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Judicial Watch • Weekly Update: Major Clinton Email Update

Weekly Update: Major Clinton Email Update

Weekly Update: Major Clinton Email Update

NOVEMBER 04, 2016

Judicial Watch Asks Court to Compel Hillary Clinton Email Answers
More Clinton-Abedin Email Exchanges of Classified Information on Unsecure Server
Emails Detail Attempts to Hack Clinton Server; U.S. Secret Service Informed
We Will Be Watching Virginia Polls on Election Day

 

Judicial Watch Asks Court to Compel Hillary Clinton Email Answers

You have watched along with us as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and many of her top aides treated the court process with contempt.

However, we have remedies in the courts for these delaying, obfuscating tactics.

This week, for example, we filed a motion to compel Clinton to answer three interrogatory questions she refused to answer under oath. We submitted the questions to her under a court order issued by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on August 19, 2016.

In our brief, we argue that Clinton “failed to provide sufficient reasons for refusing to answer them, and the limited reasons she provides do not warrant sustaining her objections.” Hillary Clinton refused outright to answer questions about the creation of her email system; her decision to use the system despite warning from State Department officials; and the basis for her claim that the State Department had “90-95%” of her emails.

In her responses sent to Judicial Watch and the court on October 13, 2016, Clinton refused to answer these three questions outright and responded that she “does not recall” 20 times concerning her non-government clintonemail.com email system. She preceded her responses by eight “general objections” and two “objections to definitions.” The words “object” or “objection” appear 84 times throughout the 23-page document submitted to the court and Judicial Watch.

In our motion to compel her to answer, we argue:

Pursuant to Rule 33 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “[t]he grounds for objecting to an interrogatory must be stated with specificity…. In addition, the party objecting to the interrogatory “bears the burden of ‘show[ing] why discovery should not be permitted….’” Although she objected to the three interrogatories, Secretary Clinton failed to provide sufficient reasons for refusing to answer them, and the limited reasons she provides do not warrant sustaining her objections.

Interrogatory 1 asks: “Describe the creation of the clintonemail.com system, including who decided to create the system, the date it was decided to create the system, why it was created, who set it up, and when it became operational.” In our motion to compel, we argue:

Secretary Clinton objects and asserts that the interrogatory is outside the scope of permitted discovery…. However, the creation of the clintonemail.com system is squarely within the scope of permitted discovery.  Understanding the basic facts surrounding the creation of the system is an integral part of understanding how and why it came to be used for State Department business.  To date, no witness has testified about these facts, and the Court specifically authorized interrogatories to enable Plaintiff to gather this information. Secretary Clinton’s refusal to answer the interrogatory is therefore misplaced.

Interrogatory 14 asks: On March 6, 2009, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Eric J. Boswell wrote in an Information Memo to your Chief of Staff, Cheryl Mills, that he “cannot stress too strongly, however, that any unclassified BlackBerry is highly vulnerable in any setting to remotely and covertly monitoring conversations, retrieving email, and exploiting calendars.” A March 11, 2009 email states that, in a management meeting with the assistant secretaries, you approached Assistant Secretary Boswell and mentioned that you had read the “IM” and that you “get it.” Did you review the March 6, 2009 Information Memo, and, if so, why did you continue using an unclassified BlackBerry to access your clintonemail.com email account to conduct official State Department business?

Secretary Clinton objected to Interrogatory 14, asserting that it concerned “cybersecurity issues outside the scope of permitted discovery.” In our motion to compel, we argue:

Interrogatory 14 does not concern “cybersecurity issues.” It asks whether Secretary Clinton read a memorandum about the general use of unapproved or unclassified Blackberries, and, if she did read the memorandum, why did she continue using an unapproved or unclassified Blackberry – the device by which [she] accessed the clintonemail.com account she used to conduct official government business. A yes or no answer to whether she read the memorandum will not reveal any information the parties’ agreed-upon scope sought to avoid. Similarly, if the answer is yes, Secretary Clinton’s explanation as to why, after reading the memorandum, she continued to access her clintonemail.com account through her Blackberry also will not reveal any information the parties’ agreed-upon scope sought to avoid. The interrogatory clearly seeks information squarely within the scope of permitted discovery. Secretary Clinton should be compelled to answer Interrogatory 14.

Interrogatory 24 asks: During your October 22, 2015 appearance before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Benghazi, you testified that 90 to 95 percent of your emails “were in the State’s system” and ‘if they wanted to see them, they would certainly have been able to do so.’ Identify the basis for this statement, including all facts on which you relied in support of the statement, how and when you became aware of these facts, and, if you were made aware of these facts by or through another person, identify the person who made you aware of these facts.

Secretary Clinton objected to Interrogatory 24 and asserted that the interrogatory asked for information protected by the attorney-client privilege.  In our motion to compel, we argue:

Interrogatory 24 does not seek any factual information Secretary Clinton may have provided to her attorneys in confidence for purposes of obtaining legal advice.  Nor does it seek any advice Secretary Clinton’s attorneys may have provided the secretary that would reveal facts she provided them in confidence.  The interrogatory only seeks the factual basis for a specific representation Secretary Clinton made to Congress.  It is irrelevant whether Secretary Clinton told her attorneys about the factual basis for this representation, either for purposes of obtaining legal advice or for some other purpose, because Plaintiff has not asked about any such communications.  As a result, the attorney client privilege does not apply.

***

Because Secretary Clinton has failed to provide any such information to justify her assertion of the attorney client privilege, she should be compelled to answer Interrogatory 24.

By refusing to answer our simple questions, Hillary Clinton is obstructing Judicial Watch’s efforts to get basic information about her email practices. Because she has not – and cannot – demonstrate that her refusal to answer our questions is proper, Hillary Clinton should be required by the court to answer them promptly.

The Clinton responses to interrogatives were received in the Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which was first filed in September 2013 seeking records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former deputy chief of staff to Clinton (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)). The lawsuit was reopened because of revelations about the clintonemail.com system.

In the same cases we also filed another Motion to Compel against John Bentel, former State Department Director of Information Resource Management of the Executive Secretariat, to answer 87 questions asked of him during his October 24 Judicial Watch deposition concerning former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s non-state.gov email system.  At the deposition, Bentel answered each of the questions, “On advice from my legal counsel, I decline to answer the question and I invoke my Fifth Amendment rights.” Judicial Watch’s court filing refutes Bentel’s claim for Fifth Amendment self-incrimination protection, arguing:

Mr. Bentel has invoked his Fifth Amendment rights without providing any justification whatsoever. He has not identified – let alone demonstrated – a fear of prosecution in answering any of the 87 questions asked of him during his deposition. Nor has he demonstrated any such fear is more than fanciful or merely speculative. Mr. Bentel has not provided Plaintiff or the Court with any pertinent information to allow it to assess the validity of the invocation for each of the 87 questions Mr. Bentel declined to answer.

Judge Sullivan allowed us to depose Bentel in the first place, in part, because of his notable appearance in a May 2016 Inspector General’s report that found:

Mr. Bentel told employees in his office that Secretary Clinton’s email arrangement had been approved by the State Department’s legal staff and also instructed his subordinates not to discuss the Secretary’s email again:

In one meeting, one staff member raised concerns that information sent and received on Secretary Clinton’s account could contain Federal records that needed to be preserved in order to satisfy Federal recordkeeping requirements. According to the staff member, the Director stated that the Secretary’s personal system had been reviewed and approved by Department legal staff and that the matter was not to be discussed any further. . . . According to the other S/ES-IRM staff member who raised concerns about the server, the Director stated that the mission of S/ES-IRM is to support the Secretary and instructed the staff never to speak of the Secretary’s personal email system again.

It should disturb Americans that yet another Clinton IT official asserted the Fifth Amendment rather than answer straight-forward questions about Clinton’s email scheme.  You can see why this Clinton email scandal will continue long after Election Day.

 

More Clinton-Abedin Email Exchanges of Classified Information on Unsecure Server

It is by now abundantly clear that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not telling the truth when she said the “personal emails” she “did not keep” were about mundane topics such as  yoga sessions and wedding plans.

This week we released 323 pages of Department of State documents, including previously unreleased email exchanges in which Clinton and top aide Huma Abedin sent classified information over Clinton’s clintonemail.com unsecure email system. According to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemptions cited in the documents, three of the email exchanges contained material “classified to protect national security.”

Also included in the newly obtained documents is an additional instance of the State Department doing special favors for a high-dollar Clinton Foundation donor. And the documents include instances of the distribution by State Department officials of Clinton’s government schedule to members of the Clinton Foundation staff.

The documents contain emails not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date of such emails uncovered by Judicial Watch to 238 new Clinton emails (not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department). These records further appear to contradict statements by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department.

The new records include three separate Clinton-Abedin email exchanges withheld in part from Judicial Watch under the State Department’s “B1” FOIA exemption, applying to “information that is classified to protect national security”:

From: sbwhoeop[Redacted]

To: H:

Sent: Thu Oct 08 [8:08:03] 2009

Subject: Fw: Memo on latest N.I. negotiations; yr trip; from Shaun W Sid

CONFIDENTIAL

October 8, 2009

For: Hillary

From: Sid

Re: Latest/N. Ireland

After five hours of talk at Downing Street tonight, Thursday, October 8, Shaun Woodward tells me that it seems Gordon Brown has brokered a financial package with Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness that may in turn break the deadlock of devolution of policing and justice. They have covered the major issues in stage two in their discussions. On Monday, Brown will formally set out the details in a letter to Robinson and McGuinness. Gordon will share these with you when you meet with him on Sunday at Chequers. Shaun says that both Robinson and McGuinness, subject to some minor details, should be in a position to recommend to Unionists and Nationalists that this is a strong deal. The letter will confirm the details. [Redacted due to information “kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy;” “foreign relations or foreign activities of the US, including confidential sources”] I hope that’s right.

From: H

To: Huma Abedin

Sent: Thu Oct 08 [8:08:04] 2009

Subject: Fw: Memo on latest N.I. negotiations; yr trip; from Shaun W Sid

Pls print.

Sent: Thursday, October 08, 2009 8:10:04 PM

To: Humamabedin[Redacted]

Subject: Fw: Memo on latest N.I. [Northern Ireland] negotiations; yr trip; from Shaun W Sid

Attachments: hrc memo n. ireland 100809.docx

***

From: sbwhoeop[Redacted]

To: H

Sent: Sun Oct 11 [8:46:43] 2009

Subject: Memo on your speech meeting on Monday, Sid

CONFIDENTIAL

October 11, 2009

For: Hillary

From: Sid

Re: Your speech and meeting on Monday

I have not seen your speech obviously that you will deliver Monday morning at Stormont. Shaun tells me that it’s a good speech, and you’re right not to instruct the parties what to do but to encourage them to address why completing devolution needs to be done [Redacted due to information “kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy;” “foreign relations or foreign activities of the US, including confidential sources”] That’s it.

From: H

To: Huma Abedin

Sent: Monday Oct 12 02:06:15 2009

Subject: Fw: H: Memo on your speech meeting on Monday, Sid

Pls print

From: Huma Abedin [Huma@clintonemail.com]

Sent: Monday, October 12, 2009 2:11:38 AM

To: humamabedin[Redacted]

Subject: Fw: H: Memo on your speech meeting on Monday, Sid

Attachments: hrc memo ni [sic] meeting 101209 docx

***

From: H HDR22@clintonemail.com

To: Sullivan, Jacob J

Sent: Sun Oct 25 11:13:17 2009

Subject: Re: Honduras

First, Tom’s travel date hasn’t been set – will be Tuesday or Wednesday we think. He is coordinating with Don Restrepo to see if they can go together [Redacted due to information “kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy”] So that’s where we are. We’ll have more to report tomorrow.

***

From Sullivan, Jacob J SullivanJJ@state.gov

To: H

Sent: Sun Oct 25 [11:49:45] 2009

Subject: Re: Honduras

Sounds good.

There will be those who take a hard line on the elections, but perhaps some fence-sitting countries could be persuaded on conditional recognition. I’ll flag it for Tom and Craig.

From: H

To: Huma Abedin

Sent: Mon Oct 26 07:27:12 2009

Subject: Fw: Honduras

All of this did not print last night, It stopped after Fourth! [Redacted due to information “kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy;” “foreign relations or foreign activities of the US, including confidential sources”] [Emphasis added]

From: Huma Abedin [Huma@clintonemail.com]

Sent: Monday, October 26, 2009 8:06:12 AM

To: humaabedin [Redacted]

Subject: Fw: Honduras

The emails also include an exchange between Abedin, Clinton personal assistant Lauren Jiloty, and Iris Anaya, the assistant to sugar magnate and Clinton Foundation donor Alfonso Fanjul concerning a request for special access to Clinton. On October 13, 2009, Anaya emailed Abedin seeking to arrange a meeting between Fanjul, the CEO of Florida Crystals, and Clinton. Jiloty responded the next day, asking that Anaya talk with Clinton scheduler Lona Valmoro about “setting up a meeting.” Fanjul donated more than $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation and was a Bill Clinton co-chairman in Florida.

In an October 26, 2009, email exchange, power attorney and Hillary Clinton financial supporter Charlie Ann Syprett contacted Doug Band, apparently seeking help in getting around U.S. Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) restrictions on U.S. citizens’ ability to travel to Cuba. Syprett ostensibly wanted a waiver from the restrictions to enable people from her organization, SYC Charitable Foundation, to travel to Cuba, noting “we are not asking for something out of the ordinary.”

The emails also show that Valmoro sent Clinton’s government schedule to the unsecure email addresses of numerous members of the Clinton Foundation staff on October 16, 2009, again on October 18, 2009, and on October 25, 2009. The emails also include discussions of personnel matters and appointments on Clinton’s unsecure account, which may run afoul of federal privacy law.

This is the thirteenth set of records produced for Judicial Watch by the State Department from the non-state.gov email accounts of Huma Abedin. The documents were produced under a court order in a May 5, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the State Department requiring the agency to produce “all emails of official State Department business received or sent by former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin from January 1, 2009 through February 1, 2013, using a ‘non-state’.gov email address” (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)).   Previous records releases documented special Clinton State Department consideration for Clinton Foundation supporters (see herehere, and here.)

We’ve once again uncovered classified information in Hillary Clinton’s and Huma Abedin’s emails. It is frankly remarkable that the FBI and Justice Department are only now investigating Abedin’s connection to Clinton’s mishandling of classified information.

 

Emails Detail Attempts to Hack Clinton Server; U.S. Secret Service Informed

One danger to America as a result of the classified information on Clinton’s illicit system is this: We know that attempts were made by unknown parties to hack their private email accounts.

Consider:

This week we released State Department documents detailing repeated efforts to hack into the unsecure non-state.gov email system used by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in November 2010.  The hacks are detailed in email exchanges between State Department IT official Brian Pagliano and Bill Clinton aide Justin Cooper. The emails show the system was hacked 10 times in two days from November 27 to 29.

The documents also reveal that Pagliano warned Cooper that because of an outside service vendor relied upon by the Clinton system, “we’d be susceptible to such an attack.”  Cooper subsequently informed the U.S. Secret Service of the attempted hacks, providing agents with each of the ten reports and summaries Pagliano had provided him.

The new documents were among the nearly 15,000 Clinton emails discovered by the FBI, and obtained in response to an April 8, 2016, federal court order directing the Department of State to begin producing materials for Judicial Watch in response to a September 3, 2015 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-01441)). The lawsuit was filed after State failed to comply with an August 5, 2015 FOIA request seeking information about Bryan Pagliano’s involvement with Clinton’s email system.

The ten emails from Pagliano alerting Cooper to the apparent hacking attempt began on the morning of Saturday, November 27, 2010, and continued through Monday, November 29. Each of the ten alerts contained the same message, apparently from the cyber security firm Symantec: “There was a failed logon attempt logged on the server. To check who it was log onto the server and double click on the toolbox icon labeled Failed_Logon_Attempt….”

On both November 29 and November 30, Pagliano sent Cooper emails detailing the attempted hack:

From: Bryan Pagliano

To: Justin Cooper

Sent: Monday, Nov 29 10:48:31 2010

Subject: Re:

So, to update you…

The failed logon attempts on the 27th were for username doug and dougband, the failed logon attempts on the 29th were for username huma. Would be useful to know if it was them who tried to log in…

***

From: Bryan Pagliano

Date: November 30, 2010 12:22:55 AM EST

To: Justin Cooper

Subject: Re:

Weird, looks like the attack came from 208.67.222.222 and started at around 5pm.

It’s a company called OpenDNS, they are a fairly reputable organization.

The traffic seems to have cleared up at about 11:50pm. I wonder if they had someone launching an attack from their servers.

That may explain the DNS issue we had earlier. Might have been an injection attack [NOTE: most common and successful attacks on the internet due to their numerous types, large attack surface, and the complexity required to protect against them]. We use their servers to resolve external websites for both the sbs and blackberry server so we’d be susceptible to such an attack. [Emphasis added]

Later on November 30, Cooper sent the entire email exchange with Pagliano to the Secret Service. Before providing Judicial Watch with Cooper’s email reports, the State Department redacted the identity of Cooper’s intended recipient with the notation “REFERRED FOR CONSULTATION – USSS.” The State Department redacted the recipient under a “B7 (C)” FOIA exemption, which is “Law enforcement information whose disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”

These newly released emails show that the Clinton email server was subject to an aggressive and targeted hacking attempt.  And we now know that yet another government agency, the United States Secret Service, not only knew about the Clinton email system but that it was the target of hacking. The Clinton email scandal has now widened to yet another Obama administration agency.

 

We Will Be Watching Virginia Polls on Election Day

Our Election Integrity Project, headed up by Robert Popper, former deputy chief of the Voting Section in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and a veteran poll observer for the Department f Justice, will be monitoring the polls in Virginia on election day.

Popper has been training volunteer poll observers for the task. We have good reason to worry about the integrity of voting in Virginia. As just on example, 1,046 aliens, or residents who are not U.S. citizens, were on the voter rolls in 8 Virginia counties. If that rate of non-citizen registration held in the rest of Virginia’s counties — that would mean about 6,500 non-citizens are registered to vote in Virginia.

We have been at work in other states, as well. Recent polls show that voters are becoming “deeply skeptical” about election integrity.  Of course, we will be alert for election fraud nationwide on Tuesday.

The right to vote is a key tool Americans have to exercise control and oversight over our government.  Your right to vote is precious and not available in any significant way to billions across the world.  So if you can, please vote on Election Day.