The Wall Street Journal recently uncovered an enormous conflict of interest pertaining to one of the FBI agents who participated in Hillary Clinton’s email investigation. The latest news in what is almost certainly a cover-up involves campaign donations to the wife of an FBI agent (nearly $500,000) originating from a Virginia governor currently under FBI investigation. Even more incriminating is the latest WikiLeaks email from Cheryl Mills to Podesta reading “we need to clean this up — he has emails from her — they do not say state.gov.” When the president is implicated in Hillary Clinton’s “extremely careless” and “negligent” handling of classified intelligence, the likelihood of an FBI cover-up increases exponentially.
While the half a million dollars isn’t necessarily evidence of a massive cover-up, the latest WikiLeaks email stating Obama knew of Clinton’s server must be evaluated alongside other aspects of this saga. According the FBI report, agents believed a narrative involving one of Bill Clinton’s aides mailing a laptop containing four years Hillary Clinton’s emails—in the mail. Yes, actually shipping the laptop, and Bloomberg states “A personal laptop computer used to archive Hillary Clinton’s e-mails when she was secretary of state went missing after being put in the mail, according to the FBI’s report on its investigation into her use of a private e-mail system.”
When Platte River’s Paul Combetta wrote the words “Hillary cover-up operation” on a work order, FBI agents believed he was simply joking; even after deleting emails Congress had requested before the Benghazi hearing. Various other strange elements of Clinton’s FBI email probe defy logic. Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills was close enough to Hillary Clinton to be granted immunity and enjoy an attorney-client privilege arrangement, yet apparently never knew about Clinton’s private server. Huma Abedin left classified material in her car and used burn bags to destroy certain documents while Clinton faced FOIA lawsuits. Multiple servers and numerous Blackberry phones were used by Clinton; despite an initial claim of using a “single device.”
The FBI’s Director’s definition of “intent” also defies logic and forms the basis for any claim involving a cover-up. Clinton’s initial rationale in owning a private server was convenience. Clinton’s initial statement evolved into never sending or receiving information “marked” classified, yet on both accounts, the FBI found Clinton’s server to contain 22 Top Secret emails. These Top Secret emails included Special Access Program intelligence, information NBC News defines as “beyond Top Secret” and “a secrecy designation that includes some of the most closely held U.S. intelligence matters.” SAP intelligence can’t be anywhere other than secure government networks.
This SAP intelligence was stored on a server that was unencrypted for three months and connected to a Blackberry first denied by the NSA. Then of course, Hillary Clinton exchanged Top Secret intelligence with three aides; none of which had Top Secret or SAP clearance. While James Comey found Clinton to be “extremely careless” and “negligent,” he didn’t “find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of the classified information.”
However, the fact SAP intelligence was on a private server outside U.S. government networks means it had to be transferred onto this external location. Oddly enough, four years of Bryan Pagliano’s emails at the State Department are missing, despite the fact he worked with others to setup Clinton’s private server.
FBI Director Comey’s acknowledgement that “sophisticated adversaries” could have breached Clinton’s unguarded server (possibly removing SAP intelligence) undermines any doubt there was intent involved with Clinton breaking Espionage Act laws. Clinton’s motive was to hide information, as evident by the 30,000 emails deleted about “yoga” and her reluctance to initially hand over her server to the FBI. To put things in context, Clinton had 62,320 total emails and deleted around half of them—what was she doing half the time as Secretary of State?
James Comey never bothered to ask, and if he did, simply believed any answer given by a politician known to be a liar.
Combined with all the other outlandish aspects of the FBI’s investigation (from a Clinton aid shipping a laptop in the mail to the FBI destroying laptops that could have been used as evidence in future investigations) a recent WikiLeaks email shows Clinton’s team negotiated the transfer of her server. Yes, the FBI allowed the subject of a criminal investigation to negotiate the transfer of evidence.
As for the “smoking gun” needed to prove the intent James Comey failed to see, another WikiLeaks email sent to John Podesta clearly states Clinton’s intention to break Espionage Act laws. An attachment to this WikiLeaks email on April 15, 2015 reads the following:
Hillary Clinton’s emails and what to do about them
The problem. There is a very real risk that the system was broken into, possibly by Republican operatives (or China or some other country or organization).
This message was sent to Podesta by an associate of Clinton’s campaign, warning Clinton’s team of numerous risks to national security.
Since President Obama almost certainly knew of Clinton’s server, the fact that so much evidence was destroyed and boxes of emails were lost points to the FBI’s desire never again to investigate Clinton. It’s this curious attempt at ensuring no further inquiry into this email saga that points to a cover-up by James Comey and other inside the FBI. Potentially the next president of the United States went to great lengths to store Top Secret intelligence on an unguarded server; breaking State Department rules and guidelines in owning the server. Sadly, James Comey ignored the “gross negligence” needed to indict Hillary Clinton under the Espionage Act. Despite enormous evidence showing intent, while simultaneously making it impossible for future FBI Directors to utilize new evidence (perjury during Clinton’s Benghazi testimony, for example) that might prosecute Clinton. For this reason and so much more, James Comey and perhaps several others in the FBI almost certainly engaged in a cover-up aimed aimed at protecting Hillary Clinton from prosecution.
H. A. Goodman is an author, columnist and journalist published in The Huffington Post, Salon, The Hill, The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, and other publications. He’s appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and numerous other news outlets this election.