2006 or Earlier: Justin Cooper provides computer help to Clinton and her aides well before Clinton becomes secretary of state.

In September 2015, Clinton’s future deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin will be interviewed under oath by the House Benghazi Committee. She will reveal that when she had an email or other computer problem while working on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, or even earlier working as an aide when Clinton was a senator, Abedin would turn to Justin Cooper for help. “I usually called Justin. He was our go-to guy. He always was, you know, ‘I’m having a problem, can you help me fix it,’ and he always did…” She would also call on Cooper whenever Clinton was having an email problem.

Cooper will also be the person who suggests she get a clintonemail.com email account on Clinton’s private server shortly before Clinton becomes secretary of state, and then sets it up for her. This suggests his involvement managing Clinton’s private server starts early. Cooper is a longtime aide to Bill Clinton, but he apparently never has a government job or security clearance. (House Benghazi Committee, 10/21/2015)

Autumn 2008 to Mid-January 2009: It is decided to replace Clinton’s first private server with a larger server built by Pagliano.

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The Mac OS X Logo (Credit: Apple)

Justin Cooper is an aide to former President Bill Clinton, and he is the administrator for the private server located in the Chappaqua, New York, house where Bill and his wife Hillary live. Cooper will later be interviewed by the FBI, and he will say that the decision is made to replace the server because the current server (being run on an Apple OS X computer) is antiquated and people using it are having email troubles.

At the recommendation of Hillary Clinton’s longtime aide Huma Abedin, Cooper contacts Bryan Pagliano, who worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign as an information technology specialist, to build a new server system and to assist Cooper with administrating it. Pagliano was getting rid of the computer equipment from Clinton’s presidential campaign, so it is decided to use some of this equipment for the new server at the Chappaqua house.

According to a later FBI interview, Hillary Clinton “told the FBI that at some point she became aware there was a server in the basement of her Chappaqua residence. However, she was unaware of the transition from the Apple server managed by Cooper to another server built by Pagliano and therefore, was not involved in the transition decision.”

Between the fall of 2008 and January 2009, Pagliano gets computer equipment from Clinton’s former presidential campaign headquarters, and also works with Cooper to buy additional necessary equipment.

Clinton becomes secretary of state on January 20, 2009, and begins using a clintonemail.com email address around that time, which is hosted on the old Apple server. The new server won’t be operational until March 2009. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

2009: Top White House staff gradually become aware that Clinton is using a private email address, but don’t do anything about it.

David Axelrod (Credit: Michael Kovac / Wire)

David Axelrod (Credit: Michael Kovac / Wire)

For instance, in June 2009, top Obama strategist David Axelrod corresponds with Clinton at her private email address. On September 5, 2009, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel asks Clinton aide Huma Abedin for Clinton’s email address and is given it.

President Obama also occasionally emails Clinton. However, Obama will later claim that he was unaware Clinton was using a private server, and no evidence has yet emerged that anyone else in the White House knew about the server. (The Associated Press, 6/30/2015)

Early 2009: Clinton associates use her private server for other private email addresses.

Bill Clinton (left), Hillary Clinton (center), and Chelsea Clinton (right) at a Clinton Foundation event in 2014. (Credit: Barbara McKinney)

Bill Clinton (left), Hillary Clinton (center), and Chelsea Clinton (right) at a Clinton Foundation event in 2014. (Credit: Barbara McKinney)

A few other Clinton associates also get email accounts through Hillary Clinton’s clintonemail.com private server, though the exact total is unknown. Other associates use other private email accounts for government work.

  • Hillary Clinton’s daughter Chelsea Clinton has an account under the pseudonym “Diane Reynolds,” to help her travel incognito. (Politico, 3/5/2015)
  • Deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin, whom the New York Times has called a “surrogate daughter” for Hillary, uses a huma@clintonemail.com address. (Bloomberg News, 3/6/2015)
  • Hillary’s husband Bill Clinton does not have an email address, even though the server is in the house he lives in. According to a 2015 account, Bill Clinton has almost never used email. (Bloomberg News, 3/11/2015)—however, another 2015 news article will say that’s almost certainly untrue. (The Atlantic, 3/12/2015)
  • Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills does not have an account on the server, but uses cherylmills@gmail.com, a private email account through Google. (Judicial Watch, 9/14/2015)
  • Philippe Reines, Clinton’s senior advisor and press secretary, has two email accounts, and uses both for work. He has a government account and a private Gmail account (preines@gmail.com). (Politico, 10/5/2015)

Shortly Before January 13, 2009: Huma Abedin allegedly wants Clinton’s email account on a private server and not on a server that is managed by someone else, so that is what is arranged.

In a September 2016 Congressional hearing, Justin Cooper will reveal some information about how Clinton’s use of a private email account on her private server begins. He will state: “Secretary Clinton was transitioning from her presidential campaign and Senate role and had been using primarily a BlackBerry for email correspondence. There were limitations to her ability to use that BlackBerry as well as desire to change her email address because a number of people have received her email address over the course of those activities. So we created with a discussion, I believe, with [Clinton aide] Huma Abedin at the time [about] what domains might be of interest. We obtained a domain and we added it to the original server used by President Clinton’s office for [Hillary Clinton] to use with her BlackBerry at the time…”

Note that Cooper registers three domain names on January 13, 2009, so this discussion must have occurred before then.

Representative Mark Meadows (Credit: public domain)

Representative Mark Meadows (Credit: public domain)

Representative Mark Meadows (R) will ask Cooper in the hearing: “So, your testimony here today is that Huma Abedin said that she would prefer to have Ms. Clinton’s email on a private server versus a server that was actually managed by someone else? That’s your testimony?”

Cooper will reply, “My testimony is that that was communicated to me.”

He will also clarify that when it came to talking to Abedin, “I don’t recall conversations with her about the setting up of the server.” But he also will say, “At some point I had a conversation with her about the setting up of an email account for Secretary Clinton on the server.” (US Congress, 9/13/2016)

However, in Abedin’s April 2016 FBI interview, she will say nothing like this. In fact, she will deny even knowing the server existed until it was mentioned in the media, despite her having an email account hosted on the server for the entire duration of Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state and at least three email exchanges that show her discussing the server during that time. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

January 21, 2009—February 1, 2013: Evidence suggests Clinton regularly keeps her BlackBerry stored inside a secure area against regulations, but she will later deny this.

While Clinton is secretary of state, she has an office on the seventh floor of State Department headquarters, in an area often referred to as “Mahogany Row.” Her office and the surrounding area is considered a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF). Mobile devices such as BlackBerrys are not allowed in SCIF rooms, because they can be taken over by hackers and used to record audio and video.

But according to a September 2016 FBI report, “Interviews of three former DS [Diplomatic Security] agents revealed Clinton stored her personal BlackBerry in a desk drawer in a [Diplomatic Security] post which was located within the SCIF on Mahogany Row. State personnel were not authorized to bring their mobile devices into [the post], as it was located within the SCIF.”

A view from the 8th floor balcony at the State Department. (Credit: Thomas V. Dembski)

A view from the 8th floor balcony at the State Department. (Credit: Thomas V. Dembski)

However, according to Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin, Clinton would leave the SCIF to use her BlackBerry, often visiting the eighth floor balcony to do so. Former Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Eric Boswell will later tell the FBI that he never received any complaints about Clinton using her BlackBerry inside the SCIF.

In contrast to the above evidence, in her July 2016 FBI interview, Clinton will claim that after her first month as secretary of state, she never brought her BlackBerry into the SCIF area at all, because she had been clearly told not to do that. (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: Clinton may regularly carry two mobile devices at once, although she will later claim otherwise.

In March 2015, after it becomes public knowledge that Clinton exclusively used a private email account for all her email usage, she will claim she did this for “convenience,” so she wouldn’t have to carry two personal devices at once.

During a trip to the Middle East, Clinton is seen using two Blackberrys while being filmed for a National Geographic documentary called “Inside the State Department” on June 15, 2010. (Credit: National Geographic)

During a trip to the Middle East, Clinton is seen using two Blackberrys while being filmed for a National Geographic documentary called “Inside the State Department” on June 15, 2010. (Credit: National Geographic)

However, in 2016, Justin Cooper, an aide to Bill Clinton who helps manage the Clinton private server, will claim otherwise. In an FBI interview, “Cooper stated that he was aware of Clinton using a second mobile phone number. Cooper indicated Clinton usually carried a flip phone along with her BlackBerry because it was more comfortable for communication and Clinton was able to use her BlackBerry while talking on the flip phone.”

However, in Clinton’s 2016 FBI interview, “she did not recall using a flip phone during her tenure [as secretary of state], only during her service in the Senate.” In their FBI interviews, Clinton’s aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills “advised they were unaware of Clinton ever using a cellular phone other than the BlackBerry.”

According to FBI investigators, Clinton has “two known phone numbers… which potentially were used to send emails using Clinton’s clintonemail.com email addresses.” One is associated with her BlackBerry usage. Toll records associated with the other phone number “indicate the number was consistently used for phone calls in 2009 and then used sporadically through the duration of Clinton’s tenure and the years following. Records also showed that no BlackBerry devices were associated with this phone number.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

January 21, 2009—February 1, 2013: Clinton uses 11 different BlackBerrys and four iPads while she is secretary of state.

In March 2015, after it becomes public knowledge that Clinton exclusively used a private email account for all her email usage, she will claim she did this for “convenience,” so she wouldn’t have to carry two personal devices at once.

A 2009 Blackberry Bold 9700 (left) and a 2013 Blackberry 9720. (Credit: public domain)

A 2009 Blackberry Bold 9700 (left) and a 2013 Blackberry 9720. (Credit: public domain)

However, the FBI will later determine that Clinton actually used in succession 11 email-capable BlackBerrys while secretary of state. She uses two more BlackBerrys with the same phone number after her tenure is over. The FBI will not be able to obtain any of the BlackBerrys to examine them.

The FBI will later identify five iPad devices associated with Clinton which might have been used by Clinton to send emails. The FBI will later obtain three of the iPads. They will only examine two, because one was a gift that Clinton gave away as soon as she purchased it.

Clinton aide Monica Hanley often buys replacement BlackBerrys for Clinton from AT&T stores. Justin Cooper, a Bill Clinton aide who helps run Clinton’s private server, usually sets up the new devices and then syncs them to the server so she can access her email inbox. According to an FBI interview with Clinton aide Huma Abedin, “it was not uncommon for Clinton to use a new BlackBerry for a few days and then immediately switch it out for an older version with which she was more familiar.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

January 21, 2009—February 1, 2013: Clinton’s frequently discarded BlackBerrys are sometimes destroyed and sometimes disappear.

The FBI will later determine that Clinton uses 11 BlackBerrys while secretary of state and two more using the same phone number after she leaves office. In a 2016 FBI interview, “Clinton stated that when her BlackBerry device malfunctioned, her aides would assist her in obtaining a new BlackBerry, and, after moving to a new device, her old SIM cards were disposed of by her aides.”

Justin Cooper, a Bill Clinton aide who helps manage Clinton’s private server, will later tell the FBI that he “did recall two instances where he destroyed Clinton’s old mobile devices by breaking them in half or hitting them with a hammer.”

However, according to Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Monica Hanley, “the whereabouts of Clinton’s devices would frequently become unknown once she transitioned to a new device.” (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)

March 2009: Clinton’s personal email server is replaced; she will use the new one for the rest of her term as secretary of state.

Justin Cooper, an aide to former President Bill Clinton, has been working with Bryan Pagliano, who worked as a computer technician on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, to build a new private server located in the Clintons’ Chappaqua, New York, house. Some time in March 2009, Pagliano and Cooper met at the Chappaqua house to physically install the server and related equipment in a server rack in the basement.

Once the new server is up and running, Pagliano migrates the email data from the old server to the new one. Pagliano will later be interviewed by the FBI, and he will claim that after the migration, no email content should have remained on the old server. He will tell the FBI that he only transferred clintonemail.com email accounts for Clinton aide Huma Abedin and others (whose names will later be redacted), and he was unaware of and did not transfer an email account for Hillary Clinton.

However, Clinton emails using a clintonemail.com domain address start getting sent in January 2009, showing she must had had an account on the old server since that time. Cooper will also later be interviewed by the FBI, and he will say he believed Clinton had a clintonemail.com email account on the old server and Abedin did not. The FBI will be unable to obtain the old server to analyze it, so the dispute has not been fully resolved.

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The Dell Power Edge 2900 (Credit: public domain)

This new server will be used for the rest of Clinton’s term as secretary of state, then will be replaced in 2013. Later in March 2009, the old server is repurposed to serve as a personal computer for household staff at Clinton’s Chappaqua house. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

The Washington Post will later report, “The server was nothing remarkable, the kind of system often used by small businesses, according to people familiar with its configuration at the end of her tenure. It consisted of two off-the-shelf server computers. Both were equipped with antivirus software. They were linked by cable to a local Internet service provider. A firewall was used as protection against hackers.” (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

According to the FBI, the new server initially consists of the following equipment: “a Dell PowerEdge 2900 server miming Microsoft Exchange for email hosting and management, a Dell PowerEdge 1950 server miming BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) for the management of BlackBerry devices, a Seagate external hard drive to store backups of the Dell PowerEdge 2900 server, a Dell switch, a Cisco firewall, and a power supply.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

In 2015, Hillary Clinton will say of her server, “It was sitting there in the basement. It was not any trouble at all.” (The Wall Street Journal, 9/27/2015)

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)

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

090418ClintonTrinidadKevinCoombsReuters

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 23, 2009: Clinton aide Huma Abedin sends Clinton a series of steps the State Department is taking to secure the US embassies in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The US embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2010. (Credit: public domain)

The US embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2010. (Credit: public domain)

Abedin, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, lists steps that include “increasing the number of hooches, and doubling up staff in lodging.” The email adds more details, for instance, “[W]e need to improve the security perimeter – acquiring property adjacent to our current facilities in Kabul, which is now difficult to secure.” In addition to mentioning information that could benefit attackers of the embassies, the email shows that Clinton was briefed on embassy security issues, despite her claim that she did not directly deal with such matters. (Politico, 10/30/2015)

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

090425ClintonChagouryEkoAtlantic

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 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.”

July 3, 2009: A possibly “top secret” email to Clinton mentions spy satellite information about North Korea.

Shelby Smith-Wilson (Credit: Department of State Archives)

Shelby Smith-Wilson (Credit: Department of State Archives)

An email is written by Shelby Smith-Wilson, an official in the State Department’s operations center. Parts of it will later be deemed “top secret,” then downgraded to “secret,” the medium classification level. The New York Times will later report, “Although that portion was entirely redacted, one government official familiar with the contents said it described a conference call among senior officials, including Mrs. Clinton, about the ballistic missile test that North Korea conducted that day in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.” Smith-Wilson’s initial email is addressed to “Dan,” possibly National Security Council official Dan Russel. It is titled “Summary of 1055 EDT DPRK Conference Call.” (“DPRK” stands for Democratic People’s Republic of [North] Korea.)

It is circulated amongst State Department officials, including Clinton aides Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, and Jake Sullivan. Abedin then forwards it to Clinton.

In 2015, the email will be included in a random sample of 40 Clinton emails reviewed by State Department Inspector General Steve Linick. He and Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough will deem parts of it “top secret.” The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency will later concur, suggesting it contains intelligence from US spy satellites. But the State Department will disagree, and after months of dispute, in February 2016 the email will be downgraded to “secret,” with parts of it publicly released. Even then, this will be called a “provisional” decision, suggesting the dispute is on-going. (Politico, 2/29/2016) (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

September 21, 2009: An email to Clinton contains classified information about US embassy security.

090921DanielSmithpublic

Secretary Kerry shares a laugh with Daniel B. Smith and his family after swearing him in as the Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, on April 24, 2014. (Credit: public domain)

Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin forwards an email to Clinton. The original email, written by State Department official Daniel B. Smith, is deemed by Smith “SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED.” Smith writes a summary of a senior staff meeting that discussed embassy security. It starts, “Eric Boswell, representing Pat, reviewed two embassy security issues -“ Then the rest of a large block of text is later redacted. (US Department of State, 7/31/2015) 

John Schindler, a former NSA counterterrorism official, will later write, “Embassy security information is something that is always considered classified, given the all-too-common attacks that befall American embassies and diplomats worldwide.” (John Schindler, 8/26/2015) Boswell, the head of the department’s Diplomatic Security Bureau, will be fired in 2012 for security lapses relating to the 2012 terrorist attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya. (The Washington Post, 12/19/2012)

October 3, 2009: Clinton arranges secure phone calls using her unsecured email.

US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry (Credit: Asia Society)

US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry (Credit: Asia Society)

Clinton writes an email to her deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin telling her to set up a conference call that will use Clinton’s home phone over the weekend. The call will be between Clinton, two assistant secretaries of state, and a US ambassador. Clinton writes, “As soon as I’m off call now. Tell ops to set it up now.” (US Department of State, 6/30/2015)

The Washington Times will later report on this email, “The coordination of secure communications on an insecure break with protocol would give foreign intelligence agencies an opportunity to learn about a call early, then target and intercept the call, US officials told the Times.” Clinton will do this on other occasions, including setting up a call the next day with Karl Eikenberry, US ambassador to Afghanistan. (The Washington Times, 9/1/2015)

November 21, 2009: Clinton receives a message sent in confidence from a British official but doesn’t flag it as classified.

British Secretary of State David Miliband (The London Times)

British Secretary of State David Miliband (The London Times)

Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin forwards Clinton an email from Matthew Gould, who is an aide to David Miliband, Britain’s secretary of state. Abedin writes the comment, “Another note from Miliband that he doesn’t want to send through the system.” (It is not clear what is meant by “the system.”) Gould’s note says to Abedin, ‘I’m emailing you from my home account, as we’re just back from Kabul [Afghanistan]. David [Miliband] has downloaded to me and very much wants the Secretary (only) to see this note. He would like to talk it over with her as soon as convenient…” This is followed by four and a half pages’ worth of text that will later be completely redacted. (US Department of State, 7/21/2015)

J. William Leonard, a former director of the US government’s Information Security Oversight Office, will later note the mention that Miliband wanted the information to only be read by Clinton clearly indicated it was meant to be classified. He says, “I cannot think of a clearer sign of an expectation that this was to be treated in confidence.” The Washington Post will later note that Gould wrote his email from “my home account,” which meant that wasn’t secure either. Miliband and Gould have not commented on the email. (The Washington Post, 8/27/2015

A 2015 Reuters story that specifically discusses only this email and no other will say, “A spokesperson for one of the foreign governments whose information appears in Clinton’s emails said, on condition of anonymity to protect diplomatic relations, that the information was shared confidentially in 2009 with Clinton and her senior staff. If so, it appears this information should have been classified at the time and not handled on a private unsecured email network, according to government regulations.” (Reuters, 8/21/2015)

February 27, 2010: An emails shows that Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin are aware of Clinton’s private server, and a Bill Clinton aide has an email account on it.

Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin sends an email to Justin Cooper, an aide to Bill Clinton. She forwards a message from Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills to Clinton that had bounced, and asks Cooper, “HRC [Clinton] email coming back—is server okay?”

He replies, “UR [You are] funny. We are on the same server.” His reply goes to Mills as well as Abedin, indicating that both of them are aware of the existence of Clinton’s private server.

Cooper’s email domain will be redacted when this email is released in 2016, but his comment indicates his email is on the clintonemail.com domain, the same as Clinton’s. (Abedin has an email account on that domain too, but she sends this email from her State Department state.gov account.) (US Department of State, 6/20/2016) 

Cooper is not a government employee and apparently has no security clearance, but other reports indicate he helps Bryan Pagliano manage Clinton’s server.

February 27, 2010: An email sent to Clinton this day indicates that some computer technicians in the State Department have no idea Clinton has a private email address.

Huma Abedin, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, writes Clinton that after another aide named Judith wrote Clinton an email, “It bounced back. She called the email help desk at state (I guess assuming u had state email) and told them that. They had no idea it was YOU, just some random address so they emailed.” (US Department of State, 8/31/2015)

July 24, 2010: Clinton may start accessing the Internet at her Washington home using an unsecure, typical Wi-Fi connection.

Philippe Reines (Credit: Washington Post)

Philippe Reines (Credit: Washington Post)

Clinton and Philippe Reines have an email chain about Clinton’s new iPad. Reines is Clinton’s press secretary and a senior advisor. It is a Saturday and apparently Clinton is at her home in Washington, DC, and trying to get her new iPad to work. She cannot connect to the Internet with it, so she asks Reines, “I don’t know if I have wi-fi. How do I find out?” (Wi-Fi technology allows one to connect to the Internet using a wireless local area network.)

Reines responds, “Let me talk to Justin & Huma to check out the situation, and if there is wi-fi I’m happy to swing by and set it up.” “Justin” is a likely reference to Clinton aide Justin Cooper, who registered Clinton’s private server in her Chappaqua, New York, house, and “Huma” is a likely reference to Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin. (US Department of State, 11/30/2015) 

It is not known what happens, but it appears Reines is prepared to enable Clinton to regularly use her iPad at her home using a typical Wi-Fi network, without any extra security measures. Clinton begins using her iPad for her emails the next day, while continuing to use her BlackBerry. (US Department of State, 8/31/2015)

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)

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)

January 9, 2011–January 10, 2011: Clinton’s private server is shut down after an apparent hacking attack.

Kim Jong Il (front right) posing with Bill Clinton (front left) and his delegation, Justin Cooper (back left), John Podesta (back center), Doug Band (back right), in Pyongyang on August 4, 2009, to secure the release of detained American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling. (Credit: Lee Jin-man / The Associated Press)

Kim Jong Il (front right) posing with Bill Clinton (front left) and his delegation, Justin Cooper (back left), John Podesta (back center), Doug Band (back right), in Pyongyang on August 4, 2009, to secure the release of detained American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling. (Credit: Lee Jin-man / The Associated Press)

Justin Cooper is a former advisor to President Clinton who provides technical support to Clinton’s private email server. On January 9, 2011, he emails Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin, that “he had to shut down the server” because he believes “someone was trying to hack us and while they did not get in I didn’t want to let them have the chance to.”

Later in the day, Cooper emails Abedin to warn her, “We were attacked again so I shut [the server] down for a few min [minutes].”

On January 10, Abedin emails Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and another Clinton aide and tells them not to email “anything sensitive” to Clinton, and says she can “explain more in person.”

Department policy requires employees to report suspicious cybersecurity incidents to security officials. However, a 2016 State Department inspector general’s investigative report will find no evidence that Clinton or her staff reported this incident to anyone else within the department. (US Department of State, 5/25/2016)

March 9, 2011: Clinton asks an aide to print a Blumenthal email without any identifiers.

Sid Blumenthal sends Clinton an email with the subject line, “H: Serious problems for Libyan Rebels. Sid.” Blumenthal is a journalist and Clinton Foundation employee who frequently sends intelligence emails to Clinton, despite being a private citizen with no security clearance. Clinton forwards the email to her top aide Huma Abedin and asks her to print it out. But she also asks, “Can you print for me w/o any identifiers?” Abedin replies “Yes.” (The New York Times, 6/29/2015)

March 11, 2011: Clinton doesn’t think two emails from a former British prime minister should be flagged for classified content.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair (Credit: David Levene / The Guardian)

British Prime Minister Tony Blair (Credit: David Levene / The Guardian)

Clinton emails her deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin and tells her to print out two recent emails from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Both Clinton and Abedin are using private email accounts on Clinton’s server. The emails are CCed to Clinton aide Jake Sullivan, who also is using a private email account. Nearly all of the content of Blair’s messages is later redacted, due to containing “Foreign government information” and “foreign relations or foreign activities of the US, including confidential sources.” (Judicial Watch, 1/29/2016) At the time, Blair is the official Middle East envoy representing the US, Russia, the UN and the EU, and he is heavily involved in Middle Eastern peace negotiations. (BBC, 5/27/2015)

April 10, 2011: An email forwarded to Clinton appears to contain the most recent US military intelligence, which should have been classified.

US Ambassador Christopher Stevens. He dies from smoke asphyxiation on September 11, 2012, due to a terrorist attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. (Credit: Reuters)

US Ambassador Christopher Stevens. He dies from smoke asphyxiation on September 11, 2012, due to a terrorist attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. (Credit: Reuters)

The email discusses the current security situation in Libya. It says that due to violence in the town of Ajdabiyah, US Special Envoy Christopher Stevens “is considering departure from Benghazi.” It also discusses Stevens’ concerns about departing and it details the “phased checkout” of Stevens’ staff from the area, possibly in a few hours. Additionally, it contains the latest secret intelligence from AFRICOM (US Africa Command, the US military in Africa), detailing nearby troop movements in the Libyan civil war that could threaten Stevens and his staff. Tim Davis, a special assistant to Clinton, writes the email and then sends it to Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who forwards it to Clinton. Davis marks it “SBU,” which means “sensitive but unclassified.” The email will be released to the public in full on May 13, 2015.

However, the State Department’s inspector general will later conclude that the email should not have been made public without redactions. Furthermore, in August 2015, an unnamed government official familiar with the investigation into Clinton’s emails will tell CBS News that at least the part of the email containing current military intelligence should have been marked classified at the time. Additionally, because that information originated from the military, the State Department did not have the right to declassify it at the time it was sent or later. The unnamed official will say that this kind of mistake is not unusual for State Department officials when they discuss information from multiple sources, but the difference is that this email is stored on Clinton’s private server, which can be easily hacked or monitored. (CBS News, 8/19/2015) (US Department of State, 5/13/2015

In 2015, Fox News will claim that the email contained intelligence from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which oversees satellite imagery. Furthermore, “all three agencies confirmed to the intelligence community inspector general that the intelligence was classified when it was sent four years ago by Abedin to Clinton’s private account, and remains classified to this day.” (Fox News, 8/26/2015) Even though the email will be made public in full in May 2015, it will be reclassified as “secret” in September 2015. “Secret” is the medium level of classification, below “top secret.” (The New York Times, 9/30/2015)

June 2011: Huma Abedin’s emails are requested, but the State Department will not turn any over.

Gawker files a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for some of Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin’s email correspondence. The exact scope of the request is not clear from media accounts. The State Department eventually returns no documents, although the timing of their reply also is not clear.

In March 2015, it will be revealed that Abedin primarily used an email account at the clintonemail.com server, just like Clinton did. Presumably this is why no emails are turned over. However, she also used a .gov email account. (Gawker, 3/3/2015)

August 18–19, 2011: Emails forwarded to Clinton contain two names and information relating to US intelligence agencies.

Deputy Chief of Mission Thomas Goldberger (Credit: public domain)

Deputy Chief of Mission Thomas Goldberger (Credit: public domain)

A State Department official named Matthew Eussen sends an email to over two dozen other US officials about the latest violent developments between Israeli and Palestinian forces in Gaza. Two of the names sent the email will later be redacted, and the redaction code indicates those people secretly work for the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), NRO (National Reconnaissance Office), or NGA (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency).

The next day, another State Department official, Thomas Goldberger, replies with more details, and this email is sent to the same group of US officials, including the two later redacted names. This email includes two and a half lines of text that will also be later redacted for containing secret information relating to the DIA, NRO, or NGA.

These emails get forwarded to Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin, and Abedin then forwards them to Clinton. (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

August 30, 2011: An attempt to give Clinton a government-approved BlackBerry fails, revealing that some of her top aides know she is using a private server.

Stephen Mull (Credit: The Wall Street Journal)

Stephen Mull (Credit: The Wall Street Journal)

Clinton’s private BlackBerry temporarily stops working, due to disruptions in the New York area following Hurricane Irene. Stephen Mull, the State Department’s executive secretary, emails Clinton’s top aides Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, and Patrick Kennedy about getting a government-issued BlackBerry linked to a government server for Clinton.

Mull writes, “We are working to provide the Secretary per her request a Department issued BlackBerry to replace personal unit, which is malfunctioning (possibly because of her personal email server is down.) We will prepare two versions for her to use – one with an operating State Department email account (which would mask her identity, but which would also be subject to FOIA requests), and another which would just have phone and Internet capability.”

Abedin responds, “Steve – let’s discuss the state BlackBerry. doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

It’s not clear why Abedin doesn’t like the idea, and Clinton will continue to use her private BlackBerry. But Mull’s mention of Clinton’s “personal email server” is proof that Mull, Abedin, Mills, and Kennedy had to be aware at least due to this email that Clinton in fact had a private email server, and yet they do nothing about it.

In February 2016, US District Judge Emmet Sullivan will cite that email when he says in court that it’s a legitimate question if some officials were helping Clinton to keep all of her emails out of reach of public records requests. He will comment, “We’re talking about a Cabinet-level official who was accommodated by the government for reasons unknown to the public. And I think that’s a fair statement: For reasons heretofore unknown to the public. And all the public can do is speculate. […] This is all about the public’s right to know.” (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

September 18, 2011: Clinton’s use of an iPad undercuts her excuse for having only one email account.

Huma Abedin talks on her cell phone in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on June 13, 2011. (Credit: Reuters)

Huma Abedin talks on her cell phone in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on June 13, 2011. (Credit: Reuters)

Clinton sends an email to her deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin in which she writes, “Also, pls [please] let me know if you got a reply from my iPad. I’m not sure replies go thru.” This reveals that Clinton is using an iPad as well as a BlackBerry for her work-related emails.

In March 2015, the Washington Post will comment, “The anecdote undercuts Clinton’s argument for having a private, non-governmental email server. Weeks ago, she said that it seemed ‘easier to carry one device for my work, instead of two.’ The iPad revelation suggests that as secretary of state, Clinton sent work email on more than one device.” (The Washington Post, 3/31/2015) 

Later in 2015, Clinton’s official website will mention that she began using an iPad in 2010, one year into her four years as secretary of state. (Hillaryclinton.com, 7/13/2015)

October 16, 2011: A Clinton email mentions the name of a secret CIA official.

Douglas Kmiec (Credit: public domain)

Douglas Kmiec (Credit: public domain)

US Ambassador to Malta Douglas Kmiec sends Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills an email meant for Clinton, and Mills forwards it on to her. The email’s subject heading is: “Re: TIME SENSITIVE AND CONFIDENTIAL — Malta Trip Backgrounder for the Secretary — Confidential.” (“Confidential” is the lowest of three US classification levels.) The five-page email gives a general report on the personnel at the US embassy in Malta, plus other information about Malta.

All of the email will later be unredacted, except for one sentence: “The defense attaché there now is new [redacted] beloved and hardworking – and to good effect, patrolling the waters and the ports for drugs, traffickers, and terror related figures.”

The reason given for the redacted portion is the mention of a secret CIA official. As a result, the entire email will later be deemed “secret,” one level higher than “confidential.”

Clinton replies to the email, sending all of the original message to her deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin as well. But Clinton only discusses her travel plans, and makes no mention of the CIA official. (US Department of State, 1/29/2016)

October 29, 2011: A Bill Clinton aide handles a problem with the Clinton private server.

Justin Cooper writes in an email to Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin, “Fyi [For your information] clintonemail.com is down due to an outage with our ISP. Our actual systems are up. If it looks to be long term ie past tomorrow I will reroute the mail. [You] or Oscar can tell HRC [Clinton].” (US Department of State, 6/20/2016)

This indicates that Cooper is helping Bryan Pagliano to manage Clinton’s private server (at the clintonemail.com domain) and has some technical ability if he can reroute the email. However, he is not a government employee and apparently has no security clearance. Instead, he is an aide to Bill Clinton and likely spends a lot of time at the Chappaqua, New York house where both Bill and the server are.

December 29, 2011: Two more Bill Clinton aides may have access to the Clinton private server, despite probably lacking the proper security clearances.

Bernadette Meehan (Credit: public domain)

Bernadette Meehan (Credit: public domain)

Bernadette Meehan, a special assistant to Clinton, sends an email to Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin and a few others. Apparently, Clinton is spending Christmas vacation at a resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, as she does every year, and she is having trouble getting an Internet connection for her BlackBerry.

Abedin emails Justin Cooper, an aide to Bill Clinton, about this. She asks, “Are we having problem with clintonemail?”

Cooper says there are “No issues on our end.” But he apparently is not at the Chappaqua, New York, house were the server is, because he adds that he is CCing Oscar Flores and Jon Davidson “who are there to see if they are having trouble.” (US Department of State, 6/20/2016) (The Associated Press, 4/13/2015)

This is further evidence that Cooper, who is not a government employee and apparently has no security clearance, is helping to manage Clinton’s private server. Flores is Bill Clinton’s personal valet and is said to spend a lot of time with him at the Clinton’s Chappaqua, New York, house. (Politico, 9/24/2010) Davidson is Bill Clinton’s deputy chief of staff. (New York Magazine, 4/14/2015

This raises the possibility that two more people without proper authorization had access to all of Clinton’s emails on her server.

June 1, 2012: Clinton aide Huma Abedin holds four paid jobs at once with obvious conflicts of interest.

Huma Abedin (Credit: The Hill)

Huma Abedin (Credit: The Hill)

Abedin is Clinton’s deputy chief of staff during Clinton’s time as secretary of state. For the last six months of Clinton’s tenure, she participates in a “special government employee” six-month program that allows her to simultaneously work four paid jobs: the State Department, the Clinton Foundation, Clinton’s personal office, and Teneo, a private consultancy with close ties to the Clintons. In autumn 2015, the State Department’s inspector general will subpoena the Clinton Foundation, requesting records about Abedin’s possible conflicts of interest. (The Washington Post, 2/11/2016)

Senator Charles Grassley (R) will later say he has “fundamental questions” about Abedin’s multiple jobs, asking her in a letter, “How can the taxpayer know who exactly you are working for at any given moment?” (The Washington Post, 8/27/2015)

June 11, 2012: Bill Clinton wants to give a lucrative speech in the world’s poorest country, but the State Department rejects the idea.

Joseph Kabila (Credit: Getty Images)

Joseph Kabila (Credit: Getty Images)

Amitabh Desai, a foreign policy director at the Clinton Foundation, emails Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills about an invitation for former President Bill Clinton to be paid $650,000 for speech in Brazzaville, Congo. Both dictators of Congo and the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) would be attending, and both require photos with Bill Clinton. It is mentioned in the email that the Harry Walker Agency, who helps Clinton coordinate his speeches, says “we anticipate you’ll want us to quickly decline,” especially due to the involvement of the notoriously brutal DRC dictator Joseph Kabila. Furthermore, the DRC is rated as the poorest country in the world, and Clinton’s $650,000 fee would be one of his highest he’s ever been given. But the email notes that Bill Clinton wants to give the speech anyway, with the idea of donating his fee to the Clinton Foundation.

The email is forwarded to other Clinton aides, including Huma Abedin, but not to Hillary Clinton herself. It is not known if the aides advise to go ahead with the speech or not. However, Bill Clinton never gives the speech. (ABC News, 8/28/2015)

A Forbes Magazine article will ask in 2016, “Giving money to charity doesn’t address whether that money was received as a bribe. To answer that key question, one would have to know what foreign leaders wanted in exchange for their donations. After all, Congolese leaders aren’t worried about charitable deductions on their US tax forms. So why did they proffer so much of their poor country’s money?” (Forbes, 4/17/2016)

June 28, 2012—July 1, 2012: Clinton sends President Obama an email from on or above Russian soil; Obama uses a pseudonym for his email address.

Clinton meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in St. Petersburg, Russia, on June 29, 2012. (State Department)

Clinton meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in St. Petersburg, Russia, on June 29, 2012. (State Department)

It has been reported that Clinton and President Obama exchanged 18 emails in the four years of Clinton’s secretary of state tenure. However, very few details have been released about any of them, except for this one. This email is an exception because when Clinton will be interviewed by the FBI in July 2016, she will be asked about the email, apparently since it was sent from Russia. A September 2016 FBI report will mention it is sent on July 1, 2012 and that the subject line is: “Fw: Congratulations!”

Additionally, an FBI summary of her interview will mention, “Clinton stated she received no particular guidance as to how she should use the president’s email address [redacted]. Since the foregoing email was sent from Russia, Clinton stated she must have sent it from the plane.”

Elsewhere in the FBI report, it will be mentioned that the FBI was unable to determine whenever Clinton sent emails overseas while on the ground or in an airplane because the State Department didn’t give the FBI detailed enough information about her travel schedule. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin will be asked about this email in an April 2016 FBI interview, though it will be described as “an email chain dated June 28, 2012, with the subject ‘Re: Congratulations!'” According to the FBI summary, “Abedin did not recognize the name of the sender. Once informed that the sender’s name is believed to be a pseudonym used by [President Obama], Abedin exclaimed ‘How is this not classified?’ Abedin then expressed her amazement at the president’s use of a pseudonym and asked if she could have a copy of the email. Abedin provided that she did not go on the trip to St. Petersburg [Russia] and noted that security protocols in St. Petersburg were not necessarily the same as they were in Moscow, where they were not allowed use to their BlackBerrys.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/23/2016)

Based on Abedin’s comments, it appears probable that Clinton sends an email in the chain with her BlackBerry from St. Petersburg, Russia, though it is unclear if she is on an airplane at the time or not, or if the plane is flying on on the ground.

Accordng to some basic details that will be revealed about the Clinton-Obama emails in September 2016, it appears Obama emails Clinton on June 28, 2012, then Clinton replies to him on June 28, 2012, which coincides with her time in St. Petersburg, on June 28 and 29, 2012. Then her aide Monica Hanley sends an email to Obama on July 1, 2012. It is not clear why this Hanley email will later be included in a list of Obama-Clinton emails or why the FBI wil refer to a July 1, 2012 email in Clinton’s FBI interview instead of the June 28, 2012 Clinton email mentioned in the Abedin FBI interview. (Vice News, 09/15/16) (Vicc News, 09/15/16)

July 21, 2012: Emails possibly relating to Huma Abedin are later redacted for information that could disclose investigative techniques and endanger lives.

Eric Boswell, the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, sends an email to Joseph MacManus, executive assistant to Clinton, and Patrick Kennedy, under secretary of state for management, with the subject heading: “Threat.” All of the several lines of text in the email are later redacted. There are several classification codes justifying the redaction, including one for information that would “disclose investigative techniques” and one for information that would “endanger life or physical safety of any individual.”

Executive Assistant Joseph MacManus (Credit: Heinz-Peter Bader / Reuters)

Executive Assistant Joseph MacManus (Credit: Heinz-Peter Bader / Reuters)

MacManus then forwards the email to Clinton with the subject heading: “Re: Huma.” Huma Abedin is Clinton’s deputy chief of staff. (US Department of State, 12/31/2015)

A couple of days earlier, five Republican Congresspeople accused Abedin of having family members tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, so this threat might somehow relate to that. (The accusations are widely dismissed in the mainstream media.) (CBS News, 7/19/2012) 

On the same day, there is another email chain started by State Department diplomatic security official David Gallagher. It might be related, but all the substantial content is redacted, including the subject headings. All of Gallagher’s comments in two emails are redacted for the same above-mentioned reasons of disclosing investigative techniques and endangering lives. A comment in the chain from Abedin and CCed to Clinton is also later redacted for threatening to disclose investigative techniques. (US Department of State, 12/31/2015)

October 10, 2012: Clinton’s private server has trouble again, and an aide to Bill Clinton helps out.

Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin sends an email to Justin Cooper, an aide to Bill Clinton. She asks, “Is Clinton email down?” Cooper replies, “It was. Back up now.” (US Department of State, 6/20/2016) This is further evidence that Cooper, who is not a government employee and apparently has no security clearance, helps manage Clinton’s private email server.

October 30, 2012: Pagliano wants State Department help for Clinton’s private server, but doesn’t get it.

IDL TIFF fileImage of Hurricane Sandy at 1:45 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on October 28, 2012. (Credit: Earth Observatory / NASA)

IDL TIFF fileImage of Hurricane Sandy at 1:45 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on October 28, 2012. (Credit: Earth Observatory / NASA)

Starting around October 28, 2012, Hurricane Sandy disrupts power in the New York City area for a few days, including the Chappaqua, New York, area where Clinton’s private email server is located. On October 30, an email exchange between Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin and another Clinton aide discusses that Clinton’s private server is down. Abedin’s main email account is hosted on the server.

Clinton’s computer technician Bryan Pagliano meets with staff from the department’s Information Resources Management (IRM) to find out if the department could provide support for Clinton’s server. Staffers tell Pagliano they can’t help because it is a private server.

This appears to be a very rare instance in which the existence of the server is mentioned to other department employees. (US Department of State, 5/25/2016)

February 1, 2013: Clinton’s four year tenure as secretary of state ends.

Clinton exiting an airplane in her last week as secretary of state. (Credit: The New Yorker)

Clinton exiting an airplane in her last week as secretary of state. (Credit: The New Yorker)

(The Washington Post, 3/10/2015) Clinton is succeeded by Senator John Kerry (D). Kerry apparently uses a government email account for all work matters, and all his emails are automatically preserved by the State Department for posterity. (The New York Times, 3/2/2015) 

Most of her top aides leave the State Department around the same time, such as Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan, and Philippe Reines, while Patrick Kennedy remains. (The New York Times, 8/13/2013)

Shortly After February 1, 2013: Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills leaves blank a required form stating that she has returned all of her work-related documents.

Cheryl Mills (Credit: Vimeo)

Cheryl Mills (Credit: Vimeo)

All State Department officials are required to sign the “separation statement,” known as the OF-109 form. Those who sign the OF-109 form acknowledge they could be subject to “criminal penalties” for not turning over the documents.

In 2015, the Daily Caller will sue the State Department for several OF-109 forms. They will be given a form with Mills’ name on it, but with the date and signature spaces left blank. Mills used a private Yahoo email account for at least some of her government work.

A State Department official will neither explain the discrepancy nor confirm that Mills did not sign the agreement.

Clinton apparently never turns in her form. Huma Abedin, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, does sign her form in February 2013, but she doesn’t turn over her private, work-related emails. (The Daily Caller, 11/13/2015) (The Hill, 11/13/2015) (US Department of State, 9/11/2015)

February 13, 2013: Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin signs a pledge that she has given all of her work-related documents back to the State Department, but she didn’t.

Huma Abedin on her cell phone in Londonderry, New Hampshire, on January 3, 2016. (Credit: Rick Friedman / Corbis)

Huma Abedin on her cell phone in Londonderry, New Hampshire, on January 3, 2016. (Credit: Rick Friedman / Corbis)

All State Department officials are required to sign the “separation statement” when they leave the department, known as the OF-109 form. However, Abedin has a private email address (huma@clintonemail.com) on the same private server that Clinton does, and when she leaves the department in February 2013 she does not turn over any of her emails from it, including work-related emails.

Her emails will not be handed over until a couple of years later, after various lawsuits and investigations. In signing the form, Abedin acknowledges she could be subject to “criminal penalties” for lying on the document.

The Hill will later report, “It’s unclear whether Abedin would be subject to prosecution, given the unusual nature of Clinton’s private email setup.” (The Hill, 11/13/2015) (US Department of State, 9/11/2015)

Spring 2013: A back-up of all of Clinton’s emails are put onto a laptop and then forgotten about.

Monica Hanley (Credit: Bolton-St. Johns)

Monica Hanley (Credit: Bolton-St. Johns)

In the spring of 2013, Clinton aide Monica Hanley works with Bill Clinton aide Justin Cooper to create an archive of Clinton’s emails. Clinton aide Huma Abedin will later tell the FBI that the archive was created as a reference for the future production of a book. Whereas Hanley will later tell the FBI that the archive was created as a security precaution after Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal had his email account broken into on March 14, 2013, publicly exposing Clinton’s email address.

Cooper gives Hanley an Apple MacBook laptop from the Clinton Foundation and helps her through the process of remotely transferring Clinton’s emails from Clinton’s server to the laptop and a thumb drive. These two copies of the Clinton emails are intended to be stored in Clinton’s houses in Chappaqua, New York, and Whitehaven, Washington, DC. However, Hanley will tell the FBI that this doesn’t happen because she forgets to give the laptop and the thumb drive to Clinton’s staff.

Nearly a full year will pass before Hanley finds the laptop again. She will send it though the mail, only to apparently have it get permanently lost somehow. It is unclear what happens to the thumb drive, but it will not be seen again either. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

May 21, 2013—February 12, 2014: Clinton’s emails are not searched in response to a relevant FOIA request.

On May 21, 2013, Judicial Watch files a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request relating to Clinton aide Huma Abedin and the six-month time period starting in 2012 when she held three outside jobs in addition to being Clinton’s deputy chief of staff. Part of the request is for communications about this matter from Clinton and Abedin.

State Department official Jonathon Wasser is asked to search for relevant records on October 1, 2013. He searches several department databases in November 2013, but does not check for emails from Abedin’s government email account or her private account, or Clinton’s private account. As a result, the official response given to Judicial Watch on February 12, 2014, contains only eight documents, and none of them are emails. Thus, Clinton’s exclusive use of a private email account will remain a secret.

It will later be revealed that department officials at the time generally did not search for emails even when a FOIA request asked for that type of communication.

In 2015, after Clinton’s email scandal becomes public, the department will finally search for and find emails from both Clinton and Abedin responsive to the FOIA request. (Politico, 6/9/2016(Judicial Watch, 6/8/2016)