On July 5, 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey gave a press conference that had one purpose: to salvage Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. The FBI had developed information that Hillary Clinton had violated the Espionage Act by her grotesquely cavalier handling of highly classified documents. Were she not “too big to jail,” that is, had she been treated like any other citizen, she would have been indicted. One of the critical tasks he had to perform in order to take a epic breach of trust on the part of Clinton and morph it into a “no harm, no foul” situation was to obfuscate whether foreign intelligence agencies had taken advantage of Clinton’s disregard for national security. This is how he did it:
With respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors, we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail domain, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked. But, given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence. We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial e-mail accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account. We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal e-mail extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related e-mails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.
Thanks to the efforts of Bob Goodlatte and Trey Gowdy to perform meaningful oversight on the Department of Justice we know this by way of Fox News and Catherine Herridge:
Fox News obtained the memo prepared by the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, which lays out key interim findings ahead of next week’s hearing with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz. The IG, separately, is expected to release his highly anticipated report on the Clinton email case later Thursday.
The House committees, which conducted a joint probe into decisions made by the DOJ in 2016 and 2017, addressed a range of issues in their memo including Clinton’s email security.
“Documents provided to the Committees show foreign actors obtained access to some of Mrs. Clinton’s emails — including at least one email classified ‘Secret,’” the memo says, adding that foreign actors also accessed the private accounts of some Clinton staffers.
The memo does not say who the foreign actors are, or what material was obtained, but it notes that secret information is defined as information that, if disclosed, could “reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the national security.”
Relatedly, Fox News has obtained a May 2016 email from FBI investigator Peter Strzok — who also is criticized in the House memo for his anti-Trump texts with colleague Lisa Page. The email says that “we know foreign actors obtained access” to some Clinton emails, including at least one “secret” message “via compromises of the private email accounts” of Clinton staffers.
The May 16 date is key because this shows the FBI knew with mathematical certainty that Hillary’s personal communications devices had been penetrated by a foreign actor and they likewise knew that at least one “SECRET” document had been compromised. That that factoid been in Comey’s statement, rather than the utterly deceptive “possible” phrase, then the public would have had an accurate perception of just what the consequences of Clinton’s actions were. Instead, Comey’s lie gave the Clinton campaign the ability to deny that any harm had been done.
The IG has apparently found that there were no overt political considerations made by Comey in exonerating Clinton. That appears to be true only insofar as “political” is interpreted as being harmful to Clinton. Because if Comey had either done the job he’d sworn to do or if he’d been honest with the public in his statement, Hillary Clinton’s campaign would have ended in July 2016.
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