Category Archives: Democrat Party

Hillary Emails??

Are we really still wondering about this??

ug. 6, 2015 7:12 p.m. ET

The FBI is finally looking into Hillary Clinton’s handling of email as Secretary of State, but her campaign says not to worry because it’s not a “criminal referral” and she followed “appropriate practices.” The relevant question is why isn’t it a criminal probe?

Congress asked Charles McCullough III, Inspector General for the intelligence community, to evaluate whether classified information was transmitted or received by State Department employees over personal email systems. His office sampled 40 of Mrs. Clinton’s emails, determined that four contained classified intelligence, and passed that finding to Justice for review. This was merely a first step, and now we know the FBI is investigating the security of Mrs. Clinton’s private server.

The McCullough findings at a minimum rebut Mrs. Clinton’s claim in March that there was “no classified material” in her personal email. Extrapolate the McCullough finding of four of 40 classified emails to the 30,000 emails Mrs. Clinton gave to State, and thousands could contain classified information. State has already redacted and withheld dozens of Mrs. Clinton’s emails from its monthly, court-ordered email releases, having deemed them confidential.

Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill says none of this matters because all of the “released emails deemed classified by the administration have been done so after the fact, and not at the time they were transmitted.” Mrs. Clinton adds that this is merely a “typical” fight after the fact about the technical definition of “classified.”

But this skates over that the person in charge of setting classification designations for her department was none other than Mrs. Clinton. As State Department head, she was responsible for setting classification levels (“top secret,” “secret,” “confidential”) and establishing uniform procedures to ensure these designations and protect the information.

In her March press conference, Mrs. Clinton bragged that she was “well aware of the classification requirements,” yet only now is her team saying she couldn’t recognize classified material when she saw it. And Mr. McCullough has made clear that the four emails he identified “contained classified information when they were generated,” remain “classified today,” and “should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system.”

The larger point is that Mrs. Clinton had no business using private email for any document that might come close to the gray area of classified or sensitive. Even if Mrs. Clinton was careful not to email classified information, how did she prevent others from sending it to her? Did the entire State Department know she was using a private server? Was there a protocol?

Mrs. Clinton’s insistence that she never emailed classified information over her private server is an admission that her system lacked adequate security. Experts we talk to say it’s a virtual certainty that foreign hackers or intelligence services accessed her private server.

The Clinton campaign says a team of reviewers went through each email to determine what should be given to the State Department. Who were those reviewers, and did they have classified clearance? And how secure is the thumb drive with classified info that the Clinton campaign says is in the possession of Clinton lawyer David Kendall?

The Espionage Act, which is part of the U.S. criminal code, makes it a crime for any government employee, through “gross negligence,” to allow national defense information “to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted or destroyed.” Mrs. Clinton’s email on a private server was not in its proper place of custody and was at plenty of risk of being lost or stolen. We also know she edited some of the email that went to State, which means pieces of it have been destroyed.

Plenty of government officials have been prosecuted for less. David Petraeus paid a fine and received two years of probation for allowing his mistress access to classified information. John Deutch, former director of the CIA, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and fine after his laptops were found to contain classified materials. Bill Clinton pardoned him on the last day of his Presidency.

Marine Major Jason Brezler, who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, accidentally took home a few classified documents on his personal computer and sent one over personal email in response to an urgent inquiry. A Marine Corps board of inquiry recommended he be discharged for mishandling classified information.

Compare this to Mrs. Clinton’s elaborate efforts to keep her official email from public view. She knew the rules, yet she chose to break them for her own political benefit. In the process she put state secrets at risk. This is gross negligence in the pursuit of gross self-interest.


IT Modernization.. that’s what the US Gov calls it.

The liberal press is not paying that much attention, or are they?
WSJ July 10, 2015 7:10 p.m. ET
From a Nov. 8, 2013, post by Katherine Archuleta on the “Director’s Blog” of the Office of Personnel Management; she resigned Friday from the agency where cyber thieves stole personal information about more than 20 million people:

My first week at OPM is already over and it’s been an intense, exciting, challenging and informative first five days on the job. I’ve had the chance to meet the senior staff and their support teams. I’ve also learned a great deal about all of the intricacies of OPM’s departments and how much everyone at OPM does on a daily basis. So, for that, thank you. Your work is important and impressive. We couldn’t run this agency without you.

I thought this would be a good time to talk to you all about a few of my priorities and goals for my time at OPM.

First and foremost, I want to be your champion. I want the American people to know who you are, and what you do, and how that makes a difference in their daily lives. I am going to represent you across the country, because you deserve the recognition. You deserve to have people know how hard you work and that you dedicate long hours to very difficult issues. Federal employees deserve to be recognized.

I want to tackle some of our most pressing issues to ensure that we are able to serve to the best of our ability. In my first 100 days at OPM, I plan to work with my team to create a plan for handing I.T. modernization across the agency, especially for retirement. I’ve had the chance to meet and talk with our new CTO, the CIO and others every day this week, and I can say that there are some fantastic ideas in the mix. We’re definitely on the right track.


How Lois Lerner Got a Pass

Obama isn’t ‘fuming’ about this one…
April 15, 2015 6:55 p.m. ET

If Americans know anything about the IRS it’s that it accepts no excuses, and so they trudged wearily on Wednesday to pay their taxes. That’s in notable contrast to the free passes that keep flowing to the tax agency’s most famous former employee, Lois Lerner.
Opinion Journal Video
American Action Forum Director of Regulatory Policy Sam Batkins on the cost of complying with Internal Revenue Service regulations. Photo credit: Getty Images.

The Obama Administration’s latest gift to the former IRS tax-exempt chief came recently when U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ron Machen informed the House of Representatives that he would not file charges on its formal contempt citation against Ms. Lerner. This absolution, which shields Ms. Lerner from a grand jury probe, came on Mr. Machen’s final day on the job.

To review: Ms. Lerner was summoned to the House on May 22, 2013, to answer questions about her role in the IRS’s politically biased review of Tea Party nonprofit group applications for tax-exempt status.

She began her testimony with a statement recounting her career, reprising the scandal and proclaiming her innocence. She ended by saying: “I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws, I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.” Only after she offered this long defense did she claim her right not to incriminate herself by citing the Fifth Amendment, refusing to answer questions.

House lawyers determined that, in making that statement, Ms. Lerner had forfeited her right to remain silent. The House on May 7, 2014 held her in contempt of Congress and sent the citation to Mr. Machen.

The law clearly explains that the U.S. Attorney’s only “duty” “shall be” to “bring the matter before the grand jury for its action.” Mr. Machen instead sat on the contempt citation for 11 months, and on March 31 sent Speaker John Boehner a letter explaining he’d unilaterally decided not to investigate Ms. Lerner.

According to Mr. Machen’s rationale, Ms. Lerner’s statement made only “general claims of innocence” that did not forfeit her Fifth Amendment rights to refuse to answer questions. To reach this conclusion, Mr. Machen had to willfully ignore that Ms. Lerner, in her statement, rebutted specific accusations against her.

“[M]embers of this committee have accused me of providing false information when I responded to questions about the IRS processing of applications for tax exemption,” she said, before claiming she had never done so. Those accusations had been detailed to her in a letter from former House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrel Issa, eight days before she testified.

Mr. Machen also had to ignore that Ms. Lerner had prior to her House appearance voluntarily met for an interview with Justice prosecutors. As the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky has noted, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in its 1969 Ellis v. U.S. decision found that “once a witness has voluntarily spoken out, we do not see how his protected interest is jeopardized by testifying in a subsequent proceeding, provided he is not required to disclose matters of substance which are unknown to the Government.”

Since Ms. Lerner had already disclosed to the “government” (prosecutors), she lost her privilege to clam up before Congress. And we’d note that after her House stonewall, she again chose to speak in an interview with the Politico website. Ms. Lerner wants the right not to answer questions except when it suits her public-relations purposes.

In any event, the job of making these legal calls belonged to a grand jury—not Mr. Machen. Then again, this is the prosecutor who in an exit interview with the National Law Journal about his tenure touted his allegiance to Attorney General Eric Holder, describing him as a “tremendous mentor and a tremendous friend.”

After Mr. Machen’s performance in shielding Ms. Lerner from the consequences of her actions, Mr. Holder would no doubt return the compliment. The handling of the IRS scandal is a blot on both of their careers.

How Lois Lerner Got a Pass – WSJ.


Climate Free Speech

The press is talking about the Ohio River flooding interesting that misuse of Federal power to squelch those with whom you disagree.
March 16, 2015 7:31 p.m. ET

The Congressional Democrats trying to smear climate skeptics are betting that the threat of a federal investigation will muzzle academics and companies that question their climate-change agenda. So a round of applause for those pushing back, providing the bullies a public lesson in the First Amendment.

“It surprises nobody that you disagree with CATO’s views on climate change—among a host of issues—but that doesn’t give you license to use the awesome power of the federal government to cow us or anybody else,” wrote Cato Institute President John Allison in a letter last week to Senators Barbara Boxer,Ed Markey and Sheldon Whitehouse.

He was responding to their February attempt to intimidate climate apostates by sending 107 letters to think tanks, trade associations and companies demanding information about their funding. This follows an inquiry by House Democrat Raul Grijalva into seven academics who have questioned President Obama’s climate policies, an attack recently described in these pages by one of the targets, distinguished climate scientist Richard Lindzen, who is now associated with Cato.

Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast also excoriated the senators for “attempting to silence public debate,” caustically inviting the Democrats to inspect the nonprofit’s tax returns. Koch Industries lawyer Mark Holden provided the politicians with a tutorial on his company’s right to free association.

All 11 Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee have slammed the Boxer-Markey-Whitehouse ploy. Mr. Grijalva’s foraging has been condemned by the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union, the latter declaring that “singling out” scientists “based solely on their interpretations of scientific research” is a threat to free inquiry.

Democrats and their allies have failed to persuade Americans that climate change is so serious that it warrants sweeping new political controls on American energy and industry. So liberals are trying to silence those who are winning the argument. We’re glad to see the dissenters aren’t intimidated.