You can count Hillary Clinton among the politicians who are glad that Pope Francis is visiting the U.S. this week. And we're guessing that her "joy" has little to do with the Pontiff's presence on American soil, or his stated support for such liberal causes as immigration reform and climate change.
No, we're guessing that Hillary's happiness is rooted in the saturation, non-stop coverage of the papal visit. With the news media--and public--so focused on the Pope, relatively little attention has been paid to the latest bombshell in the Clinton e-mail scandal.
Turns out that efforts to "wipe" her private server (you mean with a cloth?) may have been in vain. According to Bloomberg, The New York Times and Fox News, FBI experts have been able to recover both personal and business-related e-mails from Hillary's homebrew server, messages that supposedly deleted, according to the former Secretary of State and her advisers. As FNC reported:
"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.
An 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."
In many respects, this latest revelation represents a nightmare scenario for Mrs. Clinton. While she claims all of the deleted e-mails were personal in nature, the latest leak from inside the FBI has demolished that flimsy excuse. And given the bureau's superb capabilities in computer forensics, there's a good chance that most--if not all--of the "missing" e-mails may be recovered. That means the files that Mrs. Clinton tried so hard to protect (and eliminate) may soon be a part of the public record.
From Josh Gerstein and Rachel Bade at Politico:
"..Hillary Clinton's decision to have a tech firm she hired turn the server over to the FBI last month at its request greatly raises the potential that messages she has claimed to be private will eventually make it into the public domain, lawyers tracking the case said. Clinton has said that she had tens of thousands of emails deleted after determining that they contained personal information, but now the FBI appears to have at least some of those in its possession.
“This is enormously significant,” said Dan Metcalfe, a former top Justice Department official handling disclosure issues. “It’s one thing for the bureau to have taken control of the server itself, and when you add to that their technical capabilities to glean information from it, if there is information there that transcends what [Clinton] furnished to State, I think the odds are exceedingly high that that at least some if not all of that information will ultimately enter the public domain.”
Of course, we officially don't know what manner of correspondence may eventually see the light of day, but you don't need to be an FBI agent to follow the money trail. As in Bill collecting big bucks for speeches around the globe (and offering favors), which Hillary delivered as Secretary of State, or would deliver as a future president. Any documentation of that type of arrangement would spell doom for her political prospects and place her in even greater legal jeopardy.
However, the Clintons won't go down without a fight. During a Sunday morning interview, Hillary claimed she has been as "transparent as possible" about her e-mails, a claim that is not only demonstrably false, but downright laughable. Meanwhile, Bill is trotting out the vast, right-wing conspiracy" card, blaming Republicans for extending the crisis. Borrowing a phrase from Bob Kerry, not only are the Clintons exceptionally skilled liars, they are equally predictable in their deception. Faced with scandal yet again, they simply revert back to the Lewinsky playbook, and utter the same, focus-group tested lines, reinforced by the usual crew of toadies and sycophants.
Meanwhile, the FBI is reportedly focusing on how classified information wound up on Hillary's private e-mail network. We're guessing the bureau already knows the answer to that one; files were either uploaded to the system, or various users of the system simply copied sensitive data from reports into their e-mails, minus the classification markings.
We've long favored that latter scenario, for two reasons. First, the classified data almost certainly originated on networks set up to handle that type of information, specifically SIPRNET (for secret-level information) and JWICS, for material at the TS/SCI level. In the wake of the Manning and Snowden scandals, the government has made it extremely difficult to upload or download files from those systems. In many cases, moving a document from SIPRNET to JWICS requires the assistance of a network administrator and must be approved in advance.
On the other hand, it would be very easy for Mrs. Clinton (or a member of her cabal) to simply look at a classified report and then summarize the important findings in an e-mail, created and disseminated on the private, unsecure network. Ask anyone who has held a clearance and worked with classified data and they will tell you: such practices are unpardonable sins, deserving of prosecution and punishment to the full letter of the law. The fact that the former SecState (and her senior aides) held clearances for years--and deliberately chose to place classified information on an open network--gives you some idea of the contempt they hold for the nation's secrets and our laws.
And why not? The final decision on a potential prosecution of Hillary Clinton and her aides rests with political appointees at the Obama Justice Department.