Hillary Clinton scrubbed her Benghazi emails. That is the logical conclusion drawn by investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson who, while at CBS, fought to break stories exposing the Obama administration’s lies on “phony” scandals from Fast and Furious to Benghazi and for her efforts had her computer hacked and monitored, likely by administration operatives concerned by her revelations and curious about her sources.
Attkisson said on NewsmaxTV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show” recently that she thought it was a common sense conclusion that Hillary Clinton erased the contents of her personal email server, created and used in violation of the National Records Act and State Department rules, because she would rather “take the heat” from destroying information under subpoena and sought by congressional investigators than suffer the political and possibly criminal consequences of the truth about her Benghazi activities.
Attkisson said, “To me this all points to Benghazi and things she did not want to turn over and did not turn over, communications regarding the story that the administration most wants to go away, most wants to controversialize, and most wants to say its a non story. I think that is what it says”
From emails that have been uncovered, and which were addressed to her personal email server, it is clear that she lied to Congress and the American people when she said that she was unaware of the perilous security around our Benghazi diplomatic mission and that while all State Department emails and cables were addressed to her, not all made it to her desk:
Clinton has long denied being in the loop about mounting dangers in Benghazi and her agency’s rejection of security requests from U.S. personnel, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the attacks. Though Clinton was sent multiple cables about security prior to the assaults, she explained that she got far too many to read.
“They are all addressed to me,” Clinton told the House Foreign Affairs Committee in January 2013. “They do not all come to me. They are reported through the bureaucracy.”
The newly reported emails differ from the cables in that they were sent directly to Clinton’s personal email server and, in some cases, were from one of her top aides.
As Shannen W. Coffin points out in National Review, the Federal Records Act and the State Department’s own rules prohibits her keeping of official government emails on her personal server and destruction of records under subpoena also constitutes obstruction of justice. And if she signed form OF-109, which she should have done or been asked to do, she committed perjury:
As Shannen W. Coffin, a contributing editor at National Review and senior lawyer at both the White House and Justice Department under President George W. Bush, points out, a provision titled “Removal Procedures” requires departing federal employees to relinquish any classified materials at the time of departure and to clear the removal through records-management officials….
She doesn’t get to return 55,000 pages of documents nearly impossible to search years later. That she returned these materials in paper form, not an electronically searchable form, is a deliberate attempt to slow down and obstruct any investigation.
If an employee violates the terms of the Form OF-109 she or he has signed, that act is punishable by Section 18 U.S.C. § 1001 of the criminal code, which makes it a crime to knowingly and willfully falsify or conceal facts made in statements to federal agencies concerning matters under their jurisdiction.
The recent Chinese hacking of government personnel records raises the possibility that foreign hackers were well aware of every jot and tittle of Hillary’s activities as Secretary of State, which means she was putting her personal political ambitions above national security. After all, this information was being kept on a personal and unsecured server.
If you’re running for President and had culpability in the deaths of four Americans, including the first U.S. Ambassador killed on duty in three decades, you have a powerful motive to hide and or destroy records that could prove politically and criminally embarrassing. As Attkisson has noted, Hillary’s “plumbers” worked feverishly to keep documents hidden from the Accountability Review Board (ARB) during her tenure as Secretary of State:
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, one of four placed on administrative leave and then reinstated, told former CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson, now at the Daily Signal, of a weekend operation in a State Department basement office to filter out and hide any damaging documents from ARB that might put the State Department and its top diplomat, Hillary Clinton, in a bad light.
Attkisson reports that Maxwell was working at State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, and his duties included gathering documents and emails relevant to the Benghazi probe when a State Department office director reportedly told Maxwell of the basement group’s marching orders.
“She told me,” Maxwell told Attkisson, ‘Ray, we are to go through these stacks (of documents) and pull out anything that might put anybody in the (Near Eastern Affairs) front office on the seventh floor in a bad light.'”
Liar, liar, pantsuit on fire. Hillary Clinton even lied about the terrorist attack in Benghazi being caused by a video to the parents of the dead in front of their son’s caskets at their bodies were returned home. If Richard Nixon lost his presidency due to an 18 ½ minute gap on a tape, Hillary’s willful destruction of incriminating evoidence should qualify her only for an orange jumpsuit.
Daniel John Sobieski is a free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.