The U.S. State Department’s internal investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server during her time at the department concluded with a finding of hundreds of violations by 38 individuals.
The report was sent to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Grassley was chair of the Judiciary Committee until last year. The report was dated September 13, but was made public on Friday.
The letter summarized Clinton’s handling of classified information between 2009 and 2013, the years she served as the nation’s highest diplomat. However, it reflected only about 30,000 e-mails that the State Department was able to physically review.
In total, the 38 individuals (who were not named) were found “culpable” in 91 cases of sending classified information that was ultimately found in Clinton’s personal e-mail.
An additional 497 violations were discovered, but the report said the responsibility in these cases could not be assigned, partially because many of those involved had left the department during the review process.
As part of its probe, the State Department reviewed all of Clinton’s e-mails, obtained hundreds of statements, and performed in-person interviews with current and former officials.
The investigation found that Clinton’s use of a private e-mail account (based out of a server kept in her New York residence) to exchange over 6,000 e-mails “represented failure to properly safeguard classified information” and “added an increased degree of risk of compromise as a private system lacks the network monitoring and intrusion detection capabilities of State Department networks.”
Some of the e-mails were found to have information classified as top secret — the highest level of security classification.
“While the use of a private email system itself did not necessarily increase the likelihood of classified information being transmitted on unclassified systems, those incidents which then resulted in the presence of classified information upon it carried an increased risk of compromise or inadvertent disclosure,” the report read.
However, the report concluded that the individuals interviewed by and large “did their best” to implement security policies and that there was “no persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information.”
Culpability means that current and former officials will have the violations noted in their files and will be considered when applying for or renewing their security clearances.
Current officials may also face disciplinary action, although it’s not immediately clear what form that action would take.
Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server was a major controversy during the 2016 presidential election. The FBI began investigating Clinton’s e-mails in 2015. Then-FBI Director James Comey ultimately said the agency would not recommend charges, but called the Democrat’s behavior “extremely careless.”
As sources told CNN in 2017, Comey changed the wording of his statement to “extremely careless” from “grossly negligent” at the suggestion of Peter Strzok, a former top counterintelligence expert at the FBI who was fired from the Bureau and dismissed from his role in the Mueller Russian collusion probe after the discovery of anti-Trump texts between him and his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
As CNN noted at the time,
The shift from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless,” which may appear pedestrian at first glance, reflected a decision by the FBI that could have had potentially significant legal implications, as the federal law governing the mishandling of classified material establishes criminal penalties for “gross negligence.”
Strzok had also led the investigation into Clinton’s private e-mail server.
According to the FBI’s findings, Clinton’s team used the software BleachBit to scrub her private e-mail server. BleachBit creator Andrew Ziem noted that his software can be downloaded and used with total anonymity, making it ideal for those who do not wish to “leave a money trail.”
“And they didn’t just push the delete button,” former Representative Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) famously said of Clinton’s e-mails. “They had them deleted where even God can’t read them.”
Additionally, longtime Bill Clinton aide Justin Cooper, who helped set up Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail account and was “usually responsible” for configuring her new devices, was found by the FBI to “recall two instances where he destroyed Clinton’s old mobile devices by breaking them in half or hitting them with a hammer.”
The FBI found 340,000 private e-mails between Clinton and top aide Huma Abedin on the laptop of Abedin’s then-husband, former Representative Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who was sentenced to 21 months in prison for sexting with an underage girl.
Photo: AP Images
Luis Miguel is a writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.