Amidst the buzz of the 2016 presidential race is the gigantic elephant in the room for the Democrats: the FBI investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her private email server, and her potential indictment for the illegal handling of classified information.
Here is everything that you need to about it.
1. The very fact that Clinton used a private server for her work as Secretary of State and kept it on her property is a crime.
Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
Back in August, Levin said on his show, "When you set up an unsecured server in your barn adjacent to your home in Chappaqua, New York, you have intentionally – forget about negligence – you have intentionally bypassed the security process for that server."
Levin continued that even if this was unintentional, it's still a crime: (emphasis added)
"Let’s say you didn’t think or didn’t know that you were intentionally bypassing the process that is used to secure that server and that information, which seems absurd to me, but let’s play along.
“Okay, if you do it through gross negligence, you permit the same to be removed from its proper place. So I would argue to you, when that server was removed and information was flowing through it, including classified and especially top-secret information, boom. You did it.
“And every time that happened, ladies and gentlemen, that’s considered a count. You don’t aggregate at all. Every time that happened, that’s considered a violation of the statute.
Levin suggested that the fine for every count would be "substantial," a "ten or 20 grand a violation."
2. Clinton had thousands of emails that contained classified information on her unsecured server.
Clinton and her allies try to shrug off the classified information that was on her unsecured server by claiming it wasn't labeled as classified at the time. This is flat-out false on its face, as many emails she received or sent were born classified by the nature of their content. As it turns out, there have been over 1,340 classified emails that Clinton received or sent, and intelligence sources told McClatchy DC that "some material was clearly classified at the time."
The New York Post's Paul Sperry reported on Sunday that the FBI is investigating whether Clinton aides "cut and pasted" classified information to be sent to her private server:
Clinton and her top aides had access to a Pentagon-run classified network that goes up to the Secret level, as well as a separate system used for Top Secret communications.
The two systems — the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) and the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS) — are not connected to the unclassified system, known as the Non-Classified Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNet). You cannot email from one system to the other, though you can use NIPRNet to send emails outside the government.
Somehow, highly classified information from SIPRNet, as well as even the super-secure JWICS, jumped from those closed systems to the open system and turned up in at least 1,340 of Clinton’s home emails — including several the CIA earlier this month flagged as containing ultra-secret Sensitive Compartmented Information and Special Access Programs, a subset of SCI.
Raymond Fournier, "a veteran Diplomatic Security Service special agent," told the Post, "It takes a very conscious effort to move a classified email or cable from the classified systems over to the unsecured open system and then send it to Hillary Clinton’s personal email account." Fournier also said that while the information may not have been marked as classified, the information was "so sensitive in nature" that it would have been "obvious to Clinton."
Sperry also reports that Clinton ordered her deputy chief Jake Sullivan to send the classified information to her:
In one email, Clinton pressured Sullivan to declassify cabled remarks by a foreign leader.
“Just email it,” Clinton snapped, to which Sullivan replied: “Trust me, I share your exasperation. But until ops converts it to the unclassified email system, there is no physical way for me to email it.”
In another recently released email, Clinton instructed Sullivan to convert a classified document into an unclassified email attachment by scanning it into an unsecured computer and sending it to her without any classified markings. “Turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure,” she ordered.
Sullivan is one of Clinton's aides that the FBI is targeting, as well as deputy chief Huma Abedin and chief of staff Cheryl Mills, as they are believed to have sent the classified information to Clinton's private server.
The classified information included "sensitive information on spies," among other information:
Top Secret/SCI emails received by Clinton include a 2012 staff email sent to the then-secretary containing investigative data about Benghazi terrorist suspects wanted by the FBI and sourcing a regional security officer. They also include a 2011 message from Clinton’s top aides that contains military intelligence from United States Africa Command gleaned from satellite images of troop movements in Libya, along with the travel and protection plans for Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was later killed in a terrorist attack in Benghazi.
A top inspector general also determined that Clinton's server "contained intelligence from the U.S. government's most secretive and highly classified programs." Hot Air's Ed Morrisey points out that this would violate Section 793, Subsection G of the federal penal code, which reads: "If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions of this section, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy."
"Setting up the server and requiring her aides to use only that system for e-mail communications would be an act to effect the object of the conspiracy to transmit classified information illegally, as well as hiding communications from Congress," Morrisey writes.
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told radio host Hugh Hewitt that it's likely that "several countries were able to hack into the server." Congressional investigators determined that Clinton's server was the target of hackers from China, South Korea and Germany, and that five emails were sent to Clinton from Russian hackers.
3. The Clinton cronies claim that Clinton is not the target of the FBI probe. This is incredibly misleading.
National Review's Andy McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, explains how FBI investigations work: (emphasis added)
The FBI routinely conducts major investigations in collaboration with Justice Department prosecutors — usually from the U.S. attorney’s office in the district where potential crimes occurred. That is because the FBI needs the assistance of a grand jury. The FBI does not have authority even to issue subpoenas, let alone to charge someone with a crime. Only federal prosecutors may issue subpoenas, on the lawful authority of the grand jury. Only prosecutors are empowered to present evidence or propose charges to the grand jury. And the Constitution vests only the grand jury with authority to indict — the formal accusation of a crime. In our system, the FBI can do none of these things.
No Justice Department, no grand jury. No grand jury, no case — period. As a technical matter, no matter how extensively the FBI pokes around on its own, no one can be a subject of a real investigation — i.e., one that can lead to criminal charges — unless and until there is a grand jury. That does not happen until the Justice Department hops on board.
In other words, the FBI cannot name Clinton as a subject under investigation due to the technical rules, but they are still investigating her private server that she is responsible for, so it's absurd for Clinton and her apologists to act like she's not being investigated at all.
4. The investigation has expanded into Clinton's role with The Clinton Foundation.
Fox News reports:
The FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email as secretary of state has expanded to look at whether the possible “intersection” of Clinton Foundation work and State Department business may have violated public corruption laws, three intelligence sources not authorized to speak on the record told Fox News.
This new investigative track is in addition to the focus on classified material found on Clinton’s personal server.
"The agents are investigating the possible intersection of Clinton Foundation donations, the dispensation of State Department contracts and whether regular processes were followed," one source said.
Clinton denied that this was happening, but according to the report, subjects of investigations are not required to be informed of these kinds of developments.
Breitbart has a list of 21 revelations from Peter Schweizer's Clinton Cash that makes it obvious that The Clinton Foundation was used as a money-laundering front to essentially put Clinton's position as Secretary of State up for sale.
5. Clinton is incredibly thin-skinned when confronted on her emails.
Examples of Clinton's answers when asked about her emails include:
- Snarkily replying, "What, like with a cloth or something?" when asked if she had her server wiped.
- Cackling maniacally when asked by CNN's Jake Tapper about the FBI investigation.
- Blaming "Republicans and their allies."
The fact that she's reacting so strongly to being asked about the investigation suggests she's nervous about it.
6. The FBI is ready to recommend an indictment against Clinton, and will go public with it if the Department of Justice chooses not to act.
This is what former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who has "friends that are in the FBI," told Newsmax on Monday.