November 3rd, 2016

It’s the Clinton Foundation, stupid

There’s a lot of news coming out, and much of it concerns the fact that the Comey announcement was really about the FBI’s renewed focus on the Clinton Foundation as a pay-for-play scheme.

Here’s an article by Andrew C. McCarthy. It’s a bit complex, but please read the whole thing.

Also please see this at the WSJ. Here’s an excerpt:

Secret recordings of a suspect talking about the Clinton Foundation fueled an internal battle between FBI agents who wanted to pursue the case and corruption prosecutors who viewed the statements as worthless hearsay, people familiar with the matter said.

Agents, using informants and recordings from unrelated corruption investigations, thought they had found enough material to merit aggressively pursuing the investigation into the foundation that started in summer 2015 based on claims made in a book by a conservative author called “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” these people said…

The roots of the dispute lie in a disagreement over the strength of the case, these people said, which broadly centered on whether Clinton Foundation contributors received favorable treatment from the State Department under Hillary Clinton.

Senior officials in the Justice Department and the FBI didn’t think much of the evidence, while investigators believed they had promising leads their bosses wouldn’t let them pursue, they said…

Amid the internal finger-pointing on the Clinton Foundation matter, some have blamed the FBI’s No. 2 official, deputy director Andrew McCabe, claiming he sought to stop agents from pursuing the case this summer. His defenders deny that, and say it was the Justice Department that kept pushing back on the investigation.

The author of that first article, Andrew C. McCarthy, has been my go-to guy for this kind of legal issue for a long, long time, and is one of the clearest and most reliable writers in the field. He’s been pretty much writing an article a day since the Comey announcement broke nearly a week ago (one of the longest weeks of Hillary Clinton’s life, most likely). Today McCarthy speculates on why the FBI never discovered the existence of the Weiner/Abedin computer before. It is also worth reading, and McCarthy concludes with this:

The reports of the FBI’s investigation that have been made public indicate that there could be dozens of computers and other communications devices which may be storing classified information, but which the FBI has neither seized nor made plans to try to obtain. If that is true, it is inexplicable..

…Is the Abedin/Weiner laptop the last one? Or will late discoveries continue to rock Camp Clinton and roil our politics?

McCarthy is basing his speculation about the thoroughness of the FBI’s questioning on this report:

The FBI requested all the computers that were used in conjunction with Hillary Clinton’s private server, but a new report states the former secretary of state’s top aides were never asked to turn over their computers or smartphones.

“No one was asked for devices by the FBI,” an anonymous source familiar with the investigation told Politico late Tuesday.

Since aides did not turn over their devices, their attorneys were instead the ones guiding investigators in their search despite their looking out for their clients’ best interests.

However, I had read earlier that Huma Abedin was asked (under oath, but apparently not by the FBI) if there was any other computer she had used that might have had the Hillary emails on it, and she denied that she had any:

On June 28, 2016, Abedin said under oath in a sworn deposition that she looked for all devices that she thought contained government work on them so the records could be given to the State Department. (These records were subsequently reviewed by the FBI.)

Also, even now Abedin says that she has no idea how the emails got on her husband’s laptop and that she had never used it:

Huma Abedin’s lawyer has thrown new confusion into the Clinton email probe – saying she never used the laptop seized by the FBI where the messages were found.

In a dramatic development, Abedin’s newly-hired attorney claimed that the laptop was solely in the possession of the Hillary Clinton aide’s ex-husband, pervert Anthony Weiner.

The claim on Abedin’s behalf deepens the mystery of how emails relevant to the Clinton server investigation could be found on his laptop.

Initial reports had suggested the device was shared by Abedin and Weiner before their estrangement.

But Karen Dunn told Politico the computer belonged to Weiner alone.

We’re dealing in a fog of war (metaphorically speaking) situation here, apparently. However, it seems to me that if this is true, the FBI would not have had the authority to seize Weiner’s computer, even if they had asked Abedin all the relevant questions. My question is: when a person is being investigated, how do the authorities determine which are the computers used by that person’s aides, and which computers to ask for legal access to?

24 Responses to “It’s the Clinton Foundation, stupid”

  1. Bill Says:

    What a mess.

    Is it safe to say that the primary system for both political parties is broken? Neither of the candidates was vetted enough (which is ironic because they have both been in the public eye for basically forever).

    Hillary appears to have considered herself above the law. If there is justice and if we truly are a nation of laws and if we truly have a rule of law she should bear the brunt of justice here.

    If they had done their job a year ago we wouldn’t be where we are now.

  2. sdferr Says:

    …Is the Abedin/Weiner laptop the last one? Or will late discoveries continue to rock Camp Clinton and roil our politics?

    If we glance around at potential subjects of “late discoveries”, who do we see?

    Chelsea, maybe? Others?

  3. sdferr Says:

    Amid the internal finger-pointing on the Clinton Foundation matter, some have blamed the FBI’s No. 2 official, deputy director Andrew McCabe, claiming he sought to stop agents from pursuing the case this summer. His defenders deny that, and say it was the Justice Department that kept pushing back on the investigation.

    Ach, I gotta finger too, and it’s aiming right at PresidentPseudonym himself. It’s no accident he’s right here telling me where to point it either.

  4. Richard Saunders Says:

    This is all moot, since it is a certainty that Barry O’ will pardon her and the whole gang if Trump wins, and if the Evil Empress wins, there will be no investigation.

  5. Ira Says:

    Hillary and the entire crew, including attorneys, should have been indicted the moment they deleted the 33000 email messages, if not earlier for delaying turning over email messages..

  6. Cornhead Says:

    If Hillary wins, the House investigates. If Trump wins, then these people finally pay for their crimes.

  7. huxley Says:

    The Hllary people do seem rattled.

    I would have thought the smart play here was an oppo attack on Trump, not a smear campaign against the FBI and a lot of scare talk about an alliance between the KGB and the Trump campaign–especially given the Ted Kennedy backchannel dealings with the Soviets in the 1984 election.

    It seems to me the FBI could have gutted the Clinton campaign long ago, but extra-legal forces, i.e. the DOJ and Hilllary’s connections, to put the fix in.

    Now the fix doesn’t seem in, so something has shifted. Maybe it’s the new Weiner evidence, but maybe it’s something else too. Maybe some people in the FBI and the government, who are truly repulsed by Hillary’s criminal behavior and lies, are finally swinging into action.

    Be still, my beating heart. Tune in next week.

  8. Lowell Says:

    The answer to how 650K of Hillary’s emails got on Carlos Danger’s computer may lie in the folder in which they were kept on that computer. I’ve heard, admittedly not proven, that they were in a folder named “Life Insurance”. Hmmm.

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    Lowell:

    At this point a totally and completely unsubstantiated rumor, reported only on the sketchiest of websites.

    There is a small chance that will turn out to be true, but at the moment I highly doubt it.

    Even on the small chance it’s true, it wouldn’t actually explain how they got there. Did he put them there, and if so, how did he gain access to them? Did she put them there, and if so, why call them “Life Insurance”? They would be just as likely to sink her as save her from anything.

  10. Vanderleun Says:

    “Abedin says that she has no idea how the emails got on her husband’s laptop and that she had never used it:”

    Husband knows or can easily guess wife’s laptop password.

    Buys PNY – Turbo 256GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive – Black/Gray.

    Tiptoes carefully around apartment when wife sleeps…. easy peasy… “Plug in, copy on, plug out….”

  11. MollyG Says:

    @Lowell: Unless I’m mistaken, 650,000 is the total number of emails on Anthony Weiner’s computer. A portion of them (“tens of thousands”) is alleged to have a connection with Hillary Clinton’s private server.

  12. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Here IMO is the crux of the matter;

    “let’s consider the Clinton Foundation. While Clinton may not have been motivated to harm our national security, she was precisely motivated to conceal the corrupt interplay of the State Department and the Clinton Foundation. That was the real objective of the home-brew server system: Mrs. Clinton wanted to shield from Congress, the courts, and the public the degree to which she, Bill, and their confederates were cashing in on her awesome political influence as secretary of state. That is exactly why she did business outside the government system that captures all official e-mails; and, critically, it perfectly explains why she deleted and attempted to destroy 33,000 e-mails — risibly claiming they involved yoga routines, Chelsea’s wedding, and the like.”

    Andrew McCarthy (my emphasis)

  13. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I suspect Vanderleun’s scenario is fairly close to what happened and if so, entitling the folder “Life Insurance” makes perfect sense. Weiner was keeping it as his ace in the hole for after Hillary was elected.

  14. neo-neocon Says:

    Vanderleun:

    Of course, it’s not much of a challenge to imagine how Weiner could have gotten access to her emails.

    The question is, however, how he did and whether he did.

    If she had such an easily guessable password, then she’s more foolish than I think she is.

  15. huxley Says:

    I’ve heard, admittedly not proven, that they were in a folder named “Life Insurance”. Hmmm.

    Like Cornhead says, “Don’t overthink it.”

    I keep some of my semi-private files in folders with innocuous names to discourage interest from friends/family/interlopers in the event they might be casually perusing my drive.

    Obviously it’s not a foolproof plan. I would not read too much into folder naming.

    Whatever the folder may have been named or whoever put those files there, it is a testimony to someone’s astonishing sloppiness or canny judgment, perhaps rightly assesed, that they are above the law.

    If I had dynamite like that on my drive it would have been heavily encrypted. Which is not that hard even for civilians these days.

  16. Richard Saunders Says:

    One suggestion that I heard was that Weiner offered to back up Huma’s smartphone to the laptop, presumably backing up the whole phone and compressing the files, which could explain the 650K e-mail figure.

  17. Ray Says:

    Do you believe the Clinton Foundation received millions of dollars of donations from foreign governments and individuals because these people were kind hearted and wanted to help the Clintons who were broke when they left the White House? If so, I used to live in beautiful Naval Station Brooklyn and have a bridge for sale there.

  18. huxley Says:

    Ray: Who is the “you” you are addressing?

  19. OM Says:

    Huxley:

    “you” lives next to “we,” Kemosabe?

  20. neo-neocon Says:

    Richard Saunders:

    You write: “One suggestion that I heard was that Weiner offered to back up Huma’s smartphone to the laptop, presumably backing up the whole phone and compressing the files, which could explain the 650K e-mail figure.”

    I’m an ordinary person. I don’t have 650K emails of a sensitive nature, some of which contain state secrets. And yet, I keep my email and my cellphone and my laptop more secure than that. I would not be receiving sensitive emails on my cellphone, and I would not be allowing anyone to back of the sensitive files I had wherever I kept those files.

    I find it hard to imagine that Huma was any less careful than I would have been. Then again, I find a lot of things hard to imagine that in fact have happened.

  21. MikeII Says:

    “Abedin says that she has no idea how the emails got on her husband’s laptop and that she had never used it:”
    Would that be like Hillary when under oath and asked a hardball question saying- “I don’t remember!” Birds of a feather 🙁

  22. huxley Says:

    Richard Fernandez has a wonderful take on Anthony Weiner stealing the Hillary emails from a Huma flash drive as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings stole The Ring.

    https://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2016/11/03/riddles-in-the-dark/

  23. sdferr Says:

    Oh my, will wonders never cease? Powerline, Mirengoff: Hillary sent classified information to Chelsea

  24. Matt_SE Says:

    Another thing that struck me about the Abedin emails was the number: Hillary’s deleted emails numbered in the tens of thousands, but Huma’s trove has 650,000.

    That amount must’ve been collected consciously. Either Huma was doing that for insurance against Hillary, or maybe she was funneling it to the Muslim Brotherhood.

    I see no innocent reason why she should have that many emails stored on a computer.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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