Now that the final debate is more fully in the rearview mirror, let’s revisit the scandal Mrs. Clinton barely discussed in Las Vegas. She’ll hide behind the “does not recall” obfuscations she offered to Judicial Watch under oath, but let’s consider the context and the source: This is just another lie from a compulsive liar, lying about her national security-endangering email scandal for which nobody has been held accountable — to the reported chagrin of the career FBI agents and DOJ lawyers who worked the case. Via the Washington Examiner, here we go again:
Responding to a set of questions under oath last week, Clinton said through her lawyer that she did not recall discussing her server with Bryan Pagliano, the IT aide whose immunity deal was the first to emerge publicly from the year-long FBI probe. “Secretary Clinton states that she does not recall having communications with Bryan Pagliano concerning or relating to the management, preservation, deletion, or destruction of any emails in her clintonemail.com email account,” Clinton testified through her lawyer, David Kendall, after raising objections to the question. But emails provided to conservative-leaning Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act show Clinton included Pagliano in discussions about her Blackberry, iPad and server when her network experienced problems in 2012…”Let me take a look at the server to see if it offers any insight,” Pagliano wrote in an email to Clinton after she complained to him and Cooper of the “troubles” plaguing her Blackberry. The new records were among the roughly 15,000 emails FBI agents turned over to the State Department at the conclusion of their investigation.
Her testimony was that she “does not recall” ever communicating with Bryan Pagliano, the IT tech who set up and operated her bootleg, unsecure, improper server. That doesn’t pass the smell test on its face. She never communicated with the guy who was running this scheme for her? Buying that story requires a “willful suspension of disbelief,” as Clinton once said in a nasty partisan confrontation with David Petraeus (approximately 1,000 official emails with whom her team wrongfully deleted and withheld from the State Department, about which Clinton then lied).
Beyond the smell test, these newly-released emails identify at least one instance in which Clinton personally emailed Pagliano, seeking assistance when her system was on the fritz (relatedly, you may remember that during a separate bout of server technical difficulties, the State Department actually disabled its official system’s virtual defenses in order to try to accommodate her issue). Sec. Clinton reached out to Pagliano for help, and he replied that he was working on the issue. Does anyone believe this was the only time the two interacted? It’s a safe bet that she can’t recall that either. Meanwhile, experts are casting doubts on former State Department official Patrick Kennedy’s tale about why he was in touch with an FBI official about email classifications, which he insists was not a quid pro quo offer:
A top former Justice Department privacy officer on Wednesday called it “extremely unlikely” that a senior U.S. diplomat would normally discuss the nuances of classification levels of one of Hillary Clinton’s emails about Benghazi with the deputy assistant director of the FBI’s international operations bureau. Patrick Kennedy, the State Department’s under secretary of management, was accused this week of offering a possible quid pro quo with the FBI in May 2015 to regarding the classification of an email about the 2012 attack on a diplomatic compound in northern Libya. In exchange for keeping the email unclassified, FBI documents released this week suggested, the State Department would agree to host more FBI agents in Iraq…the Justice Department’s former information and privacy director, Dan Metcalfe, on Wednesday said it was “extremely unlikely” that the Kennedy would seek advice on this particular classification issue from now-retired FBI agent Brian McCauley, who at the time was the bureau’s deputy assistant director for international operations. Instead, Metcalfe suggested, Kennedy likely called [McCauley] knowing the FBI wanted more agents in Iraq, but had been stymied in the past.
In other words, Kennedy’s attempted machinations were basically exactly that they looked like: A political effort to protect Hillary Clinton, via mutual backscratching. Nice try, Patrick — who seems to feature prominently in Hillary scandals with curious frequency. Former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy, whom we’ve quoted on various elements of this scandal, opines that the apparently attempted quid pro quo arrangement may be suspicious, but doesn’t amount to bribery. He builds the case that the criminality lies elsewhere. A Wall Street Journal editorial published this week details how the stench around this element of Hillary’s email scandal continues to get more noxious:
The latest FBI document release on Monday contains interviews with officials revealing that in spring 2015 Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy contacted an FBI official to coax the FBI to downgrade from classified to unclassified a Benghazi-related email that had sat on Mrs. Clinton’s server. At the time Mrs. Clinton was still insisting she’d never transmitted classified information…Democrats claim this is all nothing more than State employees engaging in the usual “interagency dispute” over classification—which has been Mrs. Clinton’s defense from the start. But there is nothing usual about the State department calling in “shadow” lawyers to handle emails, intimidating FOIA staff or proposing deals with FBI officials to deep-six documents in State basements. These are the actions of bureaucrats and political appointees seeking to hide from the public the mishandling of sensitive information by the Democratic nominee for President…Speaking of the White House, the latest WikiLeaks release contains an email from Clinton aide Phillipe Reines to campaign staffers in March 2015. Mr. Reines is responding to a New York Times headline, “Obama Says He Didn’t Know Hillary Clinton Was Using Private Email Address.” “One of us should connect with the WH just so they know that the email will show his statement to not make sense,” he wrote. This is the latest evidence that Mr. Obama was aware of, and corresponded with, Mrs. Clinton on her private email server.”
Obama new about it, then denied he knew about it — a lie that even surprised Clinton’s aides, according to hacked emails. Perhaps he was the “VERY VIP” individual whose identity and/or email address Hillary’s assistant IT manager sought to strip off of emails in advance of their release. In any case, all of this simple fuels the overwhelming public sentiment that Mrs. Clinton is dishonest and untrustworthy. In this week’s Quinnipiac poll, a 49 percent plurality called Hillary unfit to be president — a terrible number for a woman who’s campaigning on her experience and qualifications. Fortunately for Democrats, her opponent is the man they were rooting for in the GOP primary, and whose “unfit” rating in that same poll was an unelectable (38/58). Last but not least, even if Clinton had sworn that she’d never conversed with Pagliano about the management of her secret server, without any “recollection” fudging, would that have mattered? Probably not. Remember, Clinton appears to have lied to the FBI about violating protocols by using personal computers in the secure areas (SCIF’s) of her residences:
HRC told the FBI she had no computers in the SCIF at her house. But they found that she did. pic.twitter.com/OnSb2tLnJY
— Annie Linskey (@AnnieLinskey) September 2, 2016
That contradiction resulted in…absolutely nothing. Just like everything else she’s done. Being a Clinton means never, ever being held accountable.