It was revealed on Friday, amid a dump of FBI documents, that of Hillary Clinton’s 13 smartphones containing classified information, used during her time as Secretary of State or shortly thereafter, 11 had gone missing.
But that’s not the end of Clinton’s and her staff’s negligence regarding sensitive information on electronic devices.
The FBI also identified five iPads as being associated with Clinton, but only three of them were ever recovered, the remaining two being who knows where?
Probably the worst example of gross negligence comes from Clinton’s staff’s mishandling of a laptop and thumb drive that each included copies of Clinton’s entire email archive, presumably including all the classified information that had ever gone through Clinton’s homebrew server.
The short story is that both items, the laptop and thumb drive, got lost in the mail.
In a previous column, I believe I mentioned that Hillary’s excuses for all her actions related to mishandling of classified information were sounding a lot like “the dog ate my homework.” Well, now. …
The gory details from the FBI documents reveal that a couple of Clinton aides (his or hers is unclear, but presumably they’re interchangeable for most purposes) named Justin Cooper and Monica Hanley took it upon themselves, in Spring 2013, to copy the archive onto the laptop and thumb drive, an action that in itself probably broke a couple of national security laws.
The devices were supposed to be delivered to the Clintons’ homes in Chappaqua and Whitehaven, but Hanley forgot to hand them over to other, unnamed, Clinton staff, according to the FBI.
Funny how forgetful Hillary Clinton and her staff are.
Must be concussions all around, then.
It wasn’t until sometime in 2014 that Hanley “found” the devices again and delivered the laptop, not to Clintons’ home, but to Platte River Networks, where a technician copied the archive first to a Gmail account, then to the PRN server.
After that, the unidentified technician told the FBI, the emails were deleted from the laptop, but the drive was not wiped, which means the emails could still be recoverable. Then, on Hanley’s instructions, the technician mailed the laptop to a Clinton staffer, whose name is redacted, who never received the package.
The FBI documents state, “[redacted] told the FBI that she never received the laptop from [redacted] however, she advised that Clinton’s staff was moving offices at the time, and it would have been easy for the package to get lost during the transition period. Neither Hanley nor [redacted] could identify the current whereabouts of the Archive Laptop or thumb drive containing the archive, and the FBI does not have either item in its possession.”
So between the lost smartphones, iPads, laptop and thumb drive, that’s at least 15 Clinton devices containing classified information that are floating around “somewhere.”
At this point, the FBI might want to check for them on eBay.
So, once again, I feel compelled to ask, for the sake of the country, did Clinton or anyone on her staff drop these classified devices in exchange for a donation to the Clinton Foundation?
Call me old-fashioned, call me paranoid, or just call me an old-fashioned paranoiac, but I think America should know if the person many voters want to entrust with our nuclear launch codes and other national secrets was involved, directly or indirectly, in espionage.
Perhaps there was no espionage. Perhaps all the lost devices are safely buried, smashed, in a landfill.
But perhaps there was espionage, and one or more of the devices was found by “someone” and the classified information recovered. If so, perhaps Clinton was an innocent, unknowing dupe, a patsy, which hardly recommends her for the presidency but would at least clear her of treason. Perhaps the same goes for her staff.
I prefer the presumption of innocence.
But perhaps …
I make no such accusation because I have no proof, but I also have the First Amendment right to ask, so I’m asking what no one else seems to be asking.
I hope the answer is a solid “no,” but America needs to know definitively, was Hillary Clinton involved, knowingly or unknowingly, in espionage?