The Daily Caller has set off another who-do-you-believe controversy. It AGAIN raises questions about emails and other classified information on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s server – or is it servers?
Just when the elitist east coast media had me convinced that the only hacking threat was from the Russians, we now have the Chinese. If you follow their coverage, you might be inclined to believe that the Russians are responsible for the algae bloom off the coast of Florida, the forest fires in California and the hurricane that struck Hawaii.
The Daily Caller report opens a frightening possibility – that there may be other naughty nations that are also trying to mess with the United States. What about Iran, North Korea or the principality of Liechtenstein? This time, however, the alleged culprit is the Chinese Government. Actually, the accused is a Chinese company, but in such authoritarian nations, that means the government.
Imagine that! The Chinese spying on us. If you can accept that premise, you might even think Senator Diane Feinstein could have a Chinese chauffeur for 20 YEARS who turns out to be a spy. Oh, she did? Well, you can’t blame her. An old white woman having an Asian chauffeur is a status symbol in trendy California. If it was an old southern lady, it would be a black chauffer like the one driving Miss Daisy in the movie. But, I digress.
According to the Daily Caller, an unnamed company located in Washington inserted a code into the Clinton server that sent electronic copies of all her emails in real time – as opposed to what? Artificial time?
The report said it involved the Secretary of State’s “personal server” which, according to the published article, was kept in Clinton’s home in New York. Huh? I thought her private server was kept in a bathroom closet in Denver. I also recall reading that Hillary took on the role of a cyber Lizzie Borden and gave that server 40 whacks. She must have more servers than a five-star restaurant.
According to Congressman Louis Gohmert, of Texas, the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) declared that virtually all of Clinton’s email had been forwarded to “a foreign entity.” One of those ubiquitous unnamed sources in the Daily Caller story is quoted as saying, “ICIG, investigator Frank Rucker and attorney Janette McMillan, met repeatedly with FBI officials to warn them of the Chinese intrusion.”
Even though the server in questions was Clinton’s private server, we know from sworn testimony that it did contain both sensitive and classified information. And we also know that recipients of her emails had their accounts hacked.
One can only imagine how quickly the FBI sprang into action upon getting the ICIG report. But noooo. Among those briefed on the potential security breach was Clinton fixer Peter Strzok. He was the fellow, if you recall, who was fired from the FBI for his avowed hatred for Donald Trump and his biased loyalty to Hillary. It was a bias so deep that the Justice Department Inspector General determined that it influenced his behavior.
Apart from assuring his FBI colleague and part-time paramour, Lisa Page, that he and others at the FBI had an “insurance policy” that would prevent Trump from becoming President, Strzok was accused of abusing his position to protect Hillary from prosecution.
So now, we have another issue of an alleged security breach of the first order involving Hillary’s improper use of secret servers — and it winds up in the hands of Strzok & Company. A “company” that includes the resigned Lisa Page, the Trump-fired James Comey (on recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein), Andrew McCabe fired by Attorney General Sessions and now we have Bruce Ohr popping up in the controversy.
These guys (and gal) were all operating like a partisan cabal, protecting Clinton and going after Trump. How each of these characters fit into the Chinese spying story is yet to be determined, but they did seem to — if you will pardon the expression — collude with each other over most matters.
All this now comes into play in the Chinese edition of Spygate. The official FBI position remains that they have found no proof that the Chinese had hacked into Clinton’s server. That was not the original opinion offered up when things were not so controversial. Way back in 2015, the FBI advised the Department of Justice that classified information on the server may have been obtained by a foreign government.
Also, we should not take too much comfort from the more recent FBI’s statement that they found no evidence of hacking of the Clinton server by the Chinese, or any other foreign interest. It was also stated that hacking could take place without leaving a trace – and that the Chinese were adept at doing just that. In his own sworn testimony, former FBI director said that while they did not uncover any “direct evidence” of hacking, he could not rule out the possibility that there was hacking.
“Given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence. We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial email accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account … She also used her personal email extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related emails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account.”
But wait! Back in 2015, it was reported that a forensic examination of the Clinton server did reveal coding that kicked out her emails as “courtesy” copies. And where, pray tell, did they go? According to reports at the time, they went to a Chinese company that was known to gather intelligence for Beijing. The company has not yet been named, but I do not think that they were in the business of making fortune cookies.
So, what do we know for sure? Not much. But, we can read the Chinese tea leaves. China has a very sophisticated intelligence operation directed at the United States – even better than the Russians. There is a reasonable chance that Clinton’s server has been hacked and the hackers got a lot of information – including classified stuff.
That possibility should, at least, trigger a series of investigations by Congress and the intelligence community. We cannot just rely on Clinton protestations or the FBI’s lone conclusions.
There are those who argue that we should not be going back to the past. It is somehow unseemly. Of course, those are the same people who have been happy to dredge up Paul Manafort’s decade-old business relationships, Michael Cohen’s past financial dealings and just about everything to do with Trump since he reached puberty.
It is just an opinion, but I am betting the Chinese did it.
Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.