JULY 01, 2016
New Emails Show Clinton Was Concerned About Records Even in Her Earliest Months as Secretary
House Select Committee on Benghazi Report Confirms Judicial Watch Revelations
A Supreme Court Victory Over Backdoor Executive Amnesty
Judicial Watch Completes Depositions of Key Clinton Email Figures
Happy Independence Day!
Politicians count on long summer weekends to distract the American public from recalling the scandals and revelations of the day. The Fourth of July could not have come sooner for Hillary Clinton and her enablers.
At Judicial Watch, it’s our job to ensure that the media and the public remain focused on illegality in our public sector, ethical transgressions, and efforts to block citizen access and transparency in government and politics.
To that end, we released 165 pages of new State Department records that include a previously unreleased March 22, 2009, email of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealing that she was concerned about how her records were being handled and had “no idea how my papers are treated at State. Who manages both my personal and official files?” Clinton top aide Huma Abedin responds: “We’ve discussed this” and promises to explain it again. This is the fifth set of records produced to Judicial Watch by the State Department (from the non-“state.gov” email accounts of Huma Abedin) that contain Hillary Clinton emails that Clinton did not give to the State Department as part of the 55,000 pages of emails 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 even though she turned over no emails dated prior to March 18, 2009. The new records release contains 34 new Hillary Clinton emails that she evidently did not turn over to the State Department. (The grand total is now 127 Clinton emails that we found through our independent litigation. The Washington Post’s number is over 160 because it includes emails found by the Inspector General and those turned in by Sidney Blumenthal.)
The documents were produced under 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)) for “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.”
In the March 2009 Clinton email exchange with Abedin and Lauren Jiloty, former special assistant to Clinton, concerning “how my papers are being treated at State,” Clinton urges that they “design a system” and “get on this asap.” Clinton writes:
Dear Lauren and Huma—
I have just realized I have no idea how my papers are treated at State. Who manages both my personal and official files?
I am sending out material the way I did w Lauren in the Senate, but I don’t know what’s happening w it all. For instance, I’ve sent a few things to Cheryl but she says she hasn’t read them. Does Claire manage this or does it all go to Joe? Are there personal files as well as official ones set up? If I don’t write anything on paper – as I mostly don’t – Lauren knew how to file it all in the Senate. I’m sending out a mix which sometimes Claire and other times Lauren picks up from the out box. What happens then is a mystery to me!
So, I think we need to get on this asap to be sure we know and design the system we want. Let me know what you both think. Thx.
Abedin responds, “We’ve discussed this. I can explain it to you when I see u today.”
The new documents also include a March 23, 2009, email exchange between then-State Department Official Corley Kenna and former Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, containing the political contribution history of Judith Heumann. The contribution history contains five separate contributions to the presidential campaigns of Clinton and Barack Obama. According to the documents, Mills forwarded the email exchange directly to Clinton. In 2010, Heumann was appointed as the State Department Special Advisor on Disability Rights.
The new emails also show new communications between Clinton Foundation advisers (including Douglas Band), Abedin, and Clinton about the Middle East, and a Haiti “donors” conference. The emails show that Clinton wanted to collect positive comments about her tenure to give to the press reporting on her first 100 days in office. The emails also show that Clinton tried to obtain a job at State for the son of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
And a March 21, 2009, email from a sender whose name seems to have been kept secret contains explicit instructions to Clinton and Mills on how to handle a State Department “team meeting” that is to occur the following day. Clinton is advised to create the “perception” that “you are interested and engaged … that you are listening and that you are watching.” [Emphasis in original]
The documents also include a previously released March 21, 2009, classified email document created by then-Clinton Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Strategic Communications and Senior Communications Advisor Phillipe Reines. Reines sent the email from his non-state.gov account with the subject line “Kharzai” to Clinton and Abedin. Reines writes “I think you know my close friend Jeremy Bash is now Panetta’s Chief of Staff at CIA.” The rest of the message is redacted under the National Security Act of 1947, which protects intelligence sources and methods from public disclosure.
These new emails show Hillary Clinton was more than concerned about the handling of her records – both personal and official. What other damaging emails have Hillary Clinton and the Obama State Department withheld from the public?
The official report of the House Select Committee on Benghazi has been released, with the damning conclusion that the Obama administration never attempted to deploy military assets or troops during the entire 13-hour terrorist assault on the U.S. Special Mission Compound.
The Select Committee report further confirms what Judicial Watch already uncovered through its independent investigations. Our investigation continues. As with the Clinton email obstruction, our Benghazi FOIA lawsuit is the subject of court-ordered discovery. This report proves beyond all doubt that after four Americans died in Benghazi, the Obama administration lied. While we appreciate the Select Committee’s efforts, Judicial Watch’s Benghazi effort has been one of the most significant non-government investigations in modern American history
The upshot of this report is that high-ranking appointees of the Obama administration lied in the aftermath of the murders of an ambassador and three other Americans. Sadly, most in the mainstream media could barely suppress their yawns at the new information provided by the House Select Committee, previously uncovered by Judicial Watch’s investigators.
As Reps. Mike Pompeo and Jim Jordan said in a supplement to the official report:
“We are now convinced, contrary to the administration’s public claim that the military did not have time to get to Benghazi, that the administration never launched men or machines to help directly in the fight. That is very different from what we have been told to date. And the evidence is compelling.”
On December 8, 2015, Judicial Watch issued a news release providing proof positive that what the House Select Committee is now reporting is accurate beyond a shadow of a doubt:
A new Benghazi email from then-Department of Defense Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash to State Department leadership immediately offering “forces that could move to Benghazi” during the terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. In an email sent to top Department of State officials, at 7:19 p.m. ET, only hours after the attack had begun, Bash says, “we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak.” The Obama administration redacted the details of the military forces available, oddly citing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption that allows the withholding of “deliberative process” information.
An in-depth analysis of the Obama administration “spinning up” deception can be found in the December 2015 Weekly Update story.
Recall that JW got the ball rolling on the Select Committee back in 2014. On April 29, 2014, uncovered a then-newly declassified email showing former White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes and other Obama administration public relations officials orchestrating a campaign to “reinforce” President Obama and to portray the Benghazi terrorist attack as being “rooted in an Internet video, and not a failure of policy.” Other documents show that State Department officials initially described the incident as an “attack” and a possible kidnap attempt. The release of these documents directly led to the formation of the Benghazi Special Select Committee.
Again, our investigation continues. Even the Select Committee is still conducting interviews, despite having released a report!
Last week, the Supreme Court handed the Obama administration a major setback with its 4-4 decision to leave in place the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding a lower court ruling that halted the administration’s backdoor amnesty program known as the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). Thankfully, enough members of the Supreme Court would not endorse Barack Obama’s lawless power grab that would allow him to grant legal status and, potentially, citizenship to millions of illegal aliens.
But, even as we applaud the High Court’s decision to protect America’s borders, I have to warn you that this action is not enough. Not by a long shot. The Obama administration has stopped deporting most illegal aliens, releases criminal illegal aliens, and, as we recently reported, uses tax money to transport illegal aliens from the border in order to release them.
Obama’s unilateral executive amnesty plan, first announced in November 2014 in a bald attempt to end-run Congress, would have allowed as many as five million illegal immigrants who are the parents of citizens or of lawful permanent residents to apply for a program that would prevent them from being deported. It was quickly challenged in court by Republican-governed Texas and 25 other states that argued that Obama overstepped the powers granted to him by the U.S. Constitution by infringing upon the authority of Congress.
Judicial Watch filed three amicus curiae briefs in State of Texas, et al. v. United States of America, et al.:
- In February 2015, we filed an amicus curiae brief in opposition to the Obama administration’s request for an emergency, expedited stay of a federal court order of a key component of President Obama’s executive amnesty. Specifically, it asked that the administration be allowed to implement the President’s Deferred Action for Parents of American and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, which purportedly authorizes work permits and other benefits to deportable illegal aliens.
- In March 2015, we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
opposing the Department of (DOJ) “emergency” motion to allow President Obama’s unilateral “executive actions” on illegal immigration to go forward. In that brief we argued:
If this Court were to grant Appellants’ motion, it would cast aside decades-old immigration laws passed by Congress and signed by the President. These laws have been in place for almost 30 years. In seeking a stay pending appeal, Appellants fail to demonstrate why destroying 30 years of status quo and undermining duly enacted laws is necessary at this immediate date. None of the reasons cited by Appellants in their motion answer the question: why today?
- And in May 2015, we filed an amicus brief on behalf of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) in support of Texas and 20 other states that sued the federal government to prevent the Obama administration’s implementation of DAPA. In that brief, we stated:
The Executive Branch simply seeks to replace Congress’ policy choice about whether unlawfully present aliens may remain in the United States with its own preference. The plain language and express purposes of federal immigration law make clear Congress’ policy choices. The Constitutional authority of Congress – as well as the respect that the Executive and Judicial Branches owe to Congress – demands that Congress’ policy choice prevails. “When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person or body . . . there can be no liberty . . . .” (THE FEDERALIST, James Madison)
Your JW has filed dozens of lawsuits to both expose and halt government policies that undermine immigration law. The failure to control our borders, is an existential threat to our nation, so all Americans should be thankful that Obama’s backdoor amnesty lost this week at the Supreme Court.
This week, we took the final depositions from two additional key figures familiar with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a non-government “private” email system and BlackBerry. On Tuesday, we deposed Clinton longtime top aide Huma Abedin. Her testimony is available here. And on Wednesday, we deposed State Department Under Secretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy. His testimony is available here.
Abedin testified it was Clinton’s decision to use her non-state.gov email; to her knowledge that only Hillary Clinton, Abedin and Chelsea Clinton had accounts on the clintonemail.com system; and that the clintonemail.com system may have interfered with Mrs. Clinton’s ability to do her job.
In Abedin’s testimony, she claimed that she had no recollection about any discussions with State Department officials about the use of clintonemail.com email accounts.
Perhaps Abedin’s most interesting testimony came when she revealed that Clinton’s use of private email caused her to miss messages, including one about a phone call that was scheduled to take place with a foreign minister:
Her initial e-mail was about a phone call with a foreign — a foreign … minister, which she missed and missed the call because she never got the — I never got her e-mail suggests — giving us the signoff to do it. So she wasn’t able to do her job, do what she needed to do… And, you know, she clearly missed the window in this exchange.
For his part, Kennedy testified that the significance did not “register” with him that Clinton was using a non-state.gov email account even though he communicated with her by email – and even though he is under secretary for management of three of the four offices charged with ensuring State Department policies practices and procedures are followed. Kennedy also said he had no opinion as to whether policies were violated except to say that State Department records-management policy encourages employees to use state.gov addresses for official business.
This discovery arises in a Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former deputy chief of staff to Clinton. The lawsuit was reopened because of revelations about the clintonemail.com system. (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)). Judge Sullivan ordered that all deposition transcripts be made publicly available.
Abedin and Kennedy were among seven depositions of former Clinton top aides and State Department officials that Judicial Watch now has questioned under oath. My attorney colleagues here are Judicial Watch are considering what, if any, additional discovery to seek from Judge Sullivan.
I like to think JW vindicates the sacrifices of the Founding Fathers in some small way with our efforts to hold this government to the rule of law. One of my favorite George Washington quotes is prominently displayed in Judicial Watch DC headquarters:
Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains taken to bring it to light.
On behalf of all us here at Judicial Watch, I wish you and yours a safe, pleasant, and blessed Independence Day weekend. God Bless America!