Faced with allegations of mishandling classified information, the State Department allowed Hillary Clinton and top aide Huma Abedin to take files of telephone calls, schedules and other work-related information under the claim they were “personal” and “unclassified, non-record” materials, according to newly released documents.
The records newly obtained by the Washington watchdog Judicial Watch show that Abedin was allowed to take five boxes of “physical files” out of the State Department that include records described as “Muslim Engagement Documents.”
And Clinton was allowed to take personal correspondence and gift binders, which could be relevant to allegations that donations were made to the family’s Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative in exchange for favorable policy decisions.
WND previously reported emails obtained by Judicial Watch showed Abedin doing favors for a Russia-connected group on behalf of the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
Abedin, who grew up in Saudi Arabia, worked for an organization founded by her family that promotes the kingdom’s strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam. She was a member of the executive board of the Muslim Student Association, which was identified as a Muslim Brotherhood front group in a 1991 document introduced into evidence during the terror-financing trial of the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation
Previous Judicial Watch investigations revealed numerous examples of Clinton’s schedule being broadcast via email through her unsecure, non-government server.
The records newly uncovered by Judicial Watch also contain a list of materials removed by Clinton that were accumulated by Robert Russo, Clinton’s then-special assistant, including PDFs of Clinton’s “correspondence in response to gifts … thank you and acknowledgements.”
The documents indicate that Clinton removed a physical file of “the log of the Secretary’s gifts with pictures of gifts.” Judicial Watch noted the receipt of gifts by federal employees in the Executive Branch is regulated. A “prohibited source” of gifts, for example, is “one whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee’s official duties.”
The documents show the State Department records would not be “released to the general public” under any Freedom of Information Act request.
“We already know the Obama State Department let Hillary Clinton steal and then delete her government emails, which included classified information. But these new records show that was only part of the scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
“These new documents show the Obama State Department had a deal with Hillary Clinton to hide her calls logs and schedules, which would be contrary to FOIA and other laws,” Fitton said.
“When are the American people going to get an honest investigation of the Clinton crimes?”
Hillary team gets a pass
The revelations come amid news that FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was dismissed by special counsel Robert Mueller in the “Russia collusion” investigation for demonstrating personal bias against President Trump, was a key figure in the bureau’s investigation of Clinton’s mishandling of classified information.
It was Strzok who, according to sources cited by CNN, changed the language of FBI Director James Comey’s earlier draft describing Clinton’s actions as “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.” It was a critical legal distinction that Comey used to explain why he did not refer charges to the Justice Department.
Abedin and longtime Clinton counsel Cheryl Mills, according to official FBI summaries of their interviews with Strzok, made misleading statements regarding Clinton’s mishandling of national secrets but faced no consequences, unlike former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was charged with a felony, the Daily Caller reported.
Clinton violated State Department standards by using several home-brew email servers to conduct her official government business as secretary of state. In his July 5, 2016, announcement, Comey said the bureau’s investigation found that of 30,000 emails Clinton handed over to the State Department, 110 contained information that was classified at the time she sent or received them. A few, Comey said, bore markings that identified them as classified.
The bureau also discovered “several thousand” work-related emails that Clinton had not turned over to the State Department – three of those emails contained classified information. And Comey said it was “possible” that hostile foreign governments had gained access to Clinton’s personal account, noting she also regularly used her mobile device on foreign trips, including “in the territory of sophisticated adversaries.”
Comey’s finding conflicted with Clinton’s repeated assertions that none of the emails were classified at the time she sent or received them.
State required keeping released docs secret
The new information obtained by Judicial Watch includes a list of official and personal calls, and schedules that carry a special notation that the documents were released to Clinton on the condition that they not be made public.
Judicial Watch point out that the notation is on an addendum to a DS-1904 form, which authorizes the removal of personal papers and non-record materials. The form was signed by Clarence N. Finney Jr., then-director of the Office of Correspondence and Records.
Judicial Watch said it has a pending request to depose Finney in separate litigation concerning Clinton emails and the Benghazi terrorist attack.