Tag Archives: Transparency

Hillary Clinton never signed separation form that required her to turn over all e-mails

National Review reports:

After days of fending off the question, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki admitted on Tuesday that the department has no record of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signing a separation form that could open her up to perjury charges.

Form OF-109 is a document required to be signed by all State Department employees as they exit the department. In it, the employee claims, under penalty of perjury, that he or she has turned over all relevant communications to the government at the time of his or her departure.

By turning over her private e-mails at the end of 2014, two years after leaving office, Clinton violated that agreement — if, in fact, she signed it.

On Tuesday, the State Department finally indicated that she did not — or at least, they have no records of her doing so. “We have reviewed Secretary Clinton’s official personnel file and administrative files, and do not have any record of her signing the OF-109,” Psaki said on Tuesday. “It is not clear that this form is used as part of a standard part of check-out across the federal government, or even at the State Department. So we’re certainly looking into that.”

AP reporter Matt Lee pressed Psaki, asking why the department had previously intimated that the form was “required” and if Clinton’s non-signature violated any rules.

“It’s not a violation of any rule, no,” she said, saying that signing the form may not be a common departure practice and that “there are differences between regulations and, certainly, recommendations.”

“The form exists, certainly,” Psaki said. “Beyond that, I don’t have more statistics on what percentage of State Department employees sign on departure from the building.”

“Yes, the form exists, and it exists for a reason,” Lee replied. “It doesn’t exist simply because someone thought, ‘Hey, let’s have a form that someone has to sign!’ It exists for a reason, and probably a pretty good reason, right?”

“Well, there are probably hundreds of forms in the federal government that exist — thousands, tens of thousands of forms that exist,” Psaki said. “So I don’t know that I would over-emphasize the existence of a form.”

They don’t have a record of her signing a required form. Everyone is supposed to sign that form before leaving the State Department. If the signed form were recovered, then she would be guilty of perjury for keeping a private e-mail server and deleting the e-mails. Add the missing e-mails to the millions of dollars of donations to the Clinton Foundation, and you have the makings of a serious, serious scandal.

Your puny laws don't apply to Queen Hillary!
Your puny laws don’t apply to Queen Hillary!

My absolute favorite liberal journalist is Ron Fournier, who writes for the very left-wing National Journal.

He says this is a big deal:

National Journal Senior Political Columnist and Editorial Director Ron Fournier said that Democrats are “scared to death” over the scandals regarding donations to the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s emails on Monday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel.

“Don’t buy the spin, they [Democrats] are scared to death. And there’s a lot of them who are already starting to think ‘is she really the best candidate for us?’…Their bench, compared to the Republican bench is awfully, awfully thin. And there’s a lot of Democrats, by the way, who are saying ‘follow the money.’ A lot of Democrats are really worried about the Foundation, that’s what they’re really worried about” he stated.

Earlier, Fournier said that the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of Chinese donations is “a big issue. There’s a lot of other ways the Chinese government, and the Saudis, and the [Qataris] — there are other ways that they can help the world if that’s what they want to do. They’re giving their money to the Clinton Foundation for a reason. They want something out of it. So I know, what I really want to see in these e-mails is any e-mail that mentions the Foundation and mentions one of the donors.”

Watch:

This should sink Hillary Clinton as a candidate, and it will, so long as the heat stays on.

White House turns its back on transparency

You might recall that previously, Barack Obama told us that his administration would be the most transparent ever:

But the White House is now refusing to comply with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests:

The White House is exempting an office from compliance with the Freedom of Information Act, angering open-government advocates, who accuse President Barack Obama of not living up to his pledge to run the “most transparent administration in history.”

The White House said Tuesday that the move to exclude the White House Office of Administration from the federal open-access law reflected a court ruling that predated the Obama administration and wouldn’t have any effect on its commitment to open records and its compliance with requests for records.

“This is a matter of just cleaning up the records that are on the books,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. “It has no impact at all on the policy that we had maintained from the beginning to comply with the Freedom of Information Act, when it’s appropriate.”

The move, announced Tuesday in the Federal Register, came as news organizations marked Sunshine Week to showcase the public’s right to know, and it drew sharp criticism from advocates who already give the administration poor marks for news-media access.

“This is another example of the White House position avoiding transparency,” said John Wonderlich, policy director of the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation. “Instead of creating more and better access to information, it’s trying to control it.”

“The president has routinely failed to deliver on his promise,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who’s proposed a law that would reduce the use of exemptions to withhold information from the public.

The most transparent administration in history? Not a smidgeon of corruption? Not so much.

Hillary Clinton deleted 32,000 e-mails, refuses to turn over her home-based server

The Washington Times reports on her press conference, which only featured questions from reporters handpicked by her spokesman Nick Merrill.

Excerpt:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton deleted nearly 32,000 emails she deemed private from her time in the Obama administration and refused Tuesday to turn over her personal email server, insisting she “fully complied” with the law and that voters will have to trust her judgment.

Answering questions for the first time about her emails, Mrs. Clinton said she’s turned over to the State Department 55,000 pages of emails she deemed work-related, but said she got rid of the rest last year. She defended her decision to keep control of her emails by using a private account, saying previous secretaries did the same thing, and saying it was more “convenient” for her this way.

“I wanted to use just one device for both personal and work emails instead of two,” she said in a hastily called press conference after she spoke at the U.N. Conference on Women.

She lied about Benghazi, claiming it was a protest caused by a Youtube video. So we know that she is capable of lying for gain.

Well, is she telling the truth this time?

But her explanations are already coming under fire. One conservative group, America Rising PAC, said Mrs. Clinton has previously said she keeps both a BlackBerry and an iPhone.

Mrs. Clinton also said the email server was set up for her husband, former President Clinton, but his office told The Wall Street Journal that he has only sent two emails in his life, and both were during his time as president, which ended in 2001, or eight years before the private server was created.

It’s not a “conservative group” that said that she had two devices – it’s Clinton herself:

Read about that video here.

She deleted half her e-mails:

Of the 62,320 emails in her account, her office said 30,490 were deemed public business, while the remaining 31,830 were deemed private.

And she won’t let anyone see the private server she kept in her home:

Congressional Republicans said Mrs. Clinton shouldn’t take credit for turning over her emails since it was only done under pressure from the House committee probing the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack.

[…]The former first lady flatly rejected turning over her server, saying she’s already done enough in her mind to comply with her obligations.

This is just plain stupid:

Some cybersecurity analysts have said maintaining a private server was an invitation to hacking, but Mrs. Clinton said the system was kept on property guarded by the Secret Service, and she asserted there “were no security breaches.”

Secret Service people walking around outside a home do not prevent penetration attacks.

We have to have the actual server and check to see whether it was secure or not. If she doesn’t give it to us, along with ALL the e-mails, then we don’t know whether it’s been compromised, and we don’t know what the enemies of the United States would have seen in the event of a breach of security. This is not a case where we can “trust” her – we have to know for certain.

Another thing – why is she printing out e-mails and giving it to the State Department for them to then give it to Trey Gowdy’s Select Committee? Why not just give them the server? It’s not easy to conduct an automated search on pieces of paper, that’s why. She is deliberately slowing down the Benghazi investigation by refusing to provide searchable electronic copies.

The concerns about a security breach are not idle. We already KNOW FOR CERTAIN that State Department e-mails were hacked.

In March 2013, an adviser to Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal, had his e-mail hacked by “Guccifer” — the Romanian hacker perhaps best known for revealing George W. Bush’s paintings to the world. At the time, Gawker reported that Blumenthal was communicating with an account that appeared to belong to Clinton at the “clintonemail.com” domain. The content of some of those e-mails was published by RT.com.

The hacked e-mails are the reason why we know that she intentionally set up her domain on the day she took office. This was not done by accident – it was deliberate.

What difference does national security make?
What difference does national security make?

Investor’s Business Daily reminds us other mysteries that the e-mails would shed light on:

What we do know, as Catherine Herridge of Fox News has reported, is that emails scattered through those obtained by Judicial Watch via a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit show that there existed a “Benghazi Group,” a code phrase used inside the State Department for a Benghazi damage-control operation led by Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Philippe Reines, who has been described as Hillary Clinton’s “gatekeeper.”

The two ran interference for Hillary during the 2012 Benghazi attack and were involved in what has been dubbed “Operation Basement” — going through documents and emails and turning over only those not damaging Hillary Clinton’s reputation or political future.

“Cheryl Mills was instrumental in seeing the big lie was put out there,” says Judicial Watch head Tom Fitton. “What’s notable thus far is we received no emails from or to (Clinton). You have to wonder whether these aides went offline and were using secret accounts to communicate with her about the Benghazi attack.”

You also have to wonder if Hillary and her State Department staff were also busy concocting the inflammatory Benghazi video lie.

Ron Fournier of the National Journal advises that the emails may help us “follow the money” that has flowed into Clinton Foundation coffers, a tale of possible “pay for play” involving unknown promises in exchange for donations.

Fournier writes that “Hillary Clinton’s secret communications stash is a bombshell” whose “greatest relevancy is what the emails might reveal about any nexus between Clinton’s work at State and any donations to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation from U.S. corporations and foreign nations.”

But there is more here than just the Benghazi cover-up and the Clinton Foundation donations – there are real national security concerns. We need to get our hands on that server and all the e-mails in order to know whether we have a breach, and if so, what has been breached. It is incredibly unprofessional and a firing offence (in my opinion) for her to tell us “just trust me”. That is not in the best interest of the security of the United States. And it shows why we ought not take Hillary Clinton seriously as a candidate for the Office of the Presidency. She is in it for herself, not for the good of her country. This is all about her – her ambitions.

UPDATE: Two of her top aides were also using personal e-mails, not State Department e-mails.

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E-mails released by Clinton: there are “months, and months, and months” missing

The Daily Signal reports:

During an appearance on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” today, Rep. Trey Gowdy said there are “huge gaps” in the emails he has received from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton related to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.

“There are gaps of months and months and months,” Gowdy told CBS News’ Bob Schieffer.

The South Carolina Republican, who is leading the House’s Benghazi investigation, said he has nearly 800 pages of Clinton’s emails, but none from her 2011 trip to Libya.

Gowdy mentioned the “iconic” photo of then-Secretary Clinton during that trip, looking at her “handheld device.”

“We have no emails from that day. In fact, we have no emails from that trip. So, it strains credibility to believe that if you’re on your way to Libya to discuss Libyan policy that there’s not a single document that’s been turned over to Congress. So there are huge gaps,” said Gowdy.

Gowdy said Clinton doesn’t get to determine what does or does not constitute “public record.”

“I continue to naively believe that people have a right to expect their government to tell them the truth in the aftermath of a tragedy,” said Gowdy.

Gowdy said in the absence of “all” of Clinton’s emails, he wouldn’t be making a “selective release” of the ones he does have.

The important thing to realize about this is that because the e-mails were stored on Clinton’s servers, she can just delete the ones she doesn’t want us to see and we will never see them. There are no back-ups. Now unless you believe she is some sort of saint who couldn’t misuse this situation to hide immoral and or illegal actions, this is very disturbing. Remember that the Clinton Foundation is taking in millions of dollars from foreign governments, as I wrote about before. Who knows what she was offering in exchange for these donations? Since we have no access to her e-mails, we will probably never know. That’s why federal employees are obligated by law to use their secure, backed-up e-mail accounts – to avoid corruption and fraud.

Obama is saying he had no idea that her e-mail address was not a secure, backed-up State Department e-mail address:

President Obama says he first learned from news reports that his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, used a private email account during her tenure, amid reports the White House and State Department may have known as far back as last August that Clinton did not use government email.

“The same time everybody else learned it, through news reports,” Obama told CBS’ Bill Plante, in response to a question of when the president learned of Clinton’s use of a private email account for conducting government business.

This is actually the same line he has used for the many, many scandals afflicting his corrupt administration:

The Obama administration has been engulfed in an unending stream of scandals — and President Barack Obama learned of most of them through news reports.

From the 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans, to the IRS targeting conservative nonprofit groups, to the revelations about veterans dying while waiting for care because of falsified lists at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the president and his top aides have admitted that they found out about them in the media.

“I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this,” Obama said in June 2013 when he was asked about the IRS scandal. “I think it was on Friday.”

Is this corruption a problem?

I think if you are one of the people who vote Democrat because they are essentially paying you to vote for them through government programs, then this isn’t a problem. It’s not even a problem for the clueless millennials who also vote for him, even though they are the ones who are going to be stuck with the bill for the bribes. If you’re a single mother by choice who is getting welfare from the government, then you’ll keep voting Democrat to keep the money coming. But the loan will be paid back by your fatherless child. What a world.

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Hillary Clinton used her private e-mail account to conduct State Department business

Wow. The ultra leftist New York Times just dropped a bomb on Hillary’s 2016 hopes.

Read it:

Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.

Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of emails were given to the department. Mrs. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.

Her expansive use of the private account was alarming to current and former National Archives and Records Administration officials and government watchdogs, who called it a serious breach.

“It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business,” said Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle & Reath who is a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration.

[…]Under federal law, however, letters and emails written and received by federal officials, such as the secretary of state, are considered government records and are supposed to be retained so that congressional committees, historians and members of the news media can find them. There are exceptions to the law for certain classified and sensitive materials.

The problem is, of course, that personal e-mails are not securely transmitted or securely stored. This is an incredible blunder that put our national security at risk.

Why did she do it? The leftist Washington Post has the answer:

The New York Times reported Monday night that, during her tenure at the State Department, Hillary Clinton never used her official email account to conduct communications, relying instead on a private email account. As the Times notes, only official accounts are automatically retained under the Federal Records Act, meaning that none of Clinton’s email communication was preserved.

She did it so that there would be no record of her e-mail communications should there be any investigations or inquiries. It’s sort of like Lois Lerner claiming that the dog ate her hard drive, and the hard drives of all her friends in the IRS. Only this is worse than that. At least we could get the Lois Lerner e-mails back from back-ups.

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air reacts:

According to the New York Times, Hillary Clinton never used the official e-mail system at all. When the time came to produce e-mails for the Benghazi probe, her aides “found” 300 or so that they chose to reveal years after the event — with no guarantee that these represent the entire record, or even a significant portion of it.

Clearly, Hillary had contempt for the mechanisms that provide transparency and accountability for government operations and officials. If any of her communications involved sensitive or classified material, Hillary may have broken more laws than just those dealing with archival of official records. This could very well be huge, and not just in relation to the 2016 election. Just what may have been gleaned by hostile intelligence services? What else may Hillary have been doing while at State? Congress needs to get to the bottom of this ASAP — and the Benghazi select committee should put Hillary Clinton under oath to demand answers about this.

Morrissey notes that the personal e-mail was set up the day of her Senate confirmation hearings for Secretary of State. This was not an accident, this was intentional. Planned. Deliberate. She did not want her e-mails to be on record. And we would never know about this except because Republicans set up a select committee to investigate. We are only finding these things out because of Trey Gowdy’s ongoing Benghazi investigation. Give the man credit. He was the right man for the job, and we are finally getting the answers we sought… a little bit at a time.

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DOJ selects Democrat donor to head investigation of IRS corruption

From the Washington Times.

Excerpt:

The Justice Department selected an avowed political supporter of President Obama to lead the criminal probe into the IRS targeting of tea party groups, according to top Republicans who said Wednesday that the move has ruined the entire investigation.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, and regulatory affairs subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, said they have discovered that the head of the investigation is Barbara Kay Bosserman, a trial lawyer in the Justice Department who donated more than $6,000 to Mr. Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, as well as several hundred dollars to the national Democratic Party.

“The department has created a startling conflict of interest,” Mr. Issa andMr. Jordan said in a letter sent Wednesday and reviewed by The Washington Times. “It is unbelievable that the department would choose such an individual to examine the federal government’s systematic targeting and harassment of organizations opposed to the president’s policies.”

The Internal Revenue Service’s internal auditor revealed in May that the agency had been inappropriately targeting and blocking applications for tax-exempt status from tea party and conservative-leaning groups. In the immediate aftermath, Mr. Obama promised that the FBI and the Justice Department would investigate whether the IRS broke any laws.

Eight months later, the investigation has not produced any public findings, and Mr. Issa says the FBI and Justice Department have stonewalled his efforts to find out what’s going on.

Ms. Bosserman didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.

Don’t worry, everything will be fine. We can trust big government to investigate itself properly.

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