IMPORTANT EDITOR’S NOTE: Starting with natural events most people can comprehend but ultimately leading to the supra-natural, this online investigative series highlights just a hint of the groundwork covered in Dr. Thomas Horn’s upcoming expose, Shadowland (FROM DEFENDER PUBLISHING IN MARCH).
Clinton was confirmed to the role of Secretary of State under the presidency of Barack Obama in January of 2009. It was during her time at the State Department that the United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked. The event took place on September 11, 2012, the eleven-year anniversary of the collapse of the World Trade Centers in New York. Four US Government personnel were killed in Benghazi: US Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods.
In her initial response to the public and the victims’ families, Clinton blamed the incident in Benghazi on an anti-Islam YouTube video in a speech she delivered at the return of the four Americans killed. However, she told her daughter Chelsea it was from an Al-Qaeda group.[i] However, a later review would show the video was not a major focal point of the administration or military.[ii]
In May of 2014, the House of Representatives Select Committee on Benghazi was established to evaluate the actions of the government agencies involved in the events leading up to, during, and after the night of the September 11, as well as the State Department’s Accountability Review Board. The investigation sought much deeper into the deaths of the four Americans as well as the circumstances surrounding the attack and decisions made by the White House and State Department before, as well as what was told to the public.
The Select Committee on Benghazi released a report on their findings.[iii] Representatives said that the government is expected to save the lives of American citizens serving in harm’s way, but that it did not try in Benghazi, and that the administration told one story in private but another to the public.[iv]
The Accountability Review Board (ARB), which was established by the State Department, was intended to produce recommendations of preventative measures in the event of a future situation. The report shows that four of the five board members were picked by Clinton herself.[v] However, the board never even interviewed Clinton or examined her or Ambassador Stevens’ emails. To seal the incredulous lack of attention by the board, the final report from the ARB was reviewed and changes were recommended by senior staff of the State Department before it was finalized.[vi]
The Obama administration also lacked efforts to support the house’s requests and consistently delayed in timely responses that would have enhanced the investigation and assisted in finding the truth behind the cause and details surrounding Benghazi. Their final report would address the withholding of information for Congress on the part of the White House.[vii]
The Obama administration as well as the State Department under Clinton were extremely delayed and troublesome in producing information. Clinton did not testify before the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs Committees until January of 2013—which was four months later. It was at this testimonial that Clinton was questioned for a possible motive, to which she responded, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”[viii] She would leave the State Department the following month.
Three months following the formation of the committee, the State Department turned in fifteen thousand pages of documents.[ix] Of these pages, eight had either been sent or received by Clinton. It was in these documents that her use of “[email protected]” and “H” to send and receive government information was used rather than a state issued .gov address, which allowed her to maintain control of her correspondence and government information—a direct violation of the Freedom of Information Act.[x]
Clinton knew the use of a .gov address was proper procedure. However, she knowingly used “[email protected]” and “H,” and approved her actions by pointing to former secretary of state, Colin Powell’s use of non-government issued accounts. Communication between Powell and Clinton show their discussion of the use of personal devices such as her Blackberry.[xi] The National Security Agency also disagreed with the use of the Blackberry based on its lack of security and their offer to provide a more secure phone, similar to the one used by Obama.[xii] Yet Clinton continued to use the Blackberry, rather than a more secure device, claiming it as a means of convenience to use just one gadget.[xiii]
As the House Benghazi Committee sent numerous letters asking for documents pertaining to Clinton’s time as secretary, the State Department continued to respond in an untimely manner.[xiv] And in March of 2015, the secretary’s attorney reported that requested documents from 2011–2012 had been deleted, a direct violation of an order to maintain relevant documents.[xv] Gowdy would address that Clinton maintained control of information relating to Benghazi and Libya for nearly two years after leaving her position with the State Department.[xvi] Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, said all records were given to the State Department.[xvii]
In March of 2015, Gowdy subpoenaed all documents relevant to Libya, Libyan weapons programs, Benghazi, and post 2011–2012 statements.[xviii] Even into the summertime of 2015, new paperwork related to Benghazi was submitted that was not turned in when Clinton supposedly gave everything to the State Department that pertained to work that was not personal, such as topics relating to that of yoga and her daughter Chelsea’s wedding.[xix]
In April 2015, amidst the analysis and scrutiny, Clinton announced she would be running for president.
Throughout the timeline, Clinton made several contradicting statements regarding whether or not she was sending or receiving classified information. She initially stated that no classified information was sent.[xx] Later she changed her statements that she did not send or receive any information that was marked as classified.[xxi] She would later say that using the private server was not the best decision and that she took responsibility.[xxii]
The research continued deep into the 2016 presidential election but closed in July. Clinton was exonerated. FBI Director James Comey made the recommendation to Attorney General Loretta Lynch that no reasonable prosecutor would pursue charges because, though her actions were extremely careless, there was no criminal intent.[xxiii] Lynch had previously asked Comey to refer to the entire situation as a “matter” rather than an investigation.[xxiv] Just one month prior to the close of the analysis, Lynch and Bill Clinton met on a tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona.[xxv] The notes report that the AG claimed the meeting was purely social, but it happened just days prior to Clinton being interviewed by the FBI.
The FBI probe into the matter was reopened when discoveries were found on the laptop of the husband of one of Clinton’s top aides, Huma Abedin.[xxvi] The laptop was one shared by Abedin and her husband, Congressman Anthony Weiner. Weiner was under investigation for having an online relationship with a minor when his laptop was seized by the FBI.[xxvii] It was during this search that more details pertinent to the Clinton case were stumbled upon.[xxviii] He told Congress that documents from Weiner’s computer were examined and that the previous recommendation to not prosecute remained.[xxix] A 2018 report by the Inspector General showed the discovery on the laptop was quickly passed through in an effort to close the investigation in light of the approaching election in November.[xxx]
Under Comey, the FBI came to a close and provided the impression to the public that the situation surrounding the presidential candidate was thoroughly scrutinized, but later inquiries brought an interesting discovery. The Senate Finance Committee’s examination of the former secretary’s mishandling of classified information revealed that of some thirty thousand emails sent or received by Clinton, only four were not also sent to [email protected][xxxi] Upon a quick google search of “carter heavy industries,” members realized it was similar to the name of Chinese company “Shandong Carter Heavy Industry Ltd,”[xxxii] thus raising concern that someone else had gained access to Clinton’s communications.
The Carter Heavy Industries Gmail was set up by Paul Combetta, who worked for Platte River Networks. In an interview Combetta had before the 2016 elections, he referred to it as the “dummy” drop box and as an archive for all of Clinton’s correspondence.[xxxiii] The deeper look into this occurrence revealed the FBI was aware of Combetta’s actions yet chose to continuously refer to it as the “dummy account” rather than name it in their report on the Clinton probe released just prior to the 2016 elections. But it was not just this explanation that raised concerns over Combetta’s decisions.
In March of 2015, Combetta used BleachBit, a computer disk cleaner, claiming an intention to clear up space and memory.[xxxiv] He also alleged he was aware of the order to maintain Clinton’s email data, but not data on the server, which housed thousands of archived documents. The catch in the situation was that the DOJ granted him immunity, thus protecting him from testifying and being accountable for his actions.[xxxv] Though the possible connection to a Chinese company raised concern, they concluded in the report that they could not locate ties to the foreign company.[xxxvi]
Information and oversights such as these into the actions of Combetta were extensive and numerous on the part of the FBI, and evaluations in hindsight of the decisions made by the Justice and State Departments and the FBI were still underway and making new findings even into 2019.
The former secretary’s lack of transparency and honesty, even as far back as Benghazi in 2012, continued to be scrutinized as more details of agencies mishandling investigations and inquiries into her actions continued to be revealed. Reports from the House Benghazi and Senate Finance Committees showed vital facts necessary for truth were extensively covered up and overlooked by the State Department, ARB, and FBI. And it was at this time that the mainstream media’s attention and coverage shifted to Trump and his alleged ties to Russia, Putin, and the Kremlin.
UP NEXT: The Russia Hoax
[i] Clinton, Hillary. 2011. “U.S. Department of State.” Freedom of Information Act. U.S. Department of State. September 12. Accessed October 19, 2019. https://foia.state.gov/searchapp/DOCUMENTS/HRCEmail_NovWeb/273/DOC_0C05794192/C05794192.pdf.
[ii] Gowdy, Trey. 2016. “Chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi.” U.S. House of Representatives. Select Committee on Benghazi. June 28. Accessed October 19, 2019. https://archives-benghazi-republicans-oversight.house.gov/sites/republicans.benghazi.house.gov/files/documents/TG%20letter%20to%20Speaker%20Ryan%206.28.16.pdf.
[iii] Select Committee on Benghazi. 2016. The Select Committee on Benghazi. July 8. Accessed October 19, 2019. https://archives-benghazi-republicans-oversight.house.gov/NewInfo.
[v] Accountability Review Board. 2012. Accountability Review Board (ARB) Report. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, 1.
[vi] Select Committee on Benghazi. 2016. Appendix K: Analysis of Accountability Review Board, House Armed Services Committee and House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee Reports. Washington, D.C.: U.S. House of Representatives, 22–25.
[vii] Select Committee on Benghazi. 2016. Report of the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi. IV Compliance with Congressional Investigations. Washington, D.C.: U.S. House of Representatives, 47–49.
[viii] Committee on Foreign Relations. 2013. “Benghazi: The Attacks and the Lessons Learned.” Hearing before the Committee on Foreign Relation. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 28.
[ix] Select Committee on Benghazi. 2016. Report of the Select Committee… 352.
[xi] Powell, Colin. “Re: Question.” Email, 2016. Accessed October 2019. https://foia.state.gov/Search/Results.aspx?collection=Powell_9-23-2016.
[xii] Reid, Donald. “FW: URGENT: Meeting with Cheryl Mills Tuesday.” Email, 2009. Accessed October 2019. https://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/JW-v-State-Hillary-BB-NSA-IAD-00646-pg-4.pdf
[xiii] “Hillary Clinton on Her Personal Electronic Mail Account,” C-SPAN, MARCH 10, 2015, Video, 20:53, https://www.c-span.org/video/?324777-1/hillary-clinton-news-conference.
[xiv] Select Committee on Benghazi. Report of the Select Committee… 609–615.
[xv] Ibid., 395, 604.
[xvi] “Hillary Clinton Testimony at House Select Committee on Benghazi, Part 1,” C-SPAN, October 22, 2015, Video, 03:19:05, https://www.c-span.org/video/?328699-1/hillary-clinton-testimony-house-select-committee-benghazi-part-1.
[xvii] Select Committee on Benghazi. Report of the Select Committee… 602.
[xviii] Ibid., 604.
[xix] Ibid., 607–609.
[xx] “Hillary Clinton on Her Personal…”
[xxi] Hillary Clinton, interview by John Dickerson, “Face the Nation,” CBS Interactive Inc., May 8, 2016. Accessed October 2019. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/face-the-nation-transcripts-may-8-2016-clinton/.
[xxii] Hillary Clinton, interview by David Muir, “World News Tonight,” ABC News, Sep 9, 2015. Accessed October 2019. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/full-transcript-abcs-david-muir-interviews-hillary-clinton/story?id=33607656.
[xxiii] Comey, James. “Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Personal E-Mail System,” FBI National Press Office, July 5, 2016, Accessed October 2019. https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/statement-by-fbi-director-james-b-comey-on-the-investigation-of-secretary-hillary-clinton2019s-use-of-a-personal-e-mail-system.
[xxiv] “Hearing Before the Select Committee on Intelligence.” Intelligence Committee, June 8, 2017. https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/hearings/open-hearing-former-fbi-director-james-comey#.
[xxv] Quinn, Richard P. “Flag.” Email, 2016. Accessed October 2019. https://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/JW-v-DOJ-Clinton-Lynch-meeting-production-2-00421-pg-99-and-pg-151.pdf.
[xxvi] Comey, James. “Director Comey Letter to Congress Dated October 28, 2016.” Federal Bureau of Investigation. Accessed October 21, 2019. https://vault.fbi.gov/director-comey-letter-to-congress-dated-october-28-2016/Director Comey Letter to Congress Dated October 28, 2016 Part 01 of 01/view
[xxvii] Office of the Inspector General. 2018. “A Review of Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election.” Department of Justice. Accessed October 20, 2019. https://www.justice.gov/file/1071991/download
[xxviii] Comey, James. “Director Comey Letter…Dated October 28, 2016…”
[xxix] Comey, James. “Director Comey Letter to Congress Dated November 6, 2016.” Federal Bureau of Investigation. Accessed October 21, 2019. https://valut.fbi.gov/director-comey-letter-to-congress-dated-november-6th-2016/ director-comey-letter-to-congress-dated-november-6th-2016/view.
[xxx] Office of the Inspector General. 2018. “A Review of Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election.” Department of Justice. Accessed October 20, 2019. https://www.justice.gov/file/1071991/download.
[xxxi] Senate Finance Committee. 2018. “Investigation of the DOJ’s and FBI’s Handling of the Clinton Investigation.” August 14, 2019. United States Senate. Last accessed October 21, 2019. https://www.grassley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2019-08-14%20Staff%20memo%20to%20CEG%20RHJ%20-%20ICIG%20Interview%20Summary%20RE%20Clinton%20Server.pdf
[xxxiv] “Hillary R. Clinton Part 03 of 36.” FBI Records Vault. Federal Bureau of Investigation. March 3, 2017. https://vault.fbi.gov/hillary-r.-clinton/Hillary R. Clinton Part 03 of 36/view.
[xxxv] James, Comey, “VIA ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION,” September 28, 2016, United States Senate, last accessed October 21, 2019, https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2016-09-28 CEG to FBI (Combetta).pdf.
[xxxvi] Senate Finance Committee. 2018. Investigation of the DOJ’s and FBI’s Handling of the Clinton Investigation. August 14, 2019. United States Senate. Last accessed October 21, 2019. https://www.grassley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2019-08-14%20Staff%20memo%20to%20CEG%20RHJ%20-%20ICIG%20Interview%20Summary%20RE%20Clinton%20Server.pdf.