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Tag: emails

Judge Dismisses Lawsuits Requiring More Thorough Search of Clinton’s Emails

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal judge for the second time has dismissed a pair of lawsuits that would have required the State Department and FBI to do more to track down former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails.

U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg ruled the FBI has done all it reasonably can to recover Clinton’s emails, the Washington Times reports

The lawsuit, which was filed in 2015 by two watchdogs, Judicial Watch and Cause of Action, demanded a more thorough effort to recover all of Clinton’s emails, claiming she violated open-records laws by failing to retain her messages.

“Those efforts went well beyond the mine-run search for missing federal records … and were largely successful, save for some emails sent during a two-month stretch. Even then, the FBI pursued every imaginable avenue to recover the missing emails,” wrote Judge Boasberg, an Obama appointee to the court.

It was the second time the case was dismissed, but a higher court reversed the original findings, saying the government had a responsibility to “shake loose a few more emails.”

FBI Originally Accused Hillary Clinton of Gross Negligence in Handling of Emails

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI originally characterized Hillary Clinton as “grossly negligent” for her handling of classified information, according to an early draft by then-FBI Director James Comey.

The language, which may have been strong enough to warrant charges, was softened to indicate Clinton had been “extremely careless” when Comey announced in July 2016 that no criminal charges would be filed against Clinton, The Hill reports

Federal law makes it a crime to handle classified material with gross negligence. 

Neither the FBI nor Clinton responded to questions for comments.

The memos were disclosed to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is investigating Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation.

“There is evidence to support a conclusion that Secretary Clinton, and others, used the email server in a manner that was grossly negligent with respect to the handling of classified information,” reads the statement, one of Comey’s earliest drafts from May 2, 2016.

For reasons that remain unclear, the draft statement was changed about a month later to conclude that Clinton’s use of an insecure personal email server was “extremely careless.”

Now the committee wants to know who made the changes and why.

“Apparently, as of May 2016, then-Director Comey and other FBI officials believed the facts fit that gross negligence standard until later edits were made,” Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote to Wray in the letter demanding more information.

Read the Damning Emails Between Trump Jr. And Rob Goldstone

Donald Trump Jr., via Wikipedia

Donald Trump Jr., via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Following the explosive report that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Kremlin-backed attorney for compromising information on Hillary Clinton, the president’s eldest son released damning emails that show he was tickled to get information that could harm the Democratic presidential candidate.

Here are the full emails:

June 3, 2016:

Emin (Agalarov, a real estate tycoon and Russian pop star represented by Goldstone) just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.

The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras (a Moscow-based developer with close ties to Putin) this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton] and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin.

What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly?

I can also send this info to your father via Rhona [presumably Rhona Graff, Trump’s longtime executive assistant], but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.

Trump Jr’s response to Goldstone:

Thanks Rob I appreciate that. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?

June 6, 2016, Goldstone to Trump:

Let me know when you are free to talk with Emin by phone about this Hillary info – you had mentioned early this week so wanted to try to schedule a time and day. Best to you and your family.

Trump Jr. to Goldstone:

Rob could we speak now?

Goldstone to Trump Jr.:

Let me track him down in Moscow. What number he could call?

Goldstone to Trump Jr.:

He’s on stage in Moscow but should be off within 20 minutes so I am sure can call.

Trump Jr. to Goldstone:

Rob thanks for the help.

June 6, 2016, Goldstone to Trump Jr.:

Hope all is well. Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and the Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday. I believe you are aware of the meeting – and so wondered if 3pm or later on Thursday works for you? I assume it would be at your office.

Trump Jr. to Goldstone:

How about 3 at our offices? Thanks Rob appreciate you helping set it up.

Goldstone to Trump Jr.:

Perfect … I won’t sit in on the meeting, but will bring them at 3pm and introduce you etc. I will send the names of the two people meeting with you for security when I have them later today.

Trump Jr. to Goldstone

Great. It will likely be Paul Manafort (campaign boss) my brother in law [Jared Kushner] and me. 725 Fifth Ave 25th floor.

June 8, 2016, Goldstone to Trump Jr.:

Good morning. Would it be possible to move tomorrow meeting to 4pm as the Russian attorney is in court until 3 I was just informed.

Trump Jr. to Goldstone:

Yes Rob I could do that unless they wanted to do 3 today instead … just let me know and I’ll lock it in either way.

Goldstone to Trump Jr.:

They can’t do today as she hasn’t landed from Moscow. 4pm is great tomorrow.

FBI: Grand Jury Subpoenas Were Issued in Hillary Clinton Email Investigation Last Year

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors investigating Hillary Clinton’s email server issued grand jury subpoenas in the case, according to a court filing this week, Politico reports. 

It previously wasn’t known that the FBI had sought grand jury subpoenas, which indicates authorities were investigating a crime.

The subpoenas were used in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain achieved copies of some of Clinton’s old email messages, according to a filing in a civil lawsuit.  

“The FBI…obtained grand jury subpoenas related to the Blackberry e-mail accounts, which produced no responsive materials, as the requested data was outside the retention time utilized by those providers,” FBI Assistant Director for the Counterintelligence Division E.W. Priestap wrote in a declaration filed Monday in federal court in Washington.

Details of the subpoenas were unclear, but it appears AT&T and Cingular were targeted.

Politico wrote:

While most investigative work in the probe was done via voluntary interviews and provision of evidence, prosecutors and the FBI eventually turned to mandatory process again when the investigation was reactivated weeks before the presidential election. A search warrant was obtained in late October to review copies of additional email messages discovered on a laptop seized from former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. The warrant required the FBI to indicate probable cause that the laptop contained evidence of a crime or some sort of contraband.

Priestap’s declaration was filed in connection with lawsuits conservative watchdog groups Judicial Watch and Cause of Action Institute filed against former Secretary of State John Kerry and Archivist of the U.S. David Ferriero in an effort to force the government to take additional steps to try to recover Clinton’s work-related messages. Tens of thousands of those messages have been retrieved and have already been made public by the State Department.

The government’s new court filing, including Priestap’s statement, sought to establish that there is nothing practical officials can do at this point to try to recover more of Clinton’s messages.

However, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said he’s puzzled that the FBI revealed the grand jury action at this juncture.

FBI, Other Agencies Investigating Possible Russian Aid to Trump

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been investigating whether Russia secretly provided money to help President-elect Donald Trump win the November election.

Two sources familiar with the matter told McClatchy that investigators are trying to determine how money may have been moved from Russia to help Trump. 

Included in the investigation is whether some email hackers in the U.S. were covertly paid by the Kremlin.

Among those investigating are the FBI, CIA, NSA, Justice Department, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the director of national intelligence.

The agencies are investigating a few Americans “who were affiliated with Trump’s campaign or his business empire an of multiple individuals from Russia and other former Soviet nations who had similar connections,” sources told McClatchy.

Records: FBI Had No Evidence of Wrongdoing Against Clinton in Computer Search

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI had no evidence of wrongdoing when the bureau asked a judge for a warrant to search a computer that contained correspondence between Hillary Clinton and top aide Huma Abedin.

The newly released documents shed more light on the FBI’s revelation that it was resuming the Clinton investigation less than two weeks before the election, the Washington Post reports. 

The search warrant was for a computer that belonged to former congressman Anthony Weiner, who is Abedin’s estranged husband.

“The affidavit concedes that the FBI had no basis to conclude whether these e-mails were even pertinent to that closed investigation, were significant, or whether they had, in fact, already been reviewed prior to the closing of the investigation,” said David E. Kendall, Clinton’s lawyer. “What does become unassailably clear, however, is that as the sole basis for this warrant, the FBI put forward the same evidence the Bureau concluded in July was not sufficient to bring a case — the affidavit offered no additional evidence to support any different conclusion.”

The Washington Post wrote:

Looking at just the header information of emails, agents found on Weiner’s device thousands of Abedin emails, including what seemed to be “regular” correspondence with Clinton and some messages that appeared to have been sent while Clinton was secretary of state. Based on that — and because Clinton and Abedin were previously on email chains in which classified information was discussed — they argued to a judge there was probable cause for their search. They had not at the time reviewed the content of any Abedin emails, according to the documents unsealed Tuesday.

Trump’s Former Campaign Manager: Clinton Lost Because of FBI Announcement

Donald TrumpBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s former presidential campaign manager said Hillary Clinton lost the race because of the FBI’s renewed investigation of her private email server.

“With 11 days to go, something amazing happened,” Corey Lewandowski said late Wednesday, referring to the final days of the 2016 race, according to The Telegraph.

“The FBI’s director James [Comey] came out on a Friday and he said they may be reopening the investigation into ‘Crooked Hillary’s’ emails,” he said. “What that did was remind people that there are two different rules in Washington – those of the elites and the privileged, and those for everybody else.”

Lewandowski said Comey’s controversial announcement resulted in an upset.

“When Comey moved forward with that investigation…it allowed the campaign a little spring in their step, and for them to redouble their efforts,” he said.

“In those last eleven days, Mr. Trump was exceptionally disciplined. He used a teleprompter, and he did less media. The team used social media like no campaign in history. And then, Donald Trump won the election campaign by the largest majority since [former President] Ronald Reagan in 1984.”

Star-Ledger: FBI Director Comey’s Handling of Clinton Emails Is Real Scandal

Director James B. Comey

Director James B. Comey

By Editorial Board
Star-Ledger

It may never be determined whether James Comey altered history by introducing a headline-grabbing non-sequitur into the Hillary Clinton email saga on the eve of the election, but this aspect of that false alarm is irrefutable:

The director of the FBI tainted this election by breaking clear rules that establish a wall between politics and criminal investigations, in effect turning the FBI into a political player. That is a scary precedent.

The Trump campaign was a mess before Oct. 28, the day Comey announced that emails found on Anthony Weiner’s computer might be related to Clinton’s case, and therefore should be flung into the media hurricane as potentially “new” and “relevant.”

They turned out to be nothing at all, but that marinated for nine news cycles.

Nine days that clearly energized Trump, who used it as a cudgel at every rally.

Nine days in which Trump and his media allies called for Clinton’s prosecution despite the absence of evidence that a law was broken.

Nine days before Comey said this, on Nov. 6: Oops, never mind.

By then, tens of millions had voted – some who might have otherwise sat this one out, if not for Trump renewing his lock-her-up campaign strategy.

Either way, it was a horrendous intrusion to the democratic process, and Comey butchered it from the start.