Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Abortion Industry Supported By Democrats Engages in Black Genocide

By Frances Rice
Taking a page out f the Democratic Party's election-year playbook, Democrat operative Chris Matthews ignited a media firestorm by getting Donald Trump to respond to a hypothetical question about abortion, a response Trump later walked back.
It's stunning how Democratic Party operatives and other pundits and politicians who are expressing outrage over Trump’s words seem unconcerned about the devastating impact that the reality of abortion has on Black Americans.
Below is information extracted from the website BlackGenocide” at this link.
Based on research and statistical analysis, Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. 78% of their clinics are in minority communities.
Blacks make up 12% of the population, but 35% of the abortions in America.
According to the Allan Guttmacher Institute, Black American women are nearly five times more likely than non-Hispanic white women to have an abortion.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that almost one in every two Black American pregnancies ends in abortion.
On average, 1,876 Black babies are aborted every day in the United States.
It has been estimated that since 1973 Black women have had about 16 million abortions.
If someone wiped out the entire Black American population in Oakland, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C., the number still wouldn't equal the number of Black babies lost to abortion in one year: 683,294.
Michael Novak had calculated "Since the number of current living Blacks (in the U.S.) is 36 million, the missing 16 million represents an enormous loss, for without abortion, America's Black community would now number 52 million persons.
Black Americans are the only minority in America that is on the decline in population.
If the current trend continues, by 2038 the Black vote will be insignificant.
So, the questions becomes, are Black Americans being targeted?
Does what is happening in Black communities amount to Black genocide?

Disturbingly repulsive is the fact that the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was a devout racist who created the Negro Project designed to sterilize unknowing Black women and others she deemed as undesirables of society.
Sanger said, "Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated."

Is her vision being fulfilled today?
The obvious answer is "yes." 
While the press, pundits and politicians ignore how the abortion industry is engaged in Black genocide, they are obsessing over Trump's answer to the hypothetical question: IF abortion were made illegal, should a woman who violates the law be punished?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hillary's Backer Files Joke Charges Against Trump's Campaign Manager

Criminal Assault? You Can’t Be Serious!
By John Hinderaker

There are reasons to think that Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, is a jerk and in some respects a thug. But in my opinion, the decision by a prosecutor in Florida to charge Lewandowski with criminal assault in connection with his encounter with former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields is a joke.

The police report in the case says that “probable cause exists to charge Corey Lewandowski… with (1) count of simple battery… in that he did intentionally touch Michelle Fields… against the will of Michelle Fields.” That’s true enough, but if every instance where someone touched someone else against his or her will were prosecuted, just about all of us would be criminals. This is what the video shows–an unwanted touch, certainly, but hardly a criminal assault:

          The video is at this address:

Why did the local authorities choose to prosecute Lewandowski? It came out yesterday that Palm Beach County’s States Attorney is Dave Aronberg, a former Democratic state senator and a high-profile backer of Hillary Clinton:

The Florida prosecutor whose office is handling the battery case involving Donald Trump’s campaign manager is a long-time Democrat and former state senator who’s now part of Hillary Clinton’s so-called Florida leadership “council.” …

Aronberg, who was elected to the post in 2012, has been listed as a member of Clinton’s “Florida Leadership Council” since November, along with several state senators, representatives and local elected officials. He also gave $1,000 to Clinton’s campaign in January, according to campaign finance records.

When asked about Aronberg’s political connections, a spokesman termed the question “inappropriate” and declined to respond.

As I have said before, Donald Trump’s rise has been fueled in large part by the overreactions of his enemies. He (or, in this case, his aide) will do something discreditable, but rather than leave it alone or respond in measured fashion, his opponents all too often go overboard, so that Trump becomes a sympathetic figure or appears, in the end, to be mostly in the right. This looks like one more in a long succession of such miscalculations by those who detest Trump.

Hillary Clinton Is Disqualified From Public Office

Clinton's abysmal record on open government

Wisconsin Journal Sentinel | Opinion|Editorial | Hillary Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton waits to be introduced during a rally at Western Technical College in La Crosse on Tuesday. Credit: Associated Press

Nothing matters more to leadership in a democracy than support for an open, honest government in which citizens are informed and in charge. It is the foundational building block of the republic upon which all else rests. And any candidate vying for the votes of the American people needs to have demonstrated a firm commitment not only to the ideal but to the reality of open government.

As we noted Tuesday, Republican front-runner Donald Trump is not one of those candidates. But neither is Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. Her horrible track record on transparency raises serious concerns for open government under a Clinton administration — so serious we believe they may disqualify her from public office. We hope Wisconsin voters give this issue the consideration it deserves when they go to the polls on Tuesday.

The issue immediately at hand — and under investigation by the FBI — is Clinton's use of a private email server for State Department communications. Clinton may have violated national security laws by making top secret documents vulnerable to hackers and available to people without proper security clearance. Violating those laws rightly ended the public service career of Gen. David Petraeus when he was President Barack Obama's CIA director. The FBI and Justice Department must be free to fully investigate and, if warranted, prosecute Clinton in this matter without any political interference from the Obama administration.

In addition, regardless of Clinton's excuses, the only believable reason for the private server in her basement was to keep her emails out of the public eye by willfully avoiding freedom of information laws. No president, no secretary of state, no public official at any level is above the law. She chose to ignore it, and must face the consequences.

In a lengthy Washington Post article on Sunday, Robert O'Harrow Jr. notes that from the earliest days of her service as secretary of state, "Clinton aides and senior officials focused intently on accommodating the secretary's desire to use her private email account, documents and interviews show.

"Throughout, they paid insufficient attention to laws and regulations governing the handling of classified material and the preservation of government records, interviews and documents show. They also neglected repeated warnings about the security of the BlackBerry while Clinton and her closest aides took obvious security risks in using the basement server."

Last month, in a hearing about a Judicial Watch lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said legitimate questions have been raised about whether Clinton's staff was trying to help her to sidestep the Freedom of Information Act.

"We're talking about a Cabinet-level official who was accommodated by the government for reasons unknown to the public," Sullivan said. "And I think that's a fair statement: For reasons heretofore unknown to the public. And all the public can do is speculate."

"This is all about the public's right to know," Sullivan added.

This is hardly the first time Clinton has tried to sidestep the public eye. Last year, Pro Publica noted five such episodes:

In 1992, during Bill Clinton's first run for office, the Clintons declined to release all of their tax returns because, it turned out, a few of the returns showed Hillary Clinton's incredible success in commodities trading when Bill Clinton was attorney general and then governor of Arkansas. She made almost $100,000 from an initial investment of $1,000 in a matter of months — a return of 10,000% — under the guidance of a lawyer who was also outside counsel to Tyson Foods Inc., Arkansas' largest employer. The returns weren't made public until 1994.

In 1993, Hillary Clinton led a presidential task force to overhaul the U.S. health care system. The effort ultimately failed but the group came under intense criticism from lawmakers and interest groups for meeting behind closed doors. Several court challenges were brought in an attempt to open the process.

In 1994, U.S. investigators subpoenaed Clinton's billing records from her years at the Rose Firm in Little Rock, Ark. — documents that also had been sought by reporters. Of key interest was Clinton's legal work for a failing savings and loan, but records of those billings weren't found. Pro Publica: "Much later, Clinton's longtime assistant, Carolyn Huber, said she found in the White House residence an additional box of records that contained the billing memos. They were turned over to the independent counsel in 1996. Clinton testified she had no knowledge of how the records wound up where they did."

As a senator in 2006, Clinton set up an energy task force that produced a 40-page report. That by itself is not unusual, but this was: The existence of the group, its members and its work product were all kept secret. Turned out the leader of the task force headed an investment firm with major holdings in the energy sector.

Public officials keep secrets because they have something to hide — something they don't want the people they are supposed to be serving to know anything about.

Last year, the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation became an issue. Donors are identified but not the exact amount of each donation or the date of those contributions. And the foundation did not reveal that it was raising money from foreign governments until after Hillary Clinton left office as secretary of state, an office with power over foreign affairs and favors second only to the president's.

Then there are the closed-door speeches to Wall Street financial investment firms, for which she received hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece.

These off-the-record speeches were delivered after Clinton left the State Department and was preparing for her second bid for the White House. Clinton has refused to release transcripts of the speeches, saying she would do so only if other politicians released transcripts of their speeches. But that, as The New York Times noted in a February editorial, is a child's excuse.

"Voters have every right to know what Mrs. Clinton told these groups.... By refusing to release them all, especially the bank speeches, Mrs. Clinton fuels speculation about why she's stonewalling," the Times editorial said.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has used the fees she was paid for the speeches by the most powerful firms on Wall Street against Clinton in their race for the nomination. Of equal concern is the secrecy involved and Clinton's continuing refusal to release the transcripts of what she told the investment bankers.

Clinton has a long track record of public service but an equally long record of obfuscation, secrecy and working in the shadows to boost her power and further her ambition. We encourage voters to think long and hard about that record when choosing the next president.

Hillary Stonewalls Email Scandal Investigation


Second federal judge orders discovery regarding Clinton emails

By Paul Mirengoff
Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. district court in Washington D.C. today became the second federal judge to order discovery regarding Clinton emails. Both cases were brought by the invaluable Judicial Watch.

As we have discussed, Judge Emmet Sullivan, a Clinton appointee, has already granted Judicial Watch discovery on the Clinton email matter in separate litigation. Judicial Watch’s discovery plan in that case seeks the testimony of eight current and former State Department officials, including top State Department official Patrick Kennedy, former State IT employee Bryan Pagliano, and Clinton’s two top aides at the State Department: Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin.

The discovery ordered by Judge Lamberth pertains to emails surrounding the infamous Benghazi talking points — the Obama administration’s attempt to hide the fact that the Benghazi attacks were the premeditated effort of a group connected with al Qaeda.

Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeks from Hillary Clinton and her top State Department staff::

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 AND 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.

Discovery is rare in FOIA litigation. A court either finds that the government complied with FOIA or that it did not.

However, Judge Lamberth ordered limited discovery regarding Clinton email issues because “there is evidence of government wrong-doing and bad faith.” He explained:

An understanding of the facts and circumstances surrounding Secretary Clinton’s extraordinary and exclusive use of her “” account to conduct official government business, as well as other officials’ use of this account and their own personal e-mail accounts to conduct official government business is required before the Court can determine whether the search conducted here reasonably produced all responsive documents. Plaintiff is certainly entitled to dispute the State Department’s position that it has no obligation to produce these documents because it did not “possess” or “control” them at the time the FOIA request was made.

The State Department’s willingness to now search documents voluntarily turned over to the Department by Secretary Clinton and other officials hardly transforms such a search into an “adequate” or “reasonable” one. Plaintiff is not relying on “speculation” or “surmise” as the State Department claims. Plaintiff is relying on constantly shifting admissions by the Government and the former government officials. Whether the State Department’s actions will ultimately be determined by the Court to not be “acting in good faith” remains to be seen at this time, but plaintiff is clearly entitled to discovery and a record before this Court rules on that issue.

Emphasis added.

Judge Lamberth went on to say that “the factual record must be developed appropriately in order for this Court to make [a] determination” as to whether there was “a lack of good faith” on the government’s part.

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch said this about Judge Lamberth’s ruling:

This remarkable decision will allow Judicial Watch to explore the shifting stories and misrepresentations made by the Obama State Department and its current and former employees. This Benghazi litigation first uncovered the Clinton email scandal, so it is good to have discovery in this lawsuit which may help the American people find out why our efforts to get Benghazi answers was thwarted by Clinton’s email games.

Indeed, it is.


The Justice Department’s Hillary Stonewall
By Andrew C. McCarthy

When it comes to Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal, the most important thing to bear in mind — even more than classified information — is this: It was all about avoiding accountability.
It still is.
Mrs. Clinton did not set out to damage national security and compromise defense secrets, although she obviously had no compunction about doing so as necessary to serve her higher personal interests. For a generation, she has been a public person whose most intimate companion has been scandal. She knew her State Department stewardship would be no different. Her motive in designing a communication system that circumvented government recordkeeping and disclosure laws was to avoid a day of reckoning as she campaigned in 2016 for the power of the presidency she craves.
And that is where Loretta Lynch comes in.
That would be the same Loretta Lynch who came to prominence in 1999 by being appointed United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York by none other than Mrs. Clinton’s husband. Loretta Lynch, who had a history of significant political contributions to Democratic-party candidates before President Obama reappointed her as U.S. Attorney for the EDNY in 2010, and then elevated her to U.S. attorney general in 2015. Loretta Lynch, who said in her confirmation hearings that she supports the Democratic president’s lawless executive actions and non-enforcement of federal law. Loretta Lynch, who very much likes being attorney general of the United States and would be well positioned to continue in that powerful post in a Hillary Clinton administration.
The known evidence that Mrs. Clinton committed federal crimes is abundant, perhaps even overwhelming. It is manifest that she lawlessly transmitted and stored classified information outside its secure system, and that she caused her underlings to do so. But remember, there is also the evidence that is unknown to the public — though it is being pored over by the FBI: the 32,000 e-mails Clinton refused to turn over to the State Department (which involved converting them to her private use) and attempted to destroy by trying to delete them (i.e., to wipe her private server clean).
As I’ve previously pointed out, the federal embezzlement statute makes it a felony to destroy government files or convert them to one’s private use. The FBI has reportedly been able to recover at least some and possibly all of the e-mails Clinton tried to erase. Unless you really believe that one of the busiest high officials in the U.S. government had time for 32,000 e-mails about yoga routines and Chelsea’s wedding dress, it is inevitable that some of those e-mails, probably a goodly portion, related to State Department business — i.e., they were government files.
With such neon indicators of serious wrongdoing, it seems highly likely that the FBI, which has reportedly devoted substantial time and resources to the investigation, will recommend prosecution. For all we know, that may have happened already. Once such a recommendation has been made, the ball is in the Justice Department’s court: It will be up to Attorney General Lynch — with whatever direction she gets from her boss, the president — to decide whether to indict Clinton.
An indictment would be devastating to the Democrats’ chances of retaining the White House in the November election. Thus, the conventional wisdom holds that Lynch will decline prosecution, which the executive branch has the unreviewable constitutional power to do, regardless of how damning the proof of crimes might be.
But what if the conventional wisdom is wrong? And to be clear, I am not suggesting that Lynch will shock the world by approving an indictment against her party’s candidate for the presidency.
What if Loretta Lynch simply decides to . . . do nothing?
You’ve no doubt noticed throughout the last seven years that the Obama administration is quite insistent on its discretion not to enforce congressional statutes, notwithstanding the president’s constitutional oath to see that the laws are faithfully executed. Well, just as no law may compel the Justice Department to prosecute a case, there is also no law that requires the attorney general to decide whether to prosecute within a specific period of time, much less to explain a decision not to prosecute — if such a decision is actually made.
The FBI can make a recommendation to prosecute in the strongest terms based on the most convincing evidence. But not only does the FBI have no power to force the Justice Department to prosecute; it has no power to force the Justice Department to decide whether to prosecute.
The Obama Justice Department, during Eric Holder’s tenure and continuing into Ms. Lynch’s stewardship, has been the most politicized in American history. It is often observed that, in using the executive’s law-enforcement powers against the administration’s adversaries, the real weapon is the process, not the ability to trump up charges and make them stick. The Justice Department’s stable of community organizers and “social justice” crusaders know that persons, organizations, and companies can be ruined by the mere threat of an indictment — even if one is never forthcoming. “Suspects” can be financially bankrupted and emotionally wrecked by the incessant demands for documentary information, interviews by federal agents, requests for grand-jury testimony, and so on. The Justice Department can stretch the vexatious process out for years. Innocent people can be pressured to plead guilty, just as innocent businesses and even municipal police departments can be browbeaten into signing intrusive settlements (“consent decrees”), just to get the unbearable, prohibitively expensive process over with.
What you rarely hear about, though, is the other side of this coin: Just as the investigative process can be made the worst nightmare of a rogue administration’s foes, it can be a lifesaver for that administration’s friends. To cut to the chase: The Justice Department never has to make a decision, never has to say “yes” or “no” to an indictment.
No matter how much evidence the FBI gathers, prosecutors can always say they are not ready to present the case to the grand jury until this or that tangential lead has been run down. No matter how much media and public interest there is in the progress of an investigation, prosecutors can always say that grand-jury secrecy rules and the integrity of the evidence-gathering process dictate that the Justice Department make no public comment while potential charges are being considered . . . and considered . . . and considered . . .
The Clinton e-mail scheme has always been about avoiding accountability, about denying the public a window into Hillary Clinton’s disastrous decision-making, her deceptive public pronouncements, and the promiscuous interplay between State Department and Clinton Foundation business. The goal was to keep Secretary of State Clinton’s communications from the public until after the 2016 election, at which point President Clinton would be well positioned to bury them permanently.
Now, the goal is in sight. To pull the scheme off, all Clinton needs is for the current (and future?) attorney general to stonewall for another eight months. Don’t forget: The Obama Justice Department has been stonewalling on the egregious Fast and Furious investigation — in which a federal agent was murdered — for over five years. You don’t think Lynch can tap dance for eight months?
The question is, Will the public, the media, and the Republican-controlled Congress let her do it behind the Clintonian curtain?

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

Washington Examiner
Clinton's fictional reassurance from the FBI
By Washington Examiner

Hillary Clinton is behaving like she has the Democratic nomination sewn up. She is threatening to stop debating her opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. And no less an authority on Democratic politics than David Plouffe, President Obama's successful former campaign manager, thinks it's in the bag already.
It is probably true; the betting odds of Sanders winning the nomination are 10-to-1 against on the first online betting site we checked, which seems about right. But that doesn't mean Democratic voters feel good about nominating someone who has been caught lying again and again. Sanders may not be able to close the delegate gap with victories like the five he enjoyed last week, but there is a good reason his campaign didn't peter out long ago, and why he wins by such enormous margins among Democratic voters who cite honesty and integrity as the most important qualities in a candidate.
The FBI acknowledged in court on Friday, in response to a freedom of information request, that it has not contacted Clinton regarding its investigation of her mishandling of classified information. This is interesting, because Clinton said in a town hall meeting earlier this month that she had been informed by the FBI that she is not a target in the investigation. She offered this in the way of reassurance to Democrats that this investigation will not escalate during the campaign season, possibly throwing the presidency to the GOP nominee.
Should voters believe the FBI that it has not contacted Clinton, or should they believe her that it has? The question answers itself; the law enforcement agency or the proven fabricator? Not difficult.
Clinton has already claimed that she did not email or host classified information on the private system run from the non-secured server she kept in her basement. "I did not e-mail any classified material to anyone on my e-mail," she said. "I'm certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material."
This turned out to be false. Although she has tried to object that much of the material was not "marked" classified when sent, both federal law and her own non-disclosure agreement explicitly note that this is not a meaningful distinction.
Clinton has also repeatedly maintained that "there was no law ... there was no regulation" preventing what she did. This is also untrue. Although the occasional use of private email for some government work is not strictly forbidden, both law and regulation forbade her from hiding her work product from Congress and the public by keeping these records at home for (in the case of the earliest ones) up to five years after they were created.
As secretary, it was actually Clinton's duty under the law to make sure her entire department's work product was available for fulfilling congressional and freedom of information requests, which obviously she did not do.
It is also clearly against the law to store classified federal government information on an insecure server in one's home, and again, it is immaterial whether that information has been "marked" classified. Clinton was well aware of this as she sent and received hundreds of emails containing classified information.
All this scandal, and all of these false statements, all because Clinton didn't want to live under the same rules as the little people who work in government.
So the FBI had not spoken to Clinton as of last week. What we know now is that the bureau will be speaking to her soon. It's impossible to say where this will lead. Perhaps it will lead nowhere except to her nomination. But Democratic voters still have a choice, and Clinton should debate him.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Politically Correct Student Dictators Dominate American Universities

How PC culture is killing higher education

By Glenn Harlan Reynolds

Universities like Emory trivialize education by rewarding politically correct student dictators.
If I were to offer one piece of advice to university presidents, it would be to watch the scene from The Social Network in which Harvard President Larry Summers tells the Winklevoss twins to grow up and stop complaining about the actions of other students. “This action,” says Summers, “the two of you being here, is wrong.”

That’s precisely the response that university presidents should give to students who come, claiming fear and trembling, to see university presidents because they’re unhappy with the speech of other students. Instead, all too often, these students are indulged in a way that the Winklevoss twins were not, with consequences for the university, for higher education — and, actually for the complaining students themselves — that are likely to prove disastrous.

The latest example of this phenomenon can be found at Emory University in Atlanta.

At Emory, students of the “social justice” variety were upset when someone chalked ”Trump 2016” on sidewalks. The students announced that they felt “fear” and “pain” as a result. The students challenged the administration; one student demanded that it “decry the support for this fascist, racist candidate.” According to TheEmory Wheel, another student complained: “I’m supposed to feel comfortable and safe (here). But this man is being supported by students on our campus and our administration shows that they, by their silence, support it as well … I don’t deserve to feel afraid at my school.”

Emory President James Wagner at first showed a bit of resistance, but quickly caved, promising to identify and discipline the authors of the offending pro-Trump writings. TheEmory Wheel reported, "The University will review footage 'up by the hospital [from] security cameras' to identify those who made the chalkings, Wagner told the protesters. He also added that if they’re students, they will go through the conduct violation process, while if they are from outside of the University, trespassing charges will be pressed."

As New York Magazine’s Jesse Singal wrote, this response was “extremely creepy, and a sign that something has gone seriously wrong.”

Writing in The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf noted that this sort of embarrassing student “activism” is actually fueling Trump’s rise. And as Reason’s Robby Soave commented: “No wonder so many non-liberal students are cheering for Trump — not because they like him, but because he represents glorious resistance to the noxious political correctness and censorship that has come to define the modern college experience.”

But Friedersdorf makes another point, one that college presidents should keep in mind: The Emory protesters managed to fill a conference room and meet with Emory President James Wagner, but they don’t actually represent the feelings of Emory students overall. He observes: “On Yik Yak, a social media app popular among college students in large part because it permits anonymous speech, the Emory student reaction to the chalk controversy wasn’t mixed, as often happens when one views that platform during a campus controversy. It was clearly, overwhelmingly antagonistic to the student activists.”

Freed from a fear that student “activists” — and their allies in the university’s Student Life and Diversity offices — might punish them, students expressed their true feelings, and they demonstrate that the “activists” are a small, unrepresentative slice that is being indulged at the expense of the university as a whole. (This is probably why so many campus administrations and activists don’t like Yik Yak: It allows students to express themselves without fear of repercussions.)

And indulging those activists is dangerous to universities because it makes them ridiculous. As Friedersdorf also notes, Emory and its “fearful” students were widely mocked, even in the liberal press. And they deserved to be mocked, because their behavior was childish and silly.

Higher education already faces falling enrollments, reduced public support and a general decline in public esteem. In Connecticut, the state legislature is even looking at taxing the enormous endowment of Yale University. Universities used to be revered, but now, as Walter Russell Mead writes, “From the point of view of much of the public, highly-endowed colleges are becoming an underperforming asset: The feeling is growing that elite fat cat universities are an expensive luxury, and that the money spent propping up their endowments would be better spent buying school lunches for needy kids, or topping off up the pensions of retired civil servants.”

When students at Emory University — annual cost of attendance, $63,058 per year — act so foolishly , and worse, are indulged by those who are supposed to supply adult guidance, it gives the appearance that higher education is largely a waste of societal resources. That’s not a good place to be, right now. University presidents, take note.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor, is the author of The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself, and a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors.

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Washington Post: How Clinton's email scandal took root

By Robert O'Harrow Jr.

Hillary Clinton, who at the time was selected to be secretary of state, checks her BlackBerry on an elevator at the U.S. Capitol in the District in January 2009. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton’s email problems began in her first days as secretary of state. She insisted on using her personal BlackBerry for all her email communications, but she wasn’t allowed to take the device into her seventh-floor suite of offices, a secure space known as Mahogany Row.
For Clinton, this was frustrating. As a political heavyweight and chief of the nation’s diplomatic corps, she needed to manage a torrent of email to stay connected to colleagues, friends and supporters. She hated having to put her BlackBerry into a lockbox before going into her own office.
Her aides and senior officials pushed to find a way to enable her to use the device in the secure area. But their efforts unsettled the diplomatic security bureau, which was worried that foreign intelligence services could hack her BlackBerry and transform it into a listening device.
On Feb. 17, 2009, less than a month into Clinton’s tenure, the issue came to a head. Department security, intelligence and technology specialists, along with five officials from the National Security Agency, gathered in a Mahogany Row conference room. They explained the risks to Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff, while also seeking “mitigation options” that would accommodate Clinton’s wishes.
“The issue here is one of personal comfort,” one of the participants in that meeting, Donald Reid, the department’s senior coordinator for security infrastructure, wrote afterward in an email that described Clinton’s inner circle of advisers as “dedicated [BlackBerry] addicts.”
Clinton used her BlackBerry as the group continued looking for a solution. But unknown to diplomatic security and technology officials at the department, there was another looming communications vulnerability: Clinton’s Black­Berry was digitally tethered to a private email server in the basement of her family home, some 260 miles to the north in Chappaqua, N.Y., documents and interviews show.
Those officials took no steps to protect the server against intruders and spies, because they apparently were not told about it.
What we learned from Hillary Clinton's emails

The vulnerability of Clinton’s basement server is one of the key unanswered questions at the heart of a scandal that has dogged her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Since Clinton’s private email account was brought to light a year ago in a New York Times report — followed by an Associated Press report revealing the existence of the server — the matter has been a source of nonstop national news. Private groups have filed lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act. Investigations were begun by congressional committees and inspector general’s offices in the State Department and the U.S. Intelligence Community, which referred the case to the FBI in July for “counterintelligence purposes” after determining that the server carried classified material.
The FBI is now trying to determine whether a crime was committed in the handling of that classified material. It is also examining whether the server was hacked.
One hundred forty-seven FBI agents have been deployed to run down leads, according to a lawmaker briefed by FBI Director James B. Comey. The FBI has accelerated the investigation because officials want to avoid the possibility of announcing any action too close to the election.
The Washington Post reviewed hundreds of documents and interviewed more than a dozen knowledgeable government officials to understand the decisions and the implications of Clinton’s actions. The resulting scandal revolves around questions about classified information, the preservation of government records and the security of her email communication.
From the earliest days, Clinton aides and senior officials focused intently on accommodating the secretary’s desire to use her private email account, documents and interviews show.
Throughout, they paid insufficient attention to laws and regulations governing the handling of classified material and the preservation of government records, interviews and documents show. They also neglected repeated warnings about the security of the BlackBerry while Clinton and her closest aides took obvious security risks in using the basement server.
Senior officials who helped Clinton with her BlackBerry claim they did not know details of the basement server, the State Department said, even though they received emails from her private account. One email written by a senior official mentioned the server.
The scandal has pitted those who say Clinton was innocently trying to find the easiest way to communicate against those who say she placed herself above the law in a quest for control of her records. She and her campaign have been accused of confusing matters with contradictory and evolving statements that minimized the consequences of her actions.
Clinton, 68, declined to be interviewed. She has said repeatedly that her use of the private server was benign and that there is no evidence of any intrusion.
In a news conference last March, she said: “I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.”
During a Democratic debate on March 9, she acknowledged using poor judgment but maintained she was permitted to use her own server: “It wasn’t the best choice. I made a mistake. It was not prohibited. It was not in any way dis­allowed.”
The unfolding story of Clinton’s basement server has outraged advocates of government transparency and mystified political supporters and adversaries alike. Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., who is presiding over one of the FOIA lawsuits, has expressed puzzlement over the affair. He noted that Clinton put the State Department in the position of having to ask her to return thousands of government records — her work email.
“Am I missing something?” Sullivan asked during a Feb. 23 hearing. “How in the world could this happen?”
Hillary Clinton began preparing to use the private basement server after President Obama picked her to be his secretary of state in November 2008. The system was already in place. It had been set up for former president Bill Clinton, who used it for personal and Clinton Foundation business.
On Jan. 13, 2009, a longtime aide to Bill Clinton registered a private email domain for Hillary Clinton,, that would allow her to send and receive email through the server.
Eight days later, she was sworn in as secretary of state. Among the multitude of challenges she faced was how to integrate email into her State Department routines. Because Clinton did not use desktop computers, she relied on her personal BlackBerry, which she had started using three years earlier.
For years, employees across the government had used official and private email accounts.
The new president was making broad promises about government transparency that had a bearing on Clinton’s communication choices. In memos to his agency chiefs, Obama said his administration would promote accountability through the disclosure of a wide array of information, one part of a “profound national commitment to ensuring an open government.” That included work emails.
One year earlier, during her own presidential campaign, Clinton had said that if elected, “we will adopt a presumption of openness and Freedom of Information Act requests and urge agencies to release information quickly.”
But in those first few days, Clinton’s senior advisers were already taking steps that would help her circumvent those high-flown words, according to a chain of internal State Department emails released to Judicial Watch, a conservative nonprofit organization suing the government over Clinton’s emails.

Cheryl Mills, who served as Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff, wondered if the State Department could get the secretary of state an encrypted device such as the one from the National Security Agency used by President Obama. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)

Leading that effort was Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff. She was joined by Clinton adviser Huma Abedin, Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy and Lewis Lukens, a senior career official who served as Clinton’s logistics chief. Their focus was on accommodating Clinton.
Mills wondered whether the department could get her an encrypted device like the one from the NSA that Obama used.
“If so, how can we get her one?” Mills wrote the group on Saturday evening, Jan. 24.
Lukens responded that same evening, saying he could help set up “a stand alone PC in the Secretary’s office, connected to the internet (but not through our system) to enable her to check her emails from her desk.”
Kennedy wrote that a “stand-alone separate network PC” was a “great idea.”
Abedin and Mills declined to comment for this article, according to Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon. Lukens also declined to comment, according to the State Department.
As undersecretary for management, Kennedy occupies a central role in Clinton’s email saga. The department acknowledged that Kennedy, as part of his normal duties, helped Clinton with her BlackBerry. But in a statement, the department said: “Under Secretary Kennedy maintains that he was unaware of the email server. Completely separate from that issue, Under Secretary Kennedy was aware that at the beginning of her tenure, Secretary Clinton’s staff was interested in setting up a computer at the Department so she could email her family during the work day.
“As we have previously made clear — no such computer was ever set up. Furthermore, Under Secretary Kennedy had very little insight into Secretary Clinton’s email practices including how ­frequently or infrequently then-Secretary Clinton used email.” 

As it happened, Clinton would never have a government BlackBerry, personal computer or email account. A request for a secure device from the NSA was rebuffed at the outset: “The current state of the art is not too user friendly, has no infrastructure at State, and is very expensive,” Reid, the security official, wrote in an email on Feb. 13, adding that “each time we asked the question ‘What was the solution for POTUS?’ we were politely told to shut up and color.”

Clinton would continue to use her BlackBerry for virtually all of her government communication, but not on Mahogany Row.
Her first known BlackBerry communication through the basement server came on Jan. 28, 2009, when Clinton exchanged notes with Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, then chief of the U.S. Central Command, according to a State Department spokeswoman. It has not been released.
Few knew the details behind the new address. But news about her choice to use her own BlackBerry spread quickly among the department’s diplomatic security and “intelligence countermeasures” specialists.
Their fears focused on the seventh floor, which a decade earlier had been the target of Russian spies who managed to plant a listening device inside a decorative chair-rail molding not far from Mahogany Row. In more recent years, in a series of widely publicized cyberattacks, hackers breached computers at the department along with those at other federal agencies and several major corporations.
The State Department security officials were distressed about the possibility that Clinton’s BlackBerry could be compromised and used for eavesdropping, documents and interviews show.
After the meeting on Feb. 17 with Mills, security officials in the department crafted a memo about the risks. And among themselves, they expressed concern that other department employees would follow the “bad example” and seek to use insecure BlackBerrys themselves, emails show.
As they worked on the memo, they were aware of a speech delivered by Joel F. Brenner, then chief of counterintelligence at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, on Feb. 24 at a hotel in Vienna, Va., a State Department document shows. Brenner urged his audience to consider what could have happened to them during a visit to the recent Beijing Olympics.
“Your phone or BlackBerry could have been tagged, tracked, monitored and exploited between your disembarking the airplane and reaching the taxi stand at the airport,” Brenner said. “And when you emailed back home, some or all of the malware may have migrated to your home server. This is not hypothetical.”
At the time, Clinton had just returned from an official trip that took her to China and elsewhere in Asia. She was embarking on another foray to the Middle East and Europe. She took her BlackBerry with her.
In early March, Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security Eric Boswell delivered a memo with the subject line “Use of Blackberries in Mahogany Row.”

“Our review reaffirms our belief that the vulnerabilities and risks associated with the use of Blackberries in the Mahogany Row [redacted] considerably outweigh the convenience their use can add,” the memo said.
He emphasized: “Any unclassified Blackberry is highly vulnerable in any setting to remotely and covertly monitoring conversations, retrieving e-mails, and exploiting calendars.”
Nine days later, Clinton told Boswell that she had read his memo and “gets it,” according to an email sent by a senior diplomatic security official. “Her attention was drawn to the sentence that indicates (Diplomatic Security) have intelligence concerning this vulnerability during her recent trip to Asia,” the email said.
But Clinton kept using her private BlackBerry — and the basement server.
The server was nothing remarkable, the kind of system often used by small businesses, according to people familiar with its configuration at the end of her tenure. It consisted of two off-the-shelf server computers. Both were equipped with antivirus software. They were linked by cable to a local Internet service provider. A firewall was used as protection against hackers.
Few could have known it, but the email system operated in those first two months without the standard encryption generally used on the Internet to protect communication, according to an independent analysis that Venafi Inc., a cybersecurity firm that specializes in the encryption process, took upon itself to publish on its website after the scandal broke.
Not until March 29, 2009 — two months after Clinton began using it — did the server receive a “digital certificate” that protected communication over the Internet through encryption, according to Venafi’s analysis.
It is unknown whether the system had some other way to encrypt the email traffic at the time. Without encryption — a process that scrambles communication for anyone without the correct key — email, attachments and passwords are transmitted in plain text.
“That means that anyone could have accessed it. Anyone,” Kevin Bocek, vice president of threat intelligence at Venafi, told The Post.
The system had other features that made it vulnerable to talented hackers, including a software program that enabled users to log on directly from the World Wide Web.
Four computer-security specialists interviewed by The Post said that such a system could be made reasonably secure but that it would need constant monitoring by people trained to look for irregularities in the server’s logs.

“For data of this sensitivity ... we would need at a minimum a small team to do monitoring and hardening,” said Jason Fossen, a computer-security specialist at the SANS Institute, which provides cybersecurity training around the world.
The man Clinton has said maintained and monitored her server was Bryan Pagliano, who had worked as the technology chief for her political action committee and her presidential campaign. It is not clear whether he had any help. Pagliano had also provided computer services to the Clinton family. In 2008, he received more than $5,000 for that work, according to financial disclosure statements he filed with the government.
In May 2009, with Kennedy’s help, Pagliano landed a job as a political employee in the State Department’s IT division, documents and interviews show. It was an unusual arrangement.
At the same time, Pagliano apparently agreed to maintain the basement server. Officials in the IT division have told investigators they could not recall previously hiring a political appointee. Three of Pagliano’s supervisors also told investigators they had no idea that Clinton used the basement server or that Pagliano was moonlighting on it.
Through an attorney, Pagliano declined a request from The Post for an interview. He also refused a request from the Senate Judiciary and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees to discuss his role. On Sept. 1, 2015, his attorney told the committees that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights if any attempt was made to compel his testimony. He was later given immunity by the Justice Department in exchange for his cooperation, according to articles in the New York Times and The Post.
In a statement, Clinton’s campaign said the server was protected but declined to provide technical details. Clinton officials have said that server logs given to authorities show no signs of hacking.
“The security and integrity of her family’s electronic communications was taken seriously from the onset when it was first set up for President Clinton’s team,” the statement said. “Suffice it to say, robust protections were put in place and additional upgrades and techniques employed over time as they became available, including consulting and employing third party experts.”
The statement added that “there is no evidence there was ever a breach.”

 Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) speaks as piles of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails about Libya are seen on the bench during a hearing before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill on Oct. 22. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The number of emails moving through the basement system increased quickly as Hillary Clinton dove into the endless details of her globetrotting job. There were 62,320 in all, an average of 296 a week, nearly 1,300 a month, according to numbers Clinton later reported to the State Department. About half of them were work-related.
Her most frequent correspondent was Mills, her chief of staff, who sent thousands of notes. Next came Abedin, the deputy chief of staff, and Jacob Sullivan, also a deputy chief of staff, according to a tally by The Post.
The majority went to two dif­ferent addresses that Clinton sometimes used interchangeably on a single chain of email, and, making it immediately apparent that the emails were not coming from or going to a government address.
Most of her emails were routine, including those sent to friends. Some involved the coordination of efforts to bring aid to Haiti by the State Department and her husband’s New York-based Clinton Foundation — notes that mixed government and family business, the emails show.
Others involved classified matters. State Department and Intelligence Community officials have determined that 2,093 email chains contained classified information. Most of the classified emails have been labeled as “confidential,” the lowest level of classification. Clinton herself authored 104 emails that contained classified material, a Post analysis later found.
Before the server received a digital certificate marking the use of standard encryption, Clinton and her aides exchanged notes touching on North Korea, Mexico, Afghanistan, military advisers, CIA operations and a briefing for Obama.
Clinton adviser Philippe Reines wrote a note to her about Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. Reines started his note by reminding Clinton that Reines’s “close friend Jeremy Bash is now [CIA Director Leon E.] Panetta’s Chief of Staff.” The rest of the note was redacted before release, under grounds that it was national-security-sensitive.
On Sunday, March 29, 2009, just hours before standard encryption on the server began, Sullivan emailed Clinton a draft of a confidential report she was to make to Obama. “Attached is a draft of your Mexico trip report to POTUS,” Sullivan wrote.
In the high-pressure world of diplomacy, the sharing of such material had been a discreet but common practice for many years. Officials who manage problems around the clock require a never-ending flow of incisive information to make timely decisions.
Not all classified material is equally sensitive. Much of it involves discussions about foreign countries or leaders, not intelligence sources and methods. Working with classified materials can be cumbersome and, in the case of low-level classification, annoying.
On Feb. 10, 2010, in an exchange with Sullivan, Clinton vented her frustration one day when she wanted to read a statement regarding José Miguel Insulza, then secretary general of the Organization of American States. Sullivan wrote that he could not send it to her immediately because the department had put it on the classified network.
“It’s a public statement! Just email it,” Clinton shot back, just moments later.
“Trust me, I share your exasperation,” Sullivan wrote. “But until ops converts it to the unclassified email system, there is no physical way for me to email it. I can’t even access it.”
Early on June 17, 2011, Clinton grew impatient as she waited for “talking points” about a sensitive matter that had to be delivered via a secure line.
“They say they’ve had issues sending secure fax. They’re working on it,” Sullivan wrote his boss.
Clinton told him to take a shortcut.
“If they can’t, turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure,” she said.
Clinton spokesman Fallon said she was not trying to circumvent the classification system.
“What she was asking was that any information that could be transmitted on the unclassified system be transmitted,” he said. “It is wrong to suggest that she was requesting otherwise. The State Department looked into this and confirmed that no classified material was sent through a non-secure fax or email.”
Security remained a constant concern. On June 28, 2011, in response to reports that Gmail accounts of government workers had been targeted by “online adversaries,” a note went out over Clinton’s name urging department employees to “avoid conducting official Department business from your personal email accounts.”
But she herself ignored the warning and continued using her BlackBerry and the basement server.

Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi address the findings of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s personal emails during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in March 2015. (Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)

In December 2012, near the end of Clinton’s tenure, a nonprofit group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, filed a FOIA request seeking records about her email. CREW received a response in May 2013: “no records responsive to your request were located.”
Other requests for Clinton records met the same fate — until the State Department received a demand from the newly formed House Select Committee on Benghazi in July 2014. The committee wanted Clinton’s email, among other things, to see what she and others knew about the deadly attack in Libya and the response by the U.S. government.
Officials in the department’s congressional affairs office found some Clinton email and saw that she had relied on the private domain, not the department’s system.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry resolved to round up the Clinton emails and deliver them to Congress as quickly as possible. Department officials reached out to Clinton informally in the summer of 2014. On Oct. 28, 2014, the department contacted Clinton and the offices of three other former secretaries — Madeleine K. Albright, Condoleezza Rice and Colin L. Powell — asking if they had any email or other federal records in their possession.
Albright and Rice said they did not use email while at State. Powell, secretary of state from 2001 to 2005, had a private email account through America Online but did not retain copies of his emails. The inspector general for the State Department found that Powell’s personal email account had received two emails from staff that contained “national security information classified at the Secret or Confidential levels.”
Clinton lawyer David Kendall later told the State Department that her “use of personal email was consistent with the practices of other Secretaries of State,” citing Powell in particular, according to a letter he wrote in August.
But Powell’s circumstances also differed from Clinton’s in notable ways. Powell had a phone line installed in his office solely to link to his private account, which he generally used for personal or non-classified communication. At the time, he was pushing the department to embrace the Internet era and wanted to set an example.
“I performed a little test whenever I visited an embassy: I’d dive into the first open office I could find (sometimes it was the ambassador’s office). If the computer was on, I’d try to get into my private email account,” Powell wrote in “It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership.” “If I could, they passed.”
Powell conducted virtually all of his classified communications on paper or over a State Department computer installed on his desk that was reserved for classified information, according to interviews. Clinton never had such a desktop or a classified email account, according to the State Department.
On Dec. 5, 2014, Clinton lawyers delivered 12 file boxes filled with printed paper containing more than 30,000 emails. Clinton withheld almost 32,000 emails deemed to be of a personal nature.
The department began releasing the emails last May, starting with some 296 emails requested by the Benghazi committee. In reviewing those emails, intelligence officials realized that some contained classified material.
Clinton and her campaign have offered various responses to questions about the classifications. At first, she flat-out denied that her server ever held any. “There is no classified material,” she said at a March 10, 2015, news conference.
Her campaign later released a statement saying she could not have known whether material was classified, because it was not labeled as such. “No information in Clinton’s emails was marked classified at the time she sent or received them,” the statement said.
Clinton has also suggested that many of the emails were classified as a formality only because they were being prepared for release under a FOIA request. Her campaign has said that much of the classified material — in emails sent by more than 300 individuals — came from newspaper accounts and other public sources.
“What you are talking about is retroactive classification,” she said during a recent debate. “And I think what we have got here is a case of overclassification.” Her statement appears to conflict with a report to Congress last year by inspectors general from the State Department and the group of spy agencies known as the Intelligence Community. They made their report after the discovery that four emails, from a sample of 40 that went through her server, contained classified information.
“These emails were not retro­actively classified by the State Department,” the report said. “Rather these emails contained classified information when they were generated and, according to IC classification officials, that information remains classified today. This classified information should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system.”
One of those four emails has since been declassified and released publicly by the State Department. The department has questioned the classification of another of those emails.
Twenty-two emails discovered later were deemed so highly classified that they were withheld in their entirety from public release. “They are on their face sensitive and obviously classified,” Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told The Post. “This information should have been maintained in the most secure, classified, top-secret servers.”
Fallon pointed out that none of those emails originated with Clinton, something that he said Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the Senate Select Intelligence Committee vice chairman, has noted. “We strongly disagree with the decision to withhold these emails in full,” he said.
Under Title 18, Section 1924, of federal law, it is a misdemeanor punishable by fines and imprisonment for a federal employee to knowingly remove classified information “without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location.”
Previous cases brought under the law have required proof of an intent to mishandle classified information, a high hurdle in the Clinton case.

The basement server also put Clinton at risk of violating laws and regulations aimed at protecting and preserving government records.
In a statement, Clinton’s campaign said she had received “guidance regarding the need to preserve federal records” and followed those rules. “It was her practice to email government employees on their ‘.gov’ email address. That way, work emails would be immediately captured and preserved in government ­record-keeping systems,” the statement said.
Fallon said that “over 90 percent” of the more than 30,000 work-related emails “were to or from government email accounts.”
Specialists interviewed by The Post said her practices fell short of what laws and regulations mandated. Some of those obligations were spelled out a few months before Clinton took office in National Archives and Records Administration Bulletin 2008-05, which said every email system was supposed to “permit easy and timely retrieval” of the records.
The secretary of state’s work emails are supposed to be preserved permanently. In addition, rules also mandated that permanent records are to be sent to the department’s Records Service Center “at the end of the Secretary’s tenure or sooner if necessary” for safekeeping.
Under Title 18, Section 2071, it is a misdemeanor to take federal records without authorization, something that is sometimes referred to as the “alienation” of records. The law is rarely enforced, but a conviction can carry a fine or imprisonment.
Jason R. Baron, a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration, told the Senate Judiciary Committee last year he believed that Clinton’s server ran afoul of the rules. In a memo to the committee, Baron wrote that “the setting up of and maintaining a private email network as the sole means to conduct official business by email, coupled with the failure to timely return email records into government custody, amounts to actions plainly inconsistent with the federal recordkeeping laws.”
On May 19, 2015, in response to a FOIA lawsuit from the media organization Vice News, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras ordered all the email to be released in stages, with re­dactions.
One notable email was sent in August 2011. Stephen Mull, then serving as the department’s executive secretary, emailed Abedin, Mills and Kennedy about getting a government-issued BlackBerry linked to a government server for Clinton.
“We are working to provide the Secretary per her request a Department issued Blackberry to replace personal unit, which is malfunctioning (possibly because of her personal email server is down.) We will prepare two version for her to use — one with an operating State Department email account (which would mask her identity, but which would also be subject to FOIA requests).”

Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, reacts to testimony at an October hearing of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Abedin responded decisively.
“Steve — let’s discuss the state blackberry. doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”
Fallon said the email showed that the secretary’s staff “opposed the idea of her identity being masked.”
Last month, in a hearing about a Judicial Watch lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Sullivan cited that email as part of the reason he ordered the State Department produce records related to its initial failures in the FOIA searches for Clinton’s records.
Speaking in open court, Sullivan said legitimate questions have been raised about whether Clinton’s staff was trying to help her to sidestep FOIA.
“We’re talking about a Cabinet-level official who was accommodated by the government for reasons unknown to the public. And I think that’s a fair statement: For reasons heretofore unknown to the public. And all the public can do is speculate,” he said, adding: “This is all about the public’s right to know.”
Alice Crites contributed to this report.

Robert O’Harrow Jr. is a reporter on the investigative unit of The Washington Post. He writes about law enforcement, national security, federal contracting and the financial world.