By John R. Schindler
Hillary Clinton’s email problems are already causing headaches for her presidential campaign. But within American counterintelligence circles, there’s a mounting sense that the former secretary of state may not be the only Obama administration official in trouble. This is a scandal that has the potential to spread to the White House, as well.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation can be expected to be tight-lipped, especially because this highly sensitive case is being handled by counterintelligence experts from Bureau headquarters a few blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, not by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. That will ensure this investigation gets the needed “big picture” view, since even senior FBI agents at any given field office may only have a partial look at complex counterintelligence cases.
And this most certainly is a counterintelligence matter. There’s a widely held belief among American counterspies that foreign intelligence agencies had to be reading the emails on Hillary’s private server, particularly since it was wholly unencrypted for months.
Hillary Clinton was far from the only senior Obama appointee to play fast and loose with classified materials, according to Intelligence Community insiders. While most counterspies agree that Hillary’s practices—especially using her own server and having her staffers place classified information into unclassified emails, in violation of Federal law—were especially egregious, any broad-brush investigation into security matters are likely to turn up other suspects, they maintain.
“The whole administration is filled with people who can’t shoot straight when it comes to classified,” an Intelligence Community official explained to me this week. Three U.S. officials suggested that Susan Rice, the National Security Adviser, might be at particular risk if a classified information probe goes wide. But it should be noted that Rice has made all sorts of enemies on the security establishment for her prickly demeanor, use of coarse language, and strategic missteps.
“Of course they knew what they were doing, it’s a clear as day from the emails,” opined one senior official who is close to the investigation. “I’m a Democrat and this makes me sick. They were fully aware of what they were up to, and the Bureau knows it.” That Hillary and her staff at Foggy Bottom were wittingly involved in a scheme to place classified information into ostensibly unclassified emails to reside on Clinton’s personal, private server is the belief of every investigator and counterintelligence official I’ve spoken with recently, and all were at pains to maintain that this misconduct was felonious. (my emphasis)
READ all of John Schindler’s comments from The Daily Beast here.