Ex-State Department Official Testifies He Warned Officials About Hillary Clinton’s Emails – Concerned About Interference on Classified Benghazi Docs
Once again Judicial Watch is doing the heavy lifting.
Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch announced Tuesday that John Hackett, the former Director for Information Programs and Services at the State Department testified under oath that he voiced concern over how Hillary Clinton’s staff had “culled out 30,000” of her ‘personal’ emails
Hackett’s testimony suggests that Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi emails were actually under-classified in order to shield Hillary and to mislead Congress and the public.
Recall, Hillary Clinton told reporters back in March of 2015 that she deleted over 30,000 emails because they were personal — you know, yoga and Chelsea’s wedding.
However, the FBI was able to recover thousands of Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails that were indeed work-related.
Via Judicial Watch:
Hackett answered during the deposition that he recalled a conversation that he had when he was at the State Department about requesting rules or parameters from Secretary Clinton or her attorneys that they used to segregate her personal and official work emails.
Hackett: I recall it wasn’t much of a conversation. I — I was — I mean, I have to say, it was emphatic to the Under Secretary of Management — and I didn’t speak in tones like that very often to him — you know, that we needed these — you know, the guidelines.
Judicial Watch: And when you said, the Under Secretary, are you referring to Patrick Kennedy [then-Under Secretary of State for Management]?
Hackett: I think I might have raised it to Rich Visek, the Acting Office of Legal Advisor, or Peggy — or Margaret Grafeld [an executive-level State Department FOIA official] raised it to Rich, as well.
Judicial Watch: Why did you feel so strongly that this was necessary, that they provide this information?
Hackett: Well, we heard that there were 50,000 or 60,000 emails, and that they had – “they” being the Secretary’s team — had culled out 30,000 of these. And which is — so we wanted to know what criteria they used. The standard from the National Archives is very strict. If there was — if there were mixed records, that would be considered a federal record. If it was mixed personal and mentioned a discussion, that would be — under the narrow National Archives rules, it would be considered a federal record.
Judicial Watch: And do you know if the emails that were returned by Secretary Clinton and her attorneys, if they followed that guideline to include an email that would include mixed information, personal and official?
Hackett: I don’t know.
Judicial Watch: Was a request ever made by Patrick Kennedy or anybody else who you raised this to?
Hackett: Ambassador Kennedy told me he would ask for the — the guidelines.
Judicial Watch: Do you know if the guidelines were ever provided to Patrick Kennedy?
Hackett: Not during my tenure at the State Department.
John Hackett was also asked about his concern over approximately 300 of Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi emails that were given to Congress.
Judicial Watch: And what was — what was your concern there, if you can elaborate?
Hackett: The concern was, in the 296 that there were other agencies’ equities in those documents, you know, potentially classified information. But any release decisions — and doing a FOIA review, we would normally make a referral back to that home agency. And Ms. Duval seemed to imply that she had already done that kind of coordination. But when we asked who she had coordinated with, they were people not familiar in our regular FOIA process.
Judicial Watch: And that’s people, when you — the people you are referring to, that’s — is it within just one agency, or is that dispersed through different agencies?
Hackett: It would be different agencies.
Hackett: Again, I mean, we were familiar with the — our — our parallel shops, you know, in other agencies, similar to IPS; we knew all the players there, the other Directors of the office. And, so, we contacted them, and they have not received any referrals from her. So we wondered who she was working with.
About Hillary Clinton’s infamous BlackBerry…
Judicial Watch said that Hackett testified that his initial concern over Hillary’s email use arose in June 2013 when he said he viewed a photograph on the WTOP website of Hillary “sitting on a plane with a BlackBerry. “And that got me thinking that, well, what — what was that BlackBerry? Was it a government BlackBerry? And if so, where were the emails relating to that BlackBerry?” Hackett said.
“This disturbing testimony points to an Obama administration conspiracy to hide and destroy Hillary Clinton emails,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Even worse, the testimony suggests Clinton’s Benghazi emails were under-classified in order to protect Hillary Clinton (and mislead Congress). Attorney General Barr needs to prioritize reopening the Clinton email investigation.”
Read Judicial Watch’s full report here.
BREAKING: Former State Official Testifies He Warned Senior State Dept Officials about Clinton Emails; Concerned about Interference on Classified Clinton Benghazi Emails. One of a nearly dozen witnesses to testify to @JudicialWatch attorneys (see vid) https://t.co/FJFizf1jLJ pic.twitter.com/HBQgWniZHC
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) July 2, 2019
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