Days after marked-classified information turned up in the release of State Department emails found on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, the Justice Department once again is looking into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of government secrets while she served as secretary of state, according to a report.
The Daily Beast cited an ally of Attorney General Jeff Sessions who said officials are looking into “how much classified information was sent over Clinton’s server; who put that information into an unclassified environment, and how; and which investigators knew about these matters and when.”
The Sessions ally, according to the Daily Beast, also said officials have questions about immunity agreements that Clinton aides, presumably including longtime top aide Huma Abedin and counsel Cheryl Mills, may have made.
WND reported last Friday documents belonging to Abedin that were discovered on the personal computer of her estranged husband, Weiner, during an FBI investigation were released by the State Department, including at least four that were marked classified.
FBI Director James Comey cited the emails recovered on Weiner’s laptop as the reason he reopened the investigation of Clinton’s mishandling of classified information 11 days before the November election.
Comey testified in a May Senate hearing that Abedin forwarded “hundreds of thousands” of messages to her husband so he could print them out, including some that contained classified information.
The report of a new review of Clinton email matter comes as two prominent leaders of the conservative House Freedom Caucus – Reps. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Jim Jordan, R-Ind. – call for Sessions to be replaced as attorney general if he is unable to address the fact that despite no evidence, the Russia-Trump “collusion narrative” continues.
The Daily Beast cited a former senior DOJ official saying department officials are aware of demands from Sessions’ boss, President Trump, that they look into Clinton’s handling of classified information while she was secretary of state.
Trump tweeted on Dec. 2: “Many people in our Country are asking what the ‘Justice’ Department is going to do about the fact that totally Crooked Hillary, AFTER receiving a subpoena from the United States Congress, deleted and ‘acid washed’ 33,000 Emails? No justice!”
On Tuesday, Trump called for a federal investigation into Abedin’s handling of classified information, charging that she disregarded “basic security protocols.”
Judicial Watch’s Fitton said Friday the government documents that were on Weiner’s laptop “dramatically illustrates the need for the Justice Department to finally do a serious investigation of Hillary Clinton’s and Huma Abedin’s obvious violations of law.”
Judicial Watch previously released 20 productions of documents in the case that show examples of mishandling of classified information and instances of “pay to play” between the Clinton State Department and the Clinton Foundation.
Also, at least 627 emails were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over.
Judicial Watch notes that the finding contradicts a statement by Clinton that “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails had been turned over to department.
Weiner, the former New York congressman, was sentenced in September to 21 months prison after pleading guilty in May to sexting with a 15-year-old girl.
On Wednesday, WND reported federal investigators say Abedin’s recently convicted cousin deleted emails from his Yahoo account that were sent during a time when he was soliciting Abedin for government favors while she served in the State Department.
WND reported last month another cache of records obtained by Judicial Watch show 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.
Previous Judicial Watch investigations revealed numerous examples of Clinton’s schedule being broadcast via email through her unsecure, non-government server.
‘Few matters have been more scrutinized’
The Daily Beast noted Stephen Boyd, who heads the Justice Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs, appeared to hint at the department’s interest in Clinton’s emails in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte on Nov. 13.
Boyd wrote that Sessions “directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate certain issues” the chairman was concerned about.
Boyd said prosecutors would “make recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened” and send the recommendations to Sessions and his top deputy, Rod Rosenstein.
Arguing against any further investigation, Nick Merrill, who served as Clinton’s communications director in the State Department, told the Daily Beast “few matters have been more scrutinized than emails, and it was determined that there was no wrongdoing.”
“Trump’s behavior shows a profound disrespect for the rule of law and an unprecedented abuse of power – with his attorney general following suit at every turn. It tarnishes our justice system, and should be deeply troubling to all Americans,” Merrill said.
However, Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for Trump’s legal team and the John Ashcroft-era Justice Department, told the Daily Beast it’s “about time they’re doing a review of this whole mess.”
“People should be encouraged that the new leadership at the Justice Department is actually interested in a nonpartisan, above-board Justice Department that treats every citizen equally,” he said.
“And we can hope that this means they are dedicating themselves to cleaning up the Justice Department and the FBI, sanctioning any FBI agents or DOJ lawyers who are found to have violated their ethical and legal responsibilities, and restoring the trust of the American people.”
Hillary team faced no consequences
Last month, it was discovered 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 handling of classified information.
It was Strzok who, according to sources cited by CNN, changed the language of FBI Director 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 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.