FBI probing how classified info got onto Hillary’s secret server

posted at 8:41 am on January 25, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Investigators have found over 1,300 e-mails with classified information from the Confidential level all the way to Top Secret/Compartmented, including extremely sensitive human intelligence. How did that information get into an unsecured and unauthorized system in the first place? The New York Post reports that the FBI has begun to focus on that question as well — and that’s bad news for Hillary Clinton’s inner circle:

Clinton and her top aides had access to a Pentagon-run classified network that goes up to the Secret level, as well as a separate system used for Top Secret communications.

The two systems — the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) and Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS) — are not connected to the unclassified system, known as the Non-Classified Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNet). You cannot e-mail from one system to the other, though you can use NIPRNet to send ­e-mails outside the government.

Somehow, highly classified information from SIPRNet, as well as even the super-secure JWICS, jumped from those closed systems to the open system and turned up in at least 1,340 of Clinton’s home e-mails — including several the CIA earlier this month flagged as containing ultra-secret Sensitive Compartmented Information and Special Access Programs, a subset of SCI. …

FBI agents are zeroing in on three of Clinton’s top department aides. Most of the Clinton e-mails deemed classified by intelligence agency reviewers were sent to her by her chief of staff Cheryl Mills or deputy chiefs Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan.

This makes sense, since the normal flow of information at the upper echelons of an organization goes upward so that decisions can come downward. Had Hillary Clinton used official State Department e-mail, the classified information could have come to her in the normal manner, and her aides would not have had to find an unauthorized and unsecured route to send it. Lower-level employees probably would not have been trusted with knowledge of the work-around, and everyone involved in Hillary’s secret server would have assumed that its existence would never come to light. That was the express purpose of using it at all — to keep knowledge of Hillary’s communications from Congress and the courts. There literally is no other reason for this operation.

It’s therefore no surprise that the FBI is focusing on who specifically put classified information into the home-brew e-mail system, and how. But that doesn’t help Hillary much. She initiated the use of this system and required her aides to use it. They failed to report the breach, but Hillary initiated it, and clearly for malicious purpose — to evade legitimate oversight of her actions as Secretary of State. Under 18 USC 793 (g), Hillary would be part of a conspiracy to violate the law and just as liable even if she never cut-and-pasted or even sent classified information herself, emphasis mine:

(g) If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions of this section, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy.

Setting up the server and requiring her aides to use only that system for e-mail communications would be an act to effect the object of the conspiracy to transmit classified information illegally, as well as hiding communications from Congress. If the Post’s report is accurate, the FBI is using a classic investigative technique of getting to the boss through the flunkies.

The Post also reports on the nature of the information that might have been exposed by the breach:

Top Secret/SCI e-mails received by Clinton include a 2012 staff ­e-mail sent to the then-secretary containing investigative data about Benghazi terrorist suspects wanted by the FBI and sourcing a regional security officer. They also include a 2011 message from Clinton’s top aides that contains military intelligence from United States Africa Command gleaned from satellite images of troop movements in Libya, along with the travel and protection plans for Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was later killed in a terrorist attack in Benghazi.

If that last piece related to Stevens’ final and fatal trip to Benghazi, then that might require a lot more explanation from all involved. Those topics make it much more difficult to believe that Hillary “wipe with a cloth?” Clinton could possibly have been oblivious to the highly sensitive nature of that information — which is all it takes to cross the lines drawn in 18 USC 793.


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Comment pages: 1 2

People with far less important jobs would be fired for doing something like she did.

Whether they can get this to a grand jury should not matter on whether she is fit to do the job. Unfortunately, the LIVs and fluffers want their power and goodies at any price.

She is not fit.

CWforFreedom on January 25, 2016 at 1:09 PM

triumphus04 on January 25, 2016 at 11:50 AM

And someone was minding the door into the SCIF and failed to ensure that those entering did not have a cell phone or other device to take a screenshot of the information off of SIPRNET or JWICS.

My guess is that they printed it (you are correct in stating that it would be logged) then stuffed it in their pants, ala Sandy Berger. They probably told the GS-5 minding the SCIF that if they talk, they’ll be taking a walk in Fort Marcy Park.

GAlpha10 on January 25, 2016 at 1:10 PM

You still have to get them off the classified system. They are not connected to unclassified networks.

GWB on January 25, 2016 at 12:23 PM

Take a picture with your cell phone of the classified information, email picture to your email.
Done and done.

Danno on January 25, 2016 at 1:12 PM

As a result of Clinton’s negligence, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in a recent interview he thinks “the odds are pretty high” that hostile foreign powers like Iran, China and Russia hacked Clinton’s homebrew email server and stole US secrets.

NY Post

Not fit.

CWforFreedom on January 25, 2016 at 1:17 PM

Take a picture with your cell phone of the classified information, email picture to your email.
Done and done.

Danno on January 25, 2016 at 1:12 PM

There is usually an armed guard at the entrance to the SCIF ensuring that no one enters with a cell phone, camera, etc. There are also armed guards inside the SCIF to ensure that no one takes photos or takes anything outside of the SCIF without proper documentation or authority.

GAlpha10 on January 25, 2016 at 1:22 PM

then Trump wins all 58 states. Game. Set. Match.

fred5678 on January 25, 2016 at 1:03 PM

58 states? But my president said there were only 57. Did we add one and I missed it?

GAlpha10 on January 25, 2016 at 1:25 PM

Oops, didn’t mean to strike that:

58 states? But my president said there were only 57. Did we add one and I missed it?

GAlpha10 on January 25, 2016 at 1:27 PM

Take a picture with your cell phone of the classified information, email picture to your email.
Done and done.

Danno on January 25, 2016 at 1:12 PM

You really don’t know how this works, do you? Yes, you could do this – but you would have to break several more laws and regulations to do so.

There is usually an armed guard at the entrance to the SCIF

GAlpha10 on January 25, 2016 at 1:22 PM

Not necessarily armed. It depends on the controls in place – most depend on the cleared personnel to self-police.

GWB on January 25, 2016 at 1:31 PM

In covering Hillary Clinton’s “mishandling’ of classified information the focus of seemingly everyone is on Clinton’s server almost exclusively.

I think another, perhaps equally as large, problem is the number of devices used by Clinton (and others) to create and transmit the various communications, especially that which was classified. While I agree the primary focus should be on Clinton’s home brew server and network I haven’t heard anyone talk (or at least not much) about the security aspect of the fact that Clinton, by her own admission, used multiple devices to transmit and receive sensitive information.

It’s probably a safe bet most of the guys at HotAir, and Salem for that matter, don’t generate their content (blog posts, emails, etc.) directly from their server (which I assume includes a Microsoft Exchange Server) but rather from personal devices (personal computers, tablets, smartphones) that remote into the server and are also vulnerable to security breaches.

I’ve seen Clinton’s use of multiple devices discussed but almost solely in the context that she was caught lying about using one device “as a matter of convenience.” What I haven’t seen mentioned is how the potential for security breaches may have been exponentially increased due to the (I’m assuming) vastly different security protocols across the Microsoft Server, Blackberry and Apple iPad (and iPhone and mini iPad) platforms. Was Clinton’s “plead the fifth” IT guy an expert on security across such vastly different operating systems? I’m guessing no.

Finally, who was backing up the data on all of those remote systems and what kind of security clearances did they have? Clinton has maintained all along that all of the emails she sent or received would have been captured by the State Department’s backup system (such that it was) but if she lied about her own use of multiple devices, what kind of assurances do we have that members of her inner circle didn’t use multiple devices as well? Or, how many other Sid Blumenthals or Chelseas are out there that could have (probably?) had their systems compromised?

While Clinton’s home brew server and network are certainly well worth discussion, I think the security aspect, or lack thereof, of the multiple/remote devices used by Clinton and her inner circle is worthy of it’s own discussion.

Pain Train on January 25, 2016 at 1:34 PM

Not necessarily armed. It depends on the controls in place – most depend on the cleared personnel to self-police.

GWB on January 25, 2016 at 1:31 PM

Quite possibly, but the ones I know of personally have armed guards.

GAlpha10 on January 25, 2016 at 1:50 PM

GAlpha10 on January 25, 2016 at 1:27 PM

He said something to the effect that they had been in 57 and had more to go. (I forget how many he said, a couple, a few, something like that.)

Video is on youtube somewhere.

dogsoldier on January 25, 2016 at 2:29 PM

This also could have been as simple as someone going into the SCIF, reading the classified, then coming out and typing what they saw into an unclass email from memory – no chance of being caught with illegal devices or printouts going in and out of the SCIF.

It’s still illegal, because it’s the information itself that is classified and requires protection – regardless of what form its in.

Any of us peons would go to jail if we read some TS material in a SCIF, then went out and passed that information on to anyone else in any unclassified environment/manner.

dentarthurdent on January 25, 2016 at 2:56 PM

Huma needs to stay away from Fort Marcy park.

DdBb on January 25, 2016 at 2:56 PM

Quite possibly, but the ones I know of personally have armed guards.

GAlpha10 on January 25, 2016 at 1:50 PM

Not necessarily required. I’ve dealt with SCIFs in corporate buildings where nobody was armed, but they did have multiple types of 24 hour surveillance and monitoring.

dentarthurdent on January 25, 2016 at 3:00 PM

FBI probing how classified info got onto Hillary’s secret server

Probably the same way the “lost” Rose Law Firm records got into a White House closet.

dentarthurdent on January 25, 2016 at 3:03 PM

I think security only requires either a 24 hour manned watch (manned simply by cleared personnel – not armed guards) or an intrusion alarm that alerts in a 24 hour watch.

blink on January 25, 2016 at 2:38 PM

Possibly. The ones I know of are on active military installations where they take security very seriously. At one of the installations, an intruder was shot and killed after running the gate and refusing to stop.

GAlpha10 on January 25, 2016 at 3:08 PM

At one of the installations, an intruder was shot and killed after running the gate and refusing to stop.

GAlpha10 on January 25, 2016 at 3:08 PM

That can happen at any base, all of which have armed guards at the gates – and especially if the base, or a certain area within the base is designated as a “Deadly Force Authorized” installation.

dentarthurdent on January 25, 2016 at 3:18 PM

This also could have been as simple as someone going into the SCIF, reading the classified, then coming out and typing what they saw into an unclass email from memory

dentarthurdent on January 25, 2016 at 2:56 PM

Except that at least one of those TS/SCI emails included actual imagery. So, someone printed a copy or put it on a removable media.

GAlpha10 on January 25, 2016 at 3:08 PM

Of the two I know of in recent usage, one is on-base, one is off-base. Both are in secure facilities (that is, you won’t get in the door) – so they’re double-wrapped.

GWB on January 25, 2016 at 3:23 PM

Except that at least one of those TS/SCI emails included actual imagery. So, someone printed a copy or put it on a removable media.
GWB on January 25, 2016 at 3:23 PM

In that case definitely.
But given that there are over a thousand emails, I would guess many of them are just from someone typing in the information they remember seeing – which is still a severe security violation.

dentarthurdent on January 25, 2016 at 3:27 PM

Regardless of the security, or lack thereof, at the SCIF(s), one additional revelation should jump out. At the last count, there were 1340 classified emails on HRC’s illegal, unsecure, private email server. I’m guessing that a bunch more will be added to the total in the next release.

Some of those emails were originated by HRC and were deemed classified because of the topic (correspondence with foreign leaders, etc). Others were those which were illegally “spilled” onto her private email system.

For argument’s sake, let’s assume half were originated by HRC or her staff and were classified due to the information within. That leaves about 670 that were “spilled” into her illegal, unsecure, private email server. She was SoS for about 1460 days. That means that about every other day, seven days a week, someone went into a SCIF in order to “spill” classified information onto her illegal, unsecure, private email server. Of course, there many have been far fewer that were “spilled”, but there may have been many more. And NO ONE SAID ANYTHING OR TRIED TO STOP THEM. WTF!!!

GAlpha10 on January 25, 2016 at 3:27 PM

GAlpha10 on January 25, 2016 at 3:27 PM

And EVERYONE with a security clearance is required to complete multiple security refresher training course throughout the year, every year – where they would be told in excruciating detail that what they were doing is illegal.
So there is no way around the fact that they had to know what they were doing was highly illegal, and damaging to national security – and they continued to do it anyway.

dentarthurdent on January 25, 2016 at 3:39 PM

Too funny…as we all know, Hillario! over the past week has been falsely claiming that this latest e-mail release is the result of “Republican leaks”; in reality those e-mails were released by State in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by a “reporter.”

And guess who the “reporter” is? Does the name Jason Leopold ring a bell?

Looney Leftist Jay-Jay became infamous for confidently (and breathlessly) reporting the non-existent “indictment” of the evil Karl Rove back in 2004 or so. Last time I checked, he and his website still haven’t recanted that story.

Del Dolemonte on January 25, 2016 at 3:48 PM

dentarthurdent on January 25, 2016 at 3:39 PM

Roger. When I logged onto my government computer on Friday, I got the locked screen stating I needed to do my annual Cyber Awareness training and pass the test, lest my account would be disabled. And I currently don’t hold a clearance (although I had a TS clearance in the past) and don’t have access to classified system, nor do I need or want to.

So there is no way around the fact that they had to know what they were doing was highly illegal, and damaging to national security – and they continued to do it anyway.

Bottom line, they do not care. And yet, 47% of the electorate will vote for either a know felon (HRC), an avowed Socialist (“Feel the Bern”), or a walking gaffe machine (“Crazy Uncle Joe”). Our only salvation is electing anyone other than a Democrat.

GAlpha10 on January 25, 2016 at 3:53 PM

Our only salvation is electing anyone other than a Democrat.

GAlpha10 on January 25, 2016 at 3:53 PM

Sorry to say that our “salvation” no longer resides in the ballot box. Unless you can elect a 2/3 majority of actual conservatives in a single election (impossible in the Senate) and in the Presidency.

GWB on January 25, 2016 at 4:01 PM

The fix is in.

Hillary withdraws from the race due to “health problems” and throws her support to Biden; DOJ declines to indict based on those “health problems”

A neat little bundle and everyone wins….well, except for Lady Justice and the American people.

E9RET on January 25, 2016 at 5:15 PM

Well, if the soap box isn’t working (thanks, IRS), and the ballot box is messed up, that only leaves one box to check.

That ain’t good. Not a bit good.

ReggieA on January 25, 2016 at 7:47 PM

If Hillary’s server was ever connected to either of the other two networks, there’s going to be a lot of rolling heads.

unclesmrgol on January 25, 2016 at 8:55 PM

This is really the key and why I think the investigation is taking so long. People focus on Clinton but several other people seem to have committed more serious felonies. Clinton committed crimes keeping classified data and unauthorized disclosure to lawyer, several companies, maybe others. Others committed crimes putting that classified data, especially top secret, on an unclassified network. It is best to have one grand jury issue all the indictments at one time.

wambat on January 26, 2016 at 12:17 AM

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