Politics

Uncleared Hillary Aide Had Access to Top Secret Emails

Clinton staffer in charge of servers says he had no security clearance, could see classified messages

In a bombshell revelation, a former aide to Hillary Clinton said he had no security clearance while he had full access to Clinton’s private email servers.

The admission is key, as the servers had top secret information within its contents.

Justin Cooper said he had full access to Clinton’s email server, even though he had no federal clearance to look at some of the top secret materials contained therein.

The admission was made by Justin Cooper in testimony to the House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Cooper made the admission when addressing committee Chairman, U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).

“After you left the White House … in 2001 … did you ever have a security clearance at any level after that?” Chaffetz asked.

“No, I did not have security clearance,” Cooper said.

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“And you had access to the whole server the entire time you were working with the Clintons?” asked Chaffetz.

Cooper answered yes.

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The admission would likely drag Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of state, into an indictment under normal circumstances. But FBI Director James Comey, faced with such admissions, still recommended no charges against Clinton on July 5.

Soon after, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said she would drop the issue.

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Republicans were left fuming, and congressional hearings about the issue continue. But the committees can only do so much.

Clinton was part of the executive branch, which does not have to answer to the House or Senate. The executive branch also includes the FBI and the Department of Justice, which punted the issue — right before President Obama’s first joint appearance with Clinton at a presidential campaign event.

Also frustrating Chaffetz is the fact that other witnesses in the Clinton email scandal can take the Fifth Amendment, or not show up to testify.

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On Tuesday, two of the committee’s witnesses took the Fifth. They were Bill Thornton and Paul Combetta, both of Platte River Networks of Denver. The firm helped set up Clinton’s private servers at her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., and then moved the servers to New Jersey. The servers processed secret and classified information and government emails through Clinton’s private network, in violation of the law.

The House committee was especially incensed because the men had already answered to the FBI.

The real burn was the absence of Brian Pagliano, a former Clinton aide and information technology specialist. Pagliano is a key witness wanted by the House committee. Pagliano got immunity from the FBI.

Chaffetz said he would look at ways to get Pagliano to testify.

The Trump campaign mocked the aides for taking the Fifth Amendment on Twitter.

“Birds of a feather. Basket of liars,” tweeted Kellyanne Conway.

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Political reporter, LifeZette. Indiana University journalism grad. Boston U. business grad. Former Indiana, Alabama statehouse reporter, Daytona Beach editorial writer.

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