Congressional Testimony of Inspectors General Steve Linick and Charles McCullough

http://www.c-span.org/video/?412315-101/hillary-clinton-email-investigation-part-2

July 7, 2016

Cover of the Office of Inspector General's Report, May 25, 2016. (Credit: OIG)

Cover of the Office of Inspector General’s Report, May 25, 2016. (Credit: OIG)

Hillary Clinton email investigation, part 2 inspectors general from the state department and the office of the director of national intelligence (odni) testified at a hearing on Hillary Clinton’s use of private email servers while serving as secretary of state.

 

00:00:00

 

Jason Chaffetz

Ready to go back in just yet. Looks like they will. We will go back to the committee now.

we recognize our second panel of witnesses. Pleased to welcome Steve Linick, inspector general of united states department of state. He it is our understanding you are accompanied by Ms. Jennifer Costello for office of evaluations and special projects whose expertise may be needed during questioning. We will also ask that she be sworn in during this time, too. We also welcome Charles McCullough III, the intelligence community at the office of director of national intelligence. We thank you for being here. We thank you for your patience. It has been a long afternoon but you have done some exceptionally significant and important work. We want to hear it and understand it and digest it and ask questions about it. So pursuant to committee rules all witnesses are to be sworn before they testify. We will swear in Ms. Costello. If you will please rise and raise your right hands. Do you solemnly swear or affirm the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth? Thank you. Let the record reflect all three witnesses did answer in the affirmative. You are both welcome to make oral remarks. Be very generous with the time and your entire written statement and extraneous materials will be entered

 

00:01:38

 

Steve A. Linick

Into the record as you so wish. Let’s go to Mr. Linick and recognize him.

thank you, chairman. Pleased to be here to testify about our report on records management. I have no opening statements and therefore am prepared to answer any questions the committee has about the report.

I will recognize you for as much

 

00:02:10

 

Charles McCullough III

Time as you would like. It is a little uncomfortable but bring them up there.

it is a pleasure to be here. I don’t have an opening

00:02:19

 

Jason Chaffetz

Statement either so in the interest of time we’re here to answer questions and very happy to be here for you.

thank you. I will recognize myself first. I need you to summarize your findings as to what is happening and not happening with classified information. And my understanding is a referral was given that kicked off this whole process. Why

 

00:02:48

 

Charles McCullough III

Did you make that referral? What was it that you were seeing that you think warranted an investigation?

we were assisting, I had been asked to assist in a review of classification issues and other issues at the state department. He requested my office to help because our expertise with classification matters. And during our assistance with this particular review he was doing, we reviewed 300 documents that had already been released in the FOIA process for former secretary Clinton’s emails. We saw some classified material. One classified document that had been released that wasn’t properly redacted. My inspectors noticed a second document that was classified but was properly redacted. So, we knew that in this sample of 300 that had already been published that there were classified documents in this set of emails. Also during our review looking at essentially the internal controls of the email processing at the state department, again, the role that we played was look at the controls to determine whether or not the controls were sufficient to spot intelligence community equities in classified information. So, we had talked to some people there, and we heard from senior management officials that there were — they had perused the documents, and they were under the impression, one in particular, that there was a good deal of classified information in these documents yet to be processed, these 30,000 documents. But they also commented to us that they didn’t feel as though they had the personnel there, that there was a deficiency with the personnel in terms of having the appropriate number of people or appropriately cleared people, people with the appropriate expertise to review these documents. So, I was looking at that. So, we have documents that are already published, already processed through a FOIA. One was not properly redacted and it was classified. And I’m being told by the state department information management people that they have concerns that there’s a good deal of classified information in this set of documents. And on top of that, I was advised by Mr. Linick’s office that this whole set of emails was present on a thumb drive in secretary Clinton’s attorney’s office. We knew nothing about the clearances for counsel or for the law firm. And I was also advised that this set of documents previously resided on a private server, which at that point in time was with a private company. So, as an IG, I was facing a situation where I had classified information, it appeared to me, outside the care, custody and control of the u.s. Government. In the intelligence community, what you do when that happens is you tell the security component of the agency who owns that information. In this case, I told the agencies who owned the information. I also told the od&I’s securities component, the ncsc, and I was advised to go directly to the FBI with referral, with respect to my referral to them.

so these emails, which are supposedly all of Hillary Clinton’s emails, they were sitting in a secure or nonsecure facility at her attorney’s office?

I don’t know anything

 

00:06:47

 

Jason Chaffetz

About the security of the facility at the attorney’s office. I think I had heard at that point in time that there was a safe there, and I think that it was represented —

but it’s not cleared by the united states government.

not to my knowledge.

Mr. Linick, what was your finding here?

well, we were not involved in any of the classification determinations.

 

00:07:05

 

Steve A. Linick

I mean, our role in this was to look at the FOIA process. We were asked jointly to look at the FOIA process, whether improvements could be made. And we made a number of recommendations to the department to make sure that classified information wasn’t inad overnightly released — inadvertently released in the context of doing the review for FOIA. That was our role in this.

Hillary Clinton had this convenient email arrangement with herselF. Have you ever seen anything like that? Were there people that expressed concerns about that? And what happened when these people expressed concerns?

well, as we reported in our evaluation report, we did interview a couple of individuals who were in the office of the secretary, the computer division, who said they approached the then director of that particular office and expressed concerns both about the server and about whether or not her emails were being properly preserved under the federal records act. And that individual, the director of scsirm, informed those individuals that it had been approved by legal and not to mention it again.

what does that mean, not mention it again? What? How did you read that?

you know, I can only report what the witnesses told us. We were not able to interview the individual —

why not?

I’m sorry, I didn’t hear the question.

why not? Why didn’t you interview them?

well, we asked to interview him, but he declined to interview with us. So we were not able to get the benefit of his perspective on it. So I’m really unable to interpret what that means, other than just present the —

were you able to interview Hillary Clinton?

we were not.

why not?

well, we asked to interview secretary Clinton. We interviewed all of the secretaries. We looked at five secretaries of state going back to madeleine albright and her, through counsel, she declined to meet with us.

did she indicate a reason why she would refuse to meet with the inspector general?

her counsel informed our staff that she had — that all of the information about the email was on the faq sheet published by her campaign.

so, they directed you to the campaign.

to the faq sheet.

at the campaign.

on the website, yes.

the campaign website.

I’ll have to check that. I’m not sure exactly what website it was.

it’s an important point, so please check that.

okay.

I’ve gone over my time. Let

 

00:09:41

 

Stephen F. Lynch

Me recognize the gentleman from massachusetts for seven minutes, an equal time, Mr. Lynch.

thank you, Mr. Chairman. The chairman asked and I want to follow up on that question that the chairman asked, have you ever seen anything like this before? And I think in the fullness of your response, I would say you have. As you indicated, you investigated — you reviewed the records of five secretaries of state. And here’s part of your report. It says here that your report identified more than 90 department employees under secretary Powell and secretary Rice who used personal email accounts for official business. And I’ll quote your report. The report says exactly this. It says, “oig reviewed the department email accounts of senior department employees who served on the immediate staffs of secretary Powell and secretary Rice between 2001 and 2008. Within these accounts, oig identified more than 90 department employees who periodically used personal email accounts to conduct official business, though oig could not quantify the frequency of this use.” so, I know this is sort of the second part of this hearing, but that would have been good information to have at the first one. Also also, inspector general Linick, in may, you issued a report on the management of email records by the secretaries of state, and your review found that secretary Powell used a personal email account for official business. As a matter of fact, in his book, he lays it out. I’m not going to repeat it again, but there’s an interesting section here where, you know, he’d get a little frustrated with the state department system, and he installed a laptop computer on a private line and just started emailing folks. And again, secretary Powell has later admitted

 

00:11:41

 

Steve A. Linick

To deleting all of his emails. So, we’ve got 55,000 emails from Hillary Clinton. How many did we get from secretary Powell?

I’m not aware of any from secretary Powell.

that would be zero.

I believe that’s the case. Yes.

yeah, okay.

he did use an aol.com account to transmit email.

now, this is the thing. Get this. So, secretary Powell is testifying before the united nations security council, telling them that there are weapons of mass destruction and we need to go into iraq. At that time, he’s using a personal email system, and he has deleted everything that he had in that file, so we have nothing. And Hillary Clinton is getting investigated. You know, just — let me ask you, have you followed up with that and tried to get any information from secretary Powell?

well, we haven’t. The department, though, has asked for information from secretary Powell, and I don’t believe they’ve received it yet, but you’ll have to ask the department about that.

when did they — do you have any knowledge when they asked?

you know, I’d have to — it’s in our report, the exact date. I don’t have it off the top of my head.

I do, october 21st, 2015.

perfect.

the state department senate secretary Powell a letter requesting he contact his email provider, aol to determine whether any of his emails could still be retrieved. Is that right?

that’s right.

okay. And in your report, you note that as of may 2016, the department has not received a response from secretary Powell or his representative. Is that still correct?

to the best of my knowledge, that’s correct.

okay. So, we’ve got nothing there. What are we doing about that?

I mean, it’s up to the department to get that information pursuant to nara regulations. They’re on the hook to recover records that are lost from the state department, and through that letter, they’re trying to fulfill that obligation.

so, this is a huge gap. We’ve got the goose egg from Condoleezza Rice, too. She gave us nothing in terms of emails. So, we have eight years of silence on emails from secretary of state.

the difference is we don’t — Condoleezza Rice, we believe, wasn’t using email to conduct —

she has staffers, a bunch of staffers. And she’s serving in 2001, not 1901. So, there were emails. She acts like there were no emails in 2001. There were. We just don’t have any, not from her.

we did find that her staff —

I think there’s a double standard going on here. People talk about a double standard all day. How come these folks gave us the goose egg? We got zero, silence for eight years from our secretaries of state, and no one’s going after them. They don’t get subpoenaed up here. I haven’t seen them at these hearings.

will the gentleman yield?

the gentleman will yield, yeah, sure.

the inspector general was able to interview them and talk

 

00:14:36

 

Jason Chaffetz

To them, and they did look at them.

and they got nothing. They got the, you know, talk to the hand. That’s what they got. They got zero.

would the gentle — no, she said they did not use email. >>

 

00:14:50

 

Steve A. Linick

But they didn’t subpoena or anything.

if you ask Mr. Linick what happened with her aides, I’d like him to answer that question.

so, we did talk to secretaries Rice and Powell and all the other secretaries. Secretary Rice told us that she didn’t use email —

and you just take that at face value?

well, we actually tested that. We looked at archives. We didn’t find — I

 

00:15:14

 

Stephen F. Lynch

Mean, we try to corroborate that. We didn’t find any evidence that she used email —

what about her immediate staff?

we did conclude that her staff used

 

00:15:23

 

Steve A. Linick

Official email to conduct business, so —

so, that’s interesting. Do we have their emails?

I have to check on that. I do know that we, in the course of our work, we bumped into a number of emails, classified emails, that staff sent to personal accounts, and we did write up a memoeo describing that and providing that to the department and asking the department to take appropriate action and make sure any of the archives, you know,

 

00:15:52

 

Stephen F. Lynch

The archives didn’t have classified email in them. Same thing with secretary Powell when we found the two classified emails that were sent to him.

okay. Mr. McCullough what do you think about this?

with regard to? >>

 

00:16:06

 

Charles McCullough III

The lack of response by secretary Powell four years and then getting zero from Condoleezza Rice as well.

my office’s role here was extraordinarily narrow. When we came in, IG Linick’s office was doing this review. It was limited to the past five secretaries. We don’t have the resources — the tasking, I believe from congress —

we just spent $7 million investigating secretary Clinton. We don’t have the resources to, you know, to —

I’m talking about my office. The tasking from congress was to determine whether classified information — one of the taskings that I believe steve received was to determine whether classified information had traversed nongovernmental systems at the state department. His office scoped that down to the past five secretaries. When I came in, we thought it was the easiest thing, and quite frankly, we thought it would be the fastest thing to do, since they already had 30,000 documents they were processing for a FOIA, to determine whether or not they had sufficient internal controls in place to spot, identify classified information, identify classified equities.

can we subpoena aol and just say, you know, this was a private account that the secretary of state during a very important part of our country’s history, and we want those emails, go get them, rather than just waiting for — and look, I have great admiration for secretary Powell. I do. But still, that’s information, in fairness, that we should have.

I’m trying to explain that our — my office’s role and my role in the review was narrowly tailored to determine whether or not classified information — we didn’t have — my office doesn’t have the resources to determine with the thousands of employees at the state department, who was trafficking in classified information on personal systems and who was not. He already had 30,000 documents right there that were going over, that had —

you mean secretary Clinton’s documents.

that’s correct. They were going through a FOIA process. So, from an IG perspective, and it was more efficient for us, we thought we would look at the process as being used by the FOIA managers at the state department, and we made recommendations to them —

did you recommend that we go after secretary Powell?

no, the recommendations we made were, first of all, that they asked us, can you please give us — these are the people who were actually doing the review. They felt as though they didn’t have sufficient expertise there to spot intelligence equities. So, we recommended that they include intelligence people for this type of FOIA review. This particular FOIA review. But we also recommended that they get — they were doing this review on a secret-level system, a separate-level system. And because we had been told by some of the state officials that they thought there was a good deal of classified information in the emails, we recommended that they perform this processing on a top-secret sci-level system —

but that went completely around secretary Powell’s information, because he was giving us nothing. They had only secretary Clinton’s stuff, so this review of five secretaries of state was heavily focused on secretary Clinton because of the complete absence of any other information.

I would have to defer to IG Linick with respect to any of the other secretaries in terms of the availability of emails on personal systeMs.

okay. I yield back. I’m way over time. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

thank you. I now recognize the gentleman from south carolina, Mr. Gowdy, for five minutes.

thank you, Mr. Chairman. Inspector general Linick, did you desire to interview secretary Clinton as part

 

00:19:57

 

Trey Gowdy

Of your investigation?

yes, we did.

and were you able to do so?

00:20:01

 

Steve A. Linick

 

no, we were not.

and how was it communicated to you that you were not going to be able to do so?

through her counsel, David Kendall had sent a letter to one of the team leaders on the report.

is that letter available for congress to inspect?

you know, I’ll go back and check, but I’ll have to get back to you on that. I mean, it certainly exists. Whether it’s legal to provide it to you, sure, but —

well, let’s do this, then. Let’s fast forward, and let’s assume that you were able to interview her. Why did you seek to interview her and what questions specifically would you have asked?

well, we were — the focus of our report was not about classified information. The focus of our report was how the department over the past 20 years addressed records preservation and cyber security. And you know, we were looking at whether or not — there was a rule the department issued in 2005 requiring that employees use departmental systems. She used a nondepartmental system, her server, to conduct official government business, and we wanted to ask her questions about that, whether she had approval who approved it and so forth. We also — so, we wanted to get her perspective on those issues, among others.

so, let me see if I have this right. The inspector general for the state department wanted to interview a former secretary of state?

that’s correct.

and that request was declined.

yes.

well, at first blush, it sounds like your question was a reasonable one. You want to make sure that the information is safeguarded and protected and archived consistent with law. So, I wonder why you weren’t able to interview her. Were you given a reason?

just the reason that I articulated, but further than that, I would be speculating.

what other questions — and if you need to ask any of the wonderful folks with you, what other questions would you have sought to ask the former secretary of state?

well, we also looked at records preservation and the rules required certain — that she print and file her emails and that she make sure that they’re part of the agency record-keeping system. We would have asked her about that. We would have asked her about some of the attempts to hack her system, at least as expressed by some of her staff, which we’ve identified in our report. We probably would have asked her about that. So, those are the kinds of things. Her state of mind and so forth.

I don’t think you were in the room for director Comey’s testimony, and I don’t know whether or not you had access to it in the back. Are you familiar with his testimony that convenience was one of the intentions the former secretary had in having this unusual email arrangement with herself?

no, I don’t recall that, but I did watch parts of the testimony.

all right. He did cite convenience as one of the factors. Do you know when her emails were returned to the state department?

they were returned 21 months after she left the department.

what was going on the second month after she left that made it inconvenient to return them then?

I wouldn’t be able to comment on that.

how about the fourth month?

again, I just don’t know.

what about the one-year anniversary?

same answer.

do you know what possibly could have inspired her to begin searching for those records?

well, she did receive a request from the department to return records in accordance with their obligations under the federal records act and nara regulations.

but that obligation didn’t manifest itself 21 months later. That obligation was present the day she left office.

and one of our findings was, along with secretary Powell, that both of them failed to surrender their records, their personal records containing government business when they left the department, thus depriving the department of having those records as part of the agency record-keeping system.

and I assume you probably would have asked former secretary, had you had an opportunity to do so, why it took 21 months to return public record. And just so there’s no — I mean, nobody likes congress. I get that. We’re not sympathetic. But there are FOIA requests that would have been received by the state department during that time period, right?

possibly.

how would those FOIA requests have been responded to and complied with if they didn’t even have the records?

well, as we identified in our previous report on FOIA, it would have been difficult if the records are not part of the agency record-keeping system to respond to FOIA.

I’m out of time, but I know the chairman will give me one more question, since he’s given a lot more than one question to other folks. I want you to assume and observe hypothetical, that secretary of state has exclusive use of personal email and that she is corresponding with someone who also uses personal email. Are you with me?

I’m with you.

how in the world is the state department ever going to capture that email?

it would be — and this is something we addressed in our FOIA report — it would be difficult.

that be a challenge, wouldn’t it?

it would, because only records under the agency’s control are subject to FOIA. So, in other words, the department wouldn’t be able to reach in necessarily to a private account. So, it —

well, you wouldn’t even know about it, would you? If it’s personal to personal, how would you know about it?

you wouldn’t know about it.

all right. Well, I’m barely out of time. Thank the chairman.

I thank the gentleman. Will now recognize

 

00:26:05

 

Elijah Cummings

Mr. Cummings for seven minutes.

inspector general Linick and inspector general McCullough on march 9th, 2016, seven committee ranking members of the united states congress, from the house and the senate, sent you a letter. I signed this letter along with the ranking members of both the senate and the house intelligence committees, the house foreign affairs committee, the senate foreign relations committee and house armed services committee and the senate judiciary committee. Are you both familiar with the letter?

yes, sir.

are you, Mr. Linick?

yes, I am.

the letter asks you 13 questions. To date, neither of you has answered one single one of those questions. Why is that? >>

 

00:27:01

 

Charles McCullough III

We have responded to the letter. And in the response to the letter, that has led to several individual member meetings, and we have offered member meetings to all the members who had concerns so that we could address them. And the member meetings I have had directly addressing those questions. And so, again, I would re-extend that offer to you, ranking member Cummings.

let me, let me, let me — on may 16th, 2016, you provided a response that was written in such a way that it was overclassified at a secret level. Was it really necessary to classify your response that way? And why did you write a response that could be publicly — why didn’t you just do one that could be publicly available?

it wasn’t overclassified, ranking member Cummings. There was a lot of concern by members who did not have access to certain of the emails, and I wanted to make sure that anyone receiving and reading that letter would understand that if I was coming to brief, I wouldn’t be able to brief on the one set of emails that are orcon with one of the agencies.

Mr. Linick, you responded

 

00:28:14

 

Elijah Cummings

On may 26th, 2015. You had a short letter, too.

I did.

wow. Like Mr. McCullough’s letter, it failed to answer any of the specific questions from the ranking members. You both received follow-up letters again posing the same 13 questions. Neither of you responded to those letters. And, so I guess your answer’s the same. You all talk to each other about how

 

00:28:35

 

Steve A. Linick

You’re going to coordinate in not responding to members of congress, ranking members, at that?

well, the underlying issue in those letters was accusing our office of bias. And I think we responded in our letter that we conduct ourselves with the highest integrity, and I could vouch for my stafF. We are obviously focused on where the facts lead. We’re independent. And we’ve worked very competently on our reports. And I think our recent report, the evaluation on records preservation and cyber security, speaks for itselF. No one has contested or challenged our findings or recommendations. And in fact, the state department has accepted the findings and recommendations. And we explained that in the letter. We explained that we had bipartisan contacts with congress. So —

let me ask you some questions, because I’m going to run out of time. Other than through official press statements, have you or anyone in your office with the knowledge of the office provided any information regarding the review of secretary of state Clinton’s emails to the news media?

well, we, like every other IG office, have a press office. And when we get press inquiries, we respond to them. We respond to them appropriately. We would never —

so, is that answer yes?

well, of course, just like every other IG office. If someone asks about our findings or is misinterpreting, you know, what we’re doing, we’ll respond to it, but we have never released any confidential information or have been inappropriate.

okay. Have you or your offices given any information, written or oral, regarding the review to republican congressional members or staff that your offices have not made available simultaneously to the democratic congressional members of staff?

no. We’re bipartisan, always. >>

 

00:30:26

 

Charles McCullough III

We’ve been bipartisan, bicameral at every step with our congressional notifications. I believe there was a blip on one occasion. It was unintentional. Where one side — and I think there was a briefing where the members, or the staffers, had requested the other side not be there. We briefed one side and then offered the exact same briefing to the

 

00:30:49

 

Elijah Cummings

Other. Otherwise, we’ve made every attempt to be bipartisan and bicameral with all of our reporting and all of our briefings. We’ve done a number of briefings.

the letter said, and I quote, this same letter that we sent you. It says “last week a potential whistleblower in the office of the state department” inspector general, “publicly accused the office of having an anti-Clinton bias bias. What are the policies and procedures of employees of your offices to report concerns regarding ongoing investigations, including concerns of bias within your offices? Mr. Linick. Since we — >>

 

00:31:25

 

Steve A. Linick

Well, if there are any issues about conflicts of interest, we would — I mean, as a matter of course we would take action if there was an issue. But let me just say that I’ve been — prior to my having become an IG for the last six years, I was a career prosecutor for 16 years. And the principles of integrity and honesty are of utmost importance to me and to my work. So, you know, these allegations are entirely unfounded. Our work speaks for itself. And we will follow the facts wherever they lead. Partisan politics has no bearing on what we’re doing.

well, this committee has a reputation for going after people who interfere with whistleblowers, and that’s why I have to ask you. This was a whistleblower who —

an anonymous whistleblower.

well, he publicly accused the office.

it was anonymous. We have no idea who or what. But these are unfounded allegations. This was before our report was issued. I think our report speaks for itself.

let me ask you this, did you have a response to that, Mr. McCullough?

 

00:32:33

 

Elijah Cummings

 

I would echo —

do it briefly because I have one more question.

I would echo his response.

when you all disagree on things that should be classified — one of the things that bothers me about this whole thing is this retroactive classification. I mean, people on this committee may have committed a crime. I’m just telling you, by releasing things that were later retroactively classified. I mean, how do we deal with

 

00:33:00

 

Charles McCullough III

That? What can we do to try to clear that up? And what happens when you all disagree with each other?

so, in terms of when our departments or whether when we disagree as IGs?

yeah, I mean, yeah when you disagree as IGs. In other words, your departments — one of your departments say there’s something that should be classified, the other one says it shouldn’t, doesn’t deserve that kind of classification. I mean, what happens then? Is there an arbitrator or whatever? Because this stuff leads to crimes, as you well know.

well, we don’t make classification determinations. We don’t —

what can we do to help with that?

so, as IGs, we don’t make classification determinations.

right.

you’re talking about when a department disagrees with another department —

yes.

that happened in this case. So, you had the state department, and I did hear director Comey’s testimony with respect to this up classification, and that was relative, despite my years in the federal government, that was a relatively new term to me. I think that is a fairly common occurrence, a fairly common occurrence in the state department. What I can say is that the emails that we reported to congress in the congressional notification, we focused on those. Those were not up-classifieds, sir. Those were classified when they were sent and they were received, so we were focusing on those. Now, if there is — there is a disagreement, and I think what you’re getting to was there was this parallel reporting issue where I believe there was an email or two. The state department thought that they had received it from a different source. What I can tell you there is the agency that we dealt with and facilitated the classification on that, that’s one of the agencies who completed declarations for us, and they disagreed with the supposition that the information came from a parallel source. They believe that that information — they are the information owner for that information. Some of it was very specific. I can’t get into why it was their information in an open forum here, but some of the information was specific enough to tell where it would have come from.

are you all going to answer the 13 questions?

I think we’ll get together. If you’re not satisfied with —

no, I’m not satisfied. I’m not.

we will come and brief you in person, if you’d like.

yes, I would.

I will get together. Yes, sir.

thank you. I appreciate it.

 

00:35:13

 

Jason Chaffetz

 

okay.

just as we recognized Mr. Meadows, I think what the committee should look at, in a bipartisan way — if we do it right, we do it together and do it united and do it unanimous, if we can. I am very intrigued by what senator patrick moynihan did about 20 years ago. Because in a bipartisan way, they issued a report about classification. And it was done so, and basically, the synopsis was everything’s overclassified, and if everything’s classified, then nothing’s classified. And I do agree and concur with the gentleman from maryland here, my friend, that the consistency, the human error, the problems that this creates with the mass amount of data and information and the millions of people that have classified clearance, it does create a problem. And I think a bipartisan commission, something similar to what senator moynihan spearheaded 20 years ago or so is something that we should look at. I’d ask unanimous consent to enter into the record the two inspector general reports that are under discussion today. Without objection, so ordered. We’ll now recognize the gentleman from north carolina, Mr. Meadows.

thank you, Mr. Chairman.

 

00:36:33

 

Mark meadows

Mr. Linick, let me come to you. And feel free to have Ms. Costello jump in, if she can illuminate the answer better. On march of 2015, secretary Clinton publicly said, and I quote, “I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the state department.” she went further to say, “the laws and regulations in effect when I was secretary of state allowed me to use

 

00:37:12

 

Steve A. Linick

My email for work. That is undisputed.” are those accurate statements?

well, I hesitate to comment on public statements, but I will say that our report shows that —

we’re in a public forum now. And obviously, a lot’s been said about it. Are those accurate or not?

well, I can tell you our report said that she didn’t have approval from senior officials at the department. And we don’t believe it was permitted, both under the rules, and none of the senior officials who were there at the time gave her approval or were even aware that she had a server, according to them.

so, let me see if I can digest that long answer into a very short, concise statement. It is not an accurate statement.

again, she didn’t have approval.

okay, so, Ms. Costello, would she have required approval in order to be able to use a personal email, according to regulation? Would she have required that kind of approval?

Ms. Costello, we have to — I need you to bring your chair up and sit next to Mr. Linick, if you would, because we need to be able to capture that for our recording purposes. She was sworn.

I was.

yes.

can you hear me?

yes.

okay. So, in order to exclusively use personal email for

 

00:38:48

 

Jennifer l. Costello

Official business, secretary Clinton would have required approval. The reason we know this is because the officials we interviewed at the department, both in the office of diplomatic security and the office of information resource management told us that. And in telling us that, they were relying on a department policy that was put in place in 2005, which says that day-to-day operations must be conducted — I’m paraphrasing — but must be conducted on authorized information systeMs. And so, the implication there

 

00:39:22

 

Mark Meadows

Is any exclusive use would be a day-to-day operation and shouldn’t occur without approval.

so, that created a red flag for

00:39:31

 

Jennifer l. Costello

Your investigative team?

as we reviewed the policies that were in place by the department, yes, it was something that we considered very carefully in evaluating the evidence that we obtained.

so her statement that this is undisputed would not be accurate. So, I won’t make you make a reference to the rest of it, but obviously, it’s disputed if we’re disputing it here today.

I would say that in relying on the interviews that we conducted with the officials at the department who would be the people responsible for implementing these policies, the answer is yes, it’s disputed.

so they would dispute it.

they did.

okay. And they did. All right, for the record. So, let me go on a little bit further, because who — so, you mentioned who had the obligation, I guess. How difficult would it be to comply with the law, the federal records act, if you are using your personal email account? What would you have to do?

well, I want to draw a distinction here, because what we were just talking about were the cyber security provisions at the department, and now we’ve switched a little bit —

but to federal records, wouldn’t she have had to print out the emails and kept those to be in full compliance with the regulation?

yes. During her tenure, folks in the office of the secretary, in order to comply with email records preservation and management policies at the department, needed to print and file those emails. Now, you can —

so, out of the 30,000 emails that we’ve had testimony earlier today, how many printed copies of emails, of her emails, did you find?

I don’t know, but I can say that we did find as we reviewed other folks’ emails and hard-copy files, we did find some examples of secretary —

so, in more than 1,000 printed?

I’m sorry, I can’t hazard a guess on that. I really don’t know.

okay. So, can we get copies of all those printed emails through FOIA or through subpoena?

well, those emails —

because that’s the whole reason for the federal records act, so it would be — so, you’re suggesting that there is a universe of printed-out emails that we can find.

to the extent that other folks who secretary Clinton emailed did go ahead and print and file —

oh, so you’re saying she didn’t print any of them out.

right, but they do —

okay. That’s a big difference. So, she made no printed copies in order to comply with the law. That was somebody else, perhaps, printing it out, and she happens to be communicating with —

correct. And I’m sorry if I wasn’t —

no, that’s good. I’m out of time.

what I’m saying is that they exist in the department, a few here and there do.

all right. I’ll yield back. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

thank you. And I think the point that

 

00:42:22

 

Jason Chaffetz

Certainly Mr. Gaudy was making is if those emails on a private server were mailed to somebody else who’s not involved in the government, then there is no printed-out copy, as required. We’ll now go to Mr. Walberg of michigan.

thank the

 

00:42:40

 

Tim Walberg

Chairman and thanks to the panel for being here. Mr.

00:42:48

 

Charles McCullough III

McCullough. What is the significance of special access program?

it is the highest level of sensitivity in terms of classification information in the federal government.

the highest level, so beyond classified, secret?

it’s the most substantive information the government has, sir.

how does this classification then relate to the other categories classified as information such as confidential, secret and top secret? In other words, why is it determined to be the most sensitive?

so, you have several levels of confidentiality, classification in the federal government. You’re starting with confidential. That’s the preth”c,” then the secret level and the top-secret level. And each of those levels may have handling caveats that are tri-graphs, such as orcon, sci, and what you’re asking about is sab. So, the sab information would be characterized as the most sensitive — among the most sensitive information that we have in the government in terms of classification. Now, you classify things based upon the relative likelihood of damage to the national security if the information happens to be released. That’s an assessment that each person makes. In oca, that’s an original classifying authority. They make that assessment when they do classify something. I’m talking about original classification.

okay.

derivative classification, you’re just taking it straight from the oca’s classification and carrying it over. You don’t question whether or not

 

00:44:48

 

Tim Walberg

The oca was correct in calling it secret, si. You bring it over.

okay. On january 19th, 2016, you wrote to the chairman of the senate intelligence committee — or intelligence and foreign relations committees — saying that the state department subsequently announced later, as a result of that later, that it would withhold seven email chains because it referenced materials on special access prograMs. In your

 

00:45:19

 

Charles McCullough III

Letter, you said you had not received the declaration from a second intelligence community element as of that time. Did you ever receive one?

yes, sir. That intel element provided their declaration, I believe two declarations, directly to the congress via their own IG, via their agency IG.

is it your experience that senior government officials are often unaware of the significance of special access program designations?

no, sir, that’s not my experience.

so, it’s a normal and expected understanding —

absolutely —

— that senior officials should have?

absolutely.

let me ask both of you, then, have either of you in your careers ever seen a situation before where special access program information was discussed over unclassified systems?

no. I can’t recall. I’ve had a fairly extensive career in the IG world. I was an FBI agent for ten years. I was the head of investigations at the nsa for eight. And I’ve been the icig for about five five. I can’t recall a situation where I’ve come across this particular situation.

 

00:46:45

 

Steve A. Linick

 

Mr. Linick?

well, I haven’t, but I haven’t really been working in this space in terms of — you

00:46:57

 

Tim Walberg

Know, I don’t have a lot of opportunity to assess whether others are disclosing special access information, but I haven’t seen it in my career.

what repercussions,

 

00:47:06

 

Charles McCullough III

Mr. McCullough, come from —

well, sir, I’ll just qualify my answer. That’s not to say it hasn’t happened. We do get, in the intel community, when you’re dealing with intel information every day, especially for the agencies we call the big six, the purely intel agencies, we have employees who are dealing with only classified information all the time. And so, there are issues we run into into. And in terms of the consequence for that, I couldn’t prejudge what a consequence would be in terms of a security process or an administrative misconduct process. But it certainly would be something where the security elements for the intelligence agencies would look at readjudicating the clearance, and it would be a significant factor in the readjudication. But it’s a case-by-case basis for these types of things. There are a lot of factors involved.

but there would be repercussions?

undoubtedly, as a result of —

yes, there would be consequences, yes.

okay. Thank you. I yield back.

thank you the gentleman. I’d ask unanimous consent to enter into the record

 

00:48:19

 

Jason Chaffetz

A series of memorandum from both the department of state inspector general and the odni inspector general. Without objection, so ordered. I will now recognize the gentleman from georgia, Mr. Carter, for five minutes.

thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you,

 

00:48:36

 

Earl “Buddy” L. Carter

Gentlemen, for being here. Mr. Linick, in may of 2016, you submitted a report on the secretary of state’s email records management. And you refer to two separate incidents in 2011 in which then secretary Clinton’s private email server was targeted in a hacking attempt, attempts. In january of 2011 there were two instances where a non state department employee notified Clinton’s deputy chief of staff that he had to shut down her server because he believed someone was trying to hack in. The next day, then secretary Clinton’s deputy chief of

 

00:49:12

 

Steve A. Linick

Staff for operations, huma abedin, told senior staff not to email sensitive information over Clinton’s server. Is that true?

that’s what we reported. That’s contained in the documents we reviewed.

okay. On may 13th, 2011, after two of secretary Clinton’s immediate staff discussed Clinton’s concern that someone was hacking into her email after she received a suspicious link, secretary Clinton received another email with a suspicious link from an undersecretary. She replied to the email directly asking if the undersecretary had really sent that email, since she was worried about opening it. Is this best practices? Is this the way you’re supposed to — you know, I’m no expert on the internet or anything, but my kids always told me, no, don’t open it.

well, I can’t speak to what’s best practices in that community. I mean, I think I probably —

but is that the way you should respond to a suspicious email, especially after you’ve already had staff warning you that someone may be hacking into it and that you’re concerned that it’s being hacked into?

well, what we reported is that under state department rules, you’re supposed to report when you believe you’ve been hacked. And that was where they fell short. They didn’t report those to —

so, they did not report. Even though Ms. Clinton believed that she was being attempted to be hacked into, she did not follow state department rules and report it?

that’s correct.

this is Hillary Clinton we’re talking about, secretary of state.

that’s correct.

that’s the one. Okay. Just want to make sure. By responding to that email, do you think that secretary Clinton may have allowed an attacker to — a hacker to gain access to her emails?

I really would have no knowledge and ability to answer that question, whether she may have allowed an attack.

but would —

obviously, it’s a risk, and that’s why it’s required to be reported, because it’s a risk.

I was going to say —

it’s a risk.

— that’s why we have the policy in place.

it’s a risk.

sure, it’s a risk. And I guess that’s where we get the extremely careless, whatever it was. Anyway. At any time during your investigation, did you see evidence — and this is important. Please hang with me here, okay? At any time during your investigation, did you see evidence of Clinton’s staff knowing that her server, the server was unsecure? Yet, they still sent sensitive information over it?

I’m not able to say that. We know from the records that we were not able to interview a number of folks, but we know from email records that there was discussions about the server. Whether they knew it was secure or unsecure, I don’t have any evidence about that.

no evidence about it. Mr. Linick, if Hillary Clinton’s email server was as secure as she has time and again assured us it was, saying it was safe and secure, then why would her staff be so concerned? I mean, you stated in your report, her staff showed a concern — don’t use it, don’t open this email, don’t use this, because we think you’re being hacked into. Yet, we’ve been told by her that it was perfectly safe and secure. Isn’t that true?

we weren’t able to interview her staff, so I’m unable to comment on what they were thinking at the time.

you know, I think that it’s pretty clear that the secretary actively jeopardized the network and national security as well. I think any rational person would understand that this is what happened. I hope that you’ll continue to investigate this. And I hope that you will report back to congress any information that you might get. Mr. Chairman, I’ll yield back.

thank you the gentleman. I will now recognize the gentleman from wisconsin for five minutes.

yeah, I’d like to follow up a little bit more on these emails, okay? I mean, you guys were investigating

 

00:53:29

 

Glenn Grothman

The Benghazi thing. A subpoena was issued for the Benghazi documents. Could that have included documents that were emails that she sent or received on her private server?

we didn’t investigate Benghazi.

I’m sorry, we —

yeah, we weren’t involved in Benghazi.

right. But do you believe on her

 

00:53:55

 

Steve A. Linick

Private email there could have been documents related to Benghazi?

I would be speculating. I don’t have an answer for that.

is it possible?

again, that wasn’t part —

okay. Let me put it this way.

I don’t know.

with regard to freedom of information you have determined there was no question that she had work emails on her private server, right?

yes, that’s true.

that’s incontrovertible. If she had work emails on them, whatever they were about, might have been about Benghazi, might have been about the Clinton foundation and, you know, whatever’s going on there that maybe wasn’t right. How long was she supposed to hold on to the emails, the work emails, after she left her office?

well, as we stated in our report, the rules require that she surrender official records upon her departure. Same rules applied to Powell as well. And, so at that time, when she left the department, those emails should have gone back into the agency record-keeping —

okay, she didn’t surrender them. But if she had surrendered them, how long would they have held on to those emails, work-related emails related to the secretary of state? Let’s say she does the right thing. She leaves office whenever it was, january of 2013. How long would those emails be held by the government?

well, that’s — I don’t know the answer to that question. That’s unclear. One of the things in our report was, we stated, is that they didn’t do such a great job preserving emails at that time. And so, their systems that were in place weren’t — so I don’t have an answer to that question because it’s not clear to me how long they would have been preserved.

I’ll ask you both, because the answer should be obvious. Maybe the departments weren’t doing the right things, but if you get a freedom of information request, say for something that happened two years ago, these agencies are supposed to have it, right? Are you guys subject to freedom of information?

oh, sure. They’re supposed to maintain —

sure. So, if I ask you guys a freedom of information request on something you guys were doing 2 1/2 years ago, you’d be able to pull that up for me, couldn’t you?

well, again, so long as the record is —

you should be able —

— in possession.

assuming somebody didn’t screw up.

some records are sdploezdeposed of, I mean, there are time frames.

minutia, but most things, you would be able to find things you worked on 2 1/2 years ago, right?

you would hope.

otherwise, why even have a freedom of information act? Okay, I guess what I’m getting to, not only did she not turn them over, as you’re saying she should have, correct? But if she wasn’t going to turn them over, wouldn’t it have been more prudent to hold on to them?

I’m not sure I follow you.

okay, if I want to know if something that was going on in the secretary of state’s office in 2012, and I made a freedom of information request, the first thing they would do is they’d look at the records that they are holding on to, right? And if mrs. Clinton did not turn over the records as she was supposed to under law, we might contact her and say, hey, mrs. Clinton, we have a freedom of information request here. Do you have any records dealing with the year 2012? Right? Isn’t that what you think would happen?

I don’t know. I mean, possibly.

kind of frustrating here. Do you think it was right for her to dispose of these records, just as when she was still secretary of state? Would it have been right of her to erase work-related emails —

well, if they count as federal records, she’s supposed to make them part of an agency record-keeping system.

right.

that’s clear.

so, if she didn’t turn over records that are part of the agency record-keeping system, then she would be violating state department rules requiring her to do so.

and if she would have, they would still have been available, unlike being erased by her lawyers, assuming somebody didn’t screw up in the state department.

well, I don’t know if they would have been maintained, because we found systemic issues with records preservation. So, I can’t tell you for sure —

they should have been maintained.

absolutely.

I’ll put it that way.

sure.

so, absolutely if someone makes an open records request, be it about the Clinton foundation, be it about Benghazi, whatever, in the year 2014, the state department should have been able to say here are the emails related to that, right?

sure.

absolutely. And they didn’t and they couldn’t because they were erased by secretary Clinton’s —

I don’t know if they were erased, but the bottom line is there were, you know, 50,000 —

well, we heard —

— pages of emails that were not returned to the department.

we heard when the FBI testified that tens of thousands of emails were erased. So, I think we can assume — and some of those they were able to retrieve we know that were work-related. So, I guess that’s the point, was something wrong done there to erase work-related emails, so as the result of freedom of information requests cannot be fulfilled, is there something wrong with that? Very wrong with that.

well, again, if their agency records, they should be part of the agency record-keeping system.

in other words, work-related emails.

well, they’d have to fall within the definition of an agency record, which is anything that documents, you know, the deliberations, the agency transactions, those kinds 6 things things, not personal matters —

work-related.

work-related, correct.

so, when the FBI testifies as they did like an hour ago that they found work-related emails that had been erased, there was something clearly wrong there, because those emails should have been available in case somebody was making a freedom of information request —

they should have been surrendered to the department when she left.

surrendered, and they should have been available.

right.

thank you.

thank the gentleman. A

 

00:59:58

 

Jason Chaffetz

Couple quick more questions, and then we’re getting near the end here. Mr. Costello, electronic records fall under — electronic records fall under the jurisdiction of the federal records act, correct?

pardon —

sorry.

it’s okay. Yes, they do.

Mr. Linick, do you believe — I’m going to ask you both questions, so go ahead and sit. Does

 

01:00:26

 

Steve A. Linick

This include — so, electronic records fall under the jurisdiction of the federal records act, right, Mr. —

so long as they contain work-related materials, yes.

does this include video?

well, if you’re asking about the videotape, separate issue, I mean, that’s something we’re looking at, and we’re really not able to comment on it at this time. That’s an ongoing matter, whether medias are records, but we’re looking at that issue.

let’s get — is this relating to the eight minutes of deleted videos?

right. Right.

so, the inspector general is doing an investigation?

well, we’re looking — we’ve started a preliminary review, and we’re looking into that matter at this point. We have not opened a full-blown investigation, but we are looking to see sort of what the issues are and we’ve interviewed some people.

well, we also have jurisdiction, and we would like to know. So, my question is, if the electronic record is video, is it treated differently than if it’s text?

I’m not able to answer that question.

why not? Why not?

because I just — I don’t have an answer for you. Again, we’re sort of in the middle of looking at those issues. It’s not part of the report that we issued.

right.

and I can only talk about what my work supports. I wouldn’t want to venture a guess —

if the personnel are paid by the federal government, the hardware is paid by the federal government, the software is paid for by the federal government, if somebody were to tamper with that information, is that a violation of the federal records act?

I mean, a federal record can be contained on any medium, so potentially, it could be a record, potentially. In the case you’re talking about, there is a transcript and a video, and it’s unclear which is the federal record. So, that’s why I’m hesitating here. But a federal record can be on any — it could be on a napkin.

could they both be —

again, I’m not sure, and I don’t want to get into that.

why will you give us that answer?

well, we’re working on it, so —

no, but I want to know what’s reasonable to know when you’re going to get back to us on an answer.

you know, I will talk with my staff, who’s doing that work, and get back to you and let you know sort of where we are.

you’ll get back to me when?

I’m happy to get back to you as soon as I get back to the office and let you know sort of what’s going on.

by the end of the week, is that fair?

sure.

that’s tomorrow, so —

sure.

that would be most helpful. And I do think it’s a very — it’s affecting the federal record. And I think you need to look very closely at that, something we’re looking at. And we need your input and your professionalism in saying — to me, it’s pretty clear, these are all records. Whether they’re video, transcript, there may be photos. Certainly, if you are involved in law enforcement, the more of that you have, the better the situation. And we do this differently than most countries. We do preserve records and we do allow access this information because they paid for it. It’s their government. That’s what the freedom of information act is all about. And when things are there and then deleted on purpose then there’s a cloud of mystery that needs to be rectified. I look forward to hearing back from you. The emails, the classified Hillary Clinton emails can you provide us those classified emails?

well, we didn’t look at the classified emails. That wasn’t part of our review. Maybe Mr. McCullough can answer that question.

certainly, I

 

01:04:17

 

Charles McCullough III

Can provide you with — I believe we

01:04:21

 

Jason Chaffetz

Have provided congress with everything we have. We can certainly, over in senate security — >>

01:04:28

 

Charles McCullough III

Can you provide this committee in a secure format the classified emails?

I can to a certain extent. I cannot provide a certain segment of them because the agency that owns the information for those emails has limited the distribution on those, so they are characterizing them as or orcon.

explain that.

originator control. I can’t give them to you without agency’s permission to provide you.

which agency?

I can’t say that in open hearing, sir.

you can even tell me which agency won’t allow us as members of congress to see something that Hillary Clinton allowed somebody without a security clearance in a nonprotective format to see, is that correct?

this is the segment of emails — this is why my letter back to ranking member Cummings had to be classified because people would like to see this segment of emails and this has been an issue not just with you and your committee but with several members at this point. So we have gone back to the agency that is involved several times and we can certainly do that again and ask permission.

can you generally tell me — because they are so sensitive about signals intelligence, human intelligence? What?

we shouldn’t get into the content of these emails in an open hearing.

okay. I don’t want to violate that but the concern is it has already been violated and was violated by Hillary Clinton and it was her choice, she set it up and she create this problem and she created this mess. We shown have to go through this but she did that.

this is the segment of emails that I had to have people in my office write into particular programs to see these emails. We didn’t possess the required clearances.

even the inspector general didn’t have the clearance?

yes.

unbelievable. What a mess. I’ll yield back. Judge from maryland,

 

01:06:45

 

Elijah Cummings

Mr. Cummings.

a while back, it’s been a good while, when we had the stimulus program back 2009, I guess, Mr. Delvaney who was in charge of it said something I’ll never forget. He said how do you control the money and make sure nobody does anything wrong. I rather do things up front so that people never commit an offense than have them commit an offense and then they are in trouble. I’m trying to figure out, I got to tell you, this whole chink of classification really bothers me and it bothers me because I think it’s so unfair. I think — I mean somebody going to classify something later on, you all, I mean your offices, intelligence, the state disagree. As a matter of fact I was looking at something where there was a disagreement between state and the intelligence a while back and senator corker has sent a letter, wrote a letter to the state department about one of these disputes last year and the state department responded in september and I quote, your letter focused on an email chain that someone within the intelligence community claims should have been redacted as secret. Our experience is that this process made in some instances result of the ic wrongly assuming that information in the emails originated with the ic when it may have been based on other sources given the wide range of context maintained by state department officials, end of quote. I’m wondering what your office can do, if anything, may be out of your jurisdiction but going back to what Mr. Delvaney said back then is how do we make sure that people are not stepping into violation ss that they don’t even know. Am I missing something? This is serious stufF. You have the FBI director, department of justice and people can’t even agree. I’m not saying you should agree. But when you tell me — I’m going to harp on this because I saw it in the Benghazi committee. You know, you say I’m going — you committed a crime, you did something

 

01:09:21

 

Charles McCullough III

Wrong, when something was upgraded later. What’s that about? Can you all help me?

there are a couple of issues in there, Mr. Cummings. The first, in terms of the upgrade later, again the emails we were concerned about were not those that were upgraded. I believe it’s not just — it’s not unique to the state department but that seems to be fairly common when state department is processing a FOIA they upgrade things before they are released. So that’s one subset, one bucket of emails and separate from the emails we’re talking about, separate from the emails I believe director Comey is talking about when he says there were 110, I believe. Those were classified when they were created and sent and received. Those weren’t about being upgraded. I’ve heard the term retroactive classification. Whatever you want to call it. That’s being done with some emails. But the emails that were a concern, I believe, in this case, were the emails that were classified when they were born, essentially, when they were created.

they were marked, right?

other than those that you discussed with director Comey.

three.

I know of none that were marked that we looked at.

see. They got it all out in the press, oh, Hillary Clinton lied. Then we come to find out there were three that had markings of a c and it was the wrong marking. So basically three out of 30,000 plus. You see —

to your question about what can we do about overclassification. In the intelligence world transparency and classification and secrecy are competing entities. There are civil liberties protections, offices and privacy officers. What we have done as IGs over the past several years reports. Each one of the IG would have done that for their department or agency. If they are aren’t finished yet they are in the process of doing statutory followup mandated from congress on reducing overclassifiedcation overclassification.

I hope that the IG bill helps you all. I hope that helps. Because we worked very hard on that bill because we want you all to be effective and efficient. Again, I want to thank you and your staff for your service. We really appreciate all of you. Thank you very much. Thank you for being here. I’ll follow up on my 13 questions. All right.

yes, sir, we’ll be there to brief you in person.

I’m looking forward to it.

yes, sir. >>

 

01:12:21

 

Stephen F. Lynch

Now recognize the gentleman from massachusetts Mr. Lynch.

I too want to thank you for your service and your willingness to help the committee. Just in closing, after all this, you know the long investigation of secretary Clinton, are we approaching — I mean technology now has allowed us to have full spectrum surveillance of people in government. So that every word, every thought, every conversation goes beyond capturing official records. But, you know, I think we’re at a point where it has a chilling effect where you can’t even have normal discourse any more, you got to leave your office and have a conversation in the hallway and you got to make sure that other person leaves their cell phone aside. I just think it’s driving a lot of conversations underground and, you know, I realize we’re on the oversight committee and we want to make sure we have a certain level of transparency. But I also think that, you know, I think a lot of people in government will think twice. First of all people will think twice about serving in government. And then people in government will take great pains to make sure that their thoughts, the open discourse are not ever recorded because you’re going to have a committee like this subpoenaing you and get every phone call or email you ever made — it’s not good, it’s not a good result. You know I know inquiring minds want to know but it just makes it very difficult for a government to function and it makes — it has an implication for the public too because, you know, people call-up. We’ve exempted ourselves, by the way, congress, for good reason. But, you know, the public has to interact with us. And so those phone calls, those emails back and forth, people petitioning their government, that’s all subject to surveillance as well. You know I just think we’ve reached the tipping point here and I’m curious if you think about that at all.

yes, sir. One aspect and one area

 

01:14:53

 

Charles McCullough III

Where we think about that has to do with whistleblower communication. As IGs we deal with the public a lot also, many are current or former government employees or contractors and so we have over the past couple of years had to balance that out to the need for security, the need for counter intelligence, which is sacrosanct. We have to protect secrets. On the other hand we have to have people feel comfortable as whistle blowers come to an IG and make a complaint about a law, rule or regulation. I share your concern there and that’s something — I chair the intelligence community and inspector general forum. All 17 intel agencies and something our forum has had a lot of discussion about frankly. But we feel as though we’ve at this point struck a manage bible livable balance with the agencies and management so people can feel comfortable coming to an IG and complaining to us without fear of their communications being used against them and if they are then we have repRiceales jalreprizal statutes. We investigate reprisal when that happens.

state department has a culture where all these people going back to Condoleezza Rice and secretary Powell, secretary Clinton, people using private communication devices, that’s all to get out from underneath this constant surveillance. I don’t know. At some point we have to strike that right balance. Sometimes it’s difficult. I yield back.

I thank the

 

01:16:34

 

Jason Chaffetz

Gentleman. I want to thank our witnesses here today. I want to thank the inspector general community in general. You have a lot of good men and women pour their heart and soul in a lot of their work, you know. My biggest fear is that we don’t read it, digest it and then act on it but we’re committed to do it as much as possible. But you’re looking under the hood. Your recommendations, your findings, therapy votal for us to do our jobs here in congress and I want to thank those men and women. I hope you carry that message back toech back to each of our organization. I want to thank the three of you for spinning on a dime and being here so swiftly. We did this around the FBI director’s availability. When I spoke to him on phone on tuesday I asked him which day would be most convenient and he said thursday. That’s why we ended up on thursday and we all spun around that and you did as well so I thank you for the swift manner in which you made yourself available. I want to make sure we follow up on Mr. Cummings questions and requests and Mr. Linick, really and miss Costello want to make sure we get that information about electronic records as it relates to videos and those types of things. Again, I thank you for being here. It’s been a good long day but fruitful and important work. The committee stands adjourned. >>>

 

01:18:44

 

End

*this transcript was compiled from uncorrected closed captioning.

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