Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders clarifies his remarks made a month earlier about Clinton’s email scandal, in which he said the “American people are sick and tired of hearing about [her] damn emails!” He says that if Clinton avoided public records requests or compromised classified information, that raises “valid questions.” He also says the FBI’s investigation should “proceed unimpeded. […] There’s an investigation going on right now. I did not say, ‘End the investigation.’ That’s silly.” (Politico, 11/5/2015)
On October 2, 2015, the State Department the department sent a letter to Clinton’s personal lawyer David Kendall, making “an additional request for any records that former Secretary Clinton may have in her possession,” especially from her first two months as secretary of state. This is due to news reports in September that additional work-related emails between her and Army General David Petraeus from her first weeks as secretary of state were found. (McClatchy Newspapers, 12/31/2015)
On November 6, 2015, Kendall replies in a letter, “With regard to her tenure as secretary of state, former Secretary Clinton has provided the department on December 5, 2014, with all federal email records in her custody, regardless of their format or the domain on which they were stored or created, that may not otherwise be preserved, to our knowledge, in the department’s recordkeeping system. She does not have custody of emails sent or received during the first few weeks of her tenure as she was transitioning to a new address, and we have been unable to obtain these. In the event we do, we will immediately provide the Department with federal record emails in this collection.” (US Department of State, 5/25/2016)
Note this suggests the possibility that Clinton or her representatives may still possess some copies of her emails.
Politico reports, “The FBI’s recent moves [regarding Clinton’s private emails] suggest that its inquiry could have evolved from the preliminary fact-finding stage that the agency launches when it receives a credible referral, according to former FBI and Justice Department officials interviewed…” The FBI has been conducting interviews and gathering documents.
Tom Fuentes, former assistant director of the FBI, says, “This sounds to me like it’s more than a preliminary inquiry; it sounds like a full-blown investigation. When you have this amount of resources going into it… I think it’s at the investigative level.” (Politico, 11/10/2015)
Platte River Networks (PRN) is the computer company that has been managing Clinton’s private server since June 2013. Politico reports that it has declined requests by the Senate Homeland Security Committee to interview five employees about the security of Clinton’s server.
Additionally, Datto, Inc. was employed by PRN to back up data from the server. On October 6, 2015, McClatchy Newspapers quoted Datto’s attorney who said the company had permission from representatives of Clinton and Platte River to cooperate with the FBI investigation. But on October 19, 2015, Datto told the committee that it can’t answer questions from the committee because it has a confidentiality agreement with its client PRN and can only answer questions about that account with their permission. PRN gave permission initially but then changed its mind.
PRN spokesperson Andy Boian says that the interview requests from Congress weren’t “formal” inquiries, even though request letters were delivered on official Senate letterhead. He adds, “We as a company have felt like we have done everything we can to comply with every request by both the FBI and the Homeland Security Committee, and we really have nothing left to give.”
Tania Neild, CEO of the technology broker company InfoGrate, helped Clinton select PRN to run their server. She declined to be interviewed by Congressional investigators, invoking a nondisclosure agreement she had with her client.
Another computer company, SECNAP, was involved in the security of the server. They apparently aren’t cooperating with Republican investigators either, because Dennis Nowak, a lawyer for SECNAP, says that communications technology companies are governed by a law that imposes criminal and civil penalties for disclosing customer information, and that can only be waived by subpoena, search warrant, court order, or consent of the client.
These four companies apparently have fully cooperated with the FBI. But Politico reports, “While the firms have voluntarily produced some information for Congressional Republicans in the past, now it seems they’re not willing to go beyond their legal obligations when it comes to responding to committee inquiries.”
In September 2015, Clinton publicly said regarding the FBI’s Clinton investigation that she “would very much urge anybody who is asked to cooperate to do so.” However, Politico asked the Clinton campaign if it had encouraged these computer companies to cooperate with Congressional investigators, and the campaign had no comment. (Politico, 11/13/2015)
These companies will continue to refuse to cooperate with Congress. In August 2016, Congressional Republicans will issue subpoenas to PRN, Datto, and SECNAP to finally force their cooperation.
Private equity investor and former Bill Clinton advisor Glenn Hutchins colludes with Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta and her advisor Neera Tanden on what question he should ask Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on an upcoming CNBC show where he will be appearing as a panelist and Trump is scheduled as a call-in guest.
Hutchins writes, “I am going on CNBC between 8 and 9 AM … and expect, among other topics, to be asked about HRC [Clinton]. My plan is to contrast the Rs [Republicans] whining after the CNBC debate with her masterful performance before the Benghazi, and pose the question of who looks presidential. As I prepare, any input from you two would be welcome.”
The following day Hutchins writes another email stating, “Turns out now that Trump is calling in between 8 and 8:10. So I am going on at 7:45 in order to be in place for [the] call. I am trying to craft one question to ask him in case I get a chance. Any thoughts?”
Podesta responds, “Maybe given his wages are too high which he has walked back to only being about the minimum wage: ask him Since so much low wage work is concentrated in the service sector from fast food workers to housekeepers, why would raising the minimum wage affect US competitiveness?”
Hutchins then replies, “Neera: can someone please send me what Trump has said about the minimum wage?”
Neera answers, “Wouldn’t it be also good for the CNBC audience to discuss his tax plan that adds 10 trillion to the deficit?”
Hutchins finally responds, “Here’s my question: You have said that raising the minimum wage would make America [non]competitive. But virtually all minimum wage jobs … are in services industries that don’t export like your hotels and resorts. How do you explain that? fyi, the leisure and hospitality industry account for ~60% of the total private sector minimum wage jobs in the US.”
Podesta responds, “I like it.” (Wikileaks, 11/13/2015)
Hutchins will appear on CNBC’s show, Squawk Box, on November 16, 2015, and he will ask the same question to Trump, just as planned. (Squawk Box, 11/16/2015, 8:25 am)
The email will be released by Wikileaks in October 2016.
Longtime investigative journalist Ken Silverstein writes an expose about the foundation for Harper’s Magazine. He asserts: “If the Justice Department and law enforcement agencies do their jobs, the foundation will be closed and its current and past trustees, who include Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton, will be indicted. That’s because their so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich Clinton family friends.”
As one example, Silverstein notes that the Clinton Foundation has received more than $1 billion to purchase HIV/AIDS drugs for poor people around the world. “However, a unit set up to receive the money…clearly spent far, far less than it took in. In fact, the unit’s accounting practices were so shoddy that its license was revoked by the state of Massachusetts, where it was headquartered.”
An unnamed “money-laundering expert and former intelligence officer based in the Middle East who had access to the foundation’s confidential banking information” claims that all investigators would have to do “is match up Hillary’s travel as secretary of state with Bill’s speaking arrangements. Bill heads out to foreign countries and he gets paid huge amounts of money for a thirty-minute speech and then she heads out for an official visit as a favor. She racked up more miles than any secretary of state [other than Condoleezza Rice] and that’s one of the reasons why. How can they get away with that?” The Clinton Foundation has not commented on the allegations. (Harper’s Magazine, 11/17/2015)
Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley (R) sends a letter to former Clinton aide and lawyer Heather Samuelson. In late 2014, Samuelson led the sorting process through Clinton’s 62,000 emails to determine which ones to turn over to The State Department and which ones to delete. She also worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and then was a senior adviser to Clinton in the State Department.
Grassley asks if Samuelson had the security clearance necessary to handle Clinton’s emails, some of which were later deemed to contain “top secret” intelligence. He writes, “It is imperative to understand your background in determining what is and what is not a federal record, since you apparently played a major role in assisting Secretary Clinton in making a decision as to which emails to delete.”
A week later, Politico will try to contact Samuelson and the Clinton campaign about Grassley’s questions but got no response. After that there will be no news reports indicating if Grassley ever gets a reply. Earlier in 2015, Samuelson moved from Washington to New York with plans to work in Clinton’s presidential campaign headquarters there. But she never started the job, due to the controversy over her role in sorting Clinton’s emails. (Politico, 11/23/2015)
It reveals that the Clintons “have built an unrivaled global network of donors while pioneering fundraising techniques that have transformed modern politics,” raising more money than any other politicians in US history. All their fundraising combined over four decades in politics has raised at least $3 billion. $2 billion of that has gone to the Clinton Foundation and another billion has gone to their various political campaigns, especially presidential races. Additionally, since 2000, the Clintons were directly paid more than $150 million from giving speeches. The Clintons have a loyal core of about 2,700 rich political contributors who make up less than one percent of donors who gave more than $200 but have given 21 percent of all the money. The Post comments, “The Clintons’ steady cultivation of financial benefactors—many of whom had interests before the government—has led to charges of conflicts of interest and impropriety, such as Bill Clinton’s end-of-term presidential pardons sought by donors. […] Most of all, the Clintons have excelled at leveraging access to their power and celebrity.” (The Washington Post, 11/19/2015)