The Realistic Observer

The Realistic Observer

Seeking The Truth

Thursday, May 5, 2016

UNCOVERED: The COMPLETE Clinton Email Scandal Timeline















January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001: Democrat Bill Clinton is the president of the US for eight years and his wife Hillary Clinton is the first lady.

June 9, 2000: Clinton says she doesn’t want to use email. Home video footage from a private fundraiser shows Senator Clinton talking about how she has deliberately avoided using email so she wouldn’t leave a paper trail. “As much as I’ve been investigated and all of that, you know, why would I? I don’t even want… Why would I ever want to do email? Can you imagine?” But apparently necessity will force her to change her mind, and it is known that by 2006 she will start using a BlackBerry for email. (ABC News, 3/6/2015)

November 4, 2005: State Department Policy decrees day-to-day operations are to be done on government servers. The State Department decrees that “sensitive but unclassified” information should not be transmitted through personal email accounts. It also states, “It is the Department’s general policy that normal day-to-day operations be conducted on an authorized [government server], which has the proper level of security control to provide nonrepudiation, authentication, and encryption, to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the resident information.” (US Department of State, 1/12/2016) (The Washington Post, 3/10/2015)

March 2007 – 2008: The Bush Administration gets embroiled in a private email scandal. A Congressional oversight committee investigates allegations that the White House fired US attorneys for political reasons. The committee asks Bush officials to turn over relevant emails, only to find that government work had been conducted on private email addresses. Millions of emails are deleted and permanently lost, preventing the committee from continuing their investigation. Bush officials use email accounts associated with a private gwb43.com server owned and controlled by the Republican National Committee, which is a private political entity not covered by government oversight laws. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2007) (Vox, 3/2/2015)

SPECIAL: Sign our Congressional Warning today. Demand that Congress back off and restore our rights, stop the trampling of our Constitution and impeach Obama!

June 20, 2007: Clinton publicly criticizes the Bush administration’s use of non-governmental email accounts. While campaigning for president, Clinton says, “Our Constitution is being shredded. We know about the secret wiretaps. We know about secret military tribunals, the secret White House email accounts. … It’s a stunning record of secrecy and corruption, of cronyism run amok.” (ABC News, 3/6/2015) (The Hill, 3/5/2015)

2008: The US government publishes rules for email storage. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) issues Bulletin 2008-05, which states that every government email system is supposed to “permit easy and timely retrieval,” and all work emails are supposed to be permanently preserved. Additionally, in the case of a cabinet secretary, permanent records are to be sent to the department’s Records Service Center “at the end of the Secretary’s tenure or sooner if necessary” for safekeeping. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

January 15, 2008 – September 30, 2013: The State Department has no permanent inspector general for the entire time Clinton is secretary of state. Instead, an acting inspector with close ties to State Department leadership fills the role. An inspector general is an internal watchdog tasked with discovering mismanagement and corruption. The position goes vacant in January 2008. President Obama doesn’t nominate anyone to fill the position for more than four years, making it the longest time any department ever went without a permanent one. In 2015, The Wall Street Journal will write, “The lack of a confirmed inspector general raises questions about oversight of the department under Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton.” Matthew Harris, a professor who researches inspectors general, will later comment, “It’s a convenient way to prevent oversight.” (The Wall Street Journal, 3/24/2015)

Early 2008: Clinton’s private email server is set up in her house. Hillary Clinton acquires an email server for her 2008 presidential run and has it installed in her house in Chappaqua, New York. This same server (with a new domain name and email addresses) will hold all her emails during her time as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. (The New York Times, 8/8/2015) The Washington Post will later report, “The server was nothing remarkable, the kind of system often used by small businesses, according to people familiar with its configuration at the end of her tenure. It consisted of two off-the-shelf server computers. Both were equipped with antivirus software. They were linked by cable to a local Internet service provider. A firewall was used as protection against hackers.” (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

February 1, 2008: Clinton’s private email domain is set up under a false name. An IP address associated with the clintonemail.com domain later used by Hillary Clinton is registered to “Eric Hoteham” on this date. The IP address for clintonemail.com, along with others registered in Hoteham’s name, is connected to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s home address in Chappaqua, New York. He may or may not be the same as the similarly named Eric Hothem who worked for Bill Clinton when he was president, was an aide for Hillary Clinton in the early 2000s, and has worked for Citicorp and then JP Morgan since. (ABC News, 3/5/2015) (ABC News, 3/6/2015)

June 7, 2008: Clinton concedes the Democratic presidential nomination to Barack Obama after a close primary race. Obama will win the general election in November 2008 and make Clinton his secretary of state shortly thereafter. (ABC News, 6/7/2008)

After June 7, 2008: Clinton’s computer technician starts managing Clinton’s private server. At some unknown point after Clinton ends her presidential campaign on June 7, 2008, Bryan Pagliano is tasked as the lead specialist to take care of the new private email server in Bill and Hillary Clinton’s Chappaqua, New York, house. Pagliano worked as the IT (information technology) director for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. He is paid by Clinton’s Senate leadership PAC (political action committee) through April 2009, then starts working for the State Department a month later. (The Washington Post, 8/4/2015)

Early 2009: President Obama bans Blumenthal from working at the State Department. Clinton wants to hire Sid Blumenthal as an official national security adviser in the State Department. Blumenthal had worked in President Bill Clinton’s White House in the 1990s, then had been a journalist, then joined Clinton’s presidential campaign as a senior adviser in 2007. However, Obama bans him from any government job. According to a 2015 Politico article, “Obama aides were convinced that Blumenthal spread false personal and policy rumors about Obama during the battle between Clinton and Obama for the Democratic nomination.” (Politico, 10/22/2015) (Politico, 1/8/2016)

Early 2009 – March 2015: Sid Blumenthal takes a job at The Clinton Foundation, advises the secretary of state frequently, and promotes the interests of two government contractors. Sid Blumenthal is paid about $120,000 a year as a full-time employee of The Clinton Foundation. He gets the job in early 2009 as the behest of former President Bill Clinton, who employed him in the White House in the 1990s. He keeps the job until March 2015, the same month that the Clinton email scandal first becomes news. Blumenthal appears to have been a private citizen without a security clearance since the 1990s. Yet for the duration of Clinton’s time as secretary of state, and while he is being paid by The Clinton Foundation, he frequently emails her with intelligence information and advice. His foundation job doesn’t seem to have anything to do with any of the foundation’s charitable works. According to Politico, “While Blumenthal’s foundation job focused on highlighting the legacy of [Bill] Clinton’s presidency, some officials at the charity questioned his value and grumbled that his hiring was a favor from the Clintons, according to people familiar with the foundation.” After March 2015, Blumenthal will be a paid consultant to American Bridge and Media Matters, two groups supporting Clinton’s presidential campaign that are run by David Brock, an ally of both Clinton and Blumenthal. (Politico, 5/28/2015)

January 13, 2009: A Clinton aide registers the email domain that Clinton will use for her private server while secretary of state. Justin Cooper registers three email domains for Hillary Clinton at her Chappaqua, New York, address. One domain, clintonemail.com, will be used for all of Clinton’s emails for at least the next five years. (The Washington Post, 3/10/2015) (The New York Times, 8/8/2015) Cooper is a long-time personal assistant to Bill Clinton. However, he has “no security clearance and no particular expertise in safeguarding computers, according to three people briefed on the server setup.” (The Washington Post, 8/4/2015)

January 20, 2009: Barack Obama takes office as president of the US. He had been elected on November 6, 2008. He will win reelection in 2012.

January 21, 2009: Clinton is sworn in as secretary of state. She resigns as senator from New York at the same time. She was confirmed by the Senate earlier the same day. (The Washington Post, 3/10/2015)

January 21, 2009: At the time Clinton takes office as secretary of state, the State Department allows the use of home computers for government officials as long as they are secure. The New York Times will later note, “There appears to have been no prohibition on the exclusive use of a private server; it does not appear to be an option anyone had thought about.” (The New York Times, 8/8/2015) But the State Department requires that computers be officially certified as secure, and no evidence has emerged that Clinton’s server was given such a certification. Additionally, the department’s Foreign Affairs Manual states, “Only Department-issued or approved systems are authorized to connect to Department enterprise networks.” (US Department of State)

January 21, 2009: Despite Clinton becoming secretary of state on this day, there is no apparent change in the way her private email server is managed. Her IT (information technology) expert Bryan Pagliano has been in charge of running it since 2008 and continues to do so. Yet the Washington Post will later report, “Four computer-security specialists interviewed by the Post said that such a system could be made reasonably secure but that it would need constant monitoring by people trained to look for irregularities in the server’s logs.” One of the specialists will comment, “For data of this sensitivity… we would need at a minimum a small team to do monitoring and hardening.” (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

January 21, 2009 – March 29, 2009: During this two-month time period, Clinton’s private email server operates without the standard encryption generally used on the Internet. During this time, Clinton and her aides exchange emails discussing “North Korea, Mexico, Afghanistan, military advisers, CIA operations and a briefing for Obama.”(The Washington Post, 3/27/2016) During these two months, Clinton travels to Belgium, Switzerland, Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Mexico, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, and China. Her emails would have almost no defense against eavesdropping by foreign intelligence and hackers during all those trips. Furthermore, some intelligence agencies are known to attempt eavesdropping around this time. For instance, at a world leader summit in April 2009, British intelligence sets up fake Internet in the hope that government ministers and their staff will use them so their communications can be intercepted. (ComputerWorld, 3/11/2015)

January 21, 2009 – February 1, 2013: In her time as secretary of state, Clinton uses only her private email account on her private server for all her work and personal emails. There are 62,320 emails sent to or from her hdr22@clintonemail.com address, which is an average of 296 a week, or nearly 1,300 a month. Clinton will later claim that roughly half of these (31,830) were private in nature and she will delete them before investigators can look at them. The Washington Post will later explain, “Most of her emails were routine, including those sent to friends. Some involved the coordination of efforts to bring aid to Haiti by the State Department and her husband’s New York-based Clinton Foundation – notes that mixed government and family business, the emails show. Others involved classified matters. State Department and Intelligence Community officials have determined that 2,093 email chains contained classified information. Most of the classified emails have been labeled as ‘confidential,’ the lowest level of classification. Clinton herself authored 104 emails that contained classified material, a Post analysis later found.” (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016) Twenty-two of her emails will later be determined to be classified “top secret” or even higher than top secret in some cases, due to the mention of highly secretive SAP, or secret access programs. (The New York Times, 1/29/2016)

January 21, 2009 – February 1, 2013: Clinton is unable to check her email in her office for the entire four years she is secretary of state. She is said to be addicted to checking her email on her BlackBerry, but security officials refuse to let her take her BlackBerry into her office. Early in her tenure, security officials offer to install a secure computer with Internet access in her office to allow her to check email, but she doesn’t want it and never gets one. In 2015, an unnamed senior NSA official will recall the conflict after retiring: “It was the usual Clinton prima donna stuff, the whole ‘rules are for other people’ act that I remembered from the ’90s. … What did she not want put on a government system, where security people might see it? … I wonder now, and I sure wish I’d asked about it back in 2009.” (The New York Observer, 3/18/2016)

January 21, 2009 – February 1, 2013: Sid Blumenthal sends Clinton over 800 emails; many contain dubious intelligence. That is an average of about one email every other day for Clinton’s four years as secretary of state. Blumenthal is a private citizen with no security clearance, so his emails are never vetted by US intelligence. In 2015, The New York Times will report that Clinton “took Mr. Blumenthal’s advice seriously, forwarding his memos to senior diplomatic officials in Libya and Washington and at times asking them to respond. Mrs. Clinton continued to pass around his memos even after other senior diplomats concluded that Mr. Blumenthal’s assessments were often unreliable.” Furthermore, his “involvement was more wide-ranging and more complicated than previously known, embodying the blurry lines between business, politics, and philanthropy that have enriched and vexed the Clintons and their inner circle for years.” Various officials express skepticism about his emails, as they were sometimes based on false rumors. But Clinton continues to encourage Blumenthal with occasional email replies like “Useful insight” or “We should get this around ASAP.” The Times will note that “Blumenthal’s direct line to Mrs. Clinton circumvented the elaborate procedures established by the federal government to ensure that high-level officials are provided with vetted assessments of available intelligence.” (The New York Times, 5/18/2015) (WikiLeaks, 1/16/2016)

January 22, 2009: Clinton gets an annual security briefing on the proper handling of classified materials, but this is her only one in her four years as secretary of state. All State Department employees are required to receive regular security training through a briefing at least once a year. It is not clear how or why Clinton will miss her briefing in the next three years. At the end of the briefing she does attend, she signs a document acknowledging her understanding of what she has been told. (The Daily Caller, 3/24/2016)

January 22, 2009: Under penalty of perjury, Clinton signs a pledge to safeguard classified information whether “marked or unmarked classified information, including oral communications.” The very first paragraph of the “Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement” she signs states, “As used in this Agreement, classified Information is marked or unmarked classified Information.” According to Executive Order 12958, which is in effect at the time, since she is the secretary of state, she is given the authority to classify or declassify any State Department information she wants. However, as part of her nondisclosure agreement, she has the legal responsibility to identify and safeguard any classified information originating from other government agencies, whether that information is marked classified or not. (The Washington Post, 2/4/2016) (US Department of State, 11/5/2015)

January 24, 2009: Clinton passes on using a secure computer to check her private email account at her office desk. By this time, the National Security Agency (NSA) arranges for President Obama to use a secure, encrypted BlackBerry, allowing him to use it anywhere. Clinton and her top aides want Clinton to have one too. On this day, Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff, asks in a group email, “[H]ow can we get her one?” Lewis Lukens, Clinton’s logistics chief, responds the same day that he could help set up “a stand-alone PC [personal computer] in the Secretary’s office, connected to the Internet (but not through our system) to enable her to check her emails from her desk.” Under Secretary of State Patrick Kennedy replies that that is “a great idea.” But apparently, Clinton insists on using her BlackBerry at all times and never a desktop computer, so no such computer is ever set up. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

January 28, 2009: The first known email using Clinton’s private server is sent by Clinton, despite her claim she won’t use it for two more months. Clinton exchanges about ten emails with Army General David Petraeus, who is chief of the US Central Command at the time. The exchange will continue into February 2009. In 2015, Clinton will claim that she didn’t start using her email account for government work until March 18, 2009. As a result, all the emails she will later hand over to the State Department will be from March 18 or later. These emails have not yet been made public. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016) The emails between Clinton and Petraeus will be discovered by the Defense Department one month after Clinton’s sworn deposition. (Reuters, 9/26/2016)

February 2009: Security officials set up a space near Clinton’s office where she can check her private email account. Clinton’s office in State Department headquarters is a SCIF, which means a secure room, and she’s not allowed to bring her BlackBerry into it. Also, Clinton is unwilling to use a computer to check her emails. But around this time, security officials create a space where she can check her BlackBerry. Apparently, Clinton will use this arrangement for her entire four years as secretary of state. (Fox News, 3/16/2016)

February 13, 2009: The NSA refuses to set up a secure BlackBerry for Clinton. Although the National Security Agency (NSA) has set up a secure, encrypted BlackBerry for President Obama, they are not interested in making one for Clinton. On this day, Donald Reid, the State Department’s senior coordinator for security infrastructure, writes in an email, “The current state of the art is not too user friendly, has no infrastructure at State, and is very expensive.” He adds that “each time we asked the question ‘What was the solution for [President Obama]?’ we were politely told to shut up and color.” On February 18, 2009, Reid says in an email, “The issue here is one of personal comfort,” because Clinton and her top aides are “dedicated [BlackBerry] addicts.” (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

February 13, 2009: Two more Clinton emails exist a month before Clinton will claim she starts using her email account. Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills sends an email to Clinton on this day, and Clinton emails a short reply back. In 2015, Clinton will turn over more than 30,000 emails, claiming those were all her work-related emails and she deleted the rest. These work-related emails will not be included in those. Instead, the State Department will give them to Judicial Watch in 2016 in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that requests just emails discussing her use of her BlackBerry or iPad. (The Hill, 3/24/2016) (Judicial Watch, 3/24/2016) (Judicial Watch, 3/17/2016)

February 17, 2009: Clinton and her aides meet with security officials about using BlackBerrys in secure rooms, but no solution is found. Clinton is frustrated, because she insists on using her personal BlackBerry device for all her emails, but she is not allowed to take it into her suite of offices where she works every day. The BlackBerry is considered a security risk, as it could be hijacked by hackers and turned into a listening device, so she always has to put it into a lockbox before entering her office. On this day, she and her top aides have a meeting about this. Clinton, her chief of staff Cheryl Mills, and others meet with five National Security Agency (NSA) officials and security officials from the State Department and other agencies. They discuss ways for Clinton and her aides to use their BlackBerrys in secure rooms, but no easy solution is found. Clinton continues to use her BlackBerry after the meeting. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

February 18, 2009: A security official says Clinton’s continued use of her BlackBerry is a “comfort issue” for her. Donald Reid, the State Department’s senior coordinator for security infrastructure, is working to find a solution that would allow Clinton and her top aides to use BlackBerrys in secure rooms (known as SCIFs). He explains the problem in a work email after having more meetings about it: “As I had been speculating, the issue here is one of personal comfort. [Clinton] does not use a computer, so our view of someone wedded to their email (why doesn’t she use her desktop when in the SCIF?) doesn’t fit this scenario… during the campaign she was urged to keep in contact with thousands via a BB [BlackBerry]… once she got the hang of it, she was hooked… now every day, she feels hamstrung because she has to lock her BB up… she does go out several times a day to an office they’ve crafted for her outside the SCIF and plays email catch-up.” (Ars Technica, 3/17/2016)

February 24, 2009: A security official warns that BlackBerry could be easily hacked on overseas trips. Joel F. Brenner, chief of counterintelligence at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, gives a speech to government officials and urges them to consider what possible attacks could have occurred during a visit to the recent Beijing Olympics. “Your phone or BlackBerry could have been tagged, tracked, monitored and exploited between your disembarking the airplane and reaching the taxi stand at the airport. And when you emailed back home, some or all of the malware may have migrated to your home server. This is not hypothetical.” Clinton had just returned from a trip to China and other Asian countries. Although top State Department officials are aware of Brenner’s warning, she takes her BlackBerry on her future overseas trips despite it still not being inspected and secured by department officials. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

Late February 2009: State Department security officials worry about Clinton’s BlackBerry use. Few State Department officials appear to know that Clinton has a private email server in her house. However, news about her frequent BlackBerry use soon spreads among the Department’s security officials. A decade earlier, Russian spies placed a listening device in a chair on the floor where Clinton now has her office. Since then, on multiple occasions, hackers had breached computers in the State Department and other federal agencies. State Department security officials are particularly concerned that Clinton’s BlackBerry could be compromised, and they worry that she could be setting a “bad example” for others in the department. They craft a memo that discusses the risks, which will be sent out on March 6.(The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

March 6, 2009 – March 15, 2009: Clinton says she “gets it” about BlackBerry security concerns, but she keeps on using her BlackBerry. On March 6, 2009, Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security Eric Boswell emails an internal State Department memo with the subject line “Use of BlackBerrys in Mahogany Row.” (“Mahogany Row” is where the seventh floor offices of Clinton and her top aides are.) The memo states, “Our review reaffirms our belief that the vulnerabilities and risks associated with the use of BlackBerrys in the Mahogany Row [redacted] considerably outweigh the convenience their use can add. … Any unclassified BlackBerry is highly vulnerable in any setting to remotely and covertly monitoring conversations, retrieving emails, and exploiting calendars.” According to an email by another security official nine days later, Clinton tells Boswell that she read his memo and “gets it.” That email adds, “Her attention was drawn to the sentence that indicates (Diplomatic Security) have intelligence concerning this vulnerability during her recent trip to Asia.” However, Clinton continues to use her BlackBerry and private server without any apparent changes. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

March 18, 2009: Clinton claims she starts using her private email address on this day, despite emails proving otherwise. In 2015, Clinton will name this as the date she begins using a private email server and her email account hdr22@clintonemail.com for government business. (The Wall Street Journal, 9/30/2015) However, emails from as early as January 28, 2009 using her new private email address will later be found. (The New York Times, 9/25/2015)

March 29, 2009: For the first three months Clinton uses her private server for all her emails, it operates without the standard encryption generally used to protect Internet communication. This is according to a 2015 independent analysis by Venafi Inc., a cybersecurity firm that specializes in the encryption process. Not until this day does the server receive a “digital certificate” that encrypts and protects communication over the Internet through encryption. The Washington Post will later report, “It is unknown whether the system had some other way to encrypt the email traffic at the time. Without encryption – a process that scrambles communication for anyone without the correct key – email, attachments and passwords are transmitted in plain text.” A Venafi official will later comment, “That means that anyone could have accessed it. Anyone.” (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

April 23, 2009: Clinton aide Huma Abedin sends Clinton a series of steps the State Department is taking to secure the US embassies in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Abedin, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, lists details, such as, “[W]e need to improve the security perimeter – acquiring property adjacent to our current facilities in Kabul, which is now difficult to secure.” In addition to mentioning information that could benefit attackers of the embassies, the email shows that Clinton was briefed on embassy security issues, despite her later claim that she did not directly deal with such matters. (Politico, 10/30/2015)

May 2009: Bryan Pagliano is hired as a political employee in the State Department’s IT (information technology) division, while he continues to manage Clinton’s private server in her house. The Washington Post will later report, “Officials in the IT division have told investigators they could not recall previously hiring a political appointee.” Pagliano had worked as the IT (information technology) director for Clinton’s PAC (political action committee) and also for her presidential campaign, and was paid by the PAC until April 2009. He also provided computer services to the Clinton family. No evidence has yet emerged that he had help running Clinton’s server. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016) His initial salary is $133,000 a year. (The Daily Caller, 3/3/2016)

May 2009 – February 2013: Clinton’s computer technician secretly manages her private server. During the time Bryan Pagliano works as a political employee in the State Department’s IT (information technology) division starting in May 2009, he continues to secretly manage Clinton’s private email server in her house. The Washington Post will later report, “Three of Pagliano’s supervisors… told investigators they had no idea that Clinton used the basement server or that Pagliano was moonlighting on it.” (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016) An unnamed colleague in Pagliano’s division will later similarly say that Pagliano’s immediate supervisors didn’t know Clinton’s private server even existed until it was revealed in news reports in 2015. In March 2016, Reuters will report that both Clinton and the State Department continues to decline “to say who, if anyone, in the government was aware of the email arrangement.” (Reuters, 3/24/2016)

May 2009 – February 2013: Clinton’s computer technician lies about his outside income running Clinton’s private server. In May 2009, begins working for the State Department while continuing to be paid by Clinton for managing her private server. However, he does not list his outside income in the required personal financial disclosures he files each year. This continues until his full time department job ends in February 2013, the same month Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state ends. In early 2015, a State Department official will say that the department has “found no evidence that he ever informed the department that he had outside income.” (The Washington Post, 9/5/2015) To lie on such a financial disclosure form is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. (US Legal Code, 2/24/2012)

July 3, 2009: A possibly “top secret” email to Clinton mentions spy satellite information about North Korea. An email is written by Shelby Smith-Wilson, an official in the State Department’s operations center, and is forwarded to Clinton and her top aides. Parts of it will later be deemed “top secret,” then downgraded to “secret,” the medium classification level. The New York Times will later report, “Although that portion was entirely redacted, one government official familiar with the contents said it described a conference call among senior officials, including Mrs. Clinton, about the ballistic missile test that North Korea conducted that day in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.” In 2015, the email will be included in a random sample of 40 Clinton emails reviewed by State Department Inspector General Steve Linick. He and Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough will deem parts of it “top secret.” The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency will later concur, suggesting it contains intelligence from US spy satellites. But the State Department will disagree, and after months of dispute, in February 2016 the email will be downgraded to “secret,” with parts of it publicly released. Even then, this will be called a “provisional” decision, suggesting the dispute is on-going. (The New York Times, 2/29/2016) (Politico, 2/29/2016) (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

September 21, 2009: An email to Clinton contains classified information about US embassy security. Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin forwards an email to Clinton. The original email, written by State Department official Daniel B. Smith, includes a summary of a senior staff meeting that discussed embassy security. It starts, “Eric Boswell, representing Pat, reviewed two embassy security issues -” Then the rest of a large block of text is later redacted. (US Department of State, 7/31/2015) John Schindler, a former NSA counterterrorism official, will later write, “Embassy security information is something that is always considered classified, given the all-too-common attacks that befall American embassies and diplomats worldwide.” (John Schindler, 8/26/2015)

October 2, 2009: New regulations require that all government emails must be preserved. The US Code of federal regulations on handling electronic records is updated: “Agencies that allow employees to send and receive official electronic mail messages using a system not operated by the agency must ensure that Federal records sent or received on such systems are preserved in the appropriate agency recordkeeping system.” (The Washington Post, 3/10/2015)




November 10, 2009: Clinton sends Sid Blumenthal an email that appears to contain important classified information. Blumenthal asks Clinton in an email, “How did it go in Berlin? Looked terrific. What does Merkel think of the Blair option? Sid.” (“Merkel” presumably is a reference to Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, and the “Blair option” is an Israel-Palestine peace proposal put forward by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.) Despite Blumenthal having no security clearance, Clinton replies, “Berlin was terrific. Lots of good exchanges [with] leaders.” Then the next four and a half lines of Clinton’s reply are completely redacted in the version that will be made public in 2015. (US Department of State, 6/30/2015)

November 21, 2009: Clinton receives a message sent in confidence from a British official but doesn’t flag it as classified.Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin forwards Clinton an email from Matthew Gould, who is an aide to David Miliband, Britain’s secretary of state. Abedin writes the comment, “Another note from Miliband that he doesn’t want to send through the system.” (It is not clear what is meant by “the system.”) Gould’s note says to Abedin, ‘I’m emailing you from my home account, as we’re just back from Kabul [Afghanistan]. David [Milliband] has downloaded to me and very much wants the Secretary (only) to see this note. He would like to talk it over with her as soon as convenient…” This is followed by four and a half pages’ worth of text that will later be completely redacted.(US Department of State, 7/21/2015) J. William Leonard, a former director of the US government’s Information Security Oversight Office, will later note the mention that Miliband wanted the information to only be read by Clinton clearly indicated it was meant to be classified. He says, “I cannot think of a clearer sign of an expectation that this was to be treated in confidence.” (The Washington Post, 8/27/2015)

February 10, 2010: Clinton encourages an aide to email a document on a classified network. Clinton emails her aide Jake Sullivan that she wants to read a statement regarding Jose Miguel Insulza, secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS). Sullivan emails back that he can’t send it to her immediately because the State Department has put it on the classified network. Clinton quickly replies, “It’s a public statement! Just email it.” However, Sullivan responds, “Trust me, I share your exasperation, But until ops [operations] converts it to the unclassified email system, there is no physical way for me to email it. I can’t even access it.” (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

March 20, 2010: Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff, apparently loses her personal BlackBerry. In an email to State Department IT (intelligence technology) staffer Bryan Pagliano, Mills writes, “Somewhere [between] my house and the plane to NYC yesterday my personal BB got misplaced; no one is answering it though I have called.” Mills uses both a personal and a government-issued BlackBerry, and it is her personal BlackBerry that gets lost. However, details in released emails show that Mills sometimes sent and received work-related emails from her personal BlackBerry, including emails that were retroactively classified. It is unclear if Mills ever finds her BlackBerry after losing it. (The Daily Caller, 1/26/2016) (US Department of State, 1/15/2016)

May 21, 2010 to October 21, 2010: Computer records suggest Clinton’s private server could be located at The Clinton Foundation’s headquarters. According to publicly available computer records, the IP (Internet Protocol) address for the mail.presidentclinton.com server is 24.187.234.187 from at least 2009 to 2011. Records also show that mail.clintonemail.com server has the same exact IP address, 24.187.234.187, from at least May 21, 2010 to October 21, 2010. That means the two servers must have been in the same location for that overlapping time period. Computer records can also indicate where the IP addresses are physically located, and that IP address at that time is somewhere in the middle of Manhattan, New York City. That makes sense for presidentclinton.com, since former President Bill Clinton’s offices are there, and The Clinton Foundation headquarters is also there. But that would suggest that Hillary Clinton’s clintonemail.com server used for all her secretary of state work is also based in Manhattan and not Chappaqua, New York, for at least part of 2010. (DNS History, 9/7/2015) (DNS History, 9/7/2015) [https://web.archive.org/web/20150903235435/http://www.ip-tracker.org/locator/ip-lookup.php?ip=64.94.172.146 (IP Tracker, 9/3/2015)

December 22, 2010: Clinton is told a new rule that all work emails must be preserved. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) issues guidelines to the heads of all federal agencies, including Secretary of State Clinton, stating that all emails and email attachments relating to government business are considered records to be preserved under the Federal Records Act.(The Wall Street Journal, 9/30/2015)

2011: Clinton misses a cybersecurity presentation meant just for her. State Department diplomatic security staff give a cybersecurity PowerPoint presentation meant for Clinton. However, she doesn't attend it. (US Senate Judiciary Committee, 3/3/2016)

2011: A "top secret" Clinton email contains intelligence from CIA sources and US spy satellites. Virtually nothing is known about Clinton's 22 emails that are later deemed "top secret," since all details about them have remained classified. However, it is known that one of them is sent sometime this year. A few details about just this one email are known because it will be included in a random selection of 40 emails that will get reviewed by State Department Inspector General Steve Linick in 2015. After Linick decides the email should be top secret, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency will perform a second review and confirm that the email should be top secret. That indicates the email contains information obtained from both CIA sources and US spy satellites. (The New York Times, 9/7/2015) (The New York Times, 2/29/2016)

January 21, 2011 - January 22, 2011: Two emails about the Iran nuclear program are sent to Clinton. Her aide Jake Sullivan sends the emails which appear to include a summary of secret talks conducted by the "P5 1," the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany. The subject line of the first email is "FW: Summary of Day One of Istanbul P5 1 talks," and the second contains a summary of day two. The emails will be published in 2015, but in heavily redacted form. The New York Times will later report, "State Department officials appear to have concluded that those details about conversations among foreign officials should have been classified as "secret" at the time they were sent." "Secret" is the medium level of classification, below "top secret." (The New York Times, 9/30/2015) (The New York Times, 9/30/2015) (US Department of State, 12/31/2015)

March 9, 2011: Clinton asks an aide to print a Blumenthal email without any identifiers. Sid Blumenthal sends Clinton an email with the subject line, "H: Serious problems for Libyan Rebels. Sid." Clinton forwards the email to her deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin and asks her to print it out. But she also asks, "Can you print for me w/o any identifiers?" Abedin replies "Yes." (The New York Times, 6/29/2015)

March 11, 2011: Clinton doesn't think two emails from a former British prime minister should be flagged for classified content. Clinton emails her deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin and tells her to print out two recent emails from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Both Clinton and Abedin are using private email accounts on Clinton's server. The emails are CCed to Clinton aide Jake Sullivan, who also is using a private email account. Nearly all of the content of Blair's messages is later redacted, due to containing "Foreign government information" and "foreign relations or foreign activities of the US, including confidential sources." (Judicial Watch, 1/29/2016) At the time, Blair is the official Middle East envoy representing the US, Russia, the UN and the EU, and he is heavily involved in Middle Eastern peace negotiations. (BBC, 5/27/2015)

March 18, 2011: Blumenthal's intelligence to Clinton is coming from at least one active CIA official. Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal sends Clinton an email which states, "Tyler spoke to a colleague currently at CIA, who told him the agency had been dependent for intelligence from [redacted].” “Tyler” is Tyler Drumheller, a CIA official until 2005. (Yahoo, 10/8/2015) Blumenthal sent Clinton hundreds of intelligence updates which appear to be based on information from Drumheller.

April 3, 2011: Clinton’s comments about a Libyan defector will later be deemed “secret.” Clinton aide Jake Sullivan sends Clinton a forward of a Reuters article explaining how former Libyan foreign minister Moussa Koussa has just defected to Britain and will be talking to British intelligence. The article will not be redacted later, but all of the extensive comments by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns will be. Then Clinton adds three lines of commentary that also will be totally redacted. Her email will later be deemed “secret,” which is the middle level of classification. (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

April 5, 2011: Clinton forwards Blumenthal’s unvetted intelligence to the White House after removing his name. Even though Blumenthal is a private citizen with no security clearance, Clinton asks her aide Jake Sullivan, “This is informative. Should we pass on (unidentified) to WH /or other agencies?” (“WH” stands for “White House.”) Sullivan replies, “Yes, I will do so. Very interesting.” Politico will later note that Clinton referred to Blumenthal as “(unidentified)” because “The White House barred Clinton from bringing Blumenthal to [The State Department] because of sharp words he used to attack Obama during the 2008 primary.” (Politico, 2/29/2016)

April 10, 2011: An email forwarded to Clinton appears to contain the most recent US military intelligence, which should have been classified. The email discusses the current security situation in Libya. It says that due to violence in the town of Ajdabiyah, US Special Envoy Christopher Stevens “is considering departure from Benghazi.” It also discusses Stevens’ concerns about departing and it details the “phased checkout” of Stevens’ staff from the area, possibly in a few hours. Additionally, it contains the latest secret intelligence from AFRICOM (US Africa Command, the US military in Africa), detailing nearby troop movements in the Libyan civil war that could threaten Stevens and his staff. Tim Davis, a special assistant to Clinton, writes the email and then sends it to Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who forwards it to Clinton. Davis marks it “SBU,” which means “sensitive but unclassified.” The email will be released to the public in full on May 13, 2015. However, the State Department’s inspector general will later conclude that the email should not have been made public without redactions. Furthermore, in August 2015, an unnamed government official familiar with the investigation into Clinton’s emails will tell CBS News that at least the part of the email containing current military intelligence should have been marked classified at the time. Additionally, because that information originated from the military, the State Department did not have the right to declassify it at the time it was sent or later. The unnamed official will say that this kind of mistake is not unusual for State Department officials when they discuss information from multiple sources, but the difference is that this email is stored on Clinton’s private server, which can be easily hacked or monitored. (CBS News, 8/19/2015) (US Department of State, 5/13/2015) In 2015, Fox News will claim that the email contained intelligence from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which oversees satellite imagery. Furthermore, “all three agencies confirmed to the intelligence community inspector general that the intelligence was classified when it was sent four years ago by Abedin to Clinton’s private account, and remains classified to this day.” (Fox News, 8/26/2015) Even though the email will be made public in full in May 2015, it will be reclassified as “secret” in September 2015. (The New York Times, 9/30/2015)

May 15, 2011: Senator John Kerry’s email to Clinton with classified details about a recent meeting he had with two Pakistani generals. Mere hours earlier, Kerry (D) met with Director General Ahmad Pasha, who is head of the ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence agency, and Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Kayani, who is the head of Pakistan’s military. Kerry writes, “During a long dinner with [the generals] to discuss the major issues between our two countries and in the region, I specifically sought their views.” But almost all of the rest of his 17-page email will later be redacted, and will be deemed “secret.” (Politico, 2/29/2016)

May 16, 2011: Could “secret” emails to Clinton be related to Pakistan’s knowledge of bin Laden’s location? On May 15, 2011, Senator John Kerry (D) emailed Clinton with details about a recent meeting he had with Pakistani generals Ahmad Pasha and Ashfaq Kayani, and his email will later be deemed “secret,” the middle level of classification. The next day, Clinton aide Jake Sullivan emails Clinton with the comment: “Cameron called me, hysterical, -” The rest of the sentence is redacted, then Sullivan adds, “This is likely what Kerry is calling about.” Clinton replies to Sullivan, “Can you get me facts (such as they are) before I talk [with] Kerry?” These two emails will also later be deemed “secret,” due to the redaction in Sullivan’s brief comment. (US Department of State, 2/13/2016) It is not known who Cameron is. However, at the time, the US ambassador to Pakistan is Cameron Munter. (The Asia Times, 5/11/2012) Intriguingly, Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 2, 2011, just two weeks earlier. Furthermore, in 2014, an article in The New York Times will claim that the US had direct evidence that Pasha, who is also head of the ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence agency, knew of Bin Laden’s presence there. The information is said to come from a “senior United States official.” (The New York Times, 3/19/2014) In 2015, famed journalist Seymour Hersh will similarly claim that both Pasha and Kayani had been told of the planned US attack on bin Laden well in advance, and once they realized the US was going to kill him no matter what, they helped make sure the attack would succeed. (London Review of Books, 5/21/2015)

June 2, 2011: Chinese hackers are targeting Gmail accounts of senior US officials, but top Clinton aides keep using Gmail account for work. Google Inc. publicly announces that hackers based in China are targeting the email accounts of senior US officials and hundreds of other prominent people. The attacks are on users of Google’s Gmail email service. If successful, the hackers are able to read the emails of their targets. (The Wall Street Journal, 6/2/2011) Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills conducts government work through her Gmail account. Philippe Reines, Clinton’s senior advisor and press secretary, has a government account and a Gmail account, and uses both for work. However, there’s no evidence Mills or Reines stops using Gmail for work after this news report. (Judicial Watch, 9/14/2015) (Politico, 10/5/2015) Furthermore, sometime this month, Mills indicates in an email that there was an attempt to hack her email: “As someone who attempted to be hacked (yes I was one)…” (CBS News, 9/30/2015)



A key paragraph from Blumenthal’s June 8, 2011, email, containing details of a secret meeting of rebel leaders in Sudan from just the night before. (Credit: US Department of State)

June 8, 2011: Sid Blumenthal sends an email to Clinton that appears to contain very recent classified information from the NSA. In 2015, the email will be released to the public without any redactions, apparently by accident since the redactors assumed that Blumenthal, a private citizen without any security clearance at the time, would not have highly classified information. The email contains a detailed account of very current events in Sudan, especially about a coup that is being plotted by top generals there. According to a later account by John Schindler, a former NSA counterintelligence officer, “Mr. Blumenthal’s information came from a top-ranking source with direct access to Sudan’s top military and intelligence officials, and recounted a high-level meeting that had taken place only 24 hours before. To anybody familiar with intelligence reporting, this is unmistakably signals intelligence, termed SIGINT in the trade. In other words, Mr. Blumenthal, a private citizen who had enjoyed no access to US intelligence for over a decade when he sent that email, somehow got hold of SIGINT about the Sudanese leadership and managed to send it, via open, unclassified email, to his friend Ms. Clinton only one day later.” It appears the information is taken from four different NSA reports, all of them classified “top secret.” At least one is issued under the GAMMA compartment, which is a SAP, a “special access program” considered more classified than even “top secret.” In 2016, current NSA officials will say they have no doubt Blumenthal’s information came from recent NSA reports. One unnamed official will say, “It’s word-for-word, verbatim copying. … In one case, an entire paragraph was lifted from an NSA report” that was classified “top secret.” On the basis of this and other emails, Schindler will conclude that Blumenthal “was running a private intelligence service for Ms. Clinton.” Schindler will ask, “How Mr. Blumenthal got hold of this Top Secret-plus reporting is only the first question. Why he chose to email it to Ms. Clinton in open channels is another question. So is: How did nobody on Secretary Clinton’s staff notice that this highly detailed reporting looked exactly like SIGINT from the NSA?” (The New York Observer, 3/18/2016)

June 9, 2011: Clinton forwards a Blumenthal email to an aide instead of flagging it for containing obviously classified information. Sid Blumenthal’s email sent a day earlier appears to contain very recent classified information, including details of a secret meeting of rebellious Sudanese generals that took place just one day earlier. Although Blumenthal is a private citizen, he marked the top of the email “CONFIDENTIAL” and mentioned getting intelligence from a “particularly sensitive source” in Sudan who is speaking in “strict confidence.” Instead of flagging the email as containing possibly classified information, Clinton merely forwards it to her aide Jake Sullivan with the comment “fyi” – meaning “for your information.” (US Department of State, 1/7/2016) (The New York Observer, 3/18/2016)





June 17, 2011: Clinton encourages aide Jake Sullivan to remove the indentifying heading from a secure fax and “send nonsecure.” She grows impatient as she waits for “talking points” about a sensitive matter. Sullivan emails her, “They say they’ve had issues sending secure fax. They’re working on it.” Then Clinton emails him, “If they can’t, turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure.” Clinton spokesperson Brian Fallon will later claim, “What she was asking was that any information that could be transmitted on the unclassified system be transmitted. It is wrong to suggest that she was requesting otherwise. The State Department looked into this and confirmed that no classified material was sent through a non-secure fax or email.” There has been no official comment from the State Department on this exchange yet. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016) Senator Charles Grassley (R), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, will later call the exchange between Clinton and Sullivan “disturbing.” He will say, “It raises a host of serious questions and underscores the importance of the various inquiries into the transmittal of classified information through her non-government email server.” (CNN, 1/8/2016) Clinton will later claim that in this case the talking points were “never sent” to her in a non-secure fashion. “This is another instance where what is common practice – I need information, I had some points I had to make and I was waiting for a secure fax that could give me the whole picture, but oftentimes there is a lot of information that isn’t at all classified. So whatever information can be appropriately transmitted unclassified often was. That’s true for every agency in the government and everybody that does business with the government.” (The Hill, 1/10/2016)

June 28, 2011: State Department employees are warned not to do government work on private email accounts due to a hacking threat. A department cable issued under Clinton’s signature orders all employees to “Avoid conducting official Department business from your personal email accounts” because it has been discovered that hackers are targeting the personal emails of government employees. (The Washington Post, 3/10/2015) This comes in response to reports that Gmail accounts of government workers had been targeted by “online adversaries.” However, Clinton herself ignores the warning and continues to use her unsecure BlackBerry and her private server. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

July 14, 2011: Blumenthal tells Clinton about a company he’s invested in helping Libya’s rebels when he would need Clinton’s approval. Libya is in the middle of a civil war which lasts most of 2011. Sid Blumenthal emails Clinton about a security company called Osprey Global Solutions, headed by retired Army Major General David Grange. Blumenthal tells Clinton about Osprey’s attempt to get a contract to give “field medical help, military training, organize supplies and logistics” to Libyan rebels currently fighting Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi. He writes, “Tyler, Cody, and I acted as honest brokers, putting this arrangement together through a series of connections, linking the Libyans to Osprey and keeping it moving.” Blumenthal is a private citizen, journalist, and Clinton Foundation employee at the time. “Tyler” is Tyler Drumheller, who worked for the CIA until 2005. “Cody” is Cody Shearer, a longtime friend of Clinton. Blumenthal, Drumheller, and Shearer formed a business relationship to help Osprey. Clinton’s State Department would have to give its approval to a deal between this company and the Libyan rebels. (Yahoo, 10/8/2015)

July 26, 2011: Clinton jokes about Chinese hackers but doesn’t take steps to combat the hacking. In June 2011, Google Inc. publicly warned that hackers based in China were targeting the Gmail email accounts of senior US officials. (The Wall Street Journal, 6/2/2011) On this day, Clinton shows awareness of the problem through a joke. Another State Department official sends Clinton an email, and some confusion results about the official’s two email accounts. Clinton writes, “I just checked and I do have your state but not your Gmail – so how did that happen. Must be the Chinese!” (US D artment of State, 9/3/2015)

August 24, 2011: Clinton’s email about her phone call to the head of NATO will later be deemed “secret.” Clinton aide Jake Sullivan sends Clinton an email entitled “Rasmussen call.” Every word of his several lines of text will later be redacted. Then Clinton responds to him with three lines of text, which also will later be completely redacted. Although nothing is known about the content, other emails from the same day indicate that Clinton calls NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Clinton’s email to Sullivan will later be deemed “secret,” the middle level of classification. It also will be redacted in part due to the National Security Act of 1947, though why that is so remains unclear. (US Department of State, 1/29/2016) (US Department of State, 10/30/2015) NATO is in charge of the US-dominated bombing campaign in Libya at the time. (The Los Angeles Times, 10/21/2011)

September 23, 2011: According to a State Department official, Clinton engages in Middle East negotiations using her unsecure BlackBerry. On this day, Clinton, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton meet in United Nations headquarters in New York City. The four of them work out a joint statement regarding an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan proposed by President Obama. In a 2013 speech, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman will discuss what happens between Clinton and Ashton: “They sat there as they were having the meeting with their BlackBerrys transferring language back and forth between them and between their aides to multitask in quite a new fashion.” Sherman will comment that, “Things appear on your BlackBerrys that would never be on an unclassified system, but you’re out traveling, you’re trying to negotiate something, you want to communicate with people – it’s the fastest way to do it.” (The Hill, 1/26/2016) (United Nations, 9/23/2011)

October 19, 2011 – October 20, 2011: Blumenthal sends Clinton an email that obviously contains classified information, but Clinton doesn’t flag it as such.Clinton confidant and private citizen Sid Blumenthal sends another email with his latest intelligence about the civil war in Libya. He marks the email “URGENT INTEL” and “CONFIDENTIAL,” and starts the email with this warning: “SOURCE: Sources with direct access to the Libyan National Transitional Council, as well as the highest levels of European Governments, and Western Intelligence and security services.” However, despite the obvious signs the email contains classified information, Clinton doesn’t flag the email, and merely replies the next day, “Tnx [Thanks] again.” She also forwards the email to her aide Jake Sullivan with the note “More from Sid.” (US Department of State, 1/7/2016) (US Department of State, 1/7/2016)

2012: Clinton’s private server is vulnerable to a hacker attack described in a government warning. The Homeland Security Department’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team issues a warning about remote access attacks, that would allow hackers to take control of computers. The warning notes that “An attacker with a low skill-level would be able to exploit this vulnerability.” In 2015, The Associated Press will report that Clinton’s private email server could have been vulnerable to a hostile takeover by this very type of attack. Clinton’s server appears to have lacked encrypted protections, and could accept commands from the computers over the Internet. Marc Maiffret, who founded two cybersecurity companies, will later comment, “That’s total amateur hour. … Real enterprise-class security, with teams dedicated to these things, would not do this.” (The Associated Press, 10/13/2015)

April 25, 2012: Clinton asks if an email contains classified information, despite a lack of classification markers. Clinton aide Jake Sullivan emails Clinton information from a blog promoting Islamic jihad, saying it is “pretty interesting.” Clinton forwards the email to State Department spokesperson Philippe Reines while also asking Sullivan, “If not classified or otherwise inappropriate, can you send to the NYTimes reporters who interviewed me today?” Politico will later comment, “The email suggests Clinton may have known some of the messages that came to her were classified, as she had to ask her staff whether the content was or was not guarded at such a level for national security reasons.” (Politico, 2/29/2016)

June 7, 2012: An email thread provides a murky glimpse into Clinton’s classified work with Pakistan. On this day, Clinton takes part in a series of emails with Jake Sullivan, her top foreign policy aide. All the emails in the thread are classified a “secret,” which is a medium ranking below “top secret.” The entire exchange is later redacted, except for the subject line: “Khar–where we are.” Several days earlier, Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar had requested that the US apologize for the death of 24 Pakistani troops in a NATO airstrike, so the emails presumably discuss how the US should react. (The Washington Post, 3/5/2016) Further emails in the chain will also be deemed “secret,” but in one of them, a mysterious comment Clinton makes to Sullivan will be declassified: “I’m even more determined to do this and have some ideas I want to discuss [with] you.” (US Department of State, 2/13/2016)

July 6, 2012: Clinton’s emails contain classified discussions about US drone strikes. An email sent to Clinton from her aide Jake Sullivan on this day will later be deemed “secret,” the medium level of US classification. The email contains the text of an Associated Press article titled “US drone strike kills 4 militant in Pakistan.” The article will not be redacted at all, but Ambassador Richard Hoagland, deputy chief of mission for the US Embassy in Islamabad, made some comments about it before sending it to Sullivan, and Hoagland’s comments will later be redacted. Another email from May 2011 followed a similar pattern. An article about the US drone program was commented on, and it was the comments that merited a “secret” classification. (Politico, 2/29/2016)

July 14, 2012: Blumenthal sends Clinton another email that contains obviously classified information, but Clinton doesn’t flag it as such. Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal marks the email “CONFIDENTIAL,” and then gives this warning: “SOURCE: Sources with access to the highest levels of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and Western Intelligence and security services. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION COMES FROM AN EXTREMELY SENSITIVE SOURCE AND SHOULD BE HANDLED WITH CARE.” The email then discusses secret meetings between senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian army which have taken place in recent days. (US Department of State, 1/7/2016) However, Clinton does not warn department security about this email that could jeopardize an intelligence asset in Egypt. Instead, she forwards the email to her aide Jake Sullivan with the comment, “More timely info.” (US Department of State, 1/7/2016)

August and December 2012: An Internet-wide hacker attack makes Clinton’s private server even more vulnerable. An anonymous hacker using a computer in Serbia scans hundreds of millions of Internet addresses for accessible openings, called “ports.” Clinton’s private server is scanned by this hacker in August 2012 and again in December. The hacker’s millions of results are then made widely available on-line. It is unknown if anyone looking at this data figures out if the server belongs to Bill and Hillary Clinton, although the name “clintonemail.com” is a clue. (The Associated Press, 10/13/2015)

September 3, 2012: Blumenthal sends an email to Clinton that later will be almost entirely redacted. Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal emails Clinton another one of his many intelligence updates, despite having no security clearance. This one will later be nearly entirely classified, including the email title. There are only two sentence fragments later made public. One is Blumenthal’s marking: “CONFIDENTIAL.” The other is: “SOURCE: Sources with access to the highest levels of the governments and institutions discussed below. This includes-” Six blank pages of fully redacted text follow. (US Department of State, 1/29/2016)

September 12, 2012: An email from Sid Blumenthal to Clinton suggests that some of the intelligence he frequently sends her are simply forwards of emails from former CIA official Tyler Drumheller. Blumenthal writes to Clinton, “Sending direct. Just in,” above a forward of an email from Drumheller’s email address about Libya just one day after the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. The Drumheller email cites “sensitive sources” in Libya and says the Benghazi terrorist attack one day earlier was the work of Ansar al-Shariah, a group with ties to al-Qaeda. It details evidence that the group had planned the attacks for a month and used a nearby protest against an anti-Islamic YouTube video as cover. Clinton forwards the email to her aide Jake Sullivan, writing, “We should get this around ASAP.” Given that Drumheller retired from the CIA in 2005, it is not known where he got his information. (The New York Times, 5/22/2015) (The New York Times, 5/21/2015)

October 2012: Clinton’s computer technician is still managing her private server, but there is no known email trail. Clinton’s private email server in Chappaqua, New York, stops working for days after New York is hit by Hurricane Sandy. Bryan Pagliano is still the lead specialist for the server and is tasked to fix it. The email system is not always reliable, and Pagliano is always the one on call to fix problems as they come up. (The Washington Post, 8/4/2015)However, no emails between Pagliano and Clinton will be included in Clinton’s over 30,000 publicly released work emails, except for one where he wishes her a happy birthday. (US Department of State, 11/30/2015)

December 2012: A non-profit group files a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking Clinton’s emails, but a Clinton aide says the emails don’t exist despite knowing that they do. The request by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) ask for “records sufficient to show the number of email accounts of or associated with Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton.” Clinton is still secretary of state at the time, and her chief of staff Cheryl Mills soon learns of CREW’s request. But although Mills is very aware of Clinton’s private email address since she frequently sends emails to it, she doesn’t mention it and merely has an aide monitor the progress of CREW’s request. Melanie Sloan, the executive director of CREW, will later say, “Cheryl Mills should have corrected the record. She knew this wasn’t a complete and full answer.” In May 2013, the State Department will respond to CREW, “no records responsive to your request were located.” Other requests for Clinton’s records will meet the same fate until the House Benghazi Committee finds out about her private email account in 2014. State Department Inspector General Steve Linick will conclude in a 2016 report that the State Department gave an “inaccurate and incomplete” response about Clinton’s email use to CREW and in other similar cases. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016) (The Washington Post, 1/6/2016)

January 2013 – May 31, 2013: Clinton uses an agent to find new management for her private server. Tania Neild runs a company called InfoGrate that connects very wealthy people with companies who oversee their personal technologies, such as emails, and her company is based only about twenty miles from Clinton’s New York house. It is not known when this process begins, but in January 2013, Platte River Networks, a small company based in Colorado, is told by Neild they are in the running for a new contract. In mid-February, they find out they are a finalist for the contract, and that they might be working for Clinton. They will be hired by Clinton to manage her private server on May 31, 2013. (Politico, 11/10/2015) (The Washington Post, 9/5/2015)

February 1, 2013: Clinton’s four year tenure as secretary of state ends. (The Washington Post, 3/10/2015) Clinton is succeeded by Senator John Kerry (D). Kerry apparently uses a government email account for all work matters, and all his emails are automatically preserved by the State Department for posterity. (The New York Times, 3/2/2015) Most of her top aides leave the State Department around the same time, such as Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan, and Philippe Reines, while Patrick Kennedy remains. (The New York Times, 8/13/2013)

Shortly After February 1, 2013: Clinton apparently leaves the State Department without signing a required form stating that she returned all her work-related documents. All State Department officials are required to sign a form when they leave office stating that they returned all their work-related documents back to the government. Although Clinton becomes a private citizen after ending her term as secretary of state on February 1, 2013, there is no evidence she signs such a form. Those who sign the OF-109 form acknowledge they could be subject to “criminal penalties” for not turning over the documents. (Politico, 3/17/2015)

Shortly After February 1, 2013: Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills leaves blank a required form stating that she has returned all of her work-related documents. All State Department officials are required to sign the “separation statement,” known as the OF-109 form. In 2015, The Daily Caller will sue the State Department for several OF-109 forms. They will be given a form with Mills’ name on it, but with the date and signature spaces left blank. Mills used a private Yahoo email account for at least some of her government work. (The Daily Caller, 11/13/2015) (The Hill, 11/13/2015) (US Department of State, 9/11/2015)

February 13, 2013: Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin signs a pledge that she has given all of her work-related documents back to the State Department, but she didn’t. All State Department officials are required to sign the “separation statement” when they leave the department, known as the OF-109 form. However, Abedin has a private email address (huma@clintonemail.com) on the same private server that Clinton does, and when she leaves the department in February 2013 she does not turn over any of her emails from it, including work-related emails. Her emails will not be handed over until a couple of years later, after various lawsuits and investigations. In signing the form, Abedin acknowledges she could be subject to “criminal penalties” for lying on the document. The Hill will later report, “It’s unclear whether Abedin would be subject to prosecution, given the unusual nature of Clinton’s private email setup.” (The Hill, 11/13/2015) (US Department of State, 9/11/2015)
This is one of four Clinton-Blumenthal emails that Guccifer makes public in full, all printed in pink and with a large “G” for “Guccifer” added. Because it was sent on February 16, 2013, two weeks after Clinton’s term as secretary of state ended, it has not been released elsewhere. It describes intelligence that prominent Saudis helped fund the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack.


March 15, 2013: Clinton’s private email account is first publicly exposed after the Romanian hacker “Guccifer” accesses the account of Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal. Guccifer, whose real name is Marcel-Lehel Lazar, publishes the text of emails of Clinton and Blumenthal discussing sensitive foreign policy issues during her time as secretary of state. He also publishes a screenshot of Blumenthal’s inbox showing a list of the latest emails sent from Clinton. Guccifer is known for hacking into the accounts of famous people, or the friends and family of famous people, by guessing their passwords. For the first time, Clinton’s private email address hdr22@clintonemail.com is revealed to the world. (USA Today, 3/22/2013) (The Smoking Gun, 3/3/2015) The leak attracts little attention at the time, though an article in Gawker asks, “Why was Clinton apparently receiving emails at a non-governmental email account?” (The Washington Post, 3/10/2015)(Russian Times, 3/20/2013)

Shortly After March 15, 2013: After her email address is exposed, Clinton changes to a new email address run from the same server. The hacker nicknamed “Guccifer” exposes Clinton’s private email address hdr22@clintonemail.com to the public on March 15, 2013. Clinton then changes her email address to hrod17@clintonemail.com, though it is unclear exactly how quickly she does this. But this new address shows that it is still being run from the same private server, which would be even more vulnerable now that its existence has been publicly exposed. (Hillaryclinton.com, 7/13/2015) (USA Today, 5/22/2015)

May 31, 2013: Clinton hires the Colorado-based Platte River Networks to maintain her email server. The original server is disconnected and shipped from Clinton’s house in Chappaqua, New York, to a data center in New Jersey. (The Associated Press, 10/7/2015) (McClatchy Newspapers, 10/6/2015) Platte River moves all the data onto a new server. Then everything on the original server is deleted until it is “blank.” However, it is not wiped, which means having the old files overwritten several times with new data until they can never be recovered. Platte River keeps the original server and eventually will turn it over to the FBI in August 2015. (The Washington Post, 9/12/2015)

June 2013 – August 2015: Another company stores the contents of Clinton’s e-mail server on a cloud storage system; this could help the FBI recover deleted emails. Shortly after taking over management of Clinton’s private email server, Platte River Networks buys a device from another company called Datto, Inc. that frequently makes copies of all the server’s contents. They use this device on a copy of Clinton’s server, which has been moved to a data storage facility in New Jersey. Then, apparently without Platte River Networks asking or paying for it, or even being aware of it, Datto stores those copies of the server’s contents on a “cloud” storage system elsewhere. In 2015, an unnamed source familiar with Datto’s account will say that Platte River Networks was billed for “private cloud” storage, and since Platte River didn’t have a cloud storage node of its own, the data bounced to Datto’s cloud. This source says that even though nobody seemed to realize it, Datto was “managing the off-site storage throughout.” When asked if the FBI might recover Clinton’s deleted emails from Datto’s storage, the source will say, “People don’t use Datto’s service for getting rid of data.” Apparently, the FBI will ask for and get the contents of Datto’s storage in September 2015. (McClatchy Newspapers, 10/6/2015)

June 2013 or Between October 2014 and February 2015: The company managing Clinton’s private email server sets up a 30-day retention policy, but there are conflicting accounts of when this occurs. According to Platte River Networks spokesperson Andy Boian in October 2015, Platte River Networks sets up the 30-day policy as soon as it takes over management of Clinton’s private email server in June 2013. That means that any deleted emails would disappear after 30 days. This is done at the request of Clinton’s representatives from the start of their contract, and the policy never changed. However, government investigators will later find an August 2015 email from a Platte River employee, who will write that Clinton Executive Service Corp., a company controlled by Clinton’s associates, asked for the 30-day deletion policy in October or November 2014, and then again in February 2015. In the email, the employee will write, “this whole thing really is covering up some shady shit.” McClatchy Newspaper will later note, “Those reductions [in the retention policy] would have occurred after the State Department requested that Clinton turn over her emails.” It is not clear who is correct, Boian, the Platte River spokesperson, or the unnamed Platte River employee who wrote the email. (McClatchy Newspapers, 10/6/2015)

June 2013 to October 2013: During this time, it appears that Clinton’s private server is wide open to hacking attempts. After taking over management of Clinton’s private server in June 2013, Platte River Networks pays to use threat monitoring software called CloudJacket SMB made by a company named SECNAP. SECNAP claims the software can foil “even the most determined hackers.” However, the new software doesn’t begin working until October, apparently leaving the server vulnerable. It is known that the server is repeatedly attacked by hackers in the months from October 2013 on, but it is unknown if any attacks occur when the software is not yet installed. Justin Harvey, chief security officer of a cybersecurity company, will later comment that Clinton “essentially circumvented millions of dollars’ worth of cybersecurity investment that the federal government puts within the State Department. … She wouldn’t have had the infrastructure to detect or respond to cyber attacks from a nation-state. Those attacks are incredibly sophisticated, and very hard to detect and contain. And if you have a private server, it’s very likely that you would be compromised.” (The Associated Press, 10/7/2015)

June 21, 2013: President Obama nominates James Comey to be the next director of the FBI; Comey starts a ten-year term. (The White House, 6/21/2013)] Comey is approved by the Senate later in June and starts his ten-year term as FBI director on September 4, 2013. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/4/2013)

October 2013 to February 2014: Clinton’s private email server is the subject of repeated attempted cyber attacks, originating from China, South Korea, and Germany. The attempts are foiled due to threat monitoring software installed in October. However, from June to October 2013, her server is not protected by this software, and there is no way of knowing if there were successful attacks during that time. Three attacks are linked to China, one to South Korea, and one to Germany. It is not known if foreign governments are involved or how sophisticated the attacks are. Clinton had ended her term as secretary of state in February 2013, but more than 60,000 of her emails remained on her server. (The Associated Press, 10/7/2015)

May 8, 2014: The House Benghazi Committee is formed, in order to investigate the US government’s response to the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya. House Speaker John Boehner (R) formally announces its formation. Representative Trey Gowdy (R) is named the head investigator. (The New York Times, 8/8/2015) The committee is dominated by Republicans and will be frequently accused of having a partisan agenda to criticize Clinton and other Democrats.

July 2014: The State Department looks for Clinton’s emails, but only find a few, all belonging to a private email account. The newly formed House Benghazi Committee asks the State Department to find any Clinton email about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack. State Department lawyers examine over 15,000 documents, but notice that there are no emails to or from any government account for Clinton. However, eight emails are found that are addressed to hdr22@clinttonemail.com – Clinton’s private email account. One unnamed official involved will later comment, “This all raised the question to us: what else are we missing, and what do we need to comply (with the request).” (The New York Times, 3/5/2015) (House Benghazi Committee, 3/19/2015) (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

July 2014: Some State Department officials figure out that Clinton used a private email on a private server for all her secretary of state work; they informally ask her for her emails. This realization comes due to a request for her emails by the House Benghazi Committee. An email from Clinton’s former chief of staff Cheryl Mills to Kerry’s chief of staff David Wade on August 22, 2014 shows the request for Clinton’s emails begins in July. In the email, with the subject “following up,” Mills writes, “I wanted to follow up on your request last month about getting hard copies of Secretary Clinton’s emails to/from accounts ending in ‘.gov’ for her tenure at the Department. I will be able to get that to you, to the best of its availability. Given the volume, it will take some time to do but I wanted to let you know that I am working to get it to you.” (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016) (The New York Times, 3/5/2015) (Politico, 2/16/2016)

August 2014: Senior State Department officials hold face-to-face negotiations with Clinton’s lawyers and advisers to gain access to all of her emails, but without results. In July 2014, the State Department contacted Clinton’s staff and requested copies of all her work-related emails from her time as secretary of state. In this month, those efforts intensify with the face-to-face negotiations. However, the emails still are not handed over, so the State Department will formally request them in late October. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016) (The New York Times, 3/5/2015)

August 2014: A top watchdog non-profit is taken over by a Clinton ally; its effort to force the release of Clinton’s emails is shut down. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has been one of the top political watchdog organizations, targeting unethical and corrupt behavior in both major political parties. In August 2014, CREW hires David Brock, who is closely tied to Hillary Clinton, to be the new chair of CREW. He will found and run her main Super PAC (political action committee) for her 2016 presidential campaign, as well as leading other pro-Clinton groups. A leadership change soon follows, as those who disagree with the new pro-Clinton focus depart and are replaced by Clinton supporters. When Clinton’s email scandal becomes public in March 2015, CREW will stay silent, even though the State Department’s inspector general concluded that CREW’s request for Clinton’s e-mails had been improperly denied. (Bloomberg News, 4/11/2016)

October 28, 2014: The State Department formally asks Clinton to turn over her emails from her time as secretary of state. Starting in July 2014, State Department officials began informally contacting Clinton’s lawyers and advisers to gain access to her work-related emails on her private server. But with the emails still not appearing, on October 28, 2014, the department formally asks Clinton for the emails. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

October 28, 2014: Three more former secretaries of state are asked for their emails. On the same day the State Department formally asks Clinton for her emails from when she was secretary of state, it also sends letters to her three predecessors as secretary of state – Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice – asking if they have any emails or other federal records in their possession. Albright soon replies that she did not use email during the years they were in office. Rice did have a government email account, but only used it rarely. Powell, who was secretary of state from 2001 to 2005, had a private email account through America Online (AOL) but did not keep his emails. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016) (The Wall Street Journal, 3/10/2015)

November 2014: The Romanian hacker “Guccifer,” who broke into the email account of Clinton associate Sid Blumenthal in 2013, appears to be freely cooperating with US investigators. Guccifer started serving a seven-year prison sentence in Romania earlier in 2014 due to his hacking activities. He is seen cooperating with US investigators in his Romanian prison cell. (The New York Times, 11/21/2014)

December 5, 2014: 50,000 pages of printed emails from Clinton’s personal account are delivered to the State Department by Clinton’s staff. They contain 30,490 emails that Clinton deems to be work-related. But she will later reveal that she deleted another 31,830 emails that were personal and private. (The Washington Post, 3/10/2015)

Late 2014: Clinton, perhaps with assistance from some aides, decides to delete about half (31,860) of her emails from her time as secretary of state. In March 2015, she will tell reporters, “At the end, I chose not to keep my private, personal emails. E-mails about planning Chelsea’s wedding or my mother’s funeral arrangements. Condolence notes to friends, as well as yoga routines, family vacations – the other things you typically find in in-boxes. No one wants their personal emails made public.” But The New York Times will report in August 2015, “That explanation might win public sympathy. But it did not take long for evidence to surface that the culling may have included some work-related emails as well.” (The New York Times, 8/8/2015)

Late 2014: Clinton and her lawyers keep about half of her emails from her time as secretary of state and delete the rest. (Clinton will later claim that all the deleted emails were personal and not work-related.) Clinton’s team takes possession of the private server being managed by the Platte River Networks company, which is actually a copy of the original server that used to be in Clinton’s Chappaqua, New York, house. (The Washington Post, 9/12/2015) According to Politico, the process at least begins while Platte River still controls the server, because employees for the company “initially pulled emails off the server and sent them to Clinton’s legal team.” Clinton will later claim that she had no direct involvement in determining which emails to keep or delete and left that process to her lawyers. Specifically, it appears her personal lawyer David Kendall, her chief of staff Cheryl Mills, and another lawyer Heather Samuelson are the ones who sort the emails, with Samuelson leading the effort. Samuelson is said to be a Clinton loyalist, and she worked under Clinton in the State Department. But she has no background in federal record keeping, and it is unclear if she has any security clearance. It is also unknown if Kendall or Mills have the necessary security clearances or qualifications to make such decisions. (Politico, 9/4/2015) Once the sorting process is done, they move all the emails they deem work-related on one or more thumb drives. The remainder of the emails apparently are set to be automatically deleted after 30 or 60 days of inactivity (reports differ). (The Washington Post, 9/12/2015) (McClatchy Newspapers, 10/6/2015)

January 25, 2015: A lawsuit filed this day will result in the release of all of Clinton’s work emails. Jason Leopold of Vice News files a lawsuit seeking all of Clinton’s emails during her time as secretary of state. (Politico, 3/28/2015)

March 2, 2015: A New York Times front-page article reveals to the public for the first time that Clinton used a private email account on a private server for all her emails while secretary of state. The article by Michael Schmidt also reveals that her aides took no action to preserve emails sent or received from her as required by the Federal Records Act. It suggests she may have violated federal regulations by using a personal email account for public business while secretary of state. (The New York Times, 3/2/2015)

March 2, 2015: A former government expert can’t think of any valid reason for Clinton to use a personal email account for all her work. Jason R. Baron, former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) comments on that day’s news report that Clinton used a private email account on a private server for all her email communications while secretary of state: “It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario – short of nuclear winter – where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business.” (The New York Times, 3/2/2015)

March 3, 2015: An unnamed State Department technology expert complains that he and others tried to warn that Clinton’s use of a private email account was a security risk.He says, “We tried. We told people in her office that it wasn’t a good idea. They were so uninterested that I doubt the secretary was ever informed.” He was a member of the department’s cybersecurity team. (Al Jazeera America, 3/3/2015)

March 5, 2015: Key questions about Clinton’s email scandal go unanswered. Politico reports, “State Department officials and Clinton aides have offered no response to questions in recent days about how her private email system was set up, what security measures it used, and whether anyone at the agency approved the arrangement. It’s unclear how such a system, run off an Internet domain apparently purchased by the Clinton family, could have won approval if the department’s policies were as the [State Department's] inspector general’s report describes them.” (Politico, 3/3/2015)

March 5, 2015: US officials from Clinton’s time as secretary of state had both private and government email accounts on one device without any difficulty. An aide to former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says that LaHood had a BlackBerry with both personal and government email accounts on it. This is news because LaHood held that job through President Obama’s first term, the same time Clinton was secretary of state, and Clinton recently claimed she only had one email address because she only wanted to carry one BlackBerry. BuzzFeed will add that LaHood’s experience “was similar to that of other senior administration officials, officials and staff said. And it was also the way most people who worked in the administration from the early days of President Obama’s term understood things to work when it came to email…” (BuzzFeed, 3/5/2015)

March 6, 2015: A number of email accounts appear to have been made for Clinton to use on her private server. However, it is unknown if they were ever used. A prominent hacker who has worked for US intelligence agencies used high-tech tools to search Internet data sources for any mention of email addresses using the clintonemail.com domain name of Clinton’s server. The results of the search were given to Fox News. Clinton has publicly claimed that she only used one email address while secretary of state: hdr22@clintonemail.com. But the hacker also found the following addresses had been created: hdr@clintonemail.com, hdr18@clintonemail.com, hdr19@clintonemail.com, hdr20@clintonemail.com, hdr21@clintonemail.com, h.clinton@clintonemail.com, Hillary@clintonemail.com, contact@clintonemail.com, and mau_suit@clintonemail.com. (Fox News, 3/6/2015)

March 10, 2015: Clinton makes her first public comments on her email scandal. At a press conference in the United Nations headquarters, she insists that “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email; there is no classified material. … I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.” However, starting in 2010, one year into her four years as secretary of state, she began using an iPad as well. She also reveals that sometime in 2014 she deleted 31,830 emails that were “personal” and “private.” She says she will not turn over her personal email server. (Hillaryclinton.com, 7/13/2015) (The Federalist, 3/11/2015) (USA Today, 3/10/2015)

March 10, 2015: Clinton claims she had only one email with a foreign official, despite a speech suggesting otherwise. According to a statement from Clinton’s office, while Clinton was secretary of state, “Classified information was viewed in hard copy by the secretary while in the office. While on travel, the department had rigorous protocols for her and traveling staff to receive and transmit information of all types.” Furthermore, Clinton “communicated with foreign officials in person, through correspondence and by telephone.” A staff review of her emails “revealed only one email with a foreign official,” who was from Britain. (The New York Times, 3/10/2015) This is an apparent reference to a 2009 email from an aide to British Secretary of State David Miliband. (The Washington Post, 8/27/2015) However, in a 2013 speech, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman claimed that in 2011, Clinton and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton engaged in diplomatic negotiations through their BlackBerrys, despite Clinton’s being unsecured at the time. (The Hill, 1/26/2016) Additionally, in 2011 Clinton was sent two emails from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was working as the official Middle East envoy for the US, UN, and EU. (Judicial Watch, 1/29/2016) (BBC, 5/27/2015)

March 11, 2015: A State Department inspector general report indicates only a tiny percentage of emails were permanently archived. According to the report, in 2011, only 61,156 department emails out of a billion were formally archived, a rate of far less than one percent. In 2013, the number – 41,749 – was even lower. (Politico, 3/11/2015)

April 2015: State Department Inspector General Steve Linick begins an inquiry into Clinton’s emails. He does this in response to a March 2, 2015, New York Times article that revealed Clinton’s only used a private email address when she was secretary of state. This inquiry will eventually develop into an FBI investigation. (The Washington Post, 8/14/2015)

April 12, 2015: Hillary Clinton launches her second presidential campaign. She narrowly lost the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama in 2008. Due to her long and prominent political career, she immediately establishes herself as the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic nomination. (The New York Times, 4/13/2015)

May 15, 2015: Former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morrell says he believes some foreign intelligence agencies possess the contents of Clinton’s private email server. He says, “I think that foreign intelligence services, the good ones, have everything on any unclassified network that the government uses.” (Politico, 5/15/2015) Morrell was acting CIA director twice under President Obama before retiring in 2013.

May 19, 2015: A federal judge orders the gradual release of all of Clinton’s work-related emails. In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit from Vice News, US District Judge Rudolph Contreras orders the State Department to release the over 30,000 Clinton emails from her time as secretary of state in small batches, with redactions of any classified information. The State Department says it will finish doing so by January 29, 2016. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016) Over the next several months, the State Department will release 30,068 emails in 14 batches, with the final batch getting released one month late, on February 29, 2016. (The New York Times, 2/29/2016)

May 22, 2015: One email released to the public on this day by the State Department without any redactions will lead to controversy and investigation. The email was written by State Department official Tim Davis on April 10, 2011, and forwarded to Clinton. It contained very time-sensitive information on evacuation plans by Special Envoy Christopher Stevens in Libya, as well as the latest US military intelligence on the Libyan civil war violence threatening Stevens. As a result, the release of this email without redactions will start an internal government dispute. The State Department released the email because they deemed the military intelligence in it was no longer important four years later. However, Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough will claim that since the military intelligence originated from the US military, the State Department didn’t have the authority if it should be classified or not. This email will lead to the FBI starting an investigation into Clinton’s emails in late May 2015. (The New York Times, 5/22/2015) (CNN, 8/20/2015)

June 16, 2015: The House Benghazi Committee deposes Sid Blumenthal behind closed doors. Blumenthal is a Clinton confidant, journalist, and Clinton Foundation employee. He gives the committee nearly 60 emails between him and Clinton about Benghazi and/or Libya that the committee didn’t have before. (CBS News, 6/16/2015) The emails will be publicly released one week later. (The Hill, 6/22/2015) Although Blumenthal testifies in a secret session, a Politico article later on the same day as his testimony reveals some of what he says. He frequently wrote emails to Clinton that contained detailed intelligence assessments from various parts of the world, especially Libya. He reportedly tells the committee that he doesn’t write or even know the ultimate source of any of his Libyan intelligence he sent to Clinton. Instead, he was copying and pasting memos from Tyler Drumheller, a former CIA operative. Blumenthal and Drumheller were involved in a Libya-related business opportunity called Osprey Global Solutions. Trey Gowdy (R), head of the committee, says, “One of the folks providing [Clinton] the largest volume of information was simply and merely a conduit of someone who may have had business interest in Libya. We have a CIA, so why would you not rely on your own vetted source intelligence agency? In this case, there was no vetting, no analysis of credibility whatsoever.” Blumenthal claims his advice was unsolicited and he wasn’t being paid for passing on the information. And although Blumenthal was being paid $120,000 a year as an adviser to The Clinton Foundation, he says his salary there “had nothing whatsoever to do with my emails to my friend” Clinton. He also claims the Libyan business venture with Drumheller was a humanitarian project that never got off the ground and had nothing to do with his emails. (Politico, 6/16/2015)

June 25, 2015: The State Department is no longer sure Clinton turned over all her work-related emails. Three days after the House Benghazi Committee released 60 newly uncovered emails between Clinton and Sid Blumenthal related to Libyan policy given to the committee by Blumenthal, the State Department reveals that ten emails and parts of five others from Blumenthal could not be located in their records. (The Associated Press, 6/25/2015) In August 2015, The New York Times will comment, “The Clinton campaign has not explained the discrepancy.” (The New York Times, 8/8/2015)

July 6, 2015: Two department watchdogs refer the Clinton email case to the FBI. Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough and State Department Inspector General Steve Linick jointly send the FBI a “security referral,” asking the FBI to investigate Clinton’s private emails and server. This grew out of McCullough and Steve Linick reviewing some of the over 30,000 Clinton emails handed over to the State Department in late 2014. (The Los Angeles Times, 3/27/2016) (The Washington Post, 8/14/2015) However, according to another account by CNN in August 2015, the FBI had already begun investigating Clinton’s emails in late May 2015, so presumably this referral would only have spurred on that effort. (CNN, 8/20/2015)

July 23, 2015: Two of Clinton’s emails in a small sample are said to contain “top secret” information. The New York Times reveals that Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough told the FBI, Justice Department, and members of Congress that Clinton had “top secret” information in two emails among the random selection of 40 emails that the State Department had allowed him to review. Additionally, two other emails contained “secret” level information. The State Department refused to give McCullough access to the entire trove of roughly 30,000 emails that Clinton handed over to the department last year, and which are slowly being released to the public in batches. (The New York Times, 7/24/2015) The classification level of a couple of these emails will be downgraded later, but one will remain “top secret.” And eventually, over 2,000 of her emails will be found to have contained classified information.

July 24, 2015: Many of Clinton’s emails contained classified information when they were sent, not just retroactively. Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough and State Department Inspector General Steve Linick issue a joint statement about their inquiry into Clinton’s emails. The statement says that out of a random sample of 40 of Clinton’s emails, Linick found four emails containing information that should have been classified at the time they were sent. “These emails were not retroactively classified by the State Department; rather these emails contained classified information when they were generated and, according to [Intelligence Community] classification officials, that information remains classified today. This classified information should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system.” (US Department of State, 7/24/2015)

July 31, 2015 – August 6, 2015: Clinton’s lawyer turns over copies of Clinton’s emails. On July 31, 2015, a Justice Department prosecutor calls Clinton’s personal lawyer David Kendall seeking a thumb drive that contained a copy of the 30,000 emails that Clinton had already turned over to the State Department, according to a person briefed about the conversation. On August 6, 2015, Kendall gives the FBI his thumb drive, as well as two copies. (The Washington Post, 8/14/2015)

July 31, 2015 – August 7, 2015: Emails of Clinton’s top two aides are ordered saved before they can be destroyed. Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy notifies Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills and her deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin to immediately return all government related emails and records in their possession, along with all copies. According to Politico, Kennedy sends “urgent letters” about this to the lawyers of Mills and Abedin. (Politico, 11/6/2015) On August 7, 2015, Mills’ lawyer states that after planning to turn over some emails under court order by August 10, “we have instructed her to delete any and all electronic records in her possession.” But that evening, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan issues an order instructing Clinton, Mills, and Abedin not to destroy any emails they may still have. (The New York Observer, 8/7/2015) The emails will apparently be saved, because a judge will later order the release of all of Abedin’s emails, and a lawsuit to release all of Mills’ emails is still in progress. (Politico, 1/11/2016)(The Hill, 3/9/2016)

August 2015: Secretary of State Powell received two classified emails, but under very different circumstances than Clinton. Clinton’s personal lawyer David Kendall writes a letter to the State Department claiming that Clinton’s “use of personal email was consistent with the practices of other secretaries of state.” Kendall points in particular to Colin Powell, who appears to be the only other secretary of state to use a private email account while in office. But Powell had a government email account in addition to private one. According to The Washington Post, “Powell conducted virtually all of his classified communications on paper or over a State Department computer installed on his desk that was reserved for classified information, according to interviews.” He also had a phone line installed in his office solely to link to his private email account, which he generally used for personal or non-classified communication. The State Department’s inspector general did find that Powell’s personal email account had received two emails from staff that contained “national security information classified at the ‘secret’ or ‘confidential’ levels.” (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016) It will later come out that the two emails were at the lowest “confidential” level and did not actually contain any intelligence, but were classified for other reasons. (ABC News, 3/4/2016)

August 2, 2015: Tyler Drumheller, a former CIA officer, dies at 63 years of age of pancreatic cancer. (The New York Times, 8/2/2015) Although Drumheller retired from the CIA in 2005 after 25 years of service, he seems to have had access to intelligence information that got passed on to Clinton through emails sent to her by private citizen Sid Blumenthal. (The New York Observer, 10/19/2015)

August 10, 2015: Clinton writes under oath that she has provided the State Department all of her work-related emails that were on her personal email account she used while secretary of state. Her short statement includes this sentence: “I have directed that all my emails on clintonemail.com in my custody that were or potentially were federal records be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done.” That statement is a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch against the State Department. (The New York Times, 8/10/2015)

August 11, 2015: Clinton finally agrees to allow the Justice Department to investigate her private email server, as well as thumb drives housing her work emails. This comes after months of her refusing to hand it over. (The New York Times, 8/11/2015)

August 11, 2015: Two out of a random sample of 40 Clinton emails are retroactively deemed “top secret.” The email sample was examined by the inspectors general of the State Department and the Intelligence Community. Those two emails were not marked as classified at the time, but were given classified labels indicating they contain highly sensitive information from signal intercepts and spy satellites. One is a discussion of a news article about a drone strike operation. The other concerns North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. (State Department Inspectors General Report, 8/11/2015)(The New York Times, 9/7/2015) In February 2016, the email about North Korea, written July 3, 2009, will be downgraded from “top secret” to “secret” and then partially released. This will leave one of the random sample of 40 emails “top secret.” (The New York Times, 2/29/2016)

August 12, 2015: The FBI picks up Clinton’s private email server, as well as thumb drives containing copies of her emails. The server, which was in a New Jersey data center, had all its data deleted. A lawyer for Platte River Networks, the company that managed the server, says, “To my knowledge, the data on the old server is not available now on any servers or devices in Platte River Network’s control.” Investigators also take thumb drives from Clinton’s lawyer David Kendall containing copies of Clinton’s emails. (The Washington Post, 8/12/2015)

After August 12, 2015: The FBI recovers most, if not all, of Clinton’s deleted emails. In March 2016, the Los Angeles Times will report that some time after the FBI took possession of Clinton’s private server on August 12, 2015, the FBI “has since recovered most, if not all, of the deleted correspondence, said a person familiar with the investigation.” Clinton deleted 31,830 emails, claiming they were not work-related. (The Los Angeles Times, 3/27/2016)

August 14, 2015: Clinton’s top two aides also used private email accounts for government work. State Department official John F. Hackett reveals to a federal judge that two of Clinton’s aides “used personal email accounts located on commercial servers at times for government business.” Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills had a Google Gmail account, and Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin had an account on the same clintonemail.com private server used by Clinton. (The Washington Times, 8/14/2015) Clinton has argued that 90% or more of her emails would have been archived by the State Department since she communicated mostly with other State Department employees. But in fact less than one percent of emails were archived by the department during her tenure there, and she emailed Mills and Abedin more than anyone else. (The Washington Post, 11/9/2015)

Mid-August 2015: An employee at the company recently managing Clinton’s private email server expresses concerns of a cover-up. The employee expresses this in a private email later found by Senate investigators. Platte River Networks managed her server from mid-2013 until early this month. According to a spokesperson for Platte River Networks, Clinton Executive Service Corp., the Clinton associated company that hired Platte River in June 2013, from the very start the company had a 30-day deletion policy. That means that any deleted email on Clinton’s server would be permanently deleted after 30 days. However, a mid-August 2015 email from one unnamed Platte River Networks employee to another suggests the implementation of this policy actually happened later. The email reads, “Any chance you found an old email with their directive to cut the backup back in Oct-Feb. … I know they had you cut it once in Oct-Nov, then again to 30day in Feb-ish.” (Presumably this refers to October 2014 through February 2015.) The employee adds that such evidence would be “golden” and would clear Platte River of criticism. “Starting to think this whole thing really is covering up some shady shit. I just think if we have it in writing that they [Clinton Executive Service Corp.] told us to cut the backups, and we can go public saying we have had backups since day one, then we were told to trim to 30 days, it would make us look a WHOLE LOT better.” The email was sent shortly after it was publicly revealed that the FBI was looking into the security of Clinton’s server. (Politico, 10/6/2015) (McClatchy Newspapers, 10/6/2015)

August 18, 2015: Clinton’s private server has recently been managed by a surprisingly small company with no special security features. Platte River Networks housed Clinton’s server from June 2013 until early August 2015. Former employee Tera Dadiotis calls it a “mom and pop shop.” She adds, “At the time I worked for them they wouldn’t have been equipped to work for Hilary Clinton because I don’t think they had the resources… [It was] not very high security, we didn’t even have an alarm. … [W]e literally had our server racks in the bathroom. … We only had the three owners and like eight employees. We didn’t do any work in other states.” Another former employee says everyone was told to keep quiet about the fact they were doing work for Clinton. (The Daily Mail, 8/18/2015)

August 19, 2015: Someone tried to wipe Clinton’s email server, but the FBI might recover the data anyway. Clinton’s campaign has acknowledged “that there was an attempt to wipe [Clinton's private] server before it was turned over last week to the FBI. But two sources with direct knowledge of the investigation told NBC News… that the bureau may be able to recover at least some data.” (NBC News, 8/19/2015) ”Wiping” refers to repeatedly overwriting data with new data to make sure it can never be recovered. (The Washington Post, 9/12/2015)

August 19, 2015: Former CIA and NSA director Hayden says Clinton’s behavior was “stupid,” “dangerous,” and probably illegal. Michael Hayden, who was appointed director of the NSA by President Bill Clinton and then director of the CIA by President George W. Bush, says that Hillary Clinton’s “original sin is actually co-mingling [her] two accounts and not using a government e-mail server. … [P]ut legality aside just for a second, it’s stupid and dangerous. … Dangerous to her and to the Republic and to American secrets. But… I don’t even think it was legal.” (MSNBC, 8/19/2015)

August 19, 2015: Nobody in the company that managed Clinton’s private email server had any government security clearances. Platte River Networks managed Clinton’s server from mid-2013 to early August 2015. They had never had a federal government contract and did not work for political campaigns. Nearly all their clients are local businesses. (The Washington Post, 8/19/2016) Furthermore, Cindy McGovern, a Defense Department spokesperson, says that Platte River “is not cleared” to have access to classified material. (Business Insider, 8/17/2015)

August 19, 2015: The State Department tells a judge that Clinton did not use a State Department issued or secure BlackBerry device. (Judicial Watch, 8/19/2015)

August 19, 2015: Clinton’s lawyer claims that all data, including Clinton’s emails, was erased from her server before it was turned over to the FBI. Lawyer David Kendall’s comments don’t clarify if Clinton’s server was wiped or merely erased. (The Guardian, 8/19/2015)

August 20, 2015: A federal judge asserts that Clinton violated government policy by storing government emails on her private server. US District Judge Emmet Sullivan says of Clinton in a court hearing, “We wouldn’t be here today if this employee had followed government policy.” He orders the State Department to ask the FBI if Clinton’s server now possessed by the FBI still contains official records that have been demanded in various Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits.(Politico, 8/20/2015)

August 21, 2015: In many cases, information in Clinton’s emails were “born classified.” A Reuters analysis concludes, “In the small fraction of emails made public so far, Reuters has found at least 30 email threads from 2009, representing scores of individual emails, that include what the State Department’s own ‘classified’ stamps now identify as so-called ‘foreign government information.’ The US government defines this as any information, written or spoken, provided in confidence to US officials by their foreign counterparts.” Although unmarked, Reuters’ analysis suggests that these emails were “born classified,” or “classified from the start.”(Reuters, 8/21/2015)

September 2, 2015: It is widely believed foreign governments have intercepted Clinton’s emails. The Daily Beast reports on Clinton’s email scandal, “There’s a widely held belief among American counterspies that foreign intelligence agencies had to be reading the emails on Hillary’s private server, particularly since it was wholly unencrypted for months. ‘I’d fire my staff if they weren’t getting all this,’ explained one veteran Department of Defense counterintelligence official… Senior counterintelligence officials are assuming the worst about what the Russians and Chinese know.” An unnamed senior official who is “close to the investigation” says, “Of course they knew what they were doing, it’s as clear as day from the emails. I’m a Democrat and this makes me sick.” (The Daily Beast, 9/2/2015)

September 3, 2015: Former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills testifies to the House Benghazi Committee in a private session. It is reported that much of her testimony focuses on how over half of Clinton’s emails from her time as secretary of state were deleted, since Mills was part of the process. (Politico, 9/4/2015) Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal recently gave some of his work-related email correspondence with Clinton to the committee, and all or part of 15 of them had not been handed over by Clinton, despite Clinton’s claim that she had turned over all her work-related emails. Mills could not explain how those had been missed. (Politico, 9/3/2015)

September 4, 2015: Former Clinton aide Jake Sullivan testifies to the House Benghazi Committee in a private session. He tells reporters afterwards that he answered all questions for nine hours, but does not go into details. (ABC News, 9/4/2015)

September 7, 2015: A second intelligence review of two Clinton emails endorses the finding that they contained highly classified information when she received them. Clinton and some in the State Department claimed that a report by Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough was wrong that the emails should have been deemed “top secret.” So a special review was done by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and that review confirmed that the emails should have been considered “top secret.” (The New York Times, 9/7/2015)

September 8, 2015: Clinton apologizes for using only one private email account. Just one day after refusing to apologize for her actions regarding her emails, Clinton says in an ABC News interview, “I do think I could have and should have done a better job answering questions earlier. …. What I had done was allowed, it was above board. But in retrospect, as I look back at it now, even though it was allowed, I should have used two accounts. One for personal, one for work-related emails. That was a mistake. I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility.” This is the first time she has admitted to making any kind of mistake in the matter. (The Wall Street Journal, 9/8/2015) (ABC News, 9/8/2015)

September 10, 2015: Clinton’s computer technician refuses to testify. Clinton’s former private server manager Bryan Pagliano invokes his Fifth Amendment rights and refuses to speak in a private meeting before the House Benghazi Committee. (The Wall Street Journal, 9/30/2015) Pagliano begins secretly cooperating with the FBI investigation of Clinton’s emails in the fall of 2015, though it’s not clear if it is before or after this meeting. He describes how he set up the private server in Clinton’s house and gives the FBI the server’s security logs. (The New York Times, 3/3/2016)

September 12, 2015: ‘The company that recently managed Clinton’s email server say they have “no knowledge of the server being wiped.” Platte River Networks managed her server from mid-2013 to early August 2015. A spokesperson for the company adds, “All the information we have is that the server wasn’t wiped.” The Washington Post says this is “the strongest indication to date that tens of thousands of emails that Clinton has said were deleted could be recovered.” If a server is not wiped, which is a process that include overwriting data several times, deleted content can often be recovered. Clinton and her staff have avoided answering if the server was wiped or not. (The Washington Post, 9/12/2015)

September 22, 2015: Reports suggest the FBI has recovered Clinton’s deleted emails. Bloomberg News reports that the FBI has been able to recover at least some of the 31,830 emails deleted by Clinton. The exact number of recovered emails is still unknown. Clinton claimed she deleted those emails, which make up slightly more than half of all her emails from her time as secretary of state, because they were personal in nature. Bloomberg News reports that, “Once the emails have been extracted, a group of agents has been separating personal correspondence and passing along work-related messages to agents leading the investigation, the person said.” This clearly indicates that not all of the deleted emails were personal in nature, as Clinton has claimed. (Bloomberg News, 9/2/2015) The same day, The New York Times also reports that deleted emails have been recovered. According to two unnamed government officials, “It was not clear whether the entire trove of roughly 60,000 emails had been found on the server, but one official said it had not been very hard for the FBI to recover the messages.” (The New York Times, 9/23/2015)

September 25, 2015: Some Clinton emails surface that she had not provided to the State Department. These ten or so emails, between Clinton and General David Petraeus, discuss personnel matters and are part of an email chain that started on a different email account before her tenure as secretary of state, but continued onto her private server in late January 2009 after she had taken office. Clinton and her spokespeople have declined to comment about the discrepancies. (The New York Times, 9/25/2015)

September 27, 2015: Clinton says she wasn’t involved in deciding which emails to delete. Asked if it’s possible that some work-related emails were deleted when Clinton deleted over 31,000 emails from her time as secretary of state, Clinton replies that the process was “exhaustive,” but “I didn’t look at them.” Instead, her lawyers made the decisions. “I wanted them to be as clear in their process as possible. I didn’t want to be looking over their shoulder. If they thought it was work-related, it would go to the State Department. If not, then it would not.” (The Wall Street Journal, 9/27/2015)

September 27, 2015: Clinton cannot explain the discovery of some emails she didn’t turn over. Clinton claimed that the first time she used her email address from her private server was on March 18, 2009. But after some emails were found from her address two months earlier, Clinton is asked to explain the discrepancy. She says, “There was a transition period. You know, I wasn’t that focused on my email.” She adds that the server existed in her house for years before she added her account, and “it apparently took a little time to do that. And so there was about a month where I didn’t have everything already on the server, and we [later] went back, tried to, you know, recover whatever we could recover. And I think it’s also fair to say that, you know, there are some things about this that I just can’t control. I am by no means a technical expert. I relied on people who were.” (The New York Times, 9/27/2009)

October 8, 2015: President Obama calls Clinton’s use of a private email server a “mistake,” but also says, “I don’t think it posed a national security problem.” In a 60 Minutes interview, he goes on to say, “This is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.” He adds that, “We don’t get an impression that there was purposely efforts … to hide something or to squirrel away information,” However, several days later a White House spokesperson says Obama will wait for the Justice Department investigation’s determination about that. Politico will later comment, “Agents and retired FBI personnel told journalists the comments were inappropriate given the fact that the FBI inquiry was ongoing.” (The Associated Press, 10/13/2015) (CNN, 10/13/2015) (Politico, 3/9/2016)

October 13, 2015: Clinton’s private server was especially vulnerable to hacker attacks. The Associated Press reports that “The private email server running in [Clinton's] home basement when she was secretary of state was connected to the Internet in ways that made it more vulnerable to hackers… Experts said the Microsoft remote desktop service [used on the server] wasn’t intended for such use without additional protective measures, and was the subject of US government and industry warnings at the time over attacks from even low-skilled intruders.” (The Associated Press, 10/13/2015) One anonymous senior National Security Agency (NSA) official comments, “Were they drunk? Anybody could have been inside that server – anybody.” (The New York Observer, 10/19/2015)

October 13, 2015: Sanders says he’s sick of hearing about Clinton’s “damn emails.” In the first Democratic primary debate, Senator Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s main rival for the Democratic nomination, addresses Clinton’s email scandal. “Let me say this. Let me say something that may not be great politics. But I think the secretary is right. And that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!” Clinton responds, “Thank you. Me too. Me too.” Then the two of them shake hands. According to the Los Angeles Times: “The crowd went wild. So did the Internet.” (The Los Angeles Times, 10/13/2015)

October 22, 2015: Clinton publicly testifies before the ‘House Benghazi Committee’ and answers questions for eleven hours. The New York Times reports that “the long day of often-testy exchanges between committee members and their prominent witness revealed little new information about an episode that has been the subject of seven previous investigations… Perhaps stung by recent admissions that the pursuit of Mrs. Clinton’s emails was politically motivated, Republican lawmakers on the panel for the most part avoided any mention of her use of a private email server.” (The New York Times, 10/22/2015)

October 30, 2015: There are a small number of emails between President Obama and Clinton, but they remain secret. It is reported that the State Department is not releasing the emails between Obama and Clinton from when she was his secretary of state. (Politico, 10/30/2015) It will later be revealed that there are 19 emails between Obama and Clinton from that time period, but all further details about them remain unknown. (The New York Times, 2/29/2016)

November 10, 2015: The FBI’s inquiry into Clinton’s emails has turned into a “full-blown investigation.” Politico reports, “The FBI’s recent moves [regarding Clinton's private emails] suggest that its inquiry could have evolved from the preliminary fact-finding stage that the agency launches when it receives a credible referral, according to former FBI and Justice Department officials interviewed…” The FBI has been conducting interviews and gathering documents. Tom Fuentes, former assistant director of the FBI, says, “This sounds to me like it’s more than a preliminary inquiry; it sounds like a full-blown investigation. When you have this amount of resources going into it… I think it’s at the investigative level.” (Politico, 11/10/2015)

December 9, 2015: President Obama is not being briefed about the FBI’s Clinton investigation. Asked if Obama is getting briefings on the FBI’s Clinton investigation, FBI Director James Comey replies, “No.” (The Daily Caller, 12/9/2015)

December 11, 2015: Emails from Clinton’s computer technician are missing. The State Department has told Senate investigators that it cannot find the emails of Bryan Pagliano, the Clinton aide who managed her private server. But it is also revealed that the FBI has taken possession of Pagliano’s government computer, and it is hoped that some of all of the emails will be found there. (Politico, 12/11/2015)

January 11, 2016: The FBI’s Clinton investigation could be looking into Clinton Foundation corruption. Fox News reports, “The FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email as secretary of state has expanded to look at whether the possible ‘intersection’ of Clinton Foundation work and State Department business may have violated public corruption laws,” according to three unnamed “intelligence sources.” One source says, “The agents are investigating the possible intersection of Clinton Foundation donations, the dispensation of State Department contracts, and whether regular processes were followed.” (Fox News, 1/11/2016) One month later, The Washington Post will report that the State Department issued a subpoena to The Clinton Foundation in late 2015. (The Washington Post, 2/11/2016)

January 14, 2016: Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough states that some of Clinton’s private emails contained information that was classified above “top secret.” He asserts in a letter to Congress that an unnamed intelligence agency has made a sworn declaration that “several dozen emails [had been] determined by the [Intelligence Community] element to be at the CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET, and TOP SECRET/SAP levels.” “SAP” stands for “special access program,” and The New York Times says that they are “often intelligence-gathering programs and other secret programs run by the Pentagon and the CIA that are among the government’s most closely guarded secrets.” (The New York Times, 1/19/2016) (NBC News, 1/19/2016) It will later be reported that 22 of Clinton’s emails were deemed “top secret,” with many more classified “secret” or “confidential.”

January 21, 2016: Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates believes foreign countries hacked into Clinton’s private email server. He says in an interview, “Given the fact that the Pentagon acknowledges that they get attacked about 100,000 times a day, I think the odds are pretty high.” Gates was defense secretary from 2006 to 2011, under Presidents Bush and Obama. [http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/266674-former-defense-secretary-says-clinton-server-may-have-been-compromised (The Hill, 1/21/2016)

January 21, 2016: Former US Attorney General Michael Mukasey writes an editorial entitled "Clinton's Emails: A Criminal Charge Is Justified." Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Mukasey argues that "intelligence community investigators believe it is nearly certain that Mrs. Clinton's server was hacked, possibly by the Chinese or the Russians... [I]t is nearly impossible to draw any conclusion other than that she knew enough to support a conviction at the least for mishandling classified information.” (The Wall Street Journal, 1/21/2016)

January 29, 2016: 22 emails retroactively deemed “top secret” had been sent through Clinton’s private computer server. This is revealed by the State Department. However, the department will not make public any part of the 22 emails, not even the years they were sent or who sent them, because they contain such highly classified information. It is believed the 22 emails occurred in seven different email chains. (The New York Times, 1/29/2016) The US government defines “top secret” as “information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.” (The New York Observer, 2/1/2016)

January 29, 2016: The State Department announces it is launching its own Clinton email investigation. It will look into whether information on Clinton’s private server was classified at the time it was sent or received. The Wall Street Journal calls this a “dramatic reversal,” since the State Department has consistently downplayed the issue. This investigation is in addition to the FBI investigation and other inquiries. (The Wall Street Journal, 1/29/2016)

January 30, 2016: It is revealed that four emails from Sid Blumenthal to Clinton have been entirely redacted. This is notable because at the time Clinton is secretary of state, Blumenthal is a private citizen with no government security clearance at the time. (The Daily Caller, 1/30/2016) The New York Observer comments, “Since Mr. Blumenthal’s emails were illegally accessed by a private hacker [Guccifer, in March 2013], they can be safely assumed in to be in the hands of numerous foreign intelligence services.” (The New York Observer, 2/1/2016)

January 31, 2016: For the first time, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders criticizes Clinton over her email scandal. Asked by a reporter if voters should interpret his refusal to highlight the issue means that Clinton did nothing wrong, Sanders replies “No. Nope, nope. That is not, I think, a fair assessment. That is, I think, a very serious issue,” However he adds, “There is a legal process taking place, I do not want to politicize that issue. It is not my style.” (CNN, 1/31/2016)

February 1, 2016: Some of Clinton’s 22 “top secret” emails allegedly contain “operational intelligence” involving espionage sources and methods. John Schindler, a former National Security Agency (NSA) counterintelligence officer, claims that, “Discussions with Intelligence Community officials have revealed that Ms. Clinton’s ‘unclassified’ emails included Holy Grail items of American espionage such as the true names of Central Intelligence Agency intelligence officers serving overseas under cover. Worse, some of those exposed are serving under non-official cover. … At a minimum, valuable covers have been blown, careers have been ruined, and lives have been put at serious risk.” Additionally, some names of foreigners who are on the CIA payroll are mentioned. One unnamed senior Intelligence Community official says that because of the likelihood that foreign governments have accessed all of Clinton’s emails, “It’s a death sentence, If we’re lucky, only agents, not our officers, will get killed because of this.” (The New York Observer, 2/1/2016)

February 1, 2016: Some US intelligence officials are “mad as hell” about Clinton’s deleted emails. An unnamed Pentagon counterintelligence official expresses concern that some of the 30,840 emails Clinton deleted may have been work-related. “I’ll spend the rest of my career trying to figure out what classified information was in those. … Everybody is mad as hell right now.” This official adds, “The worst part is that Moscow and Beijing have that information but the [US] Intelligence Community maybe never will.” (The New York Observer, 2/1/2016)

February 1, 2016: A politician who saw Clinton’s top secret emails says it’s obvious they contained classified information. Representative Mike Pompeo (R), who sits on the House intelligence committee and has seen the unreleased 22 “top secret” Clinton emails, says, “There is no way that someone, a senior government official who has been handling classified information for a good chunk of their adult life, could not have known that this information ought to be classified, whether it was marked or not.” (The Washington Post, 2/2/2016)

February 3, 2016: Clinton’s top secret emails are said to reveal sources, methods, and assets. Representative Chris Stewart (R), a member of the House Intelligence Committee who has viewed Clinton’s 22 “top secret” emails, says those emails “do reveal classified methods, they do reveal classified sources, and they do reveal human assets.” He adds, “I can’t imagine how anyone could be familiar with these emails, whether they’re sending them or receiving them, and not realize that these are highly classified.” (The Washington Post, 3/4/2016)

February 4, 2016: A handful of publicly released Clinton emails make indirect or veiled references to undercover CIA officers. For instance, a CIA officer is referred to as a “State” Department official, with the quote marks suggesting the person is not actually a diplomat. Another email refers to “OGA,” which stands for “other government agency” and is a common pseudonym within government circles for the CIA. NBC News notes, “The messages at issue are part of a longstanding pattern of senior officials at the State Department and other government agencies trying to talk around classified information over email, sometimes unsuccessfully.” (NBC News, 2/4/2016)

February 5, 2016: The State Department completes a review of the email practices of the past five secretaries of state. It finds that Colin Powell received two emails that were classified. And while Condoleezza Rice didn’t use emails, the “immediate staff” working for her received ten emails that were classified. In both cases, the information was deemed either “secret” or “confidential,” but not “top secret,” and was not marked classified when it was sent. Powell responds by saying about his two emails, “I have reviewed the messages and I do not see what makes them classified. … The State Department cannot now say they were classified then because they weren’t.” Also, Powell’s emails stayed on government computer servers. These cases differ from Clinton’s, who had at least some top secret, “born classified” emails on her private server. (CNN, 2/5/2016) Additionally, none of the emails in either the Powell or Rice cases actually contained any intelligence information, and were classified for other, unmentioned reasons. (ABC News, 3/4/2016)

February 23, 2016: Top Clinton aides will be questioned under oath. US District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan rules that Clinton aides Huma Abedin, Bryan Pagliano, Cheryl Mills, Patrick Kennedy, and others would likely be questioned about Clinton’s use of her private email server. There is no immediate plan to question Clinton herself, but that could change. Sullivan’s ruling is in response to Judicial Watch, which has been seeking to determine if Clinton’s server thwarted federal open records laws. Sullivan was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1994. (The Washington Post, 2/23/2016)

February 24, 2016: Former CIA Director Michael Hayden suggests that Clinton’s private server was almost certainly hacked by foreign governments. He says, “I would lose all respect for a whole bunch of foreign intelligence agencies if they weren’t sitting back, paging through the emails” of Clinton. He adds, “Once you’ve set it up [as she did], nobody has to be stupid, lazy, unintelligent – it’s gone bad. You’re going to end up with information on this private server that just shouldn’t be there, let alone all the questions about preserving government records.” (USA Today, 2/24/2016)

February 29, 2016: Final totals show over 2,000 of Clinton’s emails contained classified information. The last batch of Clinton’s private emails are publicly released. Out of the 30,490 emails, 22 are deemed “top secret,” which is the highest level of classification. 65 are deemed “secret,” the middle level. 2,028 are “confidential,” the lowest level. That means that 2,115 emails, or seven percent of the total, have some classified ranking. 104 of the classified emails were sent by Clinton herself. (The New York Times, 2/29/2016)

February 29, 2016: Clinton’s 2,000 “confidential” emails could still be signs of serious crimes. With all of the Clinton work emails publicly released, it is clear that the vast majority of her emails later deemed classified are considered “confidential.” 2,028 of her 2,115 classified emails have that ranking, which is the lowest classification ranking. (The New York Times, 2/29/2016) However, The Daily Beast has reported, “Excuses that most of [them] are considered ‘confidential’… cut no ice with many insiders. Although the compromise of information at that level is less damaging… it is still a crime that’s taken seriously by counterintelligence professionals. Most of the classified emails that Hillary and her staff seem to have compromised dealt with diplomatic discussions, which is a grave indiscretion as far as diplomats worldwide are concerned.” (The Daily Beast, 9/2/2015)

March 2016: The State Department’s internal Clinton email server investigation is put on hold. The pause happens some unknown time this month. A State Department spokesperson says, “We are prioritizing the law enforcement investigation.” (Bloomberg News, 4/1/2016)

March 2, 2016: It is reported Clinton’s former computer technician has made an immunity deal. Bryan Pagliano, a former Clinton staffer who helped set up her private email server, has accepted an immunity deal from the FBI and the Justice Department. In September 2015, Pagliano invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and refused to speak to the House Benghazi Committee. He managed the server from 2008 until mid-2013. He actually started secretly cooperating with investigators in late 2015. (The Washington Post, 3/2/2016)

March 2, 2016: The FBI’s Clinton investigation could conclude by May 2016. The New York Times reports, “A federal law enforcement official said that barring any unforeseen changes, the FBI investigation [into Clinton's emails] could conclude by early May. Then the Justice Department will decide whether to file criminal charges and, if so, against whom.” In addition to the FBI investigation, there are continuing inquiries by the State Department inspector general, the Intelligence Community inspector general, the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, and the House Benghazi Committee. There are also numerous on-going lawsuits that could reveal more information to the public. (The New York Times, 3/2/2016)

March 2, 2016: The FBI’s Clinton investigation is looking into retyping of classified information. The New York Times reports that FBI agents investigating Clinton’s emails “have sought to compare electronic timestamps on classified sources to figure out whether [her] aides reviewed the sources and then retyped the information into emails that were sent or forwarded to Mrs. Clinton’s private server. That has proved challenging, and one official said investigators have not concluded that such retyping occurred.” (The New York Times, 3/2/2016)

March 2, 2016 – March 3, 2016: The FBI’s Clinton investigation is focusing on possible crimes. On March 2, 2016, The Washington Post reports, “The Clinton campaign has described the [FBI investigation into Clinton's emails] as a security review. But current and former officials in the FBI and at the Justice Department have said investigators are trying to determine whether a crime was committed.” One former senior law enforcement official asks, “There was wrongdoing. But was it criminal wrongdoing?” (The Washington Post, 3/2/2016) The next day, CNN similarly reports, “FBI investigators are expected to shift their focus on whether the highly sensitive government information, including top secret and other classified matters, found on Clinton’s private email server constitutes a crime.” (CNN, 3/3/2016)

March 3, 2016: The FBI has the computer security logs from Clinton’s private email server, and they show no evidence of foreign hacking. The logs were given to the FBI by Bryan Pagliano, a Clinton aide who is cooperating with the FBI and who managed Clinton’s server during the time she was secretary of state. However, sophisticated hacking attempts sometimes leave no evidence in the security logs. (The New York Times, 3/3/2016) Also it appears there were hacking attempts on the server after June 2013, when Pagliano was no longer involved, but when all of Clinton’s emails were still on the server. (The Associated Press, 10/7/2015)

March 5, 2016: Clinton wrote 104 emails containing classified information. This is according to a Washington Post analysis of the more than 30,000 released emails on her private server during her time as secretary of state. Clinton has maintained that while some of her emails had classified content, they were emails sent to her. While over 2,000 of those emails are classified, and thus partially or fully redacted, the names of the senders and recipients are given for each, allowing The Post to analyze them. Of the classified emails sent by Clinton, in many cases she wrote short commentaries on longer informative emails sent to her. In three-fourths of these 104 emails, at least some of Clinton’s comments were classified. (The Washington Post, 3/5/2016)

March 11, 2016: Clinton’s former computer technician is reportedly giving very useful information to the FBI’s Clinton investigation. Bryan Pagliano struck an immunity deal with the Justice Department in late 2015. According to an unnamed intelligence source, “Pagliano is a devastating witness and, as the webmaster, knows exactly who had access to [Clinton's] computer and devices at specific times. His importance to this case cannot be over-emphasized.” The investigation is also said to be pursuing other leads, such as emails retroactively classified “top secret” that were sent by Clinton. (Fox News, 3/11/2016)

March 20, 2016: The FBI is moving towards recommending an indictment of Clinton, but it is facing political pressure not to do so. The New York Post reports, “FBI chief James Comey and his investigators are increasingly certain that presidential nominee Hillary Clinton violated laws in handling classified government information through her private email server, career agents say.” (The New York Post, 3/20/2016)

March 24, 2016: More of Clinton’s work-related emails that Clinton did not turn over are found. Judicial Watch forced the State Department to release a couple of previously unknown Clinton emails relating to her iPhone or BlackBerry use. The emails are from February 2009, despite the fact Clinton has claimed she didn’t send her first email on that account until March 18, 2009. Tom Fitton, the head of Judicial Watch, says, “So now we know that, contrary to her statement under oath suggesting otherwise, Hillary Clinton did not turn over all her government emails.” (The Hill, 3/24/2016) (Judicial Watch, 3/24/2016) (Judicial Watch, 3/17/2016)

March 27, 2016: Federal investigators have begun setting up formal interviews with some of Clinton’s closest aides. This is according to the Los Angeles Times, which also reports that they are also expected to seek an interview with Clinton herself. The timing is clear, and could still take weeks. But the Times reports that development is “an indication that much of the investigators’ background work – recovering deleted emails, understanding how the server operated and determining whether it was breached – is nearing completion.” (The Los Angeles Times, 3/27/2016)

March 27, 2016 – March 31, 2016: Accounts differ on the number of FBI investigators. A March 27, 2016 front-page Washington Post story claims that 147 FBI agents have been working on an investigation into Clinton’s emails. The Post soon issues a correction that states the figure is too high and the number involved is less than 50. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016) On March 30, an unnamed source tells NBC News, “There are currently about 12 FBI agents working full-time on the case.” (NBC News, 3/30/2016) On March 31, Time Magazine says, “20 to 30 agents, technical specialists and analysts have been assigned to the investigation, according to sources familiar with it.” (Time, 3/31/2016)

March 31, 2016: Time Magazine reveals some details about the FBI’s Clinton investigation. ”The [FBI] agents have conducted interviews and done forensic analysis of the evidence collected. And they have executed process, the sources say, referring to a category of investigative tools that can include, among other things, subpoenas. … [FBI Director James] Comey is keeping a close watch on the investigation, getting briefings from team leaders and personally overseeing the case.” (Time, 3/31/2016)

March 31, 2016: Fox News claims that FBI Director James Comey is trying to make a case to indict Clinton herself. This is based on an inside source into the FBI investigation of Clinton’s email. That source says Comey is said to be frequently meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch in order to prepare to interview Clinton and her top aides soon. The source says, “In a case like this, you get one shot at the queen” (referring to Clinton). “The pressures are enormous on the agents, as the case has to be airtight and perfect.” It is believed that the one approach the FBI is taking is seeing if Clinton or any of her aides can be caught lying under oath during their interviews. (Fox News, 3/31/2016)

April 1, 2016: “Guccifer” has been extradited to the US and makes his first appearance in a US court. Guccifer, a Romanian hacker whose real name is Marcel-Lehel Lazar, hacked into the email account of reporter Sid Blumenthal and found emails that used Clinton’s private address, revealing that address to the public for the first time. Guccifer was arrested in Romania in 2014 and given a combined seven-year sentence in that country for his illegal hacking activities. Last month, the Romanian government agreed to extradite him to the US for 18 months only. It is not clear why, since he is already serving that time in a Romanian prison. (Reuters, 4/1/2016) One possibility is that the FBI might want him in connection with their investigation into Clinton’s emails. However, this has not been confirmed or denied.

April 1, 2016: Four of Clinton’s closest aides have hired the same attorney to represent them in the FBI’s Clinton investigation. The attorney is Beth Wilkinson, who Politico says has “deep ties to Washington politics and the Department of Justice,” and is the wife of former “Meet the Press” host David Gregory. Wilkinson is representing Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s former chief of staff, Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff, Heather Samuelson, an assistant of Mills, and Philippe Reines, who was Clinton’s spokesperson. (Politico, 4/1/2016) It is also notable that other aides are not part of this united front, including top aide Huma Abedin.

April 4, 2016: Comey says quality comes before speed in the FBI’s Clinton investigation. FBI Director James Comey says he does not feel he has to conclude the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s private server before the Democratic National Convention in July 2016. “The urgency is to do it well and promptly. And ‘well’ comes first.” (Politico, 4/5/2016)

April 10, 2016: President Obama downplays the seriousness of Clinton’s email scandal. President Obama comments about Clinton’s email scandal. He says, “I continue to believe that she has not jeopardized America’s national security. Now what I’ve also said is that, and she’s acknowledged, that there’s a carelessness in terms of managing emails that she has owned. And she recognizes. But I also think it is important to keep this in perspective.” (MSNBC, 4/10/2016) Two days later, The Associated Press reports there is “growing criticism that Obama had put his finger on the scale with recent comments describing Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state as mere ‘carelessness.’” Peter Henning, a law professor and a former federal prosecutor, says, “It does raise concerns for prosecutors. If it’s a close case, how am I to judge whether to pursue charges when the president has said he doesn’t think there’s anything there? I don’t think it will prejudice any decision but it certainly gives the appearance of that.” (The Associated Press, 4/12/2016)

April 15, 2016: Three Clinton aides will be publicly deposed about the email scandal. State Department lawyers strike a deal with Judicial Watch over how depositions from three Clinton aides will work. Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, and Bryan Pagliano will be deposed, and their depositions can be videotaped and made public. However, questions to them will be limited to how Clinton’s private server was created and operated, as well as how the State Department processed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that potentially involved emails from Clinton and/or Abedin. (Politico, 4/16/2016)

http://thompsontimeline.com/The_Clinton_Email_Scandal_Timeline



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