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)

January 21, 2009—February 1, 2013: Sid Blumenthal sends Clinton over 800 emails; many contain dubious intelligence.

That is an average of about one email every other day for Clinton’s four years as secretary of state. Blumenthal is a journalist, long-time Clinton confidant, and Clinton Foundation employee. But he is also a private citizen with no security clearance, so his emails are never vetted by US intelligence.

In 2015, The New York Times will report that Clinton “took Mr. Blumenthal’s advice seriously, forwarding his memos to senior diplomatic officials in Libya and Washington and at times asking them to respond. Mrs. Clinton continued to pass around his memos even after other senior diplomats concluded that Mr. Blumenthal’s assessments were often unreliable.” Furthermore, his “involvement was more wide-ranging and more complicated than previously known, embodying the blurry lines between business, politics, and philanthropy that have enriched and vexed the Clintons and their inner circle for years.”

Many of Blumenthal’s emails discuss Libya, which becomes a political hot spot due to a civil war in 2011. At the same time, he gets involved with business associates wanting to win contracts from what will become the new Libyan government. Clinton’s State Department would have to give permits for the contracts, but the business plans fall apart before Blumenthal and his partners can seek official approval.

Tyler Drumheller (Credit: CBS 60 Minutes)

Tyler Drumheller (Credit: CBS 60 Minutes)

Most of his intelligence appears to come from one of his partners, Tyler Drumheller, who was a CIA official until 2005. It’s not clear where Drumheller gets his information from. Various officials express skepticism about his emails, as they were sometimes based on false rumors. But Clinton continues to encourage Blumenthal with occasional email replies like “Useful insight” or “We should get this around ASAP.” The Times will note that “Blumenthal’s direct line to Mrs. Clinton circumvented the elaborate procedures established by the federal government to ensure that high-level officials are provided with vetted assessments of available intelligence.”

Former CIA official Paul Pillar will later comment that Blumenthal’s sourcing “is pretty sloppy, in a way that would never pass muster if it were the work of a reports officer at a US intelligence agency.” (The New York Times, 5/18/2015) (WikiLeaks, 1/16/2016)

March 17, 2011: The United Nations Security Council approves a ‘no-fly zone’ over Libya, starting NATO involvement in the Libyan civil war.

The US and Britain vote in favor of a no-fly zone in Libya, on March 17, 2011. (Credit: Foreign Policy Journal)

The US and Britain vote in favor of a no-fly zone in Libya, on March 17, 2011. (Credit: Foreign Policy Journal)

A widespread Libyan uprising against long-time Libyan ruler Muammar el-Qaddafi began in mid-February 2011, but the rebels lack weapons and are getting defeated. By a vote of ten to five, the UN Security Council approves a resolution authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect civilians there. (United Nations, 03/17/2011) 

No country uses ground forces, but a NATO-led air war begins three days later, targeting el-Qaddafi’s forces. 17 countries are involved, with most of the forces belonging to the US, France, and Britain. (Al Jazeera, 3/25/2011) The civil war will continue for most of the rest of 2011 before the rebels win.

April 3, 2011: Clinton’s comments about a Libyan defector will later be deemed “secret.”

Moussa Koussa (Credit: PA)

Moussa Koussa (Credit: PA)

Clinton aide Jake Sullivan sends Clinton a forward of a Reuters article explaining how former Libyan foreign minister Moussa Koussa has just defected to Britain and will be talking to British intelligence. The article will not be redacted later, but all of the extensive comments by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns will be. Then Clinton adds three lines of commentary that also will be totally redacted. Her email will later be deemed “secret,” which is the middle level of classification. (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

April 7, 2011: Clinton likes Blumenthal’s suggestion to use a private company to train the Libyan rebels.

Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal emails Clinton that Libyan rebel “military leaders are considering the possibility of hiring private security firms to help train and organize their forces.” Clinton forwards the email to her aide Jake Sullivan and comments that the “idea of using private security experts to arm the opposition should be considered.” (Note that Clinton’s comment will be released by the House Benghazi Committee in October 2015, but when the State Department releases the email in January 2016, it will be redacted. (House Benghazi Committee, 10/7/2015) (US Department of State, 1/7/2016) 

On July 14, 2011, Blumenthal will email Clinton with a proposal for the rebels to hire a private security company that he’s invested in.

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)

April 26, 2011: An email forwarded to Clinton includes the name and email address of a secret CIA official who might be in Libya.

Christina Tomlinson (Credit: Linked In)

Christina Tomlinson (Credit: Linked In)

State Department official Christina Tomlinson writes an email about a recent traffic accident involving US Special Envoy Christopher Stephens in Libya that killed four Libyan civilians. The email is sent to over 20 other US officials; most of them appear to have jobs related to the US military effort in the on-going Libyan civil war. The name and email address of one recipient will later be redacted due to that person being a secret CIA official. Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills forwards the email to Clinton. (US Department of State, 1/7/2016)

May 5, 2011—May 6, 2011: Blumenthal and Clinton worry about the French government developing business ties with the Libyan rebels.

On May 5, 2011, Sid Blumenthal emails Clinton with a warning about a “French economic grab” in Libya. With the rebels likely to eventually take over the oil-rich country due to NATO air support, Blumenthal worries that the French government is establishing strong ties with the rebel Transitional National Council (TNC). The French government is sending medical and humanitarian supplies to the rebels, and also having them meet with French business leaders, including oil company executives.

The next day, Clinton emails Blumenthal back, saying, “Just met w TNC again, but signed no contracts!” (US Department of State, 1/29/2016)

May 14, 2011: Blumenthal’s business partners plan a trip close to Libya to help win a contract with Libyan rebels.

Khalid al Sharif (Credit: Human Rights Watch)

Khalid al Sharif (Credit: Human Rights Watch)

An email exchange between Sid Blumenthal and Cody Shearer shows they are negotiating with Tyler Drumheller to contract with David Grange to send four operatives on a week-long mission to Tunis, Tunisia, and to the border of Libya and back. Clinton confidant Blumenthal has joined a business partnership with Clinton associate Shearer, former CIA official Drumheller, and former Major General Grange in Grange’s company Osprey Global Solutions that is trying to win a contract with the Libyan rebels to train and assist them in the on-going Libyan civil war.

An email from Drumheller to Blumenthal reveals that the trip will cost around $60,000 for four people, including someone named Khalifa al Sherif. This person is a secret source known as “K” in some of Blumenthal’s other Libya-related emails to Clinton. These emails about the Tunisia trip are not in Clinton’s emails but will come to light later due to the hacker Guccifer’s exposure of Blumenthal’s emails. (Gawker, 3/27/2015)

July 14, 2011: Blumenthal tells Clinton about a company he’s invested in helping Libya’s rebels when he would need Clinton’s approval.

Major General David Grange (Credit: Osprey Global Solutions)

Major General David Grange (Credit: Osprey Global Solutions)

Libya is in the middle of a civil war which lasts most of 2011. Sid Blumenthal emails Clinton about a security company called Osprey Global Solutions, headed by retired Army Major General David Grange. Blumenthal tells Clinton about Osprey’s attempt to get a contract to give “field medical help, military training, organize supplies and logistics” to Libyan rebels currently fighting Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi.

He adds, “Grange can train their forces and he has drawn up a plan for taking [the Libyan capitol of] Tripoli… This is a private contract. It does not involve NATO. It puts Americans in a central role without being direct battle combatants. The TNC [the rebel Transitional National Council] wants to demonstrate that they are pro-US. They see this as a significant way to do that. They are enthusiastic about this arrangement.” Furthermore, “Tyler, Cody, and I acted as honest brokers, putting this arrangement together through a series of connections, linking the Libyans to Osprey and keeping it moving.”

Blumenthal is a private citizen, journalist, and Clinton Foundation employee at the time. “Tyler” is Tyler Drumheller, who worked for the CIA until 2005. “Cody” is Cody Shearer, a longtime friend of Clintons. Blumenthal, Drumheller, and Shearer formed a business relationship to help Osprey. Clinton’s State Department would have to give its approval to a deal between this company and the Libyan rebels. (Yahoo, 10/8/2015) (US Department of State, 1/7/2016)

July 15, 2011: The US officially recognizes the rebels as the legitimate rulers of Libya.

Clinton meets with TNC Executive Bureau Chairman Mahmoud Jibril on July 15, 2011. Credit: US Embassy of Libya)

Clinton meets with TNC Executive Bureau Chairman Mahmoud Jibril on July 15, 2011. Credit: US Embassy of Libya)

Clinton announces that the US recognizes the rebel Transitional National Council (TNC) as “the legitimate governing authority for Libya,” and says long-time Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi’s government “no longer [has] legitimate authority.” The rebels are still fighting a civil war in Libya, supported by the US and NATO, but are gaining ground against el-Qaddafi’s forces. Clinton says US recognition should help the rebels gain more funding. (US Department of State, 7/15/2011)

August 24, 2011: The Libyan rebels agree to get military training by the US company backed by Blumenthal.

Top portion of the Osprey Global Solution Memorandum of Understanding with the Transitional National Council. (Credit: Gawker)

Top portion of the Osprey Global Solution Memorandum of Understanding with the Transitional National Council. (Credit: Gawker)

The rebel political leadership Transitional National Council (TNC) signs a memorandum of understanding with Osprey Global Solutions, the US company that Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal has partnered in. Osprey agrees to assist the Libyan rebels with training in intelligence, weaponry, and tactics. However, it is unclear if the training ever takes place, because the rebels lack money. (Gawker, 3/27/2015)

August 30, 2011: Blumenthal sends Clinton another email detailing the financial intrigues in Libya.

Clinton walks to the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, with Libyan TNC chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil (center) and TNC Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, on September 1, 2011. (Credit: Evan Vucci / The Associated Press)

Clinton walks to the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, with Libyan TNC chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil (center) and TNC Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, on September 1, 2011. (Credit: Evan Vucci / The Associated Press)

Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal claims that the Libyan rebels are poised to win the civil war, but they are short on money and thus unable to provide humanitarian assistance in the areas they control. European countries are offering aid, but they want to tie it to future economic concessions, especially regarding Libya’s large oil industry.

Blumenthal then discusses how the Libyan rebels have signed an agreement with the US-based Osprey Security Group to provide emergency medical care and humanitarian assistance. He doesn’t mention that he is a business partner in Osprey. Mahmoud Jibril is the political head of the rebel Transitional National Council (TNC), and Blumenthal says that “Jibril’s advisors believe that the use of this American firm will not only allow the TNC to meet a pressing need, but will also serve to cement good relations with the US government and business community.”

Clinton sends two replies to Blumenthal the same day, but oddly, when both emails will be released by the State Department in 2016, they lack any heading or reply areas and are just exact copies of Blumenthal’s original email. (US Department of State, 1/7/2016) (US Department of State, 1/7/2016) (US Department of State, 1/7/2016)

October 20, 2011: el-Qaddafi is killed, ending the Libyan civil war.

Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi (Credit: European Press Agency)

Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi (Credit: European Press Agency)

Long-time Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi is killed in his last remaining stronghold of Sirte, Libya. He is beaten to death by an angry mob of rebel Libyans. (Reuters, 10/20/2011)

On October 24, The Transitional National Council (TNC), the political leadership of the Libyan rebels, declares Libya liberated and the civil war over. (Al Jazeera, 10/24/2011)

September 3, 2012: Blumenthal sends an email to Clinton that later will be almost entirely redacted.

Clinton confidant and private citizen Sid Blumenthal emails Clinton another one of his many intelligence updates, despite having no security clearance. This one will later be nearly entirely classified, including the email title. There are only two sentence fragments later made public. One is Blumenthal’s marking: “CONFIDENTIAL.” The other is: “SOURCE: Sources with access to the highest levels of the governments and institutions discussed below. This includes—” Six blank pages of fully redacted text follow. (US Department of State, 1/29/2016) Most of Blumenthal’s emails relate to Libya, and the email is sent just eight days prior to a terrorist attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

September 11, 2012: Islamic extremists launch a terrorist attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is aflame on September 11, 2012. (Credit: NPR)

The US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is aflame on September 11, 2012. (Credit: NPR)

Islamic extremists launch a terrorist attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other American citizens. (The New York Times, 8/8/2015)

September 12, 2012: An email from Sid Blumenthal to Clinton suggests that some of the intelligence he frequently sends her are simply forwards of emails from former CIA official Tyler Drumheller.

An email from Sid Blumenthal to Clinton on September 12, 2012. (Credit: US Department of State)

An email from Sid Blumenthal to Clinton on September 12, 2012. (Credit: US Department of State)

Blumenthal writes to Clinton, “Sending direct. Just in,” above a forward of an email from Drumheller’s email address about Libya just one day after the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

The Drumheller email cites “sensitive sources” in Libya and says the Benghazi terrorist attack one day earlier was the work of Ansar al-Shariah, a group with ties to al-Qaeda. It details evidence that the group had planned the attacks for a month and used a nearby protest against an anti-Islamic YouTube video as cover.

Clinton forwards the email to her aide Jake Sullivan, writing, “We should get this around ASAP.”

This email will later cause much trouble for Clinton, because the information in it contradicts the Obama administration’s narrative at the time that the protesters had caused the attacks. It also contradicts another email sent by Blumenthal only a few hours after the attacks which said the attacks had been caused by the protesters. Given that Drumheller retired from the CIA in 2005, it is not known where he got his information. (The New York Times, 5/22/2015) (Politico, 5/21/2015)

September 13, 2012: Libya’s president seeks to meet Bill Clinton at a Clinton Foundation event just two days after the Benghazi terrorist attack.

Libyan President Mohamed Yusuf al-Magariaf (Credit: Reuters)

Libyan President Mohamed Yusuf al-Magariaf (Credit: Reuters)

On September 13, 2012, two days after US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, Libyan President Mohamed Yusuf al-Magariaf sends a request to the Clinton Foundation, expressing interest in attending a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting later that month in New York. Foundation official Amitabh Desai then emails Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills for guidance, asking, “Would [the US government] have concerns about Libyan President being invited to CGI? Odd timing, I know.” Mills replies that same day that the State Department “would not have issues.”

On September 17, Desai emails Mills again, specifically asking if al-Magariaf could meet with former President Bill Clinton at the CGI meeting. Mills apparently has no objection, because Desai tells Mills on September 26 that al-Magariaf and Bill Clinton had a ‘very good meeting.” Hillary Clinton also meets al-Magariaf for the first time around this time, on September 24. (LawNewz, 3/22/2016) (US Department of State, 3/14/2016)

September 14, 2012: Clinton is forwarded an email written by a secret CIA official.

Clinton and Obama attend the Transfer of Remains Ceremony for the four Americans killed in the Benghazi terrorist attack, at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, on September 14, 2012. (Credit: Molly Riley / Getty Images)

Clinton and Obama attend the Transfer of Remains Ceremony for the four Americans killed in the Benghazi terrorist attack, at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, on September 14, 2012. (Credit: Molly Riley / Getty Images)

An unnamed person sends an email to Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills. Later classification coding will indicate the sender is a secret CIA official. The email refer to an “amazing service” and “difficult ceremony”—a likely reference to the memorial earlier that day of the four US citizens killed in the Benghazi terrorist attacks two days earlier. The brief email also tells Mills, “Second, we are now in the process of sending you the classified cables the Secretary and/or you requested.” It is signed by “RS.” Mills forwards the email to Clinton. (US Department of State, 1/7/2016)

 Clinton responds by forwarding the email to another aide with the comment, “Pls [Please] print.” (US Department of State, 11/30/2015)

September 15, 2012—October 17, 2012: A mysterious email somehow related to talking points and the Benghazi attack mentions the name of a secret CIA official.

On September 15, 2012, an email from an redacted name is sent to about a dozen other redacted names. The only email recipient whose name is later unredacted is Clinton aide Jake Sullivan. Classification codes indicate that at least one of the many redacted names is a secret CIA official. The entire contents of the email will later be redacted except for the first two sentences: “Per the discussion at Deputies, here are the revised TPs for HPSCI. Let me know what you think.” “Deputies” is a likely reference to deputy cabinet members; “TPs” is a likely abbreviation of “talking points,” and “HPSCI” stands for the “House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.”

On September 27, Sullivan forwards the email to Clinton.

On October 17, Clinton finally replies, “Pls [Please] print.”

Clinton’s email will first be released to the House Benghazi Committee, indicating its content is somehow related to the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack. (US Department of State, 5/13/2015)

October 10, 2012: Blumenthal appears to be secretly working with the State Department to influence the media’s portrayal of Clinton and the department on Benghazi.

Media Matters Logo (Credit: public domain)

Media Matters Logo (Credit: public domain)

Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal sends Clinton an email with the message, “Got all this done. Complete refutation on Libya smear. Philippe can circulate these links. Sid.” The email also includes links to four recent Media Matters stories questioning aspects of the House Benghazi Committee’s investigation of the government’s response to the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack that is very critical of Clinton and her State Department. For instance, one of the stories, published the same day Blumenthal’s email is written, has the title: “Right-Wing Media’s Libya Consulate Security Mythology Falls Apart.”

None of the articles have a Blumenthal by-line, but his “got this done” comment suggests he is somehow involved in making them. Media Matters is a pro-Clinton media watchdog group chaired by David Brock, who will later head Clinton’s main Super PAC for her 2016 presidential campaign.

Clinton replies with the message “Passing on,” and forwards the email to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philippe Reines, as Blumenthal requested. (US Department of State, 11/30/2015) (Media Matters, 10/10/2012) (Media Matters, 10/10/2012) (Media Matters, 9/26/2012) (Media Matters, 10/9/2012)

In June 2015, Blumenthal will reveal under oath that he was paid around $200,000 a year by Media Matters for a part-time consulting beginning in late 2012, or around the time of this email. (Fox News, 6/19/2015) (The Los Angeles Times, 6/27/2016)

In early 2009, President Obama banned Clinton from giving Blumenthal a State Department job, but this email suggests the ban was not entirely effective.

Between November 2012 and March 15, 2013: Blumenthal’s CIA source may want to sell US intelligence to the new Libyan government.

Libya Prime Minister Ali Zeidan (Credit: Reuters)

Libya Prime Minister Ali Zeidan (Credit: Reuters)

Former CIA official Tyler Drumheller sends a letter to Ali Zeidan, the new Prime Minister of Libya. The letter will later be found in one of Sid Blumenthal’s emails due to his inbox getting broken into by the hacker nicknamed Guccifer.

The letter is undated, but must be from between November 2012 when Zeidan became prime minister, and March 15, 2013, when Blumenthal’s emails were hacked. Drumheller offers the services of his private company “Tyler Drumheller LLC,” to “provide discreet confidential information allowing the appropriate entities in Libya to address any regional and international challenges.” He says his information “is based on the experience of senior officials drawn from the highest levels of the American intelligence, security, and political communities.”

Since Clinton became secretary of state in 2009, Drumheller appears to have been sending CIA and NSA intelligence to Blumenthal, who then forwards it to Clinton. It’s not clear how Drumheller gets this information, since he left the CIA in 2005.

The response from Zeidan is unknown. (Gawker, 3/27/2015) (Gawker, 3/27/2015)

November 18, 2012: An email forwarded to Clinton is later classified at the “secret” level by the FBI.

Bill Roebuck (Credit: public domain)

Bill Roebuck (Credit: public domain)

State Department official Bill Roebuck sends an email revealing that Libyan police have arrested several people who might have connections to the September 2012 Benghazi, Libya, terrorist attack. The subject heading is: “FYI- Report of arrests — possible Benghazi connection.” He says the police “were acting on information furnished by DS/RSO [Diplomatic Security/Regional Security Officer].”—this is followed by five lines that later will be redacted.

Twenty-three words from those lines will be classified at the medium “secret” level. According to classification codes, the FBI requests the redaction because that information could “interfere with [law] enforcement proceedings,” “disclose confidential sources,” and “disclose investigation techniques.” The email’s contents somehow relate to the FBI, because one email reply to it includes the unredacted sentence: “FBI in Tripoli is fully involved.”

Roebuck’s email is forwarded to other US officials.

Then Clinton aide Jake Sullivan forwards the email to Clinton, who apparently makes no reply. (The Associated Press, 5/22/2015) (US Department of State, 5/21/2015)

It will later be alleged that in mid-2015, Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy will attempt to change the classification code of the email to one that would be less politically embarrassing for Clinton, but apparently without success.

January 23, 2013: Another email forwarded to Clinton contains the name and email address of a CIA official.

Hillary Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the attacks against the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on January 23, 2013. (Credit: Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times)

Hillary Clinton testifies before the Congress on the attacks against the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on January 23, 2013. (Credit: Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times)

Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills forwards Clinton’s recent Congressional testimony about the US response to the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack. One of the handful of people Mills forwards the email to is a secret CIA official, so the name and email address of that person will later be redacted.

Mills then forwards the email chain to Clinton. (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

Early June 2013: State Department officials discover Clinton’s personal email address and then fail in their legal obligation to share her emails with others.

Heather Higginbottom (Credit: public domain)

Heather Higginbottom (Credit: public domain)

State Department staff reviewing material to possibly give to Congressional committees examining the September 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack discover emails sent by former Clinton aide Jake Sullivan to a personal email address belonging to Clinton.

In ensuing weeks, senior department officials discuss if the Federal Records Act (FRA) requires the department to turn over emails from such personal accounts. In fact, the act does require emails to be turned over if they are work-related. However, an internal investigation will later determine that the department does not notify the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) of a potential loss of records at any point in time. Furthermore, none of Clinton’s emails are given to any Congressional committee in 2013, nor are they provided in response to any Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that year.

According to department official Heather Higginbottom, Secretary of State John Kerry is not a part of these discussions or decisions. (US Department of State, 5/25/2016) 

Around this debate period, on August 7, 2013, department officials find 17 FOIA requests relating to Clinton in their records, with some of them specifically requesting Clinton emails. But none of the requesters are told about any of Clinton’s emails  apparently due to the result of this debate.

Clinton’s personal email address will be rediscovered in May 2014 after a document request from the new House Benghazi Committee.

November 2013 and December 2014: Clinton’s personal lawyer David Kendall and his law partner get security clearances, but they probably aren’t valid for the Clinton emails he possesses.

Katherine Turner (Credit: Williams & Connolly)

Katherine Turner (Credit: Williams & Connolly)

Kendall gets a “Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information” (TS/SCI) security clearance from the Justice Department in November 2013. He and his Williams & Connolly law partner Katherine Turner also get a “top secret” clearance from the State Department in December 2014. This is so Kendall can review information related to the House Benghazi Committee’s on-going investigation.

At some point in late 2014, Kendall, Cheryl Mills (Clinton’s chief of staff), and Heather Samuelson (another lawyer) read and sort through all of Clinton’s over 60,000 emails from Clinton’s time as secretary of state. At least 22 of these will later be determined to have contained “top secret” information. Kendall then keeps a copy of over 30,000 of Clinton’s emails, including the 22 top secret ones, in a safe in the office he shares with Turner.

Only in July 2015 will government security officials give him first one safe and then a second more secure safe to hold the thumb drive containing Clinton’s emails, before Kendall gives up the thumb drive in August 2015.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley (R) will later suggest, “Neither Mr. Kendall nor Ms. Turner have a security clearance at a sufficient level to be a custodian of TS/SCI material. Thus, it appears Secretary Clinton sent TS/SCI material to unauthorized persons.” Politico will later point out, “Clearances, especially Top Secret ones, are normally granted in connection with specific matters and do not entitle recipients to all information classified at that level…” (Politico, 8/25/2015) 

Furthermore, Clinton’s emails are handed over to the State Department on December 5, 2014, making it likely that at least some of the time-consuming reading and sorting of 60,000 emails took place prior to the security clearances that were given in November 2014. (The Washington Post, 3/10/2015) 

John Schindler, a former NSA counterintelligence official, will later comment, “TS/SCI information must always be placed in a Secure Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), a special, purpose-built room designed to protect against physical and electronic intrusion. A full-blown SCIF surely Kendall did not possess. […] Anything less is a clear violation of Federal law. Hillary has placed herself and her attorney in a precarious position here.” (John Schindler, 8/26/2015)

Additionally, it is unknown if Mills and Samuelson, who read and sorted all of Clinton’s emails with Kendall, had the security clearances to do so.

May 8, 2014: The House Benghazi Committee is formed, in order to investigate the US government’s response to the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

Representative Trey Gowdy (Credit: Crooks and Liars)

Representative Trey Gowdy (Credit: Crooks and Liars)

House Speaker John Boehner (R) formally announces its formation. Representative Trey Gowdy (R) is named the head investigator. (The New York Times, 8/8/2015) The committee is dominated by Republicans and will be frequently accused of having a partisan agenda to criticize Clinton and other Democrats.

August 19, 2014: Clinton and her future campaign chair Podesta appear to discuss classified information before Podesta warns her to stop.

John Podesta and Hillary Clinton in 2007. (Credit: Flickr)

John Podesta and Hillary Clinton in 2007. (Credit: Flickr)

Clinton forwards an email to her future campaign chair John Podesta. It is not clear where the forwarded email comes from, especially considering that Clinton is a private citizen at the time, since the sender’s name is not included. But it discusses nine detailed points on how to deal with the ISIS Islamist movement in Iraq and Syria. The forwarded email starts with the sentence: “Note: Sources include Western intelligence, US intelligence and sources in the region.”

Podesta replies with some brief commentary on the email.

Then Clinton emails him back, writing, “Agree but there may be opportunities as the Iraqi piece improves. Also, any idea whose fighters attacked Islamist positions in Tripoli, Libya? Worth analyzing for future purposes.”

Podesta then replies, “Yes and interesting but not for this channel.” (WikiLeaks, 11/3/2016)

The email chain will be released by WikiLeaks in November 2016. Thus, it is unknown what parts of the chain might be deemed classified by the US government.

November 12, 2014: The State Department does not reveal Clinton’s private email address when responding to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

One email, dated September 29, 2012, is sent from Clinton aide Jake Sullivan to Clinton’s hdr22@clintonemail.com address. The State Department redacts all of it, including Clinton’s address. Judicial Watch had filed a FOIA request in July 2014 for records relating to government talking points regarding the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack.

In April 2016, the department will admit that it found the email in 2014, but “upon further review” it had finally revealed the email addresses in it, including Clinton’s. Clinton’s private email address had been exposed by the Guccifer hack in March 2013, but it wasn’t known Clinton had used that address for government work. The release of the address in the context of this talking points email could have made that a public controversy before Clinton deleted about 31,000 emails in late 2014 or early 2015.

Tom Fitton, head of Judicial Watch, will comment in April 2016, “Now we know the Obama administration consciously refused to give up key information about Hillary Clinton’s email in 2014. It covered up this email both from the court and Judicial Watch. Judge Lamberth was right when he suggested that Obama’s State Department acted in bad faith. This cover-up provided Hillary Clinton enough time to hide potentially thousands of government records.” (LawNewz, 4/26/2016) (US Department of State, 4/18/2016)

November 18, 2014: The House Benghazi Committee makes an additional request for emails to and from Clinton and ten of her senior staff at the State Department.

The House Benghazi Committee in session in 2015. (Credit: C-SPAN3)

The House Benghazi Committee in session in 2015. (Credit: C-SPAN3)

They request all the emails relating to Libya, and/or the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack. (House Benghazi Committee, 3/4/2015)

Shortly After January 5, 2015: It can be deduced that the 31,830 emails that Clinton chose to delete may actually be deleted around this time.

David Kendall (Credit: The National Law Journal)

David Kendall (Credit: The National Law Journal)

Clinton’s personal lawyer David Kendall later claims that after Clinton turned over the 30,490 emails she deemed work-related, which took place on December 5, 2014, the settings on her private server were changed so that any email not sent within 60 days would be automatically deleted. But some news reports say the setting was for 30 days instead. If this is true, the deletions must take place after January 5, 2015, or February 5, 2015, depending on which setting is actually in place.

On March 4, 2015, the House Benghazi Committee issues a subpoena ordering Clinton to turn over any material related to Libya and/or Benghazi, which followed a more limited request in November 2014.

Trey Gowdy (R), head of the committee, will complain later in March 2015, “Not only was the secretary the sole arbiter of what was a public record, she also summarily decided to delete all emails from her server, ensuring no one could check behind her analysis in the public interest. […] The fact that she apparently deleted some emails after Congress initially requested documents raises serious concerns.”

Clinton’s staff has argued that all the emails relating to Libya and/or Benghazi have been turned over already. (The New York Times, 3/27/2015) (House Benghazi Committee, 3/19/2015) (McClatchy Newspapers, 10/6/2015)

A September 2016 FBI will reveal that the deletion of Clinton’s emails from her private server won’t actually take place until late March 2015. And while the employee is supposed to change the email retention policy so some of her emails will be deleted 60 days later, he actually will delete all of her emails and then use a computer program to wipe them so they won’t be recovered later. Why this happens is still unclear. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

February 13, 2015: The State Department sends the House Benghazi Committee about 300 of Clinton’s emails relating to Libya.

However, they do not provide other documents in response to the committee’s broader November 2014 request for all Libya-related emails to and from Clinton and her senior staff. (House Benghazi Committee, 5/8/2015) (The New York Times, 3/2/2015)

March 4, 2015: The House Benghazi Committee privately issues two subpoenas to Clinton for her emails.

One is for all emails from Clinton’s personal account relating to Libya or the Benghazi terrorist attack. The committee had already received about 300 such emails from the State Department in February 2015. But on March 2, 2015, a New York Times article revealed that Clinton exclusively used a private email account hosted on her own private server, so the State Department may not have some of her emails.

Thus, the committee issues a subpoena directly to Clinton and her lawyers to see if more of her emails can be uncovered. The subpoena orders Clinton to produce emails from hdr22@clintonemail.com. hrodl7@clintonemail.com, and any other email addresses she may have used while secretary of state, relating to the events surrounding the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

The other subpoena to Clinton is for documents it requested in November 2014 but still has not received from the State Department, relating to communications between Clinton and ten senior department officials. (House Benghazi Committee, 3/4/2015) (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

One day earlier, the committee asked Clinton for all of her emails. But this was only a request, not a subpoena.

Also on March 4, 2015, Clinton does not disclose the subpoenas, but tweets, “I want the public to see my email. I asked [the] State [Department] to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.” (The Washington Post, 3/10/2015) All of Clinton’s work emails will only be released after a judge orders the State Department to do so. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

May 19, 2015: Clinton downplays the many emails containing classified information Blumenthal sent her.

Sid Blumenthal (Credit: Corbis)

Sid Blumenthal (Credit: Corbis)

Sid Blumenthal is a private citizen without any security clearance, as well as a Clinton Foundation employee. Clinton says, “It’s important when you get into politics to have friends you had before you were in politics and to understand what is on their minds. And he has been a friend of mine for a long time. He sent me unsolicited emails which I passed on in some instances.” (Real Clear Politics, 5/20/2015)

One month later, Trey Gowdy (R), the head of the House Benghazi Committee, will say that newly released emails show that Clinton “was soliciting and regularly corresponding with Sidney Blumenthal – who was passing unvetted intelligence information about Libya from a source with a financial interest in the country. It just so happens these emails directly contradict her public statement that the messages from Blumenthal were unsolicited.” (The Associated Press, 6/25/2015) 

Furthermore, the New York Times will report one month later, “According to officials briefed on the matter, among the emails the State Department could not find [but were handed over by Blumenthal] were those in which Mrs. Clinton encouraged Mr. Blumenthal to keep sending memos or in which she asked additional questions about their contents.” For instance, in July 2012, Clinton told Blumenthal in an email, “thanks for keeping this stuff coming!” In a March 2012 email reply to him, she wrote, “This strains credulity based on what I know. Any more info about it?”

She frequently makes encouraging comments to his emails, such as “keep ’em coming” or “another keeper.”

On other occasions, Clinton appears to have wanted to follow Blumenthal’s suggestions. For instance, after he gave her public relations advice in an August 22, 2011 email over how to discuss the imminent fall of Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi in Libya, Clinton forwarded his email to an aide and wrote, “Sid makes a good case for what I should say.”

The Times will conclude that the emails “appear to show that Mrs. Clinton and her advisers took the memos and other advice from Mr. Blumenthal fairly seriously.”

However, despite this assessment from the Times, Nick Merrill, a spokesperson for Clinton, will say, “The idea that this runs counter to the assertion that the emails were unsolicited is a leap. Mr. Blumenthal began emailing of his own accord. Polite acknowledgments are not tantamount to solicitation.” (The New York Times, 6/29/2015

Blumenthal was paid a $120,000 yearly salary by the Clinton Foundation, but didn’t seem to actually do any charity work there. (Politico, 5/28/2015)

May 22, 2015: The first batch of Clinton’s emails from when she was secretary of state are made public by the State Department.

This first batch of only 296 emails all relate to Benghazi, Libya, and the 2012 terrorist attack there. They are released first because they had been requested before the others due to the House Benghazi Committee investigation. The emails reveal a close relationship between Clinton and her confidant Sid Blumenthal in the weeks following the Benghazi terrorist attack. One of the emails has been retroactively classified by the FBI as “secret.” (US Department of State, 5/22/2015) (National Public Radio, 5/22/2015)

May 22, 2015: One email released to the public on this day by the State Department without any redactions will lead to controversy and investigation.

US Ambassador Stevens (right) talks to locals in Tripoli, Libya, in August, 2012. (Credit: The Associated Press)

US Ambassador Stevens (right) talks to locals in Tripoli, Libya, in August, 2012. (Credit: The Associated Press)

The email was written by State Department official Tim Davis on April 10, 2011, and forwarded to Clinton. It contained very time-sensitive information on evacuation plans by Special Envoy Christopher Stevens in Libya, as well as the latest US military intelligence on the Libyan civil war violence threatening Stevens.

As a result, the release of this email without redactions will start an internal government dispute. The State Department releases the email because they deemed the military intelligence in it was no longer important four years later.

However, Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough will claim that since the military intelligence originated from the US military, the State Department didn’t have the authority if it should be classified or not. This email will lead to the FBI starting an investigation into Clinton’s emails in late May 2015.

Clinton spokesperson Brian Fallon will later say the dispute about this email “lifted the curtain” and shows that the email scandal can be explained by excessive retroactive classification.

But CNN will report, “However, the Clinton interpretation doesn’t account for the fact that the [email] did contain particularly sensitive information at the time it was sent. Plans to move the envoy and staff would not have been appropriate to be sent on unclassified email systems and particularly not to a non-government email server.” (The New York Times, 5/22/2015) (CNN, 8/20/2015)

May 22, 2015—June 15, 2015: The State Department asks Clinton’s lawyer for electronic copies of all of Clinton’s emails, but also asks him to delete all copies of one particular email.

Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy sends a letter to David Kendall, Clinton’s personal lawyer. In December 2014, Clinton gave the State Department paper copies of the over 30,000 emails she turned over at that time. But now, Kennedy also asks for electronic copies of them all (which contain metadata and can be more easily searched). However, one email publicly released on May 22 is classified at the “secret” level, which is the middle classification level. The email was sent to Clinton on November 18, 2012, and has the subject heading “FYI- Report of arrests — possible Benghazi connection.”

Kennedy specifically asks Kendall to delete all electronic copies of that email and give the State Department any remaining hard copies of it. Presumably this is due to concerns that the email might not be properly secured and/or Kendall might not have the security clearance to possess it.

On June 15, Kendall responds that he has followed Kennedy’s instructions except that he has been ordered by the House Benghazi Committee to keep electronic copies of all of Clinton’s emails, so he did not delete that one “secret” email. (Judicial Watch, 9/15/2015)

Shortly After May 22, 2015: Apparently, the FBI investigation into Clinton’s private emails and her private server begins around this time.

It will later be widely reported that after State Department Inspector General Steve Linick finds four emails with what he deemed classified information in a random sample of 40 of Clinton’s emails, Linick and another inspector general will formally ask the FBI for a “security referral” into Clinton’s emails in July 2015. The FBI’s investigation will formaly begin on July 10, 2015.

And while that is true, CNN will report in August 2015 that the FBI already began investigating Clinton’s emails in May 2015 due to one email being released on May 22nd that appeared to contain intelligence that should have been classified.

That email, written by State Department official Tim Davis on April 10, 2011, and forwarded to Clinton, contained the latest information about plans to evacuate US government officials from Libya that day, as well as the latest US military intelligence on the civil war raging near those officials. (CNN, 8/20/2015)

Mid-June 2015: One Clinton email containing classified information was accidentally released.

Patrick Kennedy (Credit: Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images)

Patrick Kennedy (Credit: Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images)

In mid-June 2015, Inspectors general Charles McCullough and Steve Linick discover that classified information mentioned in one of Clinton’s emails was publicly released by the State Department in May 2015. This appears to be an email written by State Department official Tim Davis on April 10, 2011, and then forwarded to Clinton. It contained very time sensitive US military intelligence about security of US officials in Libya.

The two inspectors general begin fighting with State Department official Patrick Kennedy over what information in Clinton’s emails can be released and what can’t. Kennedy and other State Department officials believe McCullough and Linick want to classify too much. Kennedy is a holdover from when Clinton was secretary of state. US intelligence agencies get involved with declassifying Clinton’s emails to make sure the mistake doesn’t happen again. (The Washington Post, 8/14/2015) (CNN, 8/20/2015)

June 16, 2015: Blumenthal refuses to take ownership of the sometimes inaccurate intelligence in his emails to Clinton.

In private testimony before the House Benghazi Committee, Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal is asked about the accuracy of the frequent intelligence emails he sent Clinton. Bloomberg News reports: “Blumenthal repeatedly refused to take any ownership of the information in the emails. He told the committee he was just passing on information to Clinton…”

According to one lawmaker attending the hearing, Blumenthal is asked about an October 15, 2011 email he sent to Clinton claiming that Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi was hiding in the neighboring country of Chad and was about to be interviewed by renowned journalist Seymour Hersh, when in fact el-Qaddafi was still in Libya and died there five days later. Blumenthal is asked, “Did it turn out to be true?” He responds, “I don’t know,” despite the email clearly being untrue.

Committee Chair Trey Gowdy comments to reporters afterwards, “I am interested in the reliability of the information being presented to our top diplomat, and the reality is, having been in the room all day, [Blumenthal] has absolutely no idea whether the information is credible or not.” (Bloomberg News, 6/17/2015)

June 16, 2015: The House Benghazi Committee deposes Sid Blumenthal behind closed doors.

Sid Blumenthal on his way to testify before the House Benghazi Committee on June 16, 2015. (Credit: Reuters)

Sid Blumenthal on his way to testify before the House Benghazi Committee on June 16, 2015. (Credit: Reuters)

Blumenthal is a Clinton confidant, journalist, and Clinton Foundation employee. He gives the committee nearly 60 emails between him and Clinton about Benghazi and/or Libya that the committee didn’t have before. (CBS News, 6/16/2015) The emails will be publicly released one week later.

However, Committee head Trey Gowdy (R) will reject a request from the Committee’s Democrats and Blumenthal’s attorney to release a transcript of Blumenthal’s nearly nine-hour long testimony. Gowdy will say, “Releasing transcripts can impact the recollections of other witnesses, jeopardize the efficacy of the investigation, alert witnesses to lines of inquiry best not made public, and publicize personal information.” (The Hill, 6/22/2015)

June 16, 2015: Blumenthal was passing unvetted intelligence from a retired CIA official directly to Clinton.

The Osprey Global Solutions logo (Credit: Osprey Global Solutions)

The Osprey Global Solutions logo (Credit: Osprey Global Solutions)

Although Sid Blumenthal testifies before the House Benghazi Committee in a secret session, a Politico article later on the same day as his testimony reveals some of what he says.

Blumenthal, a journalist and private citizen with no security clearance, frequently wrote emails to Clinton that contained detailed intelligence assessments from various parts of the world, especially Libya. Blumenthal reportedly tells the committee that he doesn’t write or even know the ultimate source of any of his Libyan intelligence he sent to Clinton. Instead, he was copying and pasting memos from Tyler Drumheller, a former CIA operative. Blumenthal and Drumheller were involved in a Libya-related business opportunity called Osprey Global Solutions.

Trey Gowdy (R), head of the committee, says, “One of the folks providing [Clinton] the largest volume of information was simply and merely a conduit of someone who may have had business interest in Libya. We have a CIA, so why would you not rely on your own vetted source intelligence agency? In this case, there was no vetting, no analysis of credibility whatsoever.”

Blumenthal claims his advice was unsolicited and he wasn’t being paid for passing on the information. Committee investigators say Blumenthal’s emails about Libya make up more than a third of all of Clinton’s Libya-related emails.

And although Blumenthal was being paid $120,000 a year as an adviser to The Clinton Foundation, he says his salary there “had nothing whatsoever to do with my emails to my friend” Clinton. He also claims the Libyan business venture with Drumheller was a “humanitarian-assistance idea for medical care in which I had little involvement, never got off the ground, in which no money was ever exchanged, no favor sought and which had nothing to do with my sending these emails.” (Politico, 6/16/2015) 

Drumheller will die of pancreatic cancer on August 2, 2015, a month and a half later. It’s unclear if he’s questioned by investigators before his death. If Blumenthal got most or all of his intelligence from Drumheller, it’s unclear where Drumheller got it from, since his 25-year CIA career ended in 2005. (The Washington Post, 8/16/2015)

June 25, 2015: The State Department is no longer sure Clinton turned over all her work-related emails.

Three days after the House Benghazi Committee released 60 newly uncovered emails between Clinton and Sid Blumenthal related to Libyan policy given to the committee by Blumenthal, the State Department announces Clinton didn’t provide them with the Blumenthal emails either. Clinton has claimed she gave all her work-related emails to the State Department. However, department officials say they are no longer certain she complied with their order to turn over all work emails.

The department confirms that ten emails and parts of five others from Blumenthal regarding Benghazi could not be located in their records, but that the 45 other, previously unreleased Libya-related Blumenthal emails published by the committee were in their records. When asked about the discrepancy, Clinton campaign spokesperson Nick Merrill seems to dispute it, saying, “She has turned over 55,000 pages of materials to the State Department, including all emails in her possession from Mr. Blumenthal.” (The Associated Press, 6/25/2015)

In August 2015, The New York Times will comment, “The Clinton campaign has not explained the discrepancy.” (The New York Times, 8/8/2015) More of Clinton’s work emails will be discovered later, including some found by the State Department. (The Hill, 3/24/2016)

August 2, 2015: Tyler Drumheller, a former CIA officer, dies at 63 years of age of pancreatic cancer.

Tyler Drumheller (Credit: C-Span)

Tyler Drumheller (Credit: C-Span)

Although Drumheller retired from the CIA in 2005 after 25 years of service, he seems to have had access to intelligence information that got passed on to Clinton through emails sent to her by private citizen Sid Blumenthal. Drumheller and Blumenthal were business partners at least in 2011, and there are suspicions that during Clinton’s time as secretary of state, Blumenthal essentially ran a private intelligence service for Clinton using information from Drumheller. (The New York Times, 8/2/2015)

John Schindler, a former NSA counterintelligence officer, will later claim that Drumheller “was never particularly popular at CIA and he left Langley under something of a cloud. His emails to Mr. Blumenthal, which were forwarded to Ms. Clinton, were filled with espionage-flavored information about events in Libya. In many cases, Mr. Drumheller’s reports were formatted to look exactly like actual CIA reports, including attribution to named foreign intelligence agencies. How much of this was factual versus Mr. Drumheller embellishing his connections is unclear.” Schindler adds that answers to questions about Drumheller’s role may never be known due to his death. (The New York Observer, 10/19/2015)

August 11, 2015: The State Department won’t reveal which Clinton aides used her private server or other non-government accounts.

Bradley Moss (Credit: public domain)

Bradley Moss (Credit: public domain)

In March 2015, the House Benghazi Committee subpoenaed records, including work-related emails from personal accounts, from ten former Clinton aides, for a two-year period surrounding the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack. The State Department then asked those ten people for their records. It is known that four of the aides—Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan, and Philippe Reines—have turned over records, including from personal email accounts. However, it is not known what happened with the other six, or even who they are.

Clinton wrote in a sworn affidavit on August 6, 2015 that Abedin had an email account on Clinton’s private server and that Mills did not. Otherwise, department officials and Clinton’s staff have failed to reveal who else had an email account on Clinton’s server or even which other aides had any kind of personal email account.

The Intelligence Community inspector general’s office says it is not currently involved in any inquiry into Clinton’s former top aides because it is being denied full access to the aides’ emails by the State Department.

The media outlet Gawker is suing for access to Reines’ emails. Bradley Moss, a lawyer for Gawker, says: “I think the headline is that there’s nothing but murkiness and non-answers from the State Department. I think the State Department is figuring this out as it goes along, which is exactly why no one should be using personal email to conduct government business.”  (McClatchy Newspapers, 8/11/2015)

August 18, 2015: Clinton says her use of a private email server is “nothing to worry about.”

Clinton checking her BlackBerry while on an elevator at the US Capitol, on January 7, 2009. (Credit: Getty Images)

Clinton checking her BlackBerry while on an elevator at the US Capitol, on January 7, 2009. (Credit: Getty Images)

She adds, “This will burn itself out. It’s being turned into a partisan attack connected, unfortunately, with the continuing Republican partisanship over Benghazi, which was a great tragedy and has already been investigated from one side to the other.” (NBC News, 8/19/2015)

September 25, 2015: A more thorough search results in the discovery of more Libya-related Clinton emails.

A stack of printed versions of 795 of Clinton emails, presented to the public by the House Benghazi Committee on October 22, 2015. (Credit: Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

A stack of printed versions of 795 of Clinton emails, presented to the public by the House Benghazi Committee on October 22, 2015. (Credit: Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

The State Department says it is sending the House Benghazi Committee 925 more Clinton emails relating to Benghazi and/or Libya that were not previously turned over. The vast majority relate to Libya in general while an unknown but “small number” of them directly relate to Benghazi. Originally, the department only had hard copies of all her emails. But then they were digitized, allowing a second search through them that got more results. (The Daily Beast, 9/25/2015)

October 23, 2015: The House Benghazi Committee is reconsidering how aggressively to pursue Clinton’s email scandal.

Heather Samuelson (Credit: Getty Images)

Heather Samuelson (Credit: Getty Images)

The Republican-dominated committee is supposed to be focused on the US government’s response to the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, but they are changing their approach because they are being accused on overreach on the only sometimes related email issue in an attempt to politically damage Clinton. For instance, the committee had been planning to interview lawyer Heather Samuelson, who helped sort and delete Clinton’s emails, but now they change their mind.

Politico reports that Clinton’s public testimony before the committee the day before “was widely seen as a success for Clinton, while Republicans failed to strike any decisive blows. Meanwhile, Democrats amped up their claims that the entire investigation was a partisan witch hunt.” (Politico, 10/23/2015)

December 15, 2015: Colin Powell thinks Benghazi was a “stupid witch hunt” and Condoleezza Rice agrees.

Condoleeza Rice (Credit: Fox News)

Condoleeza Rice (Credit: Fox News)

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell writes an email to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on this day about the Republican-led House Benghazi Committee investigation. “Benghazi is a stupid witch hunt. Basic fault falls on a courageous ambassador who thoughts [sic] Libyans now love me and I am ok in this very vulnerable place.” He is referring to former ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, who was killed in the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack.

Powell also comments, “But blame also rests on his leaders and supports back here. [Patrick] Kennedy, Intel community, [State Department] and yes HRC,” referring to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“Completely agree,” Rice responds. (Washington Post, 09/14/16)

The hacker website DCLeaks.com will publish Colin Powell’s hacked emails on September 13, 2016.