established she was actually particularly sophisticated with respect to classified information and the levels and treatment,” the FBI director told the House Oversight Committee.
Still, Comey told reporters this week that anyone in Clinton’s position should have understood that dozens of the messages contained sensitive information. “Even if information is not marked ‘classified’ in an email, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it,” he said.
She repeated all of this during an interview with NBC's Lester Holt yesterday, as per the following clip.
There is just one problem with Hillary pushing the narrative that she was "too stupid" for her careless actions to have been the result of premeditation.
As we reported at the end of May when we revealed what Wikileaks then asked if "This Is The "Smoking Gun" Email That Will Bring Down Hillary", in one particular leaked exchange, Hillary makes it all too clear that not only did she know precisely what she was doing - and thus the implications of short-circuiting government regulations - but just for the sake of convenience, she was willing to overrule the classified designation and flaunt government regulations, something he has consistently done during her public "servant" tenure.
The exchange in question with senior policy advisor Jake Sullivan is shown below (link):
Wikileaks called it a smoking gun, and, indeed, now that the Clinton probe is moving away from the FBI's subjective interpretation of whether she was criminally negligent, to a far more objective and simple evaluation if Hillary lied, including under oath, the e-mail chain above should provide investigators with all they need to make that very simple decision.
The FBI did not ask us for copies of our upcoming Hillary Clinton leaks before concluding its investigation. Credible detective work! Not.— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 8, 2016
Also, keep in mind - there will be more.
Finally, as to whether the American people are willing to hand over the "launch codes" to a person who is willing to risk US foreign policy and jeopardize countless lives just to suit her own convenience, knowing full well the implications of such a move and then pretending she did not understand the severity of her actions, we do not pretend to know the answer.