Oct 12, 2016 by C. Mitchell Shaw
New disclosures from WikiLeaks show that — even as Hillary Clinton denied doing anything wrong in her handling of classified e-mails — Clinton staffers discussed the scandal and how it “smack[ed] of acting above the law.” Far from the unified front presented to the public, the recently leaked e-mails show that staffers believed that Clinton was not being honest about her handling of classified information over her private, unsecured e-mail server.
The e-mail exchange, dated June 22, 2015, actually begins with a forwarded message from the previous day. It is clear that Clinton’s staff had not learned the lesson that sometimes e-mail is not a secure form of communication. The e-mail discusses — in very candid terms — the problems with the Clinton narrative and highlights the gaping holes in Hillary’s story that she didn’t do anything wrong and that if she did, it was an honest mistake.
The e-mail was written by Erika Rottenberg, an attorney with tremendous experience in matters related to the intersection of technology and law. In June 2016, she joined the board of directors of Twillo. In the announcement of her appointment, the company wrote:
Ms. Rottenberg brings extensive experience as a global operational technology executive and General Counsel at leading, fast-growing, disruptive technology companies with global scale. She brings over 15 years of experience in the boardroom and the executive suite, with additional expertise in privacy, cybersecurity, intellectual property, M&A and corporate governance.
“Erika has vast experience at the intersection of technology and policy. She helped LinkedIn scale during a period of high growth, and is one of the foremost technology executives and legal minds in the industry. She truly embodies our core Twilio values of empowering others and leaving teams as legacies,” said Jeff Lawson, Twilio’s Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder.
Given her résumé, Rottenberg can safely be assumed to know a thing or two about the law as it relates to the mishandling of information over an unsecured, unauthorized, private e-mail account. She wrote to Stephanie Hannon — who is the the chief technical officer of the Clinton Campaign — and Ann O’Leary — who serves as a senior policy advisor for the campaign (spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are from the original):
you’re obviously amongst friends, but here’s the one i referred to (can’t remember which of you i talked about it with, if not both). It’s from someone that wasn’t goign to come, and i encouraged him to come. he comes at the issue slightly differnetly than what I’ve dsicussed with both of you (Ok, one thing to use personal email, but why the “twisted truth” (not my words) on why – with the two problematic areas being (a) emails to bill (when they were to bill’s staff) and (b) i only used one device — BB, when 2 weeks earlier, it was an iphone, BB and ipad. As Ann and I discussed, hopefully that’s a timing issue and whilst in state, she only used one. 🙂
*For my question*, it’s basically some variation of [not quite phrased right yet]: I know when I talk to my friends who are attorneys we are all struggling with what happened to the emails and aren’t satisfied with answers to date. While we all know of the occasional use of personal email addresses for business, none of my friends circle can understand how it was viewed as ok/secure/appropriate to use a private server for secure documents AND why further Hillary took it upon herself to review them and delete documents without providing anyone outside her circle a chance to weigh in. It smacks of acting above the law and it smacks of the type of thing I’ve either gotten discovery sanctions for, fired people for, etc.
Working through this from the top, the first point that needs to be made is that Hillary Clinton defended her deletion of 33,000 e-mails by saying they were personal messages between her and her husband, wedding plans for her daughter, and her yoga schedule. Her claim was that the private nature of the e-mails was at stake. But it turns out, the e-mails to her husband were actually “to bill’s staff,” according to Rottenberg.
Next, Clinton’s claim that she used only a BlackBerry is also untrue. She used several devices, creating more and more opportunities for state secrets to fall into the hands of any hacker who may have penetrated any of her numerous devices.
Finally (and this is as close to a smoking gun as an investigator could hope for), Rottenberg — who has worked in technology law for years and is considered an expert on the subject — had her own questions in regard to Clinton’s use of a private server and her unilateral deletion of those e-mails. Rottenberg wrote that none of her circle of friends (presumably including other lawyers) “can understand how it was viewed as ok/secure/appropriate to use a private server for secure documents.” This indicates that Hillary and her staff knew in June of 2015 (the date of this e-mail) that her server had housed “secure documents,” even as she publiclydenied it before both the American people and investigators.
Furthermore, Rottenberg — still referring to classified documents — says that “Hillary took it upon herself to review them and delete documents without providing anyone outside her circle a chance to weigh in.” No wonder Rottenberg considered Clinton’s treatment of classified information and e-mails as something that “smacks of acting above the law” and “the type of thing I’ve either gotten discovery sanctions for, fired people for, etc.”
Hillary broke the law, and she did so deliberately.
Yet the media watchdogs are ignoring this important story, serving instead as lapdogs for their preferred presidential candidate.