Still more from the FBI notes: Hillary blamed her concussion when asked about being briefed on preserving records; Update: Laptop with emails missing

Ed and John already hit some of the deeper points from today’s FBI holiday weekend news dump but I don’t want this tidbit overlooked.

Said the report, “Clinton said she received no instructions or direction regarding the preservation or production of records from (the) State (Department) during the transition out of her role as Secretary of State in 2013.

“However, in December of 2012, Clinton suffered a concussion and then around the New Year had a blood clot (in her head). Based on her doctor’s advice, she could only work at State for a few hours a day and could not recall every briefing she received,” the report said.


You can read that in one of two ways. One: She might have missed the briefing on preserving records because she wasn’t at State much in December 2012/January 2013 due to her concussion. In any case, she’s had a lot of briefings over the years and doesn’t remember each and every one. Two: Maybe she was briefed on preserving records and it’s lost to her memory because of the concussion. Which would be an amazing admission given how much effort Trump’s been exerting lately to question her health.

Her deficiency in preserving records after stepping down at State is a key part of the email saga but not the only part. Another deficiency was the wholly needless flaws in her operational security during her tenure at the Department. Another revelation in today’s FBI notes is that Clinton may have used multiple mobile devices to access her emails over the years, and by “multiple” I mean no fewer than 13. She used eight different Blackberries while Secretary of State and then two more after leaving office. She may have accessed her email on any or all of them. And what happened to these Blackberries and the very sensitive information they carried on them once she was finished using them?

Why, their whereabouts would “frequently become unknown”:

At least two were bashed with a hammer. The other six? *Shrug.*


More operational insecurity: Emailing with Obama while overseas, subject to God knows what sort of foreign surveillance.

And two more for you, back home at State — and in Chappaqua:

Was Hillary ever briefed on how to preserve records or handle classified information? She told the FBI she couldn’t remember any briefings, but she once claimed otherwise — in 2009, when she signed a State Department form acknowledging that she received a presentation on that very subject. As Jeryl Bier notes, ether she lied to the feds or she lied on the form. Or, if you want to be very charitable, she honestly forgot a briefing on basic good practices in dealing with state secrets. Which makes the case for her negligence under 18 U.S.C. 793(f) that much stronger:

The concussion bit in the notes is juicy, and paradoxically will be used by liberals as exculpatory — “how can you blame her for forgetting her final briefing on recordkeeping?” — but that can’t explain instances of negligence that occurred before the concussion happened. And it certainly can’t explain why Comey would have strained in his July press conference to say that the FBI found no intent to destroy records when now we know that some of Clinton’s archived emails were destroyed after her private server became public knowledge. The cherry on top of this sh*t sundae is the fact that the FBI chose a Friday afternoon before a holiday to release all of this material, which is textbook behavior when a government agency wants to minimize media coverage of embarrassing information. The FBI shouldn’t have a rooting interest in Hillary Clinton’s case that would lead it to dump bad news for her at a moment when it’s more likely to be buried by newspapers. It shouldn’t, but it clearly does. My pal Karl put it well: “After today, there can be no doubt that the FBI was never going to recommend charges, no matter how baldly Clinton lied to them.”


Exit quotation from Ben Shapiro on the “concussion” tidbit: “She raised this issue. Now she must answer it. If her health is bad enough that she couldn’t do her job as Secretary of State and hid it from the country, why should we trust that she’s physically well now? And if her health is bad enough that she routinely forgets crucial information regarding national security, how in the world can she be elevated to the White House?”

Update: This one wasn’t bashed with a hammer, it seems.

E-mails that Clinton sent and received through her private server during her tenure were archived on the laptop in 2013 by a person who was an assistant to former President Bill Clinton, the FBI said in its heavily redacted investigative report released Friday.

Someone whose name was redacted in the FBI report told the agency that he later deleted the e-mails from the laptop but didn’t wipe its hard drive. A computer technician can often recover such e-mails that have been deleted but not permanently erased from a laptop’s memory.

The FBI sought the laptop as part of its investigation, but it’s whereabouts remain unknown, the bureau said: The last time the laptop was seen was when it was put in the mail.

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John Stossel 12:00 AM | April 24, 2024