In an interview with CNN Tuesday, Biden was asked if Clinton had adequately explained her Clinton Foundation ties.
Joe Biden: ‘I think she is [eventually] going to figure out what she is going to say’
Doesn’t that just ooze of openness and transparency?
10 things we’ve learned about Hillary from her emails
by Art Moore
Apparently even Vice President Joe Biden thinks Hillary Clinton hasn’t been forthcoming about her role in the scandal-ridden Clinton Foundation, which has many connections to the investigation of the unsecured, private email server she used while secretary of state.
It’s the emails that have formed the basis for many allegations of “pay for play,” the apparent access to the State Department that was granted many major donors to the foundation.
In an interview with CNN Tuesday, Biden was asked if Clinton had adequately explained her Clinton Foundation ties. Try as he might, in the end, he confessed that a “crystal clear” explanation is yet to come, after she’s figured out what she is going to say.
“Well, I think she’s – my understanding is she is going to make a final judgment about what they’re going to do with the foundation and just lay it all out and this is what’s going to happen from this point on, this is who I am, this is what we’re going to do and they’re going to be good,” Biden said.
“It’s been a moving target. I mean, you look, the whole notion of how foundations function is now all of a sudden being put in play like it never was before,” Biden said. “So, I am absolutely confident she is doing it by the book and I think she is going to figure out what she is going to say crystal clear to the American people about what the relationship between the family and the foundation will be from this point forward.”
While the question of why Clinton used an unsecured private server rather than the secure State Department system has not been answered definitively, much has been learned about Clinton through various leaks, Freedom of Information Act lawsuits and through the investigation by the FBI, which released 58 pages of information on the eve of the Labor Day weekend.
Here are at least 10 things that already have been learned while Clinton prepares to present the “crystal clear” explanation that will eventually come one day as promised by Biden.
1. Despite her claims of ignorance, Clinton knew that the “C” marking meant classified confidential
The recently released FBI documents show that at one point in Clinton’s three-hour interview with the bureau, she was asked what the “C” notation next to a paragraph meant. As is widely known among government officials, it means classified confidential. But Clinton said she was not sure and thought it might be part of a system of marking paragraphs in alphabetical order.
However, in an interview with Sean Hannity Tuesday night, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange pointed out that his organization already has released thousands of cables in which Clinton herself used the “C” notation and signed off on the message.
In addition, Assange said, Clinton received more than 22,000 cables written by Hillary with the “C” marking.
2. Longtime friend and adviser Sydney Blumenthal forwarded information to Clinton that was classified Secret at the time it was sent
It was already known that classified information was contained in about two dozen of the hundreds of emails Blumenthal sent Clinton while she was secretary of state, the Daily Caller noted.
But the FBI’s report released last Friday shows that one of the emails contained information the government considers to have been classified as soon as it hit Clinton’s inbox.
Clinton has tried to minimize the classified-information issue by pointing out most of the information had been classified retroactively, known as “up classification.”
The FBI’s report states that 24 Blumenthal memos have been identified as containing “information currently classified as Confidential.”
But an April 23, 2010, email has been deemed to contain information that is Secret “both when sent and currently.”
3. The FBI concluded that roughly 2,000 of her emails included information that was classified Confidential.
The FBI found 81 Clinton email chains that included classified information relating to the CIA, the FBI, the Pentagon, NSA and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, or NGA.
That means, wrote John Schindler, a security expert and former NSA analyst and counterintelligence officer, that Clinton “compromised classified materials representing the full range of American espionage: human intelligence or HUMINT from CIA, signals intelligence or SIGINT from NSA, and imagery intelligence or IMINT from NGA.”
Of the 81 classified email chains, Schindler noted, the FBI assessed that 37 of them included Secret information while eight included Top Secret information.
Worse, he wrote, seven email chains “included Special Access Program or SAP information, which is tightly protected by the Intelligence Community and shared on a restricted, need-to-know basis only.”
Three more email chains, Schindler pointed out, contained Sensitive Compartmented Information, or SCI, “which was almost certainly SIGINT from NSA.”
“SCI always requires special protection and handling,” wrote Schindler. “In fact, you’re only allowed to access it inside a specially-built Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, a SCIF (pronounced “skiff”) in spy-speak. Any exposure of SCI brings severe penalties – at least if you’re not named Clinton.”
4. Clinton’s team systematically wiped her server after the New York Times disclosed its existence. Meanwhile, Clinton was publicly calling for the release of her emails to the public while she was wiping it.
On March 4, 2015, Clinton tweeted: “I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.”
But the FBI said the engineer at Platte River Networks, which hosted her email servers, testified that “he believed he had an ‘oh s—‘ moment and sometime between March 25-31, 2015, deleted the Clinton archive mailbox from the PRN server and used BleachBit to delete the exported .PST files he had created on the server system containing Clinton’s e-mails.”
5. Clinton sent emails about future drone strikes, which to any reasonable person, let alone the secretary of state, is classified information.
The FBI said some of the classified information she discussed in emails sent on her private server was about planned drone strikes and attacks against U.S./NATO soldiers in Afghanistan.
Asked about a particular email, Clinton said she didn’t remember it specifically.
But the FBI memo said she “stated deliberation over a future drone strike did not give her cause for concern regarding classification.”
“Clinton understood this type of conversation as part of the routine deliberation process,” the FBI memo said.
Defending her actions, the former secretary of state, the FBI said, “believed the classification level of future drone strikes depended on the context.”
6. She suffered a blood clot and severe memory loss that, by her own estimation, hindered her mental capacity (the same medical conditions that she now claims she never had)
Clinton told the FBI a blood clot made her forget crucial information at a time when she was working only a few hours a day.
During the three-hour interview, she cited more than three-dozen things that she could not recall due to brain function problems, the Washington Post reported.
Among the things she couldn’t remember were any “briefing or training” she received on “the retention of federal records or handling of classified information” or “any specific process for nominating a drone strike.”
7. Email evidence under subpoena was illegally destroyed while under subpoena
In its review of the 58 pages, the House Oversight Committee found evidence indicating Clinton or members of her staff destroyed email evidence under subpoena.
“In reviewing those files, the Committee identified a sequence of events that may amount to obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence by Secretary Clinton and her employees and contractors, including her attorneys, employees of Platte River Networks, and employees of Clinton Executive Services Corporation,” stated a letter sent Tuesday to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia by House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz.
Chaffetz included in the letter a timeline of document requests and subpoenas from the Oversight Committee, the Benghazi Select Committee and the response from Clinton and her staff.
A separate letter from the committee to Platte River Networks, the company that hosted Clinton’s private email servers, said the FBI’s summaries of its interviews with a Platte River engineer shows that “within days of a conference call with Secretary Clinton’s lawyers, the engineer deleted archives of Secretary Clinton’s emails, despite knowing those records were covered by preservation orders and a subpoena from Congress.”
“The sequence of events leading up to the destruction of Secretary Clinton’s emails … raises questions about whether Secretary Clinton, acting through her attorneys, instructed PRN to destroy records relevant to the then-ongoing congressional investigations.”
8. A senior Clinton aide stage-managed Clinton’s first hearing on the Benghazi terrorist attack by feeding specific topics to a Democratic Party senator.
On the morning of the hearing, Jan. 23, 2013, Fox News reported, Clinton media gatekeeper Philippe Reines wrote to Chelsea Clinton: “We wired it that (Sen. Robert) Menendez would provide an opportunity to address two topics we needed to debunk (her actions/whereabouts on 9/11, and these email from Chris Stevens about moving locations).”
On his first opportunity, Menende, the acting chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee at the time, covered both topics referenced by Reines.
Menendez asked for Clinton’s “insights on the decision-making process regarding the location of the Mission.” The senator added, “Can you also in your response, you touched upon it in your opening statement, but what actions were you and your staff taking the night of September 11 and into September 12?”
Clinton told the committee that Stevens “was committed to not only being in Benghazi but to the location,” and that on the night of the attack, “I was notified of the attack shortly after 4 p.m. Over the following hours, we were in continuous meetings and conversations both within the department with our team in Tripoli, with the interagency and internationally.”
The emails were obtained by the group Citizens United as part of its ongoing Freedom of Information Act request to the State Department for emails from Chelsea Clinton and Hillary Clinton’s closest aides, Fox News reported.
9. Clinton’s testimony contradicted Huma Abedin’s regarding the use and security of Secure Compartmentalized Information Facilities (SCIFs) in Clinton’s residences.
Veteran reporter Sharyl Attkisson found that either Clinton or Abedin weren’t telling the truth, which should have prompted obstruction of justice charges against one of the two.
Attkisson noted that Abedin testified the Clintons had personal desktops in Secure Compartmentalized Information Facilities (SCIFs) in their homes.
But Hillary Clinton stated to the FBI that she did not have a computer of any kind in the SCIFs in her residences.
Also, Attkisson noted, the FBI investigation determined Clinton’s Chappaqua SCIF was not always secured, and Abedin and others had routine access to it.
10. Clinton used a total of 13 mobile devices to send emails, and many of them were destroyed by a hammer (destroying the evidence).
The FBI said in its report released Friday that it was unable to acquire or examine any of the 13 devices.
The report said a former aide to Bill Clinton, Justin Cooper, usually set up the devices, transferring old data and syncing the device to the private email server.
The FBI said that, according to Abedin, “it was not uncommon for Clinton to use a new BlackBerry for a few days and then immediately switch it out for an older version with which she was more familiar.”
“Abedin and Hanley indicated the whereabouts of Clinton’s devices would frequently become unknown when she transitioned to a new device,” the FBI said.
“Cooper did recall two instances where he destroyed Clinton’s old mobile devices by breaking them in half or hitting them with a hammer.”