Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Hillary Clinton: Incompetent, Or Criminal?

No other possible conclusion from FBI's Labor Day Weekend info drop

Why, exactly, did the FBI wait until Labor Day Weekend to dump this startling news about Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal? Hard to believe it was a coincidence that official Washington wanted this story to have the best chance of going away. From the Daily Beast:

A laptop containing a copy, or “archive,” of the emails on Hillary Clinton’s private server was apparently lost—in the postal mail—according to an FBI report released Friday. Along with it, a thumb drive that also contained an archive of Clinton’s emails has been lost and is not in the FBI’s possession.

The Donald Trump campaign has already called for Clinton to be “locked up” for her carelessness handling sensitive information. The missing laptop and thumb drive raise a new possibility that Clinton’s emails could have been obtained by people for whom they weren’t intended. The FBI director has already said it’s possible Clinton’s email system could have been remotely accessed by foreign hackers.

The revelation of the two archives is contained in a detailed report about the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s private email account. The report contained new information about how the archives were handled, as well as how a private company deleted emails in its possession, at the same time that congressional investigators were demanding copies.


The archives on the laptop and thumbdrive were constructed by Clinton aides in 2013, using a convoluted process, before her emails were turned over to State Department officials and later scrubbed to determine which ones had classified information and should either be withheld from public view or could be released with redactions. The archive of messages would contain none of those safeguards, potentially exposing classified information if it were ever opened and its contents read.

The FBI has found that Clinton’s emails contained classified information, including information derived from U.S. intelligence. Her campaign has disputed the classification of some of the emails.

The archive was created nearly a year before the State Department contacted former secretaries of state and asked them to turn over any emails that they had sent using private accounts that pertained to official business. A senior Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, told the FBI that the archive on the laptop and thumb drive were meant to be “a reference for the future production of a book,” according to the FBI report. Another aide, however, said that the archive was set up after the email account of a Clinton confidante and longtime adviser, Sidney Blumenthal, was compromised by a Romanian hacker.

Whatever the rationale, the transfer of Clinton’s emails onto two new storage devices, one of which was shipped twice, created new opportunities for messages to be lost or exposed to people who weren’t authorized to see them, according to the FBI report. (The Clinton campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request to comment for this story.)

Read it all.  The disappearing laptop and thumb drive story is incredibly fishy. Either Team Hillary is lying about it, or they are spectacularly incompetent and reckless with national security information.

Look at all the things Mrs. Nixon-In-A-Pantsuit couldn’t recall when interviewed by FBI investigators.  And, take a look at Chris Cillizza’s takeaway from the FBI report, especially No. 8:

Screen shot
Screen shot

Who can possibly look forward to at least four years of this same old “what the meaning of ‘is’ is” Clinton garbage? Seriously, I get not voting for Trump. And I get people who voted enthusiastically and affirmatively for Bernie Sanders. But I genuinely do not understand why anyone would be excited to see Hillary Clinton become president. It’s like choosing a hangover.



Want to join the conversation?

Subscribe for as little as $5/mo to start commenting on Rod’s blog.

Join Now