New State Department Emails Reveal Blumenthal Advised Clinton that former Rep. Eric Cantor Committed a Possible ‘Felony’ by Disclosing Petraeus Classified Information
‘Will a grand jury be empaneled by the Justice Department? When will Senator Patrick Leahy, chair of the Judiciary Committee… begin an investigation of this matter?’ – November 13, 2012
Blumenthal advised top Obama debate advisor that Romney would ‘falsify, distort, and mangle facts;’ advised Clinton on Libya turmoil disclosed in ‘internal govt discussions high level’
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that on January 7, 2016, it obtained a new batch of documents from the Department of State, including a “Confidential” memo from Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal to the former secretary of state suggesting that a grand jury and the Senate Judiciary Committee should investigate whether former Rep. Eric Cantor or his staff violated the Espionage Act by disclosing classified information related to the FBI investigation of former CIA Director David Petraeus.
According to the Blumenthal-to-Clinton email, if classified information was discussed by Cantor, his staff, or anyone “inside or outside the bureau,” it “is a felony” in violation of the Espionage Act. Many legal analysts now believe that if the FBI concludes that Clinton kept classified information on her non-state.gov server, that may be also be a criminal violation of the Espionage Act.
The documents also contain an email to Clinton in which Blumenthal sent a copy of a “Confidential” memo to top Obama 2012 presidential debate advisor Ron Klain warning that GOP candidate Mitt Romney would “falsify, distort, and mangle facts” in the final campaign debate. The Blumenthal memo was sent to Klain and copied to Clinton just four days before the final debate.
The documents include an email sent after the Benghazi attack in which Blumenthal informs Clinton of his “Latest Libya intel” regarding the turmoil in that country. Though barred by the Obama administration from being an official State Department advisor to Clinton, Blumenthal – who at the time was also employed by the Clinton Foundation – claimed to have “a very sensitive source” providing him “internal govt discussions high level” concerning Libyan internal security.
The new emails, also available on the State Department website, were obtained by Judicial Watch in response to a court order Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on May 6, 2015, (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00692), seeking the following:
- Communications between officials, officers, or employees of the Department of State and members of Congress, Congressional staff members, or Congressional members or staff members of the U.S. House of representatives Select Committee on Benghazi concerning the use of non-“state.gov” email addresses by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
- Emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton regarding the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The timeframe for this request is September 11, 2012, to January 31, 2013.
The State Department’s records include a November 13, 2012, email from Blumenthal to Clinton in which he speculates about former Rep. Eric Cantor’s dealings with then FBI Director Robert Mueller concerning the agency’s investigation of former CIA director David Petraeus. In the email, Blumenthal raises the possible need for both a grand jury and a Senate Judiciary Committee investigation of possible violations of the Espionage Act by Cantor and his staff if classified information was made public:
From: Sidney Blumenthal
Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2012 9:13 AM
Subject: More questions. Sid
Who else in the Congress besides congressmen Reichert and Cantor knew of the Petraeus investigation before it became public? How many congressional staffers were informed? What roles did they play in deciding who to inform about it? What were their communications among themselves and with others outside their offices if any? Did any of them discuss the matter with anyone in the Romney-Ryan campaign?
Why was Cantor intent on informing FBI Director Mueller of the existence of an FBI investigation that was already resolved?…
What were the internal discussions between Cantor and his staff on his referral to Mueller?…
Was the supposedly rogue FBI agent, described in the Washington Post as motivated by his “worldview,” acting alone? Did he discuss the investigation with any individual either inside or outside the bureau before he went to Reichert and Cantor?
Disclosure of an espionage investigation is a felony. Will a grand jury be empaneled by the Justice Department?
When will Senator Patrick Leahy, chair of the Judiciary Committee and a former FBI agent, begin an investigation of this matter?
From: H <[email protected]>
To: ‘sbwhoeop [Redacted]
Sent: Tue,Nov 13, 2012 9:23 am
Subject: Re: More questions. Sid
What was his “worldview” and why would he think hurting P furthered it? Why would Cantor want to hurt P (beloved by Rs)?
The records obtained by Judicial Watch also include an October 19, 2012, email from Blumenthal to Clinton in which he sends a copy of a lengthy “Confidential” memo to Klain expounding upon how to defeat Mitt Romney in the third and final 2012 presidential debate:
From: Sidney Blumenthal
Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 10:32 AM
Subject: H: fyi, see especially point about bush. Sid
- Romney will inevitably falsify, distort and mangle facts on a range of subjects from Libya to the defense budget. But why is this debate different from all other debates? In the dedicated foreign policy debate, the stakes are higher—America’s role in the world. That makes Romney’s errors even more consequential and potentially threatening. And that must be an essential predicate of Obama’s point when he exposes Romney’s falsehoods. When Romney lies on domestic policy it’s shameful, but when he lies on foreign policy it’s dangerous.
- Romney’s attack line on Libya is not only false, as exposed in the last debate. (Obama here can joke that Romney apparently wants to rerun the last debate but this time without Candy Crowley present to call him out. Romney will become angry and nonplussed.) His attack line is a reheated leftover of the Bush era attacks on Democrats designed by Karl Rove as weak on terrorism, which were themselves repackaged old Republican attacks from the Cold War. It’s all nostalgia….
Then, really stick in the shiv by having Obama say that he was somewhat surprised that Romney in the last debate did not give President George W. Bush credit where credit is due—for example, breaking with the neoconservatives around Vice President Cheney by adopting the surge in Iraq led by current CIA director David Petraeus that prepared the groundwork for Obama’s own policy in Iraq.
An email from Blumenthal to Clinton contains a lengthy “Confidential” memo in which he provides his “latest Libya intel” from “internal govt discussions high level.” The memo, later forwarded by Clinton to then-Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan, reveals that more than a year after the Obama/Clinton assisted overthrow of Qaddafi, ostensibly intended to bring about a peaceful transition, the country remained at the mercy of the same terrorist groups that attacked the Benghazi consulate. Claiming that his information comes from a “very sensitive source,” Blumenthal informed Clinton of the following:
From: Sidney Blumenthal
Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 11:20 AM
Subject: H: latest Libya intel; internal govt discussions high level. Sid
- On the morning of January 15, 2013 Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan was informed by Interior Minister Ashour Shuwail and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mohamed Abdulaziz that Italy plan to close its consulate in Benghazi and reduce the size of its embassy in Tripoli following attacks on the consulate itself and the Italian consul general. Shuwail reported that the attacks were carried out by Eastern militia forces associated with Ansar al Islam, which, although put under pressure by the National Libyan Army (NLA) following the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in September 2012, continues to operate in and around that city.
- According to a very sensitive source, General Hassi disagrees with the NLA analysis that the Sabha attack was not aimed at Magariaf specifically, noting that there were five prior assassination attempts against Magariaf in 2012, and that he is a target for a diverse collection of enemies, including former Qaddafi forces, groups like Ansar al Sharia, and even his political adversaries in the GNC. Accordingly, Hassi intends to establish new programs to train a detachment of presidential bodyguards, and his own anti-terrorism personnel.
“It is beyond ironic that Hillary Clinton and Sidney Blumenthal, her secret Clinton Foundation adviser at the State Department, discuss criminal prosecutions of Republicans for the handling of classified information over the Petraeus scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And it is disturbing that then-Secretary of State Clinton was involved in advising the Obama reelection campaign on how to continue lying about the Benghazi attack. No wonder Hillary Clinton tried to hide these email records rather than disclose them years ago as required by law.”