Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10, 2015 — Hillary files something official about her E-mail with the DC Federal Court in a Civil FOIA case


“While I do not know what information may be 'responsive' for purposes of this law suit, I have directed that all my emails on clintonemail.com in my custody, that were or potentially were federal records be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done....”                                                                                                                          —  Statement filed in Federal Court by Hillary Clinton 

In a responsive filing with the same court, the plaintiff in the case, Judicial Watch, complained that Hillary Clinton’s statement was virtually useless in tracking down the government records that had been in her possession  —  it listed several specific shortcomings of the statement she filed with the court



According to a report in Politico by Josh Gertsein, “Hillary Clinton's first official legal statement about her handling of her email records was released Monday, triggering an immediate response from critics who said it failed to resolve questions swirling around her use of a private email account and server while she served as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013....  The one-page declaration, signed "HR Clinton" [ ] was filed Monday afternoon in federal court in Washington in connection with a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking records about the employment arrangements of one of Clinton's top aides, Huma Abedin....  Clinton's declaration was dated Saturday. A State Department spokesman said Monday that the text of the declaration was sent to the department on Friday, with a copy of the signed statement arriving the following day.”  (See “Hillary Clinton email certification released” by Josh Gerstein, 8/10/15, Politico [http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2015/08/hillary-clinton-email-certification-released-212156.html]).

SOME DETAILS CONTAINED IN HILLARY CLINTON’S STATEMENT

Here is more detail, as reported in the Gerstein-Politico article:  “.... [Quoting the statement] ‘While I do not know what information may be 'responsive' for purposes of this law suit, I have directed that all my emails on clintonemail.com in my custody, that were or potentially were federal records be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done,’ wrote Clinton, the leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination....   Clinton also responded to a request from U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan for information about how Abedin and another top Clinton aide, Cheryl Mills, used Clinton's personal email system....  ‘Cheryl Mills did not have an account on clintonemail.com. Huma Abedin did have such an account, which was used at times for government business,’ Clinton declared....”

POLITICO’S VIEWS ON THE HILLARY CLINTON STATEMENT

“Clinton's declaration [link contained in the article] did not add much to the sum total of public knowledge about the use of her email server. However, the filing did highlight the fact that Mills and Abedin did not respond directly to Sullivan's request for similar information. Instead, they submitted letters from their attorneys describing efforts made to search for work-related emails and provide them to State and to a House committee investigating the Benghazi attack....” —  according to Josh Gerstein, writing for Politico.


THE PLAINTIFF IN THE ACTION, JUDICIAL WATCH, PRETTY MUCH EXPRESSED THE SAME VIEW AS POLITICO’S IN A RESPONDING FILING TO THE COURT

“In a court filing later Monday [link contained in the article] , Judicial Watch attorney Michael Bekesha complained that [Hillary Clinton’s] submission didn't really advance the case....   ‘Neither the Court nor Plaintiff is any closer to knowing where responsive records may exist,’ Bekesha wrote. ‘It is of the utmost importance that all federal records in the possession of Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Abedin, and Ms. Mills be returned to Defendant [ U.S. Department of State] to enable Defendant to conduct a search reasonably calculated to uncover all responsive records.’...  Bekesha also noted that Clinton's statement did not detail how her work-related emails were selected for submission or by whom, nor did it say what had become of Abedin's clintonemail.com messages....”

2 comments:

Galewyn Massey said...

UPDATE: THE “WHY HILLARY CAN’T AVOID MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT HER E-MAIL” EDITION

THE WAPO’S CHRIS CILLIZZA HITS HILLARY IN THE FACE WITH A PIE CHART OF THE E-MAILS THAT WERE KEPT ON HER PRIVATE SERVER — FULLY HALF (50%) HAD BEEN CONSIDERED “PERSONAL” — THEY WERE FIRST WITHHELD FROM BEING TURNED OVER TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT AFTER BEING CULLED-OUT PURSUANT TO A FOUR-STAGE FORMULA AND THEN THEY WERE DELETED

CILLIZZA POINTS OUT, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT IF ONLY TEN (10) OF THE THIRTY ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED EIGHTY (31,380) E-MAILS THAT WERE WITHHELD AS “PRIVATE” “BY HONEST MISTAKE” AND THEN DELETED, AGAIN “BY HONEST MISTAKE” BY PEOPLE ON HILLARY CLINTON’S PAYROLL, THEN PRESUMABLY THOSE MISTAKENLY “MIS-IDENTIFIED PRIVATE E-MAILS” WOULD BE LOST FOREVER — AND HOW WOULD ANYBODY EVER KNOW ? ? ?

“.... THAT FACT MEANS THAT REPUBLICANS WON’T EVER GIVE UP ATTACKING [HILLARY] CLINTON ON THE E-MAIL ISSUE. AND POLITICALLY SPEAKING, THAT MAKES ALL THE SENSE IN THE WORLD.”
— THE WASHINGTON POST’S CHRIS CILLIZZA


According to one of the Washington Post’s top political columnists, Chris Cillizza, “Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton made a calculated move over the weekend to put the questions and controversy about a private e-mail account and server she used as Secretary of State to rest.... By signing a pledge that puts her in genuine legal jeopardy if she is proven to be lying, Clinton believes that she will effectively end the active debate about whether she properly protected her e-mails and whether she turned over everything that was at all work-related to the State Department.... Would she do all of that if there was ANY doubt in her mind that her e-mail inbox had been appropriately sorted between business and personal, her supporters will ask, rhetorically. She has gone above and beyond to make clear there is no wrongdoing here, they will note.... (See “Hillary Clinton is trying to end questions about her private e-mail account. It won’t work.” by Chris Cillizza, 8/10/15, The Washington Post [http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/08/10/hillary-clinton-is-trying-to-end-questions-about-her-private-e-mail-account-its-not-going-to-work/]).

Then Cillizza did a lengthy, detailed recitation and analysis as to why it would be unreasonable for the questions about HRC’s E-mails to stop — “.... The Clinton e-mail story isn't going away no matter how many statements Clinton submits about what she knew when. Here's why.... Clinton deleted more e-mails than she turned over. And, the process by which she decided which e-mails were entirely personal -- and, therefore, could be deleted -- remains relatively opaque....”

Then, after listing the four criteria used by those chosen to select which of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s E-mails were “entirely personal” and not subject to being turned over as official government documents, Cillizza pointed out that “.... we don't know a) who led this process b) how many people were involved in it c) whether Clinton herself was involved in it or d) whether any one person actually read all of the e-mails. What we do know is that people on Clinton's payroll were in charge of deciding which e-mails to turn over to the State Department and which to permanently delete. And, let me emphasize again, that we are talking about 31,380 e-mails that will never, ever be seen again -- barring a stroke of amazing luck....”

All of that led Chris Cillizza to conclude, “.... The e-mails that might raise questions about whether she turned over everything that had anything to do with State Department business are all gone. Deleted. Never to be seen again. Even if she -- or whoever made the final call on what to turn over to State -- made an innocent mistake and deleted, say, 10 e-mails that had to do with official business, we will simply never know.... That fact means that Republicans won't ever give up attacking Clinton on the e-mail issue. And, politically speaking, that makes all the sense in the world.”

Galewyn Massey said...

UPDATE: THE “ HILLARY CLINTON ‘PAPER CHASE’ ” EDITION

THE CRUSTY OLD “CONTRACTS” PROFESSOR LOOKS DOWN AT A YOUNG LAW STUDENT, HILLARY RODHAM, AND SAYS, “YOUNG LADY, HERE’S A QUARTER, YOU NEED TO CALL YOUR LAWYER....”

THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS EDITORIAL ABOUT E-MAIL HACKING BEGINS BY SLAMMING FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON — AND, SIMILAR TO THE PROFESSOR IN "THE PAPER CHASE," ALSO SUGGESTING THAT SHE CALL HER LAWYER

THE NEWS ALSO SAYS THAT HILLARY CLINTON’S OBVIOUS INTENTION TO COVER-UP “INCONVENIENT” FACTS, TOGETHER WITH THE LIKELIHOOD OF THE HACKING OF HER PRIVATE E-MAILS, LEAVES CLINTON WIDE OPEN TO BLACKMAIL


If the iconic law school movie were to be re-cast with a young Hillary Rodham in the lead instead of Timothy Bottoms, as “Hart” — the situs would shift need to from Harvard to Yale, but John Houseman could be retained in his role as “Charles W. Kingsfield Jr.,” a curmudgeonly old “Contracts” professor. In a very telling scene, after Hillary Rodham “Hart” recites something very like her U.N. E-mail speech on March 10th, Kingsfield looks down right through her and says this: “Young Lady, here’s a quarter....” and after a slight pause ( instead of telling her to call her mother), Kingsfield adds, “you’ll be needing it to call your lawyer....”

Today, the Daily News did exactly that to Hillary Rodham Clinton — minus the offer of the quarter.

The editorialists at the Daily News began their views on the hacking of certain government officials’ E-mails with this: “Hillary Clinton, call your old office and, maybe, your lawyer.... NBC News reveals that Chinese spies have aggressively targeted the personal email accounts and contact lists of top Obama administration personnel — including at a time when the former secretary of state conducted sensitive communications using a private, home-based server....
While the Chinese shenanigans are unsurprising, the news is harrowing for those concerned with scrupulously guarding American secrets....” ( See “Hillary wasn’t alone in having email security problems with hackers everywhere” by NY DAILY NEWS Editors, 8/11/15, NY Daily News [http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/editorial-hillary-wasn-article-1.2321035]).

Here’s the rub, according to the editorial writers at the News: “.... A senior intelligence officer told [ABC News] that the private emails of ‘many’ top officials, as well as their email contacts, were successfully compromised — and that Beijing may still be exploiting many of the very same vulnerabilities to this day.... Then there’s this ominous line of reporting, which does not bode well for Clinton: ‘The government email accounts assigned to the officials, however, were not hacked because they are more secure, says the senior U.S. intelligence official.’... The significance, of course, is far more than political: The nation is engaged in a high-stakes information war in which rival governments and rogue hackers will grab at anything and everything they can — potentially including embarrassing information about individuals — to gain an economic or national-security advantage over the United States....”

And here’s the kicker: “.... All this is a treasure trove for would-be blackmailers.... Clinton says she chose to send and receive official emails via a server named clintonemail.com — rather than an official state.gov setup — out of mere “convenience,” not to shield anything from congressional or public scrutiny.... But for the Democratic frontrunner, the facts are inconvenient indeed. China’s spying is one more reason why the FBI must investigate the security of State Department communications.... There’s now an urgent burden on all presidential candidates to lay out plans to shore up the government’s terribly porous cybersecurity. And because of her pack-leading position and unfortunate professional history, it’s on Hillary Clinton most of all.