Was Anyone Paying Attention To The Law?

Judicial Watch released the following Press Release today:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released new U.S. Department of State documents showing former Secretary Hillary Clinton and her then-Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin were permitted to remove electronic and physical records under a claim they were “personal” materials and “unclassified, non-record materials,” including files of Clinton’s calls and schedules, which were not to be made public. The documents show the Obama State Department records would not be “released to the general public under FOIA.”

The new records also show that Huma Abedin was allowed to take five boxes of “physical files” out of the State Department that include records described as “Muslim Engagement Documents.”

Judicial Watch obtained the reports about the records from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for:

Any and all DS-1904 (Authorization for the Removal of Personal Papers and Non-Record Materials) forms completed by, or on behalf of, any of the following individuals:

Former Secretary Hillary Clinton

Former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills

Former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin

Former Deputy Chief of Staff Jacob Sullivan

The documents include a list of official and personal calls and schedules that Clinton removed, which carry a special notation that the documents were not to be made public records. The notation is on an addendum to a DS-1904 signed by Clarence N. Finney Jr., then-director of the Office of Correspondence and Records, who was the reviewing officer. (Judicial Watch has a pending request for the deposition of Finney in separate litigation concerning Clinton emails and the Benghazi terrorist attack.):

NOTE: The Secretary’s call log, grid and schedules are not classified, however, they would not be released to the general public under FOIA. They are being released to the Secretary with this understanding. [Emphasis in original]

***

Electronic copy of “daily files” – which are word versions of public documents and non-records: speeches/press statements/photos from the website, a non-record copy of the schedule, a non record copy of the call log, press clips, and agenda of daily activities

Electronic copy of a log of calls the Secretary made since 2004, it is a non-record, since her official calls are logged elsewhere (official schedule and official call log)

Electronic copy of the Secretary’s “call grid” which is a running list of calls she wants to make (both personal and official)

16 boxes: Personal Schedules (1993 thru 2008-prior to the Secretary’s tenure at the Department of State.

29 boxes: Miscellaneous Public Schedules during her tenure as FLOTUS and Senator-prior to the Secretary’s tenure at the Department of State

1 box: Personal Reimbursable receipts (6/25/2009 thru 1/14/2013)

1 box: Personal Photos

1 box: Personal schedule (2009-2013)

The originals of some Clinton documents were retained, such as the call logs and schedules. For other records, including material that predates Clinton’s tenure, there is no indication that a copy was made. The most significant of these are her personal correspondence and gift binders, which could reflect Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative ties.

Through its previous investigations Judicial Watch made public numerous examples of Clinton’s schedule being broadcast via email through her unsecure, non-government server (for example, see here, here, here and here.)

The records uncovered by Judicial Watch also contain a list of materials removed by Clinton accumulated by Robert Russo, Clinton’s then-special assistant, including PDFs of Clinton’s “correspondence in response to gifts … thank you and acknowledgements,” as well as other records.

The documents indicate that Clinton removed a physical file of “the log of the Secretary’s gifts with pictures of gifts.”

The receipt of gifts by federal employees in the Executive Branch is regulated:

A “prohibited source” [of gifts] under the regulations is one who seeks official action from the employee’s agency; one who does business or seeks to do business with the agency; one whose activities are regulated by the employee’s agency; one whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee’s official duties; or an organization a majority of whose members fit any of the above categories.

A gift is given “because of” the employee’s official position if it would not have been offered “had the employee not held the status, authority or duties associated with his Federal position.”  Gifts that are “motivated by a family relationship or personal friendship” may therefore be accepted without limitation.

“We already know the Obama State Department let Hillary Clinton steal and then delete her government emails, which included classified information. But these new records show that was only part of the scandal. These new documents show the Obama State Department had a deal with Hillary Clinton to hide her calls logs and schedules, which would be contrary to FOIA and other laws,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “When are the American people going to get an honest investigation of the Clinton crimes?”

What are they trying to hide?

Why American Energy Matters

On Thursday The Daily Signal posted a story about American coal imports to Ukraine. One of the problems in the attempted Russian takeover of Ukraine is the dependence of the country on Russian energy imports.

The article reports:

“In recent years, [Kyiv] and much of Eastern Europe have been reliant on and beholden to Russia to keep the heat on. That changes now,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said in July, announcing an $80 million deal to ship more U.S. coal to Ukraine.

“The United States can offer Ukraine an alternative,” Perry said.

…Since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia has often leveraged its power over Ukraine through the energy economy. Particularly, by cutting off gas supplies in winter. Consequently, energy security remains a linchpin for Ukraine’s fight for sovereignty from Moscow.

“Energy for years has been and continues on a daily non-military basis to be the prime Russian instrument for corrupting and subverting Ukraine,” Stephen Blank, senior fellow for Russia at the American Foreign Policy Council, told The Daily Signal.

American energy independence (and the ability of America to export energy sources) can play an important part in determining world politics. As America becomes more energy independent, the hold that OPEC has had over the American economy lessens. As America becomes more energy independent, we are free to choose our friends and allies on the basis of their commitment to freedom and democracy rather than having to support dictators and tyrants because they supply the oil our economy needs. Green energy is not the solution to this problem–the technology is not yet developed enough to be practical and cost efficient. At this time, the world runs on fossil fuel, and we need to make sure that we can power our economy with our own resources.

The State Department Announces

The New York Post is reporting today that the State Department has announced that America with be withdrawing from UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) because of UNESCO’s anti-Israel bias. This is long overdue.

In June 2012, I posted an article illustrating how some of UNESCO’s money is spent. The article featured a cartoon teaching Palestinian children that Jews are killing them. That is not a recipe for peace.

The article at the New York Post concludes:

But the Israel-Palestinian issue has been a major point of contention.

Last year, Israel removed its UNESCO ambassador after the agnecy stated that one of Jerusalem’s holy sites is specifically a “Muslim holy site of worship,” according to Reuters.

Senior American officials, including UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, have repeatedly denounced UNESCO, which the US also withdrew from during the Cold War under then-President Reagan.

Washington, which viewed the agency as mismanaged and used for political reasons, rejoined it in 2003.

Until the people who now live in the Gaza Strip do something other than to send rockets into Israel, I see no reason to recognize Palestine as a nation. The world does not need another terrorist state. In recent years we have seen rockets from the Gaza Strip aimed at civilian targets in Israel and tunnels dug to facilitate attacks on Israeli children. Western countries have funded these activities in the name of humanitarian aid. Unfortunately, very little of the humanitarian aid has gone to humans–it has been used to buy weapons and create tunnels to attack Israel. If the United Nations continues to support these activities, we will have no choice but to withdraw from the United Nations completely.

Benghazi Drip, Drip, Drip

Fox News posted a story today that sheds some light on the reason the outpost at Benghazi was so poorly defended. It seems that decisions made by the State Department regarding security were not based on reality.

The article reports:

Brad Owens and Jerry Torres, of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, say they faced pressure to stay silent and get on the same page with the State Department with regard to the security lapses that led to the deaths of four Americans.

They spoke exclusively with Fox News for “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” revealing new information that undermines the State Department’s account of the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, where Islamic militants launched a 13-hour assault from Sept. 11-12 that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith and former Navy SEALS Ty Woods and Glenn Doherty.

The article explains that the State Department awarded the Benghazi compound security compound to a company in Wales that had no experience in diplomatic security. I need to say here that I am all in favor of allowing security companies to gain experience, but they need to start in a place that does not have a major terrorism problem.

The article continues:

According to Torres, the Blue Mountain Group came in 4 percent lower than their bid – and they challenged the decision, claiming the American company should have been preferred over the foreign one.

Torres said State Department contracting officer Jan Visintainer responded that the State Department had the “latitude to apply” that preference or not.

And there was more: The Blue Mountain Group hired guards through another company who were not armed.  

Problems soon arose. One month before the attack — in August 2012, with The Blue Mountain Group still in charge of compound security — Ambassador Stevens and his team alerted the State Department via diplomatic cable that radical Islamic groups were everywhere and that the temporary mission compound could not withstand a “coordinated attack.” The classified cable was first reported by Fox News.

Why would you put security in a troubled area in the hands of people who are not armed?

The article concludes:

“Let’s just say there’s been a change at management at Department of State,” Owens said. “I feel now that, given that the politics has been taken out of the Benghazi situation, now that there’s no longer a candidate or anything related to it, a change of administrations, that actually, we have an opportunity here to fix the problems that made it happen.”

On the fifth anniversary, Torres said he thinks about the four families who lost a father, a brother or a son in the 2012 attack, and feels sorry “for not bringing this up earlier. For not actually being there, on the ground and taking care of these guys.”

I’m not sure the politics has been taken out of the Department of State, but I definitely wish President Trump luck in his efforts to drain the swamp.

Suspicions Confirmed

Sharyl Attkisson posted her interview with Congressman Jason Chaffetz at the Full Measure website. Congressman Chaffetz has resigned from Congress..

Here are a few highlights from the interview:

Sharyl: After eight and a half years on an upward trajectory in Washington DC, Congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah has suddenly and quite unexpectedly, pulled himself out of the game. Some people might think this is a great time to be a Republican Chairman of an important committee because Republicans control the House, they’re the majority in the Senate, and they hold the President’s office. That means, you would think, that federal agencies can’t stonewall investigations of spending, waste, fraud, and abuse.

Jason Chaffetz: The reality is, sadly, I don’t see much difference between the cutting to photo of their middle with no heads is a little disconcerting can you pick a different sort of move? Trump administration and the Obama administration. I thought there would be this, these floodgates would open up with all the documents we wanted from the Department of State, the Department of Justice, the Pentagon. In many ways, it’s almost worse because we’re getting nothing, and that’s terribly frustrating and with all due respect, the Attorney General has not changed at all. I find him to be worse than what I saw with Loretta Lynch in terms of releasing documents and making things available. I just, that’s my experience, and that’s not what I expected.

Sharyl: What were some of the investigations that this committee was stalled on that you hoped could be picked up now, that’s not been able to happen in terms of documents not provided by federal agencies?

Jason Chaffetz: We have everything from the Hillary Clinton email investigation, which is really one of the critical things. There was the investigation into the IRS. And one that was more than 7 years old is Fast and Furious. I mean, we have been in court trying to pry those documents out of the Department of Justice and still to this day, they will not give us those documents. And at the State Department, nothing. Stone cold silence.

…Jason Chaffetz: Congress doesn’t stand up for itself. I think it’s, it’s really lost its way. They say, oh, we’ll use the power of the purse. That doesn’t work. First of all, they never do cut funding. Even getting people to come up and testify before Congress, the Obama Administration at the end of their term, they got so brazen they stopped sending people up. They just didn’t care. And, and there was no way to enforce that, and until that changes, uh the legislative branch is going to get weaker and weaker.

The interview concludes:

Jason Chaffetz: Look, first and foremost, it really is a family decision. I, I loved being engaged in the fight, but yeah there, there does, after 9, you know, 8½, 9 years, get to be a, a degree of frustration that hey, when are we going to get serious about changing these things? Because the American people, when I first started, they had Democrats who had the House and Senate in the Presidency. And that whole pendulum swung, but I’m telling you, in the first five, six months, I haven’t seen any changes. And, and that’s, that’s very frustrating, You come to that point and say, alright, it’s, it’s time for a change.

If the swamp is not drained quickly, we will lose more good congressmen like Congressman Jason Chaffetz.

 

 

Lest We Forget

During her blame-everyone-else-for-her-loss tour, Hillary Clinton referred to the scandal regarding her private email server as a big ‘nothingburger.’ She also referred to it as all the publicity regarding her ’emails’–not her private email server. Lest we forget, I would like to remind everyone that the private server she set up was not only illegal, it was a national security risk. I realize that the following Press Release is rather long, but please read it to the end. What was going on at the State Department during the Obama Administration was criminal.

The following Press Release was posted by Judicial Watch yesterday:

Judicial Watch: New Clinton Emails Show Classified Information Sent to Clinton Foundation Employees

Emails also show Abedin providing government plane and hotel reservations to Chelsea Clinton for trip to Germany while employed at Clinton Foundation

Abedin tells Band that she has ‘hooked up’ people from the Russian American Foundation with ‘the right people’ at the State Department

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released 2,078 pages of documents revealing more instances of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sending and receiving classified information via an unsecured email server. They also show Clinton’s daughter Chelsea and others involved with the Clinton Foundation receiving special favors from Huma Abedin, the former secretary’s deputy chief of staff.

The records were obtained in response to a court order from a May 5, 2015, lawsuit filed against the State Department (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)) after it failed to respond to a March 18, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking: “All emails of official State Department business received or sent by former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin from January 1, 2009 through February 1, 2013 using a non-‘state.gov’ email address.”

The new documents included 115 Clinton email exchanges not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date to at least 432 emails that were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department. These records further appear to contradict statements by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department.

On December 6, 2010, Secretary Clinton shared classified information with non-U.S. government employees Justin Cooper, then-aide to President Clinton who helped manage Hillary Clinton’s unsecure email system, and Clinton Foundation director Doug Band (neither of whom held security clearances). The email instructs her aide Oscar Flores to “print for Bill” (presumably Bill Clinton). The email exchange, which involved allegations of the theft of foreign aid by Bangladeshi banker and major Clinton Foundation donor Muhammad Yunus, started with an email from an unidentified person to State Department official Melanne Verveer, who forwarded her exchange on to Hillary Clinton, who then sent it on to Flores, Cooper and Band.

Yunus was accused of embezzling $100 million from the Grameen Bank he founded and was removed from it, although the charges were never proven, and Yunus reportedly returned the money. Subsequently, Clinton’s State Department was accused of threatening IRS action against the Bangladesh prime minister’s son in an attempt to stop a Bangladesh government investigation of Yunus.

In a similar instance on March 14, 2011, State Department official Maria Otero emailed Clinton information about the Grameen Bank/Foundation that was again deemed classified as Confidential by the State Department and redacted under FOIA exemption B1.4(D) – “Information specifically authorized by an executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy … Foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources.” Clinton then responds to Otero using her HDR22@clintonemailcom account and copies Abedin on Abedin’s unsecure email account, huma@clintonemail.com.

In May 2010, Ben Ringel, whose donations to the Clinton Foundation Judicial Watch previously documented, asked Abedin to intervene in an employment dispute on behalf of a USAID employee. Abedin agreed, telling Ringel to forward the woman’s documents to her official State Department email account.

In a May 21, 2011, email exchange sent to Abedin’s unsecure account, then- Ambassador Princeton Lyman sent information relating to his conversation with South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit that is also redacted and classified as “Confidential.”

On July 17, 2012, Abedin forwarded to her private email account for printing a call briefing sheet for Clinton’s upcoming call with Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan, which was classified Confidential and redacted under FOIA exemption B1.4(D).

The new Abedin emails also reveal additional instances in which Clinton’s then- scheduler Lona Valmoro forwarded the former secretary of state’s detailed daily schedule to top Clinton Foundation officials.

The new emails also reveal a number of favors that were requested and carried out.

In May 2010, Abedin tells Band that she has “hooked up” people from the Russian American Foundation with “the right people” at the State Department after Abedin received a request from Russian American Foundation Vice President Rina Kirshner, forwarded by Clinton Foundation donor Eddie Trump (no relation to President Trump).

On Mon, May 10, 2010 at 9:41 PM, Huma Abedin <Huma@clintonemail.com> wrote:

Hi Rina – wanted to connect on meeting at state department. Eddie trump passed on your email. Will be in touch soon

From: Rina Kirshner

Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 11:29 AM

To: Huma Abedin

Subject: Re: Eddie Trump/Doug Band

Ms. Abedin,

Just wanted to follow up and express our gratitude. I was contacted today by Ms. Christina Miner who invited us to be part of the US-Russia Cultural Sub-Working Group meeting next week. Thank you very much for all your assistance – if there is any way we can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Rina Kirshner

From: Huma Abedin [Huma@clintonemail.com]

Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 12:19:12

To: Doug Band

Subject: FW: Eddie Trump/Doug Band

fyi – we hooked her up with the right people here

The Russia-American Foundation was staffed by Clinton political supporters and operatives, received over $260,000 in grants for “public diplomacy” from the Clinton State Department, and its leadership was supportive of Obama’s Russia policies.

In July 2011, when Chelsea Clinton, using the alias Diane Reynolds and the email address dreynolds@clintonemail.com, was planning to fly to Germany to see the U.S. women’s soccer team play, her travel agent asked Abedin to confirm that Chelsea’s travel costs could be placed on her parents’ credit card. In response, Abedin tells the agent that she can “stand down” from making arrangements to get Chelsea to Germany, as Chelsea and Bari Luri, Chelsea’s Clinton Foundation chief of staff, would be made part of the “official delegation” going to the match and she would “fly on official govt plane both ways and they will take care of hotels and all transportation.” Chelsea was a fully employed Clinton Foundation executive at this time.

In July 2011, Clinton tells Abedin that she doesn’t wish to fly on the same airplane with Michelle Obama on their way to Betty Ford’s funeral: “I’d be honored to speak. Is it ok that we and Mrs. O take two separate planes?”

A December 15, 2012, email chain shows that a committee of Clinton staffers, including Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan and Philippe Reines, was required to draft a “doctors statement” as to why Hillary supposedly fainted due to “dehydration,” causing her supposedly to hit her head and suffer a “concussion” in December 2012. The same committee then prepared a “discharge statement” when Hillary was released from the hospital.

“These shocking new Clinton emails show why the Justice Department should reevaluate, reopen, or reinvigorate Clinton, Inc. investigations,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The casual violation of laws concerning classified material and noxious influence peddling show the Clinton State Department was ‘corruption central’ in the Obama administration.  No wonder Clinton’s allies in the State and Justice Departments had been slow-walking and hiding these emails.”

Why Leaving The Paris Climate Treaty Is A Good Idea

On Tuesday, Townhall posted an article listing the reasons America should not be part of the Paris Climate Treaty. While we are hearing the hysterics from the political left, I would like to remind everyone that the reason the Paris Climate Treaty was called an ‘accord’ in America is that the politicians in Washington did not want to vote for it. Former President Obama knew that as a treaty it could not get through Congress. On some level, all Washington politicians understood the damage the treaty would do to the American economy, and there was always the danger that the voters would hold those politicians who voted for the treaty accountable. So all of the current hysteria is somewhat unconvincing.

The article reports the reasons that being part of the agreement was a really bad idea:

1) Warming over the last 50 years or so has averaged only about half of what computerized climate models can explain. Yet, those models are the basis for the Paris Agreement.

2) It is not obvious that recent warming is entirely the fault of our CO2 emissions. It is very possible that temperatures during the Medieval Warm Period were just as warm as today. Natural climate change exists. If we didn’t cause it, we can’t fix it.

3) Even if future warming increases to match the models, and all nations abide by the Paris commitments, we will avert only 0.3 deg. F warming by the year 2100. That’s less than 0.04 deg. F per decade, which is unmeasurable by current global temperature monitoring networks (satellites, surface thermometers, and weather balloons).

4) The cost of this unmeasurable impact on future global temperatures is variously estimated to be around $1 Trillion per year, primarily spent by the U.S. and a few other countries which drive global prosperity. As usual, the poor will be the hardest hit. That money could have been spent on clean water and providing electricity to the 1+ billion humans who still don’t have electricity.

5) China and India, which are burning coal like there is no tomorrow, don’t really have to do anything under the Agreement until 2030. It’s mainly up to the U.S. to cut our emissions, and send our wealth to poor countries where dictators will continue to enrich themselves.

6) Increasing CO2 levels have benefits, such as increased crop productivity and ‘global greening’. Life on Earth requires CO2, and over the last 60 years we have been monitoring its levels in the atmosphere, Mother Nature has been gobbling up 50% of what we emit to create even more life.

There are also other reasons to reject the treaty.

In February of this year, I posted an article that included the following:

Then listen to the words of former United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer:

“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,” said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015.

So what is the goal of environmental policy?

“We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer.

It’s not about the climate–it’s about greed. The treaty does not require any action by China, one of the world’s worst polluters, or India, who runs a close second. It allows third world tyrants to gain access to the coffers of the United States. Those coffers, incidentally, will be sparse due to the restrictions placed on the American economy.

One of the major keys to the economic success of a nation is private property rights. I posted an article about this in 2010. The Paris Climate Treaty is an example of countries whose leaders do not allow private property rights attempting to gain prosperity at the expense of countries who are prosperous and allow private property rights. This treaty was a move toward global governance and worldwide communism. In viewing the uproar over President Trump’s actions, we need to remember that the biggest obstacle to the globalists around the world are the financial success of America and the freedom of Americans. This treaty would have undermined both of those.

The Connections Are Mind-Boggling

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article with some of former FBI Director James Comey‘s employment history.

The article reports:

Comey served as general counsel at Lockheed Martin until 2010 when he departed with over $6 million to show for it. That same year Lockheed Martin became a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and “won 17 contracts from the U.S. State Department, which was led by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,” Big League Politics reports.

Comey just so happened to have joined the board of the British bank HSBC Holdings in 2013, which just so happens to be a Clinton Foundation partner.

Former Director Comey’s brother works for the Washington law firm DLA Piper, where he serves as “Senior Director of Real Estate Operations for the Americas”.

The article further reports:

DLA Piper is one of the top ten all-time career campaign donors for Hillary Clinton. On top of this, DLA Piper also happens to do the Clinton Foundation’s taxes. DLA Piper performed the 2015 audit of the Foundation when the scandal first broke.

The article also notes that former Director Comey owns his brother’s mortgage–meaning that former Director Comey had a direct financial relationship with a DLA Piper executive during his investigation of Hillary Clinton.

This is crony capitalism at its worst. President Trump needs to drain the swamp as quickly as possible.

The Keystone Pipeline Will Be Good For The Environment, But You Might Have To Search A Bit To Find That Story

On March 24th, The New York Post posted an article about the environmental impact of the Keystone Pipeline. I would like to point out that none of the environmental studies on the pipeline done during the Obama Administration ever stated that the pipeline would harm the environment. The objection to the pipeline at that point was that if President Obama allowed the pipeline to be built, the Democratic Party would lose the donations of the radical environmental groups. If they refused to build the pipeline, they would lose a large portion of donations from unions. They made a choice to keep the environmentalists happy and ignore the unions who wanted the jobs the pipeline would create.

The article points out:

Environmentalists like to tout scary spill statistics. But in actuality, oil travels most securely by pipeline, reaching its destination safely 99.999 percent of the time, according to the Association of Oil Pipe Lines and the American Petroleum Institute.

A recent study by Canada’s Fraser Institute provided more reassuring information: Of the rare spills that do occur, 83 percent happen in facilities specially equipped to handle them, not along the pipeline’s route, where they could cause environmental harm. Moreover, 70 percent of the spills that do occur amount to a total of less than a cubic meter of spilled oil.

The article explains the impact of alternative forms of transporting oil:

As energy-related rail traffic increased, 2013 alone saw more train-related crude-oil spills than the entire 37 years prior, combined. And between 2013 and 2015 alone, the United States and Canada saw 10 separate explosions involving oil-laden trains.

To understand how much riskier railway transportation can be, look no further than to Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. In 2013, a crude-oil train derailed, plowing into town at more than 62 miles per hour and exploding. Forty-seven people died, and the blaze wiped out 44 buildings.

The wreck unleashed nearly 1.5 million gallons of oil, and what didn’t char the town seeped into the soil and contaminated the nearby Chaudière River.

Transporting oil by truck also carries major risks. At the peak of the oil boom, The New York Times reported that highway fatalities were the top cause of deaths in the industry — more than 300 between 2002 and 2012. In North Dakota, highway fatalities skyrocketed as energy production soared; at one point, a person was killed in an accident every two-and-a-half days.

A 100 percent risk-free method of energy transportation doesn’t exist, and the Obama administration was well aware of the comparative risks of pipeline, rail and road. Five separate State Department studies examined safety and environmental concerns surrounding the pipeline. Their findings were consistently favorable to Keystone XL.

The most recent State Department report concluded that because of pipelines’ superior safety record, Keystone XL could prevent as many as six fatalities and 48 injuries each year.

Without the pipeline, the oil would travel by truck and rail. Both of these methods have a higher carbon footprint and a higher risk than a pipeline. It is also no coincidence that without the pipeline the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad is transporting large amounts of oil through the area where the pipeline will be built. The railroad is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, a conglomerate controlled by Warren Buffett, a close friend of former President Obama. The delay of the Keystone Pipeline was truly a case of ‘follow the money.’

Not All Previous Scandals Have Gone Away

Judicial Watch posted the following Press Release on Thursday:

Federal Court Hearing Tuesday, March 7, in Clinton Email Case, Judicial Watch Seeking Answers on Abedin/Weiner Laptop Emails

MARCH 02, 2017

(Washington DC) – Judicial Watch today announced a hearing will be held Tuesday, March 7, 2017, regarding Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails that were sent or received during her tenure from February 2009 to January 31, 2013, as well as all emails by other State Department employees to Clinton regarding her non-‘state.gov’ email address (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00687)). The case is before Judge James E. Boasberg.

Items of discussion at the hearing will be the emails of Clinton aide Huma Abedin that were found on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, Abedin’s estranged husband. Judicial Watch also will be seeking answers as to the timing of the release of Clinton’s emails that were recovered by the FBI in its investigation of the server used by Clinton and others.

The State Department has previously been ordered to produce documents to Judicial Watch, and is currently processing 500 pages per month from disk one of seven available disks. At the upcoming hearing, the State Department must address the number of documents subject to FOIA on the remaining disks.

The hearing details are:

Date: Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Time: 9:30 a.m. ET
Location: Courtroom 21
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
333 Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

The lawsuit was originally filed in May 2015.

More Last-Minute Ugly

Breitbart reported yesterday that bureaucrats in the State Department brought in 500 refugees the day before President Trump was to order a temporary ban on refugees from certain countries.

The article quotes a Reuters article:

The temporary ban on refugees will be one of several executive orders on immigration President Trump will sign on Wednesday, Reuters reports. “Another order will block visas being issued to anyone from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, said the aides and experts, who asked not to be identified.”

Two hundred and twenty-six  of the 500 refugees resettled in the United States on Tuesday, or 44 percent, came from six of those seven countries, according to the State Department’s interactive website, as reported at 11:00 p.m. eastern on Tuesday: Syria (81), Iran (51), Iraq (46), Somalia (43), Sudan (4), and Yemen (1). No refugees from Libya were resettled in the United States on Tuesday.

From the beginning of FY 2016 on October 1, 2015 until January 24, 2017, a total of 115,879 refugees have been resettled in the United States, according to the State Department’s interactive website.

Fifty-two thousand and sixty-nine of those refugees, or 45 percent, came from those seven countries: Syria (17,341), Iraq (14,613), Somalia (12,914), Iran (5,278), Sudan (1,887), Yemen (32), and Libya (4).

I need to point out a few things about this temporary ban. It does not ban those religious minorities escaping persecution. They are an exception. The ban will be in place until more aggressive vetting is possible.

It is also noteworthy that the group most at risk in the Middle East and Africa right now is Christians. Unfortunately, a very small number of the refugees that have been brought to America are Christians. Christians would fit into the American culture much more easily than Muslims. It makes much more sense to set up a Muslim safe zone somewhere in the Middle East to encourage people to got back to their countries when the danger is past. If the danger does not pass, we need to ask ourselves what is wrong and how to fix it.

The city where I live had a very unfortunate experience with legal refugees a few years ago. In 2015, a Burmese refugee killed three children ages 1, 5, and 12, with a machete. We need to be very careful about who we let into the country. I don’t know if better vetting could have prevented this tragedy, but I do know that I would hate to see more incidents like this one.

 

You Can’t Vet This Number Of People

Breitbart.com posted an article today about the number of refugees President Obama is bringing into America.

The article reports:

The Obama administration has accepted 25,584 refugees into the United States in the two months and 26 days since FY 2017 began on October 1, according to the Department of State interactive website. That number is nearly double the 13,791 refugees accepted during the comparable period between October 1, 2015 and December 26, 2015 of the prior fiscal year (FY 2016).

It is also more than the previous high for the Obama administration during his eight years in office, which occurred in FY 2013 when 18,228 refugees were accepted between October 1, 2012 and December 26, 2012.

The Obama administration appears to be rushing as many refugees as possible into the country before President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President on January 20, 2017. On the campaign trail, Trump promised to pause the resettlement of refugees who come from Syria or other countries that have a history of hostility to the United States.

Taking in such a large number of refugees who (based on past experience with Muslim immigrants) may choose not to assimilate is a danger to America. If these refugees were thoroughly vetted and wanted to assimilate into American culture, they would be an asset to America. Without vetting and without the requirement to assimilate, they are a threat to America. Britain and Europe already have Sharia Courts and no-go zones. Does American want to learn from their mistakes or follow them down a path of destruction?

The actions of President Obama in recent days have been unbelievably destructive. I am reminded of the way that former President Bush made sure President Obama had a smooth transition into the White House. It seems as if President Obama is choosing to act as a spoiled dictator in his last days in office. I just hope President Trump can quickly undo some of the damage to America President Obama has done.

Stay Tuned–This May Get Interesting

The Daily Caller reported yesterday the the FBI has instructed its New York office to continue its investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

The article reports:

“There were no instructions to shut it down, to discontinue or to stand down on the investigation, but to continue its work,” the former official told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview.

He said he received this information about a week ago and that the order originated from the bureau’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. well after the November 8 election.  He did not know who at FBI Headquarters issued the order.

…Senior Justice Department officials reportedly were openly skeptical of the Clinton Foundation case and repeatedly tried to shut down the bureau’s probe.  But the department was not able to shut down the FBI activities.

There is probably a serious case here. Looking at the finances of the Clinton Foundation, it becomes obvious that a very small percentage of the money donated iwent toward charitable causes. The administrative expenses of the Foundation account for a large percentage of the money donated. I suspect that there are many legal issues with the foreign money the Foundation has accepted and the decisions made by the State Department involving the donors. However, I don’t want to see Bill or Hillary Clinton go to prison. I suspect that they deserve to be there, but I think sending them there would only serve to divide the country further. Also, neither one of them has aged well, and it would be a nightmare to have an ex-President or ex-First Lady die in prison. At any rate, Americans have a right to know what was compromised because of donations to the Clinton Foundation, and I would be glad to see the investigation into the Foundation continue under a less politicized Justice Department.

How To Undermine An Investigation

Wikileaks is giving us tremendous insight into the corruption that seems to encompass Washington politics, but there are still some people who are doing investigative reporting and posting the information on the internet for everyone to see. This article is a combination of an article citing information from Wikileaks and an article that is the result of some good investigative reporting.

Yesterday Lifezette posted an article about some emails released by Wikileaks relating to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

The article reports:

The email in question is a list of recent voicemail messages left for Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta around Oct. 6, 2015, including one from McCaskill. “Give me a call back at your convenient [sic] on my cell or at home. Got some info about the state department IG,” she said. “You guys should digest and figure out what if anything we can do.”

…Adam Jentleson, a top aide to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, planted a story in The New York Times alleging a past connection between a single staffer in the IG’s office and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley was evidence of “fishy” activity.

Jentleson noted the deputy inspector general at the State Department was Emilia DiSanto, who had previously been a top aide to Grassley and alleged DiSanto could be improperly feeding information on the State Department inquiry to her former boss.

“There does seem to be a fishy pattern here, and a fishy connection,” Jentleson told The New York Times.

A separate email released by WikiLeaks last week seems to confirm the Clinton camp had put Reid’s office up to the attack on the IG’s credibility.

Let’s get something straight. Hillary Clinton’s private email server was a threat to national security. There is little doubt that the server was hacked by any foreign intelligence service worth its salt. This is a national security matter–not a political matter. It speaks volumes that the Democratic party and The New York Times were willing to turn it into a political matter.

Now to go to the investigative reporting part of the story. Twitchy posted an article yesterday about another aspect of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private server.

The article reports:

The quick and dirty summary is that Gov. McAuliffe’s super PAC donated the $467,500 in a failed attempt to elect Dr. Jill McCabe to the state senate in 2015. She lost the race to the incumbent Republican, but shortly after the election her husband — Andrew McCabe — was promoted to Deputy Director of the FBI and one of his jobs was an “oversight role in the investigation into Secretary Clinton’s emails.”

It is long past time to clean house in Washington. Americans have become the victims of political incest!

A Republic Or A Banana Republic?

Yesterday Kelly Riddell posted an article at The Washington Times entitled, “The Obama-Clinton banana republic” with the subtitle, “The nation’s core values would continue to suffer under a Clinton presidency.”

In the article, she describes some of the traits of a healthy republic:

A fair, balanced, and independent Justice Department. Neutral diplomats, who serve the public over politics, at the State Department. An unbiased, honest, mainstream media.

She then notes that these values have eroded during the Obama Administration.

The article then cites examples of that erosion:

Two days after The Associated Press broke the story that Mrs. Clinton was using a private server in March 2015, John Podesta sent an email to her attorney Cheryl Mills, asking if they should decline to turn over emails between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama to Congress, invoking “executive privilege.”

The email clearly implies Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton had been exchanging emails on her private server — a huge potential security threat, given everything the president sends or receives is highly classified.

FBI notes also signal Mr. Obama was indeed aware and had corresponded with Mrs. Clinton on her private server long before the news broke.

In an April 2015 interview with Huma Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide, the FBI alerted her of an exchange between Mr. Obama — using a pseudonym — and Mrs. Clinton from 2012, where she exclaimed: “How is this not classified?” the report says.

As I noted in a previous post, Ms. Abedin also asked for a copy of the email–an insurance policy?

The article continues:

The FBI’s documents expose there was a “shadow government” at the State Department that tried to protect Mrs. Clinton throughout the email probe.

“There was a powerful group of very high-ranking State officials that some referred to as ‘The 7th Floor Group’ or ‘The Shadow Government.’ This group met every Wednesday afternoon to discuss the FOIA process, Congressional records, and everything Clinton-related to FOIA/Congressional inquiries,” the FBI’s interview summary said.

…The media has responded to these scandals by largely ignoring them — they’re too concerned with Donald Trump’s rhetoric than they are with anything that would impugn Mrs. Clinton’s or Mr. Obama’s record.

Instead, Yahoo’s Katie Couric was looking to do pieces that “would showcase her [Clinton‘s] personality and has a lot of viral potential,” according an email she sent to Mr. Podesta.

Our Founding Fathers put in the U.S. Constitution the concept of equal justice under the law. Under the Obama Administration we have obviously lost that concept. Unfortunately under a Hillary Clinton Administration, it could be permanently lost.

To anyone who is reading this who is voting for Hillary Clinton because you are an upstanding citizen, remember that when justice is unequally applied, even a small mistake can be used to make war against an ordinary citizen. I remind you that the only person who went to jail because of the Benghazi attack was the filmmaker, and he was innocent. The legal action that sent Dinesh d’Souza to jail was totally extreme in relation to the crime he committed–an illegal campaign donation.

As America approaches banana republic status, any breach of any law, regardless of how minor, can be used to put any America who opposes the government agenda in jail. Are you ready for that?

 

 

A Very Complex Smoking Gun

The smoking gun has appeared in the Clinton email scandal. Unfortunately some aspects of it are so technical that those of us who think a megabyte is something you do at McDonald’s may struggle with it (Just for the record, I put myself in that category).

The Washington Post is reporting the story today. The headline of the story is, “Hillary Clinton‘s IT guy asked Reddit for help altering emails, a Twitter sleuth claims.”

These are the important parts of the story:

In the posts, stonetear asks for technical advice on retaining and deleting email messages that are more than 60 days old, as well as on removing the email address of an unnamed “VERY VIP” client from email archives.

“Hello all,” one of the posts begins. “I may be facing a very interesting situation where I need to strip out a VIP’s (VERY VIP) email address from a bunch of archived email that I have both in a live Exchange mailbox, as well as a PST file. Basically, they don’t want the VIP’s email address exposed to anyone. … Does anyone have experience with something like this, and/or suggestions on how this might be accomplished?”

The screen shot of one of the requests for help altering the emails:

emailsredditThe timeline:

The timing of two of Stonetear’s Reddit posts coincides with events in the Clinton email saga. One post, dated July 24, 2014, came one day after the House Select Committee on Benghazi and the State Department reached an agreement on producing records. The second, which is dated Dec, 10, 2014, and describes a 60-day email retention policy, came the same month that a longtime Clinton aide requested that their email retention policy be shortened to 60 days.

What cover up?

If you are going to do something illegal (like destroy subpoenaed evidence), you really should make sure that everyone involved has the knowledge required to do their part. This is really sloppy criminality. No self-respecting criminal would expect an IT guy to do this unless they were sure they would never be prosecuted (even if they were caught). That alone should provide food for thought.

 

 

 

Compromised Justice

Last Wednesday The Wall Street Journal ran an article about the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton and her emails. There are some genuine concerns about some aspects of the email investigation that the FBI chose to ignore.

The article reports:

The calculated release before the long Labor Day weekend suggests political favoritism, and the report shows the FBI didn’t pursue evidence of potential false statements, obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence.

Mr. Comey’s concessions start with his decision not to interview Mrs. Clinton until the end of his investigation, a mere three days before he announced his conclusions. Regular FBI practice is to get a subject on the record early then see if his story meshes with what agents find. In this case they accepted Mrs. Clinton’s I-don’t-recall defenses after the fact.

The notes also show the G-men never did grill Mrs. Clinton on her “intent” in setting up her server. Instead they bought her explanation that it was for personal convenience. This helped Mr. Comey avoid concluding that her purpose was to evade statutes like the Federal Records Act. Mr. Comey also told Congress that indicting her without criminal intent would pose a constitutional problem. But Congress has written many laws that don’t require criminal intent, and negligent homicide (for example) has never been unconstitutional.

The article also notes that Clinton advisors may have participated in a cover-up to stonewall any investigation.

There is contradictory testimony by Mrs. Clinton’s aides:

Consider page 10 of the FBI report: “Clinton’s immediate aides, to include [Huma] Abedin, [Cheryl] Mills, Jacob Sullivan, and [redacted] told the FBI they were unaware of the existence of the private server until after Clinton’s tenure at State or when it became public knowledge.”

That’s amazing given that Ms. Abedin had her own email account on the private server. It is also contradicted by page 3: “At the recommendation of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s long-time aide and later Deputy Chief of Staff at State, in or around fall 2008, [ Bill Clinton aide Justin] Cooper contacted Bryan Pagliano . . . to build the new server system and to assist Cooper with the administration of the new server system.”

The FBI must also have ignored two emails referred to by the State Inspector General showing Ms. Mills and Ms. Abedin discussing the server while they worked at State: “hrc email coming back—is server okay?” Ms. Mills asked Ms. Abedin and Mr. Cooper in a Feb. 27, 2010 email.

The article concludes:

The FBI’s kid-glove treatment of Mrs. Clinton raises serious doubts about the seriousness of Mr. Comey’s probe. His July 5 public rebuke of her “extremely careless” handling of secrets has masked that Mrs. Clinton and her aides were given a pass on much of their behavior and dubious answers. The entire episode is another Jim Comey scar on the FBI’s reputation.

So why the kid-glove treatment? Breitbart posted an article on Saturday that might provide a few clues.

A few nuggets from the Breitbart article:

When President Obama nominated Comey to become FBI director in 2013, Comey promised the United States Senate that he would recuse himself on all cases involving former employers.

But Comey earned $6 million in one year alone from Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin became a Clinton Foundation donor that very year.

…In 2013, Comey became a board member, a director, and a Financial System Vulnerabilities Committee member of the London bank HSBC Holdings.

“Mr. Comey’s appointment will be for an initial three-year term which, subject to re-election by shareholders, will expire at the conclusion of the 2016 Annual General Meeting,” according to HSBC company records.

HSBC Holdings and its various philanthropic branches routinely partner with the Clinton Foundation. For instance, HSBC Holdings has partnered with Deutsche Bank through the Clinton Foundation to “retrofit 1,500 to 2,500 housing units, primarily in the low- to moderate-income sector” in “New York City.”

“Retrofitting” refers to a Green initiative to conserve energy in commercial housing units. Clinton Foundation records show that the Foundation projected “$1 billion in financing” for this Green initiative to conserve people’s energy in low-income housing units.

The article at Breitbart then goes on to list some of the connections with Peter Comey, the brother of James Comey, and the Clintons.

The obvious conclusion is that the number of honest people in Washington who actually care about the interests of the American people rather than their own wealth could probably be counted on one hand with fingers left over. The only way to clean up this mess is to bring in an outsider who will thoroughly shake up this mess. Hillary Clinton is obviously not that person as she seems to be at the heart of at least half of the scandals and undercover deals going on.

Putting Roadblocks In Front Of People Looking For The Truth

For those of you sick and tired of hearing about Hillary’s emails–I am too. However, why is the investigation taking so long? Well, The Washington Examiner posted an article today that may explain that. Keep in mind that emails have already been released that show collusion between Hillary Clinton and the Congressional Committee that was investigating her.

The article reports:

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., blasted the State Department on Thursday for moving quickly to provide a requested email from Hillary Clinton’s server to Democrats on the House Oversight Committee while stonewalling requests from Republicans and the public.

During a hearing about the agency’s handling of Freedom of Information Act requests, Meadows questioned why the State Department handed over an email chain between Colin Powell and Clinton just five days after Rep. Elijah Cummings, the committee’s top Democrat, and seven other minority members asked for it while ignoring a FOIA request for that same email since 2014.

“We try to the best of our ability to respond to committees of Congress,” said Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary for management at the State Department, in defense of his agency’s treatment of records requests.

This is disgusting. We simply need to relocate everyone who has worked in Washington for the past eight years (possibly much longer), and replace them with honest people. Can government bureaucrats be honest people? I don’t know, but it seems that we should be able to do better than the corrupt bunch that is currently running our government. The political and bureaucratic class is doing everything it can to protect its corrupt rear end. The only people who can stop this are the voters. In November it will be obvious whether or not we are going to be a country or a banana republic.

Does This Bother Anyone?

Fox News is reporting today that emails obtained by Citizens United as part of its ongoing Freedom of Information Act request to the State Department show collusion between Hillary Clinton and the Democrats of the Senate Committee that was investigating Benghazi.

This is a screen shot of the emails (taken from the Fox News article):

emailsBenghaziHearingSo Senator Menendez was not interested in finding out what actually happened at Behghazi–he was interested in advancing Hillary’s political ambitions. I know there were people on that committee that cared about the truth, but they were blocked by committee members that were playing politics.

The article reports:

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.  

“This email chain provides a rare behind the scenes look at which Benghazi-related issues the Clinton camp had concerns about going into Secretary Clinton’s January 2013 testimony on Capitol Hill, and what they had apparently plotted out beforehand with a Democrat committee member to deal with those concerns,” Citizens United said in a statement. “Citizens United will continue to release all new Benghazi emails we receive through our FOIA lawsuits as they come in — the American people have a right to know the full picture.”

Fox News asked the Clinton campaign as well as Menendez’s office if they coordinated before the 2013 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing; what was meant by the term “wired;” and how the email exchange was consistent with the principle of independent congressional oversight. There was no immediate response from either.

In 2013, the New Jersey senator — who is now facing federal public corruption charges — at the time of the hearing was about to become chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, replacing John Kerry who was in line to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. Menendez has denied any wrongdoing.

Washington no longer represents the interests of Americans. It is time to clean house.

If You Haven’t Been Paying Attention This Weekend…

Oddly enough, the FBI chose the holiday weekend to release the investigation notes of Hillary Clinton’s email practices. This is traditionally a time when no one is paying much attention to the news. Whether that is by design or not, we can’t be sure–but we sure can wonder.

So what was in the notes released? The American Thinker posted a summary yesterday.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

First and foremost: Hillary has blamed her head injuries for startling memory lapses.

Julia Edwards of Reuters reported that “Hillary Clinton told federal investigators she did not recall all the briefings she received on handling government records while U.S. secretary of state because of a concussion suffered in 2012.”

A moment’s reflection reveals that Hillary Clinton has admitted that she was unable to adequately perform job functions directly related to national security because of a brain injury.  Donald Trump is already pushing this issue, but it is also critically important that a major campaign against the NFL – which is opening its pre-season now – stressing the seriousness of concussions’ effects on mental functions has been underway.  The American public, especially males, is on notice to take concussions very seriously.

Hillary Clinton has admitted to a disability due to her brain injury.

We have no way of knowing how serious that brain injury was or if it is currently impacting her intellectual capacities.

The article continues:

Second, the documents reveal that Hillary, who justified her private server on the grounds that she wanted to carry only one handheld device, actually had 13 of them in a four-year period.  What on Earth is the story there?  Almost everyone who votes carries a cell phone, and I daresay the percentage who have needed to have 13 different devices in the space of four years is well below a tenth of one percent.

…Third, if we believe the story offered by Hillary, a laptop computer full of classified documents – her email archive disappeared when mailed with the USPS:

A laptop containing a copy, or “archive,” of the emails on Hillary Clinton’s private server was apparently lost—in the postal mail—according to an FBI report released Friday. Along with it, a thumb drive that also contained an archive of Clinton’s emails has been lost and is not in the FBI’s possession.

This is stunning negligence, and absolutely striking news: that some of the nation’s highest secrets were made available to any foreign power monitoring the secretary of state and willing to snatch mail from the capable hands of the Post Office.  Who on Earth would subject national security to the tender mercies of the USPS?

Where was the nationwide alert to recapture the missing archive?  Did the Clinton campaign notify security agencies?

This is disqualifying negligence.

The negligence and lack of regard for national security on the part of Secretary of State Clinton is obvious. Would she show the same negligence if (horrors) she were elected President? I don’t know. What I do suspect is that all of this information will not make a bit of difference to her supporters. I also wonder what Mrs. Clinton is going to look like at the debates. Make-up can hide a lot of things, but mental lapses would be very obvious in a debate setting. I don’t know if all the talk of health issues is out there to lower expectations of her debate performance. I have no doubt that the only way she wins a debate with Donald Trump is to push his buttons until he loses his cool. Hopefully his handlers have coached him thoroughly enough so that will not happen. We shall see.

No Wonder She Deleted Them

As more deleted emails drip out of Hillary Clinton’s email account, the information on them gets more interesting. It is becoming somewhat obvious why some of them were deleted. Judicial Watch has been busy making sure that the public gets a look at the deleted emails that are not marked classified (since Mrs. Clinton claims there were no classified emails on her server, there should be a lot of emails to look at).

Yesterday Counter Jihad posted a story about an interesting coincidence revealed in one of the emails that was deleted, recovered, and recently released.

The story reports:

Yesterday Judicial Watch released emails showing that a Crown Prince of Bahrain was able to secure a meeting with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton through the Clinton Foundationafter being rejected by official State Department channels.  Today, the International Business Times follows up on that report by revealing that the timing of this meeting lined up with a sudden, and large, increase in arms sales to Bahrain.  Furthermore, this increase came in spite of Bahrain being engaged in massive human rights abuses and suppression of peaceful civilian protests.  Finally, Hillary Clinton’s lawyers destroyed the emails documenting this meeting without turning them over to the State Department.  These were among the emails destroyed as allegedly “personal.”

Now, Bahrain is an important regional ally of the United States.  The US 5th Fleet, also called NAVCENT as it is the fleet permanently assigned to US Central Command, is based out of Bahrain’s harbors.  Bahrain would thus ordinarily enjoy some US military arms sales, as well as occasional access to high level State Department officials.  However, in this case the State Department had already turned down the request for a meeting when it came through official channels.  So, Crown Prince Salman contacted the Clinton Foundation to ask them to get him a meeting anyway.

And they did.

I really wouldn’t consider this email personal, but I guess Hillary did. The article goes on to explain that after the discussion of a meeting, the United States dramatically increased the amount of weaponry sold to Behrain (at a time when the government of Bahrain was moving against pro-democracy protests).

The article includes the following statement:

During those Arab Spring uprisings of 2011 — when Bahrain was accused of using tear gas on its own people — the Clinton-led State Department approved more than $70,000 worth of arms sales classified as “toxicological agents.”

The arms deal also included armored vehicles, missiles and ammunition. The sale of these items to Bahrain faced opposition in Congress, but the sale was approved.

The article concludes:

But the Crown Prince wanted his meeting, and he wanted his arms, and he got both because he was a good friend of the Clinton Foundation.

Not that the public would have known this, but for the FBI investigation.  Clinton’s lawyers deleted these emails without turning them over to the State Department, though it turns out that they are clearly public records that explain just how a momentous decision was made on a major arms deal.

In spite of that, the FBI recommended no prosecution.

I guess pay-for-play is not illegal in Washington. Now we know how the Clintons went from dead broke when they left the White House (as Hillary Clinton has stated) to a net worth in 2015 of $32,015,000 (Breitbart.com). I suppose she and Bill should be congratulated on their entrepreneurial spirit.

If This Is Not Illegal, It Should Be

Anyone who follows the news closely (assuming they don’t depend on the mainstream media as their news source) is aware that the Clinton Foundation is a personal cash cow for the Clinton family. A number of sources that have investigated the Foundation have observed that between 8 and 10 cents of every dollar goes to help whatever cause is being helped. The other 90 to 92 cents goes to ‘overhead.’ It would be very interesting to see a dollar by dollar breakdown of that ‘overhead.’ Meanwhile, the concept of ‘pay for play’ keeps rearing its ugly head.

The Washington Examiner posted a story today about communication between the Clinton Foundation and the U.S. State Department during the time that Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.

The article reports:

Call logs from the office of Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff at the State Department, show Mills had frequent contact with top executives at the Clinton Foundation.

The logs, which were obtained by Citizens United through the Freedom of Information Act, indicate the foundation’s chief operating officer, Laura Graham, called Mills often to discuss State Department business.

For example, Graham called Mills in February of 2012 to deliver a message relevant to the chief of staff’s upcoming meeting with an unidentified prime minister. The previous month, she had contacted Mills regarding “sensitive” issues that included Haiti relief.

Mills was also in contact with Stephanie Streett, executive director of the Clinton Foundation, the records show.

That’s just a little too cozy for me. It makes me wonder exactly who was influencing American foreign policy.

 

 

 

Whoops!

The Hillary Clinton email story is getting old. It is getting old because the Clintons have handled it the way they usually handle scandals–stall, obfuscate, and claim a right-wing conspiracy until people get tired of hearing about it, and then refer to the scandal as old news. Well, there’s old news and there’s old news. One of the problems with the ‘old news’ in the email scandal is that new facts keep coming up–creating new news. There are two new stories that have come out recently that are relevant to the scandal.

The Washington Times is reporting today that the FBI has found nearly 15,000 emails that Mrs. Clinton did not turn over to the government after she left office.

The article reports:

Some of the new documents will contain information that is deemed private under open-records laws, but Judicial Watch, the group that forced Monday’s hearing, said many of the documents will have information that should have been public all along.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the State Department must keep politics out of the process as it works on the messages, and said speed is important. He said the department has had the 14,900 messages for a month and hasn’t produced any of them yet.

“That’s simply not acceptable,” he said.

The 14,900 emails are on one computer disk. All told, the FBI turned over seven disks. It’s not entirely clear what documents are on the others.

The FBI said the 14,900 emails on disk one were either sent or received by Mrs. Clinton and are not duplicative of the approximately 30,000 emails she turned over and that the State Department already released, under a judge’s order.

Meanwhile, People Magazine posted an article on its website yesterday which includes the following quote from Colin Powell:

“Her people have been trying to pin it on me,” Powell, 79, told PEOPLE Saturday night at the Apollo in the Hamptons 2016 Night of Legends fête in East Hampton, New York.

“The truth is, she was using [the private email server] for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did,” Powell added.

The article in People Magazine also reminds us:

The reported conversation was first brought to light in journalist Joe Conason‘s upcoming Bill Clinton biography, Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton, in which the writer details a dinner party held by Clinton and attended by Powell, Madeleine Albright, Henry Kissinger and Condoleeza Rice.

“Toward the end of the evening, over dessert, Albright asked all of the former secretaries to offer one salient bit of counsel to the nation’s next top diplomat,” Conason wrote. “Powell told her to use her own email, as he had done, except for classified communications, which he had sent and received via a State Department computer … [Powell] confirmed a decision she had made months earlier – to keep her personal account and use it for most messages.”

Powell’s office later released a statement to NBC News, saying he “has no recollection of the dinner conversation.” However, “He did write former Secretary Clinton an email memo describing his use of his personal AOL email account for unclassified messages and how it vastly improved communications within the State Department.”

(The italics are mine.)

No one has argued that the use of a personal email for personal, unclassified communications is a problem. The problem occurs when a private, unsecured server is set up outside of the State Department and used for classified communication. A private server simply does not have the security a server within the State Department would have. A private server is an invitation to hacking by any foreign service worth its salt. It is interesting that in his comments, Colin Powell made clear that he was not willing to take responsibility for Mrs. Clinton’s actions. She is going to have to find someone else to throw under the bus.

 

Anatomy Of A Scandal

Bloomberg.com posted a story yesterday about more private Clinton emails that we won’t get to see until after the election. However, some of the emails of Mrs. Clinton’s staff have made their way into the public eye, and they are very revealing.

Bloomberg reports:

Newly released e-mails from a top aide to Hillary Clinton show evidence of contacts between Clinton’s State Department and donors to her family foundation and political campaigns.

The e-mails released Tuesday by the conservative group Judicial Watch included a 2009 exchange in which Doug Band, a senior staff member at the Clinton Foundation, told a top Clinton aide at the State Department that it was “important to take care of” an individual, whose name was redacted.

Huma Abedin, the State Department aide, replied that “personnel has been sending him options.”

…In another 2009 exchange released Tuesday, Band asked Abedin and Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff, to put Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury in touch with a State Department “substance person” on Lebanon. The Chagoury Group co-founder has given between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, according to a list of donors posted online.

…Judicial Watch said it has now found 171 messages that weren’t included in the 30,000 e-mails Clinton turned over to the State Department. FBI Director James Comey has said that his agency found “several thousand” work-related e-mails that weren’t turned over by Clinton’s lawyers. Clinton has told the State Department she believes she submitted all work-related e-mails she had in her possession, the department’s Trudeau said in a statement.

Under President Obama (and under President Clinton, if she is elected) there is one set of rules for the politically connected and another set of rules for the rest of us. This story should disturb all of us, regardless of our political inclinations. It is no wonder that the rest of Mrs. Clinton’s emails will not be released until after the election. At that point, “What difference does it make?”

 

The Definition Of Spin

It is going to be a long election season. I understand that it will only last until November, but it is going to be a long season. During that time we can expect the major media to tell us all variety of things about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. If you believe the mainstream media, by November you will be convinced that Hillary should be nominated for sainthood and Donald should be banished from the earth. That sort of bias is what has led to the rise of the alternative media.

One charge against Trump that the media is trying right now is that he and Putin have a wonderful relationship and Hillary is the only one who can protect us from the evil Russians. It’s a valiant effort at a really good smear campaign, but as usual, the facts tell a different story.

Katie Pavlich posted a story at Townhall today about the relationship between the Clintons and Russia.

The story reminds us of some of the history of that relationship:

Following his 2009 visit to Moscow, President Obama announced the creation of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission. Mrs. Clinton as secretary of state directed the American side, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov represented the Russians. The stated goal at the time: “identifying areas of cooperation and pursuing joint projects and actions that strengthen strategic stability, international security, economic well-being, and the development of ties between the Russian and American people.”

The Kremlin committed $5 billion over three years to fund Skolkovo. Mrs. Clinton’s State Department worked aggressively to attract U.S. investment partners and helped the Russian State Investment Fund, Rusnano, identify American tech companies worthy of Russian investment. Rusnano, which a scientific adviser to President Vladimir Putin called “Putin’s child,” was created in 2007 and relies entirely on Russian state funding.

…Soon, dozens of U.S. tech firms, including top Clinton Foundation donors like Google, Intel and Cisco, made major financial contributions to Skolkovo, with Cisco committing a cool $1 billion. In May 2010, the State Department facilitated a Moscow visit by 22 of the biggest names in U.S. venture capital—and weeks later the first memorandums of understanding were signed by Skolkovo and American companies.

Wow. What a coincidence–donors to the Clinton Foundation profited from a decision made by the Secretary of State.

It gets worse:

At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The article concludes:

Here we are with another case of Clinton accusing her opponent of doing precisely what she’s been doing for years: profiting off of Russian business and government relationships in the private and public sectors.

Donald Trump is not the candidate who compromised national security for personal gain–Hillary Clinton is.