Politics: Clinton-email critics pull a role reversal as Trump administration draws fire for private phone use - PressFrom - US
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Politics Clinton-email critics pull a role reversal as Trump administration draws fire for private phone use

01:45  10 october  2019
01:45  10 october  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

State Department revives investigation of Clinton's private emails

  State Department revives investigation of Clinton's private emails Hillary Clinton's private email server may once again be a hot-button issue three years after the FBI said it wouldn't press charges. Washington Postsources claimed State Department investigators have contacted "as many as" 130 officials to let them know that emails sent to Clinton's private inbox have been retroactively classified, making them possible security violations when they weren't at the time they were sent. The Department had started reaching out roughly a year and a half ago, according to the report, but fell quiet before resuming in August.

The most vocal defenders of the Trump administration ’s actions include some of the most aggressive critics of Clinton ’s handling of sensitive information In 2016, the FBI found that at least 110 emails Clinton sent through a private server contained information that was classified at the time, but other

Donald Trump made Clinton 's private emails a centerpiece of his campaign, even suggesting she should be jailed for it. What could be more hypocritical But let's take a step back. Clinton 's private email issue is often vastly oversimplified, and the two situations just aren't analogous at this point.

More than four years after a squad of House Republicans led a charge against then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her handling of sensitive diplomatic information, the State Department is once again under scrutiny for how diplomats use personal phones to conduct official business.

Scott Perry, Mark Meadows are posing for a picture: Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) discusses a closed-door meeting with Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, as House Democrats proceeded with the impeachment investigation of President Trump on Oct. 3.© J. Scott Applewhite/AP Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) discusses a closed-door meeting with Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, as House Democrats proceeded with the impeachment investigation of President Trump on Oct. 3.

But some of those same House lawmakers are now on the opposite side of the controversy, playing defense for U.S. diplomats.

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Mrs. Clinton used her email only once to communicate with a foreign official, her office said. In 2007, Mrs. Clinton , then a senator from New York and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, accused the George W. Bush administration of using “secret White House email accounts” along

Ms Clinton was criticised but never charged for using a private email server. Democrats have denounced as a “massive diversion” from the Trump administration ’s alleged links to Russia, a decision by Republicans to launch investigations into the FBI’s handling of a probe into Hillary Clinton .

On Tuesday, lawmakers said that President Trump’s top envoys for Ukraine and the European Union used personal phones and an encrypted messenger app as they conducted U.S. policy on Ukraine, a matter that was revealed during House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

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The most vocal defenders of the Trump administration’s actions include some of the most aggressive critics of Clinton’s handling of sensitive information, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R) of Ohio, Rep. Mark Meadows (R) of North Carolina and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who as a Kansas congressman had attacked Clinton by underscoring the solemn role of soldiers in defending U.S. secrets.

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Hillary Clinton wrote 104 emails that she sent using her private server while secretary of state that the government has since said contain classified information, according to a new Washington Post analysis of Clinton ’s publicly released correspondence.

“We have soldiers today in the field, fighting to protect classified information from getting out . . . [risking] a lot of their lives to keep the information safe. And Secretary Clinton handled this in a very different way,” Pompeo told a television host in February 2016, adding that she had violated “multiple laws.”

On Tuesday, Meadows dismissed concerns about the communications of the two diplomats, Kurt Volker and Gordon Sondland, saying their use of personal phones or encrypted apps was acceptable because they ultimately handed over their correspondence to the State Department.

“Based on what I’ve seen, I have no concerns,” he said in an interview.

The State Department has not responded to questions about the diplomats’ handling of information, but Pompeo has broadly defended his subordinates, saying “each of the actions that were undertaken by State Department officials was entirely appropriate.”

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"Hillary Clinton knowingly used an unsecure email system and risky iPads and smartphones to conduct classified and sensitive government business," Fitton said. "It is frankly outrageous that Secretary Tillerson and Attorney General Sessions allow their agencies to cover up for and defend

Donald Trump ’s daughter and son-in-law among six administration figures who reportedly used private email accounts for White House business.

State Department officials are told to use government-issued phones when conducting official business so that those communications are secure and archived for posterity in compliance with the Federal Records Act and Foreign Affairs Manual. If diplomats send a work-related message on a private platform, they must make a copy of it and submit it for archiving “no later than 20 days after the original creation or transmission,” the manual says.

Despite those rules, the use of WhatsApp and other messaging services is fairly widespread at the State Department, and those who use them often fail to take screen shots of the communications and forward them on in official emails for the archives as instructed.

“Few, few people do that,” said one former official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss compliance issues he witnessed.

“The irony is that Pompeo’s diplomats are using personal devices when he personally went ballistic on Hillary Clinton for that,” the official added.

Clinton employed a more elaborate workaround of State Department guidelines through her use of a private server, but some legal experts said the disparity in outrage in the two cases was telling.

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Powell joined the Trump administration in a senior role focused on entrepreneurship, economic growth and the empowerment of women, and in The Trump administration attributed Comey's dismissal to his handling of the investigation into Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton 's email server

Clinton was investigated by the FBI for using a private email server for her correspondence as secretary of state. They used this account to email 30 other Clinton aides what appeared to be a spreadsheet on the candidate’s poll ratings. “In fact, this link directed the recipients’ computers to a

“ ‘Pot meet kettle’ doesn’t do the situation justice,” said Brad Moss, a Washington-based attorney who specializes in national security and classification cases.

Meadows said the charges of hypocrisy were not valid because Clinton was mishandling classified material. He said he trusted Volker’s testimony before House investigators last week in which the envoy purportedly said none of his communications were “classified.”

“A few of them were sensitive, in his opinion, but none from his professional opinion were classified,” Meadows said.

In 2016, the FBI found that at least 110 emails Clinton sent through a private server contained information that was classified at the time, but other pieces of her correspondence were retroactively classified. That’s something some experts say could happen with Volker’s correspondence, given that the contents included a potential meeting with a U.S. president and security assistance for a country in a military conflict with Russia.

“It is more likely than not that at least some of the information outlined in those messages will be designated as classified at some level, and those who slammed Secretary Clinton for passive receipt of unmarked emails that later were deemed to contain classified information will be presented with claims of hypocrisy if they now dismiss similar behavior merely because it was done by their political allies,” Moss said.

38 people cited for violations in Clinton email probe

  38 people cited for violations in Clinton email probe The State Department has completed its internal investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's use of private email and found violations by 38 people, some of whom may face disciplinary action. The department determined that those 38 people were "culpable" in 91 cases of sending classified information in messages that ended up in Clinton's personal email. The 38 are current and former State Department officials but were not identified in the report that was sent to Congress this week.The investigation covered 33,000 emails that Clinton turned over for review after her use of the private email account became public.

After attacking Hillary Clinton for deleting emails from her private server, members of the Trump administration are using a private server for White House staff can use a private email only if they copy or forward complete messages using their official government email accounts within 20 days.

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While Volker handed over his messages to House investigators last week, Sondland’s correspondence remains with the State Department. Sondland, who was a hotel magnate and Trump donor before becoming the president’s envoy to the European Union, appears to have played a significant role in trying to persuade Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former vice president Joe Biden at Trump’s behest.

Sondland was scheduled to appear before House investigators Tuesday, but the State Department ordered him not to do so, a decision that Democrats led by Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.) protested.

“Not only is the Congress being deprived of his testimony, and the American people are being deprived of his testimony today, but we are also aware that the ambassador has text messages or emails on a personal device which have been provided to the State Department,” Schiff told reporters Tuesday.

Pompeo, who led an aggressive campaign to extract documents and interviews from the State Department as part of a probe into the killing of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012, also faced charges of hypocrisy last week when he accused House Democrats of trying to “intimidate, bully and treat improperly” State Department employees through interview requests.

Schiff is now accusing Pompeo of failing to live up to the level of transparency he demanded of the Obama administration, saying Sondland’s messages are “deeply relevant to this investigation and the impeachment inquiry.”

Republicans, led by Jordan, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, defended the State Department’s decision to delay the testimony and records disclosures.

“We fully understand why the administration made the decision they did,” said Jordan, who claimed that Schiff misrepresented Volker’s testimony and therefore could not be trusted with other such testimonies.

Meadows challenged Schiff to prove that Sondland used a personal device, although neither Sondland nor Volker denied the allegation.

Experts in both parties have said that ambiguity in the State Department’s rules and policies on the retention of various messaging applications has long been a problem. Kaylin Minton, a spokeswoman for the House Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans, noted that the State Department authorization bill, which passed the House this summer, “attempts to push the department toward adopting uniform guidelines on the issue.”

“We need to reform our protocols to keep pace with advancements in technology,” she said.

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Julie Tate and Greg Jaffe contributed to this report.

State Dept. finds no ‘systemic’ classified violation in Hillary Clinton private-server emails .
State Dept. finds no ‘systemic’ classified violation in Hillary Clinton private-server emailsThe three-year-long investigation by State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security concluded that 38 individuals committed a total of 91 security violations involving emails sent to or from Clinton’s private server.

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