Unanswered Questions for FBI Director Comey

On July 7, 2016, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held an emergency hearing to question FBI Director James Comey under oath about the details of the year-long investigation into Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.

There are many questions that were not asked, but ought to have been. These are some of those questions. Some may have been more appropriate to ask during Steve Linick’s testimony.

  1. Please expand on the details of the logs used for Clinton’s server. How long were those logs maintained for? Were they sufficiently detailed to provide any evidence whatsoever of a skilled hacker’s breach? Can you explain in terms easy for the public to understand what type of skill level hacker would have left a trace in those logs…& which wouldn’t?
  2. It has been reported that the FBI asked for & received the contents of Datto’s cloud backup service (as contracted by Platte River Networks) for Clinton’s email server in September 2015. What was found in those contents, and was there any attempt to recover the deleted emails from Datto?
  3. Did intelligence agencies capture any communications that were transmitted via Clinton’s server or other devices? Has there been any communication between intelligence agencies and the FBI or the State Department about such capture or effort to capture?
  4. Why did the FBI not contact WikiLeaks to see if they had any leaked documents that might be relevant to your investigation?
  5. Why was no transcript or recording made of Clinton’s interview with the FBI? Is that standard operating procedure? Will you make the agents who interviewed Clinton available for statements and questions?
  6. During the course of the past year, Clinton has publicly maintained that she created the clintonemail.com private email system for purposes of “convenience.” But it has become clear that there are significant discrepancies between her statements to the public and her statements to the FBI. What reason did she provide to the FBI about the purpose of her private servers?
  7. Why do you require a precedent to prosecute a statute? And have you not established a defense for every violation of the Espionage Act that doesn’t involve an intention to harm United States interests going forward?
  8. Can you think of any reason why a lawyer and her team of lawyers would elect to discard 31,830 proofs of innocence?
  9. Did Heather Samuelson, David Kendall, and Cheryl Mills have the sufficient background in federal recordkeeping practices to ably determine which of the 62,320 were work-related and which were not? Was it standard procedure to have personal lawyer(s) instead of record-keeping officials within the State Department make the determination as to which emails were personal & which were work-related?
  10. Did Heather Samuelson have adequate security clearance at the time she aided in sorting Hillary’s emails?
  11. On what date(s) did Hillary’s lawyers delete the 31,830 “personal” emails? On what date(s) were Hillary’s devices/servers wiped? How many times were her servers/devices overwritten with zeroes?
  12. Does it appear that Hillary’s lawyers deleted all of Bryan Pagliano’s email correspondence under the pretense of qualifying as “personal”?
  13. Why is David Kendall not to be prosecuted for retaining copies of the Hillary’s emails outside of a SCIF—a violation of federal law, as some emails contained TS/SCI information?
  14. What were the search strings that Hillary’s lawyers used to determine which emails were work-related and which were personal?
  15. Does it appear that any of the search strings Hillary’s lawyers used to sort work from personal emails targeted emails to do with the Clinton Foundation—and if so, why were these not considered work-related considering the Obama administration’s memorandum of understanding with Clinton at the start of her tenure as SoS to prevent conflicts of interest with the Clinton Foundation?
  16. Hillary’s travel itinerary shows that she was in Saudi Arabia on March 30–31, 2012, but it appears that BlackBerry’s Saudi Arabian servers established in August 2010 allowed for the easy interception of emails. Was this something the FBI investigated?
  17. There are anomalies in Hillary’s email traffic as evinced in the 30,430 emails she turned over to State. Is this not considered suspicious, particularly concerning Rosatom & the visits to Colombia with Uribe?
  18. Hillary Clinton was trained on the handling of classified information, and signed a document to that effect in January 2009. Can you detail for us what that training entails? Aren’t government employees required to receive regular security training at least once a year? Did Clinton not attend any other security trainings during her four year tenure as secretary?
  19. Are government officials not trained in double-checking that any email transmissions they respond to are sent to a .gov government email account?
  20. Are the NDAs that Clinton signed considered legally-binding?
  21. Sidney Blumenthal sent Clinton an email on June 8, 2011 that contained SIGINT information as well as information gleaned from four different NSA reports, all classified as TS/SCI, as well as possibly one SAP from the GAMMA compartment. Why are there no repercussions for either Blumenthal for unauthorized transfer of classified information, nor for Clinton for not reporting the leak of classified information to a private citizen with no security clearance, as she agreed to do in her signed NDA?
  22. Are there no repercussions for Clinton having forwarded Blumenthal’s unvetted intelligence to the White House?
  23. Has the State Department or Clinton received any communication from intelligence agencies or the executive branch regarding the emails sent by Sidney Blumenthal to Clinton that contained highly classified information, considering that Blumenthal had no security clearance and was banned from an advisory capacity by White House?
  24. Please describe all the devices and servers that the FBI discovered Clinton’s emails to have been sent/received/stored upon, and the date ranges that they were in use for, as far as the FBI has been able to reconstruct.
  25. Please describe all of the individuals who were responsible for administering Hillary’s various devices and servers over the course of Hillary’s tenure as secretary through till the FBI confiscated these devices, which devices/servers they were responsible for, and during what time spans they were involved.
  26. There were multiple email addresses registered on the clintonemail.com server. Please provide a full list of the email addresses that were in use on the server, as well as the timespans that they were in use and through what devices—as far as the FBI has been able to reconstruct. This includes both the multiple email addresses that appear to have been made for the use of Secretary Clinton (hdr22@clintonemail.com, hrod17@clintonemail.com, hdr@clintonemail.com, hdr18@clintonemail.com, hdr19@clintonemail.com, hdr20@clintonemail.com, hdr21@clintonemail.com, h.clinton@clintonemail.com, Hillary@clintonemail.com, contact@clintonemail.com, and mau_suit@clintonemail.com), as well as any email addresses employed by other individuals using the clintonemail.com server. Where you have been able to determine which email addresses were used by other individuals, please provide a list of which others had email addresses (e.g., Justin Cooper, Huma Abedin, Chelsea Clinton), and what those email addresses were.
  27. Did you determine who was responsible for not appointing a permanent inspector general for the State Department during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state?
  28. Would the inspector general have been responsible for enforcing the Obama administration’s memorandum of understanding with Clinton and the Clinton Foundation regarding restrictions of foreign donations during Clinton’s tenure as secretary?
  29. On March 20, 2014, State Department Inspector General Steve Linick issued a management alert warning that $6 billion in contracting money over the past six years cannot be properly accounted for, citing “significant financial risk and…a lack of internal control.” The failure to properly audit contractors “makes…oversight more difficult. It creates conditions conducive to fraud…[and] impairs the ability” of the government to protect its interests and “to punish and deter criminal behavior.” To what extent could this failure be due to the failure to appoint a permanent inspector general to the State Department during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state?
  30. For comparison purposes, please provide us a list of the last 20 people who grossly mishandled classified information but who did not go to trial or suffer any kind of administrative repercussions due to lack of evidence of intent.
  31. What is the standard procedure regarding the suspension of security clearances of individuals involved in an ongoing FBI investigation? Were any security clearances suspended during the course of the investigation into Hillary’s servers? If so, whose clearances were suspended and during what dates? If not, was standard operating procedure waived in this case?
  32. What did the White House know explicitly about Hillary’s email server? Who knew it and when? Did anybody report the matter?