NEW YORK – As the scandals arising from her use of a private email account and her foundation’s receipt of foreign donations during her service as secretary of state evolve from allegation to investigation, Hillary Clinton’s public defense of her actions aren’t holding up, threatening her once “inevitable” path to the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2016.
Clinton claimed in March, for example, that her private email account was not used for disseminating classified material, but an inspector general last week said he found two “Top Secret” emails in a random sample of the 30,000 she gave to the State Department for review.
And although she was told explicitly not to use her office of secretary of state to raise money for the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, private investigations continue to turn up numerous examples of quid pro quo transactions and financial irregularities that appear to have illegally profited the Clintons.
While Hillary Clinton is blaming the email scandal threatening her campaign on the likes of “vast-right wing conspiracy” stalwart Judicial Watch, a longtime Clinton observer sees White House fingerprints on it.
Author Ed Klein, former foreign editor of Newsweek and former editor-in-chief of the New York Times Magazine, told WND on Friday “the Obama White House, for both ideological and personal reasons, does not want to see Hillary Clinton succeed Barack Obama as president.”
Klein, the author of “Blood Feud: The Obamas vs. the Clintons,” said chief White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, whom he calls Obama’s “consigliere,” “has been a prime source of press leaks about Hillary’s email scandal.”
“The Obama White House has no intention of trying to thwart the FBI’s investigation,” Klein told WND.
The probe, he noted, is now in the hands of FBI Director James Comey.
Klein described Comey as “an honest, moral and upright civil servant, who will follow the leads wherever they lead.”
The author pointed out the Obama White House has looked at several possible alternatives to Clinton, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley as the most prominent.
“At this point, Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett believe their best bet is Joe Biden, and they are doing whatever they can to convince Joe to throw his hat into the ring,” Klein said of the vice president.
In “Blood Feud,” Klein points to another anti-Hillary suspect, former White House National Security Adviser John Brennan, currently heading the CIA. Klein said Brennan joined Jarrett and Obama political adviser David Axelrod to run White House foreign policy, “calling all the shots” to the exclusion of Clinton and the State Department.
Read WND’s recounting of 22 of Hillary Clinton’s biggest scandals, stretching from Whitewater, Travelgate, Chinagate, Filegate, Pardongate and many others in the 1990s to the current email, Clinton Foundation and Benghazi probes.
If Brennan and the CIA, indeed, conspired with the White House to end Clinton’s political career, she might be justifiably concerned that the administration’s national security apparatus, including the vast eavesdropping resources of the NSA, could have its own copies of her emails and could leak them at strategic moments.
Klein’s theory meshes with former Clinton adviser Dick Morris’s belief that the White House was behind the “draft Biden” movement that would pit the vice president against Clinton as a more credible option to advance Obama’s agenda.
“You can only have one candidate out there saying everything Obama’s doing is right … I’ll just continue what Obama’s doing,” Morris said. “You can’t have two candidates saying that, because the other one won’t get covered, and Biden lives on campus. These are his programs as well as Obama’s.”
Nothing to see here
Clinton continues to maintain there was no impropriety in her decision to use a personal email server to conduct the highly sensitive business of secretary of state.
But from the outset of the scandal in the spring, contrary information has surfaced that has only fueled the fire.
For one, Fox News obtained in March an internal State Department cable to Diplomatic and Consular Staff in 2011 in which Clinton herself told State Department staff, for security reasons, not to use personal email. She made it clear that to “avoid conducting official Department from your personal emails,” employees should not “auto-forward Department emails to personal email accounts which is prohibited by Department policy.”
When she finally decided to face media, March 10, choosing the United Nations headquarters in New York as the venue, she said nobody should be worried about any possible breaches of security.
“I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email; there is no classified material,” she declared.
She further hedged her response at a July 25 campaign event in Iowa, protecting herself in the event that material she email later became classified.
“I am confident that I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received,” she declared.
But in a letter to Congress last week, Charles McCullough, III, inspector general of the Intelligence Community, wrote that his “classification officials reviewed two additional emails and judged that they contained classified State Department information when originated.”
The revelation prompted the FBI to take possession of Clinton’s email server Wednesday.
However, an attorney for the Denver-based company that has managed Clinton’s private email account since 2013, Platte River Networks, told Bloomberg News Thursday that the email server turned over to the FBI “is blank and does not contain any useful data.” Nevertheless, Bloomberg said the FBI is seeking to determine whether the data might have been backed up on another machine.
Clinton also told reporters in March that when she emailed government colleagues, they all had government email addresses. But top aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills were both found to have had personal email accounts on Clinton’s server, which they used to conduct State Department business.
WND has reported extensively on Abedin’s Muslim Brotherhood family background and political affiliations, raising the question of how she might have influenced Middle East policy.
Hillary Clinton also said that among the emails on her personal server were exchanges with her husband. But Bill Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna said the former president has sent “a grand total of two emails during his entire life,” the Washington Examiner reported in March
Amid mounting pressure, Clinton turned over paper copies of 30,490 emails she said were related to government business. She said she deleted another 31,830 messages she deemed to be personal, including yoga routines and condolence messages. But her critics question whether she should be the one to make that determination.
The American public clearly shares that concern and others.
A Monmouth University Poll released Wednesday found that 52 percent of Americans say her emails should be subject to a criminal investigation for the potential release of classified material, the Washington Times reported.
U.S. officials first found classified information among the emails as early as last May, the McClatchy news service reported.
What’s in the emails?
While Clinton’s use of a private email account as secretary of state poses criminal and political consequences, the contents of the messages also could threaten her presidential ambitions.
The House Select Committee investigating the Obama administration’s role in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. special mission in Benghazi, Libya, has been continually rebuffed in its effort to obtain relevant emails from Clinton and the State Department.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., the chairman of the Benghazi House Select Committee, said Wednesday in an interview on the Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom” that Clinton’s “unique email arrangement is interfering with our ability of finding out what happened to the four Americans killed in Benghazi.”
“She wanted to control access to the public record and she almost got away with it,” Gowdy said.
WND has reported State Department emails released through a lawsuit by Judicial Watch show Clinton knew while the Benghazi attack was under way that it was being carried out by Islamic terrorists. Clinton and the Obama administration, nevertheless, contended protestors angry over an obscure anti-Muslim movie, not terrorists, were responsible for the attack that resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
McClatchy reported the hiring of Platte River Networks to manage Clinton’s State Department private emails coincided with the discovery that an email account for Clinton’s longtime private consultant Sidney Blumenthal had been hacked by a Romanian national Marcel Lazar Lehel, known as Guccifer.
As WND reported in May, Clinton’s private emails to Blumenthal reveal extensive discussions about Benghazi.
More recently, WND has reported the allegation that Clinton’s State Department tried to ship weapons to Libya via Qatar in 2011 in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution. The allegation appears to be a central argument in the defense of arms dealer Marc Turi, who has been charged with filing false applications to ship weapons to Qatar, knowing the weapons would be diverted to Libya.
Author Peter Schweizer, in his book “Clinton Cash,” has provided evidence indicating foreign contributions to the Clinton Foundation resulted in political concessions engineered by Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
Schweizer has found a pattern of “shady” big-dollar donors seeking political favor while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
They include reclusive Swedish mining investor Lukas Lundin, who committed $100 million to the Clinton Foundation through a charity called Lundin for Africa. In his book, Schweizer wrote that Lundin is “the head of a sprawling enterprise that cuts deals with African warlords and dictators to gain access to valuable minerals and oil.”
Another character is Frank Guistra, a “penny-stock speculator” who leveraged contributions to the Clinton Foundation to get Bill Clinton’s help winning over Nursultan Nazarbayev, the ruler of Kazakhstan, who Schweizer describes as “a backwater billionaire dictator with a treacherous human rights record.” The deal ended with Guistra getting access to immense uranium deposits from Kazakhstan’s estimated $5 trillion of natural resources.
Guistra developed a company named Uranium One. It took Secretary Clinton’s involvement to persuade the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CIFUS) to allow the Russian State Nuclear Agency Rosatom to buy a controlling interest in Uranium One. Consequently, one-half of all U.S. uranium production wound up in the effective control of the Vladimir Putin’s Russian government.
“You find this pattern repeated,” Schweizer told WND, “where people who operate these political cultures largely driven by bribery are making large payments to the Clintons.
In addition, WND has reported exclusively, beginning in April, Wall Street financial analyst Charles Ortel’s separate, extensive investigation of the foundation’s financial records, which has led him to conclude the Clintons have diverted tens millions of dollars donated for charitable purposes to the personal enrichment of themselves and their close associates.
WND further reported that before Hillary Clinton completed her first year as Obama’s secretary of state in 2010, $17 million went missing from Clinton Foundation financial reports, according to Ortel’s probe.
WND reported May 14 Ortel has concluded that while Hillary Clinton was appointed to the board of directors of the Clinton Foundation in 2013, after she had resigned as secretary of state, she is complicit in what he has described as systematic financial fraud warranting a criminal investigation.
WND reported May 13 that Ortel found the Clinton Foundation’s explanation for why it was divided into three, legally separate tax-exempt organizations to be “misleading and false.” As WND reported May 12, based on Ortel’s findings, a prominent lawyer and a top government watchdog in the nation’s capital are calling for the Clinton Foundation to be shut down. In his first report, Ortel found what he characterizes as an elaborate system devised by the Clintons to enrich themselves through schemes such as skimming tens of millions of dollars from U.N. levies imposed on airline travelers.
Ortel’s concerns about the Clinton Foundation directors arise from what he believes are false and misleading public disclosures. WND reported Ortel’s conclusion that the Clinton Foundation could “Enron” a major accounting firm, Price waterhouseCoopers, his finding that no one verified whether or not the foundation was a tax-exempt charity and his evidence that PWC allowed the foundation to “skim millions.”