Records available through the FBI Vault prove beyond any doubt that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her inner circle of trusted aides, including Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, were subjects of a formal investigation into the mishandling of classified information, beginning July 10, 2015.

Yes, you read the above correctly: A formal FBI investigation commenced well before any 2016 Democratic presidential debates and primaries.

Yet how many times did Clinton and her political and media allies claim that, whatever may have been happening, the review of her private servers and unsecured devices during her years as America’s chief diplomat was nothing more than a “normal security review,” not an “investigation”? Or, as then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch instructed then-FBI Director James Comey to describe it, just a “matter”?

A 17-part treasure trove of documents concerning Clinton is linked here and includes much that we should all consider, starting with Part One, a 35-page summary of the contents.

For example, in Part Six, starting on Page 11, we learn that a senior State Department informant walked into the Washington, D.C., FBI field office on Jan. 27, 2016, upset that Comey never acknowledged receipt of crucial evidence the confidential witness had earlier provided.

Days later, Andrew McCabe was appointed deputy director of the FBI by then-President Barack Obama and tasked with oversight of the investigation into mishandling classified information by Clinton, Abedin, Mills and other key aides.

Then, we learn on Oct. 30, 2016, through a different FBI Vault disclosure, that the Department of State had found by February 2016 more than 2,000 examples of mishandled classified information during Clinton’s tenure there (see Pages 12 and 13 of the preceding link):

In February 2016, the State Department completed its review and determined that 2,115 of the 20,940 emails contain information that is presently classified.

Out of these 2,115 emails, the State Department determined that 2,028 emails contain information classified at the confidential level, 65 contain information classified at the secret level, and 22 contain information classified at the top-secret level.

Thereafter, at an undetermined date prior to October 2016, the FBI received further clarification concerning the scope of the apparent mishandling (see Page 14 of the preceding link):

The FBI sought a determination by the relevant original classification authorities as to whether certain of the 30,490 emails contained classified information at the time they were sent.

In response to the FBI’s requests for classification determinations, the relevant original classification authorities determined that 81 email chains, which the FBI investigation determined were transmitted and stored on the Clinton email server, contained classified information ranging from the confidential to top-secret/Special Account Program levels at the time they were sent between 2009 and 2013.

To recap, the State Department concluded by February 2016 that classified information resided in more than 2,000 Clinton emails that were stored on a private server located in the Chappaqua, New York, mansion she shares with former President Bill Clinton, conveniently and completely outside of mandatory government security control for years.

The FBI subsequently concluded that a significant number of Clinton’s declared emails were classified at the time they had been sent.

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Rather than inform American voters before the election, the Obama administration seems to have done its level best to bury these important facts. And they may have been aided in this cover-up by senior executives within the FBI, government employees the public expects to be scrupulously nonpartisan.

Related: Here’s Why There May Be No More Free Passes for the Clinton Foundation

When will those within government tell the American people the whole truth about Clinton’s stewardship of classified information while working as secretary of state?

And, even more to the point, can the FBI or Department of Justice management — “swamp central” — be trusted to investigate themselves?

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.

(photo credit, homepage and article images: Hillary Clinton [1], [2], cut out, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore)

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