Friday, May 27, 2016

Morning Joe Blasts Hillary Clinton's "Mindboggling" Deceit Over Emails

IN THE NEWS

 As Wednesday’s devastating OIG report made abundantly clear, Hillary Clinton and her aides have been misleading the public about her email scandal from the very beginning. But even as media outlets call Clinton out for her falsehoods, her campaign isn’t letting the facts get in the way of selling their “big spin job.”
In fact, spokesman Brian Fallon went as far to tell Factcheck.org that even though the IG report contradicts a multitude of Clinton’s claims, that “doesn’t make her statements untruthful.” Really, Brian?
Associated Press: “Over the months, Hillary Clinton misstated key facts about her use of private email and her own server for her work as secretary of state…”
Factcheck.org: “The State Department inspector general contradicts several of Clinton's long-standing talking points.”
Washington Post: “Hillary Clinton is sticking to her story on the email controversy. That doesn’t make it true.”

 

Crooked Hillary Gets Caught Lying Again

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus blasted Clinton over the missing emails.



The Washington Examiner reports: Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said Thursday Hillary Clinton's defense of her private email use is "crumbling" thanks to a finding from the State Department inspector general that suggested Clinton withheld work-related emails from the government.
 "The fact Hillary Clinton failed to turn over multiple work-related emails directly related to the setup of her secret server is the latest indication she is trying to hide the truth from voters," Priebus said in a statement. "Even now, Clinton continues to repeat falsehoods discredited by Wednesday's damning Inspector General’s report, confirming she did not comply with federal law."
At least three emails belonging to Hillary Clinton that were directly related to the se-up of her secret server were never turned over.
The Associated Press reports: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was supposed to have turned over all work-related emails to the State Department to be released to the public.
But an agency audit found at least three emails never seen before — including Clinton's own explanation of why she wanted her emails kept private.
After 14 months of public scrutiny and skepticism over Clinton's motives in keeping her State Department emails secret, new questions emerged Thursday.
They centered on her apparent failure to turn over a November 2010 email in which she worried that her personal messages could become accessible to outsiders, along with two other messages from 2011 that divulged possible security weaknesses in the private email system she used throughout her term as secretary of state.
The Clinton campaign has previously denied that her home server was breached, but newly revealed emails show aides worried it could have been compromised.
The existence of these previously unreleased messages — which appear to have been found among electronic files of four former top Clinton State Department aides — renews concerns that Clinton was not completely forthcoming when she turned over a trove of 55,000 pages of work-related emails. "I have turned over all my emails," Clinton said late Wednesday in an interview with Univision's Los Angeles affiliate. "No one else can say that."
NYT ON OIG REPORT: “Hillary Clinton, Drowning In Email.” The New York Times editorializes: Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the presidency just got harder with the release of the State Department inspector general’s finding that “significant security risks” were posed by her decision to use a private email server for personal and official business while she was secretary of state.
Contrary to Mrs. Clinton’s claims that the department had “allowed” the arrangement, the inspector general also found that she had not sought or received approval to use the server.
But above and beyond security questions, the inspector general’s report is certain to fuel doubts about Mrs. Clinton’s trustworthiness, lately measured as a significant problem for her in public polls.
This defensive posture seems at play in the email controversy, as well as her refusal, for that matter, to release the lucrative speeches she made to Wall Street audiences.
The reflex she is revealing again now — to hunker down when challenged — is likely to make her seem less personable to many voters, and it will surely inflame critics’ charges of an underlying arrogance.
In New Hampshire, the state’s largest newspaper is blasting Hillary Clinton over the recent OIG report that exposed her lies about her use of a secret email server to conduct government business.
The Union Leader editorializes: This week’s report from the State Department Office of Inspector General will make it harder for apologists to explain away the Clinton email fiasco, but they’ll keep trying.
The internal investigation shows that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton never bothered to get approval to conduct official business using a personal email address, and that staffers felt pressured to shut up about their security concerns.
Clinton’s defenders point out that past secretaries also used personal email addresses, and the OIG report finds “longstanding, systematic weaknesses” with State’s handling of electronic records.
But that does not excuse Clinton’s unprecedented decision to set up her own server, her failure to seek approval for her email chicanery, or her refusal to cooperate with the State Department’s investigation.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Trump Has Officially Clinched the GOP Nomination

By Christine Rousselle


The Associated Press is reporting that Donald Trump has reached the number of delegates, 1,237, needed to officially clinch the Republican nomination for president.

Trump has been the presumptive GOP nominee since May 4, when John Kasich dropped out of the race.

State Department IG Finds Hillary Clinton Violated Government Records Act and Refused to Speak to Investigators


 
By Andrew C. McCarthy
Politico reports that the State Department inspector general has concluded that Hillary Clinton violated State’s recordkeeping protocols. The finding is contained in a much anticipated report provided to Congress today.
Significantly, the report also reveals that Clinton and her top aides at State — Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, Huma Abedin, and possibly others — refused to cooperate with the IG’s investigation despite the IG’s requests that they submit to interviews.
The report is devastating, although it transparently strains to soften the blow. For example, it concludes that State’s “longstanding systemic weaknesses” in recordkeeping “go well beyond the tenure of any one Secretary of State.” Yet, it cannot avoid finding that Clinton’s misconduct is singular in that she, unlike her predecessors, systematically used private e-mail for the purpose of evading recordkeeping requirements.
“Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary,” the report states. By failing to do so, and compounding that dereliction with a failure to “surrender[] all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service,” Clinton, the IG finds, “did not comply with the Department’s policies.”
This articulation of Mrs. Clinton’s offense is also sugar-coated. By saying Clinton violated “policies,” the IG avoids concluding that she violated the law. But the IG adds enough that we can connect the dots ourselves. The “policies,” he elaborates, “were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.” To violate the policies — as Shannen Coffin has explained here at National Review — is to violate the law.
The IG report elucidates that Clinton and her aides knew this to be the case.
Politico notes: The report states that its findings are based on interviews with current Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessors — Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, but that Clinton and her deputies declined the IG’s requests for interviews.
Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, and Huma Abedin are among those who did not cooperate with the investigation.
The importance of this goes unstated but we can connect the dots. When a government official or former government official refuses to answer questions in a formal government investigation into potential wrongdoing, this in effect is the assertion of a legal privilege not to speak — otherwise, there is no valid reason not to cooperate.
So what conceivable legal privilege do Clinton, Mills, Sullivan, and Abedin have that would allow them to refuse to answer investigators’ questions? Only one: the Fifth Amendment privilege — i.e., the refusal to answer on the grounds that truthful responses might be incriminating.
I foreshadowed this a few days back in a column, surmising that Ms. Mills must have gotten some form of immunity in exchange for agreeing to be interviewed by the FBI and federal prosecutors:
Earlier this year, a State Department inspector general (IG) issued a report regarding the department’s appalling record of non-compliance with FOIA during Clinton’s tenure. It noted that Mills was well aware that Clinton’s e-mails circumvented State’s filing system and therefore were not searched in order to determine whether some were responsive to FOIA requests.
This was a violation of federal law, which requires each government agency to undertake a search that is “reasonably calculated to uncover all relevant documents.” (See Report at p. 8 & n.29 and pp. 14-15.) Mills not only failed to ensure that such a search was done; she knowingly allowed the State Department to represent — falsely, it turned out — that it possessed no responsive documents.
We now know that, when IG investigators attempted to question Mills to ascertain why she did that, she told them, through her lawyer, that she refused to speak with them. (See January 27, 2016, letter of Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley (R., Iowa) to Secretary of State John F. Kerry.)
She had good reason to take that position: Obstructing an agency’s lawful compliance with a FOIA request could constitute a felony. For present purposes, though, the point is that Mills’s refusal to cooperate with the State Department IG suggests she has concerns about potential criminal jeopardy. It thus seems highly unlikely that she consented to an interview by FBI agents conducting a criminal investigation unless she was given some form of immunity. . . .
So was Mills given at least qualified immunity in exchange for answering the FBI’s questions?
The media was abuzz a few months back when it emerged that Brian Pagliano, the old Clinton hand who was placed on the State Department payroll to service Hillary’s homebrew server, had been given immunity for prosecution in exchange for cooperating with the FBI. Why was it such a big story? Because the conferral of immunity implied that Pagliano believed he’d be incriminating himself if he cooperated with investigators.
Well . . . what are we to make of the refusal by Clinton, Mills, Sullivan, and Abedin to cooperate with the Obama State Department IG?
What are we to make of Mrs. Clinton’s public posturing that of course she is prepared to cooperate — and encourages her subordinates to cooperate — with government investigators?
And how is a former high government official who systematically evaded federal records requirements and then refused to cooperate with a government investigation into that evasion conceivably fit to be president of the United States?

_____________________

http://www.wsj.com/articles/clintons-email-deceptions-1464219303

The Wall Street Journal
The State IG finds she knew the security risks she was taking.

·  | Opinion

 
Hillary Clinton has said for more than a year that her use of a private email server as Secretary of State violated no federal rules and posed no security risk. Only the gullible believed that, and now everyone has proof of her deceptions in a scathing report from State Department Inspector General Steve Linick.
The report obtained by news outlets Wednesday is ostensibly an audit of the email practices of five secretaries of State. But the majority of the report, and the most withering criticism, focuses on Mrs. Clinton. The IG concludes that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee broke federal record-keeping rules, never received permission for her off-grid server, ignored security concerns raised by other officials, and employed a staff that flouted the rules with the same disdain she did.
“Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary,” says the report. “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.”
State still has never received emails from her private account for the first six weeks after she became Secretary, and the IG notes that it found (by other means) business-related emails that Mrs. Clinton did not include among the emails she has turned over.
The report says she has also stonewalled requests to obtain her server. And “through her counsel, Secretary Clinton declined [the IG’s] request for an interview.” Former Secretaries Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and current Secretary John Kerry all sat for interviews.
Mrs. Clinton’s staff abetted her bad practices. The report says the IG “learned of extensive use of personal email accounts by four immediate staff members (none of whom responded to the questionnaire). . . . The material consists of nearly 72,000 pages in hard copy and more than 7.5 gigabytes of electronic data. One of the staff submitted 9,585 emails spanning January 22, 2009 to February 24, 2013, averaging 9 emails per workday sent on a personal email account.”
The IG—who had better hire a food-taster—also found that Mrs. Clinton neither sought nor received permission for her private communications. The former Secretary also understood the security risks this posed because she was warned several times.
In March 2011 the Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security sent Mrs. Clinton a memorandum that warned of a “dramatic increase” in attempts by “cyber actors to compromise the private home e-mail accounts of senior Department officials,” with an eye toward “technical surveillance and possible blackmail.”
Following that memo, security staff twice briefed Mrs. Clinton’s immediate staff on this threat. A June 2011 cable, sent over Mrs. Clinton’s name to all diplomatic and consular posts, warned of this new threat to home accounts, as well as the news that Google had reported cyber attacks on the Gmail accounts of U.S. government employees. Mrs. Clinton and her staff ignored her own warnings.
One official suggested State set up a stand-alone computer for Mrs. Clinton in her office to check the Internet and private email. That never happened. A different official suggested she have two mobile devices—one for personal use and one with a “State Department email account” that would “be subject to [Freedom of Information Act] requests.” Her team said no.
As for Mrs. Clinton’s claim that her private account was secure, the report cites several instances of techies shutting down her server due to hacking concerns. “Notification is required when a user suspects compromise of, among other things, a personally owned device containing personally identifiable information,” says the report. But the IG says it found “no evidence” that Mrs. Clinton or her staff filed such reports.
The Clinton campaign is resorting to its familiar strategy of calling this old news while saying everybody does it because Mr. Powell also failed to keep records of private email while he was in office. “GOP will attack HRC because she is running for President, but IG report makes clear her personal email use was not unique at State Dept,” tweeted Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon. But Mr. Powell’s use of private email was limited, and he never set up an unsecure server in his home.
All of this should bear on the FBI’s email probe and whether Mrs. Clinton understood the security risks she was running. On the IG’s extensive evidence, she clearly did—and then she lied about it. Voters should understand that this is precisely the kind of governance Mrs. Clinton would return to the White House.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

State Department Watchdog: Clinton Violated Email Rules


The inspector general report is the latest headache for Clinton in the scandal over her exclusive use of private email for State business.


The State Department inspector general concluded that Hillary Clinton did not comply with the agency’s policies on records, according to a report released to lawmakers on Wednesday that also revealed that Clinton and her top aides chose not to cooperate with the review.
The agency on Wednesday released the long-awaited report to Capitol Hill, copy of which was obtained by POLITICO, providing just the latest turn in the headache-inducing saga that has dogged Clinton's campaign.
While the report concludes that the agency suffers from "longstanding, systemic weaknesses" with records that "go well beyond the tenure of any one Secretary of State,” it specifically dings Clinton for her exclusive use of private email.
“Therefore, Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary,” the report states. “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."
The report states that its findings are based on interviews with current Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessors – Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, but that Clinton and her deputies declined the IG’s requests for interviews.
Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, and Huma Abedin are among those who did not cooperate with the investigation.
The IG report is just one of many fronts that still exist in the email scandal. Clinton also faces an ongoing FBI investigation into the setup of the private server that she used for official State Department business during her four years in the Obama administration, and various Freedom of Information Act lawsuits are working their way through the courts.
Donald Trump has already been seizing on the persistent controversy, which first emerged in March of last year, as he tries to further undermine the trustworthiness of "Crooked Hillary," as he calls her.
Clinton and her allies contend she did nothing illegal by choosing to set up a private email server and account at her Chappaqua, New York, home, and that she was not trying to evade public records requests. Instead, Clinton has said she was motivated by the desire for convenience, though she has conceded it was not the best choice.
The State Department has released roughly 30,000 emails Clinton turned over to her former agency at its request in December 2014. While there were no apparent bombshells in the content of the messages, more than 2,000 emails on her server were deemed classified after the fact, raising questions about the security and wisdom of the set-up.
Clinton has also faced scrutiny for instructing her staff to delete about 32,000 messages deemed personal by her team. It’s unclear how many of those emails the FBI may have been able to recover from her server — which was turned over to authorities last August — or whether those messages will eventually be made public.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

ANOTHER FBI INVESTIGATION HITS CLINTON, INC

IN THE NEWS

The FBI is investigating Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a top ally of Hillary Clinton, over possible illegal campaign contributions and their connection to his tenure on the board of the Clinton Global Initiative.

CNN reports: Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and prosecutors from the Justice Department's public integrity unit, U.S. officials briefed on the probe say.

The investigation dates to at least last year and has focused, at least in part, on whether donations to his gubernatorial campaign violated the law, the officials said.

As part of the probe, the officials said, investigators have scrutinized McAuliffe's time as a board member of the Clinton Global Initiative, a vehicle of the charitable foundation set up by former President Bill Clinton.



An arm of the Clinton Foundation received $100 million from a “blood minerals” firm that was praised by Bill Clinton.

The Daily Caller reports: A little known Swedish-Canadian oil and mining conglomerate human rights groups have repeatedly charged produces “blood minerals” is among the Clinton Foundation’s biggest donors, thanks to a $100 million pledge in 2007, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation has found.

“Blood minerals” are related to “blood diamonds,” which are allegedly mined in war zones or sold as commodities to help finance political insurgencies or despotic warlords.

When the Vancouver, Canada-based Lundin Group gave its $100 million commitment to the “Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative,” the company had long been cutting deals with warlords, Marxist rebels, military strongmen and dictatorships in the war-torn African countries of Congo, Sudan and Ethiopia.

 In accepting the $100 million, President Bill Clinton hailed Lundin’s contribution, saying “today’s generous support by the Lundin Group is to be applauded because it demonstrates the potential of this global initiative to capture the imagination and support of the mining sector.”

Monday, May 23, 2016

Here We Go: New Trump Web Ad Highlights Rape Accusations Against Bill Clinton

By Guy Benson


With new polling pointing to a tightening general election contest, Donald Trump's campaign is setting its sights on Hillary Clinton's enduring and wide advantage among female voters. The former reality show star is expanding his lead with men, which has neutralized and even overtaken Clinton's "gender gap" edge.

If Bernie Sanders supporters prove unwilling to rally to Mrs. Clinton when she finally sews up the nomination -- and if Trump can whittle down her lead with women, who will represent more than half of the overall electorate in November -- he has a realistic shot at beating her.

One argument Trump fans offered on his behalf during the rancorous GOP primary was that he would be willing drop rhetorical bombs on the Clintons in ways that other candidates wouldn't ever dream of. Fact check: Mostly true. 

Watch the a short online clip the Trump camp posted on Instagram, signaling that the billionaire fully intends to litigate Bill Clinton's sordid history of sexual misconduct and alleged assault as a means of undermining Hillary's positioning as a champion of women.
 
This is a characteristically unsubtle escalation by Team Trump, whose principal has been telegraphing this line of criticism for months. Just last week, the candidate raised the word "rape" in connection to the former president, drawing a swift response from Hillary's camp.
 
As I've said and written on a number of occasions, even though lobbing this sort of attack may confound Clinton's campaign, dredge up long-dormant ugliness, and throw Mrs. Clinton off-message, it's also rife with political risk for the aggressor. 

It's entirely plausible that this tactic may backfire if voters believe Trump is unfairly using the sins (and alleged crimes) of the husband to tear down the wife.  People may see it as mean-spirited, irrelevant and old news; after all, the 42nd president enjoys strong favorability ratings, despite his many known improprieties. 

Then again, many younger voters aren't very aware of just how unseemly President Clinton's behavior was. 

A whole generation of voters has likely never heard the name Juanita Broderick, whose accusations against Bill Clinton have been emotional, specific and consistent.  She is one of several women who have accused Hillary Clinton's husband of at least unwanted sexual advances, several of whose voices are featured in the video above.  The extent to which she looked the other way or actively aided in the smearing of his accusers ('nuts and sluts') can be fair game -- especially as she postures and preens with statements like this:
 


"To every survivor of sexual assault...You have the right to be heard. You have the right to be believed. We're with you." —Hillary


The inclusion of Hillary's cackle at the end of the Instagram snippet feels like a cheap shot. The implication is that she derived maniacal glee from her husband's conduct, and these women's allegations.  

Though this will undoubtedly thrill Trump loyalists, it could very well end up being counter-productive.  We'll see whether any sympathy-driven, pro-Hillary blowback materializes. 

Then again, if Hillary chooses to go the indignant route in response, many Trump defenders will inevitably point to a separate audio recording to bolster the spirit of this attack. 

Nearly two years ago, an irate woman came forward to savage Hillary Clinton for engaging in a blame-the-victim strategy that she said assassinated her character during a 1975 child rape case.

Clinton represented the accused rapist at the time, aggressively challenging the young victim's credibility in court documents. 

That girl, now an adult, says Clinton took her "through hell," and lied "like a dog" in making "false allegations," resulting in a drastically reduced sentence.  A contemporaneous interview obtained by the Washington Free Beacon records Clinton chuckling about the resolution of the case. 

Though I defended her decision to represent a cretinous client (whom she clearly believed to be guilty) as a necessary component of the US criminal justice system, her ruthless tactics against the alleged victim and weird laughter in an after-the-fact interview are unsettling. 

I'll leave you with the presumptive Democratic nominee -- a platinum-level lifetime panderer -- lamenting Trump's "pandering" to the NRA over the weekend:
 



"Unlike Donald Trump, I will not pander to the gun lobby. We will not be silenced and we will not be intimidated." —Hillary


Now seems like a reasonable time to serve up a reminder that Hillary Clinton hit Barack Obama from the right on guns in 2008, and now has blasted Bernie Sanders from the left on the same issue this cycle.