NEW YORK – Yahoo.com holds the key to determining just how severely Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton may have violated national-security laws with emails that Huma forwarded to herself at [email protected], which ended up on a laptop owned by her husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner.
The FBI has the legal authority to force Yahoo to disclose whether IPs belonging to third parties, including foreign third parties, had access to read in real time – and in non-redacted form – emails that Abedin forwarded to [email protected] that ended up on Wiener’s laptop.
On Aug. 29, WND reported two-thirds of Abedin’s released emails were forwarded to personal addresses she controlled.
Yahoo refuses to cooperate
In August, WND realized that anyone with Abedin’s Yahoo email account username and password could have accessed [email protected] to read in real time – and in a non-redacted form – all State Department emails, including those with classified information that Abedin forwarded to herself.
As WND reported Sept. 6, several of the emails Abedin forwarded to her account at [email protected] were found to contain such highly sensitive material that the State Department redacted 100 percent of the content pages, marking many pages with a bold stamp reading “PAGE DENIED.”
By taking it offline, Abedin could have given the user name and password to a third party, including a foreign third party, without State Department IT administrators, or the IT administrators of the Clinton’s private server, realizing it.
To determine if others were accessing her [email protected] because Abedin had given them username and password access, or because the outside users had obtained username and password access via other means, including hacking, the fact and frequency of outside IP access to [email protected] could only be determined with certainty if Yahoo could be forced to turn over that information.
The Washington Times reported in August 2015 that the State Department had admitted to a federal judge that Abedin and Mills used personal email accounts to conduct government business in addition to Clinton’s private clintonemail.com to transact State Department business.
In September and October, WND made repeated attempts, contacting attorneys and security experts, to see if there was a way to get Yahoo.com to disclose all IP addresses that may have accessed [email protected], suspecting both that Abedin may have downloaded her [email protected] on a device owned by or shared with her husband, or possibly via an IP address located in a foreign country.
WND was aware that on Sept. 22, a Yahoo! Inc. press release confirmed that hackers in 2014 had swiped at least a half-billion Yahoo accounts, stealing names, email addresses, phone number, birthdays, and in some instances, even hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.
While Yahoo’s investigation suggested the stolen information did not include unprotected passwords, Yahoo encouraged users to change usernames and passwords.
On Sept. 1, the Romanian hacker Miarcel Lehel Lazar, known online as “Guccifer,” had been sentenced on Sept. 1 to 52 months in prison for hacking passwords and employing social-engineering tactics including fraud, identity theft, and harassment to successfully hack into the email accounts of celebrities, business executives, and political figures such as Sidney Blumenthal, an adviser with whom Secretary Hillary Clinton corresponded using her private email account at the State Department.
On July 25, 2012, WND reported that Abedin has family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, including having worked on the editorial board of a Saudi-financed Islamic think tank alongside Abdull Omar Naseef, a Muslim extremist with close ties to the Abedin family who has been accused of financing al-Qaida fronts.
In that article, WND further reported then–Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota sent letters to the inspectors general at the departments of Homeland Security, State, and Justice asking that they investigate Muslim Brotherhood influence on U.S. government officials, noting with particular concern that Abedin has three family members – her late father, her mother, and her brother – connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations.
Huma’s complex use of [email protected]
Careful analysis of the Huma Abedin emails, released to Judicial Watch on August 17, made WND aware in August and September that in addition to Huma Abedin forwarding an estimated two-thirds of all State Department emails written by her and/or addressed to her to [email protected], Secretary Clinton and others in the State Department freely used [email protected] in transmitting and receiving State Department emails.
The most typical example of Abedin forwarding a State Department email to herself can be seen in an email obtained by Judicial Watch dated May 19, 2009, in which Abedin, using her State Department secure email account at “Abedin, Huma, <[email protected]>” forwarded to “humamabedin[redacted] an email sent to her by Kenneth H. Merten, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the State Department:
In the Huma Abedin emails released by Judicial Watch on Aug. 31, WND found two instances where [email protected] were left in a non-redacted form, with all other appearances of “humamabedin” having the account address redacted, leading to the conclusion that “humamabedin” – her name including her middle initial – was the self-reference Abedin used only in conjunction with her Yahoo.com account.
A second variation involved Abedin using her email address on Secretary Clinton’s private server, “Huma Abedin [[email protected]],” to forward an email to Abedin via her private Yahoo account at [email protected], as seen in another email dated June 23, 2009.
This second variation, sent on the same day as the first example above, leaves no doubt Clinton felt no hesitation not only to communicate State Department business with Abedin through emails Clinton sent Abedin to her insecure Yahoo.com email address totally outside the control of either Abedin’s State Department email address or Abedin’s email address on Clinton’s private server.
A third variation involved Secretary Clinton using her private email address, “[email protected]>,” to send an email directly to Abedin’s Yahoo account, here listed as “humamabedin[redacted],” with Clinton forwarding to Abedin a Council of Foreign Relations speech that Blumenthal had sent to Cheryl Mills, Secretary Clinton’s State Department chief of staff, that Blumenthal had dated July 9, 2009, and marked “CONFIDENTIAL.”
Note, that while Blumenthal had addressed the original email in this chain to Cheryl Mills, both at her State Department address, “[email protected]>” and to her private email at “cheryl mills[redacted],” WND could find no instance in the emails Judicial Watch has made public so far in which Mills forwarded any State Department emails to herself at her private off-line email account.
Finally, on Aug. 8, 2009, Abedin using her Clinton private server email address forwarded to her Yahoo account, with the Yahoo address not redacted and reading fully “[email protected],” an email Hillary had forwarded to Abedin on Aug. 6, 2009, an email from Blumenthal in which Blumenthal was conveying sensitive information about an upcoming Moscow summit.
On Sept. 8, in reporting on this email change, WND called it a “smoking gun” that should put both Abedin and Clinton in prison because Blumenthal had marked the material “CONFIDENTIAL,” but the State Department, in preparing to release this email to Judicial Watch, marked it as “CLASSIFIED.”
That Clinton and Abedin sent State Department emails to Abedin insecure, offline Yahoo.com email account appears to be a clear violation of national-security laws regarding the handling of classified information.
The violation is compounded if the emails were downloaded to a laptop or other electronic device owned by or shared by Weiner because access to Weiner’s email usernames and passwords, either by consent or as a result of hacking, would have allowed access to State Department emails Clinton and Abedin sent to [email protected]
If the FBI obtains information from Yahoo.com that unauthorized IP addresses, possibly some of which might be foreign IP addresses, then the national security crimes under investigation might reach to espionage and/or treason charges, depending in large part on whether or not Abedin and/or others released username and password access consensually, in order to allow unauthorized IP reader access to State Department emails in real-time and a non-redacted format.