Tag Archives: classified information

Former House Majority Leader Claims FBI is ‘Ready to Indict’ Hillary Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has been under investigation by the FBI for several months, and former U.S. House Majority leader Tom DeLay said Monday that the FBI is “ready to indict” her for using a private email server to conduct government business.

During an interview on “The Steve Malzberg Show,” DeLay, a Republican from Texas, said he has friends in the FBI who tell him they’re ready to indict” the former Secretary of State.

“They’re ready to recommend an indictment and they also say that if the attorney general does not indict, they’re going public,” DeLay said.

[RELATED: FBI Refuses to Release Information in Hillary Clinton Email Investigation]

Clinton’s use of personal email on a private server during her tenure as Secretary of State was revealed in March 2015, and while she has maintained that she never sent or received any classified information on the server, her claims have been contradicted by the Intelligence Community.

Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III sent a letter to Congress on Jan. 14, revealing that not only did “several dozen” of Clinton’s emails contain classified information, but some of the information was classified as SAP or “special access programs,” which is beyond top secret.

“To date, I have received two sworn declarations from one [intelligence community] element,” McCullough wrote. “These declarations cover several dozen emails containing classified information determined by the IC element to be at the confidential, secret, and top secret/sap levels. According to the declarant, these documents contain information derived from classified IC element sources.” 

[RELATED: Report: Dozens of Hillary Clinton Emails were Classified from The Beginning]

DeLay said he believes Clinton is “going to have to face these charges” eventually, whether it’s through an FBI indictment or through the “public eye.”

“One way or another either she’s going to be indicted and that process begins, or we try her in the public eye with her campaign,” DeLay said. “One way or another she’s going to have to face these charges.”

Veterans Group Urges DOJ To Take Action Against Hillary For Ordering Classified Info To Be Sent ‘Nonsecure’

By Chuck Ross – A veterans advocacy group that has sued the State Department over its failure to turn over Hillary Clinton’s emails is asking Attorney General Loretta Lynch to take action against the former secretary of state for ordering one of her top advisers to strip classification markers off of a set of talking points and send them through unencrypted channels.

In the letter, Veterans for a Strong America (VSA) executive director Joel Arends points to federal statute 18 USC 793, which he asserts Clinton violated when, in a June 17, 2011 email, she ordered adviser Jake Sullivan to strip a document containing talking points of its “identifying heading and send nonsecure” instead of sending via secure fax. (RELATED: Bombshell Emails Shows Hillary Instructed Adviser To Strip Markings From Sensitive Talking Points)

As Arends notes, 18 USC 793 states that it is a federal crime punishable by fine and up to 10 years in prison to “cause to be communicated, delivered or transmitted…to any person not entitled to receive [classified information], or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it on demand to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it.”

Gross negligence is also punishable under the statute. A person having knowledge that classified material was illegally removed from its “proper place of custody” and “fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction” has violated that portion of the law.

The State Department said Friday that it does not know for certain whether the talking points that Clinton asked to be stripped and sent nonsecure contained classified information. An agency spokesman said that an additional search of all 55,000 pages of Clinton’s emails was conducted for a follow-up email of the talking points sent from Sullivan. No such record was found.

But the mere fact that Sullivan intended to send the talking points over secure fax suggests that the information contained in the talking points was likely classified, many observers argued Friday.

Clinton would also have had no way of knowing whether classified information was included in the talking points when she ordered Sullivan to strip the document of its markings and to send away.

“It appears that the information contained in the emails referenced herein was classified, that the classified information was illegally transmitted, and that the Secretary ordered said classified information be stripped of its classification markers and transmitted through unencrypted channels,” Arends wrote to Lynch.

“It is false that Hillary Clinton asked for classified material to be sent over a nonsecure system,” Clinton’s campaign spokesman, Brian Fallon, said in a brief statement on Friday.

Arends and his veterans group have a vested interest in Clinton’s State Department records as well as the integrity of the security clearance process.

“Being a 21-year military veteran and a current holding of a U.S. security clearance,” Arends said that he is “aware that incidences of improper disclosure of classified information demand swift and sure action.”

In March, just days after news broke that Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct all of her State Department business, VSA sued the State Department for Clinton’s emails and phone logs for just before and after the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks.

VSA had filed a Freedom of Information Act request in July 2014 for the records but had not received the documents by the time Clinton’s personal email account was revealed. Had VSA obtained the emails and call logs, they would have found that Clinton sent one email to her daughter as the Benghazi attack was still occurring to state that an “Al Queda-like [sic] group” was behind the attack. (RELATED: Hillary Told Daughter Chelsea That Terrorists Were Behind Benghazi Attack The Night It Happened)

Other records from that time frame show that Clinton spoke to Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil and told him “we know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest.”

But while Clinton was privately acknowledging that the Benghazi onslaught was a pre-planned terrorist attack, she and the Obama administration indicated in public that an anti-Muslim video may have sparked the incident.

VSA hoped to use Clinton’s records in a book called “What Difference Does It Make?” — the title borrowed from a line Clinton’s controversial comment during a Jan. 23, 2013 Senate hearing that it did not matter whether the murder of the four Americans at Benghazi was because of a protest or because a group of “guys outside for a walk one night” decided to kill Americans.

“What difference at this point does it make?” Clinton bellowed.

The FBI is already investigating Clinton’s off-the-books email setup, but Arends hopes that Lynch will open another inquiry into Clinton’s email to Sullivan.

“Action is critically important when the disclosure of classified of information came as a result of the Secretary of State using an unsecured server on which to transmit our nation’s secrets,” Arends wrote, urging the Justice Department “to put politics aside and to act upon the apparent disclosure, transmittal and improper handling of classified information by the former Secretary and those under her direction.”

Bradley Moss, who is representing VSA, says that holding a security clearance is a privilege, “and a sacred one at that.”

“It has been incredibly disheartening for the approximately four million of us who hold security clearances to see the rather sloppy (if not illegal) way in which Secretary Clinton and her aides handled classified information during their time at State,” Moss told The Daily Caller.

“If this were done by one of my rank and file clients, their clearances would have been revoked.”

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This article was republished with permission fro The Daily Caller.

Report: Dozens Of Hillary Clinton Emails Were Classified From The Beginning

While Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has claimed that she did not send or receive any classified information on the private email server she used for government business during her tenure as Secretary of State, the FBI has upgraded over 300 of the 30,000 emails it has access to, and reports suggest that those emails were in fact “born classified.”

A report from Reuters found that the “classified” stamps on the emails, which include dates, letters and numbers describing the classification, show that some of Clinton’s emails are “filled with a type of information both the U.S. government and the [state] department’s own regulations automatically deems classified from the get-go — regardless of whether it is already marked that way or not.”

The report also claimed that out of the small number of emails that have been made public so far, at least 30 message chains from 2009 “include what the State Department’s own ‘Classified’ stamps now identify as so-called ‘foreign government information,'” which is the only kind of information that “must be presumed classified” to protect national security.

[RELATED: Criminal Investigation Requested In Hillary Clinton’s Use Of Personal Email]

Although Clinton has said multiple times that she did not send or receive any classified information on her private email server, the report found that in the 30 classified emails it flagged, 17 of the message chains had “foreign government information” that was sent and received on an unsecured network between Clinton and her senior staff.

In a court filing, State department Executive Secretary Joseph Macmanus wrote that the BlackBerry devices issued to Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin while she was Security of State, have likely been “destroyed or excessed,” when they became “outdated models.”

[RELATED: Fact Check: Holes In Hillary’s Email Story]

J. William Leonard, the director of the U.S. government’s Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) from 2002-2008, told Reuters that the now “classified” information on Clinton’s server was actually born classified, and that for the State Department to argue would be “blowing smoke.”

“It’s born classified,” Leonard said. “If a foreign minister just told the secretary of state something in confidence, by U.S. rules that is classified at the moment it’s in U.S. channels and U.S. possession.”

[RELATED: Federal Judge Orders Access To 32,000 Personal Emails After Hillary Turns In Blank Server]

While Clinton turned 30,000 emails over to the State Department and the FBI, she revealed that she deleted approximately 32,000 emails from her server, because they contained “personal information.”

I. Charles McCullough III, the inspector general for the intelligence community, marked two of the emails Clinton “top-secret,” containing the highest form of classified information, and in response, federal judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered the FBI to gain access to the trove of “personal” emails Clinton claimed she deleted.

[RELATED: Will Hillary Clinton Face Legal Trouble For Deleting Subpoenaed Emails?]

For more election coverage, click here.

David Petraeus Strikes Plea Deal, Expected To Serve Two Years Probation

Former CIA director and military commander David Petraeus reached a plea deal with the Justice Department Tuesday and has agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of “unauthorized removal and retention of classified material.” That charge can lead to up to one year in prison, but prosecutors are expected to recommend two years of probation and a $40,000 fine.

The Justice Department released a statement following the plea deal:

“Three documents — a criminal information, a plea agreement and a statement of facts — were filed today in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina’s Charlotte Division in the case of United States v. David Howell Petraeus. The criminal information charges the defendant with one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material. … The plea agreement and corresponding statement of facts, both signed by the defendant, indicate that he will plead guilty to the one-count criminal information.

Petraeus admitted that he gave highly classified information- including “identifies of covert officers, war strategy, intelligence capabilities and mechanisms, diplomatic discussions, quotes and deliberative discussions from high-level National Security Council meetings” as well as discussions with President Barack Obama- to his mistress, Paula Broadwell, an Army Reserve officer who was writing a biography about Petraeus. He also gave her “national defense information, including top secret/SCI and code word information.” In 2012, Petraeus had initially denied giving Broadwell the information.

Before the discovery that Petraeus had given information to Broadwell, he had resigned from his position as CIA director after an FBI investigation of Petraeus’s emails revealed a relationship with Broadwell. Petraeus’s emails were monitored because a woman named Jill Kelley told the FBI that she was receiving threatening emails, and the emails traced back to Broadwell.

Officials had originally said in 2012 that Petraeus’s affair with Broadwell had no effect on national security, but evidence was later found that Petraeus gave Broadwell classified information.


US Moves to Classify Afghan Military Oversight

New Pentagon Classifications Hide Data From SIGAR Report

by Jason Ditz, January 29, 2015

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) is constantly struggling with Pentagon and the State Department trying to keep them from uncovering their various failures. Today, they reported an unprecedented such effort by the Pentagon.

One of the metrics the Pentagon has constantly put forward to prove its military progress in Afghanistan has been data relating to the creation of an Afghan military and national police force. Starting this month, they’ve decided all such information is classified.

The military is insisting that information on how many Afghan troops there are and how much its costing “could endanger American lives,” even though they’ve been providing this data as a matter of course for six straight years.

The Afghan government doesn’t consider the information secret themselves, so it is possible that portions of the data will slip out by way of them, though the Pentagon seems eager to avoid anything Afghan-themed going forward.

The timing of the new classification is likely not coincidental, but reflects the narrative of the war being “over.” The shift to a primarily “training” based mission would put even more attention on the training and how poorly it’s gone.

The Pentagon isn’t a fan of criticism, and has decided that instead they will just classify the data surrounding the war outright, allowing them to escape all oversight.