Readings – The Clinton Investigation Enters a Dangerous Phase

From, former judge Andrew Napolitano reports that the FBI is wrapping up its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails and that the next stage is particularly perilous for her.

The Clinton Investigation Enters a Dangerous Phase

March 31, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s failure to protect state secrets contained in her emails has entered its penultimate phase, and it is a dangerous one for her and her aides.

Federal law enforcement sources have let it be known that federal prosecutors and the FBI have completed their examination of raw data in the case. After the FBI acquires raw data—for example, the nature and number of the state secrets in the emails Clinton failed to protect or the regular, consistent, systematic nature of that failure—prosecutors and agents proceed to draw rational inferences from that data.

Then they proceed to corroborate those inferences, looking for other sources to support or even to contradict them. With one exception, all of this work has been done with neutral sources of evidence—documents, email metadata, government records and technical experts.

The exception is Bryan Pagliano, the one member of Clinton’s inner circle who, with either a written promise of non-prosecution or an order of immunity from a federal judge, began to cooperate with federal prosecutors last fall.

Pagliano has explained to federal prosecutors the who, what, when, how and why he migrated an open State Department email stream and a secret State Department email stream from government computers to Clinton’s secret server in her home… Continue reading

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19 Responses to Readings – The Clinton Investigation Enters a Dangerous Phase

  1. Sheila Barnhart says:

    Fox News and Napolitano aren’t know for being unbiased.

  2. Fox News is not a news outlet. Most of the press is pretty bad most of the time, but Fox is only one smidgen removed from Alex Jones. Research at several Journalism Schools around the country showed that people who got their news from Fox were less informed than people who do not watch news programs at all.
    Story from Business Insider:

  3. Perhaps, depending on one’s point of view. But then, other news organizations and commentators are hardly unbiased. I read everything I can get my hands on, and I draw my own conclusions.

    Is there something factually wrong in either piece?

  4. wordcloud9 says:

    It seems odd to me that Hillary Clinton ended her term as Secretary of State early in 2013 – why wasn’t this investigation completed some time ago?

  5. Sheila and Chuck, would you move the discussion of Fox news over to the other post? That’s the one with the article that came from Fox; this one came from Now if you want to take issue with …. 😉

    Linky –

  6. Judge Napolitano is one of Fox “News” talking heads. He is one of the prominent faces Roger Ailes puts on the air to do legal commentary. I don’t doubt he knows his law, but he is a skilled spinmeister as well.

  7. Ah, I see, Chuck. Carry on then! Is there something in his post that is wrong? Or are you objecting only because it is Napolitano & Fox?

  8. Nona, My understanding is that Clinton’s use of a private server did not become known until well after she left office, and once begun, investigations take time. I think both the DOJ and FBI investigations started about a year ago. (This is from memory – if anyone has the timeline handy, please chime in.)

  9. wordcloud9 says:

    My recollection is that this has been an issue since November or December of 2014, and that Colin Powell.had a couple of security breaches on his personal AOL account. Clinton probably wasn’t the first Cabinet member to breach the security protocols – one hopes she will be the last.

  10. For anyone who knows more about secret gov’t stuff than I do – Nap says

    Pagliano has explained to federal prosecutors the who, what, when, how and why he migrated an open State Department email stream and a secret State Department email stream from government computers to Clinton’s secret server in her home…

    From reading elsewhere, my understanding is that the State Dept has two completely separate systems – one for routine stuff and the other for the super secret stuff, and the two systems never intersect, so it is impossible for something from the secret stuff system to “escape” to the routine stuff system.

    And yet, HRC had secret stuff on her server. How did that happen? I have seen speculation that someone re-typed the info. But from what Nap says, it sounds like Pagliano set up an interface to connect both systems to HRC’s server. Is that plausible? And if so, is it possible that a hacker could have started in HRC’s system and gone through the interface to get into the state dept’s system for secret stuff?

  11. Nona, I share your hope that something like this can never happens again. Politifact has looked into HRC’s claims about Powell’s email use — That was before release of the IG’s report, which goes into some detail on the email practices of Powell and the other secretaries —

  12. Queries says:

    No comparison between Gen.Powell, and Candidate Clinton’s situations frankly.
    As for the interface, I can’t see how a device could create such an interface unless it was either a human interface, or a human interface using visual capture device, to directly connect the systems wouldn’t go unnoticed as far as I can fathom, if they did, I don’t see how it could get past either the system administrator with in minutes, maybe seconds, or the NSA, the nose knows, and they aren’t being stingy with another agency on this.

  13. Queries, sooo….the sys admin would detect a device. Do you mean taking a photograph of what is on screen? or perhaps print to pdf, then ocr back to text? Doing that would lose the metadata, and it would no longer be the format for email …. Just thinking out loud, so to say …. (my techies used to laugh at me 🙂 )

  14. I’m sorry, Sheila, it has been a long day and your questions are not tracking in my brain …. would you please re-phrase?

  15. JoF,
    She is asking if hizzoner, Judge Napolitano, is your only source. Do you have anything to corroborate?

    My take is this, and I am not a fan of HRC: She is not a techie. Certainly not in the same sense as other administration types like Obama and Al Gore. She likes what she likes, and has no in-depth understanding of how the intertoobz work. One device, to her, is pretty much like any other. A geek she is not. I doubt seriously she has a true understanding of how easy it is to hack stuff. Even now, we all know that otherwise savvy people who use email don’t seem to understand that if they use the best secure email service there is, it’s inevitable they will routinely connect with unsecured servers.

    Computer security expert Dr. Bruce Schneier says there is no such thing as true secure email. In fact, if he has files he wants to keep secure, he stores them on a sterile computer that has never been connected to the internet. If he wants to transfer a file from that computer, he uses an “air gap.” That means he downloads the file to a sterile USB drive. Then takes the USB drive to a computer that is connected to the internet for transfer. He never uses that USB drive again, assuming it has been compromised. By the same token, he never takes a downloaded file directly from the internet to his sterile computer. It must be thoroughly scrubbed first.

    If I were hired as a consultant to defend her actions, my defense would be this. First of all, she is a technical babe in the woods. She is not a technical person when it comes to electronics, because her specialties are law and international relations, not gadgetry. She has a very large staff to do things for her. For example, I am an email power user, but no way could I do more than 30K+ personal emails in the time that is alleged to have taken place. Staff does those things for her. She likes her Blackberry, and that is all she knows. She told her staff to create a system she could use and they did just that. I doubt she really had any depth understanding of her briefings on internet security.

    Realty check: Since the CIA and FBI have had their systems hacked, one has to wonder if their own IT people truly understand the depth and breadth of risk management. What makes us so certain that a middle-aged woman lawyer and diplomat should understand. She came of age in the era of land-line phones and eight-track tapes.

  16. Sheila Barnhart says:

    Did you research your topic or are you use Fox and Napolitano as your sole source. Considering that this is a political matter involving the Clintons, Fox and Napolitano are not reliable sources. They are known to have an anti-Clinton agenda.

    Do you do any research using credible sources?

  17. Thank you for expanding, Sheila. I think I see the problem … the post is an experiment in sharing and discussing articles of interest. The first sentence is my summary of the article, and everything that follows is Napolitano’s writing, with link to his entire article. I thought that was apparent in the formatting, but perhaps I should add a intro blurb to be certain that its clear. So thank you for the feedback.

    From what I have gathered about Clinton’s email practices from various sources, I did not see any deviations from the basic facts in Napolitano’s piece compared to what is generally being reported. Clinton did use a private server, there is an FBI investigation, and so on. Napolitano adds some new information, part of which appears to be based on sources whose identities he did not reveal and part on his professional experience in dealing with federal cases. As in all reporting, take it with a grain of salt and reach your own conclusions.

    You appear to have taken great issue with this piece. What is wrong about the reporting in your view, other than your objection to the reporter?

  18. LOL, Chuck, you could be right at least in part. After all, she did respond to a question about wiping her server with “What, with like a cloth or something?”

    But look at how she parsed her response, and the IG has since refuted several of the statements that she made in those comments.

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