March 9, 2016

Assessing the Damage After Hillary’s Last Email Batch

Clinton wrote 104 of the 2,079 classified emails on her private server.

It’s difficult to understate the lasting damage to our republic that would occur if the American people, in a fit of pique, were to elect a dishonest, authoritarian, divisive, immoral, liberal New York Democrat as president. We are, of course, referring to Hillary Clinton. (You thought we were talking about the other one, didn’t you?)

Clinton long ago proved she will say and do whatever it takes to acquire, consolidate and conserve political power. For example, though she claims to be the champion of women, she tormented and character assassinated the victims of her serial rapist/abuser husband, on whose coattails she clung tightly to ensure her own advancement.

For more than a quarter century, Bill and Hillary have proven to be as tough and as slick as Teflon, skating free of the consequences of scandal after scandal, often throwing underlings to the wolves to ensure their own survival. Pay-to-play bribes at the Clinton Foundation. Benghazi. Cattle futures pay-outs. The missing Rose Law Firm documents. Whitewater. Stealing furniture from the White House. Filegate. Selling technology secrets to China in exchange for Democrat donations.

The list is seemingly endless, but as Hillary would say, “What difference, at this point, does it make?!”

Yet Hillary, twice as power hungry as Bill, but with half the political skill and none of the charm, may have finally found a predicament from which she can’t writhe loose. After more than a year of claiming this was nothing more than a partisan witch hunt by Republicans, and a routine FBI “security inquiry” focused on the physical server, the former staffer who Clinton paid to build the rogue server, Bryan Pagliano, received immunity from the FBI in exchange for his testimony. You don’t give immunity to someone unless you are going for a higher-up.

With the last batch of emails having been released by the State Department, we now know Clinton personally wrote and sent 104 emails containing classified information, not including 22 emails so highly classified that State refused to release them even in redacted form. In total, a stunning 2,079 emails containing classified information were transmitted, received and stored on her home-brew server. The fact that she personally wrote many of these emails, as The Washington Post acknowledged, “could complicate her efforts to argue that she never put government secrets at risk.”

Understatement of the year.

This also does not include the 32,000 emails Clinton deleted from her server because, she claimed, they were of a personal nature. The FBI has recovered those emails and is reviewing them.

Thus far, Clinton has argued that she created her private server for convenience, and her story on what was transmitted to and from the server is ever evolving. She first claimed that she never “knowingly” sent classified information, and that she “did not email any classified material to anyone on my email.” She later amended her statement to say that none of the emails she sent were “marked classified at the time.” That’s a thin excuse for a woman who, as secretary of state, sent out a directive to all State Department employees in 2011 instructing them to “[a]void conducting official Department business from your personal email accounts.”

The reason for the private server and the subterfuge was, of course, so that Hillary could get around the inevitable audits and scrutiny she would have been subjected to for all correspondence sent via her government email account. She wanted to be able to avoid providing information for FOIA requests, Congress and discovery for judicial proceedings (and independent counsels). In short, she knew what she was doing and why she was doing it.

The damage she has done to our national security is simply not quantifiable. Unlike General David Petraeus, who was convicted of disclosing classified information to his girlfriend/biographer which was never disseminated, Clinton’s emails have been so widely circulated between Hillary, her staffers, State Department personnel and outsiders, that it is impossible to determine exactly how many people — including America’s enemies — have access to the information. Our national security is now at greater risk; the lives of many of our foreign agents are now endangered.

One of the most damning revelations is that classified information was transmitted on an unclassified network, which is impossible to do accidentally.

As explained by former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, “The government maintains separate networks for classified and unclassified documents. … It is not physically possible to email documents from the classified to the unclassified system.”

The only way for classified information to get on an unclassified system is for someone with access to classified documents to willfully go to great lengths to do so. One example of this was when Hillary instructed a subordinate, Jake Sullivan, to take a classified fax and “turn it into nonpaper [unclassified] w no identifying heading and send nonsecure.” In other words, remove the “classified” markings and send unsecure. That is felony.

As a senator, Hillary voted for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a part of which (now codified under 18 USC Sec. 1519) specifies the penalty for such an act. It stipulates that one has committed a felony when engaged in an action which “knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry” in any official account or record “with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter … or in relation to or contemplation of any such matter or case.”

It would be delicious irony indeed if Hillary Clinton, in sight of the ultimate political prize, having escaped prosecution for dozens of other scandals and felony acts, is brought down for violating a law which she helped pass.

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