FBI Court Filing Reveals Grand Jury Targeted Hillary Clinton
May 3, 2017
by Lisa Phillips
Except from Judicial Watch article Weekly Update: Grand Jury Investigated Hillary Clinton
APRIL 28, 2017
Just when you think we’ve learned most of what there is to learn about Hillary Clinton’s emails a new mole pops up out of the hole.
This week Judicial Watch released State Department documents including a declaration from FBI Special Agent E.W. Priestap, the supervisor of the agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email activities, stating that the former secretary of state was the subject of a grand jury investigation related to her BlackBerry email accounts.
The declaration was produced in response to Judicial Watch’s lawsuit seeking to force Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to take steps to “recover emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton” and other U.S. Department of State employees (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Rex Tillerson (No. 1:15-cv-00785)). We originally filed the lawsuit against then-Secretary of State John Kerry. The Trump State Department filing includes details of the agency’s continuing and shameful refusal to refer the Clinton email issue to the Justice Department, as the law requires.
In the filing, Priestap declares under penalty of perjury that the FBI “obtained Grand Jury subpoenas related to the Blackberry e-mail accounts, which produced no responsive materials, as the requested data was outside the retention time utilized by those providers.”
On April 30, 2015, Judicial Watch sued Kerry after the State Department failed to take action on a letter sent to Kerry “notifying him of the unlawful removal of the Clinton emails and requesting that he initiate enforcement action pursuant to the [Federal Records Act],” including working through the Attorney General to recover the emails.
After initially being dismissed by the district court, Judicial Watch’s lawsuit was revived on appeal by a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on December 27, 2016.
While at the State Department, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conducted official government business using an unsecured email server and email accounts. Her top aides and advisors also used non-“state.gov” email accounts to conduct official business. Clinton left office February 1, 2013.
The FBI convened a grand jury to investigate Hillary Clinton in 2016. Why is this information being released only now?
It is disturbing that the State Department, Justice Department, and FBI are still trying to protect Hillary Clinton. President Trump needs to clean house at all these agencies.
Hillary Clinton’s wasn’t the only Obama administration email scandal. Another continuing email scandal centers on Jeh Johnson, Obama’s Homeland Security secretary. We have another court hearing on the issue Monday afternoon (May 1). We have a pending Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking emails “relating to official United States Government business sent to or from” former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and three other top Homeland Security officials who used “non-‘.gov’” email addresses (Judicial Watch, Inc., v. United States Department of Homeland Security (No. l:l6-cv-00967)).
The hearing will focus on whether the Department of Homeland Security violated FOIA by not producing any records responsive to Judicial Watch’s original December 29, 2015, request from the agency officials’ non-government email accounts. The agency claims the emails are essentially inaccessible and it is too troublesome to recover them.
We previously obtained and made public 215 pages of documents containing official emails sent through the private, unsecure email accounts of Johnson, former Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, former Chief of Staff Christian Marrone, and former General Counsel Steven Bunnell. The documents include emails discussing high-level meetings Johnson was to have with the Kuwaiti ambassador and Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry officials, as well as a West African $4.5 million online consumer fraud scam using Johnson’s name.
Prior to the Obama administration’s leaving office, Judge Moss ordered the Department of Homeland Security to preserve email records sought by Judicial Watch “to minimize the risk of an inadvertent loss of potentially responsive emails.” In petitioning the court for the preservation order, Judicial Watch argued:
A court order requiring preservation of these emails is particularly necessary now as DHS has suggested that these officials may have been acting without authorization by sending emails from these accounts … As such, there is no assurance that these officials will abide by a “request” by the agency to preserve these emails, particularly after their employment ends.…
Jeh Johnson and other top Obama Homeland Security officials, like Hillary Clinton, seemed to think the rules are for the little people. We already uncovered documents revealing that Secretary Jeh Johnson and 28 other agency officials used government computers to access personal web-based email accounts despite an agency-wide ban due to heightened security concerns.
And yet another Obama government agency gamed Congress about emails. We found other documents that reveal Homeland Security officials misled Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) when Perry specifically asked whether personal accounts were being used for official government business.
I’ll keep you apprised of developments in this lawsuit as events warrant.
FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on his agency’s operations today (May 3, 2017) at 10:00am EDT. He’s also expected to face questions on Russia’s hacking of the 2016 election and possible ties with the Trump presidential campaign.