It’s one thing to recklessly mishandles classified information on an unauthorized, non-secured, non-governmental server, it’s another to deliberately put that information into the hands of someone who doesn’t even come close to having proper clearance.
The New York Post is reporting a story that should resonate with every American concerned with the apparent cavalier attitude Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her staff took when handling state secrets via email.
How cavalier was the woman who wants to be President of the United States? Meet Marina Santos, Clinton’s maid who was routinely directed to print out her emails so the former Secretary of State could read them via hard copy rather than via electronic device.
In fact, Marina Santos was called on so frequently to receive e-mails that she may hold the secrets to E-mailgate — if only the FBI and Congress would subpoena her and the equipment she used.
Clinton entrusted far more than the care of her DC residence, known as Whitehaven, to Santos. She expected the Filipino immigrant to handle state secrets, further opening the Democratic presidential nominee to criticism that she played fast and loose with national security.
Clinton would first receive highly sensitive e-mails from top aides at the State Department and then request that they, in turn, forward the messages and any attached documents to Santos to print out for her at the home.
Among other things, Clinton requested Santos print out drafts of her speeches, confidential memos and “call sheets” — background information and talking points prepared for the secretary of state in advance of a phone call with a foreign head of state.
“Pls ask Marina to print for me in am,” Clinton e-mailed top aide Huma Abedin regarding a redacted 2011 message marked sensitive but unclassified.
So, which emails did Marina routinely print out for Mrs. Clinton? Were they yoga routines and Chelsea’s wedding plans? Well, if you believe that, you probably believe Bill Clinton only talked about his grandchildren with Loretta Lynch on that tarmac in July.
Here are some of the subjects of now-redacted emails that you and I are not able to read, but M<arina Santos could easily have read and, frankly, could easily have made duplicates of and left at a dead drop near Chappequa so a foreign agent could retrieve them and then wire funds into Santos’ family bank accounts back in Manila.
In a classified 2012 e-mail dealing with the new president of Malawi, another Clinton aide, Monica Hanley, advised Clinton, “We can ask Marina to print this.”
“Revisions to the Iran points” was the subject line of a classified April 2012 e-mail to Clinton from Hanley. In it, the text reads, “Marina is trying to print for you.”
Both classified e-mails were marked “confidential,” the tier below “secret” or “top secret.”
Even more maddening, Santos appears to have access to the highly secure SCIF (sensitive compartmented information facility) that had been specially prepared at Secretary Clinton’s New York home so she could access the highest level, top secret information without fear of foreign hackers compromising the data.
According to notes of last summer’s FBI interview of Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin, Santos would retrieve documents from within the SCIF and distribute them to Clinton on a regular basis:
From within the SCIF, Santos — who had no clearance — “collected documents from the secure facsimile machine for Clinton,” the FBI notes revealed.
Just how sensitive were the papers Santos presumably handled? The FBI noted Clinton periodically received the Presidential Daily Brief — a top-secret document prepared by the CIA and other US intelligence agencies — via the secure fax.
These revelations make FBI Director James Comey’s last-minute clean bill of legal health delivered to Clinton late Sunday night even that much more maddening and confusing. The entire premise of Comey’s decision to not recommend charges against Clinton hinged on his assessment that there was no “clear intent” to mishandle classified material. Set aside the fact that the law specifically dictates that intent is irrelevant to the question of mishandling sensitive material, how clear does intent need to be when there are emails specifically directing a person without a scintilla of appropriate clearance to print, handle and collect government documents that now are so sensitive they must be redacted from the general public?