On Oct. 13, 2015, Sen. Bernie Sanders graciously stole the show at a Democratic presidential debate, when he exclaimed to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that “the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.”
At that moment, certain State Department officials and FBI agents must have concluded a fix was in. The Vermont independent socialist senator could not possibly have reached an informed conclusion — so he was either in the dark, or in the tank.
Well before the debates began, these government officials knew that crucial evidence suggested Clinton mishandled vast amounts of classified government information and had done so repeatedly, from Jan. 21, 2009, through Dec. 5, 2014, if not afterward.
They knew because the inspector general (IG) of the intelligence community issued a July 6, 2015, report, triggering a full-scale FBI investigation that opened four days later. The subject was mishandling of classified information, and the targets included Hillary Clinton and her key aides.
Somebody might have crucial details. FBI veteran John Giacalone served as executive assistant director of the FBI from June 2014 through February 2016, working from the Washington, D.C., headquarters. His Linkedin profile indicates that during this period he “manage[d] the strategic risks associated with the FBI’s counterterrorism, counterintelligence and weapons of mass destruction programs in close coordination with domestic and international partners.”
Giacalone was also centrally involved in the FBI investigation into Clinton’s mishandling of classified information — a serious felony crime — and he resigned suddenly, for reasons not yet fully understood. Evidence now tumbling into the public domain suggests Giacalone may have exhausted his tolerance for a rigged inquiry late in January 2016.
Five days before the Iowa caucuses, on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016, a mysterious visitor arrived at FBI offices in Washington, D.C., “to present evidence of Hillary Clinton’s misuse of classified documents by putting them on an unclassified email system.”
The male visitor was described as: “a long-time government employee [who] had previously worked for many years at the Department of State. He provided a résumé and a U.S. Foreign Service Employee Evaluation Report to prove his bona fides.” Neither the name of the visitor nor that of the recorder of the FBI Vault report, starting on page 11, are known.
The document was written on Feb. 22, 2016, 26 days after the unscheduled visit, approved by another as yet unidentified person, and copied to Jonathan C. Moffa, Peter P. Strzok II, and a fourth unidentified person. The named individuals are controversial, and the delay between the date of the visit and the date of the report is odd, all of which needs to be fully investigated.
Additional details contained in the report and still unreleased portions of FBI Vault records likely will help explain why John Giacalone resigned.
Why a VIP FBI probe “went sideways.” Judge Andrew Napolitano reported in the Washington Times on Oct. 26, 2106, that Giacalone retired in February 2016 in part because he was concerned the investigation was never given adequate resources, including subpoena powers.
The FBI Vault records referenced above appear to have been declassified on Nov. 10, 2016, not long after Napolitano’s report.
According to new FBI records, the visitor “explained … he had sent evidence of Hillary Clinton’s misuse of classified documents to the FBI director earlier in January 2016, but when he called to confirm receipt, he could not do so and therefore wanted to walk in to make sure that the information was received by the right people at the FBI, specifically the ‘task force’ working on the Clinton email scandal.”
Perhaps Giacalone was told by the bureau’s director, James Comey, the full details in early January, when the evidence may have arrived at FBI headquarters. If not, one imagines Giacalone would have been mightily upset over the integrity of the investigative process if Comey had withheld material evidence from him.
The visitor “did not go into detail as to what the evidence was, as he had provided other typed documents explaining the evidence to the unclassified level he could. He offered to be interviewed in a SCIF [Secure Compartmented Information Facility] so he could talk at a higher classification level to further explain other evidence he had.”
According to the report, “all of the documents provided by [the visitor] are being attached … for further review by the appropriate personnel reviewing this matter.”
One hopes that Department of Justice IG Michael Horowitz and his team already have interviewed Giacalone and reviewed all relevant evidence. Comey and many other have lots to explain to “We, the People.”
Charles Ortel, a retired investment banker, concentrates on exposing complex frauds in his new career as an investigator, writer and commentator. Since August 2017, he has been hosting the “Sunday with Charles” podcast and covering the Clinton Foundation case in depth, using publicly available source materials.
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