Weekly Update: Clinton Benghazi Emails
SEPTEMBER 09, 2016
A Cat and Mouse Game with State Over Clinton-Deleted Emails
Top Clinton Foundation Executive Sought Diplomatic Passport
U.S. Spends Another $10 Mil to Register New Immigrant Voters
Clean House Is National Best Seller
This week the State Department released documents containing several emails that were deleted from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s non-state.gov email system and recovered by the FBI. They were dated October 2012, near the end of her tenure, and contain praise for her testimony regarding Benghazi.
It is hardly praiseworthy, however, that these emails prove that Hillary or her lawyers deleted material that is responsive to federal court orders and congressional subpoenas. Clinton’s obstruction of justice is as plain as day.
The documents were released hours before the State Department’s midnight court filing deadline. The department had represented that it anticipated being able to produce these documents by September 8, 2016. At the same time, the department for the first time explained that the other emails it considers “duplicate” and which it is not producing contain metadata that was not previously produced.
We objected to the withholding of these records as they contain new information not previously produced and are responsive to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Following our stated objection, the State Department changed its position and produced the records.
JW attorneys asked the court to have “State produce all remaining responsive records with the included metadata within one week – by Tuesday, September 13, 2016.” However, U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta decided that the issue will be best briefed a bit down the road.
The newly released documents were obtained through a Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit seeking former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s communications about the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, during which U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith were killed. A second terrorist assault targeted a nearby compound, killing two government contractors Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00692)).
After admitting in an August 23 court filing that it found documents that “satisfied the [Benghazi-related] search terms” of the new Clinton emails, the State Department proposed a rolling production schedule, “under which State would make its first production of any non-exempt responsive records subject to FOIA on September 30, 2016, and complete production no later than October 31, 2016.” Judicial Watch then asked the court that State make known the volume of documents remaining to be reviewed before it accepts whether the production schedule is reasonable.
This is only the beginning, as the Obama administration is due in court on September 23 to explain when it will produce the rest of Hillary Clinton’s undeleted 14,900 emails.
Late last week we released 510 pages of State Department documents containing emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that include a request in 2009 by Clinton Foundation executive Doug Band for diplomatic passports for himself and associates.
Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin responded to Band’s request positively, saying, “Ok will figure it out.” Band also sought and obtained special help from Abedin for seven-figure Clinton Foundation donor Chris Ruddy, of Newsmax.com.
The emails also show Hillary Clinton forwarding classified information to Abedin’s unsecured, non-state.gov account. Moreover, the emails show that Bill Clinton sought a meeting with State Department officials and Mrs. Clinton herself for a major Clinton donor and that he pushed for a joint event with the Clinton Global Initiative.
One exchange between Sidney Blumenthal and Hillary Clinton concerned the “disastrous nature of the Obama trip” and the U.S. being “totally out of the loop in Berlin – no ambassador” with the expectation that “Germans and Russians will now cut their own separate deals on energy, regional security, etc.….” This exchange had previously been published by the State Department, but it was unknown until now that Clinton forwarded this exchange containing classified information to Abedin’s unsecure non-state.gov account.
Blumenthal was exchanging classified information with Clinton, even though he was not a State Department employee but rather an employee of the Clinton Foundation.
The newly-released documents include 37 Hillary Clinton email exchanges not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date of such emails uncovered by Judicial Watch to 228 of 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 Band request was for a special diplomatic passport for himself and his associates – an unidentified “JD” and apparently Justin Cooper, formerly a key member of Bill Clinton’s personal office and the Clinton Foundation who has been linked to registration documents for and the shutting down of the email server at the center of Mrs. Clinton’s State Department emails controversy.
The Band-Abedin exchange went as follows:
From: Doug Band
To: Huma Abedin
Sent: Jul 27, 2009 10:32 AM
Need get me/ justy and jd dip passports
We had them years ago but they lapsed and we didn’t bother getting them
From: Huma Abedin [Huma@clintonemail.com]
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 10:38:39 PM
To: Doug Band
Ok will figure it out
The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations strictly limits the granting of diplomatic passports to members of the Foreign Service, their family members, or those working on U.S. government contracts. According to 22 CFR 51.3:
A diplomatic passport is issued to a Foreign Service officer or to a person having diplomatic status or comparable status because he or she is traveling abroad to carry out diplomatic duties on behalf of the U.S. Government. When authorized by the Department, spouses and family members of such persons may be issued diplomatic passports. When authorized by the Department, a diplomatic passport may be issued to a U.S. Government contractor if the contractor meets the eligibility requirements for a diplomatic passport and the diplomatic passport is necessary to complete his or her mission.
The newly released Abedin emails also contain additional instances of the Clinton State Department’s granting special favors to major contributors to the Clinton Foundation. A July 27, 2009, exchange of emails begins with Abedin advising Clinton scheduler Lona Valmoro that “wjc” (William Jefferson Clinton) wants special treatment for high-dollar Foundation donor and Dow Chemical’s CEO Andrew Liveris. Dow donated between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, making it one of the largest corporate donors in Foundation history.
From: Huma Abedin Huma@clintonemail.com
To: Valmoro, Lona J
Sent: Monday, Jul 27 06:02:01 2009
Wjc wants to be sure hrc sees Andrew Liveris, ceo of dow tomorrow night. Apparently he is head of us china business council. Is he definitely going to be there?
From: Valmoro, Lona J [VlamoroLJ@state.gov
Sent: July 27, 2009 6:03:54 AM
To: Huma Abedin
I will check. He declined our invitation to dinner tonight at State.
From: Valmoro, Lona J
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 9:24:08 AM
To: Huma Abedin; Narain, Paul F [Clinton aide]
Subject: Re: CEO of dow
Paul, Andrew Leveris, CEO of Dow Chemical, is going to be at the dinner tomorrow night. We would like HRC to see him, perhaps they can do a brief pull aside upon arrival. Huma, would that work for you?
From: Huma Abedin [AbedinH@state.gov]
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 9:24:55 AM
To: Valmoro, Lona J, Huma Abedin, Narain, Paul F
Subject: Re: CEO of dow
Yes pull aside on arrival
From: Narain, Paul F
Sent, Monday, July 27, 2009 7:56 PM
To: Valmoro, Lona, Abedin Huma
Subject: RE: CEO of dow
Lona, I have arranged this pull aside for on the arrival in the Hold Room across the hall from the ballroom, immediately prior to the Secretary’s entrance and remarks.
In response to our document release, the Clinton campaign sought to explain away the scandal by saying the diplomatic passport and Dow Chemical donor favor were part of humanitarian mission by Bill Clinton which led to the release of two Americans being held by the North Koreans. First, the “humanitarian” mission was widely criticized as an embarrassing sign of weakness to the criminal North Korean regime. Secondly, the Clinton Foundation and its donors were not supposed have an “in” with the State Department. Now we know that the Clinton State Department outsourced American foreign policy to the Clinton machine.
The Abedin emails also include a mid-August 2009, email exchange in which Band urges Abedin to follow up on a request from Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy to set up a meeting with then-Ambassador to Panama Barbara Stephenson on behalf of lobbyist Amb. Otto Reich, President Reagan’s ambassador to Venezuela who maintained high-level government positions during the tenure of both President George H.W. Bush and President George Bush.
In early September, Ruddy then was contacted by State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roberta S. Jacobson, at the behest of Band and Abedin, in reference to Ruddy’s concerns about Wilson Lucom, whose estate was embroiled in a heated multi-million-dollar lawsuit. Ruddy’s Newsmax Media Inc, made a contribution to the Clinton Foundation of between $1 million and $5 million. The emails show the responsible official was put in contact with Ruddy.
From: Christopher [Redacted]
To: Doug Band [Redacted]
Sent: Mon Aug 17 3:40:56 2009
Otto Reich is arriving in Panama tonite on the matter I discussed. He was hoping to meet with Barbara Stephenson or her Charge this week. He has not heard back from her. Any “air’ support you can give for this meeting would be helpful. Thanks! – Christopher Ruddy
From: Doug Band
To: Huma Abedin
Sent: Aug 18, 2009 10:37 PM
Subject: Fw: Panama
Would be good to do quickly.
Even a call
From: Huma Abedin
To: Doug Band
Sent: Wed Aug 19 4:51:35 2009
Subject: Re: Panama
Both of our point people are out on vacation. I can ask someone junior to deal with this?
From: Doug Band
Sent: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 5:20:13 PM
To: Huma Abedin
Subject: Re: Panama
From: Jacobson, Roberta S
Sent: Friday, September 04, 2009 7:32 AM
To: ruddy [Redacted]
Subject: Panama case
Mr. Ruddy: Your inquiry about the Lucom case has been passed to the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs here at State. I apologize for not getting you a response on our position last evening, but we will get back to you as soon as possible today. Many thanks. Roberta Jacobson.
From: Christopher Ruddy
Sent: Fri Sep 04, 08:01:20 2009 7:32 AM
Subject: FW: Panama case
From: Doug Band
To: Huma Abedin
Sent: Fri Sep 04 08:18:43 2009
Subject: Fw: Panama case
From: Huma Abedin
Sent: Friday, September 04, 2009 8:37:21 AM
To: Doug Band
Subject: Re: Panama case
She’s the dep assistant secretary for the whole bureau.
The Panama desk guy is on leave so I asked that she at least reach out.
(Note: Newsmax publishes a regular Judicial Watch column.)
The Abedin emails also include an email exchange between Sidney Blumenthal and the then-Secretary of State in which Blumenthal proposes a Clinton Global Initiative meeting in Ireland. Hillary Clinton forwarded Blumenthal’s email to Abedin, Cheryl Mills, and Doug Band saying, “I think this is a good idea and see no conflict.” Band then responded that he and Bill Clinton think it is as “great idea.”
Again, Hillary Clinton’s involvement in CGI violates her ethics pledge to stay of out of Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative business. Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton on January 5, 2009, in a letter to State Department Designated Agency Ethics Official James H. Thessin:
“For the duration of my appointment as Secretary if I am confirmed, I will not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter involving specific parties in which The William J. Clinton Foundation (or the Clinton Global Initiative) is a party or represents a party….”
In an email exchange in late August 2009, billionaire businesswoman Lynn Forester de Rothschild intervened directly with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to set up a Parade magazine interview for journalist Les Gelb, assuring Clinton, “He said he would give you a veto over content and looked me in the eye and said, ‘she will like it.’”
Abedin then instructed State Department aide Phillip Reines to proceed. Reines acquiesced responding, “Yes, we’re trying to find a date that works for Les, but he is a little, shall we say, picky.” Rothschild is a longtime Clinton Foundation supporter who in mid-May of this year held a $100,000-a-plate fundraiser for the presidential candidate.
Also in the documents is an August 2009 communication from Hillary Clinton to her aides Abedin and Lauren Jiloty asking for the phone numbers of Declan Kelly, Clinton’s former economic envoy to Northern Ireland who is co-founder and CEO of Teneo.
The idea that the State Department would even consider a diplomatic passport for Clinton Foundation executives is beyond belief. These emails show various violations of national security laws and ethics rules and further confirm that Hillary and Bill Clinton are personally implicated in the Clinton Foundation pay to play scandal.
This is the eleventh 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 (FOIA) lawsuit against the State Department (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)) 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.”
Huma Abedin’s email account is proving to be a rich source of details regarding Secretary Clinton’s flagrant abuse of her office. There are many more to come, as we expect at least two more productions before the end of October, with productions continuing until at least April, 2017.
The possibility of a rigged election has been much in the news lately. What the media haven’t reported as eagerly is the Obama administration’s persistent efforts, using your tax dollars, to corruptly influence the election. Our Corruption Chronicles blog has the story.
Months after the Obama administration spent $19 million to register new immigrant voters that will likely support Democrats in November, it’s dedicating an additional $10 million in a final push as the presidential election approaches. The money is distributed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Homeland Security agency that oversees lawful immigration, to organizations that help enhance pathways to naturalization by offering immigrants free citizenship instruction, English, U.S. history and civics courses. Officially, they’re known as “citizenship integration grants.”
Since 2009 USCIS has doled out $63 million in these grants to prepare more than 156,000 resident immigrants in dozens of states for U.S. citizenship, according to the agency’s figures. Besides the free classes, Uncle Sam also offers immigrants free “naturalization legal services,” the latest USCIS grant announcement states. “Recipient organizations serve both traditional immigrant destinations and new immigrant getaway cities in 21 states,” the USCIS document reads.
The latest $10 million investment will prepare approximately 25,000 residents from more than 50 countries, according to the agency. More than a dozen states—including California, New York, Florida, Washington and Ohio—with large resident immigrant populations are being targeted as well as cities with huge immigrant populations such as Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington D.C.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been aggressive in promoting its citizen integration grant program this year, offering large sums to recruit new groups that can offer immigrants the services they need to become citizens. Clearly, the ultimate goal is qualifying as many immigrants as possible to vote since they tend to cast ballots for Democrats.
“We intend to award about $1 million to first-time recipients in the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program for fiscal year 2016,” the agency’s grant announcement states. “If you represent one of these organizations, or know of an interested organization, we strongly encourage that organization to consider applying.
Additionally, another $9 million will fund programs that provide both citizenship instruction and instruction and naturalization application services.” Some might consider this a cash giveaway.
This is part of a broader, government-wide initiative launched by the president to “strengthen federal immigrant and refugee integration infrastructure.” The mission is to facilitate life in the U.S. for immigrants and refugees by enhancing pathways to naturalization, building welcoming communities and providing “mobile immigration services in underserved communities.”
To carry out this important mission Obama created a special Task Force on New Americans chaired by his Domestic Policy Director, Cecilia Muñoz, the former vice president of the powerful open borders group National Council of La Raza (NCLR).
Millions of taxpayer dollars have funded the task force’s various enterprises, including multilingual media campaigns promoting immigrant rights. The goal is to “strengthen civic, economic and linguistic integration and to build strong and welcoming communities,” according to a report issued by the task force. In the end communities will be strengthened by welcoming all residents, the administration assures.
Practically every federal agency is participating in the effort by contributing resources and creating programs to help immigrants. For example the Department of Labor (DOL) is implementing “new workforce programs” for the “new Americans” and the Department of Education is promoting “funding opportunities” to assure that the immigrants “are provided the tools they need to succeed.”
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is collaborating with other agencies to release a career and credentialing toolkit on “immigrant-focused career-pathways programs.” The Department of Justice (DOJ) and USCIS are making sure the new Americans have worker rights and protections and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is launching a two-year pilot to assure that non English speakers have “meaningful access to housing programs” subsidized by American taxpayers.
I encourage you to check out my new book, Clean House – Uncovering Our Government’s Secrets and Lies, which is now officially a national bestseller. Publishers Weekly, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post all list the book among the top 4 or 5 best-selling hardcover non-fiction books in the country! For some reason, The New York Times refused to put it on its famous bestseller list. Let’s make that happen next week!
I had the privilege of appearing C-SPAN’s Booknotes to discuss the book with Brian Lamb. The video and transcript are available here.
Please remember your purchase of Clean House will help JW directly and serve as your educational “field guide” to DC government corruption. Moreover, your purchase could help make it impossible for even the liberals at The New York Times to ignore our bestseller!
You can find the book here.
Until next week …