Hillary Clinton E-Mails: State Department Releases Hundreds of Messages …

23 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Clinton Foundation Releases List of Speeches That Filled Its Coffers.

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – Top aides to former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fretted over how she would be portrayed after the 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, e-mails released on Friday showed. The Clinton Foundation, facing heavy scrutiny of its fund-raising during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, released on Thursday a list of paid speeches by the Clintons that generated at least $12 million for the organization. The e-mails from Clinton’s personal e-mail account made public by the State Department do not appear to contain any revelations that could badly damage her bid for the presidency in 2016 or provide fodder for Republicans who accuse her of being negligent before the Benghazi attacks. The email in question, forwarded to Clinton, the presumed Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, by her deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan, relates to reports of arrests in Libya of possible suspects in the attack in which four Americans were killed.

Clinton giving roughly 70 speeches since 2002, including three that brought in from $500,001 to $1 million. “Like other global charities,” Craig Minassian, a spokesman for the foundation, said on Thursday, “the Clinton Foundation receives support from individuals and organizations across all sectors of society, backgrounds and ideologies because they know our programs are improving the lives of millions of people around the world.” He continued: “In addition to the more than 300,000 donors who are all listed on our website, posting these speeches is just another example of how our disclosure policies go above and beyond what’s required of charities.” Many of the speeches had previously been reported, such as Mrs. US officials’ exact wording of the attackers’ motivation had become important because the Obama administration initially said the assaults were a spontaneous protest against an anti-Islamic film posted on the Internet.

But Friday’s redaction shows that Clinton received information considered sensitive on her unsecured personal server, which came to light just as she was beginning her presidential campaign. Clinton’s address at Hamilton College, and some drew criticism in the last two years, such as those at public universities that accept taxpayer dollars.

Clinton, campaigning in the early primary voting state of New Hampshire, said Friday she was aware that the FBI wanted some of the email to be classified, “but that doesn’t change the fact all of the information in the emails was handled appropriately.” Asked if she was concerned it was on a private server, she replied, “No.” The information was not classified at the time the email was sent but was upgraded from “unclassified” to “secret” Friday at the request of the FBI, according to State Department officials, speaking on condition of anonymity. After Clinton appeared on television the day after the Benghazi attack, Liz Sherwood-Randall, a White House official, sent a message to her via Sullivan which described Clinton’s performance as “emphatic and unflinching and inspiring; she was wise and steady and strong. They said 23 words of the Nov. 18, 2012, message were redacted from Friday’s release of 296 emails totaling 896 pages to protect information that could harm national security and damage foreign relations. Foundation officials said that the charitable contributions were different from the speeches, which are listed as revenue on financial forms because there is no tax deduction credited to the host group. My 80 year old mother called from LA to say, ‘She was like our rock of Gibraltar.’” Long a focus of Republican investigators in Congress, accusations that Clinton was negligent on Benghazi are putting her under more intense scrutiny now that she is running for the Democratic Party nomination in the 2016 presidential election.

Clinton released her personal financial disclosure, showing that she and her husband earned more than $25 million from over 100 paid speeches since January 2014. The email containing the now-classified information is at the end of a chain of communication that originated with Bill Roebuck, then director of the Office of Maghreb Affairs, that pointed out that Libyan police had arrested several people who might have connections to the attack. Representative Trey Gowdy, the Republican who heads the Benghazi probe in the House of Representatives, said the e-mails made public on Friday “continue to reinforce the fact that unresolved questions and issues remain as it relates to Benghazi.” He also complained that there was a significant gap in the e-mails between late April and July 4, 2012, a period when threats from militants in Benghazi were being more regularly reported. “The best way to answer all questions related to the attacks in Benghazi continues to be having access to the full public record, not a ‘record’ controlled, possessed and screened exclusively by Secretary Clinton’s personal lawyers,” he said. FBI in Tripoli is fully involved.” “The emails we release today do not change the essential facts or our understanding of the events before, during, or after the attacks,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf insisted.

Republican committee chairman, Trey Gowdy, said the emails were incomplete, adding that it “strains credibility” to view them as a thorough record of Clinton’s tenure. “To assume a self-selected public record is complete, when no one with a duty or responsibility to the public had the ability to take part in the selection, requires a leap in logic no impartial reviewer should be required to make,” Gowdy said. Elijah Cummings, top Democrat on the Benghazi committee, urged Republicans on the panel to schedule Clinton’s public testimony and “stop wasting taxpayer money dragging out this political charade to harm Secretary Clinton’s bid for president.”

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