While Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, the White House told her a two-terabyte hard drive containing records from the Clinton presidency had been “stolen” from the National Archives, according to emails released Thursday by the State Department.
“They last can account for the drive on January 30; they discovered it was missing on March 24 (NARA leadership found out later),” wrote White House counsel Daniel Meltzer in an April 2009 email to Jim Messina, President Obama’s deputy chief of staff.
“They believe it was stolen,” Meltzer addedin the email, which was forwarded to Hillary’s aides.
He continued, “Two terabytes is a very very large amount of data; the drive may contain a wide range of memos, emails, and other electronic documents from the Clinton White House.”
Meltzer said the contents were unclassified – with the exception of “three documents which Bill Leary has examined and does not believe present any significant risk.”
But he added, “Based on its analysis, NARA [National Archives and Records Administration] believes the drive contains other sensitive material.”
Hillary’s aides sent the email to Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, who forwarded it to Hillary on April 13, 2009.
On Thursday, the State Department released 357 emails related to its investigation of Hillary’s use of a private, unsecured email server while she was secretary of state. The emails had been deleted from Hillary’s server. WikiLeaks also released the email.
The information on the hard drive likely included Social Security numbers and birth dates of White House staffers.
“There is a 90% likelihood that the personal information (including DOB and SSN) of all Clinton WH staff was on the lost hard drive,” Meltzer wrote. “There is a 100% chance that some of it was on the lost hard drive.”
He continued, “The three classified documents were authored by Lael Brainard, currently a top nominee for Treasury. Much of her work is likely on the drive. They [sic] are almost certainly records from many other White House officials.”
The situation is reminiscent of another notorious theft of classified documents from the National Archives by Sandy Berger, Clinton’s former national security adviser, in October 2003.
Berger pleaded guilty in 2005 to sneaking secret documents from the National Archives in his socks and pants. He paid a fine of $50,000 and served two years of probation. Berger lost his security clearance and relinquished his law license.
As WND reported, President Bill Clinton had signed a letter authorizing Berger’s access to the documents that later came up missing. The documents included sensitive drafts of the National Security Council’s “Millennium After Action Review” on the Clinton administration’s handling of the al-Qaida terror threats in December 1999.
Clinton signed an April 12, 2002, letter designating Berger – and another person whose named was redacted – as “agents on his behalf to review relevant NSC documents regarding Osama Bin Laden/Al Qaeda, Sudan and Presidential correspondence from or to (Sudanese President) Omar Bashir, contained in the Clinton Presidential records.” A subsequent letter from a National Security Council official, May 14, 2002, said Berger repeatedly was briefed that “he was not allowed to remove any documentation from NARA.”
In July 2003, Berger’s handling of the papers began to “cause archival concerns in maintaining provenance” after he asked to leave the viewing office several times to hold very private phone calls. Later, in September, Berger once again stepped out of the office and headed for the men’s room, but personnel reported an unknown white object beneath his pant leg.
A witness said Berger “bent down, fiddling with something white, which could have been papers, around his ankle.”
Berger said he had to make a private phone call and went to a desk outside the office. However, the phone line remained unlit, and he quickly departed to the restroom, a location from which he was reported to have recently returned. Berger made numerous suspicious visits to the men’s room in which personnel were concerned he might be hiding documents. He said he “went to the restroom on an average of every 30 minutes to one hour to use the facilities and stretch his legs.”
Berger died in December 2015 at the age of 70.
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