A new release from the State Department of e-mails involving Hillary Clinton aides and the secret, unauthorized private server once more calls into question denials by Hillary of sending or receiving classified data. Judicial Watch received dozens of pages in response to a FIOA lawsuit filed last May that specifically sought e-mails from Huma Abedin in the scandal. They note that Abedin discussed Hillary’s movements through unsecured e-mail, potentially putting the Secretary of State at risk, and found a number of other issues within the trove, too:
Judicial Watch today released nearly 70 pages of State Department records that show that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top aides, Deputy Chiefs of Staff Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan, received and sent classified information on their non-state.gov email accounts. …
The new documents show that Hillary Clinton used the clintonemail.com system to ask Huma Abedin (also on a non-state.gov email account) to print two March 2011 emails, which were sent from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (using the moniker “aclb”) to Jake Sullivan on Sullivan’s non-state.gov email account. The Obama State Department redacted the Blair emails under Exemption (b)(1) which allows the withholding of classified material. The material is marked as being classified as “Foreign government information” and “foreign relations or foreign activities of the US, including confidential sources.”
Another email shows that Clinton wanted to know how meetings in Washington, including a four-hour meeting concerning America’s war on Libya, would impact her Hampton vacation. Responding to an email that details the sensitive meetings in DC, Clinton emails Abedin on August 26, 2011, “Ok. What time would I get back to Hamptons?” Again, this email discussion takes place on non-state.gov email accounts.
The documents also include advice to Clinton on Libya from Sidney Blumenthal, a Clinton Foundation employee who, according to a Judicial Watch investigative report, also had business interests in Libya. Clinton wanted Blumenthal’s March 9, 2011, Libya memo to be printed “without any identifiers.”
That memo is less problematic than others. The memo from Sid Blumenthal has “CONFIDENTIAL” at the top of the message, but that’s from Blumenthal, not a government classification. State released that memo without redactions. The need to strip “identifiers” off of it almost certainly reflected the need to keep Blumenthal’s involvement quiet in the face of intense dislike of him at the White House.
The Tony Blair e-mail will be much more difficult to explain:
These redactions are justified under 5 USC 552 (b)(1), which allows the government to block the release of classified information in the FOIA process. As Judicial Watch points out, the designations 1.4(B) and (D) refer to foreign government information; the (D) can also refer to “confidential sources,” which might describe Blair or perhaps someone else Blair discussed in the redacted message. Note too that both Jake Sullivan and Hillary got this from Blair, with Hillary getting it on her personal e-mail. She then forwards it to Huma Abedin with instructions to print it out. So much for never sending or receiving classified information. Note too that this time the classification notice comes from State, and not the IG from the intel community.
This isn’t the only curiosity in the trove. Samantha Power e-mailed Jake Sullivan on March 9, 2011 — the same date as the Blumenthal memo — about issues regarding a no-fly zone in Libya that got redacted in its entirety. The State Department’s label B5 indicates communications that fall within “the deliberative process,” but the strategy of no-fly zones in Libya would almost certainly involve both diplomatic and military issues that are normally classified. This e-mail went from Power’s official government address to Sullivan’s official address, but Sullivan then forwarded it out of the government system to Hillary’s unauthorized private server. She replied back — keeping the classified info in-line — by asking Huma to print it out, which would be another security violation if this turns out to be classified information and not just “deliberative process.”
Jeff Dunetz points to these e-mails as incontrovertible evidence that Hillary has lied about the e-mail server:
At the very least these Huma Abedin emails prove once again that Hillary Clinton has been lying to the American people–not only did she keep and send classified information from her private server, but she knew damn well what she was doing.
True, but that much has been established already from 1500-plus e-mails we’ve seen, and especially the 29 e-emails that are so sensitive that the redacted versions cannot be released at all. It also shows that Sullivan converted sensitive and classified information from government communications systems to Hillary’s private system. Those are not insignificant developments, but they still pale in comparison to the exposure of SAP and human intelligence in the withheld e-mails.
The only question now is whether the FBI investigation leads to any action. Loretta Lynch says that will be in the hands of career lawyers at the agency, not political appointees elsewhere:
Attorney General Loretta Lynch is reaffirming that the FBI’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state is free of outside political influence.
She told The Associated Press on Monday that the FBI investigation is independent and is being conducted by career lawyers looking at the facts and evidence.
We’ll see. We’ll see.
Update: A good point from Twitter:
@EdMorrissey Blumenthal was rep-ing biz interests in Libya & shouldve registered as a foreign agent per FARA or lobbyist per LDA.
— David Safavian (@AcquisitionNerd) February 9, 2016
@EdMorrissey failure to register as a foreign agent or lobbyist when lobbying an appointee is a felony.
— David Safavian (@AcquisitionNerd) February 9, 2016
That has more to do with Blumenthal’s legal exposure than Hillary’s, of course, but will the DoJ look into that?