A Clinton Foundation subpoena is threatening to stir up the email server scandal even as Bernie Sanders is fighting to gain a clear lead in the 2016 Democratic primaries. The interesting part about the probe into the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation is that it doesn’t seem to be targeting the foundation itself, instead seeking information about persons related to the U.S. State Department. The State Department’s inspector general has not revealed the exact scope of the subpoena, but some reports have claimed the Hillary Clinton indictment investigation may be related to probes into the Clinton Foundation.
The Washington Post reports that an anonymous Clinton Foundation representative claimed the “initial document request had been narrowed by investigators and that the foundation is not the focus of the probe.” The inspector general’s office has also launched a separate investigation into the private email server scandal while the FBI is considering whether Hillary compromised natural security during her time in the State Department.
While Clinton has told reporters she is “100 percent confident” nothing will come of the investigation, Fox News claims the FBI is also investigating ties between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department. In response. Hillary dismissed the report, calling it “an unsourced, irresponsible” claim with “no basis.”
The revelation about the Clinton Foundation subpoena is interesting because it also sought records related to Huma Abedin, Hillary’s top aide who also worked at the State Department, the Clinton Foundation, and Clinton’s personal office where the private email server was physically located. In the past, Representative Darrell Issa, who serves on the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees, claimed FBI Director James Comey “would like to indict both Huma and Hillary as we speak.”
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Other top aides for Hillary may be caught in the crossfire. Another report claims the number of email accounts which handled “top secret” intelligence “could be as high as 30 and reflects how the intelligence was broadly shared, replied to, and copied to individuals using the unsecured server.” Some of these email accounts were used by Abedin and other aides like chief of staff Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, and Philippe Reines.
Judge Andrew Napolitano believes the “aides did not have the required security clearances to receive the information contained in these emails” so it is possible Clinton’s aides will be indicted in order to gain more information about Hillary’s actions.
“The FBI now has leverage. The Justice Department can indict her top aides and trade with them. What would they want? Testimony against Clinton in return for a deal with them. This is the way the government works,” he said.
Former State Department inspector general Howard J. Krongard believes Hillary Clinton’s indictment will never happen, but he also claims State Department officials are “lying” when claiming the agency never knew about the private email server. Krongard believes the obvious evidence is that Clinton was never assigned an official “state.gov” email address.
“That’s a change in the standard. It tells me that this was premeditated. And this eliminates claims by the State Department that they were unaware of her private email server until later,” Krongard told the New York Post. “How else was she supposed to do business without email?”
Krongard also points how unusual it was for the State Department to not have an inspector general at all during Hillary’s time within the department.
“This is a major gap. In fact, it’s without precedent,” he said. “It’s the longest period any department has gone without an IG. It’s clear she did not want to be subject to internal investigations.”
The secondary issue is determining how classified information from SIPRNet, which is a computer network separate from the regular internet, could even make its way to Clinton’s email server.
“[The data] can’t just jump from one system to the other. Someone had to move it, copy it. The question is who did that?” Krongard asks.
It’s possible Clinton staffers, including Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, and Jake Sullivan, could have manually transcribed the classified information from SIPRNet, but Krongard believes it’s possible someone used memory sticks to copy the data, which would be considered a security breach.
“She’s trying to distance herself from the conversion from SIPRNet to [the nonsecure] NIPRNet and to her server, but she’s throwing her staffers under the bus,” he said.
In the end, Krongard claimed the Justice Department will never indict Hillary Clinton due to political protection from within the Democratic Party, but the Clinton Foundation subpoena may add another wrinkle to the scandal.
[Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation]