Fox News’ Catherine Herridge has another groundbreaking story on the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server. Herridge quotes an unnamed source who says the immunity deal with IT specialist Bryan Pagliano has provided investigators with a road map to sort out who had access to the system and when:
“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.
It’s not completely clear why the FBI is looking at who was using the system at any given time. Maybe this is just a way to confirm who sent the highly classified emails. Clinton announced last March that she had judged a little more than half of the emails on the server to be private and had them deleted, so there could be gaps in the record that would be explained by these deletions. In any case, the blockbuster quote in this story may be this one:
“Mrs. Clinton sending them in this instance would show her intent much more than would receiving [them],” the source said. “Hillary Clinton was at a minimum grossly negligent in her handling of NDI [National Defense Information] materials merely by her insisting that she utilize a private server versus a [U.S. government] server. Remember, NDI does not have to be classified.” According to the Congressional Research Service, NDI is broadly defined to include “information that they have reason to know could be used to harm the national security.”
Earlier this week I pointed out that one of the legal standards under which Hillary is being judged is possible “gross negligence” in her handling of classified information. This intelligence source being quoted by Herridge is saying she “at a minimum” she crossed that line. If so then one would expect the FBI would recommend further action when it lays out the case to the DOJ.
If nothing else, Herridge’s report demonstrates that there are people close to the FBI investigation who think the evidence is not in Clinton’s favor. As discussed in my previous post, that does not mean she will be indicted and forced to drop out of the presidential race, but it may mean this is not going as well for her at the FBI as Clinton continues to insist it is.