Connecting the Dots on the Hillary Emails

I maintain my belief that it is unlikely Hillary will be implicated in the investigation into her email practices, though it is quite possible that top aides like Jake Sullivan or Huma Abedin would be.

That said, I want to put three pieces of data together that have made me less sure of that — or the potential scope of this investigation.

The first is this AP story showing that top Clinton aides sought, but did not obtain, a blackberry like device that Hillary would have been able to use in a SCIF. [See update]

Clinton’s desire for a secure “BlackBerry-like” device, like that provided to President Barack Obama, is recounted in a series of February 2009 exchanges between high-level officials at the State Department and NSA. Clinton was sworn in as secretary the prior month, and had become “hooked” on reading and answering emails on a BlackBerry she used during the 2008 presidential race.

“We began examining options for (Secretary Clinton) with respect to secure ‘BlackBerry-like’ communications,” wrote Donald R. Reid, the department’s assistant director for security infrastructure. “The current state of the art is not too user friendly, has no infrastructure at State, and is very expensive.”

Reid wrote that each time they asked the NSA what solution they had worked up to provide a mobile device to Obama, “we were politely told to shut up and color.”

Resolving the issue was given such priority as to result in a face-to-face meeting between Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills, seven senior State Department staffers with five NSA security experts. According to a summary of the meeting, the request was driven by Clinton’s reliance on her BlackBerry for email and keeping track of her calendar. Clinton chose not to use a laptop or desktop computer that could have provided her access to email in her office, according to the summary.

Standard smartphones are not allowed into areas designated as approved for the handling of classified information, such as the block of offices used by senior State Department officials, known by the nickname “Mahogany Row” for the quality of their paneling. Mills said that was inconvenient, because they had to leave their offices and retrieve their phones to check messages.

The story shows that some top aides (and presumably Hillary herself) were aware of the security concerns tied to using a blackberry in a SCIF (though Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton’s statement that this shows an awareness of security concerns with the blackberry may overstate things).

Perhaps the most telling detail comes from this no-comment from former Department of Justice Director of Public Affairs, Brian Fallon:

Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon declined to comment Wednesday.

Fallon has generally been much chattier about the drip drip drip tied to this story.

In any case, this story puts revelations in a Fox story from last week, describing Clinton sysadmin Bryan Pagliano’s testimony as “devastating” because he helped tie the use of particular devices to particular times.

The source said Pagliano told the FBI who had access to the former secretary of state’s system – as well as when – and what devices were used, amounting to a roadmap for investigators.

“Bryan Pagliano is a devastating witness and, as the webmaster, knows exactly who had access to [Clinton’s] computer and devices at specific times. His importance to this case cannot be over-emphasized,” the intelligence source said.

The source, who is not authorized to speak on the record due to the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation, said Pagliano has provided information allowing investigators to knit together the emails with other evidence, including images of Clinton on the road as secretary of state.

The cross-referencing of evidence could help investigators pinpoint potential gaps in the email record. “Don’t forget all those photos with her using various devices and it is easy to track the whereabouts of her phone,” the source said. “It is still boils down to a paper case. Did you email at this time from your home or elsewhere using this device? And here is a picture of you and your aides holding the devices.”

Knowing that the FBI has evidence that Clinton’s aides sought a way to obtain a secure blackberry, the detail that they’re tying emails sent to what device they were sent from, suggests they may be trying to tie individual emails, and their content, to the device they were sent from. And remember, there’s an entire Tumblr of pictures of Hillary using her (non-secure) blackberry.

Now consider what I laid out in this post, when John Cornyn made it clear Attorney General Loretta Lynch is the final decision maker on whether to act on an FBI recommendation to convene a grand jury and move toward an indictment.

Cornyn: If the FBI were to make a referral to the Department of Justice to pursue criminal charges against Mr. Pagliano or anyone else who may have been involved in this affair, does the ultimate decision whether to proceed to court, to ask for the convening of a grand jury, and to seek an indictment, does that rest with you, or someone who works for you at the Department of Justice?

Lynch: So Senator with respect to Mr. Pagliani [sic] or anyone who has been identified as a potential witness in any case, I’m not able to comment on the specifics of that matter and so I’m not able to provide you–

Cornyn: I’m not asking you to comment on the specifics of the matter, I’m asking about what the standard operating procedure is, and it seems pretty straightforward. The FBI does a criminal investigation, but then refers the charges to the Department of Justice, including US Attorneys, perhaps in more celebrated cases goes higher up the food chain. But my simple question is doesn’t the buck stop with you, in terms of whether to proceed, to seek an indictment, to convene a grand jury, and to prosecute a case referred to you by the FBI?

This felt like Cornyn had been sent by someone very high up in FBI (which is probably why Lynch responded so forcefully to make clear she’s the boss of everyone at the Bureau) to pressure the Attorney General to let them convene a grand jury. Now, it appears the basis for any grand jury is not just sending classified emails, but where and on what device those emails got sent.

Again, I still think Hillary is most likely safe. But I’m beginning to see how FBI might want to make a criminal case of sending classified information using insecure blackberries knowing they were insecure.

Update: Here are the emails. Note this seems to target Cheryl Mills more than Sullivan or Abedin (note her departure briefing is in there). It shows Mills directly receiving a bunch of briefing from NSA about the insecurities of BBs.

Also note: contrary to the emphasis of the AP piece, the issue appears not to be that NSA wasn’t doing what they could do, but instead that Hillary’s key staffers can be shown to have gotten technical briefing on the problems with BBs.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

45 replies
  1. scribe says:

    Keep in mind that we need to distinguish between Blackberries and Blackberry-like devices. The short reason is the same one why NSA had to come up with one for Obama, who was likewise addicted to his crackberry. Blackberry was, at the time (and IIRC also now) run by Research in Motion, a Canadian company whose servers are/were located in Canada. All traffic to/from any Blackberry would necessarily have crossed the US-Canada border and, just as necessarily, have been interceptable by any foreign power that might have hacked R-i-M and definitely by NSA (capturing everything going in and coming out of the good ol’ US of A).
    So, Obama got his gizmo, HRC didn’t and made do with something insecure (by NSA standards) and now he gets the crap for it. Makes you wonder whether she was being set up by Obama….

  2. orionATL says:

    ew wrote:

    “sending classified information”.

    my question is: classified information by whose standards – cia’s or standard classification?

    comment: if cia’s “everything is classified” standards, there is the obvious question, given its long history of manipulating elections, of whether cia is trying to manipulate an american election? or are they caught in a bind by sterling’s appeal?

    finally, what happened to the point, made much earlier in this e-mail witchhunt, that a sec of state had an authorized option to use a system other than the available gov system?

  3. orionATL says:

    “…  But I’m beginning to see how FBI might want to make a criminal case of sending classified information using insecure blackberries knowing they were insecure…”

    using what law to prosecute, the espionage act?

    is this a case of damaging law-breaking by high-level staffers to a secretary of state?

    or

    a case of poltically motivated fbi officials politicizing the federal natsec classification system – a system that can then be said to be completely haywire?

    absent clearly evident effort to willfully damage american national interests, there is no position the fbi can take against such high-level staffers of a cabinet secretary that is not overtly political, and directly raises the issue of the political affiliation of the fbi staffers involved, including those who first participated in this ever-morphing clinton witchhunt back in march, 2015.

    • emptywheel says:

      I wish that were the case law, or even the interpretation Hillary and her spokesperson had abided by in the past. It’s not though. One area where I’m utterly unsympathetic with Hillary on is that she has done more than Jeffrey Sterling did, whose prosecution Fallon had a role in.

      • orionATL says:

        thanks. the central question for me is classified by whose standards? cia’s extreme standards or normal. that matters most.

        as you have pointed out, newspwper articles mentioning drone sttacks may be considered classified by cia where “normal” bureaucrats would not consider that material classified.

        as for sterling, he didn’t do anything by my “normal bureaucrat’s” standards. he merely retained a copy of how to use a rotary dial phone – classified by cia’s standards!! now he’s doing 4 yrs.

        • emptywheel says:

          They seem to be applying a higher standard here than for Snowden, in that they’re being challenged to show that the person who wrote the email got it from a classified document. On those grounds they’ve backed down on one classification claim (though I think that was a NRO document).

          So while I agree (and have written, repeatedly) that CIA’s claims are bunk, I do think they’re applying a higher standard for actual prosecution here.

  4. Denis says:

    #1- – –
    Wow! Good to see you coming to the party. Been waiting for you,
    after all it’s only the biggest political story since the Kennedy
    assassination. Bigger than blue dresses and b-jobs in the Oral Office.
    .
    That Mar11 report by FOX’s Catherine Herridge you link to is
    essentially a stripped-down re-tweet of what Andrew Napolitano has
    been saying, but he includes much more legal detail. Anyone
    who hasn’t viewed any of his recent vids on this issue probably doesn’t
    truly understand the gravity of the Democrats’ dilemma. As a former NJ
    Superior Court judge Napolitano is too smart and his contacts go too
    deep not to know exactly what he is talking about before he goes viral.
    .
    #2- – –
    I disagree with you that Lynch controls the issue. Comey is in control,
    irrespective of the chain of command. For as Napolitano points out,
    Comey certainly has a case to go to a grand jury, but if Lynch blocks him,
    he’ll resign in protest in a heartbeat. That would sink the Democrats
    like a nuke-tipped torpedo below the waterline. Imagine the headlines:
    HILLARY AVOIDS INDICTMENT. FBI HEAD RESIGNS IN PROTEST. Just add
    that to the stench both Clintons already wallow in and you have not just
    a Republican WH but a Republican super-majority in the Senate. Have no
    doubt that Mitch is weighing the outcome of the indictment issue
    into the calculation of whether to butt heads with Obama and the
    Constitution over giving Garland a hearing.
    .
    #3- – –
    With respect to last week’s Senate JudComm oversight hearing w/
    Lynch, the brightest point for Hil was when Sen. Tillis bungled his
    pay-to-play question. He raised Art.I sec. 9 of the Constitution, which
    says, essentially, no pay-to-play deals for government officers. It
    was a weird way to frame the very serious accusations of pay-to-play
    by Clinton while she was Secy State. Apparently Tillis couldn’t find
    the relevant federal statute so he restricted his play-to-pay question
    to the Constitutional context of receiving money from foreign
    governments. Never mind $675,000 from Goldman Sachs.
    .
    Loretta’s answer: “Thank you Senator for raising this very important
    issue. I look forward to working with you on this matter. As you are
    aware, we are investigating the issues of classified Emails, but I
    don’t know jack-shit about what you are now blathering about.” (My
    paraphrasing.)
    .
    As I’ve said before, all this excitement about delegates (in both
    parties) is likely meaningless hoo-haw, certainly for the Democrats.
    Hil will be out of this thing before her convention. Trump won’t
    survive his convention unless he has a majority going into it — doubtful. Bernie, Biden, Kasich, Cruz are all still strong contenders in their
    respective parties.
    .
    My guess is (still) that it will be Biden v. Kasich in the general, and
    we will all be able to go back to sleep. (That is such a far out there,
    million-to-one, long shot by conventional “wisdom” that if it comes to
    pass, I expect to be crowned the new Nate Silver for the 2020 election.)

  5. CaffinatedOne says:

    I must be missing something, but my understanding has been that the legal issue revolves around whether someone *knowingly* transmitted classified information via insecure channels. Since Hillary’s external email server was insecure, then any way that classified data was *knowingly* sent there would be against the law. That’s whether it was via a smartphone, smoke signals, or put on the disk platters with a very small magnet.

    So, I’m a bit confused as to what the phone/device discussion here has to do with anything?

    P.S.

    Dennis, no. Just no. You should lay off of whatever you’ve been binging on.. wow.

    • emptywheel says:

      We have no idea what the scope of the FBI investigation is. But as far as classified info, the person has to have known it was classified.

      • CaffinatedOne says:

        That’s what I thought, thank you. I was puzzling on why the phone/device here would matter since presumably any channel to an insecure server is equally insecure so far as that goes. Is there a specific criminal charge for having a smartphone in an SCIF outside of whether it was used to capture/transmit classified info?

  6. orionATL says:

    the discussion here at #7, 9, and 10 make’s me think this fox news story

    “… in any case, this story puts revelations in a Fox story from last week, describing Clinton sysadmin Bryan Pagliano’s testimony as “devastating” because he helped tie the use of particular devices to particular times…. ”

    may have been typical breathless fox news propaganda.

    • emptywheel says:

      Herridge is well sourced at both FBI and GOP members of Congress, and less prone (tho not immune) to people overselling things than even some NYT journos. Clearly, the leak was political (reading FBI’s interest as politics too). But she’s got a decent track record.

  7. orionATL says:

    emptywheel –

    i have looked at the 31 pages of e-mails.

    they all pertain to clinton assisstants talking with nsa about using a blackberry.

    they are all stamped “secret” .

    is it these e-mails for which a prosecution might be referred?

    or are these – mails included here only to demonstrate that state and nsa talked about the security of blackberries?

  8. lefty665 says:

    Thank you EW. Do you suppose that if the whole chain of custody of classified information from sender and email server through recipient was insecure that makes the dereliction more profound? It’s not just a mistake, it shows a reckless disregard, especially when you can also document that people had been informed of the exposure.
    .
    Saw recently that many of the emails that have been classified originated with Clinton. Some apparently dealt with topics that are by their nature classified from birth, it is not discretionary. That seems to make her claims that none were classified when they were sent profoundly disingenuous and self serving. Perhaps one charge is failure to classify.
    .
    Anybody know where the email Hillary sent directing a senior staff member (Sullivan?) to strip classification and send insecure has gone?
    .
    “Reid wrote that each time they asked the NSA what solution they had worked up to provide a mobile device to Obama, “we were politely told to shut up and color.” ”
    .
    That may be the funniest thing I have seen in years. It’s enough to make you suspect that State has as every bit as much professional respect from NSA as the FBI does.

    • orionATL says:

      thanks for this info.

      depending on one’s politics (mine are pro-clinton), one can interpret this as willful clinton/state dissobediance,

      or one can interptret this as willful refusal of the nsa to assist a cabinet-level gov’t official have a secure phone she was comfortable with.

      running thru all the hoo-ha about clinton’s e-mails is a subliminal thread of opportunistic threat to any cabinet-level officer who becomes a political candidate for higher office by bureaucrats with a strong political affiliation and a connection to congress.

      given the doj’s conduct from 2002 on regarding espionage and “threats to the national security”, the doj better hope that clinton does not get elected president.

      cf, opinions of supreme court justice, fornerly attorney general, robert jackson

      on the role and obligations of prosecutors, a lesson the bush/obama doj has obviouly forgotten in many of its persecutions (sic).

      • orionATL says:

        the issue of the nsa refusing to help sec clinton receive a secure blackberry like the president had been given

        raises a very serious issue about the nsa.

        did the nsa, which had spied on many officials in other countries, e. g., angela merkel and dilma russoff, reserve to itself the right to spy on secretaty clinton?

        furthermore, did it reserve for itself the “right” to spy on other cabinet officials as well as clinton?

        there is nothing in the nsa’s sorry history of incompetence in warning of dangernand sophistry in claiming the right to spy on whomever, american or foreign, that would preclude the explanation that the nsa did not help clinton with her request for a secure phone because it wanted to spy on her communications.

        in fact, no examination of the clinton e-mails issue would be complete without a thorough public airing of just why the nsa refused to help clinton

        and whether, in fact, that refusal was for the purpose of spying on the secretary of state.

        • stryx says:

          I like that idea. What I’ve heard as NSA defenses so far fall into either expense or unwieldiness. To which I would say: compared to what? Copying the entire internet? Really?

        • orionATL says:

          re #20

          i would like to know whether the nsa helped any other cabinet-level official get a secure phone. in particular, did nsa help the sec of defense? if yes, then why not clinton.

          if as emptywheel guesses, it is the e-mails of cheryl mills, marked secret, that are at issue for law-breaking, and those e-mails were about acquiring a secure phone, early on in clinton’s tenure at state, then any prosecution would be technical and lacking good judgement about a reasonable prosecution or politically motivated by doj repuhlicans. don’t put this latter possibility out of your mind. one only has to recall the doj’s prosecution of senator stevens among others to realize the doj is a poorly trained pit bull never held on a leash.

          • lefty665 says:

            orion @28 “i would like to know whether the nsa helped any other cabinet-level official get a secure phone. in particular, did nsa help the sec of defense? ”
            .
            Uh, the NSA is an agency within the Department of Defense. They would be tasked with “helping” their boss the Sec Def with secure communications. Bet he didn’t get POTUS’s “Blackberry-like” device either.

            • orionATL says:

              re #31

              i’m well aware of that, that is why i asked the question.

              secdef is also a cabinet officer just like sec of state.

              from those two bits of info flow several interesting questions:

              – why would the nsa not help a cabinet officer like a sec of state obtain secure coverage?

              – did secdef get a secure phone with nsa help?

              – did nsa treat one cabinet level differently from another?

              – does nsa spy on all cabinet officers?

              – does nsa spy on cabinet officers except for sec of defense?

              – are cabinet officers on a no-spy list like congresscritters (supposedly) are?

  9. bmaz says:

    Just not seeing how the critical intent element of “knowing” is going to be met as to Clinton. Frankly, though the facts of the BB negotiations seems to make it a closer call as to Abedin and Sullivan, not really seeing that either without proof on the content of emails. And evidence of their having knowledge of security concerns doesn’t, in and of itself, really go anywhere as to proof the critical element.
    .
    Incredibly stupid actions by all, including Clinton? Sure. Horrid judgment and management? Yes. Criminal activity? Nope.

    • Bay State Librul says:

      Jim Comey is vying to be the Elliot Ness of the University of Chicago Law School.

      I agree with bmaz, there is no criminal intent just stupidity.

      • Nick says:

        Unfortunately, stupidity is not a valid defense. Maybe it highlights the gross inconsistency on dealing with ‘sensitive’ material when people get sentenced seemingly on a whim. Laws or rules need to be applied equally and it is about time that the rules be clarified for everybody. Absence of clarity allows for witch hunts on all sides.

    • lefty665 says:

      bmaz @22 Isn’t the classification law along the lines of anyone who discloses classified information… It doesn’t require intent does it? Also, are there any penalties for (with intent) subverting FOIA?

  10. lefty665 says:

    [email protected] Not giving Clinton the same equipment the president had does not raise any issues about NSA. POTUS is a very special case. There is no expectation that technology especially developed for him would be distributed to anyone else, especially if that would increase the possibility it could be compromised. Remember too that Obama’s device was described as “Blackberry-like” not “secure Blackberry”. It may be that the resemblance to a Blackberry went no deeper than the skin.
    .
    While the comment to State folks to “shut up and color” was funny, the core issue was real. It was none of State’s business what communications technology NSA developed and implemented for POTUS. That information was undoubtedly very highly classified and perhaps compartmentalized. In any event, State had no need to know.
    .
    You know I share your concerns about the collect it all overreach and destruction of privacy. But, this instance appears to be NSA performing a traditional role and within the limitations of bureaucracy. They informed State about the issues and apparently made secure technology recommendations. They had no mandate to impose secure communications solutions at State or on Sec State. No need for paranoia or ginning up nefarious motives this time, there are much simpler explanations.

    • orionATL says:

      re #27

      “… While the comment to State folks to “shut up and color” was funny, the core issue was real. It was none of State’s business what communications technology NSA developed and implemented for POTUS. That information was undoubtedly very highly classified and perhaps compartmentalized. In any event, State had no need to know… .”

      – oh for christ’s sake, the dept of state was asking for a secure phone, not nsa’s source code :)

      – nsa spies on anyone and everyone. it would be willfully stupid to dismiss the possibility they spy on cabinet officials, especially a sec of state.

      anyway, nsa is publicly involved now and i’d bet they will come to wish it weren’t so.

  11. lefty665 says:

    State got recommendations on secure technology that apparently included secure phones. They just didn’t get Obama’s technology. Nor should they have.
    .
    For what it’s worth “Paranoia strikes deep, into your mind it will creep”

    • orionATL says:

      #30

      i know you are an nsa lover, lefty, but as i said earlier, one should always be suspicious and untrustful of the nsa.

      they have well-earned their reputation as untrustworthy.

      whether they are involved tangentially or directly in the clinton e-mails embroglio remains to be seen.

      the key questions are:

      – who would be better qualified in gov to help cabinet officers have secure communications?

      – why would nsa not be more helpful to clinton?

      – does nsa have a malign reason not to co-operate on this issue?

    • orionATL says:

      #30

      i know you are an nsa lover, lefty, but as i said earlier, one should always be suspicious and untrustful of the nsa.

      they have well-earned their reputation as untrustworthy.

      whether they are involved tangentially or directly in the clinton e-mails embroglio remains to be seen.

      the key questions are:

      – who would be better qualified in gov to help cabinet officers have secure communications?

      – why would nsa not be more helpful to clinton?

      – does nsa have a malign reason not to co-operate on this issue?

  12. lefty665 says:

    Actually orion, you know little about me or much of anything else apparently.
    .
    From what we see in the emails and reporting you’re off on a frolic. NSA apparently did exactly what it should have done with State. That is to inform them about the issues and to make technology recommendations. State has its own security staff. On top of everything else they would not take kindly to NSA forcing a particular solution on them. If NSA had done that you’d be bitching that they’d provided something they could get into to spy on Clinton. There is no good answer when you’re paranoid.
    .
    The solution was never to use end to end insecure and private systems. That decision was clearly driven by Hillary’s fixation on evading FOIA. That is what the FBI/DOJ is investigating.
    .
    You’re a bright guy, and when you take your meds you are interesting. Otherwise you slide off into paranoia, foolishness and ad hominem attacks. I urge you to take your meds.

    • orionATL says:

      re #35

      “… Actually orion, you know little about me or much of anything else apparently… ”

      you have been writing here about nsa for a long time, lefty. i’m willing to bet you have a family member who was nsa.

  13. orionATL says:

    i don’t know if the cheryl mills e-mail docs cited above by emptywheel (in the update in pdf form) are a basis, or the entire basis, for any doj prosecution.

    it should be noted, in terms of any doj inspector javert prosecution, that all the e-mail docs marked “secret” were dated in feb and march, 2009 – mere weeks after clinton had assumed the sec of state position.

    one would really have to be deliberately punitive to do other than scold mills.

  14. Denis says:

    bmaz: Incredibly stupid actions by all, including Clinton? Sure.
    Horrid judgment and management? Yes. Criminal activity? Nope.
    .
    “Nope” or “Hope”?
    .
    Expanding on Nick’s & Betty’s points below, there is no
    “stupidity-defense” in any section of Title 18 of the USC, the
    criminal statutes. Besides, what does the conclusion that she’s
    that stupid look like on the campaign trail? To an electorate
    having any brains of their own, any candidate being that incredibly
    stupid would ispso facto not have a chance of getting elected.
    In fact, it’s doubtful whether anyone who has gone as far and
    achieved the things Hil has could be that stupid. At some point
    the stupidity defense breaks down for lack of logic, leaving the
    only viable alternative: clear, cold, conscious, criminal intent.
    .
    Also, the conversation here is unduly restricted to confidential
    Emails. There are a lot of other interesting federal statutes that
    could put Hil, if not away, then out of the race. Subversion of FOIA,
    for instance. The Public Records Act. Neither of which require that
    concealed or mishandled documents be classified. There’s political
    influence peddling. There’s RICO enhancement of some charges if
    her buddies are the primary actors.
    .
    There’s those 30,000 “private” Em’s she deleted and then showed up
    in the Platte River back-up. If just one of those is actually a government
    document — doesn’t have to be confidential — then she’s busted for
    stealing government documents. There’s a lot more to this thing than
    the way she mishandled classified info.
    .
    She is both slimy and teflon-coated, but all that’s needed to stop her
    WH run is an indictment on any federal charge. Not conviction, not even
    a trial, just an indictment. Even the indictment of Mills, Abedin,
    Kennedy, etc. would be sufficient to bugger her election.
    .
    I recognize the management and the audience here is pro-Hil, but
    reality is reality both in terms of her intelligence, her character,
    and the bed she’s made for herself. When she said: “Did I wipe it [the hard
    drive]? What, with a cloth?” I was among those who said to themselves
    this woman is too clueless or too disingenuous to lead the country.
    Doesn’t matter which, both are disqualifications.

  15. lefty665 says:

    Waddya think, just like any other organized crime investigation, make a case against lower level folks and encourage them to roll over on the big cheese? Something like: Ya know Cheryl, I’m sure you meant well. If you give us the goods on Hill that will confirm your good intent. We will then be too busy with her to do more than slap you on the wrist.
    .
    Pagliano’s roadmap of who was using what and when likely put flesh on the bones, but in the end it was always Hillary with the homebrew server in the basement at Chappaqua. Premeditated intent to subvert FOIA. Busting her for failure to protect classified material is like busting Al Capone for income tax evasion. It serves the public good, but it’s not the main issue.

  16. lefty665 says:

    Denis @38 “I recognize the management and the audience here is pro-Hil,” Uh that would be mis-recognition. There are a few in the bag for Hillary, but most mgmt and audience alike really care more about being informed and getting things right. As a conclusion drawn from being informed, a few of us think she should be in the slammer.

    • Bay State Librul says:

      Here is how I connect the dots on this stream of consciousness
      —-
      If you dislike Hillary from the get-go, you think she is guilty.
      If you like Hillary, you think she is being framed.
      —-
      If you think Brady and the Patriots suck, you think Brady is guilty
      If you love Brady and the Patriots, you think Brady was framed.

      Simple, human nature
      —-

      • orionATL says:

        and that, bay state librul, is exactly how i look at this matter.

        in fact, i often think when reading and writing the clinton-pro/clinton-con stuff, of a sports page comment section. the brady pro vs the brady con comments in the globe were superb examples of this :)

        • orionATL says:

          from #42

          another analogy i use with myself is a defense lawyer facing a room full of prosecutors hellbent to convict and hang the defendant on any convenient charge whatever :)

      • lefty665 says:

        Bay State Librul @41 I think Brady was framed, but I don’t love the Patriots. With close to 25 years of the Clintons our experience is that Hillary is guilty of a lot of stuff, this being just one more crime. At least this time as the result of her policies no heads of state were murdered by being sodomized with a bayonet while Hillary laughed.

  17. JH says:

    Is everyone here a Hillary-crat? What about this story?

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/01/11/fbis-clinton-probe-expands-to-public-corruption-track.html

    If public corruption is in play, it seems that the FBI would have more than enough leverage to at least get an indictment for the minimally ‘negligent’ handling of classified material. But there’s more. Clinton was running her own scheme to peddle classified material to friends who weren’t even in government.

    http://observer.com/2016/03/hillary-has-an-nsa-problem/

    The most recent AP story is only laying the groundwork for the assertion that the orders came from the very top, and from the very beginning.

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