January 17, 2001: George W. Bush stops using email due to public records laws.

George W. Bush (Credit: public domain)

George W. Bush (Credit: public domain)

Within days of his inauguration, president-elect George W. Bush stops using email. He mentions in his last email, “Since I do not want my private conversations looked at by those out to embarrass, the only course of action is not to correspond in cyberspace.”

Bush’s close aide Karen Hughes says Bush stopped using e-mail because of public records laws, including the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). (CNet, 1/29/2009)

2006: Clinton begins using a handheld BlackBerry device for her email communications.

Clinton talks on a BlackBerry in Washington, DC, on August 1, 2007. (Credit: Getty Images)

Clinton talks on a BlackBerry in Washington, DC, on August 1, 2007. (Credit: Getty Images)

Clinton begins using a handheld BlackBerry device for her email communications. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

March 2007—2008: The Bush Administration gets embroiled in a private email scandal.

On April 13, 2007, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux reports on the Bush administration's missing emails. (Credit: CNN)

On April 13, 2007, CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux reports on the Bush administration’s missing emails. (Credit: CNN)

A Congressional oversight committee investigates allegations that the White House fired US attorneys for political reasons. The committee asks Bush officials to turn over relevant emails, only to find that government work had been conducted on private email addresses. Millions of emails are deleted and permanently lost, preventing the committee from continuing their investigation. Bush officials use email accounts associated with a private gwb43.com server owned and controlled by the RNC [Republican National Committee], which is a private political entity not covered by government oversight laws. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2007) (Vox, 3/2/2015)

In 2015, shortly after Clinton’s use of a private email address will be revealed, Vox will comment, “That [Bush administration email] scandal unfolded well into the final year of Bush’s presidency, then overlapped with another email secrecy scandal, over official emails that got improperly logged and then deleted, which itself dragged well into Obama’s first year in office. There is simply no way that, when Clinton decided to use her personal email address as secretary of state, she was unaware of the national scandal that Bush officials had created by doing the same.”

Vox will also note, “Perhaps even more stunning is that the Obama White House, whose top officials were presumably exchanging frequent emails with Clinton, apparently did not insist she adopt an official email account.” (Vox, 3/2/2015)

Around June 2008: Clinton’s first private email server is set up in her house.

080601ApplePowerMcIntoshG4

The Apple Power Macintosh G4 Server (Credit: public domain)

According to the FBI, around 2007, Justin Cooper purchased an Apple OS X server. Cooper is a personal aide to former President Bill Clinton at the time. On February 1, 2008, the domain names clintonemail.com, wjcoffice.com, and presidentclinton.com were registered, but apparently the server that uses them won’t be operational until a few months later. The server is physically located in a house in Chappaqua, New York, where Bill and Hillary Clinton live.

The server consists of an Apple Power Macintosh G4 or G5 tower and an HP printer. According to Cooper, around June 2008, an Apple employee installs the server in the basement of the Chappaqua house. Cooper is the only person with administrative access to the server. However, the Clinton family and their house staff have physical access to it.

Hillary Clinton uses her att.blackberry.net email account as her primary email address until around mid-to-late January 2009 when she will switch to a newly created hdr22@clintonemail.com account hosted on this server. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

September 15, 2008: Vice presidential candidate Palin uses private email to avoid public scrutiny, but gets her email account hacked.

Sarah Palin (Credit: The Today Show)

Sarah Palin (Credit: The Today Show)

An unknown group of hackers breaks into the private email account of Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Some snippets of her Yahoo Mail emails are posted on the Internet. (The Washington Post, 9/16/2008)

Just two days earlier, the New York Times reported: “Interviews show that Ms. Palin runs an administration that puts a premium on loyalty and secrecy. The governor and her top officials sometimes use personal email accounts for state business; dozens of email messages obtained by the New York Times show that her staff members studied whether that could allow them to circumvent subpoenas seeking public records. […] An assistant told [Palin] it appeared that such email messages sent to a private address on a ‘personal device’ like a BlackBerry ‘would be confidential and not subject to subpoena.’” (The New York Times, 9/13/2008)

Early 2009—March 2015: Sid Blumenthal takes a job at the Clinton Foundation, advises the secretary of state frequently, and promotes the interests of two government contractors.

Sid Blumenthal (Credit: The Guardian)

Sid Blumenthal (Credit: The Guardian)

Sid Blumenthal is paid about $120,000 a year as a full-time employee of the Clinton Foundation. He gets the job in early 2009 at the behest of former President Bill Clinton, who employed him in the White House in the 1990s. He keeps the job until March 2015, the same month that the Clinton email scandal first becomes news.

Blumenthal is a longtime friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, and a journalist. He appears to have been a private citizen without a security clearance since the 1990s. Yet for the duration of Clinton’s time as secretary of state, and while he is being paid by the Clinton Foundation, he frequently emails her with intelligence information and advice. His foundation job doesn’t seem to have anything to do with any of the foundation’s charitable works.

According to Politico, “While Blumenthal’s foundation job focused on highlighting the legacy of [Bill] Clinton’s presidency, some officials at the charity questioned his value and grumbled that his hiring was a favor from the Clintons, according to people familiar with the foundation.”

In 2011, Blumenthal has a business relationship with two companies, Osprey Global Solutions and Constellations Group, trying to get government contracts to assist US-supported rebels in Libya that year.

After March 2015, Blumenthal will be a paid consultant to American Bridge and Media Matters, two groups supporting Clinton’s presidential campaign that are run by David Brock, an ally of both Clinton and Blumenthal. Politico will later comment, “Blumenthal’s concurrent work for the foundation, the Brock groups, and a pair of businesses seeking potentially lucrative contracts in Libya underscores the blurred lines between her State Department work and that of her family’s charitable and political enterprises.” (Politico, 5/28/2015)

2009: The State Department rolls out an easy way to preserve emails for record keeping, but Clinton’s office elects not to use it and Clinton will later claim she never even heard of it.

Ernie Milner, division chief for SMART Testing and Implementation, and Kevin Gatlin, division chief for SMART Messaging, in the State Department SMART lab in Newington, VA. (Credit: American Diplomacy / University of North Carolina)

Ernie Milner, division chief for SMART Testing and Implementation, and Kevin Gatlin, division chief for SMART Messaging, in the State Department SMART lab in Newington, VA. (Credit: American Diplomacy / University of North Carolina)

In 2009, the first year Clinton is secretary of state, the State Department begins using the State Messaging and Archive Retrieval Toolset (SMART), which allows employees to electronically tag emails to preserve a copy for posterity. This allows employees to easily comply with record keeping regulations, instead of having to print out copies of each email.

Although most of the State Department starts using SMART in 2009; the Office of the Secretary elects not to use the SMART system to preserve emails, partly due to concerns that the system would “allow overly broad access to sensitive materials.” (This quote is from an FBI report, but the name of the official who said it is redacted.)

Representatives from the Executive Secretariat (which includes Clinton’s office) ask to be the last to receive the SMART rollout. Ultimately SMART is never used by the Executive Secretariat Office or Clinton for the rest of Clinton’s four-year tenure.

This leaves printing out each email as the only approved method by which the Clinton or her staff in the Office of the Secretary could preserve emails for record keeping. But when Clinton leaves office in February 2013, she won’t even do that.

Remarkably, when Clinton will be interviewed by the FBI in July 2016, the FBI summary will indicate: “Clinton was not aware how other State [Department] staff maintained their records and was unaware of State’s State Messaging and Archive Retrieval Toolset (SMART).” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

SMART will have security and cost overrun problems for the rest of Clinton’s tenure, and beyond.

Around Early 2009: Clinton’s lack of a government email account means her emails are off-limits to FOIA requests.

Karin Lang (Credit: CSpan)

Karin Lang (Credit: CSpan)

In court testimony in 2016, State Director of Executive Secretariat Staff Karin Lang will recall that Clarence Finney, who oversees the State Department’s responses to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) searches, is told around the time Clinton becomes secretary of state that she won’t be using a government email account.

Finney will not remember who told him this.

But as a result, Finney makes no attempt to search for Clinton’s emails in response to FOIA requests. (Politico, 6/9/2016)

January 21, 2009—February 1, 2013: Most State Department officials claim they don’t know Clinton has a private email address or uses a private server.

A sample email of the "H" as it appears in an email sent by Clinton. (Credit: public domain)

A sample address with the “H” as it appears in an email sent by Clinton. (Credit: public domain)

A September 2016 FBI report will indicate that “some Clinton aides and senior-level State [Department] employees were aware Clinton used a personal email address for State business during her tenure [as secretary of state]. Clinton told the FBI it was common knowledge at State that she had a private email address because it was displayed to anyone with whom she exchanged emails. However, some State employees interviewed by the FBI explained that emails from Clinton only contained the letter ‘H’ in the sender field and did not display her email address.”

The report also notes, “The majority of the State employees interviewed by the FBI who were in email contact with Clinton indicated they had no knowledge of the private server in her Chappaqua residence.”

Even Clinton’s closest aides like her chief of staff Cheryl Mills and deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin will claim they didn’t know, though there is evidence that suggests otherwise (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

January 21, 2009—February 1, 2013: Hundreds of Clinton’s emails are printed out by a Bill Clinton staffer; he may have a relevant security clearance.

Clinton presents a letter of congratulations and signed photo to Chief Culinary Specialist Oscar Flores during his retirement ceremony aboard the USS Makin Island on April 1, 2010. (Credit: Chief Mass Communication Specialist John Lill / US Navy)

Clinton presents a letter of congratulations and signed photo to Chief Culinary Specialist Oscar Flores during his retirement ceremony aboard the USS Makin Island on April 1, 2010. (Credit: Chief Mass Communication Specialist John Lill / US Navy)

A September 2016 FBI report will mention that the FBI determined “hundreds of emails” were sent by Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin and other State Department staffers to a member of Bill Clinton’s staff so he could print them out for Clinton. His name will be redacted, but he is almost certainly Oscar Flores, because the report will mention that he is a member of the US Navy Reserves, which Flores is at the time.

Some of these emails will later be determined to contain information classified at the “confidential” level, including six email chains forwarded by Abedin and one email chain forwarded by Clinton.

But the FBI will determine that Flores received a security clearance at the “secret” level on October 25, 2007 from the Defense Department. Furthermore, although Flores retires from the US Navy Reserves in September 2010, there is no indication his security clearance is deactivated at that time. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

January 21, 2009—February 1, 2013: Hundreds of classified emails are sent or received by Clinton while she is outside the US, including some to or from President Obama.

Clinton boards the State Department jet with her BlackBerry, destination unknown. (Credit: Andrew Harnik / The Associated Press)

Clinton boards the State Department jet while using her BlackBerry, date and location are unknown. (Credit: Andrew Harnik / The Associated Press)

This is according to a September 2016 FBI report. The report indicates that Clinton and her immediate staff were repeatedly “notified of foreign travel risks and were warned that digital threats began immediately upon landing in a foreign country, since connection of a mobile device to a local network provides opportunities for foreign adversaries to intercept voice and email transmissions.”

Additionally, the State Department has a Mobile Communications Team responsible for establishing secure mobile voice and data communications for Clinton and her team wherever they travel. But even so, Clinton and her staff frequently use their private and unsecure mobile devices and private email accounts while overseas.

The number of Clinton emails sent or received outside the US will be redacted in the FBI report. Although it will mention that “hundreds” were classified at the “confidential” level, additional details are redacted. Nearly all mentions of “top secret” emails are redacted in the report, so it’s impossible to know if any of those are sent while Clinton is overseas.

The report will mention that some emails between Clinton and President Obama are sent while Clinton is overseas. However, the exact number will be redacted. None of these overseas emails between them will be deemed to contain classified information. According to the report, “Clinton told the FBI that she received no particular guidance as to how she should use President Obama’s email address…”

The details of the FBI’s report on Clinton’s July 2016 FBI interview will indicate that Clinton emailed Obama on July 1, 2012 from Russia. However, it is not clear if she sent the email from on the ground or on a plane. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

January 21, 2009—February 1, 2013: Four of Clinton’s top aides frequently use personal email accounts for work matters and then fail to properly archive them.

After Clinton’s email scandal becomes public in March 2015, The State Department will request all work-related emails from four of Clinton’s top aides: Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan, and Philippe Reines. The emails will be turned over between June and August 2015.

Top left: Cheryl Mills, Top Right: Huma Abedin, Lower left: Jake Sullivan, Lower right: Philippe Reines

Top left: Cheryl Mills, Top Right: Huma Abedin, Lower left: Jake Sullivan, Lower right: Philippe Reines

A department analysis will determine that all four aides frequently used personal email accounts for work matters, although they had government email accounts and sometimes used those as well. The combined work-related personal emails from the four of them will total nearly 72,000 printed pages. One of the four sends and receives 9,585 work emails using a personal account while Clinton is secretary of state, though it isn’t clear which one. That person averages nine work emails from that account per work day.

In May 2016, the department’s inspector general will conclude that, just like Clinton, “these [four aides] failed to comply with department policies… because none of these emails were preserved in department recordkeeping systems prior to [being handed over] in 2015.” (US Department of State, 5/25/2016)

January 23, 2009: Colin Powell warns Clinton to “be very careful” because if she uses a BlackBerry for official business, her emails could become official records.

Clinton emails former Secretary of State Colin Powell two days after she is sworn in as secretary of state, and asks about his use of a BlackBerry while he was secretary of state from January 2001 to January 2005. A full copy of the email will be released on September 7, 2016.

Clinton writes: “I hope to catch up soon [with] you, but I have one pressing question which only you can answer! What were the restrictions on your use of your BlackBerry? Did you use it in your personal office? I’ve been told that the DSS [Diplomatic Security] personnel knew you had one and used it but no one fesses up to knowing how you used it! President Obama has struck a blow for Berry addicts like us. I just have to figure out how to bring along the State Dept. Any and all advice is welcome.”

Powell replies to Clinton, “I didn’t have a BlackBerry. What I did do was have a personal computer that was hooked up to a private phone line (sounds ancient.)  So I could communicate with a wide range of friends directly without it going through the State Department servers. I even used it to do business with some foreign leaders and some of the senior folks in the department on their personal email accounts. I did the same thing on the road in hotels.”

Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton (Credit: Jonathan Ernst / Getty Images)

Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton (Credit: Jonathan Ernst / Getty Images)

Powell also warns Clinton,  “there is a real danger. If it is  public that you have a BlackBerry and it is  government and you are using it, government or not, to do business, it may beome an official record and subject to the law.” (US Senate, 9/7/2016)

Powell further writes, “Reading about the President’s BB [BlackBerry] rules this morning, it sounds like it won’t be as useful as it used to be.” Powell is referring to a New York Times article published the day before, regarding Obama winning the fight to use a BlackBerry during his presidency.  (New York Times, 01/22/09)

Powell further advises Clinton, “Be very careful. I got around it all by not saying much and not using systems that captured the data.”

Clinton emails back the same day,  “[I] want to thank you for all the advice about Berries, security, and life on the seventh floor [of State Department headquarters]! I hope we’ll have a chance to visit in person sometime soon.” (US Senate, 9/7/2016)

In a 2016 FBI interview, “Clinton [will indicate] to the FBI that she understood Powell’s comments to mean any work-related communications would be government records, and she stated Powell’s comments did not factor into her decision to use a personal email account.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Clinton’s decision to use a private email account on a private server had already been made before this email exchange.

Shortly After January 24, 2009: Cheryl Mills claims Clinton could not or would not use a personal computer.

In a May 2016 court deposition, Clinton’s former chief of staff Cheryl Mills will be asked what she thought of State Department official Patrick Kennedy’s idea in a January 24, 2009 email that a computer be installed in Clinton’s office so she could use it to check her emails.

Clinton sitting in front of a computer screen. (Credit: Reuters)

Clinton sitting in front of a computer screen. (Credit: Reuters)

Mills will reply, “Secretary Clinton was not a computer user. And so I don’t know that it solved the solution of being able to be in communication electronically with her staff. […] I don’t know why it was not set up. I do know that she was not someone who used a computer. And so to the extent the objective was to place that computer there for her use, it would not have been used.”

Mills says she might have discussed the issue with Clinton, but she doesn’t remember. Clinton continues to use her BlackBerry as well as an iPad to check her emails instead. (Judicial Watch, 5/31/2016)

January 28, 2009: The first known email using Clinton’s private server is sent by Clinton, despite her claim she won’t use it for two more months.

General David Petraeus (Credit: Centcom)

General David Petraeus (Credit: Centcom)

Clinton exchanges 19 emails with Army General David Petraeus, who is chief of the US Central Command at the time. The exchange will continue into February 2009.

In 2015, Clinton will claim that she didn’t start using her email account for government work until March 18, 2009. As a result, all the emails she will later hand over to the State Department will be from March 18 or later. These emails have not yet been made public. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

In August 2015, in a sworn deposition to a federal court, Clinton will claim: “I, Hillary Rodham Clinton, declare under penalty of perjury that the following is true and correct: While I do not know what information may be ‘responsive’ for purposes of this law suit, I have directed that all my emails on clintonemail.com in my custody that were or potentially were federal records he provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done.” (Judicial Watch, 8/10/2015)

The 19 emails between Clinton and Petraeus from January 2009 will be discovered by the Defense Department in September 2015, one month after Clinton’s sworn deposition. Presumably, they come from Petraeus’ email account. (Reuters, 9/26/2016)

Around February 2009: Clinton allegedly wants to use a iPad in her office but is not allowed to do so; however the iPad won’t be released until one year later.

The first Apple iPad was released in January, 2010. (Credit: public domain)

The first Apple iPad (Credit: public domain)

Around February 2009, the NSA refuses to make a BlackBerry for Clinton that’s secure enough to use in SCIF rooms, citing security concerns. (Highly classified materials can only be read in SCIF rooms, and Clinton’s office in State Department headquarters is a SCIF room.)

According to a September 2016 FBI report, at roughly the same time, Clinton’s executive staff also ask about the possibility of Clinton using an iPad to read her emails in her office. But “this request was also denied due to restrictions associated with the Secretary’s office being in a SCIF.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

However, the FBI will fail to mention that the iPad won’t actually be announced by Apple until January 2010, and won’t be released until a couple of months after that, making the above claim impossible. (Apple.com, 1/27/2010)

Clinton will buy an iPad and begin using it a couple of months after it comes out, in July 2010.

February 2009: Security officials set up a space near Clinton’s office where she can check her private email account. 

Clinton meets with Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her outer office,on January 25, 2012. (Credit: public domain)

Clinton meets with Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her outer office, on January 25, 2012. (Credit: public domain)

Clinton’s office in State Department headquarters is a SCIF, which means a secure room, and she’s not allowed to bring her BlackBerry into it. Also, Clinton is unwilling to use a computer to check her emails. But around this time, security officials create a space where she can check her BlackBerry.

In 2016, a State Department official will explain, “There is an area dedicated to supporting the secretary outside but in the immediate vicinity of the secretary’s secure office. Secretary Clinton, as with anyone, could use such non-SCIF spaces to check personal devices.” Apparently, Clinton will use this arrangement for her entire four years as secretary of state. (Fox News, 3/16/2016)

February 13, 2009: It appears the NSA will be able to give Clinton a secure BlackBerry, but this doesn’t happen.

The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters, in Fort Meade, Maryland. (Credit: public domain)

The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters, in Fort Meade, Maryland. (Credit: public domain)

Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills writes in an email to Clinton that a National Security Agency (NSA) official “indicated they could address our BB [BlackBerry] so that BB could work in” secure spaces, “based upon some modifications that could be done.”

Clinton writes back, “That’s good news.”

Eventually, the NSA will decide that creating special BlackBerry modification would be too problematic, so Clinton and her aides will continue to use their unsecure BlackBerrys.

In December 2014, Clinton will turn over more than 30,000 emails, claiming those were all her work-related emails and she deleted the rest. These work-related emails will not be included in those. Instead, the State Department will give them to Judicial Watch in 2016 in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. Clinton will later inaccurately claim that she didn’t start using her private email account until March, 18, 2009. (The Hill, 3/24/2016) (Judicial Watch, 3/24/2016) (Judicial Watch, 3/17/2016)

February 22, 2009: Clinton possibly talks on an unsecure phone line after experiencing technical trouble.

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)

February 27, 2009: An email shows Clinton can’t use her BlackBerry in her office.

090227ClintonOfficeWindow60Minutes

Clinton peers out of her office window in the State Department. (Credit: 60 Minutes)

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)

March 6, 2009—March 15, 2009: Clinton says she “gets it” about BlackBerry security concerns, but she keeps on using her BlackBerry.

Eric Boswell (Credit: public domain)

Eric Boswell (Credit: public domain)

On March 6, 2009, Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security Eric Boswell emails an internal State Department memo with the subject line “Use of BlackBerrys in Mahogany Row.” (“Mahogany Row” is where the seventh floor offices of Clinton and her top aides are.) The memo states, “Our review reaffirms our belief that the vulnerabilities and risks associated with the use of BlackBerrys in the Mahogany Row [redacted] considerably outweigh the convenience their use can add. … Any unclassified BlackBerry is highly vulnerable in any setting to remotely and covertly monitoring conversations, retrieving emails, and exploiting calendars.”

According to an email by another security official nine days later on March 15, Clinton tells Boswell that she read his memo and “gets it.” That email adds, “Her attention was drawn to the sentence that indicates (Diplomatic Security) have intelligence concerning this vulnerability during her recent trip to Asia.”

However, Clinton continues to use her BlackBerry and private server without any apparent changes. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

March 16, 2009: Clinton sends a department-wide email encouraging the preservation of records in response to FOIA requests.

An email entitled “Message from the Secretary on FOIA” goes out in Clinton’s name to the entire State Department. In it, she encourages full cooperation responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. “As a Department, we should respond to requests in a timely manner, resolve doubts in favor of openness, and not withhold information based on speculative or abstract fears. Preserving the record of our deliberations, decisions, and actions will be at the foundation of our efforts to promote openness.” (US Department of State, 6/18/2015)

Ironically, Clinton will not turn over any work-related emails (which are official records) when she leaves the department in February 2013, and FOIA requests for any of her emails will be ignored until the controversy over her use a private server becomes front-page news in March 2015.

March 17, 2009: An email shows that five State Department officials learned of Clinton’s private server after installing equipment in her house.

John Bentel (Credit: Facebook)

John Bentel (Credit: Facebook)

The State Department’s telecommunications manager Purcell Lee sends an email that contains the agenda for “Secretary Residential Installation Hotwash.” A “hotwash” is an after-action discussion. An attached file lists the electronic equipment in Clinton’s Chappaqua, New York house. It mentions the recent installation of a phone and fax machine for classified communications. But most crucially, it also mentions the existence of Clinton’s private email server with the comment: “Unclassified Partner System: Server: Basement Telephone Closet.” None of the agenda items refer to the existence of the unauthorized server.

Lee’s email is sent to four other State Department officials: Kevin Wagganer, John Bentel, Andrew Scott, and Bruce Duncan. (US Department of State, 6/20/2016)

Bentel is the director of the department’s bureau of Information Resources Management (IRM). He will later deny having any knowledge of Clinton’s server and some will claim he participated in a cover-up, telling others that she had legal authority to use it when she did not. (Yahoo News, 5/27/2016)

March 18, 2009: Clinton claims she starts using her private email address on this day, despite emails proving otherwise.

In 2015, Clinton will name this as the date she begins using a private email server and her email account hdr22@clintonemail.com for government business. Around this time, she also allegedly stops using an email address she used as a senator: hr15@att.blackberry.net, also known as hr15@mycingular.blackberry.net (AT&T and Cingular are the same company).

The Wall Street Journal will later report, “Messages from the account she used as a senator [prior to this date] are lost and could not be retrieved, her office said.”

She is said to keep the AT&T account working through September 2009, but she always replies from her clintonemail.com address. (The Wall Street Journal, 9/30/2015) (Buzzfeed, 7/1/2015) However, emails from as early as January 28, 2009 using her new private email address will later be found. (The New York Times, 9/25/2015)

The FBI’s Clinton investigation will later conclude that the FBI “did not recover any information indicating that Clinton sent an email from her hrl5@att.blackberry.net email after March 18, 2009.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

March 22, 2009: Clinton writes about designing a system for how her documents are handled by the State Department.

Chris Cillizza (Credit: Institute of Politics and Public Service)

Chris Cillizza (Credit: Institute of Politics and Public Service)

Clinton writes in an email: “Dear Lauren [Jiloty] and Huma [Abedin], I have just realized I have no idea how my papers are treated at State. Who manages both my personal and official files? […] Are there personal files as well as official ones set up? […] I think we need to get on this asap to be sure we know and design the system we want.”

Abedin replies, “We’ve discussed this. I can explain to you when I see [you] today.” (US Department of State, 5/31/2016)

In June 2016, Chris Cillizza will write in the Washington Post: “[T]his email to Abedin—which came at the start of her four-year term in office—suggests a bit more active agency than Clinton has previously let on. ‘I think we need to get on this asap to be sure we know and design the system we want,’ doesn’t strike me as Clinton simply wanting convenience and following the instructions of her IT people on how to make that happen. It reads to me as though Clinton is both far more aware of the email setup and far more engaged in how it should look than she generally lets on publicly.” (The Washington Post, 6/28/2016)

In her July 2016 FBI interview, Clinton will be asked about this email. According to the FBI, “Clinton stated this email pertained to how her ‘files’ were going to be treated at [the] State [Department]. Clinton relayed while in the Senate, she maintained a personal and official paper file. This process was not implemented through Senate procedure or guidance but through Clinton’s own personal process. Clinton was not aware how other State staff maintained their records and was unaware of State’s State Messaging and Archive Retrieval Toolset (SMART).” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

March 29, 2009: For the first two months Clinton uses her private server for all her emails, it operates without the standard encryption generally used to protect Internet communication.

Clinton meets Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo in the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, on February 21, 2009. (Credit: Greg Baker / Getty Images)

Clinton meets Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo in the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, on February 21, 2009. (Credit: Greg Baker / Getty Images)

This is according to a 2015 independent analysis by Venafi Inc., a cybersecurity firm that specializes in the encryption process. Not until this day does the server receive a “digital certificate” that encrypts and protects communication over the Internet through encryption.

The Washington Post will later report, “It is unknown whether the system had some other way to encrypt the email traffic at the time. Without encryption—a process that scrambles communication for anyone without the correct key—email, attachments and passwords are transmitted in plain text.”

A Venafi official will later comment, “That means that anyone could have accessed it. Anyone.” (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

Clinton began sending emails using the server by January 28, 2009, but will later claim she didn’t start using it until March 18, 2009—a two-month gap similar to the two-month gap the server apparently wasn’t properly protected. Apparently, she has not given investigators any of her emails from before March 18. (The New York Times, 9/25/2015)

A 2016 op-ed in the Washington Post will suggest that security concerns during Clinton’s February 2009 trip to Asia could have prompted the use of encryption on her server. (The Washington Post, 4/4/2016)

An FBI report released in September 2016 will confirm that encyption only began in March 2009. It states that “in March 2009, [Bill Clinton aide Justin] Cooper registered a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption certificate at [Bryan] Pagliano’s direction for added security when users accessed their email from various computers and devices.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

April 3, 2009: Clinton’s top aides privately complain that people who know Clinton’s old email address still have emails forwarded to her.

A State Department official (whose name is later redacted) sends an email to Clinton. The unnamed official had been sponsored by Clinton for a security position but had failed the security tests, and so he directly appeals to her for assistance.

Clinton forwards the email to her chief of staff Cheryl Mills and her deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin and asks them, “Could you follow up on this?”

It is unknown what becomes of the official’s request. However, Mills then complains in an email just to Abedin, “Personally, I think this is outrageous that staff go straight to her on this stuff.”

Abedin replies to Mills, “This is unbelievable. And she also should not be giving her email to everyone [because] she will get stuff like this.”

Mills then responds back, “She’s not giving her email to new people. People who emailed her old Senate address are still being forwarded to her new address. Most of her Senate staff had access to that address. Justin [Cooper] can fix it but I need her berry [BlackBerry] and she takes that thing to every toilet, to the shower, so [it’s] hard to get my hands on that thing…” (US Department of State, 6/9/2016)

April 3, 2009—February 17, 2011: Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, exchanges emails with Clinton at least 37 times.

Cherie Blair (Credit: Neil Hall / Reuters)

Cherie Blair (Credit: Neil Hall / Reuters)

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)

April 18, 2009: During an overseas trip, Abedin reveals in an email that she has left Clinton’s daily schedule in an unlocked hotel room.

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Clinton arrives for the start of the first plenary session of the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on April 18, 2009. (Credit: Kevin Coombs / Reuters)

Clinton’s deputy secretary of state Huma Abedin is attending a conference in the country of Trinidad and Tobago. State Department aide Melissa J. Lan, who is also at the conference, emails her to borrow Clinton’s day book binder, a presumably sensitive document containing Clinton’s daily schedule.

Abedin replies: “Yes. It’s on the bed in my room. U can take it. My door is open. I’m in the lobby.”
(US Department of State, 6/30/2016)

April 22, 2009: Clinton’s top staffers appear to be doing a favor for someone connected to the Clinton Foundation.

Douglas Band sends an email with the subject heading “A favor” to Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills and Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin. At the time, Band is both working for the Clinton Foundation and serving as a personal aide to former President Bill Clinton. Band writes that it was “important to take care of” – but the name of the person and several following lines of text are later redacted.

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The April 22, 2009 email from Doug Band to Huma Abedin and her response. (Credit: public domain)

Abedin responds, “We have all had him on our radar. Personnel has been sending him options.” The person may somehow be related to Clinton Foundation work being done in Haiti, because Band’s email includes a forward of an email from a person whose name is redacted, but who had just returned from a trip to Haiti involving charity work.

Upon becoming secretary of state earlier in 2009, Clinton promised to avoid any possible conflict of interest between State Department work and Clinton Foundation work. (CBS News, 8/10/2016) (US Department of State, 6/30/2016)

April 25, 2009: Clinton’s top staffers provide help for a top Clinton Foundation donor due to a request from the Clinton Foundation.

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Gilbert Chagoury, Chairman of The Chagoury Group (left), Bill Clinton (center) and Ronald Chagoury, Chief Executive Officer (right) attend the Eko Atlantic City Dedication Ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria on February 21st, 2012. (Credit: public domain)

Douglas Band sends an email to Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills and Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin. At the time, Band is both working for the Clinton Foundation and serving as a personal aide to former President Bill Clinton. Band asks for the State Department’s “substance person” in Lebanon to contact Gilbert Chagoury. “As you know, he’s key guy there and to us and is loved in Lebanon. Very imp [important].”

Abedin responds that the “substance person” Is “Jeff Feltman,” a former US ambassador to Lebanon. “I’m sure he knows him. I’ll talk to Jeff.”

Fifteen minutes later, Band sends another email to Abedin, writing, “Better if you call him. Now preferable. This is very important.” After some redacted text, he adds, “He’s awake I’m sure.”
(US Department of State, 6/30/2016)

CBS News will late call Chagoury “a Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire philanthropist who was one of the Clinton Foundation’s top donors.” He gave between $1 and $5 million to the foundation. In addition, he pledged $1 billion to the Clinton Global Initiative. He was convicted in 2000 in Switzerland for money laundering,  but agreed to a plea deal and repaid $66 million.

Upon becoming secretary of state earlier in 2009, Clinton promised to avoid any possible conflict of interest between State Department work and Clinton Foundation work. (Judicial Watch, 8/12/2016) (CBS News, 8/10/2016)

In August 2016, a spokesperson for Chagoury will claim that Chagoury had been seeking to contact someone in the State Department to offer his perspective on the coming elections in Lebanon, and had not been seeking official action by the State Department. (Politico, 8/11/2016)

June 2009: Colin Powell allegedly advises Clinton at a party to use private email, but nobody at the party later supports Clinton’s claim that this happens.

In August 2016, the New York Times will publish an article based on a claim by former Salon reporter Joe Conason about an incident that occurred at a dinner party in June 2009, during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. Conason will have recently interviewed Hillary Clinton for a book he is writing about Bill Clinton, and he may have heard about the incident through her.

Former secretaries of state (L-R) Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton participate in the ceremonial groundbreaking of the future U.S. Diplomacy Center at the State Department's Harry S. Truman Building September 3, 2014. (Credit: Jonathan Ernst / Getty Images)

From left to right, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton participate in the ceremonial groundbreaking of the future U.S. Diplomacy Center on September 3, 2014. (Credit: Jonathan Ernst / Getty Images)

The party is hosted by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and several other former secretary of states are also in attendance: Colin Powell, Henry Kissinger, Condoleezza Rice, and William Christopher.

Conason will claim that, “Albright asked all of the former secretaries to offer one salient bit of counsel to the nation’s next top diplomat [Clinton]. Powell told her to use her own email, as he had done, except for classified communications, which he had sent and received via a State Department computer. Saying that his use of personal email had been transformative for the department, he thus confirmed a decision she had made months earlier — to keep her personal account and use it for most messages.” (New York Times, 08/18/16)

Clinton will also tell a similar story in her July 2016 FBI interview. NBC News journalist Andrea Mitchell will report, “Clinton told the FBI that former Secretary of State Colin Powell recommended on two occasions that she use a private email account for unclassified communication.”

Drawing from Conason’s original report, Mitchell will write, “Powell made the suggestions at a small dinner party shortly after Clinton took over at the State Department in 2009 and in an email exchange around the same time.” Two sources later confirm to NBC News that Clinton gave that account to investigators during her FBI interview. (NBC News, 08/19/2016)

In a January 2009 email, Powell warned her that should that become “public,” her emails would become “official record[s] and subject to the law.” “Be very careful. I got around it all by not saying much and not using systems that captured the data.”

Clinton said that Powell’s comments did not factor into her decision to use a personal email address. (Federal Bureau of Investigations (09/02/16)

However, Powell will later claim he doesn’t recall Albright even asking that question, but he does remember an email exchange with Clinton on January 23, 2009. Conason appears to be confusing the email with the dinner party.

Colin Powell’s emails will be hacked and released to the public  September 13, 2016. The email leak will include an exchange between Powell and Rice on August 28, 2016. Powell will write, “I was [with] Maddy [Madeline Albright] the other evening and she doesn’t remember an email conversation or even asking us a question recently.”

Rice will write back, ” Yes — I’m sure it never came up.”

Thus, the alleged Albright question at her party, and Powell’s reply, may never have happened at all. Though Clinton will say it did, Albright, Rice, and Powell will say it did not.

June 2009—April 2011: A lobbyist uses his rare direct email access to Clinton to arrange more aid for the country of Palau.

06-2009JeffreyFarrow

Jeffrey Farrow (Credit: Mauricio Pascual)

Palau is a single island with a population of only 20,000. The lobbyist, Jeffrey Farrow, had worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. But it’s not known how he got her new email address, which she started using after becoming secretary of state in January 2009.

Farrow begins emailing Clinton in June 2009, at a time when the US is deciding how much financial aid to give Palau, and while Palau becomes the first country to accept prisoners from the US military prison in Guantanamo, Cuba. Farrow talks about how Palau is going to take 17 Guantanamo prisoners and then suggests that US aid to the country is “far too low.” Clinton forwards the emails to her aide Jake Sullivan and asks him to “do some recon outreach and advise what, if anything, we should do.”

In an October 30, 2009 email, Farrow again asks for more US aid to Palau. Clinton forwards that email to Sullivan and other aides with the note, “As I have said repeatedly, I do not want to see Palau shortchanged.” In September 2010, the US announces a large multi-year aid package to Palau worth over $250 million. (Politico, 7/1/2015)

In a September 2010 email, Farrow praises Clinton and Sullivan for helping to get the aid package done, and jokingly promises Clinton a medal and a free vacation in Palau. (US Department of State, 9/30/2015) Farrow also forwards a thank you letter from Palau President Johnson Toribiong in April 2011, belying Clinton’s claim that she only ever had email contact with one foreign official, from Britain.  (US Department of State, 10/30/2015) (US Department of State, 10/30/2015)

June 8, 2009: Clinton admits she is unable to check emails all day long while she works in her office.

Lauren Jiloty (Credit: LinkedIn)

Lauren Jiloty (Credit: LinkedIn)

After Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills emails Clinton that White House official David Axelrod wants her email address so he can send her something, Clinton writes to Mills, “Can you send to him or do you want me to? Does he know I can’t look at it all day so he needs to contact me thru you or Huma [Abedin] or Lauren [Jiloty] during work hours.” (US Department of State, 6/30/2015)

In early 2009, Clinton turned down an offer to have a personal computer installed in her office so she could check her emails on it. In 2015, she will claim she only used a BlackBerry to check emails for “convenience.”

June 28, 2009: A Blumenthal email suggests he is working on projects for Bill and Hillary Clinton.

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Doug Band (Credit: Vanity Fair)

Clinton confidant and private citizen Sid Blumenthal sends Clinton an email with the subject heading, “My role, Germany, Iran, etc.” He writes: “I spoke with Doug Band yesterday, discussed things with him, and we will go from there. It would be helpful if you and I speak soon to define parameters of what projects I should pursue. We should discuss your speech to the Council, among other things.”

Band is a close personal aide to Hillary’s husband Bill Clinton, and also works at the Clinton Foundation. Blumenthal then writes about other matters relating to Germany and Iran. Clinton speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) two weeks later. (US Department of State, 12/31/2015) (US Department of State, 6/30/2015)

In May 2015, Clinton will downplay the link between herself and Blumenthal when she was secretary of state, saying, “He sent me unsolicited emails which I passed on in some instances.” Blumenthal is paid a $120,000 yearly salary by the Clinton Foundation despite not doing any charity work there, but Clinton will deny that is compensation for his emailed intelligence reports. (Real Clear Politics, 5/20/2015)

August 28, 2009: A Blumenthal email to Clinton apparently names a secret US intelligence official and later will be almost totally redacted.

Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal sends an email to Clinton and Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills that is almost entirely later redacted. The subject heading is redacted, and the entire text of the two-page email is redacted except for two words: “Confidential,” and “From.”

However, the spacing of redacted lines indicates the name after the word “From” is redacted due to a code indicating that person secretly works for the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), NRO (National Reconnaissance Office), or NGA (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency). The rest of the text is redacted due to that same code and a code regarding the violation of personal privacy.

Mills then replies to Blumenthal and Clinton, “Is it true that [redacted] would be nominated for Amb [Ambassador]? First I’ve heard about it is this email.” Clinton, Mills, and Blumenthal then send more brief emails to each other relating to a possible ambassador nomination for this person. (US Department of State, 2/26/2016) (US Department of State, 2/29/2016) (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

October 27, 2009: Talking points sent to Clinton could disclose confidential sources and investigation techniques.

US Ambassador to India, Richard Verma (Credit: public domain)

US Ambassador to India, Richard Verma (Credit: public domain)

Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills sends Clinton an email that mainly contains a document with the title “Talking Points for US Ambassador to India and the US Ambassador to Pakistan.” Mills also includes the comment, “You are getting separate points coming high side through [Clinton aide] Jake [Sullivan].” The “high side” is the nickname for sending information through a classified system.

However, the talking points sent by Mills will later be entirely redacted. Six different classification codes will be used to justify redacting all the text, including information that could “interfere with [law] enforcement proceedings,” “disclose confidential sources,” and “disclose investigation techniques.” There is no apparent email reply from Clinton. (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

November 12, 2009: Blumenthal reveals the name of an official secretly working for a US intelligence agency in an email to Clinton.

"A Bright Shining Lie" is an HBO Vietnam war documentary based on a story by Major General John Paul Vann. (Credit: HBO)

“A Bright Shining Lie” is an HBO Vietnam war documentary based on a story by Major General John Paul Vann. (Credit: HBO)

Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal sends Clinton an email with the subject heading “Re: Afghanistan strategy” that he marks “Confidential.”

The bulk of the email contains two documents written by others for Clinton. Blumenthal comments, “One is a memo from [redacted] who served in the counter-insurgency program in Vietnam with John Paul Vann.” The name of this person will later be redacted, and the redaction code indicates this person secretly works for the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), NRO (National Reconnaissance Office), or NGA (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency).

The rest of the email is not redacted except when this person’s name is mentioned. (US Department of State, 12/31/2015) 

Clinton responds the next day with the comment, “Thx [Thanks] so much for sending.” (US Department of State, 12/31/2015)

2010: The number of emails to and from non-government accounts sharply increases.

In 2010, Clinton’s first full year as secretary of state, an internal study finds that in one week, more than 9,200 emails are sent from the State Department’s Executive Secretariat servers to 16 web-based email domains, including gmail.com, hotmail.com, and att.net. These could include both work-related and personal emails. (US Department of State, 5/25/2016)

April 1, 2010: An NSA official is convicted for possessing a document not marked classified.

Thomas Drake (Credit: H. Darr Beiser / USA Today)

Thomas Drake (Credit: H. Darr Beiser / USA Today)

Whistleblower Thomas Drake, a former senior National Security Agency (NSA) official, is indicted under the Espionage Act for keeping an NSA email printout at home that was not marked as classified. Drake will later plead guilty to a misdemeanor.

In contrast to this case, Clinton and some of her supporters will later claim that she does not face legal jeopardy if the emails on her private server were not explicitly labeled as classified. (The New York Times, 8/8/2015)

April 24, 2010: A Blumenthal email appears to reveal details of a US criminal investigation in Kyrgyzstan and will later be classified at the “secret” level.

Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Bob Blake (Credit: The Hundu)

Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Bob Blake (Credit: The Hundu)

Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal sends Clinton an email with the subject heading: “Kyrgyzstan Update.” He also marks it “Confidential.” It starts with [redacted] “my friend with deep contacts in Kyrgyzstan and who testified this week on the latest developments there before the House Oversight Committee, has sent me a memo containing important new information and including some recommendations.”

Three pages of analysis from this friend about recent developments in Kyrgyzstan follow, and virtually all of it will be later unredacted. However, there is a section with the title “Criminal Investigation Targeting” [redacted]. That section is later redacted due to four classification codes, including “foreign relations or foreign activities of the US including confidential sources,” and information that could “disclose investigative techniques.” Due to this section, the email will later be classified at the “secret” level, the level below “top secret.”

Clinton sends three emails in response. One is to Blumenthal, thanking him and his friend. Another is to an aide to print the email. A third email goes to Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Bob Blake and two others, asking for their assessment.

All of these emails are later deemed “secret” as well, since they contain Blumenthal’s original email. (US Department of State, 2/29/2016) (US Department of State, 2/29/2016(US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

July 10, 2010: An email forwarded to Clinton mentions the name of a secret Defense Department official.

Carlos Pascual (Credit: The Associated Press)

Carlos Pascual (Credit: The Associated Press)

Carlos Pascual, a State Department official based in Mexico City, writes an email meant to be passed to Clinton discussing US government assistance to Mexico after Hurricane Alex. The subject heading and more text in the email will later be redacted with a code indicating the mention of a name of a secret Defense Department official. The message is forwarded to email, but there’s no apparent reply from her. (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

July 25, 2010: Clinton invites a US diplomat to discuss communications with foreign ministers with her using her private email address.

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Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini (top left) (Credit: European Press Agency), Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou (top right) (Credit: Greek Reporter), Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos (lower left) (Credit: 525-gi gazet), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (lower right) (Credit: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

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)

August 2, 2010: Clinton suggests letting someone working for her aide’s husband to send her a secure phone.

 Democratic Senate candidate for New York Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign stop in 2000, while then Brooklyn Congressman Anthony Weiner looks on. (Credit: Reuters)

Clinton speaks in New York, while then Congressperson Anthony Weiner looks on in 2000. (Credit: Reuters)

Huma Abedin, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, writes to Clinton in an email, “OK I will [redacted] just FedEx secure cell phone from [Washington] DC. Anthony leaving office to bring me to airport now so hopefully will make it just in time.”

Four hours later, Clinton responds, “Maybe one of Anthony’s trusted staff could deliver secure phone?”

“Anthony” is a reference to Anthony Weiner, who is both Abedin’s husband and a member of Congress at the time. He will resign one year later, due to a sex scandal.

The Associated Press will later comment, “The emails show the degree of trust Clinton had for Weiner before he was hit by scandal.”

It is unclear where Clinton is on this day. State Department schedules list no public events for her between July 27, 2010 and August 2, 2010. But the Associated Press will also note, “The use of secure cell phones is commonplace among State Department staff when traveling to countries with advanced cyber-espionage capacities, such as China or Russia.”

These emails will be released in November 2016. They were not part of the 30,000 work-related emails Clinton turned over in December 2014, even though they are clearly work-related. It will be one of thousands of emails deleted by Clinton that were later recovered by the FBI.

After the release, State Department spokesperson Mark Toner will say it is unclear how the phone might have been delivered, or if it was at all. He will suggest that, in theory, sending a secure phone through FedEx could have been appropriate if the necessary safeguards were taken. “In 2010, secure cell phones were available to State Department employees, and they could be configured in such a way as to render them suitable for transport. When configured in this manner, the device would be inoperable until paired with additional components.” (The Associated Press, 11/3/2016)

August 23, 2010: An email forwarded to Clinton apparently reveals an aide to the leader of Afghanistan is being paid by the CIA.

Dexter Filkins (Credit: Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Dexter Filkins (Credit: Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Matt Lussenhop, a press officer at the US embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, sends an email to over a dozen other US officials. The email is sent to Clinton aide Jake Sullivan, who emails it to Clinton. Lussenhop’s email concerns an article that New York Times reporter Dexter Filkins is about to get published. Filkins contacted the embassy in Kabul to get quotes for his story, which alleges that Muhammed Zia Salehi, an aide to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, is on the payroll of the CIA. The email is two paragraphs long, but the first paragraph will later be completely redacted and deemed classified at the “secret” level, the level below “top secret.” (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

The article will be published in the Times two days later, on August 25, 2010. (The New York Times, 8/25/2010)

Matt Lussenhop (Credit: public domain)

Matt Lussenhop (Credit: public domain)

In Clinton’s July 2016 FBI interview, she will be asked about this email. According to the FBI, “Clinton stated she did not remember the email specifically. [She] stated she was not concerned the displayed email contained classified information [redacted] but stated she had no reason to doubt the judgment of the people working for her on the ‘front lines.'”  (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Salehi was arrested by Afghan police in July 2010, one month before the Times article about him, due to a US government wiretap on him as part of an anti-corruption case. But he was released the next day on the orders of Karzai. In 2013, Foreign Policy will confirm that not only was Salehi working for the CIA, but he actually was an intermediary who was giving secret CIA cash payments to Karzai. (Foreign Policy, 5/4/2013)

Given that this is one of a small number of emails Clinton will be asked about in her FBI interview, as well its classification at the “secret” level, it stands to reason that Lussenhop confirmed Salehi’s CIA connection.

 

November 2010: Clinton writes she doesn’t want “any risk of the personal being accessible” in her emails, contradicting her later claim that her main concern is “convenience.”

The seventeen words that merited a headline by the New Yorker: "Let's get separate address or device but I don't want any risk of the personal being accessible." (Credit: The New Yorker)

The seventeen words that merited a headline by the New Yorker: “Let’s get separate address or device but I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible.” (Credit: The New Yorker)

Clinton and her deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin, discuss the fact that Clinton’s emails to other State Department employees are sometimes not being received. Apparently, they are getting discarded as spam because they are coming from an unofficial address.

Abedin tells Clinton in an email that “we should talk about putting you on state email or releasing your email address to the department so you are not going to spam.”

In response, Clinton writes, “Let’s get separate address or device but I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible.” (US Department of State, 5/25/2016)

In 2016, the New Yorker Magazine will comment that Clinton’s “personal being accessible” comment “seem[s] to confirm what many observers have suspected from the outset: Clinton’s main motive in setting up the email system wasn’t to make it easier for her to receive all her messages in one place, or to do all her business on her beloved BlackBerry; it was to protect some of her correspondence—particularly correspondence she considered private—from freedom-of-information requests and other demands for details, for example, from Republican-run congressional committees.” (The New Yorker, 5/26/2016)

These emails between Clinton and Abedin will not be included in the 30,000 work-related emails that Clinton turns over to the State Department in December 2014, even though they clearly discuss work matters. The State Department will later discover them through other means, most likely from Abedin’s email inbox. (The Associated Press, 5/26/2016)

November 26, 2010: Clinton will have no explanation why a work-related email sent this day won’t be included in all the work-related emails she will later hand over.

An email sent or received by Clinton on this day has the subject title ‘‘MbZ call – 7:15am.” Very little is publicly known about its content, such as who sends or receives it, because it will not be included in the over 30,000 work-related emails Clinton will give to the State Department in December 2014. But the FBI will recover the email through other means and ask Clinton about it in her July 2016 FBI interview.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gestures as she delivers a statement about WikiLeaks lead at the State Department in Washington November 29, 2010.REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Clinton gestures as she delivers a statement about WikiLeaks on November 29, 2010. (Credit: Yuri Gripas / Reuters)

According to the FBI summary of that interview, “Clinton stated she recalled the time period of the WikiLeaks disclosures because it was a difficult time for State. She spent long hours on the phone with foreign diplomats addressing the WikiLeaks disclosures and ensuring no one was in danger as a result of the disclosures. Regarding the specific email, Clinton did not know why it was not in the approximately 30,000 emails produced to [the] State [Department] and, based on its content, would expect it to be considered work-related.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

From Clinton’s comments, it can be surmised the email deals with the disclosure of 250,000 State Department cables by WikiLeaks, which actually takes place two days later, on November 28, 2010.

Ironically, Clinton makes a public speech on November 29, 2010, that contradict her private reassurances to foreign diplomats that no one was endangered by the leaks. She says, “The United States strongly condemns the illegal disclosure of classified information. It puts people’s lives in danger, threatens our national security, and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems… So whatever are the motives in disseminating these documents, it is clear that releasing them poses real risks to real people, and often to the very people who have dedicated their own lives to protecting others.” (US Department of State, 11/29/2010)

December 22, 2010: Clinton is told a new rule that all work emails must be preserved.

The National Archives building in Washington, DC. (Credit: public domain)

The National Archives building in Washington, DC. (Credit: public domain)

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) issues guidelines to the heads of all federal agencies, including Secretary of State Clinton, stating that all emails and email attachments relating to government business are considered records to be preserved under the Federal Records Act. (The Wall Street Journal, 9/30/2015)

2011: One of Clinton’s “top secret” email chains begins with an email written by Clinton.

In July 2016, the State Department will reveal some limited details about 22 “top secret” emails involving Clinton. One email chain is sent sometime in 2011, and involves two “top secret” emails. The first is sent by Clinton to her aide Jake Sullivan, and the second is Sullivan’s reply. The content of the emails remain unknown. (Vice News, 7/22/2016)

2011: One of Clinton’s “top secret” email chains includes three emails written by Clinton.

In July 2016, the State Department will reveal some limited details about 22 “top secret” emails involving Clinton. One email chain is sent sometime in 2011, and involves seven “top secret” emails. The chain begins with an email from Clinton’s aide Jake Sullivan to Clinton. It goes back and forth, with three emails from Clinton to Sullivan, and three more emails from Sullivan to Clinton. The content of the emails remains unknown. (Vice News, 7/22/2016)