[guest post by Dana]
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her staffers employed an informal and sometimes haphazard system for exchanging and storing sensitive information and were at times either unaware or unconcerned with State Department policy, documents from an FBI investigation into her private email server system show.
The documents reveal a myriad of new details about the email set-up and show that investigators found multiple attempts by hackers to access Clinton’s system — a series of personal devices and servers that the Democratic presidential candidate told investigators she used as a matter of convenience while she was secretary of state.
The materials, which include a summary of the FBI’s entire investigation as well as Clinton’s hours-long interview with agents in July, contain no major revelations. But they offer new details that Clinton’s political opponents will be able use in the months leading up to the November election. The summary shows that Clinton’s account to law enforcement was generally consistent with what she has said about her email situation publicly, but she repeatedly told agents she could not recall important details or specific emails she was questioned about.
The NY Post summed up Clinton’s recklessness:
In addition to the thousands of Clinton e-mails the State Department has found to hold classified data, the FBI ID’d 81 classifed e-mail chains — eight of them “top secret.”
Clinton used at least 13 mobile devices at State. Some were properly destroyed afterward — but others just went missing.
She didn’t even know how classification worked: “Clinton could not give an example of how classification of a document was determined.” And, in one example, she didn’t even realize that “deliberation over a future drone strike” — a highly classified issue — was “cause for concern regarding classification.”
After news broke of her private setup, she tried to completely wipe all her records. In the end, she failed to hand over at least 17,448 work e-mails.
Though she denied it again to the FBI, her goal throughout was plainly to evade the Freedom of Information laws: Whenever anyone else — from Colin Powell to techies at State — noted that a course of action would mean leaving records that might become public, she chose a different path.
Clinton was also unable to remember Very Important Things such as official training on how to maintain State records, how to send and secure classified information, any of the State’s email policies, and what her name was.
Also, in Hillary Clinton’s professional life, things sometimes just disappear:
Anyway, one would have expected Donald Trump to be tweeting up a storm about this latest confirmation of the irresponsible, dishonest, and even dangerous decision-making of his opponent, but then again, it’s Donald Trump we’re talking about. Any other candidate would have pilloried her. Which makes you wonder why he hasn’t:
Also, any other candidate would not have been so cavalier about handling State secrets and the security of the American people. Any other candidate would not have considered herself so above the law that she could just disregard for the rules. And maybe, just maybe, if you can’t even remember what the rules of security are, and can’t remember that the big “C” on an email doesn’t stand for Confused, you shouldn’t be allowed to hold any position of power that could directly, or indirectly, endanger the lives of others.
Been dazed and confused for so long it’s not true. Wanted a woman, never bargained for you. Indeed!
UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Here’s my own take on the matter, which I drafted as Dana was drafting this and decided to append as an update to her post:
The Most Boring Headline Ever: New Revelations About Hillary’s Emails
I know, right? Like the parade of lies by Donald J. Trump, the steady stream of new revelations about Hillary Clinton’s emails becomes numbing after a while. There are so many that it’s difficult to keep track of them all. We could read a story proving that Russia, China, and ISIS had all used Hillary’s stolen emails to learn the identity of every undercover operative in the world, and on some level we’d be thinking: wait, didn’t we already read this story somewhere? I can’t remember!
But there are new revelations from the FBI’s release of investigative notes from the investigation, helpfully released the Friday before the three-day Labor Day weekend.
One of the fun facts we learned just before the long holiday weekend: potentially recoverable emails may still exist on a laptop that was put in the mail and then disappeared:
E-mails that Clinton sent and received through her private server during her tenure were archived on the laptop in 2013 by a person who was an assistant to former President Bill Clinton, the FBI said in its heavily redacted investigative report released Friday.
Someone whose name was redacted in the FBI report told the agency that he later deleted the e-mails from the laptop but didn’t wipe its hard drive. A computer technician can often recover such e-mails that have been deleted but not permanently erased from a laptop’s memory.
The FBI sought the laptop as part of its investigation, but it’s whereabouts remain unknown, the bureau said: The last time the laptop was seen was when it was put in the mail.
Nice, huh? Here’s another cute tidbit:
“Clinton stated deliberation over a future drone strike did not give her cause for concern regarding classification,” the notes said.
This would make a great subject for a series of questions at Clinton’s next press conference: How is disseminating information about a contemplated drone strike not cause for concern? Can you think of any topic that would create “cause for concern”? And so forth. You can easily picture such questions being asked, can’t you? Of course you can’t, because 1) she doesn’t hold press conferences, almost ever; and 2) when she rarely does, questions like that don’t get asked, because media.
Sheesh. It’s difficult to imagine anyone being more cavalier with sensitive information. I can think of only one person who might be: Donald J. Trump.
Heckuva job, electorate!
UPDATE BY PATTERICO: A commenter complains that the tweet embedded in Dana’s post was published before the FBI release. OK . . . for the record, here are all the tweets Trump has put out since the tweet embedded by Dana, as of the publication of this post. Count how many there are about the Hillary emails. I’ll do it for you: zero.
UPDATE x2 BY PATTERICO: The same commenter notes that Trump (OK, Trump’s campaign) has put out some press releases about the FBI release. Here’s one:
“Hillary Clinton’s answers to the FBI about her private email server defy belief. I was absolutely shocked to see that her answers to the FBI stood in direct contradiction to what she told the American people. After reading these documents, I really don’t understand how she was able to get away from prosecution.” – Donald J. Trump
I’d bet the deed to my house that this is a lie, and that Trump has not read the documents. He watched something about them on TV. He got some flacks to write up a couple of statements about them but can’t be bothered to tweet about them (which is how you know he cares about something) and sure as hell didn’t read anything, because the man doesn’t read, because he is a moron.
ADDED: This Ted Cruz ad is spot-on perfect, especially after yesterday’s news dump: