Bryan Pagliano, who later will manage Clinton’s private email server, is hired to be the IT [Information Technology] director for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. According to his later resume, his job is to “Hire and manage a team of systems administrators, engineers, and administrative staff.” From 1999 to 2006, he worked as “Senior Systems Engineer” and “Systems Team Lead” for a company giving computer assistance to non-profits in the Washington, DC, area. (US Department of State, 4/29/2016) Pagliano provides technical support for BlackBerry communications during Clinton’s campaign. (US Department of State, 5/25/2016)
At 6:39 p.m., Clinton emails her chief of staff Cheryl Mills, saying she just arrived home from a trip to Asia and wants to talk to her over a secure phone line. However, a back and forth email exchange shows that there is a technical problem with Mills’ secure cell phone.
Finally, at 10:01 p.m., Clinton emails Mills, “I give up. Call me on my home [number].”
At almost the exact same time, Mills emails Clinton, “I just spoke to ops [operations] and called you reg [regular] line — we have to wait until we see each other b/c [because the] technology is not working.”
Six minutes later, Clinton replies, “Pls [please] try again.”
The Hill will later note, “It’s unclear whether the two did connect or if they moderated any discussion they may have had to avoid sensitive topics while on an unsecure landline.”
The emails in the chain will not be included in the over 30,000 emails Clinton turns over in December 2014, but will be released in May 2016 due to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits forcing the release of more emails from Clinton’s aides. (US Department of State, 4/29/2016) (The Hill, 5/12/2016) (LawNewz, 5/13/2016)
Clinton writes in an email, “I’m so sorry but I’m just seeing this (no BlackBerry contact permitted in my office) and I’m on the way to the shuttle to NY [New York].” She is responding to Dr. Mark Hyman, who has been working with her on health care reform. (US Department of State, 4/29/2016)
Blair and Clinton communicate like friends, although sometimes politics could be involved, such as when Blair asks Clinton to meet with Qatari royal Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Missned. (The New York Times, 7/31/2015) (US Department of State) The emails are unusual because Clinton almost never sends or receives emails directly with any foreigners while she is secretary of state. In fact, Clinton claims she only exchanged one email with any foreign official. (The New York Times, 3/10/2015)
Clinton writes an email to former senator George J. Mitchell (D), who is the US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace at the time. The subject heading is “Here’s my personal email,” and the entire message is “Pls [Please] use this for reply–HRC [Hillary Rodham Clinton].” (US Department of State, 9/30/2015)
Mitchell replies, “I talked with Frattini again and went over the point again. He said he understands and agrees.” The rest of his email is later redacted because it contains “foreign government information.” “Frattini” is a likely reference to Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini.
Clinton replies, “I told Papandreou the same.” “Papandreou” is a likely reference to Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou. (US Department of State, 9/30/2015)
Mitchell then discusses communicating with “Moratinos,” a likely reference to Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos.
Clinton replies by mentioning a plan to call “Ashton,” a likely reference to the European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, and “Bibi,” the nickname of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (US Department of State, 9/30/2015)
It is not clear why Clinton invites Mitchell to discuss such high-level diplomatic communications via her unsecure personal email address. In 2015, J. William Leonard, former director of the US Information Security Oversight Office, will make the general comment, “If a foreign minister just told the secretary of state something in confidence, by US rules that is classified at the moment it’s in US channels and US possession. […] It’s born classified.” (Reuters, 8/21/2015)
State Department official Bill Roebuck sends an email revealing that Libyan police have arrested several people who might have connections to the September 2012 Benghazi, Libya, terrorist attack. The subject heading is: “FYI- Report of arrests — possible Benghazi connection.” He says the police “were acting on information furnished by DS/RSO [Diplomatic Security/Regional Security Officer].”—this is followed by five lines that later will be redacted.
Twenty-three words from those lines will be classified at the medium “secret” level. According to classification codes, the FBI requests the redaction because that information could “interfere with [law] enforcement proceedings,” “disclose confidential sources,” and “disclose investigation techniques.” The email’s contents somehow relate to the FBI, because one email reply to it includes the unredacted sentence: “FBI in Tripoli is fully involved.”
Roebuck’s email is forwarded to other US officials.
It will later be alleged that in mid-2015, Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy will attempt to change the classification code of the email to one that would be less politically embarrassing for Clinton, but apparently without success.
It points out that both Bill and Hillary Clinton has recently been paid speaking fees that are sometimes “astronomical,” and significantly greater than other prominent politicians, including former US presidents. Furthermore, the Clintons often give speeches at public or private universities. These speeches are usually paid by private individuals or foundations, not by the universities themselves.
For instance, in March 2014, Hillary was paid $300,000 to speak to students and faculty at UCLA [The University of California, Los Angeles]. The entire fee was paid through a private endowment by Meyer Luskin, president of Scope Industries, a food waste recycling company. In 2012, Bill Clinton was similarly paid $250,000 for a UCLA speech paid by Luskin. In both cases, the money allegedly went to the Clinton Foundation. (Nonprofit Quarterly, 7/11/2014) However, ABC News has tried and failed to get any documentation from the Clintons proving the speaking fees went to the foundation. (ABC News, 7/9/2014)
Nonprofit Quarterly then suggests this means the Clintons’ speeches to universities could be a way for rich donors to give well over the usual campaign spending limits to Hillary’s “all but inevitable presidential campaign” by effectively “repurposing” money through these large speaking fees. “It would be terribly disappointing to imagine that the colleges and universities paying the Clintons these sums might be fronting, hopefully unknowingly, for individual donors supporting these colleges’ lecture series, but individually have personal or political agendas that would benefit from being associated with an institution of higher education that pays Bill or Hillary Clinton a couple of hundred thousand for a speech—even if the money ends up in the Clintons’ family foundation.” (Nonprofit Quarterly, 7/11/2014)
Out of the first batch of Clinton’s over 30,000 emails made public on this day, one is classified, and at the “secret” level, which is the middle classification level. This shows that at least some of Clinton’s emails contain classified information, especially since only a small batch of 296 emails are released on this day.
Asked if she is concerned that such information was stored on her private server, Clinton simply says, “No.” She also says it “doesn’t change the fact all of the information in the emails was handled appropriately.” (The Associated Press, 5/22/2015)
Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy sends a letter to David Kendall, Clinton’s personal lawyer. In December 2014, Clinton gave the State Department paper copies of the over 30,000 emails she turned over at that time. But now, Kennedy also asks for electronic copies of them all (which contain metadata and can be more easily searched). However, one email publicly released on May 22 is classified at the “secret” level, which is the middle classification level. The email was sent to Clinton on November 18, 2012, and has the subject heading “FYI- Report of arrests — possible Benghazi connection.”
Kennedy specifically asks Kendall to delete all electronic copies of that email and give the State Department any remaining hard copies of it. Presumably this is due to concerns that the email might not be properly secured and/or Kendall might not have the security clearance to possess it.
On June 15, Kendall responds that he has followed Kennedy’s instructions except that he has been ordered by the House Benghazi Committee to keep electronic copies of all of Clinton’s emails, so he did not delete that one “secret” email. (Judicial Watch, 9/15/2015)
On September 8, 2015, Clinton finally said that her use of a private email account and private server while secretary of state was “a mistake,” and “I’m sorry about that.”
The New York Times publishes an article based on “interviews with a half-dozen people with direct knowledge” of Clinton’s private decisions that claims it was a long and “tortured path” getting Clinton to make any apology. For months, she resisted pressure from advisers and friends to apologize, saying that her actions had been within the law and to do so would only legitimize criticism of her behavior. But pressure continued to mount and her poll numbers dropped.
In early September 2015, Clinton’s campaign organized focus groups with voters, which showed that voters liked when Clinton took a more conciliatory tone over the issue. Still, Clinton had trouble apologizing. The Times reports, “Frustration reached a fever pitch among some of her supporters, who sounded an alarm in calls to Clinton campaign aides.”
By September 8, Clinton’s strategists “concluded that there was only one way out of it,” leading to her apology in an interview later that day. (The New York Times, 9/11/2015)
In an interview, Clinton says of the presidential election, “This is a contest, and it’s fair game for people to raise whatever they choose to raise… you know they’re not giving this job away. Of course I take responsibility. It was my choice. It was a mistake back when I did it, and I’m trying to do the best I can to answer all of the questions that people have.” (The Washington Post, 9/27/2015)
Clinton is asked by journalist Chuck Todd on Meet The Press about her decision to delete 31,000 emails because they were allegedly personal in nature: “I’m just curious, would anything having to do with the Clinton Foundation, would that have been personal or work?”
Clinton replies, “Well, it would depend. You know, I did not communicate with the foundation. Other people in the State Department did. In accordance with the rules that had been adopted.”
Then Todd asks, “So any of these deleted emails are not going to be foundation-related at all?”
Clinton responds, “Well, they might be, you know, ‘There’s going to be a meeting,’ or, ‘There’s this.’ But not anything that relates to the work of the State Department. That was handled by, you know, the professionals and others in the State Department.” (NBC News, 9/27/2015)
In the wake of media reports that Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough discovered some of Clinton’s emails contained above top secret (or “top secret / special access program”) intelligence, an unnamed US intelligence official tells NBC News “that the special access program in question was so sensitive that McCullough and some of his aides had to receive clearance to be read in on it…” (NBC News, 1/19/2016)
Law professor Nathan Sales compares a possible indictment of Clinton with the conviction of former CIA Director David Petraeus in 2013.
He notes that Petraeus did not ultimately plead guilty to sharing classified information with his mistress and biographer, but to charges related to keeping the information in a desk drawer inside his house. “The conduct that is being investigated [in Clinton’s case]—keeping the documents on an unclassified server—that’s kind of the digital equivalent of locking it in your desk drawer, which is ultimately what did in General Petraeus. […] Based on what we do know so far, I think there is a not insignificant chance that a grand jury could look at the facts and say, ‘Actually, she may have violated various laws protecting classified information.’” (Rolling Stone, 5/3/2016)
In January 2016, a federal judge ordered the State Department to release all the known emails of Huma Abedin from her time as Clinton’s deputy chief of staff. This is in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by Judicial Watch.
Over 29,000 pages of emails are due to be released in batches, and this is the first batch of 241 pages. Some of the emails are between Abedin and Clinton, and most if not all of them appear to be work-related, showing yet again that Clinton did not turn over all her work-related emails when she gave the State Department over 30,000 emails in December 2014.
21 of the emails between Abedin and Clinton date from January 28, 2009 to March 17, 2009; Clinton had said she didn’t use her new email account until March 18, 2009.
Another 15 emails between them date between March 18, 2009 to October 20, 2012, and do not match any of emails in the State Department’s database of the 30,000 publicly released Clinton emails. Whereas 16 emails dating from March 20, 2009 to May 28, 2009 do appear in that database. (Judicial Watch, 5/5/2016) (US Department of State, 5/1/2016) (US Department of State, 5/1/2016)
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton comments, “These emails further undermine Hillary Clinton’s statement, under penalty of perjury, suggesting she turned over all of her government emails to the State Department. How many more Hillary Clinton emails is the Obama State Department hiding?” (Judicial Watch, 5/5/2016) Since these emails appear to be:
- a more or less random selection from all four years of Clinton’s time as secretary of state
- about half of the emails from March 18, 2009 and afterwards are not included in the 30,000 previously released emails
- this batch makes up less than one percent of all the Huma Abedin emails due to be released
- Abedin’s emails make up only about 15 percent of the 30,000 emails
One can reasonably estimate that thousands of the over 31,000 emails Clinton deleted actually are work-related and are likely to be publicly released in later batch releases of Abedin’s emails as well as FOIA lawsuits forcing the release of emails from other top Clinton aides. In fact, if this sample is a truly random sample representative of the rest of the emails from Abedin and other top Clinton aides, well over 10,000 of Clinton’s deleted emails could be work-related.
In December 2015, Politico reported that the State Department cannot a “.pst file” containing the emails from Bryan Pagliano during Clinton’s four-year tenure as secretary of state. Pagliano worked as a State Department computer technician while also managing Clinton’s personal email server. (Politico, 12/11/2015)
The department continued to search, but six months later, State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau says, “The department has searched for Mr. Pagliano’s email .pst file and has not located one that covers the time period of Secretary Clinton’s tenure. To be clear, the department does have records related to Mr. Pagliano and we are working with Congress and FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] requesters to provide relevant material. The department has located a .pst from Mr. Pagliano’s recent work at the department as a contractor, but the files are from after Secretary Clinton left the department.” She further explains that a small number of Pagliano’s emails have been recovered, apparently from other email accounts.
Although Clinton released over 30,000 work-related emails, only one of them was to or from Pagliano, an email in which he wished her a happy birthday. In 2015, the Republican National Committee (RNC) filed a FOIA lawsuit for all of Pagliano’s emails. (ABC News, 5/9/2016)
The article comments, “While Hillary Clinton is busy trying to put the Democratic primary race behind her and pivot to the general election against presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, the past several days have served as a stark reminder that Clinton is not yet clear of a potential scandal that still threatens to derail her campaign: the FBI is nearing the completion of its investigation into her use of a private server to send classified emails, with the results expected be released before November. Negative headlines about Clinton’s e-mails have seemed to be reaching critical mass in recent days.” (Vanity Fair, 5/11/2016)
More of Clinton’s emails from her time as secretary of state are released by the State Department, due to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits by Judicial Watch. In 2015, Clinton claimed that she didn’t start using her new private email address until March 18, 2009. But all these emails date from before then.
There are 15 emails using her old email address from January 22, 2009 (one day after she became secretary of state) to February 26, 2009. There are another 108 emails using her new email address (hosted on her private server) from January 30, 2009 to March 8, 2009. (Judicial Watch, 5/12/2016) (US Department of State, 4/29/2016) (US Department of State, 4/29/2016) (US Department of State, 4/29/2016)
LawNewz notes that this email release “contradicts claims made by Clinton and her campaign that she did not begin using the private e-mail server until March 2009. […] The dates of the newly released e-mails also appear to contradict a declaration signed by Clinton, under penalty of perjury, saying she surrendered all her work-related e-mails to the State Department on December 5, 2014.” (LawNewz, 5/13/2016)
When asked about the Clinton Foundation, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says, “I assume you put the word charity in quotes.” His comment comes one day after the Wall Street Journal reported that the foundation-connected Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) may have benefitted a for-profit company partially owned by Julie Tauber McMahon.
Furthermore, there have been tabloid accusations that Bill Clinton and McMahon had a long-time romance despite his marriage to Hillary Clinton. Trump says of the story, “Well, it is a bombshell, there’s no doubt about it.” He also says people have been whispering about Bill Clinton’s romantic involvement with McMahon “for years,” but “I have no idea what went on.”
Real Clear Politics reporter Rebecca Berg comments, “It plays right into this narrative that [Trump] is trying to build that Hillary Clinton is crooked, that she’s corrupt, and Donald Trump we saw in the primary used this specter of public corruption very effectively.” (CNN, 5/13/2016) (The Wall Street Journal, 5/12/2016) (The Daily Mail, 7/25/2014) (The New York Post, 5/13/2016)
Lukens has been deposed as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by Judicial Watch. He is the first of six to be deposed as part of that lawsuit, which is presided over by federal judge Emmet Sullivan. (The New York Times, 5/18/2016) (Judicial Watch v. State Lukens Testimony 01363 5/26/2016)
In an interview, he says, “There’s the whole email thing, which I think is really a concern in terms of judgment. I don’t know what originally prompted her to think that was a good idea. […] Using an offline server I think was an error.”
Gates was defense secretary under both presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He has declined to endorse anyone in the 2016 presidential race so far. (USA Today, 5/19/2016)
In an interview, Clinton says, “I will be the nominee for my party… That is already done in effect. There is no way I won’t be.” Clinton calls her delegate lead over candidate Bernie Sanders “insurmountable.” (The Hill, 5/19/2016)