About 1,000 emails between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former commander of the U.S. Army’s Central Command (CENTCOM), Gen. David Petraeus, were reported to be missing from the tens of thousands of emails turned over to the State Department by Clinton’s minions in December 2014, according to Fox News Channel’s industrious chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge on Friday.
Herridge, a graduate of Harvard University and the prestigious Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, reported that a number of documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch provided interesting communications between two of President Barack Obama’s top officials.
The documents reveal that Mrs. Clinton — the Democratic Party’s presidential heir apparent — advised Petraeus that he should begin sending official emails to her using a private Internet address rather than her State Department “Dot-Gov” email address which is meant to be utilized for all of her government work, including emails containing classified information.
Among the documents released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation was a heavily redacted FBI interview summary from Aug. 17, 2015. In it, a State Department worker from the Information, Programs and Services (IPS) section, which processed FOIA applications, wrote about how Petraeus’ records weren’t among the official emails turned over to IPS by the Clinton team, which included Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, and others.
“CENTCOM records shows approximately 1,000 work-related emails between Clinton’s personal email and General David PETRAEUS, former Commander of CENTCOM and former Director of the CIA. Most of those 1,000 emails were not believed to be included in the 30,000 emails that IPS was reviewing. Out of the 30,000 emails, IPS only had a few emails from or related to PETRAEUS as well as a few related to Leon PANETTA, former Secretary of Defense,” Herridge reported based on her interview with an anonymous source.
Judicial Watch reported that its officials released Roughly 1,000 emails between Hillary Clinton and Gen. David Petraeus were thought to be missing from the 30,000 emails provided by Clinton’s team to the State Department in December 2014, according to the newly released FBI investigative files.
Additional documents obtained through a federal lawsuit by Judicial Watch show Clinton had directed Petraeus to send her emails at her personal address, which was used for all government work during her tenure as secretary of state.
In a heavily redacted FBI interview summary from Aug. 17, 2015, a State Department employee from the Office of Information and Programs and Services (IPS), which handles Freedom of Information Act requests, discussed how Petraeus’ records apparently were not among the work-related emails provided by the former secretary’s team.
“CENTCOM records shows approximately 1,000 work-related emails between Clinton’s personal email and General David PETRAEUS, former Commander of CENTCOM and former Director of the CIA. Most of those 1,000 emails were not believed to be included in the 30,000 emails that IPS was reviewing. Out of the 30,000 emails, IPS only had a few emails from or related to PETRAEUS as well as a few related to Leon PANETTA, former Secretary of Defense.”the email correspondence between former Secretary of State Clinton and Gen. Petraeus, in which she had what she termed “blackberry blues” over her inability to use her BlackBerry inside her secure office,” Herridge reported.
“The FBI recovered many of the new emails from those that Clinton failed to turn over. These emails are government documents and not personal emails, as Clinton claims in defending her decision to not turn over 30,000 emails sent or received by her as secretary of state. The emails also show she knew about the security issues of her BlackBerry use [and yet denied recalling anything about it or refused to answer questions],” according to Judicial Watch’s press statement.
Within the new batch of email exchanges, Mrs. Clinton also wrote to Petraeus, “If there is ever anything you need or want me to know, pls use this personal email address – firstname.lastname@example.org – when corresponding [with me].”
Petraeus, who would later be the subject of his own scandal and mismanagement of classified material, during the time of the email exchange with Hillary Clinton, was in-charge of U.S. military efforts in Northeast Africa, across the Middle East, and into Central and South Asia.
His command included overseeing counter-terrorism and other operations in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Egypt.
Sample Communications Between H and Petraeus
The emails included the following:
On January 28, 2008, only one week after becoming secretary of state, Clinton sent an email to Petraeus from her non-state.gov email account apologizing for her “tardy” response to his earlier email and blaming it on what she termed “blackberry blues”:
From: H [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 9:33 PM
To: Petraeus, David H. GEN USA
Subject: Re: Follow up
David – Sorry to be so tardy in responding. I’ve had blackberry blues. I can’t use mine all day long since my whole office is a SCIF [Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility]. I don’t yet have a computer and I had to change my address and lost some of my traffic.
(The State Department represented to a federal court that Hillary Clinton did not have a State Department computer.)
Shortly before taking office, Clinton emailed Petraeus asking that he use only her personal email account when contacting her. At the time, Petraeus was the Commander of the United States Central Command:
Sent: Saturday, January 10, 2009 3:57 PM
To: Petraeus, David H. GEN USA
Subject: Follow up
Thanks for giving me so much of your time the last two nights. I appreciated our conversations and enjoyed the chance to see you and Richard becoming acquainted. I’m looking forward to working w you both. If there is ever anything you need or want me to know, pls use this personal email address. All the best, Hillary.
Judicial Watch’s 25 Written Interrogatives
On March 6, 2009, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Eric J. Boswell wrote in an Information Memo to your Chief of Staff, Cheryl Mills, that he “cannot stress too strongly, however, that any unclassified BlackBerry is highly vulnerable in any setting to remotely and covertly monitoring conversations, retrieving email, and exploiting calendars.” A March 11, 2009 email states that, in a management meeting with the assistant secretaries, you approached Assistant Secretary Boswell and mentioned that you had read the “IM” and that you “get it.” Did you review the March 6, 2009 Information Memo, and, if so, why did you continue using an unclassified BlackBerry to access your clintonemail.com email account to conduct official State Department business? Copies of the March 6, 2009 Information Memo and March 11, 2009 email are attached as Exhibit A for your review.
Response: Secretary Clinton objects to Interrogatory No. 14 as seeking information outside the scope of the permitted discovery in this case. The Court’s May 4, 2016 Order provides that Plaintiff is not entitled to discovery on the subject of “cybersecurity issues.” Dkt. #73, at 13.
In a November 13, 2010 email exchange with Huma Abedin about problems with your clintonemail.com email account, you wrote to Ms. Abedin, in response to her suggestion that you use a State Department email account or release your email address to the Department, “Let’s get a separate address or device.” Why did you continue using your clintonemail.com email account to conduct official State Department business after agreeing on November 13, 2010 to “get a separate address or device?” Include in your answer whether by “address” you meant an official State Department email account (i.e., a “state.gov” account) and by “device” you meant a State Department-issued BlackBerry. A copy of the November 13, 2010 email exchange with Ms. Abedin is attached as Exhibit B for your review.
Response: Secretary Clinton recalls that her November 13, 2010 e-mail exchange with Huma Abedin attached as Exhibit B to Plaintiff’s Interrogatories was triggered by a problem with the State Department’s telephone system. When Secretary Clinton wrote, “This is not a good system,” she was referring to the way in which the State Department would notify her of telephone calls. Secretary Clinton does not recall what precisely she meant by the words “address” or “device.” To the best of her recollection, she meant that she was willing to use a State Department e-mail account or device if it would resolve the problems with receiving telephone calls, so long as her personal e-mails with family and friends would not be accessible to the State Department. Following this e-mail exchange, the State Department changed the way in which it notified Secretary Clinton of telephone calls, resolving the problem that triggered this e-mail.
Email exchanges among your top aides and assistants in August 30, 2011 discuss providing you with a State Department-issued BlackBerry or State Department email address. In the course of these discussions, State Department Executive Secretary Stephen Mull wrote, “[W]e are working to provide the Secretary per her request a Department issued BlackBerry to replace her personal unit which is malfunctioning (possibly because of her personal email server is down). We will prepare two versions for her to use – one with an operating State Department email account (which would mask her identity, but which would also be subject to FOIA requests).” Similarly, John Bentel, the Director of Information and Records Management in the Executive Secretariat, wrote, “You should be aware that any email would go through the Department’s infrastructure and [be] subject to FOIA searches.” Did you request a State-Department issued Blackberry or a State Department email account in or around August 2011, and, if so, why did you continue using your personal device and clintonemail.com email account to conduct official State Department business instead of replacing your device and account with a State Department-issued BlackBerry or a State Department email account? Include in your answer whether the fact that a State Department-issued BlackBerry or a State Department email address would be subject to FOIA affected your decision. Copies of the email exchanges are attached as Exhibit C for your review.
Response: Secretary Clinton does not recall requesting a State Department-issued Blackberry or a Department e-mail account in or around August 2011.
“These new emails show the truth that the separate email system was never a matter of ‘convenience’ for Mrs. Clinton. She wanted to hide her emails from the American people. It’s now clear why she deleted or withheld so many and why Mrs. Clinton didn’t recall or declined to answer questions about her email security,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
“And her request to Petraeus while he was the Commander of the United States Central Command to communicate with her solely at her unsecure email address shows Hillary Clinton’s willful negligence in handling national defense information,” Fitton added.