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Email Issues Continue To Dog Clinton Even As She Sails Toward The Democratic Nomination

Hillary Clinton Blackberry

Even as Hillary Clinton sails toward the securing the Democratic nomination with few obstacles in sight, there are still signs out there that she could face some choppy seas, specifically in the form of continued questions about her use of a private email server while Secretary of State:

WASHINGTON — As Hillary Clinton moves toward the Democratic presidential nomination, she faces legal hurdles from her use of a private computer server as secretary of state that could jar her campaign’s momentum in the months ahead.

Foremost among a half-dozen inquiries and legal proceedings into whether classified information was sent through Mrs. Clinton’s server is an investigation by the F.B.I., whose agents, according to one law enforcement official, could seek to question Mrs. Clinton’s closest aides and possibly the candidate herself within weeks.

It is commonplace for the F.B.I. to try to interview key figures before closing an investigation, and doing so is not an indication the bureau thinks a person broke the law. Although defense lawyers often discourage their clients from giving such interviews, Democrats fear the refusal of Mrs. Clinton or her top aides to cooperate would be ready ammunition for Donald J. Trump, the Republican front-runner.

A federal law enforcement official said that barring any unforeseen changes, the F.B.I. investigation could conclude by early May. Then the Justice Department will decide whether to file criminal charges and, if so, against whom.

“As we have said since last summer, Secretary Clinton has been cooperating with the Justice Department’s security inquiry, including offering in August to meet with them to assist their efforts if needed,” said Brian Fallon, a campaign spokesman.

Federal law makes it a crime to mishandle classified information outside secure government channels when someone does so “knowingly” or — more seriously — permits it through “gross negligence.” Mrs. Clinton has correctly pointed out that none of the emails on her server were marked as classified at the time.

The bureau’s investigators have already interviewed Bryan Pagliano, a former aide who installed the server Mrs. Clinton had in her home in New York and used exclusively for her private and official email while secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

Mr. Pagliano, who last year invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify before Congress, has cooperated with the investigation, according to the law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Mr. Pagliano’s lawyer declined to comment.

Mr. Fallon said the campaign was “pleased” that Mr. Pagliano was cooperating, noting that it had previously urged him to cooperate with the Capitol Hill inquiry.

In addition to the F.B.I. investigation, there are continuing inquiries into Mrs. Clinton’s emails by the inspector general of the State Department, the inspector general of the intelligence agencies, the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

Aides to Mrs. Clinton and officials from the State Department also face the prospect of questioning under oath in a separate legal proceeding brought by Judicial Watch, the conservative government watchdog group, under the Freedom of Information Act. In that case, the group has sought emails related to the special employment status given to Mrs. Clinton’s close aide Huma Abedin so she could receive additional salaries beyond the one she received from State.

Last week Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of United States District Court in Washington allowed the questioning after a hearing in which he criticized the State Department’s “constant drip” of revelations about emails from the server and said there were many unanswered questions about who authorized its use.

“It just boggles the mind that the State Department allowed this circumstance to arise in the first place,” said Judge Sullivan, who was appointed to the District Court in 1994 by President Bill Clinton and to lower courts by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush. “It’s just very, very, very troubling.”

He ordered lawyers for Judicial Watch to submit a “narrowly tailored” plan for questioning that could begin in April as primaries continue to be held in states like New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The organization, according to its court filings so far, is expected to seek depositions from Ms. Abedin and Mr. Pagliano; Mrs. Clinton’s former chief of staff, Cheryl D. Mills; and department officials like Patrick F. Kennedy, the undersecretary of state for management.

Judge Sullivan’s ruling left open the possibility of additional testimony, including testimony from Mrs. Clinton. “I think there are some legitimate issues that arise because of this very atypical system that was created,” he said.

The flurry of questions around Mrs. Clinton’s server stem from the Benghazi committee’s inquiry into the attack on the American government outposts in Libya on Sept. 11, 2012, that killed four Americans, including the ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens.

It was through the committee’s request for records that the use of the server became known. Mrs. Clinton testified before the committee last October in what was widely viewed as a highly partisan confrontation.

This report from the New York Times comes on the same day that The Washington Post reporter that Bryan Pagliano, the former State Department staffer who helped setup the email server at Clinton’s New York home, has been granted immunity by the Justice Department:

The Justice Department has granted immunity to a former State Department staffer, who worked on Hillary Clinton’s private email server, as part of a criminal investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information, according to a senior law enforcement official.

The official said the FBI had secured the cooperation of Bryan Pagliano, who worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign before setting up the server in her New York home in 2009.

As the FBI looks to wrap up its investigation in the coming months, agents are likely to want to interview Clinton and her senior aides about the decision to use a private server, how it was set up, and whether any of the participants knew they were sending classified information in emails, current and former officials said.

The inquiry comes against a political backdrop in which Clinton is the favorite to secure the Democratic nomination for the presidency.

So far, there is no indication that prosecutors have convened a grand jury in the email investigation to subpoena testimony or documents, which would require the participation of a U.S. attorney’s office.

Spokesmen at the FBI and Justice Department would not discuss the investigation. Pagliano’s attorney, Mark J. MacDougall, also declined to comment.

In a statement, Brian Fallon, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, said: “As we have said since last summer, Secretary Clinton has been cooperating with the Department of Justice’s security inquiry, including offering in August to meet with them to assist their efforts if needed.”

He also said the campaign is “pleased” that Pagliano, who invoked his Fifth Amendment rights before a congressional panel in September, is now cooperating with prosecutors. The campaign had encouraged Pagliano to testify before Congress.

As part of the inquiry, law enforcement officials will look at the potential damage had the classified information in the emails been exposed. The Clinton campaign has described the probe as a security review. But current and former officials in the FBI and at the Justice Department have said investigators are trying to determine whether a crime was committed.

The fact that someone so close to Clinton, and so close to the setup of the server itself, is receiving immunity is likely to raise eyebrows in many corners, After all, if this is just a routine security review that is close to being wrapped up, then its unclear why the Justice Department would be granting immunity to anyone to begin with. Pagliano likely has technical information regarding how the server was set up, of course, but this is information that the F.B.I.’s own experts likely would have been easily able to figure out by a forensic examination of the machine itself. Typically, the only reason immunity is granted in cases such as this is because the immunized witness has information that investigators and/or prosecutors need for the investigation to proceed further. In this case, that information could consist of what Pagliano knew about what precautions were being taken to keep classified information off the Clinton server and/or any conversations that Pagliano may have had with Clinton or, more likely, any of her top aides regard setting the server up or maintaining it, which he apparently also did on a regular basis. If the Justice Department didn’t believe that Pagliano possessed such information then there would be no need to grant anyone immunity. Finally, while the Justice Department has never said that Clinton or anyone else is the target of an investigation at this point that doesn’t necessarily mean that their investigation hasn’t led them to be interested in someone as a potential target. The fact that they’re giving a low-level aide such as Pagliano immunity suggests that such a person, if they exist, is higher up the chain of command than Pagliano himself.

To listen to Republicans, of course, this is just the first step toward the indictment of Hillary Clinton herself for improperly handling classified information, an event that would be unprecedented in the middle of a Presidential election and which would obviously have real political consequences for the race as a whole. Indeed, if Clinton, or even just one of her closest aides, were indicted in connection with this matter it’s hard to see how it wouldn’t have a seriously negative impact on her campaign that would set off another round of stories about top Democrats seeking to find a way to replace her with a candidate such a Joe Biden rather than face the prospect of heading into the General Election with a seemingly unelectable candidate like Bernie Sanders. Before we get to that point, though, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. First of all, notwithstanding the grant of immunity to Pagliano, there has been no confirmation that Hillary Clinton or anyone else is the target of an investigation. Second, there’s no evidence that a Grand Jury has been convened, or that evidence regarding this matter has been submitted to a sitting Grand Jury, although to be fair that’s not necessarily something that would be made public. Finally, a discussed below, there’s not really much evidence from the information that’s been made publicly available that Clinton herself did anything wrong, never mind the kind of evidence that a U.S. Attorney is likely to demand to even consider indicting anyone in a case that would obviously have a serious impact on a Presidential election.

In arguing that Clinton should face indictment for alleged mishandling of classified information, many on the right have cited the case of General David Petraeus, who was indicted and ultimately plead guilty to mishandling classified information when it became known that he had allowed the woman he was having an affair with to have access to classified information for the purpose of writing a biography about him. As the Times article makes clear, though, there are several significant differences between what happened in the Petraeus case and what we know about the ongoing Clinton investigation:

The F.B.I.’s case did begin as a security referral from the inspectors general of the State Department and the nation’s intelligence agencies, who were concerned that classified information might have been stored outside a secure government network. But multiple law enforcement officials said the matter quickly became an investigation into whether anyone had committed a crime in handling classified information.

The bureau’s inquiry is being overseen by career national security prosecutors at the Justice Department, including a member of the prosecution team that won a guilty plea last year from David H. Petraeus, the former general and director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The case against Mr. Petraeus looms large over this investigation, according to officials and lawyers involved, and its outcome will inevitably be a measure of the one this time.

Mr. Petraeus not only wrote down highly classified information in eight black notebooks he kept in his home — including such details as the names of covert officers and programs — but he also shared the notebooks with his lover and biographer, Paula Broadwell. Those secrets were far more sensitive than the information on Ms. Clinton’s server, a federal law enforcement official said, and Mr. Petraeus told his biographer so in a recording she made of one of their interviews.

“Umm, well, they’re really — I mean they are highly classified, some of them,” he told her, according to a transcript that was included in the plea agreement filed in United States District Court in Charlotte, N.C., in March 2015. Mr. Petraeus went on to refer to the code names that are used for the nation’s most guarded information, programs and operations.

Mr. Petraeus also lied when initially questioned by the bureau’s agents. After a lengthy back-and-forth, the Justice Department — over the objection of the F.B.I. — negotiated the agreement for Mr. Petraeus to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information.

While Mr. Petraeus was recorded saying he knew the information was classified, no similar evidence has surfaced regarding Mrs. Clinton or her aides.

On the contrary, in some of the emails that have been made public, Mrs. Clinton and her senior aides make reference to the restrictions on discussing classified information on the “low side,” as the department’s unclassified system is known, versus the “high side,” the department’s classified computer system.

On Monday night, the State Department released the last of 30,068 emails from Mrs. Clinton’s private server that Mrs. Clinton and her lawyers have said were work-related. Of those, 22 have now been classified by the State Department as “top secret,” 65 as “secret” and 2,028 at the lower level of “confidential.”

Since none were marked classified at the time, the question is whether classified information — details of secret programs or sources — nevertheless slipped into the emails. Many of the “secret” and “top secret” emails were written or forwarded by Mrs. Clinton’s senior aides.

In their investigation, F.B.I. agents have sought to compare electronic timestamps on classified sources to figure out whether the aides reviewed the sources and then retyped the information into emails that were sent or forwarded to Mrs. Clinton’s private server. That has proved challenging, and one official said investigators have not concluded that such retyping occurred.

The fact that classified information was not marked as such when it went out on Clinton’s private server is not necessarily the end of the inquiry since the relevant laws also provide for potential administrative or criminal sanctions for someone who mishandles information they knew or should have known was classified even if it wasn’t properly marked. This would include, for example, information about military deployment, discussions involving information that obviously could have only been obtained via classified sources such as agents on the ground or signals intelligence, or technical information of a classified nature. Persons with security clearances are, generally speaking, supposed to be sufficiently informed to recognize such information and responsible for taking appropriate action when it comes to handling that information. Proving knowing mishandling of information in this situation is much harder than it is in the case of material that is marked classified and a U.S. Attorney would obviously want to make sure they had an airtight case before even considering moving forward in such a case.

This email issue has obviously not been an issue for Clinton in her pursuit of the Democratic nomination, and it’s unlikely to become one. For the most part, Democratic voters seem to agree with Bernie Sanders’ comment during the first Democratic debate that he was sick of hearing about Clinton’s emails, although it’s worth noting that more recently Sander has called the email issue a “very serious” one and that the investigation should be allowed to continue. Outside the Democratic Party, though, there are signs that the American people as a whole may be looking at the issue as a more serious matter. A poll from November, for example, found that 70% of Americans believed that Clinton acted unethically in the way she handled her emails as Secretary of State. Another poll taken just last month found that 54% of Americans believed that a Special Prosecutor should be appointed to oversee the ongoing investigation. And, of course, Republicans continue to hammer Clinton on this issue.

Regardless of whether or not anything comes of this investigation, the fact that it is still on going is a potential headache that the Clinton campaign may find it will have to deal with at the most inconvenient times possible. Imagine, for example, the prospect of Clinton being interviewed by the F.B.I. just as the conventions are starting, or a Grand Jury being convened just as the General Election campaign is starting. At the very least, it’s likely to be a distraction, and perhaps worse if there are indeed indictments of even low-level State Department employees. Outside of the potential criminal law issues, of course, the entire story raises serious questions about Clinton’s judgment and her motivations in setting the server up. The innocent explanation that she did it because she didn’t want to carry two mobile devices simply defies credulity, and the obvious explanation that she did it so that she would have control over her communications records brings back memories of the investigations of the 90s that Clinton would probably prefer people didn’t bring up. Whether all of that ultimately hurts her in the election remains to be seen, but the fact that she could have avoided all of this by simply using the State Department’s internal email system makes it clear that whatever headaches she experiences will be entirely her own fault.

 

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Tillman says:

    The worst outcome of this is Huma Abedin or a lower-level functionary goes down. Certainly this would reverse the electoral tides as Clinton would be bereft of a competent sugar-substitute packet handler for the morning chai, setting off a Goldberg-esque chain of causality that gives us America’s first reality TV host president.

    The immunity bit is interesting, but aside from that dude knowing the names of the Iranian officials Clinton sold nuclear secrets to in the dead of night, this really doesn’t go anywhere.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  2. Modulo Myself says:

    For all we know, the classified information came directly from NYTimes articles on the drone program.

    As far as her judgement goes, it cuts both ways. She’s corrupt, but she has to deal with the ‘judgement’ of humans who think that all other monies given to politicians represent speech acts equivalent to the publication of the Gulag Archipelago. When Hillary Clinton is corrupt with her Goldman Sachs and international donations but Antonin Scalia being flown around the country by right-wing litigants (and apparently failing every black student he had in law school: who could guess such a fair-sounding person liked to screw with minorities?) is a wise honorable person, it’s hard to expect judgement to work meaningfully.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

  3. HarvardLaw92 says:

    You’ve been a lawyer long enough to know that they granted him immunity in order to motivate him to speak to them at all. Barring the grant, he would simple have consistently invoked the Fifth and not said a word. That’s not useful for them.

    It will, of course, cause the tractor pull babbleverse to presume guilt, but that’s nothing new.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  4. MstrB says:

    Even if the mishandling of classified information was inadvertent, the failure to self report is still an issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  5. C. Clavin says:

    So…an anonymous source said the FBI “could” and “possibly”.
    Is this the same source that said an indictment was imminent back in January?
    Or is it the same source Guarneri quoted in claiming the EU is going to collapse by this coming Monday???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  6. PJ says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Or is it the same source Guarneri quoted in claiming the EU is going to collapse by this coming Monday???

    You have obviously not watched the news today.
    Germany has invaded France.
    The undead are walking the streets of Rome.
    The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are riding through Brussels.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  7. MarkedMan says:

    It was revealed a few weeks ago that the past few SoS preceding Clinton, including Republican appointees, had the same problem with someone sending emails to their personal email accounts which containined material that was classified after the fact. I was curious what Doug’s reaction would be, considering how he has flogged this issue. To the best of my knowledge the only acknowledgement was in a comment thread where someone bought it up and Doug berated him for being off topic.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  8. Guarneri says:

    “Or is it the same source Guarneri quoted in claiming the EU is going to collapse by this coming Monday???”

    That’s odd, I don’t recall claiming that. Perhaps you could come up with a quote.

    Or are you just lying, as usual?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 11

  9. jewelbomb says:

    In the face of the insanity of what is happening in the Republican primary, it’s good to see that people are still trying to make email-gate (or whatever) a real thing. I mean, I know it’s possible to walk and chew gum at the same time, but it seems that the fact that a dangerous, torture-loving narcissist with overt white supremacist tendencies is about to secure the Republican nomination might trump (yes, I know) some arcane nonsense about a private server that no one really understands or cares about.

    Long story short: if that’s all they’ve got to hang Clinton on, then she’s in pretty good shape.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2

  10. grumpy realist says:

    Yet another reason to never get myself near a public office position. This “you shoulda known” post-facto tagging, coupled with a bureaucracy willing to slap CLASSIFIED on everything, up to and including well-known hydrodynamics equations, is just ridiculous.

    I think we should use the same rules that we do in IP: if it’s out in public, no post-emission labeling it as CLASSIFIED. No backsies. You lose. Just as if you reveal your invention in public and then stumble over a 102(b) bar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  11. gVOR08 says:

    Given what’s been done to Lois Lehrner, if I were in a position that the FBI asked me anything, I would assume that at some point this would turn into a Darrel Issa witch hunt and I’d want immunity before I admitted what I had for breakfast this morning.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 2

  12. Guarneri says:

    You do have to admit, though, that the economy is humming along nicely:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-03/worse-may-be-come-us-services-slump-contraction-business-confidence-record-lows

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

  13. Guarneri says:
  14. gVOR08 says:

    This really sounds like Clinton will be clear legally, guilty of nothing that isn’t commonplace and harmless. But truth has nothing to do with how Trump will attack her. Or Cruz or Rubio for that matter. This worries me a lot as a campaign issue. No matter what the FBI says in the end, three will be a constant drumbeat of Hillary betrayed or secrets.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  15. al-Ameda says:

    I wonder if the Republican Congress will question Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell regarding their work around federal regulations and rules regarding personal email accounts and transmittal of (so-called) classified documents?

    There have been eight or nine partisan investigations on this and related issues and, remarkably, Republican Committees have not recommended that Hillary Clinton be sanctioned. Why?

    The public is ambivalent about Hillary Clinton – as well they might be after 24 years of constant opposition investigation and criticism of all things Clinton. I suspect that no minds are changed – certainly Republican opposition will remain intense, no net change there. While with the Democratic Party many are not excited by Hillary, however I expect that most will vote for her, even those who prefer the mirage that is Bernie Sanders.

    The stakes are high –
    Who do you want to make the next 2 appointment to the Supreme Court? Hillary Clinton or any Republican?
    Do you want the Republican Party to control the entire federal government? Or not?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  16. humanoid.panda says:

    My one consolation in all this is that if there was a “there there” Biden would be running…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  17. al-Ameda says:

    @Guarneri:

    See-ya, zeros.

    I can see that you dearly miss those halcyon days of early 2009 when the economy was shedding jobs at a rate of 700,000 per month, half the American auto industry was nearly shuttered, and many major American banks and investment banking firms had hundreds of billions of dollars in toxic assets on their balance sheets. I personally find this very moving.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  18. C. Clavin says:

    @Guarneri:
    It was one of your links to Zero Hedge.
    Here’s the link:
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-25/we-are-heading-anarchy-official-says-eu-will-completely-break-down-10-days
    Sorry I don’t have time to chase all your nonsense…if you can’t stand behind it don’t say it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  19. gVOR08 says:

    @C. Clavin: And somebody commented at the time that we’d come back and check his prediction on the EU. In fairness, I believe 10 days is the 6th, and I suppose the EU could collapse over the weekend.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  20. MarkedMan says:

    Just to reinforce something that gets lost I this discussion: no sensitive information should be transmitted over email, personal or otherwise. The state department uses other methods for that. Many people assume that transmitting this info via government servers wouldn’t have been a problem but that is incorrect.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  21. Jc says:

    Everyday is the end of the world at Zero Hedge. The Euro should be dead and hyperinflation should be rampant right now

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  22. grumpy realist says:

    @Guarneri: You get your financial information from Zerohedge?

    Wow. They’re the financial equivalent of the Weekly World News, which you will quickly realize if you read their articles with any regularity. I don’t recommend treating any of the “information” they provide with anything aside from acute suspicion. Home of the Multi-level Marketing scheme promoters, Bitcoin devotees, and goldbugs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  23. humanoid.panda says:

    One does have to admit that the image of a Wall Street office in which everyone is tuned to their Bloomberg terminals, the TV plays CNBC, but the big boss Guarneri is glued to Zero Hedge and had been going long on gold and short on stocks since 2009 is an amusing one..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  24. Neil Hudelson says:

    @grumpy realist:

    If I recall, its pretty much the only financial blog he links to.

    I’m curious if his shareholders know that this titan of industry gets all of his knowledge from tabloids.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  25. C. Clavin says:

    @Jc:

    Everyday is the end of the world at Zero Hedge. The Euro should be dead and hyperinflation should be rampant right now

    Right? The doofus weatherman on channel 3 in Hartford is more accurate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  26. Modulo Myself says:

    I believe Guarneri works in private equity. I imagine he’s an expert in a certain specific field and completely ignorant in every other. The American landscape is littered with people (okay–men) like this. Zerohedge’s audience is probably all brilliant neurosurgeons and metallurgists speaking like pros about the interest rate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  27. humanoid.panda says:

    @Modulo Myself: Anyone working at private equity who is using zero hedge as source of information about the world, would have lost long time ago, as they had been consistenly wrong about the interest rates environment- the single most important thing for a debt-driven industry. Guarneri is either using Zerohedge as source of political entertainment, or is lying about himself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  28. jukeboxgrad says:

    Guarneri:

    That’s odd, I don’t recall claiming that [the EU is going to collapse by this coming Monday].

    Just to add a little more detail to what C. Clavin already said. Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 15:04:

    Here’s your future. Enjoy.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-25/we-are-heading-anarchy-official-says-eu-will-completely-break-down-10-days

    Someone posted that using the name Guarneri. But I’m sure that must have been some entirely different Guarneri, because that comment was posted less than a week ago, and it would be beyond “odd” that you “don’t recall claiming” what you claimed less than a week ago.

    Perhaps you could come up with a quote.

    That’s been done, so now perhaps you could come up with an apology.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  29. grumpy realist says:

    @Modulo Myself: I get the suspicion his “great career in private equity” involves a back-room boiler operation trying to sell pink sheet listings to whoever answers the phone in rural Arkansas.

    (One of the reasons he’s probably not doing all that well. Just because you’re rural doesn’t mean you don’t have common horse sense about people who try to sell you stuff over the phone.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  30. DrDaveT says:

    @Guarneri:

    You do have to admit, though, that the economy is humming along nicely

    Only a Republican could think that’s it’s reasonable to shoot a man in the chest, then complain about the quality of his medical care because his times in the Iron Man aren’t as good as they used to be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  31. al-Ameda says:

    @gVOR08:

    In fairness, I believe 10 days is the 6th, and I suppose the EU could collapse over the weekend.

    Oh I think it’s (collapse of the EU) a sure thing – all those bad loans to Kanye. Really, anyone who spends time reading the zerohedge blog could see it coming.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. David M says:

    I’m not sure this news report is actually bad news. The grant of immunity was completely expected given that Pagliano understandably had already taken the 5th rather than participate in the ridiculous Congressional investigations. IANAL, but couldn’t talking to the FBI about the same issues cause that to be waived if Congress called him back? All I’m reading into this is we know the FBI wanted to talk to him and he has a competent lawyer, neither of which are really groundbreaking news stories.

    I am hopeful this might mean they are getting close to wrapping this up and not letting it hang over the election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  33. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @humanoid.panda: Well, it is possible that it is both. Likely in this case since he seems to believe this stuff for his role here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  34. MarkedMan says:

    Doug said:

    she could have avoided all of this by simply using the State Department’s internal email system makes it clear that whatever headaches she experiences will be entirely her own fault

    This is one of those lies that gets repeated so often it’s accepted as truth. No sensitive information should be transmitted over email, personal or otherwise. The state department uses other methods for that. Many people assume that transmitting this info via government servers wouldn’t have been a problem but that is incorrect.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  35. Grewgills says:

    @grumpy realist:
    He definitely reads, or at least links, with regularity. I think half of his comments here have links to their quackery.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  36. Andre Kenji says:

    The emails per se were never a problem. The problem was that Hillary did a mistake, and she was not managing to say “Sorry”.

    But she managed to do that some months ago, and everyone, except the people that lives close to Interstate 495, moved on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  37. Kari Q says:

    Is it not possible that Pagliano was granted immunity because the FBI does not believe that a serious crime was committed and they want to close the investigation out quickly to avoid making their investigation a factor in presidential race?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  38. anjin-san says:

    I’m sure Fox News viewers are very concerned about Hillary’s emails. No one else is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0