There has been a lot of wild speculation and erroneous information being spread around, mostly by TV show hosts, campaign officials, and “journalists” about these matters of the FBI Director’s letter this past Friday to Member of Congress, communications by and devices owned by Hillary Clinton and her associates, and the law. In addition to the reporting and analysis, a deluge of accusations, spin, and leaked stories are flying everywhere like a tornado that where everyone has an opinion and keeps throwing fodder into that cyclone, colliding with everything else.
However, most of those making commentary have neither held a security clearance nor worked for the government nor know a thing about how federal law enforcement works, nor what a national security case involves. Most have never even seen the inside of the FBI Headquarters or offices, not to mention training with them and knowing them, but some of us have. Then there is the filtering and infusion of an agenda that is distorting much of what is already fragmentary information at best. Thusly, the public is not being accurately and completely informed. Though only 41.9% of those eligible even voted in the 2014 election (Source: US Census), many are trying to make a decision about who to vote for in next week’s election. The letter shown here from the FBI Director James Comey to select Members of Congress is some of the only verifiable information available to the public on this matter at this time. A search of public records will yield even more. Earlier this year, Director Comey both conducted a press conference and then appeared before a committee of the U.S. Congress to discuss his findings and decision about prosecution in the matter of unlawful and unauthorized disclosures of classified government information by Hillary Clinton.
For those who want to know the real story and what the bottom line is, this is all confusing and frustrating to say the least. What many of these media folks are doing is making uninformed commentary on either incomplete or incorrect pieces of information, making assumptions based upon information for which the veracity or validity of it or its source have not yet been proven. (We also already know that some in the media fictionalize, lie, and commit sophistry)
In the interest of aiding our fellow citizens in being more properly informed, the following information is offered:
WARRANTS, INVESTIGATIONS, AND THE FBI – WHAT HAPPENED/IS HAPPENING, SOME FACTS
1. an unrelated investigation was already underway of Anthony Weiner, with a previous federal warrant served.
3. Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, lived and worked in/from the same home that this warrant was served.
4. It was in the Weiner/Abedin home in New York where Huma Abedin worked from for most of the time that she was a federal employee for
approximately four years, working directly under and for Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State.
Abedin was given a special exception to work from her home and not at the US DOS headquarters or other offices in and around Washington, D.C.
5. Both while working in government workspaces and from home, all communications by Clinton and Abedin are subject to the Federal Records Act and must be compliant with the National Security Act
and numerous regulations concerning handling of sensitive and classified information. Federal employees and contractors do not “own” their communications made in the course of their duties and those who are
security clearance holders are not entitled to the same type of privacy that a private citizen is.
6. At least one or more of those persons listed above and others involved with the Clinton campaign communicated with foreign nationals, to include members of foreign governments, on unclassified / unsecure email accounts.
7. A NEW FEDERAL WARRANT was obtained by the FBI and executed within 48 hours (this weekend) of the FBI Director delivering his letter to members of six Congressional committees on Friday, October 28th, 2016.
That warrant targeted and obtained one or more devices owned by Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, to include at least one that they shared and one that she synced a mobile device to
and backedup files with which was possessed at the time that she worked for the US DOS (and the Clinton Foundation at the same time)
8. Hillary Clinton transmitted classified material at all levels (U/FOUO, C, S, TS, TS/SCI, etc.) on unauthorized devices and via unauthorized accounts. It does not matter if there was “intent” or not, a myth being spread
both by her campaign and the media outlets that do the bidding for her. “Intent” is required to meet the requirements in the statute, nor is it even mentioned.
9. There is no exception EVER for the transmittal of classified information via unclassified means, to include a private email account, privately owned servers, or any other type of communications system. This is all highly regulated and the
communications systems for classified material do not ever “touch” the internet. The only way to conduct “spillage” of classified material into an email is to willfully do so.
10. there is an additional investigation of the Clinton Foundation going on within the DOJ at this time
12. two or more of those listed above and/or that now work for the Clinton Campaign worked for or consulted with the Clinton Foundation and the U.S. Department of State at the exact same time in the period
of 2009 to 2013.
13. in cases where a possible violation of 18 U.S.C. 798, the government seeks to obtain custody of all property (to include devices) that may contain classified information. In the event of conviction and sentencing, the government requires that the convicted forfeits that property, and possibly other property connected to the case.
WHAT LAWS & REGULATIONS WERE VIOLATED / ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN VIOLATED
1. OBLIGATIONS CONCERNING NON-DISCLOSURE OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION — All of the above (Clinton, Weiner, Abedin, and others that worked for US DOS and then the Clinton Campaign and/or DNC) are subject to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for classified information for the rest of their lives, no exception. All persons in sensitive positions sign a form and receive a briefing about this. The form that most have to sign is called a Standard Form 312 or SF 312, “Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement.” (see form here: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/forms/download/116218 ) When persons who are not security clearance holders are exposed to classified information, they are supposed to be briefed about their rights & responsibilities under the law, and then sign this form or one like it.
2. FEDERAL RECORDS ACT (FRA) — as mentioned, all communications by Clinton and Abedin while working for the US DOS were subject to the Federal Records Act and must be compliant with the National Security Act
and numerous regulations concerning handling of sensitive and classified information. When an employee or contractor separates from government service, they certify under penalty of law that they have compliant with this.
( https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/faqs/federal.html and https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-113publ187/content-detail.html )
Any person working for the federal goverment is required to document all of their work, safeguard it while working there, and a review done prior to leaving about which records are to be archived. Upon exiting that workplace, the employee must sign a document verifying that this has been completed. When I left a federal workspace once to become a contractor, our IT specialist sat with me while we created both a “PSF” file of my Microsoft Outlook on my computer as well as a copy of every single record in my workplace computer and issued PDA. This was not done in the case of Clinton and possibly one or more of her associates.
Setting up a private email account and on one’s own server prior to taking a federal position, then keeping that server out of the control of government information technology (IT) and computer security specialists constitutes a premeditation to conceal information from the government, to include obstructing justice. All of the rest of those serving in our government comply with the same few, easy to follow rules about how to conduct workplace communications. Many view this as a willful, premeditated act to conceal something from scrutiny.
3. THE LAW CONCERNING DISCLOSURE OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION — The law is very clear and there is no ‘grey area’ in that at all. Those who violate it know that they are doing it when they do it. All of the above were exposed to classified information in the course of their duties in their previous federal employment. All persons exposed to classified information in the course of their duties, and some others, are bound by a law, 18 U.S.C. 798 – Disclosure of classified information, for the rest of their lives, regardless of their place of employment or passage of time. There is no statute of limitations and the government has the right to obtain a warrant and view all recent and previous communications and records in order to determine if there was a violation.
(see statute here: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2010-title18/pdf/USCODE-2010-title18-partI-chap37-sec798.pdf OR https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/USCODE-2011-title18/USCODE-2011-title18-partI-chap37-sec798 )
Treason or espionage? – Disclosure of classified information is a separate issue and separate crime than espionage, treason, or any of the other accusations being thrown about within the open media, blogosphere, and the highly; unreliable push-button social media.
Considering #s 1-3 above, there are MANY personnel both currently and formerly who worked in the federal government and who had a security clearance who are aghast and dismayed over how and why it is that Hillary Clinton, and possibly others, could escape prosecution for what are viewed by most of us as very clear violations of the law.
IMPORTANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE FBI AND THE MEDIA
(1) THE FBI DOES NOT RISK MAKING A CASE PUBLIC UNTIL THEY ARE QUITE SURE OF GUILT and know that they can prove it. The FBI simply would not make this public (Via a letter to members of Congress from both parties who are on
key committees concerned with the investigations related to Hillary Clinton and her activities, some of who almost immediately informed their constituents via their websites and social media, followed by a statement by the Speaker of the House)
unless they were very sure that they have a case.
Furthermore, the FBI does not usually involve itself in cases that it cannot win or is not sure of.
What they are good at is making their case and proving guilt, getting warrants approved and making arrests. That is what they are good at. For a fact, they have soley or jointly prevented planned terrorist attacks on our soil thanks to their formidable investigative capabilities
in the counterterrorism and national security realm. How they got to that point was from decades of excelling in the arena of criminal investigations, to include counterintelligence and espionage on our soil. The rank and file and senior level (SSA) agents know what they are doing, but are
subject to the controls of federal appointees, most of whom have never served as an FBI agent nor as any type of law enforcement officer. Some are beholden to political will or other agendas.
(2) The FBI is very aware of how damaging this could be to individual citizens and they are not known for “malicious prosecution.”
This is a national security case. It is a far more serious matter than a planned bank robbery or financial crime, as much of what is contained in classified information are a life and death matter.
I am VERY familiar with a previous case where someone that I know/knew very well was charged with a violation of the exact same law that Hillary Clinton and possibly others violated. The FBI did not go public
until they were completely sure that they could prove their case. This chain of events (investigation, federal warrant, etc.) is going down the exact same way. So…
(3) BE CAREFUL ABOUT RELIANCE ON THE OPEN MEDIA: Many in the news media are completely confusing this situation with an inordinate amount of gross speculation and making too many assumptions based upon either
unverified or unsubstantiated “leaks” and circular reporting and rumors. Most of them have an agenda, and are selectively reporting the fragments of information that favors their side, and/or are purposely or negligently
reporting opinion as fact. Too much filtering and injection of what the reporter wants to be the endstate and wants the public to believe is occurring.
Most have never held a security clearance, served in the government, nor know a damn thing about what they are talking about. Members of the Clinton Campaign, DNC, and a number of media outets are claiming to
talk about the above with some claim of authority on the matter, but most of what I have seen is completely incorrect. They and political campaigns cannot be relied upon to tell the truth as much of the public is being sold concoctions, spin, fabrications, and narratives spun via various propaganda and persuasion techniques.
We are learning more and more that just because a media organization (or the political campaign that they collude with) says that something is so, does not mean that it is true. Spin and diversionary tactics have become a veritable art form in today’s mainstream media. Some of these persons have been proven to not tell the truth, engage in deceptive practices, and even hire “fixers” and professional “spin doctors” to handle their scandals for them.
So, a more valid, direct source of information on this matter comes in the form of:
(a) Congressional testimony
(b) press releases and press conferences of the key government officials who have jurisdiction
(d) attend the hearings in person (Congressional, criminal, etc. There are “court watchers” in some watchdog groups who do this)
(d) talk to those with real expertise that is relevant to specifically this type of case. Many of us have spent
many boring hours watching CSPAN, visiting the Library of Congress and National Archives, FOIA releases, or reading statues and case law trying to get the facts.
(4) There is very obvious and increasingly public dissension within the FBI over the Clinton matters, in particular the failure to recommend prosecution by the FBI to the DOJ in July. There are also presumed to leaked fragments of information about the investigations and related developments. This is fueling much of what we are hearing from the open media.
PREDICTION – WHAT I THINK WILL HAPPEN:
(1) There is a very good chance that there will be one or more arrests, possibly before the election. That goes through the DOJ, so that is where it becomes more complicated and they could decline to prosecute despite recommendations by the FBI.
At some point, they will make an arrest of whoever broke the law regarding classified information. The FBI may get to the point of drafting a federal complaint related to unlawful disclosure of classified material. That is very “black & white” and all of those
persons who may become defendants knew exactly what they were doing.
If the FBI has knowledge of such an offense, they are obligated to pursue it. This is not a mere financial crime, health fraud, or interstate theft of an auto that we are talking about – this is the safety of our country. No one has yet to be brought to justice nor
charged with a crime yet, despite these crimes being committed as far back as 2009, or possibly earlier.
So, the FBI would not have taken this next step unless they were sure that they would be able to obtain what they were looking for (unless, of course,
the owners of the devices that the warrant sought tried to erase the content sought.) One possible means by which the FBI could have determined that the Weiner/Abedin computers/devices had the evidence that they sought on them was
by having a common IP address showing more than once for both of their sets of communications. It is possible to narrow it down to both a device and geographic location. This is pretty easy to do.
(2) That it will be proven by the FBI that Huma Abedin, while a government employee, transmitted classified and/or sensitive information to foreign nationals, and/or possessed it on authorized devices both during and after her government tenure, and/or did so to/from personally owned devices/accounts that both had classified information on them while also engaged in communications on those same devices & accounts. It may also be proven that this same exact device her husband, also a former federal employee who is subject to non-disclosure, had engaged in efforts to obtain sex.
Anyone who knows anything at all about counter-intelligence (CI) and espionage knows that one of the greatest vulnerabilities to blackmail and compromise of classified information, is to have the employee or someone close to them being vulnerable to such.
CONCLUSION – MY OPINION
There will be formal charges (federal complaint) and possibly more warrants served in connection with Hillary Clinton and her associates.
It serves them all right for breaking the law, particularly endangering our national security. Huma Abedin (and possibly other associates / accomplices were most likely spending all or most of their weekend meeting with criminal defense attorneys) Many of us are wondering why it is that Clinton and her campaign leadership have “demanded” that the FBI release new information, when that information was that which they had previously authored (the emails, some of which were later uncovered despite her and her staff deleting some while not honoring a congressional subpoena to surrender such). Why would they ask for something which they once had possession of and created themselves?
Hillary Clinton, and possibly others, endangered many of our public servants and sources in the national security realm. They had no right to do it, there is no excuse or rationalization for it, and if there is any such
thing as respect for the rule of law remaining in this country, they should be charged and sentenced just like everyone else.
There are scores of cases both recently resolved and pending of government personnel who were charged and convicted. Millions of us are wondering why there is special treatment in this case?
For instance, the next major sentencing in such a case is of retired General Cartwright, which will occur on or about inauguration day. (my prediction is that he will be pardoned)
These people broke the law regarding classified information non-disclosure, and possibly more. If fair and consistent application of the rule of law is important to the American people, then what will happen is at least there will be a “day in court,” for Hillary Clinton and/or her associates who may be in violation. For any number of inexplicable reasons, this has not yet occurred.
The mainstream media, political parties, academia, entertainers, and political campaigns may be able to get away with manipulating public opinion using all manner of propaganda techniques and spin, but they won’t fool the FBI.
All of those lawyers, spin doctors, fixers, and media auxiliary wing / political operatives posing as journalists might work for a given time, but they can’t outrun thelong arm of the law forever.
Therefore, I believe that the FBI will attempt to do right in this or any of the other/multiple cases involving Hillary Clinton and her associates. There are a number of other interconnected issues with this, to include the election, their campaigns, connections to foreign groups, possible pay-for-play and racketeering by the Clintons and their associates, infighting within the FBI, possible tampering with the process by the leadership of the DOJ and/or White House, and much more. However, we should not lose sight of the singular issue that there were national security violations. That must be remedied and the guilty must be dealt with in accordance with the law.
Whether or not the FBI got it right or wrong this summer by deciding not to recommend prosecution, what we know is that a warrant was served, that the FBI had already confirmed the unauthorized, unlawful disclosure of classified information by Hillary Clinton, and that there is a connection between the new warrant served, Huma Abedin, and their communications.
John M. Peterson III
CREDIT FOR PHOTOS AND GRAPHICS:
Fox News http://www.foxnews.com/