Hillary Clinton Speaks at the Opening of State Department Pavilion

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Hillary Clinton returned to Washington, DC on Tuesday for the opening of a new exhibition area in the State Department’s museum. Named in her honor, The Hillary Clinton Pavilion marks the completion of another section of the U.S. Diplomacy Center. Clinton was joined at the event by Secretary of State John Kerry and former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell. Clinton spoke briefly about the important work of the museum and its exciting future saying, “I’m excited about the historic artifacts and the cutting-edge exhibits that will be here to teach and inspire future generations about the work of our country’s diplomats. Students and visitors alike will be able to simulate high-stakes diplomatic negotiation, learn more about resolving disputes in our increasingly interconnected and interdependent world.” Watch a video of Clinton’s speech below.

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News Source: The Washington Post, Politico

Intelligence Community Releases Declassified Report on Russia’s Influence of the Election

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Late last week, the intelligence community released their report following an investigation into the alleged influence of the 2016 election by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Intelligence agencies. The report is a declassified version of a much more detailed report which concluded that Putin “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election.” It went on to say that Putin’s motives were to “denigrate” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and that he had “a clear preference for President-elect Trump.” The report details the reasons Putin does not like Clinton and outlines the ways the Russian government influenced the election including the hacking of John Podesta and the DNC, leaks to WikiLeaks, and hacking the RNC. Read the full report below or download a PDF copy HERE.

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News Source: The New York Times

FBI Releases Additional Docs, State Releases Emails

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Last week, the FBI and State Department released documents related to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State. The FBI released 299 pages of internal records detailing a fight between the bureau and the State Department over the classification of an email regarding arrests related to the attacks on the US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya. The report includes internal emails as well as internal memos that shed additional light into the investigation of Clinton’s emails by the FBI. Read the report below or download a PDF copy HERE.

Meanwhile, the State Department released 371 of the 15,000 emails that were turned over to the department by the FBI. The total document dump totaled over 1,000 pages and are “near duplicates” of the documents turned over by Clinton’s team in 2014. The State Department has been reviewing the emails turned over by the FBI since late summer 2016 and has reported that about 60% of the emails were personal in nature and not related to business. Of the emails that relate to Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, the department reports that a “substantial number” of them are duplicates of those that have been previously reviewed. The State Department will continue to review and release the emails until all 15,000 have been examined. You can access the latest batch of emails by following the steps below:

  1. Go to http://foia.state.gov/Search
  2. Type “F-2016-07895” in the Case Number field
  3. Click on the arrow next to the “Posted Date” column header and select “Sort Descending” so that the recently released documents show first
  4. Click the title of the document in the “Subject” field to open a PDF copy

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News Source: Politico, The Hill

2,865,075

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The number of votes by which Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump in the popular vote: 2,865,075. The 2.1% margin is more than any other candidate that won the popular vote and failed to win the Electoral College. I could go on about the historical reasoning for the Electoral College and how it is hopelessly out dated and not a feature of a true democracy, but I will save that for another day.

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News Source: CNN

Judge Unseals Hillary Clinton FBI Search Warrant

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On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered that the search warrant that many have faulted for Hillary Clinton’s loss be unsealed. The warrant called for the investigation of emails between Clinton and aide Huma Abedin that were found on a laptop belonging to Abedin’s ex-husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner. The document does not provide in detail what the FBI hoped to find, and the investigation ultimately turned up nothing. The warrant was approved by U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Nathaniel Fox.

Many people have criticized the timing of the investigation by the FBI and the manner in which FBI director James Comey handled the investigation. He sent a letter to Congress two weeks before the election saying that the email investigation had been reopened. A few days later they concluded that no new evidence was found, but the damage to Clinton had been done. Despite winning the popular vote, Clinton lost the electoral college and the presidency. Clinton and her former campaign staffers blame Comey and the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary for America chair John Podesta for their loss.

Read a copy of the warrant below or download a PDF copy HERE.

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News Source: The Washington Post, USA Today, Fortune, ABC News, Newsweek

Bill Clinton Casts Electoral College Vote for Hillary

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On Monday, the Electoral College voted across the country for president. While many supporters of Hillary Clinton hoped the electors would defect, they confirmed the win for Donald Trump. In New York, one of the electors was Bill Clinton. He cast the first vote in the state for his wife. Following the vote, he said, “You know, I watched her work for two years, I watched her battle through that bogus email deal. She fought through everything and she prevailed against it all.” Watch a video of Bill casting his ballot below.

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News Source: New York Daily News, Vox, The Huffington Post

Podesta Pens Op-Ed about the FBI

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The chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, John Podesta, published an op-ed in The Washington Post criticizing the FBI for its handling of Clinton’s email investigation and the hacking of his emails as well as the emails of the Democratic National Committee. Read Podesta’s full op-ed below:

Something is deeply broken at the FBI
By: John Podesta
December 15, 2016

The more we learn about the Russian plot to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign and elect Donald Trump, and the failure of the FBI to adequately respond, the more shocking it gets. The former acting director of the CIA has called the Russian cyberattack “the political equivalent of 9/11.” Just as after the real 9/11, we need a robust, independent investigation into what went wrong inside the government and how to better protect our country in the future.

As the former chair of the Clinton campaign and a direct target of Russian hacking, I understand just how serious this is. So I was surprised to read in the New York Times that when the FBI discovered the Russian attack in September 2015, it failed to send even a single agent to warn senior Democratic National Committee officials. Instead, messages were left with the DNC IT “help desk.” As a former head of the FBI cyber division told the Times, this is a baffling decision: “We are not talking about an office that is in the middle of the woods of Montana.”

What takes this from baffling to downright infuriating is that at nearly the exact same time that no one at the FBI could be bothered to drive 10 minutes to raise the alarm at DNC headquarters, two agents accompanied by attorneys from the Justice Department were in Denver visiting a tech firm that had helped maintain Clinton’s email server.

This trip was part of what FBI Director James B. Comey described as a “painstaking” investigation of Clinton’s emails, “requiring thousands of hours of effort” from dozens of agents who conducted at least 80 interviews and reviewed thousands of pages of documents. Of course, as Comey himself concluded, in the end, there was no case; it was not even a close call.

Comparing the FBI’s massive response to the overblown email scandal with the seemingly lackadaisical response to the very real Russian plot to subvert a national election shows that something is deeply broken at the FBI.

Comey justified his handling of the email case by citing “intense public interest.” He felt so strongly that he broke long-established precedent and disregarded strong guidance from the Justice Department with his infamous letter just 11 days before the election. Yet he refused to join the rest of the intelligence community in a statement about the Russian cyberattack because he reportedly didn’t want to appear “political.” And both before and after the election, the FBI has refused to say whether it is investigating Trump’s ties to Russia.

There are now reports that Vladimir Putin personally directed the covert campaign to elect Trump. So are teams of FBI agents busy looking into the reported meeting in Moscow this summer between Carter Page, a Trump foreign policy adviser, and the Putin aide in charge of Russian intelligence on the U.S. election? What about evidence that Roger Stone was in contact with WikiLeaks and knew in advance that my hacked emails were about to be leaked? Are thousands of FBI person-hours being devoted to uncovering Trump’s tangled web of debts and business deals with foreign entities in Russia and elsewhere?

Meanwhile, House Republicans who had an insatiable appetite for investigating Clinton have been resistant to probing deeply into Russia’s efforts to swing the election to Trump. The media, by gleefully publishing the gossipy fruits of Russian hacks, became what the Times itself calls “a de facto instrument of Russian intelligence.”

But the FBI’s role is particularly troubling because of its power and responsibility — and because this is part of a trend. The Justice Department’s Inspector General issued a damning report this summer about the FBI’s failure to prioritize cyberthreats more broadly.

The election is over and the damage is done, but the threat from Russia and other potential aggressors remains urgent and demands a serious and sustained response.

First, the Obama administration should quickly declassify as much as possible concerning what is known about the Russian hack, as requested by seven Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Second, the administration should brief members of the electoral college on the extent and manner of Russia’s interference in our election before they vote on Dec. 19, as requested by a bipartisan group of electors.

Third, Congress should authorize a far-reaching, bipartisan independent investigation modeled on the 9/11 Commission. The public deserves to know exactly what happened, why and what can be done to prevent future attacks. Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) have introduced legislation to authorize such an investigation.

Finally, Congress should more vigorously exercise its oversight to determine why the FBI responded overzealously in the Clinton case and insufficiently in the Russian case. The FBI should also clarify whether there is an ongoing investigation into Trump, his associates and their ties to Russia. If ever there were a case of “intense public interest,” this is it. What’s broken in the FBI must be fixed and quickly.

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News Source: The Washington Post

Electors Ask for Intelligence Briefing Before Vote

A bipartisan group of electors from the Electoral College have asked for an intelligence briefing following revelations from the CIA that Russia may have influenced the election. In a letter to James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, the electors expressed their concern and asked that all of the electors be briefed by the intelligence community before they cast their ballots later this month. The chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, John Podesta, said that he and the campaign supports the electors being briefed. In a statement, he said, “The bipartisan electors’ letter raises very grave issues involving our national security. Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed. Each day that month, our campaign decried the interference of Russia in our campaign and its evident goal of hurting our campaign to aid Donald Trump. Despite our protestations, this matter did not receive the attention it deserved by the media in the campaign. We now know that the CIA has determined Russia’s interference in our elections was for the purpose of electing Donald Trump. This should distress every American.”

This post will be updated as we learn more.

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News Source: The Washington Post, Politico

Clinton Speaks at Event Honoring Senator Harry Reid

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Hillary Clinton returned to Washington, DC to attend an event honoring retiring Nevada Senator Harry Reid. A number of people spoke at the event including Clinton. During her speech, Clinton spoke about Reid’s career in the Senate. She also spoke about the dangers of fake news following a shooting that took place following a fake news story. She said, “It’s now clear that so-called fake news can have real-world consequences. This isn’t about politics or partisanship. Lives are at risk, lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days, to do their jobs, contribute to their communities.” Clinton was also present as Reid’s official portrait was unveiled. Watch a video of Clinton’s remarks below.

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News Source: The Washington Post, Time, ABC News

State Department Releases Emails from FBI Investigation

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Earlier this week, the State Department released 362 of the 15,000 emails that were turned over to the department by the FBI. The total document dump totaled over 1,000 pages and are “near duplicates” of the documents turned over by Clinton’s team in 2014. The State Department has been reviewing the emails turned over by the FBI since late summer and has reported that about 60% of the emails were personal in nature and not related to business. Of the emails that relate to Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, the department reports that a “substantial number” of them are duplicates of those that have been previously reviewed. The State Department will continue to review and release the emails until all 15,000 have been examined. You can access the latest batch of emails by following the steps below:

  1. Go to http://foia.state.gov/Search
  2. Type “F-2016-07895” in the Case Number field
  3. Click on the arrow next to the “Posted Date” column header and select “Sort Descending” so that the recently released documents show first
  4. Click the title of the document in the “Subject” field to open a PDF copy

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News Source: The Hill