Podesta Speaks Out About Email Hack

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 04:  John Podesta, campaign chairman for Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, looks on during a campaign rally at The Great Hall at Heinz Field on November 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With less than a week to go until election day, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – NOVEMBER 04: John Podesta, campaign chairman for Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, looks on during a campaign rally at The Great Hall at Heinz Field on November 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

John Podesta, the former chairman for Hillary for America, was interviewed by Tech Crunch about the election, and specifically the hacking of his Gmail account and the emails of the Democratic National Committee shortly before the election in November. The emails from the DNC and Podesta were then posted on WikiLeaks. US intelligence agencies traced the hacking back to Russia, and the hack was one of the issues that plagued the Clinton campaign in the weeks leading up to the election.

In the interview, Podesta spoke about the hacking and the failure of the FBI to properly investigate. “I think to this day it’s inexplicable that they were so casual about the investigation of the Russian penetration of the DNC emails. They didn’t even bother to send an agent to the DNC; they left a couple of messages at the IT help desk saying, ‘You might want to be careful.’ There are at least forces within the FBI that wanted her to lose,” he said. Podesta also discusses the failures of the campaign and the rise of fake news. Read the full interview HERE. Follow Podesta on Twitter @johnpodesta.

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News Source: Tech Crunch

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

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

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

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

Clinton Campaign to Participate in Wisconsin Vote Recount

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On Saturday, Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced that it will take part in a vote recount in Wisconsin. The recount was initiated on by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. The recount comes in light of fears that voting technology may have been tampered with in the state. In a post on Medium, Clinton lawyer Marc Elias wrote that, while their internal investigations did not reveal an evidence of vote tampering, the campaign will take part in the recount.

A number of prominent politicians and Clinton supporters have called upon the Clinton campaign to challenge the results in battleground states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. There is a building frustration among Clinton’s supporters for a lack of comment from the former presidential candidate’s campaign, especially as Clinton’s lead in the popular vote count remains close to 2 million. Elias says that the campaign appreciates the support, but they have not felt the need to push for expensive recounts. He wrote, “The campaign is grateful to all those who have expended time and effort to investigate various claims of abnormalities and irregularities. While that effort has not, in our view, resulted in evidence of manipulation of results, now that a recount is underway, we believe we have an obligation to the more than 64 million Americans who cast ballots for Hillary Clinton to participate in ongoing proceedings to ensure that an accurate vote count will be reported.” Read Elias’s full post below:

Listening and Responding To Calls for an Audit and Recount

Over the last few days, officials in the Clinton campaign have received hundreds of messages, emails, and calls urging us to do something, anything, to investigate claims that the election results were hacked and altered in a way to disadvantage Secretary Clinton. The concerns have arisen, in particular, with respect to Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — three states that together proved decisive in this presidential election and where the combined margin of victory for Donald Trump was merely 107,000 votes.

It should go without saying that we take these concerns extremely seriously. We certainly understand the heartbreak felt by so many who worked so hard to elect Hillary Clinton, and it is a fundamental principle of our democracy to ensure that every vote is properly counted.

Moreover, this election cycle was unique in the degree of foreign interference witnessed throughout the campaign: the U.S. government concluded that Russian state actors were behind the hacks of the Democratic National Committee and the personal email accounts of Hillary for America campaign officials, and just yesterday, the Washington Post reported that the Russian government was behind much of the “fake news” propaganda that circulated online in the closing weeks of the election.

For all these reasons, we have quietly taken a number of steps in the last two weeks to rule in or out any possibility of outside interference in the vote tally in these critical battleground states.

First, since the day after the election we have had lawyers and data scientists and analysts combing over the results to spot anomalies that would suggest a hacked result. These have included analysts both from within the campaign and outside, with backgrounds in politics, technology and academia.

Second, we have had numerous meetings and calls with various outside experts to hear their concerns and to discuss and review their data and findings. As a part of this, we have also shared out data and findings with them. Most of those discussions have remained private, while at least one has unfortunately been the subject of leaks.

Third, we have attempted to systematically catalogue and investigate every theory that has been presented to us within our ability to do so.

Fourth, we have examined the laws and practices as they pertain to recounts, contests and audits.

Fifth, and most importantly, we have monitored and staffed the post-election canvasses — where voting machine tapes are compared to poll-books, provisional ballots are resolved, and all of the math is double checked from election night. During that process, we have seen Secretary Clinton’s vote total grow, so that, today, her national popular vote lead now exceeds more than 2 million votes.

In the coming days, we will continue to perform our due diligence and actively follow all further activities that are to occur prior to the certification of any election results. For instance, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania conduct post-election audits using a sampling of precincts. Michigan and many other states still do not. This is unfortunate; it is our strong belief that, in addition to an election canvass, every state should do this basic audit to ensure accuracy and public confidence in the election.

Beyond the post-election audit, Green Party candidate Jill Stein announced Friday that she will exercise her right as a candidate to pursue a recount in the state of Wisconsin. She has indicated plans to also seek recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides. If Jill Stein follows through as she has promised and pursues recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, we will take the same approach in those states as well. We do so fully aware that the number of votes separating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the closest of these states — Michigan — well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount. But regardless of the potential to change the outcome in any of the states, we feel it is important, on principle, to ensure our campaign is legally represented in any court proceedings and represented on the ground in order to monitor the recount process itself.

The campaign is grateful to all those who have expended time and effort to investigate various claims of abnormalities and irregularities. While that effort has not, in our view, resulted in evidence of manipulation of results, now that a recount is underway, we believe we have an obligation to the more than 64 million Americans who cast ballots for Hillary Clinton to participate in ongoing proceedings to ensure that an accurate vote count will be reported.

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News Source: The Washington Post, CNN, Medium

FBI Director Comey Recommends No New Action Against Clinton

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FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to ranking members of Congress on Sunday with the bureau’s conclusions following an investigation into emails found on a computer owned by former Congressman Anthony Weiner. The emails were related to Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. In his letter, Comey says that the FBI stands by its decision to not bring a case against Clinton and that the new emails yielded no new information. Comes said that “based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.” Since the FBI announced it was looking into the emails last week, the Clinton campaign has maintained that there was nothing new to be found. News sources indicate that the majority of the emails found on the computer were duplicates of the emails already reviewed by the bureau. Read the full letter from the FBI director below or download a PDF HERE.

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News Source: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico

Sunday Morning Talk Show Roundup: Kaine, Podesta, Benenson

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On Sunday morning, representatives for Hillary for America made the talk show rounds and spoke about the final strategies before Tuesday’s election. Tim Kaine was on CBS’s Face the Nation and John Dickerson and Kaine discussed the affect the FBI investigation has had on the campaign. “We’ve seen it add to the energy on our side. People on our side view this campaign as so important, the ‘Stronger Together’ message as so important and people don’t want it to be distracted. So there has been a great uptick in energy on our side in the early vote,” Kaine said. Watch a video of the full interview below.

John Podesta was interviewed on ABC’s This Week and NBC’s Meet the Press. During each interview, Podesta explained that while he is optimistic, the Clinton campaign is leaving nothing to chance before election. Podesta was also asked about the leaks of information coming out of the FBI and Podesta responded saying, “I think the men and women of the FBI are doing a tremendous job out here across the country. But the leakers should shut up.” Watch videos of Podesta’s interviews below.

HFA representative Joel Benenson was interviewed on this morning’s episode of Fox News Sunday. Benenson was asked about the FBI investigation into Clinton’s email and the campaign’s strategy for the final days of the campaign. Benenson said that they are “playing offense in every state” and will continue to do so through Monday. Watch a video of the interview below.

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News Source: CBS News, ABC News, WTVQ, CNN, Fox News

Hillary Clinton Campaigns in Ohio

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Hillary Clinton returned to Ohio on Monday where she began the day at an event on the campus of Kent State University. During her speech, Clinton briefly addressed the FBI’s investigation into her email, and she urged the bureau to release the findings to the American voters. She said that she is confident that nothing will be found. Clinton then spoke about a number of her platform points including her plans to create jobs, build an economy that works for everyone, and make college more affordable. Clinton also attacked Donald Trump for his temperament and divisive rhetoric saying, “Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. Imagine him plunging us into a war because someone got under his very thin skin.” She then asked everyone to get out and vote on November 8th or to take advantage of early voting. A video of Clinton’s speech is below.

Clinton then spoke at a rally in Cincinnati where she was introduced by Mark Kelly and former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Clinton, again, opened her speech by addressing the FBI’s investigation into her emails saying, “Go ahead: Look at them.” She then spoke about the importance of the election and far reaching effects the next four years will have on this country. She presented her plans to continue the economic growth started by the administration of President Barack Obama and said that she wanted to make even more progress. She also attacked Trump for his relationship with Russia and his famously short temper. Clinton concluded by asking voters to support her because she wants to win Ohio. Watch a video from the event below.

For all the latest, follow our Scheduled Events page and follow Clinton on TwitterFacebookYouTube, and Instagram. Also, be sure to subscribe to the campaign’s official Podcast, With Her.

News Source: Cleveland.com, WKBN, Cincinnati.com, Fox 19