A memo from Peter Strzok, the FBI agent in charge of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, revealed that classified email on Hillary Clinton’s server was accessed by “foreign actors,” something that has long been denied by Clinton’s camp.
The communique from Strzok, obtained by Fox News, comes in addition to another memo from the House Judiciary and Oversight committees which confirms that unnamed foreign actors breached her account.
That document “lays out key interim findings ahead of next week’s hearing with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz,” according to Fox News.
Thursday wasn’t a particularly good day for the FBI, especially with the inspector general’s report, and the memos got somewhat lost in the shuffle.
However, the two memos make it clear that Hillary Clinton’s private server wasn’t nearly as secure as one might have hoped.
“Documents provided to the Committees show foreign actors obtained access to some of Mrs. Clinton’s emails — including at least one email classified ‘Secret,'” the memo, prepared by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy, both Republicans, reads.
As the Washington Examiner notes, “Secret” is a high level of classification.
The document fails to list what material was gleaned from the server or who gleaned it, but it concludes that it could “reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the national security.”
As for Strzok’s memo, it was somewhat predictably trying to mitigate a verbal indictment of Hillary Clinton’s email that the FBI agent felt was too strong.
“The statement that ‘we assess it as reasonably likely that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s private email account’ is too strong.” Strzok says in the email. “it (sic) is more accurate to say we know foreign actors obtained access to some of her emails (including at least one Secret one) via compromises of the private email accounts of some of her staffers.
“It’s also accurate to say that a sophisticated foreign actor would likely have known about her private email domain, and would be competent enough not to leave a trace if they gained access. But we have seen no direct evidence that they did.”
That’s quite an interesting statement on a number of levels. First, Hillary Clinton’s private server was secured in a manner that “a sophisticated foreign actor would likely have known about her private email domain” and have known how to break into it. Second, they wouldn’t have left a trace if they did. But thirdly, the FBI hadn’t seen any evidence of a crime which they openly admit could be carried out without leaving a trace.
I’m not quite sure Strzok knew the accidental brilliance of the argument he was making, but I for one appreciate the poison pill he unconsciously snuck into it.
Given that it seems increasingly likely that Congress will be taking a closer look at what happened with Hillary Clinton’s email, this isn’t just a minor trifle. We’ve finally had it confirmed from officialdom that yes, her server was accessed by foreign actors and that it was accessible without a trace if an actor had significant sophistication. (Like, oh, say, China or Russia.)
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