Full Text Political Transcripts July 11, 2017: Donald Trump, Jr. Russia Meeting Emails 

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

Donald Trump, Jr. Russia Meeting Emails

On Jun 3, 2016, at 10:36 AM, Rob Goldstone wrote:

Good morning

Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.

The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin.

What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly?

I can also send this info to your father via Rhona, but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.

Best

Rob Goldstone

This iphone speaks many languages

This e-mail message, and any attachments to it, are for the sole use of the intended recipients, and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution of this email message or its attachments is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message. Please note that any views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. Finally, while the company uses virus protection, the recipient should check this email and any attachments for the presence of viruses. The company accepts no liability for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this email

On Jun 3, 2016, at 10:53, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:

Thanks Rob I appreciate that. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?

Best,

Don

Sent from my iPhone

From: Rob Goldstone

Sent: Monday, June 06, 2016 12:40 PM

To: Donald Trump J

Subject: Re: Russia – Clinton – private and confidential

Hi Don

Let me know when you are free to talk with Emin by phone about this Hillary info – you had mentioned early this week so wanted to try to schedule a time and day Best to you and family Rob Goldstone

This iphone speaks many languages

On Jun 6, 2016, at 15:03, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:

Rob could we speak now?

d

Donald J. Trump Jr.

Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions The Trump Organization

725 Fifth Avenue | New York, NY | 10022 | trump.com

From: Rob Goldstone

Sent: Monday, June 06, 2016 3:37 PM

To: Donald Trump Jr.

Subject: Re: Russia – Clinton – private and confidential

Let me track him down in Moscow

What number he could call?

This iphone speaks many languages

On Jun 6, 2016, at 15:38, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:

My cell [REDACTED] thanks

d

Donald J. Trump Jr.

Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions The Trump Organization

725 Fifth Avenue | New York, NY 10022 | trump.com

On Jun 6, 2016, at 3:43 PM, Rob Goldstone wrote:

Ok he’s on stage in Moscow but should be off within 20 Minutes so I am sure can call Rob

This iphone speaks many languages

On Jun 6, 2016, at 16:38, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:

Rob thanks for the help.

D

On Jun 7, 2016, at 4:20 PM, Rob Goldstone wrote:

Don

Hope all is well

Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and The Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday.

I believe you are aware of the meeting – and so wondered if 3pm or later on Thursday works for you?

I assume it would be at your office.

Best

Rob Goldstone

This iphone speaks many languages

On Jun 7, 2016, at 5:16 PM, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:

How about 3 at our offices? Thanks rob appreciate you helping set it up.

D

Sent from my iPhone

On Jun 7, 2016, at 5:19 PM, Rob Goldstone wrote:

Perfect won’t sit in on the meeting, but will bring them at 3pm and introduce you etc.

I will send the names of the two people meeting with you for security when I have them later today.

best

Rob

On Jun 7, 2016, at 18:14, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:

Great. It will likely be Paul Manafort (campaign boss) my brother in law and me, 725 Fifth Ave 25th floor.

Sent from my iPhone

From: Rob Goldstone

Sent: Wednesday June 08, 2016 10:34 AM

To: Donald Trump Jr.

Subject: Re: Russia – Clinton – private and confidential

Good morning

Would it be possible to move tomorrow meeting to 4pm as the Russian attorney is in court until 3 i was just informed.

Best

Rob

This iphone speaks many languages

On Jun 8, 2016, at 11:15, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:

Yes Rob I could do that unless they wanted to do 3 today instead… just let me know and ill lock it in either way.

d

Donald J. Trump Jr. Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions The Trump Organization 725 Fifth Avenue | New York, NY 10022

From: Rob Goldstone

Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2016 11:18 AM

To: Donald Trump Jr.

Subject: Re: Russia – Clinton – private and confidential

They can’t do today as she hasn’t landed yet from Moscow 4pm is great tomorrow.

Best

Rob

This iphone speaks many languages

From: Donald Trump Jr.

Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2016 12:03 PM

To: Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort

Subject: FW: Russia – Clinton – private and confidential

Meeting got moved to 4 tomorrow at my offices.

Best,

Don

Donald J. Trump Jr. Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions The Trump Organization 725 Fifth Avenue | New York, NY | 10022 n | trump.com

Comment posted by Donald Trump Jr. on Twitter on July 11, 2017

To everyone, in order to be totally transparent, I am releasing the entire email chain of my emails with Rob Goldstone about the meeting on June 9, 2016. The first email on June 3, 2016 was from Rob, who was relating a request from Emin, a person I knew from the 2013 Ms. Universe Pageant near Moscow. Emin and his father have a very highly respected company in Moscow. The information they suggested they had about Hillary Clinton I thought was Political Opposition Research. I first wanted to just have a phone call but when that didn’t work out, they said the woman would be in New York and asked if I would meet. I decided to take the meeting. The woman, as she has said publicly, was not a government official. And, as we have said, she had no information to provide and wanted to talk about adoption policy and the Magnitsky Act. To put this in context, this occurred before the current Russian fever was in vogue. As Rob Goldstone said just today in the press, the entire meeting was “the most inane nonsense l ever heard. And I was actually agitated by it.”

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Full Text Political Transcripts June 8, 2017: President Donald Trump’s lawyer Marc Kasowitz’s statement on James Comey Senate hearing

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

President Donald Trump’s lawyer’s statement on Comey Senate hearing

Source: CNN, 6-8-17

I am Marc Kasowitz, President Trump’s personal lawyer.

Contrary to numerous false press accounts leading up to today’s hearing, Mr. Comey has now finally confirmed publicly what he repeatedly told the President privately: The President was not under investigation as part of any probe into Russian interference. He also admitted that there is no evidence that a single vote changed as a result of any Russian interference.
Mr Comey’s testimony also makes clear that the President never sought to impede the investigation into attempted Russian interference in the 2016 election, and in fact, according to Mr. Comey, the President told Mr. Comey “it would be good to find out” in that investigation if there were “some ‘satellite’ associates of his who did something wrong.” And he did not exclude anyone from that statement.
Consistent with that statement, the President never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including suggesting that that Mr. Comey”let Flynn go.” As he publicly stated the next day, he did say to Mr. Comey, “General Flynn is a good guy, he has been through a lot” and also “asked how is General Flynn is doing.” Admiral Rogers testified that the President never “directed [him] to do anything . . . illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate” and never “pressured [him] to do so.” Director Coates said the same thing. The President likewise never pressured Mr. Comey. .
The President also never told Mr. Comey, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty” in form or substance. Of course, the Office of the President is entitled to expect loyalty from those who are serving in an administration, and, from before this President took office to this day, it is overwhelmingly clear that there have been and continue to be those in government who are actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications. Mr. Comey has now admitted that he is one of these leakers.
Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President. The leaks of this privileged information began no later than March 2017 when friends of Mr. Comey have stated he disclosed to them the conversations he had with the President during their January 27, 2017 dinner and February 14, 2017 White House meeting. Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he leaked to friends his purported memos of these privileged conversations, one of which he testified was classified. He also testified that immediately after he was terminated he authorized his friends to leak the contents of these memos to the press in order to “prompt the appointment of a special counsel.” Although Mr. Comey testified he only leaked the memos in response to a tweet, the public record reveals that the New York Times was quoting from these memos the day before the referenced tweet, which belies Mr. Comey’s excuse for this unauthorized disclosure of privileged information and appears to entirely retaliatory. We will leave it the appropriate authorities to determine whether this leaks should be investigated along with all those others being investigated. .
​ In sum, it is now established that there the President was not being investigated for colluding with the or attempting to obstruct that investigation. As the Committee pointed out today, these important facts for the country to know are virtually the only facts that have not leaked during the long course of these events. As he said yesterday, the President feels completely vindicated and is eager to continue moving forward with his agenda with this public cloud removed. Thank you.

Full Text Political Transcripts June 8, 2017: James Comey testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Trump and Russia

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

Full text: James Comey testimony transcript on Trump and Russia

Source: Politico, 6-8-17

A transcript of former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8.

SEN. RICHARD BURR: I call this hearing to order. Director Comey, I appreciate your willingness to appear before the committee today, and more importantly I thank you for your dedicated service and leadership to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Your appearance today speaks to the trust we have built over the years and I’m looking forward to a very open and candid discussion today. I’d like to remind my colleagues that we will reconvene in closed session at 1:00 P.M. today, and I ask that you reserve for that venue any questions that might get into classified information. The director has been very gracious with his time, the vice chairman and I worked out a very specific timeline for his commitment to be on the hill, so we will do everything we can to meet that agreement.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence exists to certify for the other 85 members of the United States Senate and the American people that the intelligence community is operating lawfully, and has the necessary authorities and tools to accomplish its mission, and keep America safe. Part of our mission, beyond the oversight we continue to provide to the intelligence community and its activities, is to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. The committee’s work continues. This hearing represents part of that effort. Jim, allegations have been swirling in the press for the last several weeks and today is your opportunity to set the record straight. Yesterday, I read with interest your statement for the record, and I think it provides some helpful details surrounding your interactions with the president. It clearly lays out your understanding of those discussions, actions you took following each conversation and your state of mind.

I very much appreciate your candor, and I think it provides helpful details surrounding your interactions with the president. It clearly lays out your understanding of those discussions, actions you took following each conversation and your state of mind.

I very much appreciate your candor, and I think it’s helpful as we work through to determine the ultimate truth behind possible Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Your statement also provides texture and context to your interactions with the president, from your vantage point, and outlines a strained relationship. The American people need to hear your side of the story, just as they need to hear the president’s descriptions of events. These interactions also highlight the importance of the committee’s ongoing investigation. Our experienced staff is interviewing all relevant parties and some of the most sensitive intelligence in our country’s possession. We will establish the facts separate from rampant speculation and lay them out for the American people to make their own judgment.

Only then will we as a nation be able to move forward and to put this episode to rest. There are several outstanding issues not addressed in your statement that I hope you’ll clear up for the American people today. Did the president’s request for loyalty, your impression, let the one-on-one dinner of January 27th was and I quote “at least in part” an effort to create some patronage relationship and March 30th phone call asking what you could do to lift the cloud of Russia investigation in any way alter your approach of the FBI’s investigation into general Flynn or the broader investigation into Russia, and possible links to the campaign? In your opinion did potential Russian efforts to establish a link with individuals in the Trump orbit rise to the level we could define as collusion or was it a counter-intelligence concern? There’s been a significant public speculation about your decision-making related to the Clinton email investigation. Why did you decide publicly, to publicly announce, FBI’s recommendations that the Department of Justice not pursue criminal charges? You have described it as a choice between a bad decision and a worse decision. The American people need to understand the facts behind your action. This committee is uniquely suited to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections. We also have a unified bipartisan approach to what is a highly charged partisan issue. Russian activities during 2016 election may have been aimed at one party’s candidate, but as my colleague senator Rubio says frequently, in 2018 and 2020, it could be aimed at anyone, at home or abroad.

My colleague, Senator Warner and I, have worked to stay in lock step on this investigation. We’ve had our differences on approach, at times, but I’ve constantly stressed that we need to be a team, and I think Senator Warner agrees with me. We must keep these questions above politics and partisanship. It’s too important to be tainted by anyone trying to score political points. With that, again, I welcome you director, and I turn to the vice chairman for any comments he might have.

SEN. MARK WARNER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman and let me start by again absolutely thanking all the members of the committee for the seriousness in which they’ve taken on this task. Mr. Comey, thank you for agreeing to come testify as part of this committee’s investigation into Russia. I realize this hearing has been obviously the focus of a lot of Washington, in the last few days. But the truth is, many Americans who may be tuning in today probably haven’t focused on every twist and turn of the investigation. So I’d like to briefly describe, at least from this senator’s standpoint, what we already know, and what we’re still investigating. To be clear, this investigation is not about relitigating the election. It’s not about who won or lost. And it sure as heck is not about Democrats versus Republicans. We are here because a foreign adversary attacked us right here at home, plain and simple. Not by guns or missiles, but by foreign operatives seeking to hijack our most important democratic process, our presidential election. Russian spies engaged in a series of online cyber raids, and a broad campaign of disinformation, all ultimately aimed at sowing chaos to undermine public faith in our process, in our leadership, and ultimately in ourselves.

And that’s not just this senator’s opinion. It is the unanimous determination of the entire U.S. intelligence community. So we must find out the full story, what the Russians did, and candidly as some other colleagues mentioned, why they were so successful, and more importantly we must determine the necessary steps to take to protect our democracy and ensure they can’t do it again. The chairman mentioned elections in 2018 and 2020, in my home state of Virginia, we have elections this year in 2017. Simply put, we cannot let anything or anyone prevent us from getting to the bottom of this. Now Mr. Comey, let me say at the outset, we haven’t always agreed on every issue. In fact I’ve occasionally questioned some of the actions you’ve taken, but I’ve never had any reason to question your integrity, your expertise, or your intelligence. You’ve been a straight shooter with this committee and have been willing to speak truth to power, even at the risk of your own career, which makes the way in which you were fired by the president ultimately shocking. Recall we began this entire process with the president and his staff first denying that the Russians were ever involved and then falsely claiming that no one from his team was ever in touch with any Russians. We know that’s just not the truth. Numerous Trump associates had undisclosed contacts with Russians before and after the election, including the president’s attorney general, his former national security adviser and his current senior adviser, Mr. Kushner. That doesn’t even begin to count the host of additional campaign associates and advisers who have also been caught up in this massive web.

We saw Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Mr. Manafort, forced to step down over ties to Russian back entities. The national security adviser, General Flynn, had to resign over his lies about engagements with the Russians, and we saw the candidate himself express an odd and unexplained affection for the Russian dictator while calling for the hacking of his opponent. There’s a lot to investigate. Enough, in fact, that director Comey publicly acknowledged that he was leading an investigation into those links between Mr. Trump’s campaign and the Russian government. As the director of the FBI, Mr. Comey was ultimately responsible for conducting that investigation, which might explain why you’re sitting now as a private citizen. What we do know was at the same time that this investigation was proceeding, the president himself appears to have been engaged in an effort to influence or at least co-opt the director of the FBI. The testimony Mr. Comey submitted for today’s hearing is very disturbing. For example, on January 27th, after summoning Director Comey to dinner, the president appears to have threatened director’s job while telling him “I need loyalty. I expect loyalty.” At a later meeting, on February 14th, the president asked the attorney general to leave the Oval Office, so that he could privately ask Director Comey again “To see way clear to letting Flynn go.” That is a statement that Director Comey interpreted as a request that he drop the investigation connected to general Flynn’s false statements.

Think about it. The president of the United States asking the FBI Director to drop an ongoing investigation. And after that, the president called the FBI Director on two additional occasions, March 30th and April 11th and asked him again “To lift the cloud on the Russian investigation.” Now, Director Comey denied each of these improper requests. The loyalty pledge, the admonition to drop the Flynn investigation, the request to lift the cloud on the Russian investigation. Of course, after his refusals, Director Comey was fired. The initial explanation for the firing didn’t pass any smell test. So now Director Comey was fired because he didn’t treat Hillary Clinton appropriately.

Of course that explanation lasted about a day, because the president himself then made very clear that he was thinking about Russia when he decided to fire Director Comey. Shockingly, reports suggest that the president admitted as much in an Oval Office meeting with the Russians the day after director Comey was fired. Disparaging our country’s top law enforcement official as a “nutjob,” the president allegedly suggested that his firing relieved great pressure on his feelings about Russia. This is not happening in isolation. At the same time, the president was engaged in these efforts with Director Comey, he was also at least allegedly asking senior leaders of the intelligence community to downplay the Russia investigation or to intervene with the director. Yesterday we had DNI Director Coats and NSA Director Admiral Rogers, who were offered a number of opportunities to flatly deny those press reports. They expressed their opinions, but they did not take that opportunity to deny those reports. They did not take advantage of that opportunity. My belief, that’s not how the President of the United States should behave. Regardless of the outcome of our investigation into the Russia links, Director Comey’s firing and his testimony raise separate and troubling questions that we must get to the bottom of. Again, as I said at the outset, I’ve seen firsthand how seriously every member of this committee is taking his work. I’m proud of the committee’s efforts so far. Let me be clear. This is not a witch hunt. This is not fake news. It is an effort to protect our I can from a new threat that quite honestly will not go away any time soon.

So Mr. Comey, your testimony here today will help us move towards that goal. I look forward to that testimony. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

BURR: Thank you, vice chairman. Director has discussed when you agreed to appear before the committee it would be under oath. I’d ask you to please stand. Raise your right hand.

Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god?

FORMER FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY: I do.

BURR: Please be seated. Director Comey you’re now under oath. And I would just note to members, you will be recognized by seniority for a period up to seven minutes, and again, it is the intent to move to a closed session no later than 1:00 P.M. With that director Comey, you are recognized, you have the floor for as long as you might need.

COMEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, ranking member Warner, members of the committee, thank you for inviting me here to testify today. I’ve submitted my statement for the record, and I’m not going to repeat it here this morning. I thought I would just offer some very brief introductory remarks and I would welcome your questions. When I was appointed FBI Director in 2013, I understood that I served at the pleasure of the president. Even though I was appointed to a 10-year term, which Congress created in order to underscore the importance of the FBI being outside of politics and independent, I understood that I could be fired by a president for any reason or for no reason at all. And on May the ninth, when I learned that I had been fired, for that reason I immediately came home as a private citizen. But then the explanations, the shifting explanations, confused me and increasingly concerned me. They confused me because the president and I had had multiple conversations about my job, both before and after he took office, and he had repeatedly told me I was doing a great job, and he hoped I would stay. And I had repeatedly assured him that I did intend to stay and serve out the years of my term. He told me repeatedly that he had talked to lots of people about me, including our current Attorney General, and had learned that I was doing a great job, and that I was extremely well-liked by the FBI workforce.

So it confused me when I saw on television the president saying that he actually fired me because of the Russia investigation, and learned again from the media that he was telling privately other parties that my firing had relieved great pressure on the Russian investigation. I was also confused by the initial explanation that was offered publicly that I was fired because of the decisions I had made during the election year. That didn’t make sense to me for a whole bunch of reasons, including the time and all the water that had gone under the bridge since those hard decisions that had to be made. That didn’t make any sense to me. And although the law required no reason at all to fire an FBI director, the administration then chose to defame me and more importantly the FBI by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader. Those were lies, plain and simple. And I am so sorry that the FBI workforce had to hear them, and I’m so sorry that the American people were told them.

I worked every day at the FBI to help make that great organization better, and I say help, because I did nothing alone at the FBI. There no indispensable people at the FBI. The organization’s great strength is that its values and abilities run deep and wide. The FBI will be fine without me. The FBI’s mission will be relentlessly pursued by its people, and that mission is to protect the American people and uphold the constitution of the United States. I will deeply miss being part of that mission, but this organization and its mission will go on long beyond me and long beyond any particular administration. I have a message before I close for my former colleagues of the FBI but first I want the American people to know this truth. The FBI is honest. The FBI is strong. And the FBI is and always will be independent. And now to my former colleagues, if I may. I am so sorry that I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to you properly. It was the nor of my life to serve beside you, to be part of the FBI family, and I will miss it for the rest of my life. Thank you for standing watch. Thank you for doing so much good for this country. Do that good as long as ever you can. And senators, I look forward to your questions.

BURR: Director, thank you for that testimony, both oral and the written testimony that you provided to the committee yesterday and made public to the American people. The chair would recognize himself first for 12 minutes, vice chair for 12 minutes, based upon the agreement we have. Director, did the special counsel’s office review and/or edit your written testimony?

COMEY: No.

BURR: Do you have any doubt that Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 elections?

COMEY: None.

BURR: Do you have any doubt that the Russian government was behind the intrusions in the D triple C systems and the subsequent leaks of that information?

COMEY: No, no doubt.

BURR: Do you have any doubt the Russian government was behind the cyber intrusion in the state voter files?

COMEY: No.

BURR: Are you confident that no votes cast in the 2016 presidential election were altered?

COMEY: I’m confident. When I left as director I had seen no indication of that whatsoever.

BURR: Director Comey, did the president at any time ask you to stop the FBI investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. Elections?

COMEY: Not to my understanding, no.

BURR: Did any individual working for this administration, including the justice department, ask you to stop the Russian investigation?

COMEY: No.

BURR: Director, when the president requested that you, and I quote “Let Flynn go,” General Flynn had an unreported contact with the Russians, which is an offense, and if press accounts are right, there might have been discrepancies between facts and his FBI testimony. In your estimation, was general Flynn at that time in serious legal jeopardy, and in addition to that, do you sense that the president was trying to obstruct justice or just seek for a way for Mike Flynn to save face, given that he had already been fired?

COMEY: General Flynn at that point in time was in legal jeopardy. There was an open FBI criminal investigation of his statements in connection with the Russian contacts, and the contacts themselves, and so that was my assessment at the time. I don’t think it’s for me to say whether the conversation I had with the president was an effort to obstruct. I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning, but that’s a conclusion I’m sure the special counsel will work towards to try and understand what the intention was there, and whether that’s an offense.

BURR: Director, is it possible that, as part of this FBI investigation, the FBI could find evidence of criminality that is not tied to the 2016 elections, possible collusion, or coordination with Russians?

COMEY: Sure.

BURR: So there could be something that fits a criminal aspect to this that doesn’t have anything to do with the 2016 election cycle?

COMEY: Correct, in any complex investigation, when you start turning over rocks, sometimes you find things that are unrelated to the primary investigation that are criminal in nature.

BURR: Director, Comey, you have been criticized publicly for the decision to present your findings on the email investigation directly to the American people. Have you learned anything since that time that would have changed what you said or how you chose to inform the American people?

COMEY: Honestly, no. It caused a whole lot of personal pain for me but as I look back, given what I knew at the time and even what I’ve learned since, I think it was the best way to try to protect the justice institution, including the FBI.

BURR: In the public domain is this question of the “steel dossier,” a document that has been around out in for over a year. I’m not sure when the FBI first took possession of it, but the media had it before you had it and we had it. At the time of your departure from the FBI, was the FBI able to confirm any criminal allegations contained in the steel document?

COMEY: Mr. Chairman, I don’t think that’s a question I can answer in an open setting because it goes into the details of the investigation.

BURR: Director, the term we hear most often is collusion. When people are describing possible links between Americans and Russian government entities related to the interference in our election, would you say that it’s Normal for foreign governments to reach out to members of an incoming administration?

COMEY: Yes.

BURR: At what point does the normal contact cross the line into an attempt to recruit agents or influence or spies?

COMEY: Difficult to say in the abstract. It depends upon the context, whether there’s an effort to keep it covert, what the nature of the request made of the American by the foreign government are. It’s a judgment call based on a whole lot of facts.

BURR: At what point would that recruitment become a counterintelligence threat to our country?

COMEY: Again, difficult to answer in the abstract, but when a foreign power is using especially coercion, or some sort of pressure to try and co-opt an American, especially a government official, to act on its behalf, that’s a serious concern to the FBI and at the heart of the FBI’s counterintelligence mission.

BURR: So if you’ve got a 36-page document of specific claims that are out there, the FBI would have to for counter intelligence reasons, try to verify anything that might be claimed in there, one, and probably first and foremost, is the counterintelligence concerns that we have about blackmail. Would that be an accurate statement?

COMEY: Yes. If the FBI receives a credible allegation that there is some effort to co-opt, coerce, direct, employee covertly an American on behalf of the foreign power, that’s the basis on which a counterintelligence investigation is opened.

BURR: And when you read the dossier, what was your reaction, given that it was 100% directed at the president-elect?

COMEY: Not a question I can answer in open setting, Mr. Chairman.

BURR: Okay. When did you become aware of the cyber intrusion?

COMEY: The first cyber — there was all kinds of cyber intrusions going on all the time. The first Russian-connected cyber intrusion I became aware of in the late summer of 2015.

BURR: And in that time frame, there were more than the DNC and the D triple C that were targets?

COMEY: Correct, a massive effort to target government and nongovernmental, near governmental agencies like nonprofits.

BURR: What would be the estimate of how many entities out there the Russians specifically targeted in that time frame?

COMEY: It’s hundreds. I suppose it could be more than 1,000, but it’s at least hundreds.

BURR: When did you become aware that data had been exfiltrated?

COMEY: I’m not sure exactly. I think either late ’15 or early ’16.

BURR: And did you, the director of the FBI, have conversations with the last administration about the risk that this posed?

COMEY: Yes.

BURR: And share with us, if you will, what actions they took.

COMEY: Well, the FBI had already undertaken an effort to notify all the victims, and that’s what we consider the entities attacked as part of this massive spear-phishing campaign so we notified them in an effort to disrupt what might be ongoing, and then there was a series of continuing interactions with entities through the rest of ’15 into ’16, and then throughout ’16, the administration was trying to decide how to respond to the intrusion activity that it saw.

BURR: And the FBI in this case, unlike other cases that you might investigate, did you ever have access to the actual hardware that was hacked, or did you have to rely on a third party to provide you the day that that they had collected?

COMEY: In the case of the DNC, and I believe the D triple C, but I’m sure the DNC, we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic information from a private party, a high class entity, that had done the work but we didn’t get direct access.

BURR: But no content.

COMEY: Correct.

BURR: Isn’t content an important part of the forensics from a counter-intelligence standpoint?

COMEY: It is but what was briefed to me by the people who were my folks at the time is that they had gotten the information from the private party that they needed to understand the intrusion by the spring of 2016.

BURR: Let me go back if I can very briefly to the decision to publicly go out with your results on the email. Was your decision influenced by the attorney general’s tarmac meeting with the former president, Bill Clinton?

COMEY: Yes. In ultimately conclusive way that was the thing that capped it for me, that I had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation, which meant both the FBI and the justice department.

BURR: Were there other things that contributed to that, that you can describe in an open session?

COMEY: There were other things that contributed to that. One significant item I can’t but know the committee’s been briefed on, there’s been some public accounts of it which are nonsense but I understand the committee has been briefed on the classified facts. Probably the only other consideration that I guess I can talk about in open setting is that at one point the attorney general had directed me not to call it an investigation, but instead to call it a matter, which confused me and concerned me, but that was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude I have to step away from the department if we’re to close this case credibly.

BURR: Director, my last question, you’re not only a seasoned prosecutor. You’ve led the FBI for years. You understand the investigative process. You’ve worked with this committee closely, and we’re grateful to you, because I think we’ve mutually built trust in what your organization does, and what we do. Is there any doubt in your mind that this committee carry out its oversight role in the 2016 Russia involvement with the elections in parallel with the now special counsel set up?

COMEY: No, no doubt. It can be done. Requires lots of conversations but Bob Mueller is one of the this country’s great, great pros and I’m sure you’ll be able to work it out with him to run it in parallel.

BURR: Thank you. I turn it over to the vice chairman.

WARNER: Thank you, director Comey, again, for your service. Your comments to your FBI family, I know were heartfelt. Know that there are some in the administration who tried to smear your reputation. You had Acting Director McCabe in public testimony a few weeks back, and in public testimony yesterday reaffirm that the vast majority in FBI community had great trust in your leadership, and obviously trust in your integrity. I want to go through a number of the meetings that you referenced in your testimony, and let’s start with the January 6th meeting in Trump Tower, where you went up with a series of officials to brief the President-elect on the Russia investigation. My understanding is you remained afterwards to brief him, on again, “Some personally sensitive aspects of the information you relayed.” Now you said after that briefing you felt compelled to document that conversation that you actually started documenting it as soon as you got into the car.

Now you’ve had extensive experience at the department of justice and at the FBI. You’ve worked under presidents of both parties. What was about that meeting that led you to determine that you needed to start putting down a written record?

COMEY: A combination of things. I think the circumstances, the subject matter, and the person I was interacting with. Circumstances, first, I was alone with the president of the United States, or the president-elect, soon to be president. The subject matter I was talking about matters that touch on the FBI’s core responsibility, and that relate to the president, president-elect personally, and then the nature of the person. I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting so I thought it important to document. That combination of things I had never experienced before, but had led me to believe I got to write it down and write it down in a very detailed way.

WARNER: I think that’s a very important statement you just made. Then, unlike your dealings with presidents of either parties in your past experience, in every subsequent meeting or conversation with this president, you created a written record. Did you feel that you needed to create this written record of these memos, because they might need to be relied on at some future date?

COMEY: Sure. I created records after conversations that I think I did it after each of our nine conversations. If I didn’t, I did it for nearly all of them especially the ones that were substantive. I knew there might come a day when I would need a record of what had happened, not just to defend myself, but to defend the FBI and our integrity as an institution and the Independence of our investigative function. That’s what made this so difficult is it was a combination of circumstances, subject matter and the particular person.

WARNER: And so in all your experience, this was the only president that you felt like in every meeting you needed to document because at some point, using your words, he might put out a non-truthful representation of that meeting.

COMEY: That’s right, senator. As I said, as FBI director I interacted with President Obama, I spoke only twice in three years, and didn’t document it. When I was Deputy Attorney General I had a one one-on-one with President Bush been I sent an email to my staff but I didn’t feel with president bush the need to document it in that I way. Again, because of the combination of those factors, just wasn’t present with either President Bush or President Obama.

WARNER: I think that is very significant. I think others will probably question that. Now, the chairman and I have requested those memos. It is our hope that the FBI will get this committee access to those memos so again, we can read that contemporaneous rendition so that we’ve got your side of the story. Now I know members have said and press have said that a great deal has been made whether the president asked and indicated whether the president was the subject of any investigation, and my understanding is prior to your meeting on January 6th, you discussed with your leadership team whether you should be prepared to assure then President-elect Trump that the FBI was not investigating him personally. Now, I understand that your leadership team, agreed with that but was that a unanimous decision? Was there any debate about that?

COMEY: Wasn’t unanimous. One of the members of the leadership team had a view you that although it was technically true we did not have a counter-intelligence file case open on then President-elect Trump. His concern was because we’re looking at the potential, again, that’s the subject of the investigation, coordination between the campaign and Russia, because it was President Trump, President-elect Trump’s campaign, this person’s view was
inevitably his behavior, his conduct will fall within the scope of that work. And so he was reluctant to make the statement. I disagreed. I thought it was fair to say what was literally true. There was not a counterintelligence investigation of Mr. Trump, and I decided in the moment to say it, given the nature of our conversation.

WARNER: At that moment in time, did you ever revisit that as in the subsequent sessions?

COMEY: With the FBI leadership team? Sure. And the leader had that view that didn’t change. His view was still that it was probably although literally true, his concern was it could be misleading, because the nature of the investigation was such that it might well touch, obviously it would touch, the campaign, and the person that headed the campaign would be the candidate, and so that was his view throughout.

WARNER: Let me move to the January 27th dinner, where you said “The president began by asking me whether I wanted to stay on as FBI director.”

He also indicated that “lots of people” again your words, “Wanted the job.” You go on to say the dinner itself was “Seemingly an effort to” to quote have you ask him for your job and create some “patronage” relationship. The president seems from my reading of your memo to be holding your job or your possibility of continuing your job over your head in a fairly direct way. What was your impression, and what did you mean by this notion of a patronage relationship?

COMEY: Well, my impression, and again it’s my impression, I could always be wrong but my common sense told me what was going on is, either he had concluded or someone had told him that you didn’t, you’ve already asked Comey to stay, and you didn’t get anything for it. And that the dinner was an effort to build a relationship, in fact, he asked specifically, of loyalty in the context of asking me to stay. As I said, what was odd about that is we’d already talked twice about it by that point and he said I very much hope you’ll stay. In fact, I just remembered sitting a third, when you’ve seen the. IC tour of me walking across the blue room, and what the president whispered in my ear was “I really look forward to working with you.” So after those encounters —

WARNER: That was a few days before your firing.

COMEY: On the Sunday after the inauguration. The next Friday I have dinner and the president begins by wanting to talk about my job and so I’m sitting there thinking wait a minute three times we’ve already, you’ve already asked me to stay or talked about me staying. My common sense, again I could be wrong but my common sense told me what’s going on here is, he’s looking to get something in exchange for granting my request to stay in the job.

WARNER: Again, we ail understand, I was a governor, I had people work for me but this constant requests and again quoting you, him saying that he, despite you explaining your independence, he said “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” Have you ever had any of those kind of requests before from anyone else you’ve worked for in the government?

COMEY: No, and what made me uneasy at that point I’m the director of the FBI. The reason that Congress created a t10-year term is so that the director is not feeling as if they’re serving at, with political loyalty owed to any particular person. The statue of justice has a blindfolds on. You’re not supposed to peek out to see there your patron was please pleased with what you’re doing. That’s why I became FBI director to be in of that position. That’s why I was uneasy.

WARNER: February 14th, seems strange, you were in a meeting, and your direct superior the attorney general was in that meeting as well, yet the president asked everyone to leave, including the attorney general to leave, before he brought up the matter of general Flynn. What was your impression of that type of action? Have you ever seen anything like that before?

COMEY: No. My impression was something big is about to happen. I need to remember every single word that is spoken, and again, I could be wrong, I’m 56 years old, I’ve been, seen a few things, my sense was the attorney general knew he shouldn’t be leaving which was why he was leaving and I don’t know Kushner well but I think he picked up on the same thing so I knew something was about to happen that I needed to pay very close attention to.

WARNER: I found it very interesting that, that in the memo that you wrote after this February 14th pull-aside, you made clear that you wrote that memo in a way that was unclassified. If you affirmatively made the decision to write a memo that was unclassified, was that because you felt at some point, the facts of that meeting would have to come clean and come clear, and actually be able to be cleared in a way that could be shared with the American people?

COMEY: Well, I remember thinking, this is a very disturbing development, really important to our work. I need to document it and preserve it in a way, and this committee gets this but sometimes when things are classified, it tangled them up.

WARNER: Amen.

COMEY: It’s hard to share within an investigative team. You have to be careful how you handled it for good reason. If I write it such a way that doesn’t include anything of a classification, that would make it easier for to us discuss within the FBI and the government, and to hold onto it in a way that makes it accessible to us.

WARNER: Well again it’s our hope particularly since you are a pretty knowledgeable guy and wrote this in a way that it was unqualified this committee will get access that unclassified document. I this I it will be important to our investigation. Let me ask you this in closing. How many ongoing investigations at any time does the FBI have?

COMEY: Tens of thousands.

WARNER: Tens of thousands. Did the president ever ask about any other ongoing investigation?

COMEY: No.

WARNER: Did he ever ask about you trying to interfere on any other investigation?

COMEY: No.

WARNER: I think, again, this speaks volumes. This doesn’t even get to the questions around the phone calls about lifting the cloud. I know other members will get to that, but I really appreciate your testimony, and appreciate your service to our nation.

COMEY: Thank you, Senator Warner. I’m sitting here going through my contacts with him. I had one conversation with the president that was classified where he asked about our, an ongoing intelligence investigation, it was brief and entirely professional.

WARNER: He didn’t ask to you take any specific action?

COMEY: No.

WARNER: Unlike what we did vis-à-vis will Flynn and the Russia investigation?

COMEY: Correct.

WARNER: Thank you, sir.

BURR: Senator Risch?

SEN. JAMES RISCH: Thank you very much. Mr. Comey, thank you for your service. America needs more like you and we really appreciate it. Yesterday, I got and everybody got the seven pages of your direct testimony that is now a part of the record here. And the first — I read it, and then I read it again, and all I could think was number one, how much hated the class of legal writing when I was in law school, and you are the guy that probably got the A after reading this. I find it clear. I find it concise, and having been a prosecutor for a number of years and handling hundreds, maybe thousands of cases and read police reports, investigative reports, this is as good as it gets, and I really appreciate that. Not only the conciseness and the clearness of it, but also the fact that you have things that were written down contemporaneously when they happened, and you actually put them in quotes so we know exactly what happened and we’re not getting some rendition of it that’s in your mind.

COMEY: Thank you, sir.

RISCH: You’re to be complimented.

COMEY: I had great parents and great teachers who beat that into me.

RISCH: That’s obvious, sir. The chairman walked you through a number of things that the American people need to know and want to know. Number one, obviously, we all know about the active measures that the Russians have taken. I think a lot of people were surprised at this. Those of us that work in the intelligence community, it didn’t come as a surprise, but now the American people know this, and it’s good they know this, because this is serious and it’s a problem. I think secondly, I gather from all this that you’re willing to say now that, while you were director, the president of the United States was not under investigation. Is that a fair statement?

COMEY: That’s correct.

RISCH: All right, so that’s a fact that we are rely on?

COMEY: Yes, sir.

RISCH: I remember, you talked with us shortly after February 14th, when the “New York Times” wrote an article that suggested that the trump campaign was colluding with the Russians. Do you remember reading that article when it first came out?

COMEY: I do, it was about allegedly extensive electronic surveillance in their communications.

RISCH: Correct. That upset you to the point where you surveyed the intelligence community to see whether you were missing something in that. Is that correct?

COMEY: That’s correct. I want to be careful in open setting, but —

RISCH: I’m not going to go any further than that, so thank you. In addition to that, after that, you sought out both Republican and Democrat senators to tell them that, hey, I don’t know where this is coming from, but this is not the case. This is not factual. Do you recall that?

COMEY: Yes.

RISCH: Okay. So again, so the American people can understand this, that report by the New York Times was not true. Is that a fair statement?

COMEY: In the main, it was not true. And again, all of you know this. Maybe the American people don’t. The challenge, and I’m not picking on reporters about writing stories about classified information, is the people talking about it often don’t really know what’s going on, and going on are not talking about it. We don’t call the press to say, hey, you don’t that thing wrong about the sensitive topic. We have to leave it there.

I mentioned to the chairman the nonsense around what influenced me to make the July 5th statement. Nonsense. But I can’t go explaining how it is nonsense.

RISCH: Thank you. All right. So those three things we now know regarding the active measures, whether the president is under investigation and the collusion between the trump campaign and the Russians. I want to drill right down, as my time is limited, to the most recent dust up regarding allegations that the president of the United States obstructed justice. Boy, you nailed this down on page 5, paragraph 3. You put this in quotes. Words matter. You wrote down the words so we can all have the words in front of us now. There’s 28 words now in quotes. It says, quote, I hope — this is the president speaking — I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is good guy. I hope you can let this go. Now, those are his exact words, is that correct.

COMEY: Correct.

RISCH: You wrote them here and put them in quotes.

COMEY: Correct.

RISCH: Thank you for that. He did not direct you to let it go?

COMEY: Not in his words, no.

RISCH: He did not order you to let it go?

COMEY: Again, those words are not an order.

RISCH: He said, I hope. Now, like me, you probably did hundreds of cases, maybe thousands of cases, charging people with criminal offenses and, of course, you have knowledge of the thousands of cases out there where people have been charged. Do you know of any case where a person has been charged for obstruction of justice or, for that matter, any other criminal offense, where they said or thought they hoped for an outcome?

COMEY: I don’t know well enough to answer. The reason I keep saying his words is I took it as a direction.

RISCH: Right.

COMEY: I mean, this is a president of the United States with me alone saying I hope this. I took it as, this is what he wants me to do. I didn’t obey that, but that’s the way I took it.

RISCH: You may have taken it as a direction but that’s not what he said.

COMEY: Correct.

RISCH: He said, I hope.

COMEY: Those are his exact words, correct.

RISCH: You don’t know of anyone ever being charged for hoping something, is that a fair statement?

COMEY: I don’t as I sit here.

RISCH: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

BURR: Senator Feinstein?

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Thanks very much, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Comey, I just want you to know that I have great respect for you. Senator Cornyn and I sit on the judiciary committee and we have the occasion to have you before us. You’re a man of strength and I regret the situations we all find ourselves in. I just want to say that. Let me begin with one overarching question. Why do you believe you were fired?

COMEY: I guess I don’t know for sure. I believe — I think the president, at his word, that I was fired because of the Russia investigation. Something about the way I was conducting it, the president felt created pressure on him that he wanted to relieve. Again, I didn’t know that at the time. I watched his interview. I read the press accounts of his conversations. I take him at his word there. Look, I could be wrong. Maybe he’s saying something that’s not true. I take him at his word, at least based on what I know now.

FEINSTEIN: Talk for a moment about his request that you pledge loyalty and your response to that and what impact you believe that had.

COMEY: I don’t know for sure because I don’t know the president well enough to read him well. I think it was — first of all, relationship didn’t get off to a great start, given the conversation I had to have on January 6th. This didn’t improve the relationship because it was very, very awkward. He was asking for something, and I was refusing to give it. Again, I don’t know him well enough to know how he reacted to that exactly.

FEINSTEIN: Do you believe the Russia investigation played a role?

COMEY: In why I was fired?

FEINSTEIN: Yes.

COMEY: Yes. I’ve seen the president say so.

FEINSTEIN: Let’s go to the Flynn issue. The senator outlined, “I hope you could see your way to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” But you also said in your written remarks, and I quote, that you “had understood the president to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December,”. Please go into that with more detail.

COMEY: Well, the context and the president’s word are what led me to that conclusion. As I said in my statement, I could be wrong, but Flynn had been forced to resign the day before. And the controversy around general Flynn at that point in time was centered on whether he lied to the vice president about his nature of conversations with the Russians, whether he had been candid with others in the course of that. So that happens on the day before. On the 1, the president makes reference to that. I understood what he wanted me to do was drop any investigation connected to Flynn’s account of his conversations with the Russians.

FEINSTEIN: Now, here’s the question, you’re big. You’re strong. I know the oval office, and I know what happens to people when they walk in. There is a certain amount of intimidation. But why didn’t you stop and say, Mr. President, this is wrong. I cannot discuss this with you.

COMEY: It’s a great question. Maybe if I were stronger, I would have. I was so stunned by the conversation that I just took in. The only thing I could think to say, because I was playing in my mind — because I could remember every word he said — I was playing in my mind, what should my response be? That’s why I carefully chose the words. Look, I’ve seen the tweet about tapes. Lordy, I hope there are tapes. I remember saying, “I agree he is a good guy,” as a way of saying, I’m not agreeing with what you asked me to do. Again, maybe other people would be stronger in that circumstance. That’s how Ed myself. I hope I’ll never have another opportunity. Maybe if I did it again, I’d do it better.

FEINSTEIN: You describe two phone calls that you received from president trump. One on March 30th and one on April 11. He, quote, described the Russia investigation as a cloud that was impairing his ability, end quote, as president, and asked you, quote, to lift the cloud, end quote. How did you interpret that? What did you believe he wanted you to do?

COMEY: I interpreted that as he was frustrated that the Russia investigation was taking up so much time and energy. I think he meant of the executive branch, but in the public square in general. It was making it difficult for him to focus on other priorities of his. But what he asked me was actually narrowing than that. I think what he meant by the cloud — and, again, I could be wrong — but the entire investigation is taking up oxygen and making it hard for me to focus on what I want to focus on. The ask was to get it out that I, the president, am not personally under investigation.

FEINSTEIN: After April 11th, did he ask you more ever about the Russia investigation? Did he ask you any questions?

COMEY: We never spoke again after April 11th.

FEINSTEIN: You told the president, I would see what we could do. What did you mean?

COMEY: It was kind of a cowardly way of trying to avoid telling him, we’re not going to do that. That I would see what we could do. It was a way of kind of getting off the phone, frankly, and then I turned and handed it to the acting deputy attorney general.

FEINSTEIN: So I want to go into that. Who did you talk with about that, lifting the cloud, stop the investigation back at the FBI, and what was their response?

COMEY: The FBI, during one of the two conversations — I’m not remembering exactly — I think the first, my chief of staff was sitting in front of me and heard my end of the conversation because the president’s call was a surprise. I discussed the lifting the cloud and the request with the senior leadership team who, typically, and I think in all the circumstances, was the deputy director, my chief of staff, the general counsel, the deputy director’s chief counsel and, I think in a number of circumstances, the number three in the FBI and a few of the conversations included the head of the national security branch. The group of us that lead the FBI when it comes to national security.

FEINSTEIN: You have the president of the United States asking you to stop an investigation that is an important investigation. What was the response of your colleagues?

COMEY: I think they were as shocked and troubled by it as I was. Some said things that led me to believe that. I don’t remember exactly. But the reaction was similar to mine. They’re all experienced people who never experienced such a thing, so they were very concerned. Then the conversation turned to about, so what should we do with this information? That was a struggle for us. Because we are the leaders of the FBI, so it’s been reported to us, and I heard it and now shared it with the leaders of the FBI, our conversation was, should we share this with any senior officials at the justice department? Our primary concern was, we can’t infect the investigative team. We don’t want the agents and analysts working on this to know the president of the united States has asked, and when it comes from the president, I took it as a direction, to get rid of this investigation because we’re not going to follow that request. So we decided, we have to keep it away from our troops.

Is there anyone else we ought to tell at the justice department? We considered whether to tell — the attorney general said we believe rightly he was shortly going to recuse. There was no other senate confirmed leaders in the justice department at that point. The deputy attorney general was Mr. Boente, acting shortly in the seat. We decided the best move would be to hold it, keep it in a box, document it, as we’d already done, and this investigation is going to do on. Figure out what to do with it down the road. Is there a way to corroborate it? It was our word against the president’s. No way to corroborate this. My view of this changed when the prospect of tapes was raised. That’s how we thought about it then.

FEINSTEIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: Director Comey, the meeting in the oval office where he made the request about Mike Flynn, was that only time he asked you to hopefully let it go?

COMEY: Yes.

RUBIO: And in that meeting, as you understood it, he was asking not about the general Russia investigation, he was asking specifically about the jeopardy that Flynn was in himself?

COMEY: That’s how I understood it. Yes, sir.

RUBIO: As you perceived it, while he hoped you did away with it, you perceived it as an order, given the setting, the position and some of the circumstances?

COMEY: Yes.

RUBIO: At the time, did you say something to the president about, that is not an appropriate request, or did you tell the white house counsel, it’s not an appropriate request? Someone needs to tell the president he can’t do these things.

COMEY: I didn’t, no.

RUBIO: Why?

COMEY: I don’t know. I think — as I said earlier, I think the circumstances were such that it was — I was a bit stunned and didn’t have the presence of mind. I don’t know. I don’t want to make you sound like I’m captain courageous. I don’t know if I would have said to the president with the presence of mind, sir, that’s wrong. In the moment, it didn’t come to my mind. What came to my mind is be careful what you say. I said, I agree Flynn is a good guy.

RUBIO: On the cloud, we keep talking about this cloud, you perceive the cloud to be the Russian investigation in general?

COMEY: Yes, sir.

RUBIO: His specific ask was you’d tell the American people what you’d told him, told the leaders of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, he was not personally under investigation?

COMEY: Yes, sir.

RUBIO: What he was asking you to do, would you have done here today?

COMEY: Correct. Yes, sir.

RUBIO: Again, at that setting, did you say to the president, it would be inappropriate for you to do so and then talk to the White House counsel or somebody so hopefully they’d talked to him and tell him he couldn’t do this?

COMEY: First time I said, I’ll see what we can do. Second time, I explained how it should work, that the White House counsel should contact the deputy attorney general.

RUBIO: You told him that?

COMEY: The president said, okay. I think that’s what I’ll do.

RUBIO: To be clear, for you to make a public statement that he was not under investigation wouldn’t be illegal but you felt it could potentially create a duty to correct if circumstances changed?

COMEY: Yes, sir. We wrestled with it before my testimony, where I confirmed that there was an investigation. There were two primary concerns. One was it creates a duty to correct, which I’ve lived before, and you want to be very careful about doing that. And second, it is a slippery slope. If we say the president and the vice president aren’t under investigation. What is the principled investigation for stopping? So the leaderrship, at justice, acting attorney general Boente said, you’re not going to do that.

RUBIO: On March 30th during the phone call about general Flynn, you said he abruptly shifted and brought up something that you call, quote, unquote, the McCabe thing. Specifically, the Mccabe thing as you understood it was that Mccabe’s wife had received campaign money from what I assume means Terry McAuliffe?

COMEY: Yes.

RUBIO: Close to the Clintons. Did he say, I don’t like this guy because he got money from someone close to Clinton?

COMEY: He asked me about McCabe and said, how is he going to be with me as president? I was rough on him on the campaign trail.

RUBIO: Rough on Mccabe?

COMEY: By his own account, he said he was rough on McCabe and Mrs. McCabe on the campaign trail. How is he going to be? I shared with the president, Andy is a pro. No issue at all. You have to know people of the FBI. They’re not —

RUBIO: So the president turns to you and says, remember, I never brought up the McCabe thing because you said he was a good guy, did you perceive that to be a statement that, I took care of you. I didn’t do something because you told me he was a good guy. So I’m asking you potentially for something in return. Is that how you perceived it?

COMEY: I wasn’t sure what to make of it. That’s possible. It was so out of context I didn’t have a clear view of what it was.

RUBIO: On a number of occasions here, you bring up — let’s talk about the general Russia investigation, OK? Page 6 of your testimony you say, the first thing you say is, he asked what we could do to, quote, unquote, lift the cloud, the general Russia investigation, you responded, we are investigating the matter as quickly as we could and there would be great benefit if we didn’t find anything for having done the work well. He agreed. He emphasized the problems it was causing him. He agreed it’d be great to have an investigation, all the facts came out and we found nothing. He agreed that would be ideal, but this cloud is still messing up my ability to do the rest of my agenda. Is that an accurate assessment?

COMEY: Yes, sir. He went farther than that. He said, and if some of my satellites did something wrong, it’d be good to find that out.

RUBIO: That is the second part. The satellites, if one of my satellites, I imagine he meant some of the people surrounding his campaign, did something wrong, it’d be great to know that, as well.

COMEY: Yes, sir. That’s what he said.

RUBIO: Are those the only two instances in which that back and forth happened, where the president was basically saying, and I’m paraphrasing here, it’s okay. Do the Russia investigation. I hope it all comes out. I have nothing to do with anything Russia. It’d be great if it all came out, people around me were doing things that were wrong?

COMEY: Yes. As I recorded it accurately there. That was the sentiment he was expressing. Yes, sir.

RUBIO: What it comes down to is the president asked three things of you. Asked for your loyalty. You said you’d be loyally honest.

COMEY: Honestly loyal.

RUBIO: Honestly loyal. He asked you on one occasion to let the Mike Flynn thing go because he was a good guy. By the way, you’re aware he said the same thing in the press the next day. He is a good guy, treated unfairly, etc. I imagine your FBI agents read that.

COMEY: I’m sure they did.

RUBIO: The president’s wishes were known to them, certainly by the next day when he had a press conference with the prime minister. Going back, the three requests were, number one, be loyal. Number two, let the Mike Flynn thing go. He is a good guy, been treated unfairly. Number three, can you please tell the American people what these leaders in congress already know, which you already know and what you told me three times, that I’m not under personally under investigation.

COMEY: That’s right.

RUBIO: We learn more from the newspaper sometimes than the open hearings. Do you ever wonder why, of all the things in the investigation, the only thing never leaked is the fact the president was never personally under investigation, despite the fact that Democrats and Republicans and the leadership of congress have known that for weeks?

COMEY: I don’t know. I find matters that are briefed to the gang of eight are pretty tightly held, in my experience.

RUBIO: Finally, who are those senior leaders at the FBI you share these conversations with?

COMEY: As I said in response to Sen. Feinstein’s question, deputy director, my chief of staff, general counsel, deputy director’s chief counse and then, more often than not, the number three person at the FBI, the associate deputy director. And quite often, head of the national security branch.

BURR: Senator?

SEN. RON WYDEN: Mr. Comey, welcome. You and I have had significant policy differences over the years, particularly protecting Americans access to secure encryption. But I believe the timing of your firing stinks. Yesterday, you put on the record testimony that demonstrates why the odor of presidential abuse of power is so strong. Now, to my questions. In talking to senator Warner about this dinner that you had with the president, I believe January 27th, all in one dinner, the president raised your job prospects, he asked for your loyalty and denied allegations against him. All took place over one supper. Now, you told senator Warner that the president was looking to, quote, get something. Looking back, did that dinner suggest that your job might be contingent on how you handled the investigation?

COMEY: I don’t know that I’d go that far. I got the sense my job would be contingent upon how he felt I — excuse me — how he felt I conducted myself and whether I demonstrated loyalty. But I don’t know whether I’d go so far as to connect it to the investigation.

WYDEN: He said the president was trying to create some sort of patronage. Behaving in a manner consistent with the wishes of the boss?

COMEY: Yes. At least consider how what you’re doing will affect the boss as a significant consideration.

WYDEN: Let me turn to the attorney general. In your statement, you said that you and the FBI leadership team decided not to discuss the president’s actions with Attorney General Sessions, even though he had not recused himself. What was it about the attorney general’s interactions with the Russians or his behavior with regard to the investigation that would have led the entire leadership of the FBI to make this decision?

COMEY: Our judgment, as I recall, is that he was very close to and inevitably going to recuse himself for a variety of reasons. We also were aware of facts that I can’t discuss in an opening setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic. So we were convinced — in fact, I think we’d already heard the career people were recommending that he recuse himself, that he was not going to be in contact with Russia-related matters much longer. That turned out to be the case.

WYDEN: How would you characterize Attorney General Sessions’s adherence to his recusal? In particular, with regard to his involvement in your firing, which the president has acknowledged was because of the Russian investigation.

COMEY: That’s a question I can’t answer. I think it is a reasonable question. If, as the president said, I was fired because of the Russia investigation, why was the attorney general involved in that chain? I don’t know. So I don’t have an answer for the question.

WYDEN: Your testimony was that the president’s request about Flynn could infect investigation. Had the president got what he wanted and what he asked of you, what would have been the effect on the investigation?

COMEY: We would have closed any investigation of general Flynn in connection with his statements and encounters — statements about encounters with Russians in the late part of December. We would have dropped an open criminal investigation.

WYDEN: So in effect, when you talk about infecting the enterprise, you would have dropped something major that would have spoken to the overall ability of the American people to get the facts?

COMEY: Correct. And as good as our people are, our judgment was, we don’t want them hearing that the president of the United States wants this to go away because it might have an effect on their ability to be fair, impartial and aggressive.

WYDEN: Acting Attorney General Yates found out Mike Flynn could be blackmailed by the Russians and went immediately to warn the white house. Flynn is gone, but other individuals with contacts with the Russians are still in extremely important positions of power. Should the American people have the same sense of urgency now with respect to them?

COMEY: I think all I can say, senator, is it’s a — the special counsel’s investigation is very important, understanding what efforts there were or are by Russian government to influence our government is a critical part of the FBI’s mission. And you’ve got the right person in Bob Mueller to lead it, it is a very important piece of work.

WYDEN: Vice president Pence was the head of the transition. To your knowledge, was he aware of the concerns about Michael Flynn prior to or during general Flynn’s tenure as national security adviser?

COMEY: I don’t — you’re asking including up to the time when Flynn was —

WYDEN: Right.

COMEY: Forced to resign? My understanding is that he was. I’m trying to remember where I get that understanding from. I think from acting attorney general Yates.

WYDEN: So former acting attorney general Yates testified concerns about general Flynn were discussed with the intelligence community. Would that have included anyone at the CIA or Dan Coats’ office, the DNI?

COMEY: I would assume, yes.

WYDEN: Michael Flynn resigned four days after attorney general sessions was sworn in. Do you know if the attorney general was aware of the concerns about Michael Flynn during that period?

COMEY: I don’t as I sit here. I don’t recall that he was. I could be wrong, but I don’t remember that he was.

WYDEN: Let’s see if you can give us some sense of who recommended your firing. Besides the letter from the attorney general, the deputy attorney general, do you have any information on who may have recommended or been involved in your firing?

COMEY: I don’t. I don’t.

WYDEN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

BURR: Senator Collins?

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Comey, let me begin by thanking you for your voluntary compliance with our request to appear before this committee and assist us in this very important investigation. I want first to ask you about your conversations with the president, three conversations in which you told him that he was not under investigation. The first was during your January 6th meeting, according to your testimony, in which it appears that you actually volunteered that assurance. Is that correct?

COMEY: That’s correct.

COLLINS: Did you limit that statement to counterintelligence invest — investigations, or were you talking about any FBI investigation?

COMEY: I didn’t use the term counterintelligence. I was briefing him about salacious and unverified material. It was in a context of that that he had a strong and defensive reaction about that not being true. My reading of it was it was important for me to assure him we were not person investigating him. So the context then was actually narrower, focused on what I just talked to him about. It was very important because it was, first, true, and second, I was worried very much about being in kind of a J. Hoover-type situation. I didn’t want him thinking I was briefing him on this to sort of hang it over him in some way. I was briefing him on it because, because we had been told by the media it was about to launch. We didn’t want to be keeping that from him. He needed to know this was being said. I was very keen not to leave him with an impression that the bureau was trying to do something to him. So that’s the context in which I said, sir, we’re not personally investigating you.

COLLINS: Then — and that’s why you volunteered the information?

COMEY: Yes, ma’am.

COLLINS: Then on the January 27th dinner, you told the president that he should be careful about asking you to investigate because, “you might create a narrative that we are investigating him personally, which we weren’t.” Again, were you limiting that statement to counterintelligence investigations, or more broadly, such as a criminal investigation?

COMEY: I didn’t modify the word investigation. It was, again, he was reacting strongly against the unverified material, saying I’m tempted to order you to investigate it. In the context of that, I said, sir, be careful about it. I might create a narrative we’re investigating you personally.

COLLINS: There was the March 30th phone call with the president in which you reminded him that congressional leaders had been briefed that we were no personally — the FBI was not personally investigating president trump. And, again, was that statement to congressional leaders and to the president limited to counterintelligence investigations, or was it a broader statement? I’m trying to understand whether there was any kind of investigation of the president underway.

COMEY: No. I’m sorry. If I misunderstood, I apologize. We briefed the congressional leadership about what Americans we had opened counterintelligence investigation cases on. We specifically said, the president is not one of those Americans. But there was no other investigation of the president that we were not mentioning at that time. The context was, counterintelligence, but I wasn’t trying to hide some criminal investigation of the president.

COLLINS: And was the president under investigation at the time of your dismissal on May 9th?

COMEY: No.

COLLINS: I’d like to now turn to the conversations with the president about Michael Flynn, which had been discussed at great length.

First, let me make very clear that the president never should have cleared the room and he never should have asked you, as you reported, to let it go, to let the investigation go. But I remain puzzled by your response. Michael Flynn is a good guy. You could have said, Mr. President, this meeting is inappropriate. This response could compromise the investigation. You should not be making such a request. It’s fundamental to the operation of our government, the FBI be insulated from this kind of political pressure. You talked a bit today about that you were stunned by the president making the request. But my question to you is later on, upon reflection, did you go to anyone at the department of justice and ask them to call the white house counsel’s office and explain that the president had to have a far better understanding and appreciation of his role vis-à-vis the FBI?

COMEY: In general, I did. I spoke to the attorney general and spoke to the new deputy attorney general, Mr. Rosenstein, when he took office and explained my serious concern about the way in which the president is interacting, especially with the FBI. As I said in my testimony, I told the attorney general, it can’t happen that you get kicked out of the room and the president talks to me. Why didn’t we raise the specific? It was of investigative interest to figure out, what just happened with the president’s request? I wouldn’t want to alert the white house it had happened until we figured out what we were going to do with it investigatively.

COLLINS: Your testimony was that you went to attorney general sessions and said, don’t ever leave me alone with him again. Are you saying that you also told him that he had made a request that you let it go with regard to part of the investigation of Michael Flynn?

COMEY: No. I specifically did not. I did not.

COLLINS: Okay. You mentioned that from your very first meeting with the president, you decided to write a memo memorializing the conversation. What was it about that very first meeting that made you write a memo when you have not done that with two previous presidents?

COMEY: As I said, a combination of things. A gut feeling is an important overlay, but the circumstances, that I was alone, the subject matter and the nature of the person I was interacting with and my read of that person. Yeah, and really just gut feel, laying on top of all of that, that this is going to be important to protect this organization, that I make records of this.

COLLINS: Finally, did you show copies of your memos to anyone outside of the department of justice?

COMEY: Yes.

COLLINS: And to whom did you show copies?

COMEY: I asked — the president tweeted on Friday after I got fired that I better hope there’s not tapes. I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday night because it didn’t dawn on me originally, that there might be corroboration for our conversation. There might a tape. My judgment was, I need to get that out into the public square. I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. Didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons. I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. I asked a close friend to do it.

COLLINS: Was that Mr. Wittes?

COMEY: No.

COLLINS: Who was it?

COMEY: A close friend who is a professor at Columbia law school.

COLLINS: Thank you.

SEN. MARTIN HEINRICH: Mr. Comey, prior to January 27th of this year, have you ever had a one-on-one meeting or a private dinner with a president of the United States?

COMEY: No. Dinner, no. I had two one-on-ones with President Obama. One to talk about law enforcement issues, law enforcement and race, which was an important topic throughout for me and for the president. Then once very briefly for him to say goodbye.

HEINRICH: Were those brief interactions?

COMEY: No. The one about law enforcement and race and policing, we spoke for probably over an hour, just the two of us.

HEINRICH: How unusual is it to have a one-on-one dinner with the president? Did that strike you as odd?

COMEY: Yeah. So much so, I assumed there would be others, that he couldn’t possibly be having dinner with me alone.

HEINRICH: Do you have an impression that if you had found — if you had behaved differently in that dinner, and I am quite pleased that you did not, but if you had found a way to express some sort of expression of loyalty or given some suggestion that the Flynn criminal investigation might be pursued less vigorously, do you think you would have still been fired?

COMEY: I don’t know. It’s impossible to say looking back. I don’t know.

HEINRICH: But you felt like those two things were directly relevant to the kind of relationship that the president was seeking to establish with you?

COMEY: Sure, yes.

HEINRICH: The president has repeatedly talked about the Russian investigation into the U.S. — or Russia’s involvement in the U.S. Election cycle as a hoax and fake news. Can you talk a little bit about what you saw as FBI director and, obviously, only the parts that you can share in this setting that demonstrate how serious this action actually was and why there was an investigation in the first place?

COMEY: Yes, sir. There should be no fuzz on this whatsoever. The Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle. They did with purpose. They did it with sophistication. They did it with overwhelming technical efforts. It was an active measures campaign driven from the top of that government. There is no fuzz on that. It is a high confidence judgment of the entire intelligence community and the members of this committee have seen the intelligence. It’s not a close call. That happened. That’s about as unfake as you can possibly get. It is very, very serious, which is why it’s so refreshing to see a bipartisan focus on that. This is about America, not about a particular party.

HEINRICH: That is a hostile act by the Russian government against this country?

COMEY: Yes, sir.

HEINRICH: Did the president in any of those interactions that you’ve shared with us today ask you what you should be doing or what our government should be doing or the intelligence community to protect America against Russian interference in our election system?

COMEY: I don’t recall a conversation like that.

HEINRICH: Never?

COMEY: No.

HEINRICH: Do you find it —

COMEY: Not with President Trump.

HEINRICH: Right.

COMEY: I attended a fair number of meetings on that with President Obama.

HEINRICH: Do you find it odd that the president seemed unconcerned by Russia’s actions in our election?

COMEY: I can’t answer that because I don’t know what other conversations he had with other advisers or other intelligence community leaders. I just don’t know sitting here.

HEINRICH: Did you have any interactions with the president that suggested he was taking that hostile action seriously.

COMEY: I don’t remember any interactions with the president other than the initial briefing on January the 6th. I don’t remember — could be wrong, but I don’t remember any conversations with him at all about that.

HEINRICH: As you’re very aware, it was only the two of you in the room for that dinner. You told us the president asked you to back off the Flynn investigation. The president told a reporter —

COMEY: Not in that dinner.

HEINRICH: Fair enough. Told the reporter he never did that. You’ve testified that the president asked for your loyalty in that dinner. White house denies that. A lot of this comes down to who should we believe. Do you want to say anything as to why we should believe you?

COMEY: My mother raised me not to say things like this about myself so I’m not going to. I think people should look at the whole body of my testimony. As I used to say to juries, when I talked about a witness, you can’t cherry pick it. You can’t say, I like these things he said but on this, he’s a ten liar. You have to take it together. I’ve tried to be open, fair, transparent and accurate. Of significant fact to me is so why did he kick everybody out of the Oval Office? Why would you kick the attorney general, the president, the chief of staff out to talk to me if it was about something else? So that, to me, as an investigator, is a significant fact.

HEINRICH: As we look at testimony or as communication from both of you, we should probably be looking for consistency?

COMEY: Well, in looking at any witness, you look at consistency, track record, demeanor, record over time, that sort of thing.

HEINRICH: Thank you. So there are reports that the incoming Trump administration, either during the transition and/or after the inauguration, attempted to set up a sort of backdoor communication channel with the Russian government using their infrastructure, their devices, their facilities. What would be the risks, particularly for a transition, someone not actually in the office of the president yet, to setting up unauthorized channels with a hostile foreign government, especially if they were to evade our own American intelligence services?

COMEY: I’m not going to comment on whether that happened in an open setting, but the risk is — primary risk is obvious. You spare the Russians the cost and effort to break into our communications channels by using theirs. You make it a whole lot easier for them to capture all of your conversations. Then to use those to the benefit of Russia against the united States.

HEINRICH: The memos that you wrote, you wrote — did you write all nine of them in a way that was designed to prevent them from needing classification?

COMEY: No. On a few of the occasions, I wrote — I sent emails to my chief of staff on some of the brief phone conversations I had. The first one was a classified briefing. Though it was in a conference room at Trump Tower, it was a classified briefing. I wrote that on a classified device. The one I started typing in the car, that was a classified laptop I started working on.

HEINRICH: Any reason in a classified environment, in a skiff, that this committee, it would not be appropriate to see those communications at least from your perspective as the author?

COMEY: No.

HEINRICH: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

BURR: Senator?

SEN. ROY BLUNT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Comey, when you were terminated at the FBI, I said, and still continue to feel, that you have provided years of great service to the country. I also said that I’d had significant questions over the last year about some of the decisions that you made. If the president hadn’t terminated your service, would you still be, in your opinion, the director of the FBI today?

COMEY: Yes, sir.

BLUNT: So you took as a direction from the president something you thought was serious and troublesome but continued to show up for work the next day?

COMEY: Yes, sir.

BLUNT: Six weeks later were still telling the president on March the 30th that he was not personally the target of any investigation?

COMEY: Correct. On March the 30th, and I think again on April 11th, as well, I told him we’re not investigating him personally. That was true.

BLUNT: The point to me, the concern to me there is, all these things are going on. You now in retrospect, or at least to this committee, you had serious concerns about what the president had, you believed, directed you to do, and had taken no action. Hadn’t even reported up the chain of command, assuming you believe there is a chain of command, that these things happened. Do you have a sense looking back that that was a mistake?

COMEY: No. In fact, I think no action was the most important thing I could do.

BLUNT: On the Flynn issue specifically, I believe you said earlier that you believe the president was suggesting you drop any investigation of Flynn’s account of his conversation with the Russian ambassador. Which was essentially misleading the vice president and others?

COMEY: Correct. I’m not going to go into the details but whether there were false statements made to government investigators, as well.

BLUNT: Any suggestion that the — General Flynn had violated the Logan Act, I always find incredible. The Logan Act has been on the books over 200 years. Nobody has ever been prosecuted for violating the Logan Act. My sense would be that the discussion, not the problem, misleading investigators or the vice president might have been?

COMEY: That’s fair. Yes, sir.

BLUNT: Had you previously on February 14th discussed with the president in the previous meeting anything your investigators had learned or their impressions from talking to Flynn?

COMEY: No, sir.

BLUNT: So he said he’s a good guy. You said he is a good guy. That was — no further action taken on that?

COMEY: He said more than that, but there was no — the action was, I wrote it up, briefed our senior team, tried to figure out what to do with it and made a decision. We’re going to hold this and see what we make of it down the road.

BLUNT: Did it mean you had no responsibility to report that to the Justice Department in some way?

COMEY: I think at some point, and I don’t know what Director Mueller is going to do with it, but at some point, I was sure we were going to brief it to the team in charge of the case. But our judgment was in the short term, doesn’t make sense to — no fuzz on the fact I reported to the attorney general. That’s why I stressed he shouldn’t be kicked out of the room. Didn’t make sense to report to him now.

BLUNT: You said the attorney general said, I don’t want to be in the room with him alone again, but you continued to talk to him on the phone. What is the difference in being in the room alone with him and talking to him on the phone alone?

COMEY: I think what I stressed to the attorney general was broader than just the room. I said, I report to you. It is very important you be between me and the white house.

BLUNT: After that discussion with the attorney general, did you take phone calls from the president?

COMEY: Yes, sir.

BLUNT: Why did you just say you need to — why didn’t you say, I’m not taking that call. Talk to the attorney general?

COMEY: I did on the April 11th call. I reported the calls — the March 30th call and the April 11th call to my superior, who was the acting deputy attorney general.

BLUNT: I don’t want to run out of time here. In reading your testimony, January the 3rd, January the 27th and March the 30th, it appears to me on all three of those occasions, you unsolicited by the president, made the point to him he was not a target of an investigation?

COMEY: Correct. Yes, sir.

BLUNT: One, I thought the March 30th, very interesting, you said, well, even though you don’t want — you may not want — that was 27th, where he said, why don’t you look into that more? You said, you may not want that because we couldn’t say with — we couldn’t answer the question about you being a target of the investigation. You didn’t seem to be answering that question anyhow. Senator Rubio pointed out the one unanswered, unleaked question seems to have been that. In this whole period of time. You said something earlier and I don’t want to fail to follow up on, you said after dismissed, you gave information to a friend so that friend could get that information into the public media.

COMEY: Correct.

BLUNT: What kind of information was that? What kind of information did you give to a friend?

COMEY: That the — the Flynn conversation. The president had asked me to let the Flynn — forgetting my exact own words. But the conversation in the Oval Office.

BLUNT: So you didn’t consider your memo or your sense of that conversation to be a government document. You considered it to be, somehow, your own personal document that you could share to the media as you wanted through a friend?

COMEY: Correct. I understood this to be my recollection recorded of my conversation with the president. As a private citizen, I thought it important to get it out.

BLUNT: Were all your memos that you recorded on classified or other memos that might be yours as a private citizen?

COMEY: I’m not following the question.

BLUNT: You said you used classified —

COMEY: Not the classified documents. Unclassified. I don’t have any of them anymore. I gave them to the special counsel. My view was that the content of those unclassified, memorialization of those conversations was my recollection recorded.

BLUNT: So why didn’t you give those to somebody yourself rather than give them through a third party?

COMEY:Because I was weary the media was camping at the end of my driveway at that point. I was actually going out of town with my wife to hide. I worried it would be feeding seagulls at the beach. If it was I who gave it to the media. I asked my friend, make sure this gets out.

BLUNT: It does seem to me what you do there is create a source close to the former director of the FBI as opposed to taking responsibility yourself for saying, here are the records. Like everybody else, I have other things I’d like to get into but I’m out of time.

SEN. ANGUS KING: First, I’d like to acknowledge Senator Blumenthal and Senator Nelson. The principal thing you’ll learn is the chairs there are more uncomfortable than the chairs here. But welcome to the hearing. Mr. Comey, a broad question. Was the Russian activity in the 2016 election a one off proposition, or is this part of a long-term strategy? Will they be back?

COMEY: Oh, it is a long-term practice of theirs. It’s stepped up a notch in a significant way in ’16. They’ll be back.

KING: I think that’s very important for the American people to understand. That this is very much a forward looking investigation in terms of how do we understand what they did and how do we prevent it. Would you agree that is a big part of our role here?

COMEY: Yes, sir. It is not a Republican thing or a democratic thing. It really is an American thing. They’re going to come for whatever party they choose to try and work on behalf of, and they’re not devoted to either, in my experience. They’re just about their own advantage. They will be back.

KING: That’s my observation. I don’t think Putin is a Republican or a Democrat. He’s an opportunist.

COMEY: I think that’s a fair statement.

KING: With regard to the — several of these conversations, in his interview with Lester Holt on NBC, the president said, I had dinner with him. He wanted to have dinner because he wanted to stay on. Is this an accurate statement?

COMEY: No, sir.

KING: Did you in any way initiate that dinner?

COMEY: No. He called me at my desk at lunchtime and asked me, was I free for dinner that night. Called himself. Said, can you come over for dinner tonight? I said, yes, sir. He said, will 6:00 work? I think 6:00 first. Then he said, I was going to invite your whole family but we’ll do it next time. Is that a good time? I said, sir, whatever works for you. He said, how about 6:30? I said, whatever works for you, sir. Then I hung up and had to call my wife and break a date with her. I was supposed to take her to dinner that night.

KING: One of the all-time great excuses for breaking a date.

COMEY: Yeah. In retrospect, I love spending time with my wife and I wish I would have been there that night.

KING: That’s one question I’m not going to follow up on, Mr. Comey. In that same interview, the president said, in one case I called him and in one case, he call me. Is that an accurate statement?

COMEY: No.

KING: Did you ever call the president?

COMEY: No. I might — the only reason I’m hesitating is, I think there was at least one conversation where I was asked to call the White House switchboard to be connected to him. I never initiated a communication with the president.

KING: In his press conference May 18th, the president responded, quote, no, no, when asked about asking you to stop the investigation into general Flynn. Is that a true statement?

COMEY: I don’t believe it is.

KING: In regard to him being personally under investigation, does that mean that the dossier is not being reviewed or investigated or followed up on in any way?

COMEY: I obviously can’t comment either way. I talk in an open setting about the investigation as it was when I was head of the FBI. It is Bob Mueller’s responsibility now. I don’t know.

KING: Clearly, your statements to the president back on the various times when you assured him it wasn’t under investigation, as of that moment, is it correct?

COMEY: Correct.

KING: Now, on the Flynn investigation, is it not true that Mr. Flynn was and is a central figure in this entire investigation of the relationship between the Trump campaign and the Russians?

COMEY: I can’t answer that in an open setting, sir.

KING: Certainly, Mr. Flynn was part of the so-called Russian investigation? Can you answer that question?

COMEY: I have to give you the same answer.

KING: All right. We’ll be having a closed session shortly so we’ll follow up on that. In terms of his comments to you about — I think in response to Senator Risch, he said, I hope you’ll hold back on that, but when you get a — when a president of the United States in the Oval Office says something like, I hope or I suggest or would you, do you take that as a directive?

COMEY: Yes. It rings in my ear as, well, will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest.

KING: I was just going to quote that, in 1179, December 27th, Henry II said, who will rid me of the meddlesome priest, and the next day, he was killed. Exactly the same situation. We’re thinking along the same lines. Several other questions, and these are a little more detailed. What do you know about the Russian bank VEB?

COMEY: Nothing that I can talk about in an open setting. I know —

KING: That takes care of the next three questions.

COMEY: I know it exists.

KING: What is relationship of ambassador — the ambassador from Russia to the United States to the Russian intelligence infrastructure?

COMEY: He’s a diplomat who is the chief of mission at the Russian Embassy, which employs a robust cohort of intelligence officers. So, surely, he is whiting of their aggressive intelligence operations, at least some of it in the United States. I don’t consider him to be an intelligence officer himself. He’s a diplomat.

KING: Did you ever — did the FBI ever brief the Trump administration about the advisability of interacting directly with Ambassador Kislyak?

COMEY: All I can say sits here is there are a variety of defensive briefings given to the incoming administration about the counterintelligence risk.

KING: Back to Mr. Flynn. Would the — would closing out the Flynn investigation have impeded the overall Russian investigation?

COMEY: No. Well, unlikely, except to the extent — there is always a possibility if you have a criminal case against someone and squeeze them, flip them and they give you information about something else. But I saw the two as touching each other but separate.

KING: With regard to your memos, isn’t it true that in a court case when you’re weighing evidence, contemporaneous memos and contemporaneous statements to third parties are considered probative in terms of the validity of testimony?

COMEY: Yes.

KING: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

BURR: Senator Lankford?

LANKFORD: Former Director Comey, good to see you again.

COMEY: You, too.

LANKFORD: Multiple opportunities to visit, as everyone here has. I appreciate you and your service and what you have done for the nation for a long time, what you continue to do. I told you before in the heat of last year, when we had an opportunity to visit personally, that I pray for you and your family because you carry a tremendous amount of stress. That is still true today.

COMEY: Thank you.

LANKFORD: Let me walk through a couple things with you. Your notes are obviously exceptionally important because they give a rapid account of what you wrote down and what you perceived happened in those different meetings. Have you had the opportunity to reference those notes when you were preparing the written statement you put forward today?

COMEY: Yes. I think nearly all of my written recordings of my conversations, I had a chance to review them before filing my statement.

LANKFORD: Do you have a copy of any of the notes personally?

COMEY: I don’t. I turned them over to Bob Mueller’s investigators.

LANKFORD: The individual that you told about your memos, that then were sent on to The New York Times, did you have a copy of the memos or told orally?

COMEY: Had a copy at the time.

LANKFORD: Do they still have a copy of those memos?

COMEY: Good question. I think so. I guess I can’t say for sure sitting here, but — I guess I don’t know. But I think so.

LANKFORD: So the question is, could you ask them to hand that copyright back to you so you can hand them over to this committee?

COMEY: Potentially.

LANKFORD: I would like to move that from potentially to seeing if we can ask that question so we can have a copy of those. Obviously, the notes are really important to us, so we can continue to get to the facts as we see it. The written documents are exceptionally important.

COMEY: Yeah.

LANKFORD: Were there other documents we need to be aware of you used in your preparation for your written statement we should also have that would assist us in helping us with this?

COMEY: Not that I’m aware of, no.

LANKFORD: Past the February 14th meeting, which is an important meeting as we discuss the conversations here about Michael Flynn, when the president asked you about he hopes that you would let this go, and the conversation back and forth about being a good guy, after that time, did the president ever bring up anything about Michael Flynn again to you? Had multiple other conversations you had documents with the president.

COMEY: I don’t remember him bringing it up again.

LANKFORD: Did a member of the white house staff come up to you asking you to drop the Michael Flynn case, anything referring to that?

COMEY: No.

LANKFORD: Did the Director of National Intelligence talk to you about that?

COMEY: No.

LANKFORD: Did anyone from the attorney general’s office, the department of justice ask about that?

COMEY: No.

LANKFORD: Did the head of NSA talk to you about that?

COMEY: No.

LANKFORD: The key aspect here is if this seems to be something the president is trying to get you to drop it, it seems like a light touch to drop it, to bring it up at that point, the day after he had just fired Flynn, to come back here and say, I hope we can let this go, then it never reappears again. Did it slow down your investigation or any investigation that may or may not be occurring with Michael Flynn?

COMEY: No. Although I don’t know there are any manifestations between February 14th and when I was fired. I don’t know that the president had any way of knowing whether it was effective or not.

LANKFORD: Okay. Fair enough. If the president wanted to stop an investigation, how would he do that? Knowing it is an ongoing criminal investigation or counterintelligence investigation, would that be a matter of going to you, you perceive, and say, you make it stop because he doesn’t have the authority to stop it? How would the president make an ongoing investigation stop?

COMEY: I’m not a legal scholar, but as a legal matter, the president is the head of the executive branch and could direct, in theory, we have important norms against this, but could anyone be investigative or not. I think he has the legal authority. All of us ultimately report in the executive branch to the president.

LANKFORD: Would that be to you, or the attorney general or who?

COMEY: I suppose he could if he wanted to issue a direct order could do it anyway. Through the attorney general or issue it directly to me.

LANKFORD: Well, is there any question that the president is not real fond of this investigation? I can think of multiple 140-word character expressions that he’s publicly expressed he’s not fond of the investigation. I heard you refer to before trying to keep the agents away from any comment that the president may have made. Quite frankly, the president has informed around 6 billion people that he’s not real fond of this investigation. Do you think there’s a difference in that?

COMEY: Yes. There’s a big difference in kicking superior officers out of the oval office, looking the FBI director in the eye and saying I hope you let this go. I think if agents as good as they are heard the president of the United States did that, there’s a real risk of a chilling effect on their work. That’s why we kept it so tight.

LANKFORD: OK. You had mentioned before about some news stories and news accounts. Without having to go into all of the names and specific times and to be able to dip into all of that. Have there been news accounts about the Russian investigation or collusion about the whole event or as you read the story you were wrong about how wrong they got the facts?

COMEY: Yes, there have been many, many stories based on — well, lots of stuff but about Russia that are dead wrong.

LANKFORD: I was interested in your comment that you made as well that the president said to you if there were some satellite associates of his that did something wrong, it would be good to find that out. Did the president seem to talk to you specifically on March 30th saying I’m frustrated that the word is not getting out that I’m under investigation. But if there are people in my circle that are, let’s finish the investigation, is that how you took it?

COMEY: Yes, sir. Yes.

LANKFORD: Then you made a comment earlier a the attorney general, the previous attorney general asking you about the investigation on the Clinton e-mails saying you were asked to not call it an investigation anymore. But call it a matter. You said that confused you. You can give us additional details on that?

COMEY: Well, it concerned me because we were at the point where we refused to confirm the existence as we typically do of an investigation for months. And was getting to a place where that looked silly because the campaigns we’re talking about interacting with the FBI in the course of our work. The Clinton campaign at the time was using all kinds of euphemisms, security matters, things like that for what was going on. We were getting to a place where the attorney general and I were both going to testify and talk publicly about it I wanted to know was she going to authorize us to confirm we have an investigation. She said yes, don’t call it that, call it a matter. I said why would I do that? She said, just call it a matter. You look back in hindsight, if I looked back and said this isn’t worth dying on so I just said the press is going to completely ignore it. That’s what happened when I said we opened a matter. They all reported the FBI has an investigation open. So that concerned me because that language tracked the way the campaign was talking about the FBI’s work and that’s concerning.

LANKFORD: You gave impression that the campaign was somehow using the language as the FBI because you were handed the campaign language?

COMEY: I don’t know whether it was intentional or not but it gave the impression that the attorney general was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way it was describing that. It was inaccurate. We had an investigation open for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, we had an investigation open at the time. That gave me a queasy feeling.

BURR: Senator Manchin.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN: Thank you. I appreciate being here. West Virginia is interested in the hear we’re having today. I’ve had over 600 requests for questions to ask you from my fellow West Virginians. Most of them have been asked and there are some to be asked if the classified hearing. I want to thank you first of all for coming to be here and volunteering to stay in the classified hearing. I don’t know if you had a chance to watch our hearing yesterday —

COMEY: I watched part of it, yes.

MANCHIN: And it was quite troubling. My colleagues had very pointed questions they wanted answers to. And they weren’t classified and could have been answered in the open setting and they refused to. So that makes us much more appreciative of your cooperation. Sir, the seriousness of the Russia investigation and knowing that it can be ongoing as Senator Keegan alluded to. What are your concerns there? American public saying why are we making a big deal of this Russian investigation? Can you tell me about your thoughts?

COMEY: Yes, sir.

MANCHIN: Finally, did the president ever show any concern or interest or curiosity about what the Russians were doing?

COMEY: Thank you, senator. As I said earlier, I don’t remember any conversations with the president about the Russia election interference.

MANCHIN: Did he ever ask you any questions concerning this?

COMEY: Well, there was an initial briefing of our findings. And I think there was conversation there I don’t remember exactly where he asked what I found and what our sources were and what our confidence level was. The reason this is such a big deal. We have this big messy wonderful country where we fight with each other all the time. But nobody tells us what to think, what to fight about, what to vote for except other Americans. And that’s wonderful and often painful. But we’re talking about a foreign government that using technical intrusion, lots of other methods tried to shape the way we think, we vote, we act. That is a big deal. And people need to recognize it. It’s not about Republicans or Democrats. They’re coming after America, which I hope we all love equally. They want to undermine our credibility in the face the world. They think that this great experiment of ours is a threat to them. So they’re going to try to run it down and dirty it up as much as possible. That’s what this is about and they will be back. Because we remain — as difficult as we can be with each other, we remain that shining city on the hill. And they don’t like it.

MANCHIN: It’s extremely important, extremely dangerous what we’re dealing with and it’s needed is what you’re saying.

COMEY: Yes, sir.

MANCHIN: Do you believe there were any tapes or recordings of your conversations with the president?

COMEY: It never occurred to me until the president’s tweet. I’m not being facetious. I hope there are.

MANCHIN: Both of you are in the same here, you both hope there are taping and recordings?

COMEY: Well all I can do is hope. The president surely knows if he taped me. If he did, my feelings aren’t hurt. Release all of the tapes I’m good with you.

MANCHIN: Sir, do you believe that Robert Mueller, our new special versus, on Russia, will be thorough and complete without intervention and would you about confident on his recommendations?

COMEY: Yes, Bob Mueller is one of the finest people and public servants this country has ever produced. He will do it well. He’s a dogged-tough person and you can have high confidence when he’s done, he’s turned over all of the rocks.

MANCHIN: You’ve been asked a wide variety of questions and we’re going to have more in our classified hearing. Something else I like to ask folks when they come here, what details of the saga should we be focused on and recommend that we do differently? To adjust our perspective on this.

COMEY: I don’t know. One of the reasons I’m pleased to be here I think this committee has shown the American people although we have two parties and we disagree on things we can work together when it comes to the country. So I would hope that you would just keep doing what you’re doing. And it’s a good example for kids. That it’s good in and of itself but we are an adult democracy.

MANCHIN: You mentioned six times on the phone with president did you ever allude that you were performing inadequately? —

COMEY: No, quite the contrary. I was about to get on a helicopter one time. The head of the DEA was in the helicopter waiting for me. He called in to check in and tell me I was doing an awesome job. And wanted to see how I was doing. I said I’m doing fine, sir. Then I finished the call and got on the helicopter.

MANCHIN: Mr. Comey, do you believe you would have been fired if Hillary Clinton became president?

COMEY: That’s a great question. I don’t know. I don’t know.

MANCHIN: Have you had any thoughts about it?

COMEY: I might have been. I don’t know. Look, I’ve said before, that was an extraordinarily difficult and painful time. I think I did what I had to do. I knew it was going to be very bad for me personally. And the consequences might have been if Hillary Clinton was elected I might have been terminated. I don’t know. I really don’t.

MANCHIN: My final question, after the February 14th meeting in the oval office you mentioned to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Did you ever consider why Attorney General Sessions was not asked to stay in the room?

COMEY: Oh, sure. I did. And have. And in that moment, I knew —

MANCHIN: Did you ever talk to him about it?

COMEY: No.

MANCHIN: You never had a discussion with Jeff sessions on this?

COMEY: No, not at all.

MANCHIN: On any of your meetings?

COMEY: No.

MANCHIN: Did he inquire? Did he show any inquiry whatsoever what was that meeting about?

COMEY: No — you’re right. I did say to him. I’d forgotten this, I talked to him and said you have to be between me and the president and that’s incredibly important. I forgot my exact words I passed along my the president’s message about the leaks. I passed that along to the attorney general I think it was the next morning in the meeting. But I did not tell him about the Flynn part.

MANCHIN: Do you believe this rises to obstruction of justice?

COMEY: I don’t know, that’s Bob Mueller’s job to sort that out. .

MANCHIN: Thank you, sir.

SEN. TOM COTTON: Mr. Chairman.

BURR: Senator Cotton.

COTTON: Mr. Comey, you’re encouraged.president will release the tapes will you encourage Mr. Mueller to release your memos?

COMEY: Sure.

COTTON: You said you did not record your conversations with President Obama or President Bush in memos. Did you do so with Attorney General Jeff Sessions or any other senior member of the trump Department of Justice?

COMEY: No. I think — I am sorry.

COTTON: Did you record conversations or memos with the attorney general or any other senior member of the Obama administration?

COMEY: No.

COTTON: Two phone calls, four phone calls are not discussed in your statement, for the record. What happens in those phone calls?

COMEY: The president called me I believe shortly before he was inaugurated as a follow-up to our conversation, private conversation on January the 6th. He just wanted to reiterate his rejection of that allegation and talk about—- he’d thought about it more. And why he thought it wasn’t true. The verified — unverified parts. And during that call, he asked me again, hope you’re going to say. You’re doing a great job. I told him that I intended to. There was another phone call that I mentioned could have the date wrong, March 1st, where he called just to check in with me as I was about to get on the hospital. It was a secure call we had about an operational matter that is not related to any of this. Something that the FBI is working on. He wanted to make sure I understood how important he thought it was. A totally appropriate call. And then the fourth call, probably forgetting — may have been — I may have met the call when he called to invite me to dinner. I’ll think about it as I’m answering other questions but I think I got that right.

COTTON: Let’s turn our attention to the underlying activity at issue here. Russia’s hacking of those e-mails and the allegation of collusion. Do you think Donald Trump colluded with Russia?

COMEY: That’s a question I don’t think I should answer in an opening setting. As I said, when I left, we did not have an investigation focused on president trump. But that’s a question that will be answered by the investigation, I think.

COTTON: Let me turn to a couple statements by one of my colleagues, Senator Feinstein. She was the ranking member on this committee until January, which means that she had access to information that only she and Chairman Burr did. She’s now the senior Democrat on the FBI Committee, which means she had access to information that many of us don’t. On May 3rd on the Wolf Blitzer show she was asked “Do you believe you have evidence that in fact that there was collusion between Trump associates and Russia during the campaign? She answered not at this time. On May 18th, on the same show, Mr. Blitzer said, “The last time you came on this show I I asked if you had seen any evidence that Russia had colluded with the Trump campaign.” You said not at this time. Has anything changed since we last spoke? Senator Feinstein said no, it hasn’t. Do you have any reason to doubt those statements?

COMEY: I don’t doubt that the Senator Feinstein understood what she said. I just don’t want to go down that route anymore because I’m — I want to be fair to President Trump.I am not trying to suggest something nefarious but I don’t want to get into the business of not to this person, not to that person.

COTTON: On February 14th the New York Times published the story, the headline of which was “Trump campaign aides had repeated contacts with Russian intelligence.” You were asked if that as an inaccurate story. Would it be fair to characterize that story as almost entirely wrong?

COMEY: Yes.

COTON: Do you have — at the time the story was published, any indication of any contact between Trump people and Russians, intelligence officers, other government officials or close associates of the Russian government?

COMEY: That’s one I can’t answer sitting here.

COTTON: We can discuss that in the classified setting then. I want to turn your attention now to Mr. Flynn. The allegations of his underlying conduct to be specific. His alleged interactions with the Russian ambassador on the telephone and then what he said to senior Trump administration officials and Department of Justice officials. I understand there are other issues with Mr. Flynn related to his receipt of foreign monies or disclosure ever official advocacy, those are serious allegations that I’m sure will be pursued but I want to speak specifically about his interactions with the Russian ambassador. There’s a story on January 23rd in The Washington Post that says, entitled “FBI reviewed calls with Russian ambassador but found nothing illicit.” Is this story accurate?

COMEY: I don’t want to comment ton that senator. I’m pretty sure the bureau has not confirmed any interception of communications. So, I don’t want to talk about that in an opening setting.

COTTON: Would it be improper for an incoming national security advisor to have a conversation with a foreign ambassador?

COMEY: In my experience, no.

COTTON: But you can’t confirm or deny that the conversation happened and we would need to know the contents of that conversation to know if it in fact was proper.

COMEY: I don’t think I can talk about that opening setting. Again, I’ve been out of government a month. So, I also don’t want to talk about things when it’s now somebody else’s responsibility. But maybe in the classified setting we can talk more about that.

COTTON: You stated earlier that there was an open investigation of Mr. Flynn and the FBI. Did you or any FBI agent ever sense that Mr. Flynn attempted to deceive you or make false states to an FBI agent?

COMEY: I don’t want to go too far. That was the subject of the criminal inquiry.

COTTON: Did you ever come close to closing the investigation on Mr. Flynn?

COMEY: I don’t think I can talk about that in open setting either.

COTTON: We can discuss these more in the closed setting then. Mr. Comey, in 2004, you were a part of a well-publicized event about an intelligence program that had been recertified several times. And you were acting attorney general when Attorney General John Ashcroft was incapacitated due to illness. There was a dramatic showdown at the hospital here. The next day you said you that wrote the letter of resignation, signed it, went to meet with President Bush and explained why you produced to certify it is that accurate?

COMEY: Yes.

COTTON: At anytime during FBI director did you ever write and sign a letter of resignation?

COMEY: Letter of resignation? No, sir.

COTTON: Despite all of off that testified to today you didn’t feel this rose to a level of honest difference of opinion between accomplished and skilled lawyers in that 2004 episode.

COMEY: I wouldn’t characterize the events in 2004 that way but to answer, no, I didn’t find, encounter any circumstance that led me intend to resign, consider to resign. No, sir.

COTTON: Thank you.

BURR: Senator Harris.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS: Director Comey, I want to thank you you are now a private citizen and you’re enduring a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. Each of us gets seven minutes instead of five to ask you questions, thank you.

COMEY: I’m between opportunities now so —

HARRIS: You are — I’m sure you’ll have future opportunities. You and I are both former prosecutors. I’m not going to require to you answer. I just want to make a statement that in my experience of prosecuting cases when a robber held a gun to somebody’s head and said I hope you will give me your wallet, the word hope was not the operative word at that moment. But you don’t have to respond to that point. I have a series of questions to ask you. And they’re going to start with: Are you aware of any meetings between the trump administration officials and Russia officials during the campaign that have not been acknowledged by those officials in the White House?

COMEY: That’s not — even if I remembered clearly, that’s not a question I can answer in open setting.

HARRIS: Are you aware of any questions by Trump campaign officials or associates of the campaign to hide their communications with Russia officials through encrypted means?

COMEY: I have to give you the same answer.

HARRIS: In the course of the FBI’s investigation did you ever come across anything that suggested that communication, records, documents or other evidence had been destroyed?

COMEY: I think a got to give you the aim answer is because it would touch on investigative matters.

HARRIS: And are you a wear of any potential efforts to conceal between campaign officials and Russian officials?

COMEY: I have to give you the aim answer is.

HARRIS: Thank you. As a former attorney general, I have a series of questions in connection with your connection with the attorney general while you were FBI director. What is your understanding of the parameters of Attorney General Sessions’ recusal from the Russia investigation?

COMEY: I think it’s described in a written release from DOJ which I don’t remember sitting here but the gist is he will be recused from all matters relating to Russia or the campaign. Or the activities of Russia and the ’16 election or something like that.

HARRIS: So, is your knowledge of the extent of the recusal based on the public statements he’s made?

COMEY: Correct.

HARRIS: Is there any kind of memorandum issued from the attorney general to the FBI outlining the parameters of his recusal?

COMEY: Not that I’m aware of.

HARRIS: Do you know if he reviewed any DOJ documents before he was recused?

COMEY: I don’t know.

HARRIS: And after he was recused. I’m assuming same answer?

COMEY: Same answer.

HARRIS: And aside from any notice or memorandum that was not sent or was what process would be to make sure that the attorney general would not have any connection to the investigation torsion your knowledge?

COMEY: I don’t know for sure. I know he had consulted with career ethics officials that know how to run a recusal at DOJ. But I don’t know what mechanism they set up.

HARRIS: And the attorney general recused himself from the investigation, do you believe it was appropriate for him to be involved in the firing of the chief investigator of that case that had Russia interference?

COMEY: It’s something that I can’t answer sitting here. It’s a reasonable question. It would depend on a lot of things I don’t know, like did he know, what was he told, did he realize the investigation, things like that. I just don’t know the answer.

HARRIS: You mentioned in your testimony that the president essentially asked you for a loyalty pledge. Are you aware of him making the same request of any other member the cabinet?

COMEY: I don’t know one way or another. I’ve never heard anything about it.

HARRIS: You mentioned you had the conversation where he hoped that you would let the Flynn matter go on February 14. Or thereabouts. It’s my understanding that Mr. Sessions was recused from any involvement in the investigation, about a full two weeks later. To your knowledge, was the attorney general, did he have access to information about the investigation in those two weeks?

COMEY: In theory, sure. Because he’s the attorney general. I don’t know whether he had any contact with materials related to that.

HARRIS: To your knowledge was there any directive that he should not have any contact with any information about the Russian investigation between the February 14th date and the day he was ultimately recused himself on March 2nd.

COMEY: Not to my knowledge. I don’t know one way or another.

HARRIS: And did you speak to the attorney general about the Russia investigation about his recusal?

COMEY: I don’t think so, no.

HARRIS: Do you know if anyone in the department, in the FBI, forwarded any documents or information on memos of any sort, to the attention of the attorney general before his recusal?

COMEY: I don’t know of any or remember any signaturing here. It’s possible.

HARRIS: Do you know if the attorney general was involved, in fact, involved in any aspect of the Russia investigation after the 2nd of March?

COMEY: I don’t. I would assume not. Let me say this way, I don’t know of any information that would lead me to believe he did something to touch the Russia investigation after recusal.

HARRIS: In your written testimony, you indicate that after you were left alone with the president, you mentioned that it was inappropriate and should never happen again to the attorney general. And apparently, he did not reply. And you wrote that he did not reply. What did he do, if anything? Did he just look at you? Was there a pause for a moment, what happened?

COMEY: I don’t remember real clearly. I have a recollection of him just kind of looking at me. It was a danger I’m projecting on to him so this might be a faulty memory. But I kind of got — his body language gave me a sense like what am I going to do.

HARRIS: Did he shrug?

COMEY: I don’t remember clearly. I think the reason I have that impression is I have some recollection of almost imperceptible like what am I going to do. But I don’t have a clear recollection of that of that. He didn’t say anything.

HARRIS: On that same February 14th meeting you said you understood the president to be requesting that you drop the investigation. After that meeting, however, you received two calls from the president March 30th and April 11th, where the president talked about cloud over his presidency. Has anything you’ve learned in the months since your February 14 meeting changed your understanding of the president’s request — ¶I guess that would be what he said in public documents or public interviews?

COMEY: Correct.

HARRIS: And is there anything about this investigation that you believe is in any way biased or, or is not being informed by a process of seeking the truth?

COMEY: No. The appointment of a special counsel should offer great — especially given who that person is, great comfort to Americans. No matter what your political affiliation is, that this will be done independently, confidently and honestly.

HARRIS: And do you believe he should have full authority, Mr. Mueller, to be able to pursue that investigation?

COMEY: Yes. And knowing him well, over the years, if there’s something that he thinks he needs, he will speak up about it.

HARRIS: Do you believe he should have full independence?

COMEY: Oh, yeah. And he wouldn’t be part of if he wasn’t going to get full Independence.

HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

CORNYN: Mr. Comey I’ll repeat what I said in previous hearings that I believe you’re a good and decent man who has been dealt with a difficult hand starting back with the Clinton e-mail investigation. I appreciate you being here voluntarily to cooperation with the investigation. As a general matter, if an FBI agent has reason to believe that a crime has been committed, do they have a duty to report it?

COMEY: That’s a good question. I don’t know that there’s a legal duty to report it. They certainly have a cultural, ethical duty to report it.

CORNYN: You’re unsure whether they would have a legal duty?

COMEY: That’s a good question. I have not thought about that before. There’s a statute that prohibits the felony, knowing a felony and taking steps to conceal it but that’s a different question. Let me be clear, I would expect any FBI agent who has information about a crime to report it.

CORNYN: Me, too.

COMEY: But where you rest that obligation, I don’t know. It exists.

CORNYN: And let me suggest as a general proposition, if you’re trying to make an investigation go away, is firing an FBI director a good way to make that happen? By that, I mean —

COMEY: It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me but I obviously am hopelessly biased given I was the one fired.

CORNYN: I understand it’s personal.

COMEY: Given the nature of the FBI, I meant what I said. For all the indispensable people in the world, including the FBI, there’s lots of bad things for me not being at the FBI, most of them for me, but the work is going to go on.

CORNYN: Nothing that you testified to as to today, has impeded the investigation of the FBI or director Mueller’s ability to get to the bottom of this?

COMEY: Correct. Especially, Director Mueller is a critical part of that equation.

CORNYN: Let me take you back to the Clinton e-mail investigation. I think you’ve been tanked agency a hero or a villain, depending on whose political ox is being gored at many different times during the court of the Clinton e-mail investigation, and even now perhaps.

But you clearly were troubled by the conduct of the sitting Attorney General Loretta Lynch when it came to the Clinton e-mail investigation. You mentioned the characterization that you’d been asked to accept. That this was a matter. And not a criminal investigation. Which you said it was. There was the matter of President Clinton’s meeting on the tarmac. With the sitting attorney general at the time when his wife was a subject to a criminal investigation. And you suggested that perhaps there are other matters that you may be able to share with us later on in a classified setting. But it seems to me that you clearly believe that Loretta Lynch, the attorney general, had an appearance of a conflict of interest on the Clinton e-mail investigation. Is that correct?

COMEY: That’s fair. I didn’t believe she could credibly decline that investigation. At least not without grievous damage to the Department of Justice and to the FBI.

CORNYN: And under Department of Justice and FBI norms, wouldn’t it have been appropriate for the attorney general, or if she had recused herself which she did not do for the deputy attorney general to appoint a special counsel. That’s essentially what’s happened with director Mueller. Would that have been an appropriate step?

COMEY: Certainly, yes, sir.

CORNYN: And were you aware Ms. Lynch had been requested numerous times to appoint a special counsel and had refused.

COMEY: Yes. From, I think, Congress had — members of congress had repeatedly asked, yes, sir.

CORNYN: Yours truly did on multiple occasions. And that heightened your concerns about the appearance of a conflict of interest with the Department of Justice which caused you to make what you have described as an incorrectly painful decision to basically take the matter up yourself and led to that July press conference?

COMEY: Yes, sir. I ask — after President Clinton, former President Clinton met on the plane with the attorney general, I considered whether I should call for the appointment of a special counsel. And decided that would be an unfair thing to do because I knew there was no case there. We investigated it very, very thoroughly. I know this is a subject of passionate disagreement but I knew there was no case there. And calling for the appointment of special counsel would be brutally unfair because it would send the message, uh-huh, there’s something here. That’s my judgment. Lots of people have different views about it but that’s what I thought about it.

CORNYN: Well if a special counsel had been appointed they could have made that determination there was nothing there and declined to pursue it, right?

COMEY: Sure. But it would have been many months later or a year later.

CORNYN: Let me just you ask to — given the experience of the Clinton e-mail investigation and what happened there. Do you think it’s unreasonable for anyone, any president, who has been assured on multiple occasions that he’s not the subject of an FBI investigation, do you think it’s unreasonable for them to want the FBI director to publicly announce that, so that this cloud over his administration would be removed?

COMEY: I think that’s a reasonable point of view. The concern would be, obviously, because as that boomerang comes back it’s going to be a very big deal because there will be a duty to correct.

CORNYN: Well, we saw that in the Clinton e-mail investigation.

COMEY: Yes, I recall that.

CORNYN: I know you do. So, let me ask you, finally, in the minute we have left. There was this conversation back and forth about loyalty. And I think we all appreciate the fact that an FBI director is an unique public official in the sense he’s not — he’s a political appointee in one sense. But he has a duty of independence to pursue the law pursuant to the Constitution and laws of the United States. And so when the president asked you about loyalty, you got in this back and forth about, well, I’ll pledge you my honesty. Then it looks like from what I’ve read you agreed upon honest loyalty. Is that the characterization?

COMEY: Yes.

CORNYN: Thank you very much.

COMEY: Yes, sir.

Full Text Political Transcripts June 7, 2017: Former FBI Director James Comey’s Opening Statement to Senate Intelligence Committee about President Donald Trump

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

James Comey’s prepared testimony

Source: Senate Intelligence Committee, 6-7-17

Statement for the Record

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
James B. Comey
June 8, 2017
Chairman Burr, Ranking Member Warner, Members of the Committee.
Thank you for inviting me to appear before you today. I was asked to testify today to describe for you my interactions with President-Elect and President Trump on subjects that I understand are of interest to you. I have not included every detail from my conversations with the President, but, to the best of my recollection, I have tried to include information that may be relevant to the Committee.
January 6 Briefing
I first met then-President-Elect Trump on Friday, January 6 in a conference room at Trump Tower in New York. I was there with other Intelligence Community (IC) leaders to brief him and his new national security team on the findings of an IC assessment concerning Russian efforts to interfere in the election. At the conclusion of that briefing,
I remained alone with the President Elect to brief him on some personally sensitive aspects of the information assembled during the assessment.
The IC leadership thought it important, for a variety of reasons, to alert the incoming President to the existence of this material, even though it was salacious and unverified. Among those reasons were: (1) we knew the media was about to publicly report the material and we believed the IC should not keep knowledge of the material and its imminent release from the President-Elect; and (2) to the extent there was some effort to compromise an incoming President, we could blunt any such effort with a defensive briefing.
The Director of National Intelligence asked that I personally do this portion of the briefing because I was staying in my position and because the material implicated the FBI’s counter-intelligence responsibilities. We also agreed I would do it alone to minimize potential embarrassment to the President-Elect. Although we agreed it made sense for me to do the briefing, the FBI’s leadership and I were concerned that the briefing might create a situation where a new President came into office uncertain about whether the FBI was conducting a counter-intelligence investigation of his personal conduct.
It is important to understand that FBI counter-intelligence investigations are different than the more-commonly known criminal investigative work. The Bureau’s goal in a counter-intelligence investigation is to understand the technical and human methods that hostile foreign powers are using to influence the United States or to steal our secrets. The FBI uses that understanding to disrupt those efforts. Sometimes disruption takes the form of alerting a person who is targeted for recruitment or influence by the foreign power. Sometimes it involves hardening a computer system that is being attacked. Sometimes it involves “turning” the recruited person into a double-agent, or publicly calling out the behavior with sanctions or expulsions of embassy-based intelligence officers. On occasion, criminal prosecution is used to disrupt intelligence activities.
Because the nature of the hostile foreign nation is well known, counterintelligence investigations tend to be centered on individuals the FBI suspects to be witting or unwitting agents of that foreign power. When the FBI develops reason to believe an American has been targeted for recruitment by a foreign power or is covertly acting as an agent of the foreign power, the FBI will “open an investigation” on that American and use legal authorities to try to learn more about the nature of any relationship with the foreign power so it can be disrupted.
In that context, prior to the January 6 meeting, I discussed with the FBI’s leadership team whether I should be prepared to assure President-Elect Trump that we were not investigating him personally. That was true; we did not have an open counter-intelligence case on him. We agreed I should do so if circumstances warranted. During our one-on-one meeting at Trump Tower, based on President Elect Trump’s reaction to the briefing and without him directly asking the Intelligence chiefs won’t say if Trump asked them to downplay Russia probe question, I offered that assurance.
I felt compelled to document my first conversation with the President-Elect in a memo. To ensure accuracy, I began to type it on a laptop in an FBI vehicle outside Trump Tower the moment I walked out of the meeting. Creating written records immediately after one-on-one conversations with Mr. Trump was my practice from that point forward. This had not been my practice in the past. I spoke alone with President Obama twice in person (and never on the phone) — once in 2015 to discuss law enforcement policy issues and a second time, briefly, for him to say goodbye in late 2016. In neither of those circumstances did I memorialize the discussions. I can recall nine one-on-one conversations with President Trump in four months — three in person and six on the phone.
January 27 Dinner
The President and I had dinner on Friday, January 27 at 6:30 pm in the Green Room at the White House. He had called me at lunchtime that day and invited me to dinner that night, saying he was going to invite my whole family, but decided to have just me this time, with the whole family coming the next time. It was unclear from the conversation who else would be at the dinner, although I assumed there would be others.
It turned out to be just the two of us, seated at a small oval table in the center of the Green Room. Two Navy stewards waited on us, only entering the room to serve food and drinks.
The President began by asking me whether I wanted to stay on as FBI Director, which I found strange because he had already told me twice in earlier conversations that he hoped I would stay, and I had assured him that I intended to. He said that lots of people wanted my job and, given the abuse I had taken during the previous year, he would understand if I wanted to walk away.
Comey’s opening statement posted online 05:00
My instincts told me that the one-on-one setting, and the pretense that this was our first discussion about my position, meant the dinner was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship. That concerned me greatly, given the FBI’s traditionally independent status in the executive branch.
I replied that I loved my work and intended to stay and serve out my ten-year term as Director. And then, because the set-up made me uneasy, I added that I was not “reliable” in the way politicians use that word, but he could always count on me to tell him the truth. I added that I was not on anybody’s side politically and could not be counted on in the traditional political sense, a stance I said was in his best interest as the President.
A few moments later, the President said, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence. The conversation then moved on, but he returned to the subject near the end of our dinner. At one point, I explained why it was so important that the FBI and the Department of Justice be independent of the White House. I said it was a paradox: Throughout history, some Presidents have decided that because “problems” come from Justice, they should try to hold the Department close. But blurring those boundaries ultimately makes the problems worse by undermining public trust in the institutions and their work.
Near the end of our dinner, the President returned to the subject of my job, saying he was very glad I wanted to stay, adding that he had heard great things about me from Jim Mattis, Jeff Sessions, and many others. He then said, “I need loyalty.” I replied, “You will always get honesty from me.” He paused and then said, “That’s what I want, honest loyalty.” I paused, and then said, “You will get that from me.” As I wrote in the memo I created immediately after the dinner, it is possible we understood the phrase “honest loyalty” differently, but I decided it wouldn’t be productive to push it further. The term — honest loyalty — had helped end a very awkward conversation and my explanations had made clear what he should expect.
During the dinner, the President returned to the salacious material I had briefed him about on January 6, and, as he had done previously, expressed his disgust for the allegations and strongly denied them. He said he was considering ordering me to investigate the alleged incident to prove it didn’t happen. I replied that he should give that careful thought because it might create a narrative that we were investigating him personally, which we weren’t, and because it was very difficult to prove a negative. He said he would think about it and asked me to think about it.
As was my practice for conversations with President Trump, I wrote a detailed memo about the dinner immediately afterwards and shared it with the senior leadership team of the FBI.
February 14 Oval Office Meeting
On February 14, I went to the Oval Office for a scheduled counterterrorism briefing of the President. He sat behind the desk and a group of us sat in a semi-circle of about six chairs facing him on the other side of the desk. The Vice President, Deputy Director of the CIA, Director of the National CounterTerrorism Center, Secretary of Homeland Security, the Attorney General, and I were in the semi-circle of chairs. I was directly facing the President, sitting between the Deputy CIA Director and the Director of NCTC. There were quite a few others in the room, sitting behind us on couches and chairs.
The President signaled the end of the briefing by thanking the group and telling them all that he wanted to speak to me alone. I stayed in my chair. As the participants started to leave the Oval Office, the Attorney General lingered by my chair, but the President thanked him and said he wanted to speak only with me. The last person to leave was Jared Kushner, who also stood by my chair and exchanged pleasantries with me. The President then excused him, saying he wanted to speak with me.
How James Comey is preparing for this moment 02:30
When the door by the grandfather clock closed, and we were alone, the President began by saying, “I want to talk about Mike Flynn.” Flynn had resigned the previous day. The President began by saying Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong in speaking with the Russians, but he had to let him go because he had misled the Vice President. He added that he had other concerns about Flynn, which he did not then specify.
The President then made a long series of comments about the problem with leaks of classified information — a concern I shared and still share. After he had spoken for a few minutes about leaks, Reince Priebus leaned in through the door by the grandfather clock and I could see a group of people waiting behind him. The President waved at him to close the door, saying he would be done shortly. The door closed.
The President then returned to the topic of Mike Flynn, saying, “He is a good guy and has been through a lot.” He repeated that Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong on his calls with the Russians, but had misled the Vice President. He then said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” I replied only that “he is a good guy.” (In fact, I had a positive experience dealing with Mike Flynn when he was a colleague as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the beginning of my term at FBI.) I did not say I would “let this go.”
The President returned briefly to the problem of leaks. I then got up and left out the door by the grandfather clock, making my way through the large group of people waiting there, including Mr. Priebus and the Vice President.
I immediately prepared an unclassified memo of the conversation about Flynn and discussed the matter with FBI senior leadership. I had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December. I did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign. I could be wrong, but I took him to be focusing on what had just happened with Flynn’s departure and the controversy around his account of his phone calls. Regardless, it was very concerning, given the FBI’s role as an independent investigative agency.
The FBI leadership team agreed with me that it was important not to infect the investigative team with the President’s request, which we did not intend to abide. We also concluded that, given that it was a one-on-one conversation, there was nothing available to corroborate my account. We concluded it made little sense to report it to Attorney General Sessions, who we expected would likely recuse himself from involvement in Russia-related investigations. (He did so two weeks later.) The Deputy Attorney General’s role was then filled in an acting capacity by a United States Attorney, who would also not be long in the role. After discussing the matter, we decided to keep it very closely held, resolving to figure out what to do with it down the road as our investigation progressed. The investigation moved ahead at full speed, with none of the investigative team members — or the Department of Justice lawyers supporting them — aware of the President’s request.
Shortly afterwards, I spoke with Attorney General Sessions in person to pass along the President’s concerns about leaks. I took the opportunity to implore the Attorney General to prevent any future direct communication between the President and me. I told the AG that what had just happened — him being asked to leave while the FBI Director, who reports to the AG, remained behind — was inappropriate and should never happen. He did not reply. For the reasons discussed above, I did not mention that the President broached the FBI’s potential investigation of General Flynn.
March 30 Phone Call
On the morning of March 30, the President called me at the FBI. He described the Russia investigation as “a cloud” that was impairing his ability to act on behalf of the country. He said he had nothing to do with Russia, had not been involved with hookers in Russia, and had always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia. He asked what we could do to “lift the cloud.” I responded that we were investigating the matter as quickly as we could, and that there would be great benefit, if we didn’t find anything, to our having done the work well. He agreed, but then re-emphasized the problems this was causing him.
Then the President asked why there had been a congressional hearing about Russia the previous week — at which I had, as the Department of Justice directed, confirmed the investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. I explained the demands from the leadership of both parties in Congress for more information, and that Senator Grassley had even held up the confirmation of the Deputy Attorney General until we briefed him in detail on the investigation. I explained that we had briefed the leadership of Congress on exactly which individuals we were investigating and that we had told those Congressional leaders that we were not personally investigating President Trump. I reminded him I had previously told him that. He repeatedly told me, “We need to get that fact out.” (I did not tell the President that the FBI and the Department of Justice had been reluctant to make public statements that we did not have an open case on President Trump for a number of reasons, most importantly because it would create a duty to correct, should that change.)
The President went on to say that if there were some “satellite” associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out, but that he hadn’t done anything wrong and hoped I would find a way to get it out that we weren’t investigating him.
In an abrupt shift, he turned the conversation to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, saying he hadn’t brought up “the McCabe thing” because I had said McCabe was honorable, although McAuliffe was close to the Clintons and had given him (I think he meant Deputy Director McCabe’s wife) campaign money. Although I didn’t understand why the President was bringing this up, I repeated that Mr. McCabe was an honorable person.
He finished by stressing “the cloud” that was interfering with his ability to make deals for the country and said he hoped I could find a way to get out that he wasn’t being investigated. I told him I would see what we could do, and that we would do our investigative work well and as quickly as we could.
Immediately after that conversation, I called Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente (AG Sessions had by then recused himself on all Russia-related matters), to report the substance of the call from the President, and said I would await his guidance. I did not hear back from him before the President called me again two weeks later.
April 11 Phone Call
On the morning of April 11, the President called me and asked what I had done about his request that I “get out” that he is not personally under investigation. I replied that I had passed his request to the Acting Deputy Attorney General, but I had not heard back. He replied that “the cloud” was getting in the way of his ability to do his job. He said that perhaps he would have his people reach out to the Acting Deputy Attorney General. I said that was the way his request should be handled. I said the White House Counsel should contact the leadership of DOJ to make the request, which was the traditional channel.
He said he would do that and added, “Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.” I did not reply or ask him what he meant by “that thing.” I said only that the way to handle it was to have the White
House Counsel call the Acting Deputy Attorney General. He said that was what he would do and the call ended.
That was the last time I spoke with President Trump.
###

Politics November 6, 2016: November surprise FBI’s Comey announces Clinton will still not face charges over server

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November surprise FBI’s Comey announces Clinton will still not face charges over server

 By Bonnie K. Goodman

FBI Director James Comey testifies before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 7, 2016. Comey is testifying on his July 5 recommendation that no charges be brought over US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state, saying the investigation does not support a criminal prosecution. / AFP / YURI GRIPAS (Photo credit should read YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)

FBI Director James Comey testifies before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 7, 2016.
Comey is testifying on his July 5 recommendation that no charges be brought over US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state, saying the investigation does not support a criminal prosecution. / AFP / YURI GRIPAS (Photo credit should read YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)

In an election cycle with never ending surprise, FBI Director James B. Comey whipped up a November surprise with barely two days left to Election Day. On Sunday afternoon, Nov. 6, 2016, Comey sent another letter to the chairman of Congressional committee announcing that they have reviewed the newly discovered emails and that the FBI is standing by their July decision not to recommend any criminal charges against the former Secretary of State over her usage of a private email server. The announcement is just as interfering in the election as Comey’s first letter on Oct. 28, and it has been met with criticism from Republicans as a close campaign enters its final two days.

In Comey’s second letter, he informed Congressional leaders that the second investigation had been completed, “Since my letter, the FBI investigative team has been working around the clock to process and review a large volume of emails from a device obtained in connection with an unrelated criminal investigation. During that process, we reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State.”

The FBI Director concluded, “Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.” Attorney General Loretta Lynch disagreed with Comey’s first letter, but on Sunday, the Justice Department issued a brief statement, saying, “The Department of Justice and the FBI dedicated all necessary resources to conduct this review expeditiously.”

The Clinton campaign was relieved after hearing the news but defiant. Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon tweeted, “We were always confident nothing would cause the July decision to be revisited. Now Director Comey has confirmed it.” While Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s communications director told reporters, “We have seen Director Comey’s latest letter to the Hill. We are glad to see that he has found, as we were confident that he would, that he had confirmed the conclusions he reached in July and we are glad that this matter is resolved.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, was equally pleased with the results of the investigation and its timing. Schiff in a statement expressed,
“While the original letter should never have been sent so close to an election, the expeditious review of these emails should put to rest — once and for all — the irresponsible speculation indulged in by the Trump campaign and others. Voters can now make their decision based on the merits, and that decision should be simple: it is the choice between a woman superbly qualified to be commander in chief, and a man patently unfit for office.”

Not all Democrats were as content one told CNN “It opened a wound that cannot be quickly healed.” Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is still angry at Comey. In a statement, Feinstein said, “Today’s letter makes Director Comey’s actions nine days ago even more troubling. There’s no doubt that it created a false impression about the nature of the agency’s inquiry. The Justice Department needs to take a look at its procedures to prevent similar actions that could influence future elections.”

The Republicans, however, were less than impressed by the November Surprise that might ruin their argument to vote Republican so close to the election. The letter seemed like another election spoiler. Trump spokesman Jason Miller commented on CNN, “We thought that Director Comey and the FBI were wrong when they made their initial recommendation in July, and we think that they’re wrong now.”

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan dismissed the letter, saying, “Regardless of this decision, the undisputed finding of the FBI’s investigation is that Secretary Clinton put our nation’s secrets at risk and in doing so compromised our national security,” Ryan said in a statement. “Fortunately, the American people have the opportunity to ensure Secretary Clinton never gets her hands on classified information again.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus agreed with Ryan, stating, “None of this changes the fact that the FBI continues to investigate the Clinton Foundation for corruption involving her tenure as secretary of state. Hillary Clinton should never be president.”

GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence hammered Clinton at “a rally in an airport hanger in Hickory, North Carolina,” saying, “Mishandling classified information is a crime. Hillary Clinton said that she never sent or received any classified information and the director of the FBI told the Congress classified information was sent.”

Meanwhile, Republican nominee Donald Trump spoke very little about the letter at his rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which began minutes after the news broke. The GOP nominee, however, renewed his call of a rigged system, claiming, “Well, you have to understand it’s a rigged system and she’s protected.” Top Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich concurred on Twitter, accusing, “Comey must be under enormous political pressure to cave like this.”

In July, Comey announced his decision not to prosecute Clinton after a lengthy FBI investigation. Comey said on July 5, “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” Although Comey expressed, the FBI could not “find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts,” he called Clinton’s handling of her emails “extremely careless.” Clinton has always dismissed the issue as merely a “mistake” of judgment.

Then on Friday, Oct. 28, Comey sent a letter to Congressional Committee Chairman informing them that the FBI uncovered new “pertinent” emails relating to the Clinton investigation in an unrelated case, and advised that the FBI would be reopening their investigation into Clinton’s private server. The FBI discovered 650,000 emails on the computer of disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner in their investigation of his sending sexually inappropriate text messages to an underage girl.

Weiner is the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s longtime aide who was Clinton’s deputy chief of staff at the State Department and is now her deputy campaign chair. Abedin also had an account on Clinton’s server. Abedin denied knowing the emails were ever on her husband’s laptop; she had been cooperating with authorities on the matter.

Initially sources claimed the emails were not duplicates of those the FBI already reviewed, but it turns out they were all copies. FBI agents knew of the emails for two weeks before notifying Comey on Thursday, Oct. 27. The Bureau was granted a warrant to search the emails on Sunday, Oct.  30. The probe was supposed not to be complete before the election, but pressure from the White House forced the FBI to complete the investigation before. The FBI used computers programs to scan and the emails and compared with those they already they had in the possession.

Initially, Comey faced praise from Trump’s campaign but was attacked and criticized by Clinton her campaign, Congressional supporters, most Democrats and President Barack Obama for the timing of the letter. Democrats in Congress even threatened to investigate Comey and the FBI for the timing of the letter, which interfered in the election a long known taboo.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder who formally instituted a policy in 2012 preventing investigations from interfering with elections wrote an editorial in the Washington Post criticizing Comey. Holder joined 100 Justice Department writing an open letter telling Comey his “letter to Congress was inconsistent with prevailing department policy, that it broke with longstanding practices followed during past elections and that they were astonished and perplexed.”

Now the Republicans and still some Democrats are criticizing Comey with good reason. Comey has played with the voters’ emotions and the election. Clinton may have received her all clear before the election, but Clinton lost her lead the contest is now close between Trump and Clinton, with Trump eclipsing Clinton is some crucial battleground states. The first letter united Republicans and saw them rallying around the nominee. The electoral map shifted in Trump’s favor after the first letter, will the second letter flip it back to Clinton or will voters remain wary of a scandal and investigation prone Clinton. Only on election night will anyone know how much Comey’s October and then November Surprises affected the 2016 election.

comey-letter-11616

Politics November 6, 2016: New scandal Clinton had her maid print classified emails documents, yet she leads in polls

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New scandal Clinton had her maid print classified emails documents, yet she leads in polls

By Bonnie K. Goodman

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 06: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during church services at Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ on November 6, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With two days to go until election day, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Florida and Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 06: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during church services at Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ on November 6, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With two days to go until election day, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Florida and Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is taking laziness and risking national security to a new level. On Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016, the New York Post dropped a bombshell; Clinton asked her maid in her house in Washington, DC to print for her emails and documents including classified docs during her tenure as Secretary of State. The NY Post is claiming their story comes from emails and FBI memos. The news comes just two days before the election as the race is close between Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump and just a week after the FBI’s Director James Comey announced they were reopening their investigation. Ironically, polls are still positive for Clinton with her lead growing in the campaign’s final days.

According to the report, Marina Santos is the maid at the center of the new controversy. Santos is a Filipino immigrant who works at Clinton’s home, Whitehaven and does not have or had a security clearance. According to the NY Post, Clinton had Santos print for her “drafts of her speeches, confidential memos and “call sheets” – background information and talking points prepared for the secretary of state in advance of a phone call with a foreign head of state.”

Emails show that Clinton routinely asked her staff and aides to forward documents to Santos so she could print them for her. Some of the examples include an unclassified email from 2011  where Clinton asked her longtime Huma Abedin, “Pls ask Marina to print for me in am.”  Abedin is the center of the FBI’s renewed investigation where all of her State Department communications that were also on Clinton’s private server were uncovered on her estranged husband’s former congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop.

There are also three other emails that are labeled as classified under the level of confidential in which Santos is referred to print items all come from aide, Monica Hanley. One from 2012 had to do with the new president Malawi, the other from the same year had to do with Iran both times Hanley mentioned Santos printing them, first writing, “We can ask Marina to print this,” and the other time “Marina is trying to print for you.” Hanely also mentioned a State Department fax in a 2012 email, “to see before your Netanyahu mtg. Marina will grab for you.”

The FBI’s investigation notes always pointed out that Santos had access to these documents by accessing the SCIF room (sensitive compartmented information facility) set up in Clinton’s Whitehaven home. The FBI wrote from their interview with Abedin, Santos “collected documents from the secure facsimile machine for Clinton.” Some of the documents besides emails were “the Presidential Daily Brief” on national security issues.

Despite the revelation and Santos involvement, she has not been interviewed neither has her devices been subpoenaed by the FBI for review. The FBI never asked Santos to hand over the iMac she received the emails on or the printer she used. Santos also was responsible for downloading all of Clinton’s State Department emails onto the Secretary’s Apple MacBook laptop, and USB flash drive that has become conveniently missing throughout the investigation.

The FBI noted in the case summary, “The two copies of the Clinton e-mail archive (one on the archive laptop and one on the thumb drive) were intended to be stored in Clinton’s Chappaqua and Whitehaven residences,” and that it “does not have either item in its possession.” Hanley told the FBI the devices were lost, a sadly unbelievable excuse.

What is believable that Clinton may have had her maid print out documents. The latest batch of emails released by the State Department and uncovered by the FBI during their investigation were near duplicates that usually had a “please print” added to it. Clinton said she used the private server mostly as a convenience to use one phone for both her professional and personal emails, essentially admitting laziness. If Clinton was that lazy, she had to have her information stored on the State Department server, and have an assistant with security clearance print and fetch her documents, not her maid.

Despite these reports, and the renewed FBI investigation American voters still say they are voting for Clinton. Two new polls released Sunday give Clinton comfortable leads. The ABC News-Washington Post Tracking gave Clinton a 5-point advantage 48 percent support to Trump’s 43, while the NBC News and Wall Street Journal poll has Clinton with a four-point lead, 44 percent to Trump’s 40.

In the opposite spectrum the LA Times/USC Tracking which has had an essential tie between the candidate opens up to a five-point lead for Trump, with 48 percent to Clinton’s 43 percent. The most reliable poll in 2012, the IBD/TIPP Tracking has the race at a tie, one up for Trump in a four-way race with while Clinton has the one-point advantage in a two-way race. However, the election is a four-way race with voters inevitably casting their ballots for third-party candidates.

Why would anyone want to elect a president who is extremely careless with FBI investigations over their head and a Congress that is threatening impeachment? In a recent exchange on Twitter with former Politico reporter and author of “HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton” Jonathan Allen, he claims it is a “prioritization” about voters believing “Clinton is competent to run the country and that Trump is not.”

Being politically corrupt, however, is worse than any lack of readiness for the presidency. The two last presidents Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama were criticized for not being ready enough for the presidency. Bush resolved the issue by surrounding himself with experience advisors and very hands on Vice President in the form of Dick Cheney, while Obama learned the lessons himself with the help of a Democratic Congress.

Trump too can surround himself with experienced advisors, and he has an accomplished running mate in Indian Governor Mike Pence, a veteran of Congress as well. Trump will also have a Republican Congress backing him up. As leaks from the Trump campaign’s final days prove, he can learn to listen and restrain himself. Maybe the outsider needs a learning curve, but at least he has never risked national security and classified documents as Clinton did as Secretary of State, indictment or not she was irresponsible, and that never makes anyone “competent to run the country.”

Politics November 4, 2016: State Department releases the last batch of Clinton emails before the election

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State Department releases the last batch of Clinton emails before the election

By Bonnie K. Goodman

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 04:  Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at Eastern Market on November 4, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. With less than a week to go until election day, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

DETROIT, MI – NOVEMBER 04: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at Eastern Market on November 4, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. With less than a week to go until election day, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The State Department released the final two batches of emails from former Secretary of State and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s tenure before the election. On Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, the State Department released 357 emails or 1,250 pages while on Friday, Nov. 4 they released 74 emails or 280 pages. The emails are part of the 15,000 the FBI discovered over the course of their first investigation into Clinton potentially endangering national security by using a private server for her email communications.

The majorities of the emails released are near duplicates of the emails the State Department previously released but include another mostly insignificant chain. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner explained the emails in a statement, writing, “For instance, a ‘near duplicate’ would be substantively identical to previously released emails, but for a top email in the chain stating ‘Please print.'”

The emails are being released as part of Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the Conservative group Judicial Watch. Judicial Watch was responsible for the lawsuit that forced the State Department to release the approximately 30,000 work related emails Clinton handed over to the State Department in December 2014. Clinton deleted the same amount of emails. The FBI recovered these 15,000 emails while examining the server.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ordered the State Department to review 1,000 documents before the election. The State Department previously released “75 emails, or around 270 pages, on Oct. 7, about 112 emails or 240 pages on Oct. 21, and 357 on Thursday.” Of the 15,000 emails, 60 percent were personal emails, 37 percent, 5,600 were from her work, but many were duplicates. The State Department will review 500 pages each month after the election and then release those that are appropriate.

Politics November 3, 2016: Clinton related emails discovered on Weiner’s computer, not duplicates

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Clinton related emails discovered on Weiner’s computer, not duplicates

By Bonnie  K. Goodman

RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 03: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek on November 3, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The U.S. presidential general election is November 8. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

RALEIGH, NC – NOVEMBER 03: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek on November 3, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The U.S. presidential general election is November 8. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The emails the FBI discovered on former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s computer relate to former Secretary of State and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s tenure and are not duplicates. CBS News spoke to an official involved in the investigation and reported on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, that the emails James B.Comey referred to his letter renewing the investigation are from Clinton’s tenure and the FBI has never seen them before.

The source told CBS generally about the emails but did provide details on the number of emails discovered that are specifically related to Clinton and if they are “significant” to their probe into whether she mishandled classified information by using a private server. According to a report conducted by CBS News’ Andres Triay, “At this point, however, it remains to be seen whether these emails are significant to the FBI’s investigation into Clinton. It is also not known how many relevant emails there are.”

On Friday, Oct. 28, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congressional Committee Chairman informing them that the FBI uncovered new “pertinent” emails relating to the Clinton investigation in an unrelated case, and advised that the FBI would be reopening their investigation into Clinton’s private server. The FBI discovered 650,000 emails on the computer of disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner in their investigation of his sending sexually inappropriate text messages to an underage girl.

Weiner is the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s longtime aide who was Clinton’s deputy chief of staff at the State Department and is now her deputy campaign chair. Abedin also had an account on Clinton’s server. Abedin denied knowing the emails were ever on her husband’s laptop; she has been cooperating with authorities on the matter.

FBI agents knew of the emails for two weeks before notifying Comey on Thursday, Oct. 27. The Bureau was granted a warrant to search the emails on Sunday, Oct.  30. Comey has faced praised from Trump’s campaign but criticism and attacks from Clinton her campaign and Congressional supporters and now President Barack Obama for the timing of the letter.

The investigation is not going to be complete before the election. An official spoke to USA Today and indicated that neither would the FBI provide updates throughout the investigation or give the results of their preliminary probe despite repeated calls from Democrats and Clinton’s campaign to do so. Another source told Reuters, Comey was motivated to send the letter to Congress to have control over the investigation and prevent leaks from the Bureau.

Politics November 1, 2016: Voters not too bothered by renewed Clinton email investigation, but why?

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Voters not too bothered by renewed Clinton email investigation, but why?

By Bonnie K. Goodman

NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 19: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (L) and her husband former U.S. President Bill Clinton speak during a debate watch party at Craig Ranch Regional Amphitheater following the third U.S. presidential debate at UNLV on October 19, 2016 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Tonight was the final debate ahead of Election Day on November 8. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 19: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (L) and her husband former U.S. President Bill Clinton speak during a debate watch party at Craig Ranch Regional Amphitheater following the third U.S. presidential debate at UNLV on October 19, 2016 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Tonight was the final debate ahead of Election Day on November 8. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Three new polls show that American voters do not seem to care very much about the FBI Director James B. Comey’s renewed investigation into Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s email server, which is troubling. On Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 66 percent of voters say the new probe is not going to change how they vote. Meanwhile, in the first national Politico/Morning Consult poll released after the news from FBI on Monday, Oct. 31, Clinton still maintains her same three-point lead over Republican nominee Donald Trump. Even worse, in the latest the Reuters/Ipsos survey released on Monday, Clinton has 5-point lead over Trump. Although this good news for Clinton it does not say much about the judgment of the American voters where an FBI investigation does not matter when the person in question wants to be president.

With a week left before the election, Clinton still holds on to her lead in the latest national Politico/Morning Consult poll. Clinton has the support of 42 percent of voters to Trump’s 39 percent support in a four-way race. Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson has 7 percent support, while Green Party nominee Jill Stein has 5 percent. Clinton still maintains her lead in a two-way race with 46 percent to Trump’s 43 percent.

The poll also asked voters how they felt about Clinton’s renewed email scandal. Fortunately at least a minority find it troubling, and it will now to affect how the vote on Nov. 8. According to the poll, 33 percent say they are “less likely” to vote for Clinton after the news broke, while 39 percent of Americans say it will not sway their vote. However, 45 percent “agreed with Trump” Clinton’s email scandal is worse than Watergate. The ABC News/Washington Post poll seems to concur; determining that 34 percent of voters are less likely to vote for Clinton after newly discovered emails forced the FBI to renew their investigation into Clinton.

Even more troubling is a third poll released Monday, the Reuters/Ipsos survey gave Clinton a five-point lead. In the survey, Clinton has 44 percent support to Trump’s 39 percent in a two-way race. The polls give Clinton a six percent lead in a four-way race, Clinton has 43 percent support to Trump’s 37 percent, while Johnson has six percent with Stein at just one percent.

On Friday morning, Oct. 28, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congressional Committee leaders informing them of a new development the discovery of news and that the FBI will be reopening their investigation into Clinton’s private server. The FBI discovered 650,000 emails on the computer of disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner in their investigation of his sending sexually inappropriate text messages to an underage girl.

Weiner is the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s longtime aide who was Clinton’s deputy chief of staff at the State Department and is now her deputy campaign chair. Abedin also had an account on Clinton’s server. FBI agents knew of the emails for two weeks before notifying Comey on Thursday, Oct. 27. The bureau was just granted a warrant to search the emails on Sunday, Oct.  30. Comey has faced praised from Trump’s campaign but criticism and attacks from Clinton her campaign and Congressional supporters for the timing of the letter.

Voters’ attitude toward the renewed investigation is surprising. We live in a society that still despite advances for many demographic groups views criminal activity, whether suspected, questionable or convicted with abhorrence. The mantra might be innocent until proven guilty, but in the public opinion, any question, nevermind an arrest is enough to convict in the court of public opinion. In the United States criminals even lose their voting right when convicted.

This same opinion is not just reserved for the average person, or demographic groups that the public feel are more prone to get involved in criminal activity sometimes based just on social circumstance but usually for our politicians. Americans put leaders to a higher standard and claim they want them to have with impeccable morals. Former President Richard Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate cover-up is forever seared as the standard-bearer. Although he worked hard to rehabilitate his image as the elder statesman, he was still considered by many a “crook.” The sex scandals that are discovered are enough to usually get a politician banished for life, never mind any hint or whiff of political corruption.

Republican nominee Donald Trump has felt the burn enough this campaign cycle much to the hypocrisy. His comments calling some Mexicans immigrants criminals calling for a wall on the border with Mexico were derided as racist, but privately many who do not consider themselves racist feel the same, or rationalize it as a class issue rather one of race. The same about Muslim immigrants, many want to consider themselves open-minded, but secretly are afraid maybe some do have terrorist leanings, possibly avoiding interactions with Muslims because of their fears. The same people were outraged at Trump’s position.

Then there was Trump’s 2005 tape bragging about groping women because of celebrity status, and his failed attempt at an affair with a married woman. The tape and the 12 women accusing Trump of sexually inappropriate behavior mostly unwanted kisses and hugs nearly destroyed his campaign. The public was already writing his campaign obituary, and arguing when he refused to say whether he would concede the election. The public and news media were being presumptuous arguing and insulting over a hypothetical situation three weeks before the election when Trump did not lose yet.

The Clintons however, seem to defy every common convention, the logic goes out the door when it comes to former President Bill Clinton and former First Lady, New York Senator, Secretary of State and now Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The Clintons have had had scandal after scandal since they entered the political sphere in the 1970 s and it has exacerbated since their entrance onto the national stage in 1992.

There have been strings of “allegations of legal or ethical wrongdoings” that have plagued the Clintons since Bill’s administration (1993-2000). The most notable being Whitewater, Paula Jones sexual harassment case, the Monica Lewinsky scandal and subsequent impeachment never mind the countless smaller ones. Through it, all Clinton maintained his high approval ratings, fiercely defended by Democratic colleagues even remaining in office after becoming only the second president ever impeached. Bill Clinton has been the exception rather than rule with politicians involved in sex scandals.

Hillary Clinton has always appeared as a Lady Macbeth, her scandals after her husband’s presidency only confirm that reputation of ruthless ambition above all. Clinton might have called her private email server as Secretary of State a convenient mistake; it was a shrewd way to manipulate her actions and political future but risking national security and giving a disgraced congressman access to it all unintentionally. Equally troubling is the blurring lines between her post at the State Department and her husbands’ Clinton Foundation. The WikiLeaks released emails from her campaign chairman John Podesta, the Democratic National Committee and others in the Clinton circle give an unappealing backstage view at the shrewd Clinton machine; that should not be ignored or dismissed.

One after the other the Clintons blamed someone else, with their favorite being the Republicans, they played the misunderstood victim, the innocents being preyed on, never truly taking responsibility for their actions. The Clintons played the American public, and in turn, they bought continuing their devotion and love affair. It either proves American voters are truly stupid or have stone age brains as historian Richard Shenkman argues, or the Clintons’ are master manipulators whose put on charm is truly inescapable.

Academics and pundits are defending Clinton’s actions, blaming sexism, Republicans or anything else. These academics and pundits would never tolerate Clinton’s behavior in their personal situations if they even suspected someone they knew behaved a similar manner they would throw stones, cut ties and blacklist making sure they are banished forever. Still, they continue to compromise their principals for an op-ed, a quote, radio or TV appearance book sales some professional attention. Too many academics and pundits see the Clintons’ scandals as fueling their careers, and they are milking it if she becomes president staying on the right side will gain them a favor. Keeping up with the popular position whether ethically sound or not shows they are morally not too far from the Clintons themselves.

There is no way to defend a criminal repeat offender, and there is no excuse for the Clintons’ repeated scandals, nothing justifies it after all this time. Former assistant FBI director James Kallstrom has come out to deride the Clintons’ repeated scandals in a recent radio interview calling the Democratic nominee a “pathological liar.” Kallstrom agrees with Comey’s decision to send the letter to Congress notifying them of the renewed investigation, saying, “The Clintons, that’s a crime family, basically. It’s like organized crime.”

It is not hatred, antipathy or anything else, upright and moral Americans, for the most part, want justice, they believe that politicians and leaders should be treated the same way they would in similar situations, the problem is the Clintons always escape that justice and that is the only reason for the animosity. They appear, act and behave like a ruling class when we live in a democracy.

Is it not because Clinton is a woman, her scandals and how far she has come, proves she plays the game better than any man does, and maybe even better than her husband. Clinton’s main advantage is as Trump accuses overusing the woman card, while she and her defenders cry out sexism; they use that as the top excuse to get away with anything. Neither is about her being a Democrat; there are many fine Democrats whose morality is without reproach including our current President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Obama tolerates Clinton for the ambition of securing his legacy, while Biden commended FBI Director Comey and reminded the public he would have won the primary and been the nominee.

The poll results are disheartening it shows American voters particularly Democrats are cutting themselves short and have been doing so since the primaries. They want justice and morality for everyone but their future president if the name is Clinton. So many scandals, an FBI investigation over Clinton’s head, how can even the staunchest Democrat accept that after all, this time it is not a witch-hunt there has to be some truth to the accusations. I had a professor who once claimed in a seminar that it is fine to be a hypocrite as long as one knows they are. He was wrong, it is never right to be a hypocrite, it is wrong if one knows they are, and it only worse when they do not realize it, and that is this election’s greatest problem.

Politics October 30, 2016: FBI Director Comey’s courageous decision to rise above politics in reopening Clinton case

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FBI Director Comey’s courageous decision to rise above politics in reopening Clinton case

By Bonnie K. Goodman

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27:  FBI Director James Comey testifies during a hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee September 27, 2016 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on "Fifteen Years After 9/11: Threats to the Homeland."  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 27: FBI Director James Comey testifies during a hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee September 27, 2016, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on “Fifteen Years After 9/11: Threats to the Homeland.” (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

FBI Director James B. Comey put his conscience before politics when he sent a letter to Congressional leaders informing them that the FBI found new “pertinent” emails relating to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email case. Comey faces threats and opposition to revealing the news a little over a week before Election Day. According to news reports on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, the Justice Department and Attorney General Loretta Lynch was against Comey’s letter and warned him against it. Now the Clinton campaign is struggling to survive the devastating blow so close the election with the only way they know to attack the FBI director and dismiss it all yet again.

An anonymous government source revealed that Lynch was against Comey interfering in the presidential race. The source explained, “The AG’s position is consistent with the department’s position not to take investigative steps that would influence an election so close to an election and to not comment on ongoing investigations. Director Comey decided to operate independently of that guidance by sending that letter to the Hill.”

Lynch did not speak directly to Comey on the issue but staying out of the election, has long been the silent policy for federal officials. The source said, “The position of the department was made clear to the FBI.” In 2012, former Attorney General Eric Holder issued a memo on the practice, writing, “Law enforcement officers and prosecutors may never select the timing of investigative steps or criminal charges for the purpose of affecting any election, or for the purpose of giving an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party. Such a purpose is inconsistent with the Department’s mission and with the Principles of Federal Prosecution.” Such a memo reeks of politics and a desire of ambition above the good of the nation.

Comey knew his letter, and the developments would be unpopular and misunderstood, but he believed it was necessary to make them public. The FBI director wrote a note to his staffers before sending the letter to Congress, explaining his motives, “Of course, we don’t ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations, but here I feel I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record.” The FBI is supposed to a politically independent agency. Comey only discovered news of the emails on Thursday, Oct. 27, while FBI agents knew about them since early October keeping them from their director and possibly influencing the presidential campaign.

Comey’s sending the letter of Congressional Committee Chairmen has rocked the 2016 presidential campaign and has become “the October Surprise” in what was already a rollercoaster of a campaign ride. Republican nominee Donald Trump has praised Comey profusely and Democrats mostly nominee Clinton’s campaign staff have criticized the FBI director. Both sides have been demanding that Comey provides more details about the investigation and the possible content of the emails. Comey keeps his hand close and will probably not reveal more details publicly until he is certain of the probe’s direction.

On Friday, Oct. 26, hours after the news broke; Clinton spoke to reporters during her campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa. Clinton demanded, “We are 11 days out from perhaps the most important election of our lifetimes…. So the American people deserve to get the full and complete facts immediately.” Clinton was also insistent selling the line; the new emails “will not change the conclusion.” On Saturday, Clinton continued her criticism during a campaign rally in Daytona Beach, Fla. Clinton accused, “It’s pretty strange to put something like that out with such little information right before an election. In fact, it’s not just strange, it’s unprecedented and it is deeply troubling.”

Clinton’s running mate Virginia Senator Tim Kaine also slammed Comey’s lettersaying interview on Friday with Vice News. Kaine echoed his running mate, saying, “When you do this 11 days before a presidential election and you don’t provide many details, but details are apparently being given by the FBI to the press, this is very, very troubling, and we hope that the director- and we really think that he should give a clearer accounting of exactly whats going on right now.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), “the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee” was furious at Comey sending the letter so late in the campaign. Feinstein issued a statement on Friday, attacking the director, “The FBI has a history of extreme caution near election day so as not to influence the results. Today’s break from that tradition is appalling.”

The news initially paralyzed Clinton’s campaign on Friday. On Saturday, the Clinton campaign seemed set to be at war and attack the FBI director for his decision. According to CNN, campaign officials were critical calling Comey’s letter “light on facts” and “heavy on innuendo.” Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta “accused” Comey of not being “forthcoming with the facts,” and “providing selective information.” Writing on Medium on Saturday, Podesta also expressed that the FBI Director’s decision was “bewildering” and “unfair to voters.”

Campaign manager Robby Mook had harsher words for the FBI director, saying “The Justice Department’s longstanding practice is: Don’t do anything seen as trying to influence an election. It’s completely unfair to Secretary Clinton and it’s really unfair to the voters.” The Clinton camp intends to attack Comey for being a Republican, praise the FBI’s professionalism and tout the director’s decision in July not to recommend criminal charges against Clinton and his subsequent testimony to Congress in September in an attempt to downplay the disastrous news.

What is uncertain is how the news will affect long-time Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s role in the campaign. After all, her and her husband’s disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner’s devices that had the emails in question. The federal investigation into her husband sending sexually explicit text messages to a 15-year-old girl prompted the investigation and led to the discovery.

Trump has long said Abedin’s marriage to Weiner was a liability to Clinton, even now, as they are separated. Trump commented at a campaign stop on Saturday in Golden, Colorado questioning, “Huma’s been a problem. I wonder if Huma’s going to stay there. I hope they haven’t given Huma immunity because it seemed that everybody that walked down the sidewalk got immunity. She knows the real story. She knows what’s going on.” Abedin was noticeably absent on Saturday as Clinton campaign in the battleground state of Florida.

The information the FBI discovered must have been damaging or Comey would not have broken ranks. No matter the content the fact that former disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner had access on his computer to any State Department emails, documents or work product is in itself troubling and demonstrates a risk to national security, something Trump has long warned the public concerning.

An anonymous official told the Los Angeles Times, the emails were not to or from Clinton and some might be repetitive, while Fox News reported that the FBI found tens of thousands State Department emails on Weiner’s computer. Comey felt the public needed to know all the facts before voting; it would have irresponsible to hide the facts. Should the information be damaging, the nation cannot face the divisiveness of another Watergate scandal, when terrorism threatens the country and the world, Comey did not want to be responsible for that.

The Clintons repeated scandals and the changing stories around her email server and handling of classified information made the new development all the more necessary to share to the electorate for them to make the most informed decision as possible, even if the Democrats, Clinton campaign, and Obama Administration do not like it. Throughout their national public life, the Clintons have a had a steady stream of scandals, blaming them on their opponents, repeatedly calling them unfair attacks, dismissing them as reasons why they should continue to go on without lasting consequences. Their entitlement has gone too far and too long as the nation and voters continually give them a free pass. National security in a dangerous era is on the line now, it is the FBI’s duty to above all else to “protect and defend” the country and “uphold criminal laws,” the nation needs to know if a potential president is deserving and abiding by the rules.

Former assistant FBI director James Kallstrom has come out to deride the Clintons’ repeated scandals in a recent radio interview calling the Democratic nominee a “pathological liar.” Kallstrom agrees with Comey’s decision to send the letter, saying, “The Clintons, that’s a crime family, basically. It’s like organized crime. I mean the Clinton Foundation is a cesspool.” Kallstrom says FBI officials were angry at the original investigation, which was essentially stifled by the White House. Kallstrom fervently believes Clinton’s action should prevent her from the presidency, expressing, “God forbid we put someone like that in the White House.”

As the nation’s highest law enforcement agent, Comey felt that his duty to his country superseded politics or the desire of President Barack Obama to secure his legacy. The Clinton’s campaign attacks on Comey show a lack of respect to law enforcement, proving that for the Clintons’ no matter what they say public service is not about the public but what is best for their ambitions. No matter who wins the election, the public should applaud and revere Comey’s decision to place the country’s safety before politics; his decision to rise above it all is the ideal of what law enforcement is all about.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms. Goodman is an expert in presidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics October 28, 2016: FBI is reopening Clinton email investigation is it the October Surprise of 2016?

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FBI is reopening Clinton email investigation is it the October Surprise of 2016?

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton chats with her staff, including aide Huma Abedin (L), onboard her plane in White Plains, New York, October 22, 2016, on her way to a campaign event in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. / AFP / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton chats with her staff, including aide Huma Abedin (L), onboard her plane in White Plains, New York, October 22, 2016, on her way to a campaign event in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. / AFP / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s email scandal is the gift the keeps on giving. Just over a week before the election on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, the FBI reopened their investigation into Clinton’s private server after finding new relevant emails. Chairman of the Oversight & Government Reform Committee Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was the first to announce the reopening of the investigation after receiving a letter from FBI Director James B. Comey. NBC News became the first news source to report on the investigation. The news media is hailing the turn of the events the October Surprise of 2016.

On Friday morning, Oct. 28 Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) tweeted: “FBI Dir just informed me, ‘The FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation.’ Case reopened.” Chaffetz announced the news after FBI Director Comey sent a letter to eight Congressional chairmen including Chaffetz informing them of their decision to reopen the case.

In the letter, Comey writes, “In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”

According to the Associated Press, the new emails were not sent or received from the private email server Clinton used during her tenure as Secretary of State. According to the New York Times, the emails came from the electronic devices from Clinton’s most trusted aide, Huma Abedin owned by her and soon to be ex-husband Anthony Weiner. The emails were found during an investigation into Weiner, a former Congressman over allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl by sending “sexually explicit text messages.”

The FBI quickly seized the devices and after being briefed Comey decided to reopen his investigation into Clinton’s emails as Secretary of State. However, Comey would not indicate how long the renewed investigation would last as he reported to the Congressional chairmen. Comey concluded in the letter, “Although the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this additional work, I believe it is important to update your Committees about our efforts in light of my previous testimony.”

Republican nominee Donald Trump was quick to seize on the news what could be his best opportunity to capture the White House. Trump commented on the new development during his rally in Manchester, N.H. announcing the news to his supporters. Trump expressed, “This is bigger than Watergate” and admitted the system “might not be as rigged as I thought.”

The GOP nominee declared, “Hillary Clinton’s corruption is on a scale we have never seen before. We must not let her take her criminal scheme into office. I have great respect for the FBI and Department of Justice are now willing to have the courage to right the horrible mistake they made.” As Trump was speaking his supporters went wild chanting “lock her up.” Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway was equally enthused about the development, writing on Twitter, “A great day in our campaign just got even better.”

Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus also issued a statement praising the decision. Priebus said, “The F.B.I.’s decision to reopen their criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s secret email server just 11 days before the election shows how serious this discovery must be. This stunning development raises serious questions about what records may not have been turned over and why, and whether they show intent to violate the law.”

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called for the Director of Intelligence to cease allowing Clinton receive the national security briefing nominees receive. In his statement, Ryan said, “Yet again, Hillary Clinton has nobody but herself to blame. She was entrusted with some of our nation’s most important secrets, and she betrayed that trust by carelessly mishandling highly classified information.” Continuing the Speaker demanded, “This decision, long overdue, is the result of her reckless use of a private email server, and her refusal to be forthcoming with federal investigators. I renew my call for the Director of National Intelligence to suspend all classified briefings for Secretary Clinton until this matter is fully resolved.”

Meanwhile, Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta responded demanding that the FBI to release details of the investigation. “The Director owes it to the American people to immediately provide the full details of what he is now examining. We are confident this will not produce any conclusions different from the one the FBI reached in July.”

Both Trump and the Republicans have longed criticized the FBI and Comey for deciding not to prosecute Clinton for endangering national security by using a private email server as Secretary of State. In July, Comey announced his decision not to prosecute Clinton after a lengthy FBI investigation. Comey said on July 5, “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” Although Comey expressed, the FBI could not “find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts,” he called Clinton’s handling of her emails “extremely careless.” Clinton has always dismissed the issue as merely a “mistake” of judgment.

The news could not come at a better time for Trump’s campaign. After being on the defensive for nearly a month after the release of a 2005 tape where the GOP nominee bragged about being able to grope women as he liked because of his celebrity status, and then 12 accusations from women that he made inappropriate sexual advances, Trump now can go on the offensive. The GOP nominee has longed railed about “crooked Hillary” now he might have some basis.

Clinton’s poll numbers surged with Trump’s scandals, but as WikiLeaks released her campaign chairman John Podesta emails depicting the unflattering inner workings of her campaign and news that her husband Bill Clinton explicitly blurred the lines with his Clinton Foundation, Clinton’s poll numbers have fallen. The poll numbers already showed Trump still had a possible path to the White House, now the FBI may have tipped the campaign in his favor.

The public and news media went into a frenzy on social media over the new development, as everyone believed Clinton had the election locked up and the only issue was her margin of victory. Clinton’s campaign worried of complacency; they were right. In an election so unpredictable there was bound to be a game-changing October Surprise, there was none until now. The reopened investigation might just change the whole outcome of the nastiest election in American history.

The full text of FBI Director James Comey’s letter:

In previous congressional testimony, I referred to the fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had completed its investigation of former Secretary Clinton’s personal email server. I am writing to supplement my previous testimony.

In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agree that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether the contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.

Although the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete the additional work, I believe it is important to update your Committees about our efforts in light of my previous testimony.

Politics October 19, 2016: New Bill Clinton accuser comes forward says he groped her repeatedly in 1980

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New Bill Clinton accuser comes forward says he groped her repeatedly in 1980

By Bonnie K. Goodman

INDIANOLA, IA - OCTOBER 12: Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks at an Iowa Democratic party early vote event at Simpson College October 12, 2016 in Indianola, Iowa. With less than four weeks until election day, polls show Hillary Clinton expanding her lead over Donald Trump in battleground states. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)

INDIANOLA, IA – OCTOBER 12: Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks at an Iowa Democratic party early vote event at Simpson College October 12, 2016 in Indianola, Iowa. With less than four weeks until election day, polls show Hillary Clinton expanding her lead over Donald Trump in battleground states. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)

In the running of who has acted more inappropriate to women Bill Clinton or Donald Trump, Clinton has ranked up another accusation. On Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, Leslie Millwee, a former reporter at a Fayetteville, Arkansas television station came forward announcing that former President Bill Clinton and husband of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton groped her three times in 1980 when he was Governor of Arkansas. Millwee made the accusation in an interview with the Conservative Breitbart News hours before the last presidential debate.

Millwee told Breitbart News in a video interview about the three instances where Clinton essentially attacked her. According to The Hill’s reporting, “Bill Clinton confronted her on three separate occasions in a small room at her station, both touching himself and grabbing her as she protested.” Millwee quit her job at the station after Clinton showed up at her apartment one night. Millwee explains she did not tell the media what happened sooner because she saw how both Bill and Hillary Clinton destroyed the reputations and credibility of any of Bill’s other accusers.

Millwee’s news comes after a week where eight women came forward and accused Republican nominee Donald Trump of groping them between 1980 and 2007. The women accused Trump of kissing them without their permission and or fondling them. Trump vehemently denied the accusations and then went about attacking his accusers, the news media and Hillary Clinton’s campaign for them coming forward now after all these years.

Trump’s problem started as a video tape emerged from 2005 where the GOP nominee bragged to then Access Hollywood reporter Billy Bush about his sexual exploits that he can kiss and grab women when he wants because he is a celebrity and his failed attempt at starting an affair with a married host. Trump apologized, called it “locker room talk” and denied acting on it during the second presidential debate. The denial during the debate, prompted eight women top come forward and claim that occurred between 1980 and 2007 Trump kissed, fondled or grabbed them without their permission.

Trump tried to contrast himself from Bill Clinton saying the tapes were words, not actions. In the midst of the tape scandal, Trump held a pre-debate press conference with three of Clinton’s victims, Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, and Kathleen Willey and then they were his guests at the second debate. Trump in trying to focus on Bill Clinton’s sex scandals has brought his possible inappropriate exploits into the limelight at a critical time in the campaign. The new account only confirms what American voters already know that the former friends have similar sex scandals in their closet that have and are coming back to haunt them.

Politics October 19, 2016: State Department tried to convince FBI during investigation to declassify emails

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State Department tried to convince FBI during investigation to declassify emails

By Bonnie K. Goodman

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 12:  Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts on October 12, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Clinton, who will return to Las Vegas for the final presidential debate on October 19, continues to campaign against her Republican opponent Donald Trump with less than one month to go before Election Day.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 12: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts on October 12, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Clinton, who will return to Las Vegas for the final presidential debate on October 19, continues to campaign against her Republican opponent Donald Trump with less than one month to go before Election Day. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The FBI released 100 more pages of the investigation into Democratic nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server and it shows the State Department may have tried to influence the FBI to declassify an email. The FBI released the new pages on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016, as per a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by the Congressional Republicans. The new documents include 302s, notes and summaries of the interviews the FBI conducted with State Department employees, contractors, and Clinton aides. Among the most glaring discoveries is one high ranking staffer tried to influence the FBI to declassify an email in exchange for a favor, prompting outcries of a “quid-pro-quo.”

The documents show that Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy repeatedly tried to force an FBI official from the International Operations Division (IOD) to declassify an email from Clinton’s private server only because it “caused problems.” The interview notes reveal, “Not yet knowing the email’s content, [the FBI official] told Kennedy he would look into the email in question if Kennedy would provide authority concerning the FBI’s request to increase its personnel in Iraq.”

One person interviewed felt “pressured” by the FBI to comply with Kennedy’s request. The interviews present contradictory evidence as to who requested the quid-pro-quo. One interviewee claimed the State Department offered it in exchange for helping the FBI “overseas in sensitive areas.” While, another said the FBI official was willing to do so if a “personal request in Iraq” was fulfilled.

One interviewee recounted that during a State Department meeting with government agencies, he responded about classified emails that went through Clinton’s server with a “well, we’ll see.” Later the interviewee saw Kennedy with FBI official recounting, “Kennedy spent the next 15 minutes debating the classification for the email and attempting to influence the FBI official to change its markings.” The State Department’s reasons were politically motivated as to help Clinton in her run for the presidency.

Despite Kennedy repeated pleadings, after consulting with the Counterterrorism Division, the FBI official decided to keep the email classified saying “there was no way” to declassify it. Kennedy would not back down and decided to go the head of the Counterterrorism Division, Michael Steinbach where he “pleaded” that the email remains unclassified. The notes say, “Steinbach refused to do so.”

The email in question was from Nov. 18, 2016, concerning “possible arrests” in the Benghazi, Libya terror attacks. The email was one of the first released by the State Department in May 2015, although it was heavily redacted. The FBI kept the email classified, and the statement did not increase FBI personnel in Iraq.

Both the FBI and State Department are vehemently denying the allegations. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner commented on Monday, “Classification is an art, not a science, and individuals with classification authority sometimes have different views,” Toner said. “There can be applicable FOIA exemptions that are based on both classified and unclassified rules. … We have been committed to releasing as much information to the public as possible, and ensuring that documents are withheld due to classification only when necessary to prevent damage to national security — as the Executive Order on classification calls for.”

The FBI released their statement to deny the accusations. The statement read: “The FBI determined that one such email was classified at the Secret level. A senior State Department official requested the FBI re-review that email to determine whether it was in fact classified or whether it might be protected from release under a different FOIA exemption. A now-retired FBI official, who was not part of the subsequent Clinton investigation, told the State Department official that they would look into the matter. Having been previously unsuccessful in attempts to speak with the senior State official, during the same conversation, the FBI official asked the State Department official if they would address a pending, unaddressed FBI request for space for additional FBI employees assigned abroad.”

Despite the denials coming from the FBI, State Department and Obama Administration, Republicans do not believe a word. Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus commented Monday in a statement. Priebus said, “It is deeply troubling that a top State Department official close to Hillary Clinton offered the FBI a ‘quid pro quo’ to hide the full extent to which she mishandled classified information. The more documents that come out, the more we learn Hillary Clinton cannot be trusted with a job that is supposed to begin each day with a classified intelligence briefing.”

Full Text Campaign Buzz 2016 October 16, 2016: WikiLeaks Transcripts of Hillary Clinton’s Goldman Sachs Speeches

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN:

Hillary Clinton Goldman Sachs Speeches

GOLDMAN SACHS, CO 2013 IBD CEO ANNUAL CONFERENCE

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON and LLOYD BLANKFEIN The Inn at Palmetto Bluff

The Inn at Palmetto Bluff Bluffton, South Carolina June 4, 2013 8:05 P.M.

GOLDMAN SACHS ASSET MANAGEMENT AIMS ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENTS SYMPOSIUM 2013

FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

200 West Street New York, New York October 24, 2013 12:50 p.m.

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON SPEAKER AT GOLDMAN SACHS BUILDERS AND INNOVATORS SUMMIT

Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, Marana, Arizona, Tuesday, October 29, 2013

 

 

 

Full Text Campaign Buzz 2016 October 13, 2016: First Lady Michelle Obama’s Speech on Donald Trump tape and allegations in Manchester, New Hampshire Transcript

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2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN:

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Speech on Donald Trump tape and allegations in Manchester, New Hampshire

Source: BBC, 10-13-16

So I’m going to get a little serious here, because I think we can all agree that this has been a rough week in an already rough election. This week has been particularly interesting for me personally because it has been a week of profound contrast.
See, on Tuesday, at the White House, we celebrated the International Day of the Girl and Let Girls Learn. And it was a wonderful celebration. It was the last event that I’m going to be doing as First Lady for Let Girls Learn. And I had the pleasure of spending hours talking to some of the most amazing young women you will ever meet, young girls here in the US and all around the world.

And we talked about their hopes and their dreams. We talked about their aspirations. See, because many of these girls have faced unthinkable obstacles just to attend school, jeopardizing their personal safety, their freedom, risking the rejection of their families and communities.
So I thought it would be important to remind these young women how valuable and precious they are. I wanted them to understand that the measure of any society is how it treats its women and girls. And I told them that they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and I told them that they should disregard anyone who demeans or devalues them, and that they should make their voices heard in the world.
And I walked away feeling so inspired, just like I’m inspired by all the young people here and I was so uplifted by these girls. That was Tuesday.

And now, here I am, out on the campaign trail in an election where we have consistently been hearing hurtful, hateful language about women – language that has been painful for so many of us, not just as women, but as parents trying to protect our children and raise them to be caring, respectful adults, and as citizens who think that our nation’s leaders should meet basic standards of human decency.

The fact is that in this election, we have a candidate for president of the United States who, over the course of his lifetime and the course of this campaign, has said things about women that are so shocking, so demeaning that I simply will not repeat anything here today. And last week, we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women. And I can’t believe that I’m saying that a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women.

And I have to tell you that I can’t stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted. So while I’d love nothing more than to pretend like this isn’t happening, and to come out here and do my normal campaign speech, it would be dishonest and disingenuous to me to just move on to the next thing like this was all just a bad dream.

This is not something that we can ignore. It’s not something we can just sweep under the rug as just another disturbing footnote in a sad election season. Because this was not just a “lewd conversation”. This wasn’t just locker-room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior, and actually bragging about kissing and groping women, using language so obscene that many of us were worried about our children hearing it when we turn on the TV.

And to make matters worse, it now seems very clear that this isn’t an isolated incident. It’s one of countless examples of how he has treated women his whole life. And I have to tell you that I listen to all of this and I feel it so personally, and I’m sure that many of you do too, particularly the women. The shameful comments about our bodies. The disrespect of our ambitions and intellect. The belief that you can do anything you want to a woman.

It is cruel. It’s frightening. And the truth is, it hurts. It hurts. It’s like that sick, sinking feeling you get when you’re walking down the street minding your own business and some guy yells out vulgar words about your body. Or when you see that guy at work that stands just a little too close, stares a little too long, and makes you feel uncomfortable in your own skin.

It’s that feeling of terror and violation that too many women have felt when someone has grabbed them, or forced himself on them and they’ve said no but he didn’t listen – something that we know happens on college campuses and countless other places every single day. It reminds us of stories we heard from our mothers and grandmothers about how, back in their day, the boss could say and do whatever he pleased to the women in the office, and even though they worked so hard, jumped over every hurdle to prove themselves, it was never enough.

We thought all of that was ancient history, didn’t we? And so many have worked for so many years to end this kind of violence and abuse and disrespect, but here we are, in 2016, and we’re hearing these exact same things every day on the campaign trail. We are drowning in it. And all of us are doing what women have always done: We’re trying to keep our heads above water, just trying to get through it, trying to pretend like this doesn’t really bother us maybe because we think that admitting how much it hurts makes us as women look weak.

Maybe we’re afraid to be that vulnerable. Maybe we’ve grown accustomed to swallowing these emotions and staying quiet, because we’ve seen that people often won’t take our word over his. Or maybe we don’t want to believe that there are still people out there who think so little of us as women. Too many are treating this as just another day’s headline, as if our outrage is overblown or unwarranted, as if this is normal, just politics as usual.

But, New Hampshire, be clear. This is not normal. This is not politics as usual. This is disgraceful. It is intolerable. And it doesn’t matter what party you belong to – Democrat, Republican, independent – no woman deserves to be treated this way. None of us deserves this kind of abuse.

And I know it’s a campaign, but this isn’t about politics. It’s about basic human decency. It’s about right and wrong. And we simply cannot endure this, or expose our children to this any longer – not for another minute, and let alone for four years. Now is the time for all of us to stand up and say enough is enough. This has got to stop right now.

Because consider this. If all of this is painful to us as grown women, what do you think this is doing to our children? What message are our little girls hearing about who they should look like, how they should act? What lessons are they learning about their value as professionals, as human beings, about their dreams and aspirations?

And how is this affecting men and boys in this country? Because I can tell you that the men in my life do not talk about women like this. And I know that my family is not unusual. And to dismiss this as everyday locker-room talk is an insult to decent men everywhere.

The men that you and I know don’t treat women this way. They are loving fathers who are sickened by the thought of their daughters being exposed to this kind of vicious language about women. They are husbands and brothers and sons who don’t tolerate women being treated and demeaned and disrespected. And like us, these men are worried about the impact this election is having on our boys who are looking for role models of what it means to be a man.

In fact, someone recently told me a story about their six-year-old son who one day was watching the news- they were watching the news together. And the little boy, out of the blue, said: “I think Hillary Clinton will be president.” And his mom said: “Well, why do you say that?” And this little six-year-old said: “Because the other guy called someone a piggy, and you cannot be president if you call someone a piggy.”

So even a six-year-old knows better. A six-year-old knows that this is not how adults behave. This is not how decent human beings behave. And this is certainly not how someone who wants to be president of the United States behaves.

Because let’s be very clear. Strong men – men who are truly role models – don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful. People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together. And that is what we need in our next president. We need someone who is a uniting force in this country. We need someone who will heal the wounds that divide us, someone who truly cares about us and our children, someone with strength and compassion to lead this country forward.

And let me tell you, I’m here today because I believe with all of my heart that Hillary Clinton will be that president.

Politics October 9, 2016: Clinton’s hypocritical reaction to Trump’s lewd comments as she stood by her man

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By Bonnie K. Goodman

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NY - JULY 14: (L-R) Rudolph W. Giuliani, Donald Trump, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Bill Clinton, Joe Torre, and Billy Crystal attend the 2008 Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation Golf Classic at Trump National Golf Club on July 14, 2008 in Briarcliff Manor, New York. (Photo by Rick Odell/Getty Images)

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NY – JULY 14: (L-R) Rudolph W. Giuliani, Donald Trump, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Bill Clinton, Joe Torre, and Billy Crystal attend the 2008 Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation Golf Classic at Trump National Golf Club on July 14, 2008 in Briarcliff Manor, New York. (Photo by Rick Odell/Getty Images)

After hearing the news about an audio recording of Republican nominee Donald Trump making lewd comments about women, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton responded with outrage. On Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, The Washington Post released a report about the 2005 recording of Trump bragging to then Access Hollywood reporter Billy Bush about his sexual exploits, groping, and kissing women when he wanted and his unsuccessful attempt at bedding a married TV host. Trump immediately faced a backlash mostly from fellow Republicans especially those in Congress. Clinton also responded with outrage, calling his remarks “horrific.” Clinton’s reactions come off as hypocritical considering her husband’s past sex scandals, with the nation needing a refresher in Clinton history to put it all in perspective.

Clinton had a much different response when news broke of her husband then President Bill Clinton’s greatest sex scandal with White House intern Monica Lewinsky broke in January 1998. Hillary’s appearance on Tuesday, January 27, 1998, edition of NBC’s “Today” show is legendary for the unabashed defense of her husband, blaming the Republicans for being out to get her husband and sabotage his presidency. Her remarks came as Clinton denied ever having “sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” Lewinsky was all of only 22 when the affair began in 1995, while Clinton was 49.

Speaking on “Today” to host Matt Lauer Hillary said: “This is-the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president. A few journalists have kind of caught on to it and explained it. But it has not yet been fully revealed to the American public. And actually, you know, in a bizarre sort of way, this may do it.”

Later in the interview, she gave additional remarks, now perceived as threats towards Lewinsky and any other women that have or would come forward against her husband. Hillary attacked these women, saying, “I think we’re going to find some other things. And I think that when all of this is put into context, and we really look at the people involved here, look at their motivations and look at their backgrounds, look at their past behavior, some folks are going to have a lot to answer for.”


It would take over six months, finally in August 1998; Clinton admitted to having a relationship with Lewinsky after DNA from her blue dress proved he had a relationship with the intern and committed perjury. The president was forced, to tell the truth in his grand jury testimony. The president later appeared on national television acknowledging his wrongdoing and apologizing. Clinton in his speech said, “I misled people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that.” Hillary was furious, but she forgave him, and stood by him through the humiliation, forever the good wife, parlaying the public pity into a political career and fruitful run for a New York Senate seat in 2000. Her political career’s foundations were built on her husband’s scandals.

The Starr Report written by independent prosecutor Kenneth Starr about his findings on the president’s wrongdoings was released the next month in September 1998. The report with testimony from Lewinsky read like a soft porn movie, with Lewinsky and Clinton’s trysts happening in the Oval Office or adjacent to it, even as the president was conducting official business. Reading the Starr Report, one felt they needed a cold shower to clean up and this is coming from an official government document.

The Lewinsky scandal was hardly Clinton’s first time dealing with sex scandal accusations; he was an old pro throughout his political career in Arkansas and the presidency. In January 1992, his candidacy for the Democratic nomination was nearly derailed from the news he had a 12-year affair years before with cabaret singer Gennifer Flowers. There too, Hillary’s fierce defense and forgiveness on national TV, this time, a CBS News’ “60 Minutes” interview with Steve Kroft saved his political career. At the time, Hillary blamed Flowers for being out to ruin her husband’s aspirations. Then Hillary famously said “I’m not sitting here some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette,” and that, “I think it’s real dangerous in this country if we don’t have some zone of privacy for everybody.”


In fact, Hillary also blamed all the women for her husband’s scandals leaving him blameless. The women still accuse Hillary of being the mastermind who sucked private detectives on them and went about destroying their lives and credibility to the nation to save her husband’s and as we now know her presidential goals. Now all of a sudden, Hillary has become puritanical. To her Trump’s actions, here words are far worse than anything her husband has done to her and the nation?  Clinton tweeted, “This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president,” yet she wanted the country to allow her husband to remain president in 1998.

Hillary and the country have a short memory of who exactly they are letting back into the White House when they elect Hillary Clinton in November. Hillary stood by her man, not for him but her ambitions to become president, she forgave him; she has condoned his actions by remaining with him. She was his co-president in the 1990s, and he has been her co-campaigner in 2008 and 2016 and will be her co-president. Only a divorce, could give her moral superiority, but we will never see that.

For Republicans abandoning Trump so quickly they are letting back their greatest foe into the White House and the presidency, as the repeatedly clashed with Clinton the first time around in the 1990s and tried even to impeach him for high crimes and misdemeanors. Yes, Clinton was only the second president ever impeached by the House of Representatives, the other Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868. Clinton was impeached for obstruction of justice and perjury in his testimony for the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit. Only the Senate’s Democrats and 10 Republicans saved Clinton from being forced out of the presidency in shame and altering the Clintons’ reprise to power. Still, he was found in contempt of court in civil proceedings and fined. Clinton also had his license to practice law suspended for five years by the state of Arkansas and the Supreme Court.

For the nation, Clinton had an over 60 percent approval rating during his impeachment. In that midterm election year, the Democrats gained seats in Congress, at a time when the ruling party usually loses seats, as is often the case in the last midterms of the presidency. The American public forgave Clinton quickly, stood by him, and even revered him for loathsome, offensive, sexist and disrespectful sexual actions he did while president. He is now the respected elder statesman, but by the grace of his party, he could have been as disgraced as Richard Nixon who resigned in 1974 over the Watergate scandal.

Trump was right to bring up the Clinton’s scandals in his apology. In the video statement released Friday evening, Oct. 7, Trump said, “I never said I’m a perfect person nor pretended to be someone I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret and the words released today on this more than decade-old video are one of them. These words don’t reflect who I am. I said it; I was wrong and I apologize.” Then the GOP nominee decided to go on the attack, contrasting his words to Bill Clinton’s actions as president. Trump continued, “I’ve said some foolish things, but there is a big difference between the words and actions of other people Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, intimidated and shamed his victims.”

Although Trump’s remarks are reprehensible, no one should deny it, but as his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski noted ‘We’re not electing a Sunday school teacher,’ but world leader, a president. Trump’s words are probably less offensive than what former President Clinton did to the women he was involved with. His hijinks with Lewinsky in the Oval Office were a disgrace, a disgusting offense done in the nation’s house while conducting official duties of the presidency.

In contrast, Trump was a private citizen. He was speaking off the record in an entertainment news interview on one of the trashiest television news shows Access Hollywood, on the way to filming a cameo on a soap opera, Days of Our Lives, where the characters’ sex romps outshine the story lines, and actors have to be sexy to succeed. Trump, the aging man, attempted to recapture his youth and wild oats with embellishing talk of sexual exploits. Trump’s comments also come in another lifetime just months after the Clintons and Trumps were caught laughing together at Trump’s wedding to Melania, 11 years later they are arch rivals for the presidency.

Trump is right if not tactful or politically correct is it was “locker room banter,” the type of sexist talk, unfortunately, men all over the country if not the world engage. Unfortunately, as much as political correctness wants to believe otherwise men are not that evolved. Trump’s previous public personas and time as a celebrity in the limelight were in the 1980s as the yuppie millionaire dandy, the 1990s as the beauty pageant operator or later in the oughts as the reality TV star. Throughout Trump has been known for his antics, big talk, relationships, and two divorces; Republicans cannot be shocked, nobody can by his remarks.

Why has the public forgave Bill Clinton’s actions from 18 years ago, but are aghast by Trump’s words from 11 years ago? Why is there a double standard when it comes to the Clintons, where they are forgiven, but everyone has to pay penance for the same or lesser actions? Let’s not forget Clinton’s sex scandals were not all consensual as the star struck Lewinsky. He was accused of raping Juanita Broaddrick in 1978, sexually harassing Paula Jones in 1991, and fondling and groping Kathleen Willey in 1993 as president in the Oval Office.

We have to all remember there were reasons why Trump and Bill Clinton were ever friends; they had in common their behavior or sexist talk about women. As Trump brought up in his first apology statement, “This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course – not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.” Now the American voter has to realize that neither nominee is morally pure but only one brings baggage that had sex scandals in the White House, and that is Hillary Clinton until she divorces Bill she carries his weight, his scandals are “with her.”

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms. Goodman is an expert in presidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics August 22, 2016: Trump calls for independent special prosecutor to investigate Clinton emails

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Trump calls for independent special prosecutor to investigate Clinton emails

By Bonnie K. Goodman
With new discoveries in Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s never-ending email scandal, Republican nominee Donald Trump is going on “the offense.” On Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, Trump called for the appointment of an independent special prosecutor to investigate Clinton at a rally at the University of Akron, Akron, Ohio.

Trump made his call after a federal court ordered the State Department to release an additional 15,000 emails from Clinton’s tenure that the FBI uncovered during their investigation. Republicans are still angry that the FBI decided against recommending that the Justice Department file criminal charges against Clinton for mishandling classified information by using a private email server during her tenure. Instead, the FBI just criticized Clinton recommending a possible administrative punishment at most.

Speaking to an excited crowd of supporters, Trump accused Clinton of “criminal” behavior without receiving punishment. The GOP commented, “No issue better illustrates how corrupt my opponent is than her pay for play scandals as secretary of state. I’ve become increasingly shocked by the vast scope of Hillary Clinton’s criminality. It’s criminality. Everybody knows it.”

Trump indicated the FBI and DOJ could not be trusted when it comes to Clinton. Trump expressed, “The amounts involved, the favors done and the significant numbers of times it was done require an expedited investigation by a special prosecutor immediately, immediately, immediately.”

Continuing, Trump said, “After the FBI and Department of Justice whitewashed Hillary Clinton’s email crimes, they certainly cannot be trusted to quickly or impartially investigate Hillary Clinton’s new crimes, which happen all the time.”

The GOP nominee challenged that an independent prosecutor be appointed to investigate Clinton’s actions. Trump said, “The Justice Department is required to appoint an independent Special Prosecutor because it has proven itself to be really, sadly a political arm of the White House.”

Trump has often attacked Clinton over her honesty, her use of a private server and her husband former President Bill Clinton’s foundation’s preferential treatment of its donors during her time at the State Department. Trump brought up the last time the Clintons faced an independent prosecutor in 1990s during the first Clinton administration. Then the Whitewater scandal was an investigation over a real estate investment while Bill Clinton was the Governor of Arkansas.

The crowd agreed with Trump chanting “Lock Her Up” interrupting the GOP nominee’s speech. Trump pointed out that former Secretary of State Clinton’s “actions corrupted and disgraced one of the most important Departments of government.” Continuing Trump compared the two scandals, saying, “The Clintons made the State Department into the same kind of Pay-to-Play operation as the Arkansas Government was.”

Trump accused Clinton of corruption and even racketeering for giving preferential treatment to Clinton Foundation donors especially foreign donors. Trump called on voters to reject Clinton, who he believes represents the epitome of the Washington establishment insider catering to special interests. Trump promised, “We are going to take government away from the special interests that give her tens of millions of dollars so that she can broadcast absolutely phony ads about me and we’re going to give it back to the voters.”

The GOP nominee also vowed to win the election, saying, “Come November 8th, we are once again going to have a government that serves you and your family and your country, not the special interests, the donors and the lobbyists.” Still, Trump again warned his supporters that Clinton might rig the election, telling supporters, “When I say ‘watch,’ you know what I’m talking about.”

Politics August 22, 2016: Court orders State Dept to release 15,000 FBI newly discovered Clinton emails

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Court orders State Dept to release 15,000 FBI newly discovered Clinton emails

By Bonnie K. Goodman

The FBI handed over nearly 15,000 additional emails from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. On Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, the State Department confirmed it received 14,900 newly discovered emails from the FBI after a court hearing ordered the State Department to release the emails by Sept. 23.

The FBI uncovered the emails which are either two and from Clinton during their investigation as to whether the former Secretary of State risked national security by sending or receiving classified emails on her private email server. The emails are in addition to the about 30,000 Clinton handed over back in December 2014 and have since been released publicly.

In July, FBI Director James Comey explained that the emails were uncovered during their investigation into Clinton’s conduct as Secretary of State. Comey indicated, “We found those additional emails in a variety of ways. Some had been deleted over the years, and we found traces of them on devices that supported or were connected to the private e-mail domain. Others we found by reviewing the archived government e-mail accounts of people who had been government employees at the same time as Secretary Clinton … Still others we recovered from the laborious review of the millions of email fragments dumped into the slack space of the server decommissioned in 2013.”

State Department spokesman Mark Toner issued a statement about the newly discovered emails and eventual release. Toner pointed out, “As we have previously explained, the State Department voluntarily agreed to produce to Judicial Watch any emails sent or received by Secretary Clinton in her official capacity during her tenure as secretary of state which are contained within the material turned over by the FBI and which were not already processed for FOIA by the State Department. We can confirm that the FBI material includes tens of thousands of nonrecord (meaning personal) and record materials that will have to be carefully appraised at State.”

Last week, the State Department announced they would release the emails the FBI discovered but did not indicate how many emails were found. There was a status hearing on the emails release on Monday, there U.S. District Judge James Boasberg is presiding over the case. The State Department has to release the emails as part of Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department.

Judge Boasberg vetoed the release schedule for the emails that the State Department presented. The Department wanted to protect Clinton and her lead in the presidential race and release them the second week in October. Instead, Judge Boasberg ordered one batch to be released on Sept. 23 and to return to court for another status hearing the same day.

Politics August 10, 2016: New Clinton emails released show possible abuse of power

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New Clinton emails released show connection between Foundation and State Dept

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s email scandal is not over yet. Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch released on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016, more emails from Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. The 296 pages of emails include 44 emails Clinton did not give the State Department when she handed over the 55,000 pages of work-related emails in December 2014. The emails show a connection between the State Department and former President Bill Clinton’s foundation during his wife’s tenure.

In 2015, Judicial Watch sued the State Department to release Deputy Chief of Staff and longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s emails from Clinton’s tenure. The emails were not directly to or from Clinton but are related more important they shed light on possible impropriety and abuse of power during Clinton’s time as Secretary of State. When Clinton took on the post, she promised that there would be no connection between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department but the emails prove otherwise.

There is three particularly eye-raising emails. The first email dated April 22, 2009, was by Doug Band, a longtime Bill Clinton aide who is an official at the foundation to Abedin. In that email, Band asked Abedin to find a State Department job for an associate, who name was withheld. The email was from Band to Abedin, Clinton’s former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and aide Nora Toiv. Band wrote, “It’s important to take care of [redacted],” to which Abedin answered, “Personnel has been sending him options.”

In another email from Band made a request to Abedin and Mills about a Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire, who was a Clinton Foundation Donor. In that 2009 email Band wanted them to connect the donor to the State Department and according to ABC News, “introduce the donor to former U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman.” Band wrote, “We need Gilbert Chagoury to speak to the substance person re Lebanon. As you know, he’s a key guy there and to us and is loved in Lebanon. Very imp.” Abedin responded, “It’s Jeff Feltman. I’m sure he knows him. I’ll talk to Jeff.”

A third email proved how much Clinton and her aides were trying to cover-up that fact that she was using a private email server. In the email, Mills falsely responded to a freedom of information request that asked for all of Clinton State Department email accounts in that response Mills said there were no accounts obviously ignoring the private email account Clinton regularly used.

Judicial Watch President Tom Filton issued a press release along with the emails being made public. Filton wrote, “No wonder Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin hid emails from the American people, the courts, and Congress. They show the Clinton Foundation, Clinton donors, and operatives worked with Hillary Clinton in potential violation of the law.”

State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau responded defending Clinton, “We feel confident that all the rules were followed.” Trudeau also said, “State Department officials are regularly in touch with a range of outside individuals and organizations including non-profits, NGOs, think tanks, and others.”

Clinton’s campaign also implied there was no wrongdoing. Clinton campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin issued a statement, writing, “Neither of these emails involve the secretary or relate to the foundation’s work. They are communications between her aides and the president’s personal aide, and indeed the recommendation was for one of the secretary’s former staffers who was not employed by the foundation.”

Continuing Clinton’s favorite right wing conspiracy against her and her husband, her campaign blamed Judicial Watch. Schwerin wrote, “The right-wing organization behind this lawsuit has been attacking the Clintons since the 1990s, and no matter how this group tries to mischaracterize these documents, the fact remains that Hillary Clinton never took action as secretary of state because of donations to the Clinton Foundation.”

Clinton’s opponent Republican nominee Donald Trump and his campaign had a field day with the new emails. Trump’s national policy director Stephen Miller commented, “This is yet more evidence that Hillary Clinton lacks the judgment, character, stability and temperament to be within 1,000 miles of public power.”

Continuing Miller said, “She views public office as nothing more than a means to personal enrichment — and every dollar she takes comes at the expense of the public welfare. This latest finding is an unseemly, disturbing window into a corrupt office, and yet more evidence that Hillary Clinton has been lying from the beginning — and by any reasonable definition attempted to obstruct the investigation of the FBI.”

Personally, Trump tweeted, “When is the media going to talk about Hillary’s policies that have gotten people killed, like Libya, open borders, and maybe her emails?” At a Tuesday rally in Abingdon, Virginia, Trump also attacked “Crooked Hillary Clinton” about the emails. Trump pointed out, “A couple of very bad ones came out, and it’s called pay for play. And some of these were really, really bad and illegal. If it’s true, it’s illegal. You’re paying and you’re getting things.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus also issued a statement, saying, “Anything less than a full release of these public records before voting begins will only further prove that we have a rigged system that has one set of rules political elites and another for everyone else.”

The FBI supposedly contacted the State Department about a connection between the department and the foundation earlier in the year, but the FBI and its director James Comey denied there was or is any investigation. The State Department OIG is also looking into to seeing if there was any conflict that has to be dealt with an “administrative remedy.”

Although their implication in the emails there is still no concrete proof, that Clinton explicitly abused her power at the State Department. CNN indicated, “For there to be criminal conflict of interest there would have to be evidence showing a government employee received something of value in exchange, such as a job post-employment or money.”

Even if Clinton’s activities were not illegal, she at the very least had a conflict of interest and crossed an official line. Clinton’s whole time at the State Department pushed boundaries and verged on abuse of power. The problem is throughout the campaign; the media is more interested in Trump’s missteps than Clinton’s wrongdoings.

Politics August 7, 2016: Trump criticizes Clinton’s mental state says she short circuited

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

POLITICS

Trump criticizes Clinton’s mental state says she short circuited

By Bonnie K. Goodman

After a disastrous and controversial week, Republican nominee Donald Trump decided to play it safe and criticize his opponent Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at a rally he held in Windham, New Hampshire Saturday evening, Aug. 6, 2016, and on Twitter. Trump questioned Clinton’s mental state and claims she is unfit for the presidency, saying she “short-circuited” on her email server and she is “brainwashed.”

Trump first criticized Clinton for being “short circuited” in a series of posts on Twitter on Saturday morning. Trump went after Clinton’s responses in an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace about the private email server shed used during her tenure as Secretary of State. The Democratic nominee tried to spin why she stated in a recent that FBI Director James Comey said she was “truthful” and “consistent” about her server when he did not and criticized her for the server. Trump responded on Twitter in his first comment of the day, “Hillary Clinton is being badly criticized for her poor performance in answering questions. Let us all see what happens!”

Trump used Clinton’s own words against her, writing, “Crooked Hillary said loudly, and for the world to see, that she “SHORT CIRCUITED” when answering a question about her e-mails. Very dangerous!” Then Trump continued writing, “Anybody whose mind “SHORT CIRCUITS” is not fit to be our president! Look up the word “BRAINWASHED.”

Later at a rally in a New Hampshire high school gym Trump continued his attacks about Clinton being unfit for the presidency. Earlier in the week, President Barack Obama said the same Clinton also had made the same accusation about Trump. Trump told supporters, “She short-circuited, she used the term ‘short-circuited.’ She took a little short circuit in the brain.”

Continuing Trump said, “She’s got problems, I mean, if we had real people, this would be a real problem for her, but I think that the people of this country don’t want somebody that’s going to short circuit up here.” Trump also questioned Clinton’s mental state, “Honestly I don’t think she’s all there,” and using a page from Jeb Bush playbook; Trump called Clinton “totally unhinged.”

After a week of missteps, Trump has turned his focus and his comments at attacking his opponent particularly her mental state. On Friday, August 5, Trump called Clinton a “monster” and “unstable” at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa. Trump said, “Unstable Hillary Clinton, lacks the judgment, temperament and moral character to lead this country – and I believe that so strongly.” Continuing his attacks on her state of mind to run the country, the GOP nominee accused, “She’s really pretty close to unhinged, and you’ve seen, you’ve seen it a couple times. The people in the background know it, the people who know her know it and she’s like an unbalanced person.”

Trump is not only depicting Clinton as mentally unstable but also weak, pointing to her disastrous legacy as Secretary of State. At the Des Moines rally, Trump indicated, “The legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction, chaos, and weakness. She’s weak. She’s a weak person. I know her. She’s a weak person.” Later on Friday, Trump further expressed that Clinton is unfit for the presidency at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Trump told his supporters, “In one way, she’s a monster. In another way, she’s a weak person. She’s actually not strong enough to be president.”

Politics July 19, 2016: Melania Trump’s political plagiarism scandal is not the first, and not the last

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

POLITICS

Melania Trump’s political plagiarism scandal is not the first, and not the last


Did Melania Trump really plagiarize Michelle Obamas 2008 Democratic convention speech?

By Bonnie K. Goodman

It was supposed to be presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump’s wife, Melania’s big campaign debut, instead, it descended into controversy, as does everything in the Trump campaign. On Monday evening, July 18, 2016, Melania Trump gave the keynote address on the first night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Introduced by her husband, Melania’s job was to humanize Trump, who has been caricatured for much of his career and the campaign. Instead, her big moment was overshadowed by the similarities of two paragraphs with First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic Convention speech and accusations of plagiarism.

Both Melania and Michelle’s passages in their speeches emphasized family values imbued by their parents and passing them to the next generation. The themes were similar and also common for the type of convention speech. Although the words were similar, the sentences were for the most part different with some similar points, and certain keywords, possibly invoking the paraphrasing or copying for verbatim debate. Only one phrase was copied verbatim, “your dreams and your willingness to work for them.” Plagiarism is described as “The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.”

According to Harvard University‘s Faculty of Arts and Science “In academic writing, it is considered plagiarism to draw any idea or any language from someone else without adequately crediting that source in your paper. It doesn’t matter whether the source is a published author, another student, a Web site without clear authorship, a Web site that sells academic papers, or any other person: Taking credit for anyone else’s work is stealing, and it is unacceptable in all academic situations, whether you do it intentionally or by accident.” Harvard also lists different types of plagiarism, which include” “verbatim, mosaic, inadequate paraphrasing, uncited paraphrase, uncited quotations.” The only exception according to Harvard is “common knowledge.”

Melania’s speech excerpt read:

“My parents impressed on me the values: that you work hard for what you want in life. That your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise. That you treat people with respect. They taught me to show the values and morals in my daily life. That is the lesson that I continue to pass along to our son. And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

To compare here is Michelle’s speech from 2008:

“And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them. And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

Almost immediately, after Melania delivered her speech, a journalist specializing in interior design and not politics, Jarrett Hill called Melania out on Twitter accusing her of plagiarism. In his tweet, Hill wrote, “Melania must’ve liked Michelle Obama’s 2008 Convention speech since she plagiarized it.” Hill, who is African-American, has a history of Trump bashing and is a fan of the Obamas, already, had a biased view of the situation. Still, the news media picked up on the story, and it swept through a media who already negatively bashes Trump and his rhetoric and policy positions. Melania’s similar words just was another chance for criticism.

Just as quickly Trump’s campaign denied the accusation. Senior communications adviser Jason Miller issued a statement after the accusations, which read, “In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking. Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success.”

According to the campaign, chairman Paul Manafort appearing on CNN’s “New Day” telling Chris Cuomo that the allegation is “just really absurd.” Manafort dismissed the claims, saying, “To think that she would do something like that knowing how scrutinized her speech was going to be last night is just really absurd.” Continuing Manafort explained, “There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech. These were common words and values. She cares about her family. To think that she’d be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy.”

Manafort then, in turn, blamed presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Trump campaign manager made his accusation, saying, “This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, she seeks out to demean her and take her down. It’s not going to work.”

According to a Republican close to the situation, recounted the process involved in crafting Melania’s speech. According to the “operative”, several aides edited the speech and gave suggestions to Melania. Manafort approved the speech in the end. The recount contradicts the account from Trump’s wife who claims to have a written the speech herself. Melania revealed to to NBC‘s Matt Lauer, “I read once over it, that’s all, because I wrote it … with (as) little help as possible.” Melania is not facing the brunt of the backlash but rather Trump’s speechwriters and even Manafort, although no one has been fired for the error.

President Obama’s former speechwriter, Jon Favreau, who was partly responsible for Michelle Obama’s speech, did not seem offended or upset by the possibility of plagiarism. After the accusations had started flying, Favreau tweeted and joked, “(To be honest), I was more offended by just about every other speech than Melania’s plagiarized paragraphs.”

The problem is writers, and academics and even students get away with plagiarism all the time. With the vast amount of information on the internet, many believe that it is fair game, especially if it is a blog or non-traditional source. Academics who plagiarize believe they will not be caught because they are taking ideas from someone they deem less educated and less well known. More often than not if someone does not bring the plagiarized passages up the one, who plagiarizes usually gets away with it.

As a writer, I have experienced being plagiarized, from a woman posting an entire article of mine that was an excerpt from my thesis taken verbatim without any credit, with listing it as her own. To a former professor who for years continually liberally borrows my ideas, themes from my articles for his, even phrases but manages to get away with it because they have the doctorate and the professorship although according to Harvard’s definitions what they have done is considered plagiarism.

Just last week in the UK’s the Guardian Higher Education section a writer on the Academic Anonymous blog recounted finding a creative writing Ph.D. dissertation with 100 passages plagiarized verbatim. When the academic discovered the plagiarism reported it to the dissertation advisor at the British university, the professor protected their student by ensuring copies of the dissertation were removed from the university’s library and made unavailable in any other form to the public. Only a year later was the thesis put back on the shelves, but the Ph.D. graduate was never stripped of their degree or even reprimanded for the extensive and blatant plagiarism, in the most important capstone project of their university education.

Melania Trump’s plagiarism case is hardly the first involving politicians that rocked the political world. The most famous case is Vice President Joe Biden who in 1987, had to withdraw from the 1988 Democratic presidential race after it was discovered that he plagiarized a speech with passages from former Democratic candidates Hubert Humphrey, Robert Kennedy, and former President John F. Kennedy. Other notable political plagiarism scandals include Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Montana Senator John Walsh, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, and even President Barack Obama.

In 2007, then Democratic candidate Obama lifted some passages from then-Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s lines from a 2006 speech when he delivered a speech at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Wisconsin. Rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign revealed what Obama did. Obama dismissed it all as nothing much saying, “Deval and I do trade ideas all the time, and you know he’s occasionally used lines of mine. I would add I’ve noticed on occasion Sen. Clinton has used words of mine as well. As I said before, I really don’t think this is too big of a deal.”

Donald McCabe, a retired business professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey, conducted a survey in 2010 and determined a prevalence of cheating and plagiarism among college undergraduate and graduate students.

The following are the results of his survey:

  • 36% of undergraduates and 24% of graduate students admit to “paraphrasing/copying few sentences from Internet source without footnoting it.”
  • 38% of undergraduates and 25% of graduate students admit to “paraphrasing/copying few sentences from written source without footnoting it.”
  • 14% of undergraduates and 7% of graduate students admit to “fabricating/falsifying a bibliography.”
  • 7% of undergraduates 4% of graduate students and admit to copying materials “almost word for word from a written source without citation.”
  • 7% of undergraduates and 3% of graduate students admit to “turning in work done by another.” Finally, 3% of undergraduates and 2% of graduate students admit to “obtaining a paper from term paper mill.”

Another survey conducted in 2011 by the Pew Research Center and The Chronicle of Higher Education asked college presidents about plagiarism and cheating at their respective colleges among students. Of the 1,055 presidents asked, 55 percent said that there had been an increase in plagiarism in the ten preceding years, and they predominately, 89 percent, blamed the internet for rampant cheating.

In this case, Melania or most precisely her speechwriters used a common theme for conventions and wives’ of the running mates but made the mistake of staying too closely to a recent and famous speech from a beloved first lady. Viewed by millions, with enough people opposed to Trump, Melania’s first major foray was bound to be scrutinized.

The moment caught the press the Trump campaign wanted but not for the reasons they wanted. Trump, however, will survive the plagiarism scandal as the world can be forgiving just ask historian Doris Goodwin Kearns and even Joe Biden and Barack Obama, who plagiarized speeches once and still ended becoming a popular vice president and president.

Full Text Political Transcripts July 5, 2016: FBI Director James B. Comey’s statement not recommending criminal charges against Hillary Clinton over private email server

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & 114TH CONGRESS:

Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Personal E-Mail System

Source: FBI.gov, 7-5-16

Remarks prepared for delivery at press briefing.

Good morning. I’m here to give you an update on the FBI’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail system during her time as Secretary of State.

After a tremendous amount of work over the last year, the FBI is completing its investigation and referring the case to the Department of Justice for a prosecutive decision. What I would like to do today is tell you three things: what we did; what we found; and what we are recommending to the Department of Justice.

This will be an unusual statement in at least a couple ways. First, I am going to include more detail about our process than I ordinarily would, because I think the American people deserve those details in a case of intense public interest. Second, I have not coordinated or reviewed this statement in any way with the Department of Justice or any other part of the government. They do not know what I am about to say.

I want to start by thanking the FBI employees who did remarkable work in this case. Once you have a better sense of how much we have done, you will understand why I am so grateful and proud of their efforts.

So, first, what we have done:

The investigation began as a referral from the Intelligence Community Inspector General in connection with Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail server during her time as Secretary of State. The referral focused on whether classified information was transmitted on that personal system.

Our investigation looked at whether there is evidence classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on that personal system, in violation of a federal statute making it a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way, or a second statute making it a misdemeanor to knowingly remove classified information from appropriate systems or storage facilities.

Consistent with our counterintelligence responsibilities, we have also investigated to determine whether there is evidence of computer intrusion in connection with the personal e-mail server by any foreign power, or other hostile actors.

I have so far used the singular term, “e-mail server,” in describing the referral that began our investigation. It turns out to have been more complicated than that. Secretary Clinton used several different servers and administrators of those servers during her four years at the State Department, and used numerous mobile devices to view and send e-mail on that personal domain. As new servers and equipment were employed, older servers were taken out of service, stored, and decommissioned in various ways. Piecing all of that back together—to gain as full an understanding as possible of the ways in which personal e-mail was used for government work—has been a painstaking undertaking, requiring thousands of hours of effort.

For example, when one of Secretary Clinton’s original personal servers was decommissioned in 2013, the e-mail software was removed. Doing that didn’t remove the e-mail content, but it was like removing the frame from a huge finished jigsaw puzzle and dumping the pieces on the floor. The effect was that millions of e-mail fragments end up unsorted in the server’s unused—or “slack”—space. We searched through all of it to see what was there, and what parts of the puzzle could be put back together.

FBI investigators have also read all of the approximately 30,000 e-mails provided by Secretary Clinton to the State Department in December 2014. Where an e-mail was assessed as possibly containing classified information, the FBI referred the e-mail to any U.S. government agency that was a likely “owner” of information in the e-mail, so that agency could make a determination as to whether the e-mail contained classified information at the time it was sent or received, or whether there was reason to classify the e-mail now, even if its content was not classified at the time it was sent (that is the process sometimes referred to as “up-classifying”).

From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were “up-classified” to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the e-mails were sent.

The FBI also discovered several thousand work-related e-mails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014. We found those additional e-mails in a variety of ways. Some had been deleted over the years and we found traces of them on devices that supported or were connected to the private e-mail domain. Others we found by reviewing the archived government e-mail accounts of people who had been government employees at the same time as Secretary Clinton, including high-ranking officials at other agencies, people with whom a Secretary of State might naturally correspond.

This helped us recover work-related e-mails that were not among the 30,000 produced to State. Still others we recovered from the laborious review of the millions of e-mail fragments dumped into the slack space of the server decommissioned in 2013.

With respect to the thousands of e-mails we found that were not among those produced to State, agencies have concluded that three of those were classified at the time they were sent or received, one at the Secret level and two at the Confidential level. There were no additional Top Secret e-mails found. Finally, none of those we found have since been “up-classified.”

I should add here that we found no evidence that any of the additional work-related e-mails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them. Our assessment is that, like many e-mail users, Secretary Clinton periodically deleted e-mails or e-mails were purged from the system when devices were changed. Because she was not using a government account—or even a commercial account like Gmail—there was no archiving at all of her e-mails, so it is not surprising that we discovered e-mails that were not on Secretary Clinton’s system in 2014, when she produced the 30,000 e-mails to the State Department.

It could also be that some of the additional work-related e-mails we recovered were among those deleted as “personal” by Secretary Clinton’s lawyers when they reviewed and sorted her e-mails for production in 2014.

The lawyers doing the sorting for Secretary Clinton in 2014 did not individually read the content of all of her e-mails, as we did for those available to us; instead, they relied on header information and used search terms to try to find all work-related e-mails among the reportedly more than 60,000 total e-mails remaining on Secretary Clinton’s personal system in 2014. It is highly likely their search terms missed some work-related e-mails, and that we later found them, for example, in the mailboxes of other officials or in the slack space of a server.

It is also likely that there are other work-related e-mails that they did not produce to State and that we did not find elsewhere, and that are now gone because they deleted all e-mails they did not return to State, and the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery.

We have conducted interviews and done technical examination to attempt to understand how that sorting was done by her attorneys. Although we do not have complete visibility because we are not able to fully reconstruct the electronic record of that sorting, we believe our investigation has been sufficient to give us reasonable confidence there was no intentional misconduct in connection with that sorting effort.

And, of course, in addition to our technical work, we interviewed many people, from those involved in setting up and maintaining the various iterations of Secretary Clinton’s personal server, to staff members with whom she corresponded on e-mail, to those involved in the e-mail production to State, and finally, Secretary Clinton herself.

Last, we have done extensive work to understand what indications there might be of compromise by hostile actors in connection with the personal e-mail operation.

That’s what we have done. Now let me tell you what we found:

Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.

For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails).

None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government—or even with a commercial service like Gmail.

Separately, it is important to say something about the marking of classified information. Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information. But even if information is not marked “classified” in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.

While not the focus of our investigation, we also developed evidence that the security culture of the State Department in general, and with respect to use of unclassified e-mail systems in particular, was generally lacking in the kind of care for classified information found elsewhere in the government.

With respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors, we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail domain, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked. But, given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence. We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial e-mail accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account. We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal e-mail extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related e-mails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.

So that’s what we found. Finally, with respect to our recommendation to the Department of Justice:

In our system, the prosecutors make the decisions about whether charges are appropriate based on evidence the FBI has helped collect. Although we don’t normally make public our recommendations to the prosecutors, we frequently make recommendations and engage in productive conversations with prosecutors about what resolution may be appropriate, given the evidence. In this case, given the importance of the matter, I think unusual transparency is in order.

Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person’s actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past.

In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.

To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.

As a result, although the Department of Justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case.

I know there will be intense public debate in the wake of this recommendation, as there was throughout this investigation. What I can assure the American people is that this investigation was done competently, honestly, and independently. No outside influence of any kind was brought to bear.

I know there were many opinions expressed by people who were not part of the investigation—including people in government—but none of that mattered to us. Opinions are irrelevant, and they were all uninformed by insight into our investigation, because we did the investigation the right way. Only facts matter, and the FBI found them here in an entirely apolitical and professional way. I couldn’t be prouder to be part of this organization.

 

 

Full Text Political Transcripts May 31, 2016: Transcript of Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills’s deposition in Judicial Watch email case

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 114TH CONGRESS:

Transcript of Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills’s deposition in Judicial Watch email case

Source: Judicial Watch, 5-31-16

Transcript Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Date: May 27, 2016
Case: Judicial Watch, Inc. -v- U.S. Department State
Planet Depos, LLC
Phone: 888-433-3767
Fax: 888-503-3767
Email: transcripts@planetdepos.com
Internet: http://www.planetdepos.com
Worldwide Court Reporting Interpretation Trial Services
Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
————–x
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.,
Plaintiff, Civil Action No.
U.S. DEPARTMENT STATE, 13-cv-1363(EGS)
Defendant.
————–X
Videotaped Deposition CHERYL MILLS, ESQ.
Washington,
Friday, May 27, 2016
9:25 a.m.
Job No.: 112361
Reported by: Debra Whitehead
APPEARANCES BEHALF PLAINTIFF:
RAMONA COTCA, ESQUIRE
JAMES PETERSON, ESQUIRE
MICHAEL BEKESHA, ESQUIRE
PAUL ORFANEDES, ESQUIRE
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street,
Suite 800
Washington, 20024
(202) 646-5172 BEHALF DEFENDANT:
ELIZABETH SHAPIRO, ESQUIRE
MARCIA BERMAN, ESQUIRE
STEVEN MYERS, ESQUIRE
LARA NICOLE BERLIN, ESQUIRE
U.S. DEPARTMENT JUSTICE
CIVIL DIVISION Massachusetts Avenue,
Washington, 20530
(202) 514-2205
Videotaped Deposition CHERYL MILLS, ESQ.,
held the offices of:
PLANET DEPOS
1100 Connecticut Avenue,
Suite 950
Washington, 20036
(888) 433-3767
Pursuant notice, before Debra Whitehead,
Approved Reporter the United States District Court
and Notary Public the District Columbia.
APPEARANCES CONTINUED BEHALF THE WITNESS:
BETH WILKINSON, ESQUIRE
HAL BREWSTER, ESQUIRE
ALEXANDRA WALSH, ESQUIRE
WILKINSON WALSH ESKOVITZ
1900 Street,
Suite 800
Washington, 20036
(202) 847-4000
ALSO PRESENT:
JEREMY DINEEN, Video Specialist
THOMAS FITTON, President, Judicial Watch
GREGORY LAUDADIO, Judicial Watch
PLANET DEPOS
888.433.3767 WWW.PLANETDEPOS.COM
Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages
CONTENTS
EXAMINATION CHERYL MILLS, ESQ. Ms. Cotca
PAGE Ms. Wilkinson
255 Ms. Berman
262 Ms. Cotca
263
EXHIBITS
(Attached the Transcript)
DEPOSITION EXHIBIT
PAGE
Exhibit Subpoena Testify
Deposition Civil Action
Exhibit E-mail String
Exhibit E-mail String
Exhibit 12/5/14 Letter from Ms. Mills The Honorable Patrick Kennedy
Exhibit E-mail String
Exhibit E-mail Strings
122
Exhibit E-mail Strings
146
Exhibit E-mail Strings
155
Exhibit E-mail Strings
163
Exhibit E-mail String
174
PROCEEDINGS
(Deposition Exhibit marked for
identification and attached the transcript.)
VIDEO SPECIALIST: Here begins Tape Number the videotaped deposition Cheryl Mills
the matter Judicial Watch, Inc., versus the U.S.
Department State, the U.S. District Court for
the District Columbia, Case Number 13-CV-1363.
Todays date May 27, 2016. The time
the video monitor 9:25. The videographer today Jeremy Dineen, representing Planet Depos. This
video deposition taking place Planet Depos,
1100 Connecticut Avenue, Northwest, Washington,
DC.
Would counsel please voice-identify
themselves and state whom they represent.
MS. COTCA: Ramona Cotca, for Judicial
Watch.
MR. ORFANEDES: Paul Orfanedes, for
Judicial Watch.
MR. BEKESHA: Michael Bekesha, for
Judicial Watch.
EXHIBITS CONTINUED
DEPOSITION EXHIBIT
PAGE
Exhibit E-mail Strings
216
Exhibit 1/27/16 Letter from Senator
218
Grassley The Honorable
John Kerry
MR. PETERSON: James Peterson, for
Judicial Watch.
MR. FITTON: Tom Fitton, President
Judicial Watch.
MR. LAUDADIO: Gregory Laudadio, for
Judicial Watch.
MS. BERLIN: Lara Berlin, Department
State.
MR. MYERS: Steven Myers from the Justice
Department, behalf State.
MR. BREWSTER: Hal Brewster, representing
Cheryl Mills.
MS. SHAPIRO: Elizabeth Shapiro, for the
Department State and the witness her capacity former State Department employee.
MS. BERMAN: Marcia Berman, from the
Department Justice, representing the State
Department and Ms. Mills her official capacity former State Department employee.
MS. WALSH: Alexandra Walsh, for Cheryl
Mills.
MS. WILKINSON: Beth Wilkinson, for Cheryl
PLANET DEPOS
888.433.3767 WWW.PLANETDEPOS.COM
Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 12)
Mills.
THE WITNESS: Cheryl Mills.
VIDEO SPECIALIST: The court reporter
today Debbie Whitehead, representing Planet
Depos.
Would the reporter please swear the
witness.
CHERYL MILLS, ESQ.,
having been duly sworn, testified follows:
EXAMINATION COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF MS. COTCA: Good morning, Ms. Mills. Thanks very much
for coming. Thank you. introduced myself, Ramona Cotca,
and represent Judicial Watch this matter.
you could please just for the record identify your
name just one more time? name Cheryl Mills. Okay. Ms. Mills, know youre
attorney, you may very well familiar with
depositions, but just want over some ground you can and and Ill try best so. Thank you. Will you that? (No verbal response.) Okay. may take while. There are
lot attorneys the room. not sure the
other side will have any questions you.
But you need break any point, let know. Well happy Ill happy try
come good stopping point for break. But
well also try have routine breaks, necessary.
Just let know. that fair? Thank you. Sure. you know, youve been sworn in.
You understand that the deposition taken under
oath. are there any reasons why you would
not able answer truthfully here today? Not that know of. Okay. think that covers all the ground
rules. theres anything that comes mind, Ill
rules beforehand. appreciate that. Sure thing. you can see, there court reporter
here, and the deposition being videotaped. can get clear transcript
everything thats being said here, would just
ask well, first, will make sure let you
finish answering questions, let you finish
answering. And then you could just let finish
asking question, dont speak over each
other and have clear transcript. that fair? Sure. Okay. Also, you could please provide
verbal responses rather than head nods that would
helpful for the court reporter well, and for
when ahead and read the transcript after
today.
The other thing would say, there
question that you not understand you need some
clarification, please let know. you not,
will assume that you would have understood it.
let you know. Thank you. Sure. just want briefly over
your youre attorney. you can just tell
briefly your education background, college and law
school. went the University Virginia for
undergraduate, and then for law school went
Stanford University out California. Okay. And when did you graduate from
Virginia, from UVA? have say that? old. graduated from UVA 1987, and
graduated from Stanford Law School 1990. Okay. Great. Thank you. And right out law school, you went law firm. that right? did. went work Hogan Hartson,
which law firm here Washington, DC, though
their name has now changed. Okay. And what did you for them,
practice litigator, which
PLANET DEPOS
888.433.3767 WWW.PLANETDEPOS.COM
Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 16) represented school districts that were
still seeking implement the promises Brown vs.
The Board Education. Okay. that litigation? was conglomerate activities,
but also included litigation. Okay. And then after that? After that went work the White
House. the in-between period went and worked the Clinton campaign and the transition. And
then went work the White House, and was
the the White House for about seven years. Okay. And when did you start working
the White House? Not specific date, but year-wise. Oh, know. would have been
1993. 1993. God, old. Okay. Sorry. Okay. 1993 then takes you 99? 1993 takes about 1999, thats right. the White House. Okay.
And you can just tell me, what was
House.
MS. BERMAN: Ill join that objection.
MS. COTCA: dont dont need
with everything that was done the White House
but, rather, with respect the background
Ms. Mills the context litigating and her
experience with subpoenas for documents, requests
for documents litigation. Which goes FOIA
requests that may have come litigations that may
have come the Secretarys office. And her
background and experience that relevant the
scope.
MS. WILKINSON: Maybe you can rephrase
the question and ask it, you know, with more more
particularity, she can answer.
MS. COTCA: Sure. Sure. MS. COTCA: Ms. Mills, while you were the White
House, were you involved did your work all
include involve responding subpoenas for
documents litigations and discovery requests with
respect document requests?
what was your position the White House? And changed over time, you can just tell what
you started with and where you ended. started associate counsel, and
ended deputy counsel. Okay. And how long were you associate
counsel there? Four years so. Four years. And then promoted deputy? Yes. Okay. And can you briefly tell your
duties, responsibilities, day-to-day work?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. going
object because its beyond the scope and not
really relevant what the four corners the
mean, general background, but doesnt relate
what she did. She wasnt acting lawyer the
State Department. going direct her not answer
and just ask you through her background the
relevant parts, but not kind the full
documentation everything she did the White did. did involve responding
requests for information and documents and
materials. Okay. And did that include e-mails,
e-mail records? when first arrived the White
House once again dating there wasnt use. think were the administration that ultimately
ended having e-mail over the course that
think that was, like, the time period where e-mail
was becoming more prevalent. the time left, would say that
that might have been part the paradigm. But general matter, most the time when were
looking records and materials, they were hard
copy. Hard copy. Okay.
But there were some litigations that
included requests for e-mails which you were
witness. Yes. The Alexander matter, for example?
PLANET DEPOS
888.433.3767 WWW.PLANETDEPOS.COM
Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 20) dont know the name the matter. But
thats correct, that was thats absolutely
correct. Okay. And that included e-mail records.
Correct? Request for e-mail records? believe so. Sorry, youre dating
memory, just doing best. Thats okay. But believe thats correct. going try help refresh you Well, thanks. refresh your recollection. appreciate that. Sure. Sure. Okay. After moving from the White House, what
did you before coming the State Department? worked Oxygen Media, which media
company for that was designed programming
for women. And after was Oxygen Media, went work NYU. Okay. the White House. Right. you recall that? dont. Okay. Were you ever informed are you
aware Judge Lamberths ruling that matter
being critical others, but including your
actions, with respect handling the matter for the
request e-mails that were requested the White
House? when was the request for e-mails the
White House? That was while you were there. when you say that, just trying
ask because dont dont know how step
through the sequencing what youre you are
articulating. would help theres something
that you could that could help me, that would
that. But wont able that from own
memory, and apologize. Sure. you remember providing testimony Which New York University. And managed
the business operations there, and then also was
lawyer there. Okay. And when did you start the State
Department? started the State Department
transitioned into the State Department
uncompensated temporary employee January. And
then ultimately joined the department full time in, think around May And thats 2009. Thats fault for speaking over you and
not letting you finish. 2009. Thank you. Sure. Now, just going back, and again the
context your experience with attorney
with requests for records, and specifically e-mail
records. 2008 there was ruling Judge
Lamberth that came out that the Alexander
matter that just mentioned before from your time
before Judge Lamberth the Alexander case? Before Judge Lamberth? Yes. dont believe Ive had occasion meet
Judge Lamberth, but that might just inaccurate. Okay. you remember there being
mail this case involving mail sever issue
when you were the White House? definitely remember there were
multiple different kinds litigation while were the White House. this about kind
remember know that there was litigation
the White House? Absolutely. But youre asking pull memory right now sit here,
cant that. Well, not asking general litigation. asking actually case which you provided
testimony Okay. with respect requests for e-mails,
and that case there being issue with the mail
PLANET DEPOS
888.433.3767 WWW.PLANETDEPOS.COM
Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 24) server. And the capture dont remember the mail server. quite confident should start with
had provide lot different testimony during
the time period when served the government. happy have memory refreshed, theres
something that could that. Okay. Lets just let just ask
this way: Shortly before coming the State
Department, Judge Lamberth ruled the Alexander
case, which criticized your conduct, well some others, the White House with respect
handling e-mail requests. And believe the word used was loathsome. Loathsome?
MS. BERMAN: mean, object the form the question terms characterizing the
opinion.
MS. COTCA: Okay. was the opinion was critical. Did
you ever read the opinion? Did anybody ever make
you the opinion and specifically said that
you agreed upon.
And talking about another case from many
years ago and opinion Judge Lamberth, dont
understand the relevance the topics which you
agreed upon were the, you know, stated basis for the
deposition.
MS. BERMAN: Objection well. This
beyond the scope discovery.
MS. COTCA: Okay. Merely just
establish Ms. Mills experience with respect -as attorney with respect handling requests -MS. BERMAN: Youre not asking -MS. COTCA: for documents.
MS. BERMAN: sorry.
Youre not asking about FOIA requests
right now.
MS. COTCA: Were just establishing the
background.
MS. WILKINSON: No, youre -MS. COTCA: With respect Ms. Mills.
MS. BERMAN: have very specific scope permissible discovery. And the portion
your conduct was loathsome. have not had occasion read the
opinion. Okay. And, you know, cant speak both his
observations the set facts that regard,
because think would need that well,
Ive always tried best responsive and tried best the best that could. And think
get each day trying that. not perfect
and would never say was. But certainly
best. Sure. Sure. You said you never read the
opinion. But were you aware, did anybody tell you
about it, did you ever become aware that opinion
that came out -MS. WILKINSON: going excuse
me. going object. Compound and the form
the question. And, also, just you could direct why this relevant the matters which the
judge has repeatedly said are circumscribed what
that believe your questioning purportedly
directed the process, the the State
Departments approach and practice for processing
FOIA requests that potentially implicated former
Secretary Clinton and Ms. Abedins e-mails. And
dont see how this relevant that all. Ms. Mills, what was your position the
State Department during Secretary Clintons tenure? was the chief staff and counselor. Okay.
MS. COTCA: Just respond now the
objection. the chief staff and counselor
the Secretarys office, Judge Sullivans order
this case goes specifically sensitivity with
respect e-mail issues and how FOIA requests were
processed the Secretarys office. think that Ms. Mills experience that regard the chief staff for her entire
tenure and her counselor relevant and within the
scope.
MS. BERMAN: sorry. does not
solely does not just her sensitivity
PLANET DEPOS
888.433.3767 WWW.PLANETDEPOS.COM
Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 28) e-mail issues. within the specific context responding FOIA requests with regard
e-mail.
MS. WILKINSON: Let also make let
make suggestion. Why dont you ask her what she
did counselor and chief staff. She did not
act lawyer for the Secretary the State
Department. youre asking her about her
experiences lawyer before with FOIA. That
wasnt her responsibilities State. Thats why
dont think its also relevant here. maybe you could establish that first
and then see you have any basis. But dont
believe there factual basis for what youre
asking.
MS. COTCA: Okay. MS. COTCA: you can tell your duties and
responsibilities chief staff, lets start with
that. was chief staff and counselor.
And chief staff was there were issues
policy matter, food security, well as, the
extent there were other initiatives that the
Secretary was seeking launch, being able
provide support and navigate all the different
elements that might required doing that.
And all kind fits into
framework, you think about what secretaries do,
there really the immediate, and then there
short term and then theres long term. tended more the immediate. there was
something that needed addressed, was
conflict among bureaus that had navigated,
those were the types issues that typically would front any given day. But they -they varied enormously. Okay. Correct wrong, but
traditionally, normally speaking, those two
positions are separate positions the State
Department prior you coming and since then. think those two have been. The chief staff role has often been combined with other
roles. the chief staff, theres been chief matters that maybe should step back and give
some context. the department there are broad array kind both policy and programmatic issues that
the department handles and has done those,
obviously, for decades. And diplomacy itself has long history.
And lot about what has been
done the past and how you the future,
particularly when youre dealing with nation states.
And the role the chief staff often
try provide both advice and guidance but also,
more particularly, support for navigating the
multiplicity issues that come before the
Secretary. Which given day can really range
from Iraq Iceland and everything between,
well development that are doing and
development investments that might making
countries around the world.
And counselor, responsibilities
typically were focused particular policy areas
that were focus. For that was Haiti staff and they were the head leg affairs,
theres been chief staff that was also the head our public affairs. think the chief staff role
often shouldnt say often has been the
past combined with other roles well. Okay. think dont know that was
that unique, maybe better way say it, though like think always unique. there reason you combined the chief staff and you held both positions chief
staff well the counselor? think given that there had been
practice some these the chief staff
position having multiple roles for for, think,
Secretary Clinton would have provided the
opportunity was, where there were certain policy
areas that might not always prioritized the
department historically with either with the
resources focus. And this presented
opportunity able that.
PLANET DEPOS
888.433.3767 WWW.PLANETDEPOS.COM
Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 32)
And certainly global food security was not issue that the State Department had ever elevated that level. And President Obama, having that priority for his administration, created
opportunity for some those types issues
actually have the focus and attention not only
the Secretary, but also way prioritizing for
the department. Okay. lets just back up.
How did you come the State Department, you can talk through that with respect what
brought you the State Department? Okay. -MS. WILKINSON: Let object
foundation. Well, not foundation but the form.
Its vague.
MS. COTCA: Okay. Sure.
MS. WILKINSON: And kind again,
want stick the areas discovery. And
understand, you know, thats background question.
But not -MS. COTCA: Just with respect the
Secretarys office and that sort thing, what was
your involvement? when secretaries transition in, one
the terrific things about the State Department
they have and are used the experience every
four years maybe every six years, transition
their leadership. And they have transition
process that they put place that designed
help brief the Secretary all the various
substantive issues that are front the
department.
And that process one that they run
without regard whos coming in. Obviously
its theyre career officials and they very
well. And that was process that got
participate with her, and that was the process
that she stepped through and that the rest who
were part assisting her could either sometimes those meetings not. But thats the
process. And you said she stepped through. Are
you speaking Secretary Clinton?
transition.
MS. WILKINSON: There could 20-year
answer that, you might imagine.
MS. COTCA: Sure. And just talking about with respect,
how was that Secretary Clinton came you and
did she come you and ask you chief staff
and come board the State Department?
How did that come about? Thanks. had been previously working
with Secretary Clinton her campaign. was
intending back job NYU. And she, you
could say invited stay and back into
government. And having served government once
and recognizing the demands both your time and
other things, had had small children. for thought better life balance would going
back NYU. But ultimately she successfully
convinced stay, and did. Okay. Thank you.
Can you discuss prior January 2009,
during the transition process setting the Secretary Clinton. Okay. they actually provide you with set
briefings about all the different policy bureaus and
what the work and what are the key
conflicts, challenges issues that are confronting
different regions the world and different issues
that are continuing enduring the diplomacy
space. Okay. And from Secretary Clintons
standpoint, was there sort transition team that
was also involved with you?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Foundation.
And form. when you say that, can you just step
through what you mean? Sure. Because think that they actually put place full transition team the department.
And the presidential transition also puts place
full transition team. And those teams actually
typically are working together.
PLANET DEPOS
888.433.3767 WWW.PLANETDEPOS.COM
Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 36) just President Obama will
transitioning out, hes designated who will his
transition team. They will partner with whoever
ends being the successful nominee guess
electee. Yes, electee.
And they will then obviously work that
transition from the standpoint what are the
policies and the issues that are confronting our
government and how you that effectively. Okay. who else was part this
process from the campaign for Secretary Clinton? Well, -MS. WILKINSON: Objection form and also
beyond the scope.
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Beyond the scope.
MS. COTCA: The transition process the
State Department definitely within the scope,
the extent about office setups and what equipment
was provided and what devices were provided
Secretary Clinton with respect e-mail questions.
MS. BERMAN: You can ask those questions.
MS. WILKINSON: Just make more
individuals who basically help you step through and
arrive and provide for the transition and the
operational setup the Secretarys office. Okay.
MS. WILKINSON: Can Can you -MS. WILKINSON: Excuse me. Can off
the record for minute and take break? going talk the State Department see can
help.
MS. COTCA: Sure.
VIDEO SPECIALIST: are off the record 9:48. recess was taken.)
VIDEO SPECIALIST: are back the
record 9:50. MS. COTCA: Okay. going call this
transition period. the process Secretary Clinton coming the State Department and whoever her staff may
have been picked, including you, that context,
specific, and think she can answer.
MS. COTCA: Okay. Sure. MS. COTCA: Were you involved what was your role
with respect the transition?
MS. WILKINSON: Again, objection.
Foundation and form. Its and beyond the scope.
Just With respect setting that was
already asked earlier.
MS. WILKINSON: sorry. didnt
understand that. With respect setting with respect
setting the Secretarys office, setting the
office. didnt set Secretary Clintons
office. Okay. There there Exec
Secretariat, well what call the -theres team that actually are part the
existing State platform that actually are terrific
with respect making sure that Day Secretary
Clinton has e-mail, phone use, that sort
thing, was there point contact from from the
campaign setting that and coordinating that
with the State Department?
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Assumes facts not evidence. No. No. Okay. you know Lewis Lukens? Yes. Okay. Who he? Lewis Lukens Department State
official. Okay. you know what his role was
the time that you 2009? Lou Lukens, memory serves, was
serving the office the Executive Secretary.
believe that was the office that was serving in. you know what capacity? dont know his title, but obviously
knew was somebody who was serving that
position.
PLANET DEPOS
888.433.3767 WWW.PLANETDEPOS.COM
Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 40) Okay. not asking for his title, but
you know what his role was what did the
office the Secretary? dont know the breadth his
responsibilities. know was somebody who served the Executive Secretarys office, and that office
provides support the Secretary. His deposition was taken, and Ill just
tell you this. His deposition was taken last week,
and identified you the point contact with
respect issues involving setting the different
offices the Secretarys office, and that sort
thing. Were you the point contact?
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Mischaracterizing
Mr. Lukens testimony. cant speak what thought
about. Sure. But you are asking whether not was
the point contact that context, think
would depend what the matter was. Okay. Did you have lot conversations
anybody the State Department, lets say,
November, December and January, before coming the
State Department, with respect where your office
would located? believe January, and probably close the time she was confirmed, would have had
discussions about office location. Okay. How about devices communicate
via e-mail?
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Vague. Whose
devices? Devices for you, for example, Ms. Mills. dont know when conversations about
our device would have occurred. But would
have imagined would have occurred close time when were onboarding. Okay. you recall what the
conversations were? No. sorry. mean, its just harder
for actually remember conversations
the time. Probably just werent significant
mind.
with him? had not -MS. BERMAN: Objection the form the
question.
Sorry. Not that recall lot conversations
with Lou Lukens. certainly did have conversations
with him. Okay. Can you tell what those were?
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Vague. No, cant recall them. Okay. sorry, was long time ago. dont want every single dont want
you describe every single conversation you had
with him. But with respect setting the -making sure that everything set the office.
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Vague. Form. its not recollection that was
typically engaging with Lou Lukens lot those
matters. Okay. Did you have any discussions with Okay. dont have memory now, sadly.
Many years ago. Okay. Did you receive BlackBerry from
the State Department when you came board? Yes, did have State Department
BlackBerry. Okay. Did you ask for it? dont recall asked for not,
but know received one. Okay. And did you have State Department
e-mail when you came board? dont know when they created State
Department e-mail, but did have State Department
e-mail that used when was the department. Okay. And was that e-mail synced with the
BlackBerry that the State Department provided? believe was. only hesitating
because know initially you couldnt access e-mail
from outside the department. But believe
was synced from the beginning. wrong
about that, would have happened soon thereafter.
PLANET DEPOS
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Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 44) Okay. With respect your e-mail account
from the State Department, you remember you
had make request for that, was that
something just issued you? believe that was issued, but could
wrong about that. dont know. dont have
specific memory how came about. But
believe was issued. Okay. you recall who the State
Department shouldnt say issued. Sorry. Let
correct that. believe was created, maybe
thats the best way. dont know how they
structured that. Okay. How did you find out about the
e-mail, your e-mail account, use the State
Department?
MS. WILKINSON: Again, going
object beyond -MS. BERMAN: Objection. Beyond the form.
MS. WILKINSON: And beyond the scope.
Youre supposed talking about the instructing the witness not answer, which
dont want do. And understood that were
going stay within the scope. happy to, say, most
objections, say form foundation. And
otherwise with scope, will continue put the
basis on, just you know why think your question
has gone beyond. And you can rephrase it, like
you have other questions, happy have her
answer.
MS. COTCA: Thats fine. its within
scope, its objection based scope and
youre instructing the witness not answer,
outside the scope think sufficient. Thank
you, though.
Can you read back last question.
(The reporter read the record follows:
How did you find out about the e-mail, your e-mail
account, use the State Department?)
MS. COTCA: And youre instructing the
witness not answer that question?
MS. WILKINSON: am.
creation and operation Clintonemail.com for the
State Department business, the approach
processing FOIA requests that implicated either the
Secretary Clinton Ms. Abedins e-mails, and the
processing FOIA requests. Her State Department
e-mail not part those topics. going object and instruct her
not answer, and ask you focus the areas
discovery that you agreed upon were relevant for
this case.
MS. COTCA: Okay. And would just ask
that you have objection youre going
instruct the witness not answer, that you just without speaking objections. Its improper
coaching the witness during the deposition. would just ask that you leave
the objection and the basis, without any further
speaking objections.
MS. WILKINSON: not trying coach
the witness. course trying give you
basis that you can either change your question theres record basis for why, especially when MS. COTCA: And youre following your attorneys
advice not answer the question. that right, Ms. Mills? Yes. Okay. When you started the State
Department, whether its shortly before shortly
thereafter, are you aware any discussions with
respect e-mail account issued for Secretary
Clinton use during her tenure the State
Department? was not aware discussions about
e-mail account for her use. Okay. Did you discuss with her with
respect what e-mail she was going use
Secretary State for the next four years? the Secretary has spoken about the fact
that she had made determination that she would use
her personal account, and that exactly what she
did. When did you have those discussions with
Secretary Clinton?
PLANET DEPOS
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Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 48) -MS. BERMAN: Objection. Mischaracterizing
the prior testimony. dont know. Are you okay. Are
waiting for her anything? You were looking
her. Okay. Sorry. Secretary Clinton continued practice
that she was using her personal e-mail. And
dont know that could articulate that there was
specific discussion opposed her continuation practice she had been using when she was
Senator. did you just assume that she was going use the e-mail that she had before Secretary State? dont have specific memory the
conversations that may may not have occurred. know that understood she was going using her personal e-mail, and thats what she
did. Okay. Whats the e-mail account,
make sure were talking about the same thing, that Yes. not familiar with the Clinton e-mail
account. What that? see. says had her initials,
and then had @Clintonemail.com. Okay. Sorry for that. didnt understand. Thats okay. Thats why asked you
clarify Yes. ask clarify, and happy so. you recall her specific e-mail address? dont recall her specific e-mail
account. has her initials it, and
@Clintonemail.com. Okay. Was that the only e-mail account
that she used during her time Secretary State,
for government business? Secretary Clinton used always used
one e-mail account when she was using e-mail
account. when she initially arrived she was
she used? Secretary Clinton when she was the
Senate had ATT what call ATT account
that ultimately transitioned account that was
Clinton e-mail. Okay. What you mean Clinton e-mail? What you mean e-mail account? sorry. Can you repeat your answer,
then? Maybe misunderstood. Maybe didnt hear
your full answer. she had ATT. Yes. BlackBerry that was associated with
ATT e-mail. Yes. And then she transitioned Clinton
e-mail account. Okay. And whats the Clinton e-mail
account she transitioned to? Can you more specific? mean, you said she transitioned
Clinton e-mail account.
continuing use the ATT accounts, and then
transitioned the dot Clinton e-mail,
Clintonemail.com account. And during her tenure
those were the two addresses, you will, that she
used. Did she continue use the BlackBerry.net
account throughout her tenure? no. Okay. When did she use that e-mail
account? And were only speaking speaking
for government business. not aware BlackBerry.com
account. Okay. Whats the initial account she used the Senate that you said? ATT. ATT. apologize. did she continue use that ATT account throughout her tenure? No. When did she stop using it, far you
know? best recollection was sometime
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Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 52)
March. Thats best recollection. Okay. Why you recall being
March? recall that there was point
which she had transition her e-mail address and
told everyone that she had new e-mail address, and
thats the time period that have the best
recollection around. could have been
might wrong. might have been February,
might have been April. But remember being
after had gotten in. might wrong about
that. Correct am. How did how did she communicate that
you? dont know that have specific
recollection communication much have
understanding that needed change the e-mail
address were e-mailing her at. Was there was there e-mail that went
out within the Secretarys office with respect -to the change? dont remember that. There might have
have assistant? dont recall the assistants name
that time, and apologize. But she was someone who
had been provided the department who was what
call OMS. And she provided support largely
through the first probably six, seven, eight months
that was there. dont know that can but apologize, dont remember her name. And not
because she didnt great job. Did you communicate her about the
Secretarys transition? dont know that did didnt. Maybe
some context would help. office connected hers,
could just walk between the two offices. dont
know that would have been necessary for any
the support staff. Because they they are all
right the same space. Okay.
MS. COTCA: Could mark this Exhibit please.
(Deposition Exhibit marked for
been. could wrong, but dont remember
that. Okay. How did the other staff the
Secretarys office know about the e-mail transition? dont know that can speak how
their what their knowledge is. can only speak mine. Okay. Did you communicate that
assume you had staff help you out when and
provide support when you were serving chief
staff and counselor. Did you? did have staff. Okay. And who was that? had different administrative staff that
provided support. Okay. And who were they? Within the
Secretarys office. Directly reporting you
within the Secretarys office.
MS. WILKINSON: Objection form.
Perhaps you can make time-period-specific
question. Well, during this time March, did you
identification and attached the transcript.)
MS. WILKINSON: Ms. Cotca, you have
copies for -MS. COTCA: Yes.
MS. WILKINSON: Thank you much.
MS. COTCA: dont know have for
everyone.
MS. WILKINSON: can share. discussion was held off the record.)
MS. BERMAN: You said Exhibit
MS. COTCA: Yes, this Exhibit
MS. WILKINSON: What was Exhibit
MS. COTCA: The subpoena. MS. COTCA: Ms. Mills, you can take look
whats been handed you Exhibit Okay. Let know when youre done looking
it.
Youve had chance look it? have. Okay. And just for the record, can you
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Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 56)
state what the document is? You have handed document that
e-mail that has the Secretarys e-mail address,
Lona Valmoro and Huma Abedin, requesting time that
she can meet with her undersecretaries each week,
and asking for recommendations.
And there response recommendation for
Mondays Tuesdays. And request whether
not she wanted this meeting meal. And
then another response from the address the
Secretarys, saying, Just meeting. Okay. Thank you very much.
And whats the date whats the date for
these e-mails? the date each the e-mails the
traffic September 20, 2009. Right. And there are three e-mails here.
Right? there original e-mail from the
Secretarys e-mail account that Sunday,
September 20th, about almost a.m., appears.
And then response that about noon 12:12
February, March, April, somewhere that time
period, and she used consistently during her
tenure there. Okay. Now, want just look the
original e-mail this exhibit, where the e-mail
from Secretary Clinton Lona Valmoro and Huma
Abedin. And its from her HDR22@Clintonemail.com. you see the line
HR15@att.blackberry.net? Yes. see that line. And okay. And did read that
correctly, the e-mail address thats noted there? Yes. Okay. And appears, you agree with
me, that the Secretary copied included that
e-mail that communication? Thats what the document appears show.
MS. WILKINSON: Objection.
Excuse me.
Objection, form and foundation. Okay. you know why Secretary Clinton
was ccing her ATT.BlackBerry.net account?
also Sunday, the 20th September. And then she
responds that 12:12 e-mail from e-mail account
thats assigned her, 12:43 p.m. Okay. Thank you very much.
Just were clear that were speaking
about the same e-mail address for Clintonemail.com, that the e-mail address that the Secretary was
using during her tenure, the HDR22@Clintonemail.com? dont know which the two, because
they both got assigned the account. And this
might reflection the timing when
materials were.
But she typically used thought HROD17.
But could wrong. might have been that the
HDR22 was the account. Okay. not sure. And when you said the timing, thats
with respect when these were printed out.
that Yes. assume.
Because she had one e-mail account after not. you know was active the time? dont believe was. that the account that she was using
prior getting the Clintonemail account? Yes. Okay. And then looks like from the
response from Lona Valmoro, the Blackberry.net
account was also copied, was also the cc, which
would the second e-mail. that right? The shows H2. Correct. And thats the same that was the original e-mail?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Foundation.
MS. BERMAN: Objection the form.
Objection well. you know what is? not. Did you ever meet e-mail Secretary
Clinton the Blackberry.net account -MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Form. during after March 2009?
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Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 60) dont know that would have
consciously e-mailed ATT account, because
that account understood was longer operational.
There are times where e-mails
automatically populate, that could happen. But you were asking what e-mail address would
e-mailing to, would e-mailing the one
Clinton.com. that would goal. And just are you aware the Secretary
used any auto forward function? dont know. Okay. And just going back previous
question. And you can refresh recollection.
Why you remember that was March when the -when the Secretary transitioned her e-mail?
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Asked and
answered. You may answer. dont know that can add more what
Ive already said. you remember your answer? happy have her read back.
e-mail March. youre asking why have
recollection that being that time period
that your question? Yes, thats question. Thank you. Okay. Sorry. Ive had occasion the representation Secretary Clinton have memory refreshed
because materials had look at. And that
one the things that had got memory refreshed
with respect to. Okay. When was that? Which that your question? When youve had your memory refreshed with
respect the March. couldnt tell you what point that
was, but Ive obviously been representing her with
respect number the matters that have been
with respect providing documents the
department. And the course that, that when memory would have been refreshed. Okay. because thats when the
Secretary said that she started using the e-mail Okay.
MS. COTCA: Could you please read back. discussion was held off the record.)
MS. WILKINSON: off the record for one
minute.
VIDEO SPECIALIST: are off the record 10:14. discussion was held off the record.)
VIDEO SPECIALIST: are back the
record 10:15. MS. COTCA: Ms. Mills, you remember the question
that was pending? dont. Could you just restate it?
apologize. Thats fine. And then will best answer. Sure. Why that you think the -Secretary Clinton started using the Clintonemail.com March? dont know that could answer the
question why she started using the Clinton
March?
MS. BERMAN: Objection the form the
question. dont know that can answer that
question.
MS. WILKINSON: And and privilege.
She she learned this refreshed her
recollection refreshed her recollection when she
was acting the Secretarys lawyer, producing
documents the State Department. Were you the Secretarys lawyer when she
was producing returning documents the State
Department? Yes. Okay. When did that representation start? began representing the Secretary when
she departed from the department number
matters, but this matter when came up, she asked assist her it. Okay.
MS. COTCA: Let mark this Exhibit
please.
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Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 64)
(Deposition Exhibit marked for
identification and attached the transcript.) discussion was held off the record.) MS. COTCA: Ms. Mills, you have Exhibit front
you. you could please take look it. Thank you. Sure. Ill have some questions about it.
Youve had chance look it? have. Okay. Thank you.
Can you just for the record describe what
the document is?
MS. BERMAN: Objection the form the
question. mean, the document speaks for itself. Okay. You may answer. The the document e-mail traffic
between Chris LaVine, who sharing news report
that was sent and that forwarded with
FYI. And who did you forward that to? forwarded Secretary Clinton.
e-mail address that e-mail what? Well, reflected this piece paper, says HDR22@Clintonemail.com. Okay. And Ms. Abedins e-mail
reflected this what? H-A-B-E-D-I-N. her first initial and
last name, @HillaryClinton.com. Okay. Does this all refresh your
recollection when Secretary Clinton began using the
Clintonemail.com? No. does not?
Was Ms. Abedin working the State
Department this time, January 30th, 2009?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Foundation.
Unless you know. believe she might have been. dont
know that for sure. dont know what date her
official transition date. Okay. When did the Secretary start? The Secretary started January 22nd,
believe, right. Okay. And when did you forward that
Secretary Clinton? sorry, was just looking for the
date. Sure. Sorry. January, 2009. Okay. And which e-mail account for
Secretary Clinton did you forward that to? This document says HDR22. Whats the rest the e-mail? Oh, sorry, @Clintonemail.com. Okay. And looking further the
document, the top e-mail, does appear that
theres e-mail forward from Secretary Clinton? dont understand your question. Well, after you forwarded Secretary
Clinton, whats the next e-mail the e-mail
traffic? see. the next e-mail then says,
Please print. And that from Secretary Clinton
the Clinton.com e-mail address, Huma Abedin. Okay. And, once more, Secretary Clintons 2009? 2009. Okay. These are all 2009. Okay. And you agree that your e-mail Secretary Clinton January 30th, 2009, was
related your work the State Department?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Foundation,
and beyond the scope. forwarded her the news article because
thought she would find interesting read. the Secretary the State Department? Well, yes, she was Secretary State, but also references her. Are you saying this personal e-mail?
MS. BERMAN: Object the form the
question. No.
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. You can answer. Unless youre instructed
not answer, you can answer the question. see.
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Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 68)
No. You asked question about whether
not was wasnt what interpreted you
saying whether not was wasnt federal
record. saying that forwarded her news
article because thought she would find
interest and her name was it. Right. interest with respect
her work the State Department? dont know how speak for what would
have happened her brain. Why did you send her? thought she would find interest. Okay. Why did you think she would find interest?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. going
object and say beyond the scope.
And instruct you not answer.
This not litigation about whether
certain records were turned over correctly not
what decisions she made -MS. COTCA: And was going actually
interrupt and stop you right there. Ive already Did you provide the full e-mail address? was ATT. Okay. you recall the entire e-mail
address before the ATT? dont. saw the HR15, and that strikes probably accurate, but was knew was ATT Okay. Thank you. e-mail address. Okay. you know when did she ever
stop using that e-mail address? Yes. When did she stop using that? She transitioned from using that her
primary e-mail Clinton.com e-mail address
February, March, April 2009. Okay. And the e-mail address, the
e-mail address referenced Exhibit not familiar with e-mail
address. Well, its not thats not the e-mail
address. But the HR15@ATT.BlackBerry.net account,
asked that speaking objections made. you
would like have speaking objection the
record, can excuse the witness leave the room,
and you can make your objection you think thats
absolutely necessary.
Speaking objection that its outside
the scope sufficient. Thank you -BY MS. COTCA: Are you not going answer the question,
Ms. Mills? Tell the question that youre trying
learn. Why did you think this would
interest?
MS. WILKINSON: Same objection.
And instructing you not answer.
MS. COTCA: Okay. clear with respect what e-mails
the Secretary used early 2009, you said that she
had e-mail practice the Senate. you recall
what that e-mail address was? The one that shared earlier.
that wasnt the Senate e-mail, was it? Thats not
the e-mail address that she used during the Senate? Yes, is. Oh, that the e-mail address that she
used? Yes, is. Okay. wasnt sure there was third
e-mail address not. No. Okay.
MS. COTCA: think weve been going about hour. can take five-minute break.
MS. WILKINSON: Sure.
VIDEO SPECIALIST: are off the record 10:25. recess was taken.)
VIDEO SPECIALIST: are back the
record 10:41. MS. COTCA: Ms. Mills, did you recall that was
March when Secretary Clinton transitioned the
Clintonemail.com because when you reviewed the
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Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 72)
e-mails that she was returning the State
Department? No. You had that recollection before you
reviewed e-mails that she was returning the State
Department?
MS. WALSH: Can you speak up, Ramona?
sorry. having hard time hearing you. mean,
not from the mike, just from me.
MS. COTCA: Sure. trying think about how answer
your question consistent with obligations -as counsel.
But the answer did did not have
that recollection based materials returned the
department.
MS. COTCA: Can mark this.
(Deposition Exhibit marked for
identification and attached the transcript.)
MS. COTCA: apologize, only have one
copy.
THE WITNESS: you need look
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Vague. you understand the question? No. Okay. You were writing behalf
Secretary Clinton that letter? Yes. Okay. And you were representing her
her attorney, thats your testimony? did also represent her her attorney,
that correct. Did you represent her her attorney
that context, the context for that e-mail, for
that correspondence? sending this, was sending this
because was her lawyer, who she had asked
undertake this process conjunction with David
Kendall, who also her personal lawyer. And
that was the reason conveyed back. also the case that the letter that
came seeking her records came me, and that
the reason conveyed back. Okay. you recall when you first
first?
MS. COTCA: You can give your
counsel first. MS. COTCA: Ms. Mills, can you take look now
Exhibit Once youve had chance look it,
let know. Thank you. Sure. you recognize that document? recognize this document. And what it? This letter from me, dated December
5th, Under Secretary Kennedy. And can you just summarize briefly. The letter conveying copies the
Secretarys e-mail records the department. Okay. Thank you.
Did you were you representing Secretary
Clinton that time her attorney? Yes. Okay. there reason that you didnt
include that your letter the State Department?
started representing Secretary Clinton this
matter, the matter described the Exhibit
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Beyond the
scope.
MS. COTCA: Are you instructing her not
answer?
MS. WILKINSON: No. Okay. You may answer. Thanks. started representing Secretary Clinton matters once she left the State Department. And whenever there was matter that she asked
undertake her behalf, would. Okay. But thats not answering the
question. question was, when did you begin
representing the former Secretary for the matter
issue thats described Exhibit
MS. WILKINSON: Same objection. Beyond
the scope. dont know how answer your
question better than indicating that became her
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Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 76)
personal counsel when she left the department. And
this was matter that arose after she left the
department, and she asked would undertake
assist her this matter. When did she ask you undertake
assist her the matter? dont know that have specific date
that she that she did that, but was post
February 2013. you can you more specific time
frame? cant.
MS. WILKINSON: Same objection
scope.
MS. COTCA: Will you mark this.
(Deposition Exhibit marked for
identification and attached the transcript.)
MS. BERMAN: What exhibit?
MS. COTCA: Exhibit Ms. Mills, just please continue review
it, and let know when youre done reviewing the
exhibit.
Clinton for the matter with respect returning her
e-mail records the State Department this time
frame? the time that they requested her
e-mails, was representing her with respect
undertaking the return those. And prior that,
the request was made her address this matter
for her. you recall the first time that you were
contacted with respect returning Secretary
Clintons e-mails the State Department?
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Relevance.
Beyond scope.
MS. COTCA: The scope the return
Secretary Clintons e-mails the State Department
which were searched and reviewed this for this
FOIA litigation.
MS. BERMAN: you see that the scope discovery? not. The scope is, the
creation and use Clintonemail.com.
MS. COTCA: And processing FOIA
requests.
Have you had chance review it? have. Okay. And looks like this document
some e-mail traffic with you and others the State
Department with the respect the return
Secretary Clintons e-mails. that fair summary? Yes, e-mail traffic with me, and
then theres traffic that not that among
the lawyers the State Department. Okay. And this document looks like
the time frame, your first e-mail David Wade,
dated August 22, 2014. that accurate? Yes. Okay. Who David Wade? David Wade this time was the chief
staff Secretary Kerry. Okay. the State Department. Right? the State Department. Sorry, Secretary
Kerry, John Kerry, who the Secretary State
currently. Okay. Were you representing Secretary
MS. BERMAN: And the State Departments
approach and practice for processing FOIA requests
that potentially implicated former Secretary
Clintons e-mails.
MS. COTCA: Correct.
MS. BERMAN: The State Departments
approach and practice for processing FOIA requests,
not the return Secretary Clintons e-mails.
MS. COTCA: And those records were
processed and searched for this FOIA litigation.
MS. BERMAN: the State Department.
MS. COTCA: Correct.
MS. BERMAN: Its not dispute all
this case which records were returned the State
Department, which records were processed for the
FOIA case.
MS. COTCA: Okay. can argue about that
later. MS. COTCA: you remember the question, Ms. Mills? dont.
MS. COTCA: Would you read back
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Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
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Ms. Mills, please.
(The reporter read the record follows: you recall the first time that you were
contacted with respect returning Secretary
Clintons e-mails the State Department?) believe that was late summer
2014. Okay.
Okay. just want you can take
look your initial original e-mail Exhibit And its your first paragraph. would
the last page the exhibit where you say,
wanted follow your request last month about
hard copies Secretary Clintons e-mails and
from. you see that? do. Okay. The date the e-mail August
22nd. fair, mean, say that you were
contacted July 2014, minimum? dont know how -my experience memory with respect that time
State Department. Exhibit No, not going any exhibit. Sorry. just want back time 2009
when Secretary Clinton transitioned what youve
identified the Clinton e-mail. Clinton.com e-mail. Yes. Okay. How was that set up; you
know? was not -MS. BERMAN: Object the form the
question. You may answer. was not actually involved the
original setup the e-mail. Okay. But even you were not involved it, you have any knowledge with respect how was set up? The knowledge that have has come through representation her counsel. When you say your representation
period was that there was set conversations
around materials that were going provided
the Hill, and questions that they had with respect media inquiries that they anticipated.
And then subsequent that there was
communication with respect the department
potentially needing all her dot gov e-mails.
And terms timing that, believe
that was sometime the late summer. And dont
know last month was accurate not accurate.
But thats best understanding. Does this refresh your recollection? doesnt. when you said that,
would have still said late summer, just because
thats best memory. But thats memory. Okay. July includes late late summer. that fair? Well, the end July, probably, yeah.
But dont know. Okay. Thank you. want back the e-mail for
Secretary Clinton that she started using the
Secretary Clinton counsel attorney. Oh, attorney. Correct. the counselor role the
State Department not lawyer role. The
counselor role the State Department actually
policy role. And its particular policy
issues that might relevant the Secretary.
And for Secretary Clinton those were
things like food security and Haiti and certain
development initiatives. Okay. when you learned with respect
how the Clinton e-mail was set up, that your
testimony just want make sure understand correctly that was learned the context you representing Secretary Clinton her legal
attorney. terms how was actually set up,
yes. Okay. When did you learn that? dont
want into discussions that you had with
Secretary Clinton her attorney, but curious
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Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
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with respect what the time frame that. And when you say that, can you just
was aha know dont know kind moment. Sure. But was certainly, would say best
more specific? When you learned how the e-mail was set
understanding that would have been post her time
up. the department when Ive had step through some can you going just ask you the issues that have obviously been raised about little more specific. obviously knew she was
her e-mail account.
using personal e-mail, dont want suggest
that didnt know she was using personal e-mail. Okay. Was 2014? dont know the answer that question.
Like, dont know was before later. Like, knew she was using personal e-mail. Okay. lets backtrack little bit. dont know how answer that question based
And question was what you knew with respect
having temporal understanding.
about how that e-mail account was set up.
But know that have had conversations
with respect the setup her e-mail, and Ive
had those conversations over period time.
MS. BERMAN: Object the form the
question. Okay. But was definitely after, from Okay. not technologically savvy
person. happy own that straight up.
what understand your testimony, after you left the
dont know that could tell you how AOL account
State Department, youre not sure about it? set Gmail account set anybody terms understanding how her
elses e-mail set up.
e-mail was set terms the technicalities
how was structured, that was something that
learned after her time period the department. can tell you that was not State
Department e-mail. And the extent that your
question when was when did learn she was
not using State Department e-mail, was aware
that she wasnt using State Department e-mail when
she transitioned in. Thats not question, though. Thank you. Sure. question was with respect the
testimony you just gave about that you learned
how was set your representation
Secretary Clinton her attorney. terms the technicalities how her
e-mail set up, terms those those issues,
yes, have fulsome understanding that
comes from representation her. Okay. And not asking about what those
discussions were, but asking you about that
time frame. When when did you learn that? dont know could tell you when
learned that. know that because, obviously,
over the past now year and half Ive been stepping
through that process. dont know that have
pinpoint moment where could tell you where there And who who did you talk about that?
MS. BERMAN: Objection.
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Calls for
privilege.
MS. BERMAN: And speculation. Assumes
facts not evidence.
MS. COTCA: Whats the privilege?
MS. WILKINSON: She could have talked
her client.
MS. COTCA: not asking with respect Who else did you speak outside your
client about that?
MS. WILKINSON: agents her client. Okay. Let who else did you speak
with outside your client agents your
client? spoke her counsel, who believe
falls into that context. There are other counsel. Who her other counsel? David Kendall her other counsel. there anybody else? There are attorneys that work
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Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 88)
Williams Connolly. And who are they? dont know that could name the names. not asking for the entire firm
directory. know. But being transparent with
you. dont know that can name. And thats
not reflection because most conversations
with are David Kendall.
But know that there are other attorneys,
obviously, there who work matters that involve
representing Secretary Clinton. And then there were
obviously agents her that also engaged
conversation with. Okay. Just for the attorneys, was also
Heather Samuelson?
MS. WILKINSON: going object right
now. Beyond the scope.
MS. COTCA: Whats the other objection?
MS. WILKINSON: And you were asking about
for nonagents, not for agents. Youre trying ask
for nonattorney And also the names all nonagents -MS. WILKINSON: Same who you spoke with.
MS. WILKINSON: Same. Its beyond the
scope. And even though dont agree with you that making objections somehow influencing the
witness, accommodate you going ask
Ms. Mills step out can make full factual
record. discussion was held off the record.)
MS. WILKINSON: want the record
reflect that Ms. Mills -MS. COTCA: Just one moment for Ms. Mills leave the room.
(Ms. Mills left the conference room.)
MS. WILKINSON: Ms. Mills leaving the
room.
You are asking her questions about work
she did after she left the department, behalf
Secretary Clinton, her lawyer, preparing her
client investigation and turning over
documents the State Department.
MS. COTCA: asking who represented
Secretary Clinton.
MS. WILKINSON: Thats totally irrelevant the areas that were here talk about.
MS. BERMAN: Objection well beyond -well beyond the scope.
MS. WILKINSON: And going instruct
her not answer these issues. you want get back the issues that
are the scope within the scope discovery, she
was answering all those questions. want know the agents all the -the names all the agents that you spoke to.
MS. WILKINSON: Same objection. And
instructing client not answer. Beyond the
scope. want know the names all the
attorneys for Secretary Clinton that you also spoke
with.
MS. WILKINSON: Same. Its beyond the
scope.
MS. BERMAN: Beyond the scope. Objection.
You asked her how she learned the
information after she left the department. She told
you she had knowledge how the Clinton noncomm
account was set 2009, when was. And thats
what relevant the scope here, not what she
learned after the fact lawyer. And thats why instructing her not answer.
MS. COTCA: Okay. did not for the
record, did not ask any questions with respect
what she learned the context representing her
for any investigation. Only specifically with
respect Secretary Clinton returning records back the State Department.
MS. WILKINSON: When you got questions
about who she talked to, you didnt know why she was
collecting that information. And its not its
not within the scope. And beyond the scope.
And shes not going answer those questions.
You asked her what was the scope, which let her answer, which did she know how that
account was formed 2009, March 2009. She did
not know how was set up. She said she did know
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that she transitioned it. Thats all agree
within the scope.
Something she learned after the fact
attorney representing her client not something
thats within the scope.
MS. COTCA: And did not ask what she
learned from the Secretary Clinton. asked who
she spoke with about that.
MS. BERMAN: And what the -MS. WILKINSON: Thats still beyond the
scope.
MS. BERMAN: What the relevance that the scope permissible discovery?
MS. COTCA: The setup the server.
MS. BERMAN: But you cant get that -its not information she contemporaneously had
the time. Its all information she learned later.
Its not her independent knowledge.
MS. COTCA: Correct. But goes who
knew about the server and its setup the time
was set up.
MS. BERMAN: Its privileged. her lawyer. Nowhere the courts order that, the way, you agreed were the limits your
discovery, that topic.
MS. COTCA: Okay.
MS. WILKINSON: you would start and
ask her the relevant questions first, think
would have lot better basis able move
along. Instead and figure out what she did
know about the questions that are within the scope.
And want let her answer your
questions.
But youre going over and over outside the
scope the questions instead even figuring
out you still havent asked her the basic
questions that are the scope your that
youre allowed ask. Which makes seem like you
dont really care about what you were supposed
ask her, and youre asking her all these things -MS. COTCA: Let know when youre done.
MS. WILKINSON: that are not relevant.
MS. COTCA: Are you done?
MS. WILKINSON: am.
MS. COTCA: Which completely within the
scope Judge Sullivans order. And asking
names. didnt ask anything else. asking who
she spoke with.
MS. BERMAN: Youre asking for attorney
names, who all that privileged.
MS. COTCA: Who represented Secretary
Clinton not privilege. Whats the privilege
for who represented Secretary Clinton?
MS. WILKINSON: Whats the relevance?
MS. BERMAN: Whats relevance that any those conversations are privileged?
MS. COTCA: Its discovery.
MS. BERMAN: Its not discovery writ
large. limited discovery with very defined
scope permissible discovery.
MS. WILKINSON: Let make suggestion
again. Why dont you ask her she even understood
whether there was server, she understood how
the server was set 2009 the time.
She not going answer questions about
after the State Department period what she learned
MS. COTCA: Okay. Just for the record,
make clear, did not ask anything with respect what she learned. asked who she spoke with.
And lets off the record.
VIDEO SPECIALIST: are off the record 11:05. recess was taken.)
VIDEO SPECIALIST: are back the
record 11:07. MS. COTCA: Ms. Mills, with respect conversations
you had about how Secretary Clintons e-mail was set
up, the Clinton e-mail account, did you ever speak
with Bryan Pagliano?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Form,
foundation, timing, and beyond the scope. you can rephrase your question
when youre talking about. Ever.
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Vague.
MS. COTCA: Okay. Are you instructing her
not answer?
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MS. WILKINSON: No. Please answer. Okay. Sorry. Could you repeat your
question? Did you ever speak with Mr. Bryan Pagliano
about how Secretary Clintons e-mail was set up? Yes. When was that? would have been during the period
which was representing Secretary Clinton when
came the setup her e-mail. Okay. Who Bryan Pagliano?
MS. WILKINSON: Object. Who Bryan Pagliano? you know him? Yes. Hes employee was former
employee the State Department. And what was his role what did
for the State Department? best understanding his work the
department was was working the technology part the department and somebody who has
technology expertise.
about the setup the server.
MS. WILKINSON: She didnt give time
period.
MS. COTCA: Okay. Can you give time period when you
spoke with Mr. Pagliano about the setup the
server? know spoke with Mr. Pagliano about the
setup the server during the period which was
representing Secretary Clinton, which would have
been after two thousand which would have been
post her departure from the State Department.
least thats best recollection. that would post February 2013? Yes. Okay. Was working for the Clintons
the time that you spoke him about the about
the setup the server?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Foundation. you know. Well, dont know how answer your
question because dont know the time period. And Okay. Did you know him prior coming
the State Department? Yes. Okay. When did you first start knowing
Mr. Pagliano? believe met Mr. Pagliano 2008.
met him during the course Secretary Clintons
campaign. Okay. When you spoke with Mr. Pagliano
about the setup the server, was Mr. Pagliano
working for either Secretary Clinton Bill Clinton the time?
MS. WILKINSON: Okay. Objection. And
going instruct the witness not answer unless
you set the timing. Because cant tell whether
its beyond the scope not. you could please either answer
ask the question with regard timing, again,
can see whether have instruct her not
answer.
MS. COTCA: believe the witness has
already testified when she spoke with Mr. Pagliano know that least have come understand
that obviously did service the setup her
e-mail during the period where was the
department. Okay. Did you think was let
rephrase that.
Was Mr. Pagliano agent the Clintons the time that you spoke him about the setup
the server?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection.
MS. BERMAN: Objection.
MS. WILKINSON: Far beyond the scope.
going instruct her not answer. Its legal
question.
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Calls for legal
conclusion, and beyond the scope permissible
discovery. What did Mr. Pagliano tell you those
conversations you had about the setup the server?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Beyond the
scope. And going instruct her not answer.
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Beyond the scope,
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and potentially calls for privilege.
MS. COTCA: Whose privilege?
MS. BERMAN: This all this this was
all during the time when she was representing
Hillary Clinton.
MS. COTCA: Are you representing
Mrs. Clinton?
MS. WILKINSON: am. And, yes, also
calls for privilege.
MS. COTCA: Okay. just wondering, the
privilege for the State Department, wondering
what privilege.
MS. BERMAN: you well know, not
representing Secretary Clinton.
MS. WILKINSON: representing
Ms. Mills, know, and she represents Hillary
Clinton her personal lawyer. And you are now
asking about work she has done for Hillary Clinton her lawyer. And beyond the scope the
permissible discovery, and instructing her
not answer. And just for the record, Ms. Mills, you
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Goes beyond
the scope. These are all not within the scope
discovery and could call for privileged information. dont actually know who actually
registered. What did Mr. Cooper tell you?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Same bases.
Beyond the scope. Could call for privileged
information.
MS. BERMAN: Objection well. Did you have any discussions with
Mr. Cooper, prior you Secretary Clinton
leaving the State Department, about the setup the
server? dont recall any discussions about the
setup the server. Did you ever discuss with him about the
server itself? dont have technological
background, confident would have had
conversations about the fact that she used
e-mail. But terms the technicalities how
are following the advice your attorneys not
answer the questions when she instructs you not
answer? have yes, am. Okay.
Okay. Did you speak with Justin Cooper
any point about the setup the server? Yes. Okay. When did you speak with Justin
Cooper about the setup the server? would have been the course the
representation Secretary Clinton that would
have spoken him about the setup her server. Who Mr. Cooper? Mr. Cooper was senior advisor
President Clinton and personal aid who managed
issues related President Clintons business
well their household. Okay. Did set register the
domain name for -MS. WILKINSON: Object. Secretary Clintons e-mail?
100 was managed, thats not something that had -or least dont have any recollection having
conversations around that until the time period
where was representing Secretary Clinton with
Mr. Cooper. sorry. What the matter that you
represented Secretary Clinton with respect
contacting Justin Cooper and Mr. Pagliano?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Beyond the
scope discovery. fact, may call for
privileged information, not going answer
that question. Did you ever represent Mr. Pagliano
Justin Cooper?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Beyond the
scope.
Dont answer. Are you following your attorneys advice
not answer? Yes. Okay. How about Oscar Flores; did you
ever speak Oscar Flores with respect the setup
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101 the server? may have spoken Oscar Flores.
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Sorry. may have. would have been likely
the course the representation Secretary
Clinton this matter. this and want clarify what
this matter is. this case? apologize.
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Objection.
Please. Before you she answers. Its beyond the
scope.
Ms. Mills not party this matter
that the subject the discovery, this
limited deposition. And shes not going reveal
the nature her representation the Secretary.
MS. COTCA: Okay. Thats fair. But
thats not the question. With respect when you said, this
matter, can you clarify? would clarify that its not with respect the underlying litigation that you all have going
103 Did you have any discussions with anybody the State Department about the setup her
server prior you leaving the State Department? dont believe did. How about before you came and served
chief staff? dont believe did. Are you familiar with Platte River
Networks? Yes. Okay. Who are they, what it? Platte River Networks company that
provides e-mail servicing and other technological
support. Okay. Its private company. And they provided support for Secretary
Clintons e-mail? Yes. Okay. When did you first learn about
Platte River Networks serving her server? dont know when first learned about
102
on. Okay. Who Oscar Flores? Oscar Flores personal aid
Secretary Clinton and household employee
President and Secretary Clinton. And what did Oscar Flores tell you with
respect the setup the server?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Beyond the
scope. may call for privileged information.
MS. COTCA: Are you instructing her not
answer?
MS. WILKINSON: am. How about anybody the State Department;
did you speak with anybody the State Department
about the setup the server?
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Could you clarify
the time frame?
MS. COTCA: Sure. Lets break down. After you left the State Department. dont recall having conversation with
anyone after she left the State Department about the
setup her server.
104
Platte River. know that Platte River obviously
transitioned her e-mail 2013. Did you have any discussions with them
prior leaving the State Department, when you were
getting ready leave the State Department? dont recall. might have, but dont
recall that. Okay. When you spoke with Platte River
Networks, did you learn about how the server was set that point?
MS. BERMAN: Object form question. dont know the answer your question.
And dont know the answer your question. How about Datto Network? not familiar with Datto Network. How about Datto, Inc.? know the enterprise that you are
speaking of. But Ive not had occasion engage
with them. Okay. And what you know about -whats the context your knowledge about Datto,
Inc.?
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105
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Beyond the
scope.
MS. COTCA: Are you instructing her not
answer?
MS. WILKINSON: No. understand that they have contracting
relationship with Platte River Networks. Okay. Did you learn that Datto Network
transitioned over e-mail from Secretary Clinton from
Platte River Networks?
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Assumes facts not evidence.
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Foundation. dont know that the case. you know whether they had any dealings
with respect Secretary Clintons e-mail account?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Foundation.
Scope. knowledge what they might have
had with respect Secretary Clinton came through representation Secretary Clinton. That was after you left the State
107 that Exhibit
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Vague. Can
you just ask the question. dont see Exhibit Okay. Theres actually different
address Exhibit Its
HAbedin@HillaryClinton.com.
What did Ms. Abedin use that whats
that e-mail address?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Foundation. Thats not the e-mail address
Clintonemail.com. Okay. that e-mail account that
Ms. Abedin used while she was the State
Department -MS. WILKINSON: Objection. far you know? No, not knowledge.
MR. MYERS: Ramona, could you speak
little bit?
MS. COTCA: Oh, sure.
MR. MYERS: Thank you.
106
Department? Yes. Okay. Did you contact Datto, Inc., ever, anybody from Datto, Inc.? Not recollection. Ms. Mills, weve gone over the e-mail
account that Secretary Clinton used. What the -Huma Abedin also used e-mail account connected
the Clinton server. Right?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Foundation and
form. With respect Ms. Abedin, she had
State Department e-mail, and she had e-mail that
was @Clinton.com. Okay. you know that e-mail account?
MS. WILKINSON: When you you mean
account you mean address? mean the address. sorry.
MS. COTCA: Thank you. would recognize saw it. think its Exhibit
108 MS. COTCA: you know whether Ms. Abedin had more
than one e-mail account the Clinton server? dont know. And you said that Ms. Abedin also had
State.gov account, e-mail address for the State
Department? Yes. Okay. you know how she was issued that
e-mail address? dont know. you know she had request
e-mail address for issued? dont know. want back when you started
the State Department. Was there directory
something similar directory, with officials who
worked within the Secretarys office and their
contact information, just for staff able
use they needed contact anybody? Not knowledge. Who was the Secretarys office?
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109
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Form. Just
111
establishing time period again.
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Characterizing Say when you started the State
her testimony. She said she didnt recall any
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Vague.
directory. someone was seeking reach the
Department back January 2009, who was the
Secretary somebody the Secretarys staff, they
staff, who worked within the Secretarys office?
could that number ways.
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Vague, and
relevance. Okay. the Secretarys office has
They could visit you, they could e-mail. Oh, sorry. Lets narrow down. e-mail.
existing staff when you walk the door, which executive secretary. There are two special Okay. e-mail, your e-mail was
assistants. There also executive assistant.
the State Department system, you could spell
There are others, well, that dont know
start spelling the persons last name, and would
well. Did you have assistant?
populate with the address associated with people who
had similar last names. And then you could look
called office management specialist when came
through them identify who you were looking for. Okay. And, lets say, for Secretary
in. OMS. someone who helps you when
Clinton, she did not have State.gov e-mail
you are transitioning in, who has been the
address.
department. And they provide support you you
transition in. Okay. you know Ms. Abedin had had what was termed what theyre Correct. Okay. how would they able reach
her e-mail somebody needed e-mail her?
110
assistant? dont know. And, obviously, Ms. Abedin also was the
Secretarys office. Correct? So, yes. She was the deputy chief
staff and managed operations. Correct. Okay. when you first came board,
somebody needed reach out either Ms. Abedin
you the Secretary, and they needed e-mail
something, how how did they know whose e-mail
accounts their e-mail addresses?
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Vague. you could just little bit more
specific, can helpful. Okay. Well, you said there was
directory staff sheet with whos the office
and what are their extensions and what are their
e-mail addresses. the Secretarys office. Correct. Were strictly speaking with
respect the Secretarys office.
112 she had e-mailed with them they would able reach her. They could come upstairs and
seek her e-mail address from the special assistants others who were familiar with it. they could
seek engage her. practical matter, Secretary Clinton
overwhelmingly met with people. her modality
engagement was not traditionally the e-mail. She
traditionally used meetings and phone calls the
way which she engaged her day-to-day business
for the department. Okay. And, again, though, question
was, though, within the Secretarys office.
the special assistants needed e-mail something
Secretary Clinton, how did they first learn her
e-mail account, e-mail address? cant speak how they learned. But
the specialists sit right out front her
office. they ever e-mail her? dont know the answer your question.
But they frequently walked and out her office
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113 engage with her, provide her with materials. The Clinton e-mail address that weve
that youve identified for Secretary Clinton, she
used that for her State Department business.
Correct? Correct. Okay. And would you agree with that
Secretary Clinton used widely throughout the
department and outside the department for her work
business?
MS. BERMAN: Objection. During her tenure there?
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Vague. know that she e-mailed number
people both inside the department for the work that
she did, well the government. Okay. Jacob Sullivan, who he? Jacob Sullivan was deputy chief staff
and managed policy the department, and then
subsequently became the head policy and planning. Okay. was within the Secretarys
office. Correct?
115
MS. WILKINSON: Objection.
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Theres
question.
MS. WILKINSON: Youre not here make
record. This deposition.
MS. COTCA: Correct. you have any reason dispute that
the Secretary e-mails that she returned the State
Department, Ms. Abedin sent 3,000 Mrs. Clinton
sent 3,490 e-mails Mrs. Abedin and Ms. Abedin
received 872 e-mails from Secretary Clinton?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Form,
foundation, and beyond the scope. know that the Secretary returned over
30,000 e-mails. dont know the breakdown that terms how they broke down individual. Okay. Who William Burns? Bill Burns was the Deputy Secretary
State. what time? Bill Burns was the Deputy Secretary
State during her tenure. And was promoted
114 Correct. Okay. And Secretary Clinton e-mailed with
Mr. Sullivan for government-related business? knowledge, yes. Okay. And just our count the
records that Secretary Clinton returned, counted
3,887 e-mails that were sent and 1,412 e-mails that
were received. whom? Between Mr. Sullivan and Secretary
Clinton.
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Theres
question there. Youre just making statement. Did Mrs. Clinton e-mail with Huma Abedin? Yes. For State Department business? Yes. Okay. And you know how frequently they
e-mailed? dont. Okay. Again, just for the record, our
count was
116
that position while she was Secretary. Okay. And you know, did Secretary
Clinton e-mail with Bill Burns during her time
State Department for government business? knowledge, she did. How about and just going
through few names just Okay. Thank you for that. appreciate
that preview. How about Jack Lew? knowledge, she did. And who he? was Deputy Secretary State. When? was Deputy Secretary State for most her tenure. Not all it, but for most it. How about Thomas Nides?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection for moment.
Could ask you mean, dont mind you asking
these questions, but dont understand the
relevance the permissible scope because not
party the case.
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117
Are these part the FOIA requests that
implicate Secretary Clinton and Ms. Abedins e-mails the processing the FOIA requests this
action?
MS. COTCA: These Secretary
Clintons use her e-mail account the State
Department. officials within the State
Department.
MS. WILKINSON: But dont see that the topic thought was the approach and
practice for processing FOIA requests and the
creation and operation Clintonemail.com, not who
she e-mailed generally.
Again, you can -MS. COTCA: Again, you want can have discussion and can actually off the record.
And can out and can ask Ms. Mills
leave the room.
MS. WILKINSON: just asking you for
clarification.
MS. COTCA: You know, youre going
have these sort questions and statements,
119
MS. WILKINSON: You know, most
depositions people try work together. Because want you able get the questions asked
and answers that youre entitled to. not trying just make
objection for the sake it. actually trying see theres basis, then would happy
have client answer the question. any deposition Ive done, normally
people are more than willing that, because the
idea get you the information youre entitled and that you need.
MS. WALSH: you guys need copy the
order? Ive got extra one.
MS. WILKINSON: your
position and Ill let her answer, maybe wont
instruct her not answer. your position
that those questions the first topic, the
creation and operation Clintonemail.com?
MS. COTCA: dont dont need dont need explain with respect the
strategy how the questions are asked with
118
Ms. Mills, you can exit the room.
THE WITNESS: Okay.
MS. COTCA: Sorry.
THE WITNESS: No. No. Thats quite all
right.
MS. COTCA: Unless you withdraw the
objection.
MS. WILKINSON: No, dont.
(Ms. Mills left the conference room.)
MS. WILKINSON: trying get basis
for asking the questions. dont want have object.
MS. COTCA: This isnt with respect
processing FOIA; this respect Secretary
Clintons use her e-mail the Secretary
State.
MS. WILKINSON: But thats not what the
order says. says the creation, operation
Clintonemail.com.
MR. ORFANEDES: This not debate.
you have scope objection, say scope, and well
move on. your witness
120
respect where they fit within the scope.
believe they are within the scope Judge
Sullivans order. you have objection scope and you want instruct the witness not answer,
please so. And refrain just doing that when
the witness here.
MS. WILKINSON: just want make
record. Were trying work out. wasnt
asking you for your strategy. was asking you
whether you thought what topic was under. And
youre telling you wont answer.
MS. COTCA: already told you that was
within the first topic. wasnt within the
processing FOIAs. And thats pretty obvious,
that this scope within that.
MS. BERMAN: Would this good time
take break since weve been going for while?
MS. COTCA: Sure.
VIDEO SPECIALIST: This ends Tape
are off the record 11:34. recess was taken.)
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121
VIDEO SPECIALIST: Here begins Tape
the deposition Cheryl Mills. are back the
record 11:48. MS. COTCA: Ms. Mills, were just going through some the other officials the State Department and
Secretary Clintons practice e-mailing with them her Clintonemail.com e-mail address. Susan Rice,
who she? Well, can you more specific you mean what because shes held number
positions. tell what you mean. you know who she is? She currently serves the national
security counsel. Okay. And does she serve any capacity the State Department during your tenure there? She was during Secretary Clintons
tenure there and mine, she served the ambassador the United Nations. Okay. And you know Secretary
Clinton e-mailed with Ms. Rice?
123 Will you, please. And let know when
youre finished reviewing it.
Ms. Mills, see that youre highlighting
some portions the exhibit, which fine. But
just for the record sorry. No. Thats fine. But just for the
record, can confirm that there were
highlights when you were handed the exhibits, and
that those are your highlights.
MS. WILKINSON: Dont highlight. Sorry. apologize. was just trying
read, pay attention was reading. wont
highlight anymore. Okay. But those are your highlights for
the record, youve highlighted that exhibit? have. Thank you. Okay. And there were highlights,
highlight marks before when handed you the
exhibit. When you handed the exhibit, there were highlights it.
122 dont know.
MS. COTCA: Okay. Could you mark this exhibit, please.
(Deposition Exhibit marked for
identification and attached the transcript.)
MS. WILKINSON: you have copies?
MS. COTCA: Oh, yes. What exhibit
that?
MS. WILKINSON: Exhibit
MS. COTCA: You know what? Just mark -Can off the record for one moment.
VIDEO SPECIALIST: Were off the record
11:49. recess was taken.)
VIDEO SPECIALIST: are back the
record 11:51. MS. COTCA: Ms. Mills, youve been handed, believe
its Exhibit Yes. Yes. Did you have chance review it? have not. will review.
124 Thank you. And apologize for distorting the record,
and will not that again. thank you.
MS. WILKINSON: Ms. Cotca, think what
got are two the same pages the last two pages.
Could wrong.
MS. COTCA: Theyre not. Theyre close,
but dont think theyre identical.
MS. WILKINSON: Okay.
MS. COTCA: Are they identical your
copy?
MS. WILKINSON: Its hard for tell.
MS. COTCA: Okay.
MS. WILKINSON: Oh, see. MS. COTCA: Ms. Mills, have you reviewed Yes, have. reviewed the exhibit? Thank you. Sure. And fair description
just say there are number e-mails this
exhibit, with Secretary Clinton?
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125 Yes. Okay. just want through some them with respect who she communicated with
when she was the State Department. Thank you. Sure. Weve talked about, weve asked
about Susan Rice. the first page. the first page the exhibit. that Susan Rice who served the
ambassador? Yes. that e-mail? Okay.
And thats e-mail Secretary Clinton.
Right? This e-mail Secretary Clinton.
This e-mail from Secretary Clinton Susan
Rice her State.gov account, and then Susan
responding. Okay. And looks like the e-mail from
Secretary Clinton initially the beginning
states, Susan, please feel free use, paren, open
127 dont know. Okay. And then the next page, can you
just describe what that page -MS. BERMAN: Objection the exhibit?
MS. BERMAN: the document speaks for
itself. This e-mail exchange with Secretary
Clinton and myself part it. Okay. And the original e-mail, you
see that where Amanda Anderson sent you e-mail well Lauren Jilloty? Yes, see that. Okay. Asking send her e-mail address,
the subject matter being the Secretarys e-mail. you see that? see that. Okay. that request for Secretary
e-mails for Secretary Clintons e-mail account sent, the e-mail address sent Emanuel
Rahm?
MS. BERMAN: Objection. The document
126
paren, whatever current address may be. dont
know thats exclamation mark not, close
parenthesis. you see that? see that. Okay. Why did Secretary Clinton e-mail
Susan Rice?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Foundation. dont know why she chose that -on that that occasion e-mail her. Okay. Well, guess question let
rephrase the question. Okay. Did Susan Rice request make request
for Secretary Clintons e-mail account?
MS. WILKINSON: Objection. Foundation.
The document speaks for itself. dont know. Okay. you know Secretary Clinton
requested directly Secretary sorry,
Susan Rice made request Secretary Clinton for
the Secretarys e-mail address?
128
speaks for itself. The e-mail says the Secretary and Rahm are
speaking, and she has just asked him e-mail her.
Can you send her address, please. Okay. Whose address that?
MS. BERMAN: Objection. you know. you can deduct from the
document. the document says the Secretary and
Rahm are speaking. She just asked him e-mail her
address. Can you send her e-mail address,
please.
And then sorry. No, no, no. sorry. ahead. And then sent e-mail the Secretary
saying, you want him have your e-mail.
And the Secretary then responded me,
saying, yes.
And then responded saying, Will give
him directly.
And this exchange happening our
State e-mail accounts.
PLANET DEPOS
888.433.3767 WWW.PLANETDEPOS.COM
Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 129 132)
129 Okay. Except for Secretary Clintons
e-mail. Correct? Correct. Secretary Clintons e-mail
Clintonemail.com. was her practice e-mail for
State matters individuals government accounts. Okay. Did you provide Emanuel Rahm the
Secretarys e-mail address? dont know. would hope did, because said would. But dont have recollection
it. And the next page the document?
MS. WILKINSON: Can just maybe
you want clear that these are multiple
e-mails. Youve just compiled them.
MS. COTCA: Yes. think that was said
the beginning.
MS. WILKINSON: Okay. Sorry. Thats Page Exhibit think. Correct. Exhibit Page which
new e-mail. Okay. John Kerry, the current
Secretary State. Correct?
131 the Department Energy. Correct. Okay. Did Secretary Clinton and Secretary
Chu e-mail? can only look this e-mail and
and say the answer that question would
appear yes. But didnt have contemporaneous
knowledge her e-mails with How did the Secretary Steven Chu. Okay. How did Secretary Chu learn
Mrs. Clintons e-mail address? have idea. The next two pages appear two pages e-mail string the exhibit. you see that? do. Okay. And these e-mails appear
string. youll look the second page the
document, your original e-mail. There
statement from you, You can lose the
cmills@HillaryClinton.com. Correct.
130 assuming this John Kerry who was
the who currently Secretary State. dont
personally know John Kerrys original e-mail
address, but would appear from the face
the document that thats what its referencing. But deducing that, opposed knowing his e-mail
account. Okay. Did you know mean, did
Secretary Clinton e-mail with John Kerry during her
time the State Department? She may very well she very may well
have. dont dont know that had
contemporaneous understanding that. And thats the date the document
March 18, 2012. Correct? The yes. Both e-mails are March 18,
2012. Okay. Sunday. Okay. The next page the document.
Thats e-mail that appears e-mail,
correct, Secretary Clinton, from Steven Chu?
132 you see that statement? Yes. Okay. And thats e-mail from you
whom? Dennis McDonough. Who was that? Dennis McDonough was the deputy national
security counsel. Okay. that time? Back January sorry. always using the time
period this date. should say January -with July 2009, with respect the e-mail
that youre asking about, and you said who was
he. Yes. was serving the capacity the
deputy national security counsel, the best
memory. Okay. What that e-mail account thats
referenced there for for you? Which one?
PLANET DEPOS
888.433.3767 WWW.PLANETDEPOS.COM
Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 133 136)
133 The CMills@HillaryClinton.com. The CMills@HillaryClinton.com was
campaign e-mail address. Okay. When did you begin using that
e-mail address?
MS. BERMAN: Objection. dont know.
MS. BERMAN: Beyond scope admissible
discovery.
MS. WILKINSON: Same objection. Let lay some foundation. Did you use
that e-mail account when you were Secretary
the State Department? No. When did you discontinue did you
discontinue using that e-mail account? Yes. Okay. When was that? would have discontinued probably using
that e-mail account sometime January 2009. Okay. still active?
MS. BERMAN: Objection. Beyond the scope
135
House for period time during Secretary
Clintons tenure and also not the White House
during period time.
And just dont have enough facility mind know which period this was in, even
looking the dates. just dont remember
came into the government first with the President
and then left came later and then
because thats the best recollection. But
did serve government for period time. Okay. What capacity did serve when was the White House? dont know what his dont know what
his title was what his capacity was. know that served someone who obviously was advising the
White House, but couldnt tell you more than that. When you say advising the White House,
advising the President? Yes. Okay. How about John Podesta; did
Secretary Clinton e-mail with John Podesta? Are you another e-mail now?
134 discovery.
MS. WILKINSON: Same objection. Was still active July 2009? actually dont know. didnt have
strategy for accessing it, dont know the
answer that question. might have continued
have life, but didnt access that e-mail. Okay. Did send you e-mail the
HillaryClinton.com e-mail account before you
responded July 2009? just dont know. Okay. Next page, please, the exhibit.
Did Secretary Clinton e-mail with David
Axelrod? dont know how frequently she e-mailed
with David Axelrod. know, based this e-mail
traffic, that provided her with his address. Okay. Who was David Axelrod that time? dont know what role David Axelrod was
serving that time. Was the White House? David Axelrod was both the White
136 No. just asking you. dont know that could have
contemporaneously told you the answer that
question. see e-mail here. Youre the next page. Okay. Yes. And she e-mailed with John Podesta,
well? This e-mail traffic reflects e-mail
with John Podesta, correct. Okay. Who was John Podesta the time? June 2009 believe John Podesta
would have been the president the Center for
American Progress. And okay. Who Nora Toiv? Nora Toiv was assistant office. Okay. When did she serve assistant? She started sometime after was there,
probably not until six months after was
there. And how long did she stay that role? She was there for most tenure, but
PLANET DEPOS
888.433.3767 WWW.PLANETDEPOS.COM
Videotaped Deposition Cheryl Mills, Esq.
Conducted May 27, 2016 (Pages 137 140)
137
she left prior departure. Okay. And when you say she served
assistant, was that your assistant was she
your assistant? She was assistant

Full Text Political Transcripts May 22, 2015: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Emails

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 114TH CONGRESS:

Full Text Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Emails

Source: FOIA, 5-22-15

U.S Department of State Freedom of Information Act….

 

Full Text Political Transcripts March 19, 2015: Monica Lewinsky’s speech at TED 2015 Conference about Bill Clinton Scandal and Cyber-Bullying Transcript

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 114TH CONGRESS:

Monica Lewinsky’s speech at TED 2015 Conference about Bill Clinton Scandal and Cyber-Bullying Transcript

Monica Lewinsky speaks at TED2015 - Truth and Dare, March 19 2015, Vancouver Convention Center. Photo: James Duncan Davidson/TED

Monica Lewinsky

You are looking at a woman who was publicly silent for a decade. Obviously that has changed, but only recently.

It was several months ago that I gave my very first, major public talk at the Forbes 30 Under 30 summit.

1500 brilliant people, all under the age of 30. That meant that in 1998 the oldest among the group were only 14 and the youngest just 4.

I joked with them that some might only have heard of me from rap songs. Yes, I am in rap songs. Almost 40 rap songs.

But the night of my speech, a surprising thing happened. At the age of 41, I was hit on by a 27-year-old guy. I know, right? He was charming and I was flattered and I declined. Do you know what his unsuccessful pickup line was? He could make me feel 22 again.

I realized later that night I am probably the only person over 40 who does not want to be 22 again.

At the age of 22 I fell in love with my boss. And at the age of 24, I learned the devastating consequences.

Can I see a show of hands of anyone here who  didn’t make a mistake or do something they regretted at 22? Yep, that’s what I thought. So like me, at 22, a few of you may have taken wrong turns and fallen in love with the wrong person. Maybe even your boss.

Unlike me, your boss probably wasn’t the President of the United States of America.

Of course, life is full of surprises.

Not a day goes by that I am not reminded of my mistake. And I regret that mistake deeply.

In 1998, after having been swept up into an improbable romance, I was then swept up into the eye of a political, legal and media maelstrom like we had never seen before. Remember, just a few years earlier, news was consumed in just three places: reading a newspaper or magazine, listening to a radio, or watching television. That was it.

But that wasn’t my fate. Instead, this scandal was brought to you by the digital revolution. That meant we could access all the information we wanted, when we wanted it, anytime, anywhere. And when the story broke in January, 1998, it broke online. It was the first time the traditional news was usurped by the internet for a major news story. A click that reverberated around the world.

What that meant for me personally was that overnight I went from being a completely private figure to a publicly-humiliated one worldwide. I was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on the global scale almost instantaneously.

This rush to judgement enabled by technology led to mobs of virtual stone-throwers. Granted, it was before social media, but people could still comment online, email stories and of course, email cruel jokes. News sources plastered photos of me all over to sell newspapers, banner ads online, and to keep people tuned to the TV.

Do you recall a particular image of me, say, wearing a beret? Now, I admit I made mistakes, especially wearing that beret. But the attention an judgement I received, not the story, but that I personally received, was unprecedented.

I was branded as a tramp. Tart. Slut. Whore. Bimbo. And, of course, “That Woman”. I was seen by many, but actually known by few. And I get it. It was easy to forget that “that woman” was dimensional, had a soul, and was once unbroken.

When this happened to me 17 years ago, there was no name for it. Now we call it cyber-bulling and online harassment.

Today I want to share some of my experiences, and talk about how those experiences helped shape my cultural observations, and how my past experiences can lead to a change that can lead to less suffering for others.

In 1998 I lost my reputation and my dignity. I lost almost everything. And I almost lost my life.

Let me paint a picture for you. It is September of 1998. I am sitting in a windowless office room inside the Office of the Independent Counsel, underneath humming flourscent lights. I am listening to the sound of my voice. My voice on surreptitiously taped phone calls that a supposed friend had made the year before. I am here because I’ve been legally required to authenticate all 20 hours of taped conversation. For the past eight months, the mysterious content of these conversations has hung like the Sword of Damocles over my head.

I mean, who can remember what they said a year ago?

Scared and mortified, I listened. Listened as I prattled on about the flotsam and jetsam of the day. Listen as I confess my love for the president. And of course, my heartbreak. Listened to my sometimes catty, sometimes churlish, sometimes silly self being cruel, unforgiving, uncouth. Listened deeply, deeply ashamed of the worst version of myself. A self I don’t even recognize.

A few days later, the Starr Report is released to Congress and all of those tapes and transcripts, those stolen words, form a part of it. That people can read the transcripts is horrific enough. But a few weeks later the audio tapes are aired on TV, and significant portions are made available online.

The public humiliation was excruciating. Life was almost unbearable.

This was not something happened with regularity back in 1998. And by this, I mean the stealing of people’s private words, actions, conversations or photos, and then making them public. Public without consent, public without context, and pubic without compassion.

Fast forward 12 years to 2010 and now social media has been born. The landscape has sadly become much more populated with instances like mine, whether or not someone actually made a mistake. And now it is for both public and private people. The consequences for some have become dire. Very dire.

I was on the phone with my mom in September, 2010 and we were talking about the news of a young college freshman from Rutgers University named Tyler Clementi.

Sweet, sensitive, creative Tyler was secretly webcammed by his room mate while being intimate with another man. When the online world learned of this incident, the ridicule and cyber-bullying ignited. A few days later, Tyler jumped from the George Washington Bridge to his death. He was 18.

My mom was beside herself about what happened to Tyler and his family and she was gutted with pain in a way I just couldn’t understand.

And then eventually, she was reliving 1998. Reliving a time when she sat beside my bed every night. Reliving a time when she made me shower with the bathroom door opened. And reliving a time when both of my parents feared I would be humiliated to death. Literally.

Today too many parents haven’t had the chance to step in and rescue their loved ones. Too many have learned have of their child’s humiliation and suffering after it was too late.

Tyler’s tragic, senseless death was a turning point for me. It served to recontextualize my experiences and I then began to look at the world of humiliation and bullying around me and see something different.

In 1998 we had no way of knowing where this brave new technology called the Internet would take us. Since then it has connected people in unimaginable ways, joining lost siblings, saving lives, launching revolutions.

But the darkness, cyber-bullying and slut-shaming that I experienced had mushroomed. Every day online people, especially young people who are not developmentally equipped to handle this, are so abused and humiliated that they can’t imagine living to the next day. And some, tragically, don’t. And there is nothing virtually about that.

ChildLine, a UK-based service that is focussed on helping young people on various issue, released a staggering statistic late last year. From 2012 to 2013, there was an 87 per cent increase in calls and emails related to cyber-bullying. A meta analysis done out of the Netherlands showed that for the first time, cyber-bullying was leading to suicidal ideations more significantly than offline bullying.

And you know what shocked me, although it shouldn’t have, was other research that determined that humiliation was a more intensely felt emotion that either happiness or even anger.

Cruelty to others is nothing new. But online, technologically-enhanced shaming is amplified, uncontained and permanently accessible.

The echo of embarrassment used to extend only as far as your family, village, school or community. But now it is the online community too. Millions of people can stab you anonymously with their words, and that is a lot of pain. And there are no perimeters around how many people can publicly observe you and put you in a public stockade.

There is a very personal price to public humiliation. And the growth of the internet has jacked up that price. For nearly two decades now we have slowly been sowing the seeds of humiliation and shame in our cultural soil, both on and offline.

Gossip websites, paparazzi, reality programming, politics, news outlets and sometimes hackers all traffic in shame. It has led to desensitization and a permissive environment online which lends itself to  trolls, trolling, cyber-bullying and invasion of privacy. This shift has created what Professor Nicolas Vilas calls a culture of humiliation.

Consider a few common examples just from the past six months alone.

Snapchat, the service which is mainly used by the younger generations and claims that its messages only have the life span of a few seconds. You can imagine the range of content that gets. A third-party app that SnapChatters used to preserve the life span of the messages was hacked, and 100,000 personal conversations, photos and videos were leaked online to now have a lifetime of forever.

Jennifer Lawrence and several other actors had their iCloud accounts hacked and private, intimate nude photos were plastered across the internet without their permission.

One gossip website had over one million hits for this one story.

And what about the Sony Pictures cyber-hacking? The documents that which received the most attention were private emails that had maximum public embarrassment value.

But in this culture of humiliation, there is another kind of price tag attached to public shaming. The price does not measure the cost to the victim, which Tyler and many others, notably women and minorities and members of the LGBTQ community have paid, but the price measures the profit of those who prey on them.

This invasion of others is a raw material efficiently and ruthlessly mined, packaged and sold at a profit. A marketplace has emerged where public humiliation is a commodity and shame is an industry.

How is the money made? Clicks. The more shame, the more clicks. The more clicks, the more advertising dollars. We are in a dangerous cycle. The more we click on this kind of gossip, the more numb we become to the human lives behind it. And the more numb we get, the more we click.

All the while, somebody is making money off of the back of someone else’s suffering. With every click we make a choice. The more we saturate our culture with public shaming, the more accepted it is, the more we will see behaviour like trolling, cyber-bullying, some forms of hacking and online harassment.

Why? Because they all have humiliation at their cores. This behaviour is a symptom of the culture we’ve created. Just think about it.

Changing behaviour begins with evolving beliefs. We’ve seen that to be true with racism, homophobia and plenty of other biases today and in the past. As we have changed beliefs about same-sex marriage, more people have been offered equal freedoms. When we began valuing sustainability, more people began to recycle.

So as far as our culture of humiliation goes, what we need is a cultural revolution. Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop. And it is time for an intervention on the internet and in our culture.

The shift begins with something simple, but it is not easy. We need to return to a long-held value of compassion. Compassion and empathy. Online we have a compassion deficit and an empathy crisis.

Researcher Berne Brown said, and I quote, “shame can’t survive empathy. Shame cannot survive empathy.”

I have seen some very dark days in my life. It was the compassion and empathy from my family, my friends, professionals, and even strangers, that saved me.

Even empathy from one person can make a difference. The theory of minority influence proposed by social psychologist Serge Muscovici says that even in small numbers, when there is consistency over time, change can happen.

In the online world we can foster minority influence by becoming “up standers”. To become an upstander means instead of bystander apathy, we can post a positive comment for someone or report a bullying situation.

Trust me, compassionate comments help abate the negativity. We can also counteract the culture by supporting organizations that deal with these kinds of issues, like the Tyler Clementi Foundation in the US. In the UK there is anti-bullying Pro, and in Australia there is Project Rocket.

We talk a lot about our right to freedom of expression. But we need to talk more about our responsibility to freedom of expression. We all want to be heard. But let’s acknowledge the difference between speaking up with intention and speaking up for attention.

The internet is the superhighway for the Id. But online, showing empathy for others benefits us all

and helps create a safer and better world.

We need to communicate online with compassion, consume news with compassion and click with compassion. Just imagine walking a mile in someone else’s headline.

I’d like to end on a personal note. In the past nine months the question I have asked most is why.

Why now, why now was I sticking my head above the parapet. You can read between the lines in those questions, and the answer has nothing to do with politics. The top note answer answer was, and is, because it is time. Time to stop tip-toeing around my past, time to stop living a life of oppoprium, and time to take back my narrative.

It is also not just about saving myself. Anyone who is suffering from shame and public humiliation needs to know on thing. You can survive it.

I know it is hard. It may not be painless, quick or easy. But you can insist on a different ending to your story. Have compassion for yourself.

We all deserve compassion. And to live both online and off in a more compassionate world.

Thank you for listening.

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