CELEBRATING 21 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE: Countdown: Top stories of 2019
by WorldTribune Staff, April 10, 2019
April 9, 2019 was not a good day for supporters of former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton who have been accusing her opponent in the 2016 presidential election of “colluding” with Moscow.
Attorney General William Barr confirmed to a Senate committee that he is reviewing the FBI’s conduct in its counterintelligence operation into the Trump campaign.
On the same day, documents obtained by a government watchdog group revealed evidence of “cover up” discussions related to the Hillary Clinton private email system.
Judicial Watch reported that its has, via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, obtained FBI documents showing the discussions.
Barr testified that he believes spying against the Trump campaign did take place in 2016.
“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Barr said during an exchange with Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Shaheen asked in a follow-up whether Barr believed the FBI spied on the Trump team.
“You’re not suggesting, though, that spying occurred?” Shaheen asked.
“I think spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur. But the question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated,” Barr said. “I’m not suggesting it wasn’t adequately predicated, but I need to explore that.”
Barr suggested later in the hearing that he had information leading him to question whether the FBI conducted unauthorized surveillance against the Trump campaign.
“I believe there is a basis for my concern, but I’m not going to discuss it,” Barr said.
Judicial Watch said that “FBI notes of an interview with an unidentified Platte River Networks official in February 2016 (almost a year after the Clinton email network was first revealed) show that Platte River ‘gave someone access to live HRC archive mailbox at some point.’ The same notes show that an email from December 11, 2014, exists that reads ‘Hillary cover up operation work ticket archive cleanup.’ The interviewee said that the ‘cover up operation’ email “probably related to change to 60 day [sic] email retention policy/backup.’ The subject indicated that he didn’t ‘recall the prior policy.’ The notes also indicated, ‘[Redacted] advised [redacted] not to answer questions related to conv [conversation] w/DK [David Kendall] document 49 – based on 5th amendment.’ ”
Platte River Networks is one of the vendors which managed the private Clinton email system.
A Dec. 11, 2014, Platte River Networks email between redacted parties says: “Its [sic] all part of the Hillary coverup operation I’ll have to tell you about it at the party”.
An August 2015 email from Platte River Networks says: “So does this mean we don’t have offsite backups currently? That could be a problem if someone hacks this thing and jacks it up. We will have to be able to produce a copy of it somehow, or we’re in some deep shit. Also, what ever [sic] came from the guys at Datto about the old backups? Do they have anyway [sic] of getting those back after we were told to cut it to 30 days?”
In March 2015, Platte River Networks specifically discusses security of the email server: “[Redacted] is going to send over a list of recommendations for us to apply for additional security against hackers. He did say we should probably remove all Clinton files, folders, info off our servers etc. on an independent drive.”
Handwritten notes that appear to be from Platte River Networks in February 2016 mention questions concerning the Clinton email system and state of back-ups.
The documents obtained by Judicial Watch show Platte River Networks’ use of BleachBit on the Clinton server. The BleachBit program was downloaded from a vendor called SourceForge at 11:42 a.m. on March 31, 2015, according to a computer event log, and over the next half hour, was used to delete the files on Clinton’s server.
The documents also contain emails and handwritten notes written in June and July 2015 from the Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General discussing “concerns” over classified information. A redacted sender writes to State Department Official Margaret “Peggy” Grafeld that “inadvertent release of State Department’s equities when this collection is released in its entirety – the potential damage to the foreign relations of the United States could be significant. ICIG McCullough forwards the concern, saying: “Need you plugged in on this.”
In an August 2015 classified memo prepared by the FBI Counterintelligence Division regarding the findings of the ICIG with respect to the email server, the FBI noted that the ICIG had found that in a sampling of only 40 of Clinton’s 30,000 emails, four classified emails were found. A subsequent letter sent by Sen. Richard Burr, North Carolina Republican, to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper regarding this sample of Clinton’s emails noted that they were all classified at the secret level.
In an August 2015 internal FBI memo, the FBI notes that Hillary Clinton had signed a June 28, 2011, official correspondence advising all State Department employees that, “due to ‘recent targeting of personal e-mail accounts by online adversaries,’ State employees should ‘avoid conducting official Department business from (their) personal e-mail accounts.” The same FBI memo noted that Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy had sent a memo to all senior State Department officials on August 28, 2014, in which Kennedy included excerpts from the Foreign Affairs Manual that said that “classified information must be sent via classified e-mail channels only…”
The documents also contain Clinton’s 2009 classified information Non-Disclosure Agreement bearing her signature.
“Judicial Watch uncovered new ‘cover-up’ records on the illicit Clinton email system that further demonstrate the sham nature of the FBI/DOJ ‘investigation’ of her,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These shocking new documents show that various Obama agencies were protecting Hillary Clinton from the consequences of her misconduct. It is well past time for the DOJ to stop shielding Hillary Clinton and hold her fully accountable to the rule of law.”
Meanwhile, Barr announced on April 9 he is “reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016.”
Barr also said he has heard that the Justice Department inspector general’s investigation into how the DOJ under the Obama administration obtained surveillance warrants on Trump campaign members will wrap up in May or June.
“Hopefully we’ll have some answers from Inspector General [Michael] Horowitz on the issue of the FISA warrants,” he said.
Barr also expressed willingness to review criminal referrals that are expected to be sent to him from Rep. Devin Nunes, California Republican, for government officials Nunes believes committed crimes related to the investigation into the Trump campaign.
“If there’s a predicate for an investigation it’ll be conducted,” Barr said.
Nunes said five of the referrals name someone and name specific crimes, including lying to Congress, misleading Congress, and leaking classified material. He said the other three are related to charges of conspiracy to lie to the FISA court.