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Hillary Email Scandal Tag

President Obama has a history of publicly defending Hillary Clinton on her email scandal, and he did it again today on Fox News Sunday. Such public statements in and of themselves are improper political interference in agencies that report to the President. In a 60 Minutes interview in October 2015, Obama pretty much signaled Justice to lay off Hillary (emphasis added):
Steve Kroft: Did you know about Hillary Clinton’s use of private email server– President Barack Obama: No. Steve Kroft: –while she was Secretary of State? President Barack Obama: No.

There have been multiple news reports over the past weeks about the intensity and seriousness of the FBI investigation into Hillary's use of a private server. The possibly unlawful mishandling of classified information is one issue. But it goes beyond that. Hillary set up a shadow electronic government exclusively under her control in what was an apparent conspiracy to evade not only the Freedom of Information Act but also various national security precautions. If Hillary wasn't a Clinton, and if she wasn't the leading Democratic candidate, an indictment would be close to a certainty.

Despite her nonchalance about the issue, Hillary Clinton's email problems are not going away.  The FBI investigation has entered a new phase as the FBI is set to interview Hillary's longtime and closest aides. The Los Angeles Times reports:
Federal prosecutors investigating the possible mishandling of classified materials on Hillary Clinton’s private email server have begun the process of setting up formal interviews with some of her longtime and closest aides, according to two people familiar with the probe, an indication that the inquiry is moving into its final phases. Those interviews and the final review of the case, however, could still take many weeks, all but guaranteeing that the investigation will continue to dog Clinton’s presidential campaign through most, if not all, of the remaining presidential primaries.

In all the noise regarding The Thing, I missed this Reuters report from Thursday night, Role of tech who set up Clinton's server unknown to bosses at State:
Soon after Hillary Clinton's arrival at the State Department in 2009, officials in the information technology office were baffled when told that a young technician would join them as a political appointee, newly disclosed emails show. The technician, Bryan Pagliano, was running the off-grid email server that Clinton had him set up in her New York home for her work as secretary of state. But even as years passed, Pagliano's supervisors never learned of his most sensitive task, according to the department and one of his former colleagues. Pagliano's immediate supervisors did not know the private server even existed until it was revealed in news reports last year, the colleague said, requesting anonymity because of a department ban on unauthorized interviews....

In late February we reported that the court in the FOIA case seeking State Department records as to Huma Abedin granted Judicial Watch's motion for discovery, and required Judicial Watch to submit a discovery plan:
In a ruling sure to keep the Hillary Clinton email scandal alive through the summer, if not longer,  a federal just has granted Judicial Watch the right to take discovery as to whether Hillary’s home server was part of an effort to evade the Freedom of Information (FOIA) law by shifting federal records off-site and into the sole control of Hillary, her attorney’s and consultants.... Given the difficulty of obtaining records, particularly in light of the destruction of at least some records maintained on Hillary’s home server, led Judicial Watch to seek discovery, including depositions of key officials. Such discovery is not routine in FOIA cases, and good cause needs to be shown to obtain discovery.... The Court granted the motion today, via two Minute Orders (meaning orders reflected on the court docket sheet, not separate documents:

We know that Brayan Pagliano has cut an immunity deal with the feds. The first of what I see as a multi-level roll-up of those around Hillary to prove, at minimum, a conspiracy to evade the FOIA laws, and at worst, serious national security criminal violations. Katherine Herridge, who has been the top reporter on the story, reports, Source: Clinton IT specialist revealing server details to FBI, 'devastating witness':
Former Hillary Clinton IT specialist Bryan Pagliano, a key witness in the email probe who struck an immunity deal with the Justice Department, has told the FBI a range of details about how her personal email system was set up, according to an intelligence source close to the case who called him a “devastating witness.” The source said Pagliano told the FBI who had access to the former secretary of state’s system – as well as when – and what devices were used, amounting to a roadmap for investigators.

In a ruling sure to keep the Hillary Clinton email scandal alive through the summer, if not longer,  a federal just has granted Judicial Watch the right to take discovery as to whether Hillary's home server was part of an effort to evade the Freedom of Information (FOIA) law by shifting federal records off-site and into the sole control of Hillary, her attorney's and consultants. We have been following Judicial Watch's federal lawsuit seeking State Department records regarding Huma Abedin's outside employment. The FOIA request giving rise to the suit also has given rise to much obfuscation by State, which even resulted in the Court ordering Hillary Clinton to provide a declaration under oath as to records. Given the difficulty of obtaining records, particularly in light of the destruction of at least some records maintained on Hillary's home server, let Judicial Watch to seek discovery, including depositions of key officials. Such discovery is not routine in FOIA cases, and good cause needs to be shown to obtain discovery. In a Motion for Discovery (full embed at bottom of post), Judicial Watch laid out the case how Hillary may have conspired to evade FOIA:

Maybe this is why Hillary is coughing so much, and barking like a dog. You remember the January 29, 2016, Friday night Hillary Email Dump – minus the 22 Top Secret ones. No one knew what was in those 22 Top Secret emails, because they were Top Secret:
It’s Friday night. So the State Department just released a new batch of Hillary emails. Because weekend. There are 22 emails, however that will not be released:
The State Department has concluded there is “top secret” material in Hillary Clinton’s email correspondence from the time she was secretary of state, indicating that some of her emails will never be released, even in heavily redacted form, because they are too sensitive for the public to view. State Department spokesman John Kirby said the material crosses seven email chains, amounting to 37 pages worth of material.
Now we are getting some insight. Catherine Herridge from Fox News reports, Clinton email chain discussed Afghan national's CIA ties, official says:

In the latest batch of released emails, more than 15% had classified information. The Washington Times reports:
More than 15 percent of the latest batch of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails released Saturday contain classified information, with three of the messages being labeled “secret” — continuing to add to the questions surrounding her email use. The department released 551 messages Saturday in response to a federal judge’s order.
Apparently, the State Department had tried to delay the release of the emails due the Democrat primary schedule; however, a judge ordered their release.

Judicial Watch obtained records that could implicate State Department officials in Hillary Clinton's ongoing email scandal. According to those records, State Department officials planned to provide Clinton with a non-DOS computer.
Judicial Watch announced today that it recently received records from the Department of State disclosing plans by senior State Department officials to set up a “stand-alone PC” so that Clinton could check her emails in an office “across the hall” through a separate, non-State Department computer network system. Referencing the special Clinton computer system, Under Secretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy, writes Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, “The stand-alone separate network PC is a great idea.” The emails are from January 23-24, 2009, a few days after Clinton was sworn in as Secretary of State. The new emails were obtained by Judicial Watch in response a court order in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit for State Department records about Hillary Clinton’s separate email system (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00689)).

It's Friday night. So the State Department just released a new batch of Hillary emails. Because weekend. There are 22 emails, however that will not be released:
The State Department has concluded there is "top secret" material in Hillary Clinton's email correspondence from the time she was secretary of state, indicating that some of her emails will never be released, even in heavily redacted form, because they are too sensitive for the public to view. State Department spokesman John Kirby said the material crosses seven email chains, amounting to 37 pages worth of material.
Hillary wants the 22 Top Secret emails released to the public:

For those of you who put money on there being more to this Clinton email scandal than what was contained in the already-released files, step forward and collect your prize---this thing isn't over yet. Today, advocacy group Judicial Watch released documentation showing an almost five-month gap in the timeline of emails Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose to return to the State Department last year. The details, from Judicial Watch:
The documents were produced under court order in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit Judicial Watch filed on May 6, 2013 (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00687)). The lawsuit was filed after the Obama State Department violated federal law and failed to respond to two separate FOIA requests, including a request for records about the actual production of the emails records by Clinton to the State Department. The first batch of documents obtained by Judicial Watch contains a heavily redacted email from State Department official Eric F. Stein to Margaret P. Grafeld, dated April 21, 2015, with the subject “HRC Emails.” Stein is deputy director of global information systems at the State Department and Grafeld is deputy assistant secretary of global information systems. Stein reports to Grafeld that the “gaps” in Clinton’s emails include:

We previously wrote how the State Department filed a motion to stay the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case filed by Judicial Watch seeking records with regard to Huma Abedin's outside employment while serving as Hillary Clinton's State Department aide. In this case, Judge Emmet Sullivan forcefully had required the State Department to search for records, including requiring outreach to the FBI as to searches of Hillary's server. Judge Sullivan has harshly criticized State Department behavior as well as what he termed Hillary’s failure to follow policy:
THE COURT: Right. But assuming, though, in that scenario there wasn’t a violation of government policy either, correct? We’re not talking about a search of anyone’s random e-mail accounts. We’re talking about a search of devices that may have contained official government documents, that’s what we’re talking about. We wouldn’t be here today had the employee followed government policy, right? [transcript at 16]
The motion for a stay was in conjunction with a request for appointment of a coordinating judge to handle numerous FOIA cases involving Hillary's emails. While purportedly filed to increase court efficiency, it looked like a naked attempt to take the case away from Judge Sullivan. In a ruling that was just posted, Judge Sullivan denied the motion for a stay, and asserted his right to control his own docket:

Will Hillary Clinton be subject to a deposition under oath as to her use of various electronic devices and servers as part of the Judicial Watch FOIA federal lawsuit seeking records as to Huma Abedin's outside employment? That is a distinct possibility in light of the State Department's apparent failure to comply with a Court order as to its efforts to search Hillary's original server for records. The Court, at the request of Judicial Watch, has expedited a status conference originally scheduled for September 10, to August 19:
MINUTE ORDER. In light of the State Department's August 14, 2015 Status Report and Judicial Watch's August 17, 2015 reply thereto, a status hearing will be held on Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. in Courtroom 24A. The State Department shall file a reply to Judicial Watch's August 17, 2015 response no later than 12:00 p.m. on August 19, 2015. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on August 17, 2015. (lcegs4) (Entered: 08/17/2015)
In its papers , Judicial Watch says it intends to seek discovery, which normally does not take place in FOIA cases, because of the State Department's non-compliance. (Full embed of Judicial Watch request at bottom of post.) While Judicial Watch has not specified what discovery it seeks to take, "discovery" can include depositions, which are sworn testimony on the record. Other forms of discovery would appear inadequate given the history of the case. Given the players involved, discovery logically would include Hillary, Abedin, and Cheryl Mills, not to mention Hillary's attorney David Kendall as custodian of at least some records. Judicial Watch provided the following statement in response to our inquiry:
“We believe that discovery is now the only way to receive the necessary information, wherever that may lead.”

Background - How We Got Here

On Friday,  August 14, 2015, we covered the State Department's Court-ordered Status Report in That court order came after the Court ordered Hillary, Abedin and Cheryl Mills not to destroy records, and other court proceedings as to whether all electronic devices had been searched for records.