The Obama State Department last week admitted it withheld a key Benghazi email of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from Judicial Watch since at least September 2014. If the State Department disclosed the email when first supposedly found, Clinton’s email server and her hidden emails would have been disclosed nearly two years ago, before Clinton authorized the alleged deletion of tens of thousands of emails.
Copies of any updates and/or talking points given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency concerning, regarding, or related to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Any and all records or communications concerning, regarding, or relating to talking points or updates on the Benghazi attack given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency.
Also, upon further review, the Department has determined that one document previously withheld in full in our letter dated November 12, 2014 may now be released in part.
The referenced November 12, 2014, letter does not reference any withheld emails. A search declaration suggests the hidden email was found in September 2014 as a result of a search in response to Judicial Watch’s lawsuit.
The September 29, 2012, email to Clinton from then-Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan concerns talking points for Clinton calls with senators about the Benghazi attack. The email contains Clinton’s non-state.gov address.
It is in this litigation that U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth granted “limited discovery” to Judicial Watch into Clinton’s and her aides’ email practices. Judge Lamberth ruled that “where there is evidence of government wrong-doing and bad faith, as here, limited discovery is appropriate, even though it is exceedingly rare in FOIA cases.” (U.S. District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan also granted Judicial Watch discovery into the Clinton email matter. The discovery plan, agreed to by the State Department, is awaiting Judge Sullivan’s approval.)
Last week’s document production also includes material from a records cache of thousands of new Clinton State Department records supposedly only discovered in December 2015. The new material shows the State Department compiled extensive Libya/Benghazi-related dossiers on Republican and Democrat senators.
“Now we know the Obama administration consciously refused to give up key information about Hillary Clinton’s email in 2014. It covered up this email both from the court and Judicial Watch,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Judge Lamberth was right when he suggested that Obama’s State Department acted in bad faith. This cover-up provided Hillary Clinton enough time to hide potentially thousands of government records. One aim of our court-order discovery will be to get to the bottom of this cover-up.”
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APRIL 25, 2016–(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released new State Department Hillary Clinton documents that contain a “call sheet” background document for Clinton that called the Benghazi attackers “armed extremists.” The documents also include a copy of Hillary Clinton’s schedule that shows she met with then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice and attended a meeting in the White House situation room before the arrival ceremony for the remains of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty.
The documents also detail for the first time that Turkish officials provided intelligence on the attack and offered to “shelter” Americans in the Benghazi residence of the Turkish Consul General. The documents confirm earlier reports that the Obama administration relied upon Turkey to be the “protecting power,” safeguarding the lives of Americans in Libya after the closure of the American embassy in 2011.
- All records related to notes, updates, or reports created in response to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. special mission compound in Benghazi, Libya. This request includes, but is not limited to, notes taken by then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or employees of the Office of the Secretary of State during the attack and its immediate aftermath.
A September 11, 2012, call sheet states: “Armed extremists attacked U.S. [special mission compound in] Benghazi on September 11, setting fire to the Principal Officer’s Residence and killing at least one American mission staff, Information Management Officer Sean Smith, on TDY from The Hague.” Unlike other call sheets, the agency withholds the identity of the foreign leader for whom the Benghazi background information was prepared. The State Department cites three exemptions for the block of text that includes the name of the person she called: E.O. 13526, Sec. 1.4(d), which allows for the classification of information related to foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources; FOIA Exemption b(1), which allows for the withholding of properly classified material; and FOIA Exemption b(5), which protects inter- or intra-agency communication that is deliberative/pre-decisional in nature.
A copy of Hillary Clinton’s schedule for September 14, 2012, shows she met with then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice in the morning and attended a meeting in the White House situation room in the afternoon just before attending the arrival ceremony for the remains of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty. The families of those killed at Benghazi claim that at the memorial service Clinton blamed an internet video for the attack. She is alleged to have promised the father of Tyrone Woods to “have the filmmaker arrested who was responsible for the death of your son.”
Days after her weekly meeting with Clinton, Rice appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News and CNN still claiming the assaults occurred “spontaneously” in response to the “hateful video.” On Sunday, September 16 Rice told CBS’s “Face the Nation:”
In 2014, Judicial Watch famously uncovered that Rice’s talking points originated with the Obama White House, which directly led to the creation of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
The latest documents also include a September 15 “Secretary’s Call Sheet for Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu,” in which State Department Near Eastern Affairs Acting Assistant Secretary Beth Jones informed Clinton:
Background: Given Turkey’s presence in Benghazi [Redacted] reached out to U/S Sinirlioglu September 11 to ask for Turkey’s assistance in obtaining details of the breaking situation at the U.S. Consulate General Benghazi. Both the Turkish Ambassador to Libya and the Turkish Consul General in Benghazi quickly engaged Libyan officials and provided details of the attack, and the Consul offered to shelter any American at his residence in Benghazi.
This is the second production of documents from a records cache of thousands of new Clinton State Department records supposedly only discovered in December 2015. The first batch of records, released earlier this month by Judicial Watch, include documents from the Department of State containing the telephone transcripts from the evening of September 11, 2012, in which then-Secretary of State Clinton informs then-Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil that the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi “had nothing to do with the film.” Those documents include previously unreleased telephone transcripts with world leaders about the Benghazi attack. As The Washington Free Beacon first noted, the State Department admitted in a court filing in an related case that the records were removed from the secretary of state’s office in April 2015, despite pending congressional subpoenas and Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.
The State Department documents also confirm U.S. personnel in Libya had been forced by the Obama administration to rely upon Turkey as the “protecting power” overseeing their safety. According to the September 15 Secretary’s Call Sheet given to Clinton:
Turkey served as our protecting power in Libya after we closed our Embassy in Libya in 2011. The-Turkish Ambassador to Libya, Salim Levent Sahinkaya, was instrumental in securing the release and safe departure of several Americans being held in Libya by Qadhafi forces in March 2011. You presented him with an award during your June 7 trip to Istanbul.
“No wonder the Obama administration hid these documents for nearly four years. These new Benghazi documents show again that Hillary Clinton was told ‘extremists’ – the Obama administration’s term for terrorists – were behind the Benghazi attack,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Her curiously-timed meetings with Rice and the White House just before she personally lied to the Benghazi victims’ families again bring the Obama White House into the center of the continuing scandal.”
In December 2015, Judicial Watch released documents obtained in the same FOIA lawsuit then-Department of Defense Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash to State Department leadership immediately offering “forces that could move to Benghazi” during the terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. In an email sent to top Department of State officials, at 7:19 p.m. ET, only hours after the attack had begun, Bash says, “we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak.”
At 10:08 p.m. on September 11, Mrs. Clinton issued an official State Department press statement, which Judicial Watch uncovered was approved by the White House, placing the blame for the attack on an Internet video:
Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.
And on September 20, 2012, Clinton appeared with Obama in a commercial made for Pakistani television in which she once again blamed the video. According to an ABC News report at the time, “The television ads in Pakistan feature clips of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during press appearances in Washington in which they condemned the video. Their words were subtitled in Urdu. A caption on the ad reads: ‘Paid Content.’” Less than one week later, Obama gave a lengthy speech at the United Nations claiming that “a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.”
WASH EXAMINER- Watchdog: New document shows State hid Clinton’s private email
By Pete Kasperowicz (@PeteKDCNews) • 4/26/16 11:45 AM The public accountability group Judicial Watch said Tuesday that a newly released document from the State Department shows that the agency may have deliberately tried to delay the discovery of Hillary Clinton’s private email address.
That private email address led to the discovery of her own private server, which Clinton used to conduct business when she was secretary of state. It also led to fears that sensitive information on those emails may have been subject to cyberattacks on her less-secure home server.
Judicial Watch on Tuesday released a letter the State Department sent the group last week. State’s letter said it has agreed to release a 2012 email that was sent to Clinton’s private address.
“[U]pon further review, the department has determined that one document previously withheld in full in our letter dated November 12, 2014 may now be released in part,” the State Department said in its April 18 letter.
The Sept. 29, 2012, email is almost fully redacted, but it shows the email was sent to Clinton’s private email address, “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Judicial Watch says the State Department withheld that email in a Nov. 12, 2014, letter to the group, and argued that decision appears to be aimed at hiding Clinton’s private email.
“Now we know the Obama administration consciously refused to give up key information about Hillary Clinton’s email in 2014. It covered up this email both from the court and Judicial Watch,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Clinton’s use of a private email was first reported on March 1, 2015, nearly four months after State refused to give over the now unclassified email to Judicial Watch. Clinton offered her first public explanation of her use of a private email just days later, on March 10 of last year.
Fitton said the new disclosure shows that the State Department “acted in bad faith,” and said it also gave Clinton more time to selectively delete thousands of emails on her server.
“One aim of our court-order discovery will be to get to the bottom of this cover-up,” Fitton said.
source–judicial watch, jeremy bash, beth jones, hisham kandill, wash free beacon, pete kasperowicz