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The Russians Hacked Democrats’ Plans to Cheat in the General Election, Too


Reported by Joel B. Pollak | 23 Apr 2017

The Times’ investigative report suggests that a U.S. intelligence agency managed to intercept some of what Russian hackers were stealing — and that one document, “described as both a memo and an email, was written by a Democratic operative who expressed confidence that Ms. Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far.”

According to the Times, Comey feared that Lynch — who had insisted the Clinton probe be referred to as a “matter” and not as an “investigation,” and who suggested it the investigation was not criminal when, in fact, it was — would declare the case closed, and then Russian hackers would leak the document to undermine the FBI’s image of independence.

The Times notes: “Mr. Comey’s defenders regard this as one of the untold stories of the Clinton investigation, one they say helps explain his decision-making.” And if a local news reporter in Phoenix had not caught Lynch meeting with former President Bill Clinton, she might have succeeded in sheltering the Clintons even more effectively than she had.

When Comey’s letter to Congress about the re-opening of the investigation was revealed on October 28, it changed the contours of the presidential race — arguably by uniting reluctant conservatives around Donald Trump’s candidacy.

Breitbart News was in the room when Trump announced the news to thousands of supporters in New Hampshire:

In July 2016, a batch of emails from the Democratic National Committee released by Wikileaks, and said by U.S. intelligence agencies to have been obtained most likely by Russian hackers, revealed collusion between senior party officials and the Clinton campaign to thwart the insurgent candidacy of socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Now, according to the Times, another hacked document, purportedly stolen by Russians, may have revealed collusion between the former Attorney General and the Democrats to ensure Hillary Clinton’s victory in the general election.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

The first paragraph has been updated to clarify that the Times report was referring to Comey’s announcement last year.Read More Stories About:

 

FBI steps up interviews in Clinton email probe


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Democratic presidential candidate HillaryClinton listens to a question at town hall meeting in New Hampshire. | AP Photo

hillary-prison-or-potusEven as Hillary Clinton tries to put questions about her private email server behind her, the FBI has stepped up inquiries into the security of the former secretary of state’s home-made email system and how aides communicated over email, POLITICO has learned.

The FBI’s recent moves suggest that its inquiry could have evolved from the preliminary fact-finding stage that the agency launches when it receives a credible referral, according to former FBI and Justice Department officials interviewed by POLITICO.

“This sounds to me like it’s more than a preliminary inquiry; it sounds like a full-blown investigation,” said Tom Fuentes, former assistant director of the FBI. “When you have this amount of resources going into it …. I think it’s at the investigative level.”

The FBI declined to respond to questions about the scope of its ongoing work.

But POLITICO learned that around early October, the FBI requested documents from a company involved in the server arrangement after Clinton left State. It also interviewed a former high-ranking policy official at State about the contents of top Clinton aides’ emails.

The official, who spoke to POLITICO on condition of anonymity, said the questions explored whether anyone at State was concerned about classified information being put at risk by communicating via email. The source did not know of any such concerns.

Confirmation of the interview and document requests is the first public indication that the agency is moving ahead with its inquiry – and possibly expanding it.

The former State official interviewed by the FBI, for example, had little to do with the Clinton server set-up or any approval process allowing her to use personal email for work — suggesting the FBI’s initial inquiry about the actual physical security of Clinton’s home-made server now also includes looking at the content of messages shared by staff.

Former FBI and Justice officials familiar with the investigative procedures on such matters said the agency must determine two main things: whether the use of an outside email system posed any risks to national security secrets and, if so, whether anyone was responsible for exposing classified information.

FBI Director James Comey acknowledged in October that his agency was probing the server matter generally and believed it had the resources to look into the issues, though he didn’t give specifics.

Over the summer, the Department of Justice said it received a referral from the Intelligence Community Inspector General about potentially exposed classified information on Clinton’s home-made email server. The referral, Justice said at the time, was not criminal in nature but focused on the counterintelligence law governing national security secrets.

The matter at the time was considered a “preliminary” inquiry.

Clinton’s campaign and lawyers have said they are cooperating, turning over her server and a thumb drive backup of her messages to the FBI. They’ve also said they’re encouraging everyone who worked on the server issue to do the same. Platte River Networks, the Denver-based company that housed her server since she left State in 2013, for example, has said it’s cooperating; so has Datto, another tech company that provided a cloud backup of Clinton’s messages.

But exactly who they’re talking to at the staff level has been unclear. For example: Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s former chief of staff at State and lawyer who helped determine which of her emails were personal and work related, wouldn’t say in a recent Washington Post interview whether she had been contacted due to confidentiality surrounding the FBI’s work.

The FBI ultimately decides whether to take a preliminary inquiry to a full-fledged investigation — and if it does so, it is under no obligation to say so publicly. The classification level of any compromised information “may be a factor in determining whether an FBI investigation is warranted,” reads an overview of FBI procedures.

In its review of Clinton’s emails, the State Department has classified more than 400 messages so far — materials that would not therefore be allowed on a homemade email system, although Clinton has said that none of them were marked classified at the time she or her staff received or sent them.

POLITICO reported on Friday that some of the original messages that triggered the referral — a couple messages the ICIG said were “top secret,” the most sensitive national security material — were no longer considered that protected.

Sources told POLITICO this week that as of a month ago, the Justice Department had not determined how to proceed with Bryan Pagliano, Clinton’s top IT expert who oversaw her server but took the Fifth and refused to answer questions when subpoenaed by Congress earlier this year.

Republican lawmakers have weighed an immunity agreement for Pagliano, which would bar him from prosecution and allow him to talk about what he knew of the server: who approved it, why and the security surrounding the system.

His lawyer, reached Thursday, would not confirm whether he’s even been contacted by the FBI.

The agency has asked for documents from Tania Neild, the New York-based technology broker for millionaires, who put the Clintons in touch with Platte River Networks.

Neild confirmed the FBI request in an interview with POLITICO, saying the agency asked her to appear with written documents relating to the advice she gave to her client about negotiating with Platte River. Her company, InfoGrate, acts as a middle man between high-worth individuals and companies that oversee their personal technologies, such as emails.

Neild operates under a confidentiality agreement with all her clients. She said the nondisclosure arrangement precluded her from cooperating with the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which is also investigating the server issue and reached out to her for an interview. But the FBI notice, she said, trumped her confidentiality agreement.

Her lawyer would not confirm any contact they may or may not have had with the Department of Justice or the FBI.

“What we did receive were inquiries from [the Senate Homeland Committee] that are looking into various things,” said Ron Safer, of Chicago’s Schiff Hardin. “And whether we have had communications with anybody else, I really can’t say at this point.”

Due to secrecy surrounding any FBI investigation, it is impossible to know exactly where the FBI stands. And since the issue involves the 2016 Democratic front-runner, the work is even more sensitive.

Ron Hosko, former assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigation Division, said Justice is likely worried about issuing formal legal notices “because they know it will get out, and then you’re talking about a grand jury investigation.” But he said it’s “not uncommon” for companies to require subpoenas, court orders or other legal notices to cooperate to save their corporate reputation, which could otherwise be jeopardized for sharing personal information.

“I am sure there is hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth across the street at the Hoover Building because you’re going to have people saying ‘I don’t want to produce X documents. Give me a piece of paper that covers me.’ And that’s where push is going to come to shove,” Hosko said.

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FBI reportedly recovers deleted emails from Clinton server


waving flagPublished September 23, 2015 / FoxNews.com

TeflonFederal investigators reportedly have recovered work-related and personal emails from Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state that the Democratic presidential front-runner claimed had been deleted from her personal server. The recovery of the emails was first reported by Bloomberg News late Tuesday. The initial report, which cited a source familiar with the FBI investigation into Clinton’s private email server, was corroborated by The New York Times, which cited two government officials. It was not immediately clear whether all 30,000 messages Clinton said she had deleted from the server had been recovered, but one official told the Times that it had not been difficult to recover the emails that had been found so far.

The FBI is investigating whether classified information that passed through Clinton’s so-called “homebrew” server during her time as secretary of state was mishandled. Clinton turned over approximately 30,000 copies of messages she deemed work-related to the State Department this past December. Clinton said earlier this year that the emails she deleted from the private server she kept at her Chappaqua, N.Y., home mostly pertained to personal matters such as her daughter Chelsea’s wedding and the secretary’s yoga routines.

Like I SaidAn intelligence source told Fox News earlier this month that investigators were “confident” they could recover the deleted records. The source said that whoever had been deputized to scrub the server must “not be a very good IT guy.  There are different standards to scrub when you do it for government versus commercial.”

It is not known when exactly Mrs. Clinton “wiped” her server, nor who was directed to do so. However, it seems the move came after October 2014,  when the State Department requested personal emails be returned as part of her business records.

The source also told Fox News an FBI “A-team” is leading the “extremely serious” investigation into Clinton’s server and the focus includes a provision of the law pertaining to “gathering, transmitting or losing defense information. The section of the Espionage Act in question is known as 18 US Code 793.

When asked about the report, Clinton’s presidential campaign spokesman Nick Merrill told Fox News that Clinton’s team “will always cooperate with the FBI,” and that Clinton and her staff “simply don’t know what the FBI has, and doesn’t have” in regard to the ongoing investigation.

Clinton Democrat PartyFox News’ Ed Henry said Tuesday that should the report of the newly-recovered emails prove true, some of the emails recovered would already be in investigators’ hands.

A separate source, who also was not authorized to speak on the record, said the FBI will further determine whether Clinton should have known, based on the quality and detail of the material, that emails passing through her server contained classified information regardless of the markings. The campaign’s standard defense and that of Clinton is that she “never sent nor received any email that was marked classified” at the time.

It is not clear how the FBI team’s findings will impact the probe itself. But the details offer a window into what investigators are looking for — as the Clinton campaign itself downplays the controversy.

Fox News’ Ed Henry, Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne contributed to this report.

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