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Hillary Clinton aides had access to State Dept. after she left

Hillary Clinton aides had access to State Dept. after she left, says key lawmaker

When Hillary Clinton resigned as Secretary of State in 2013, she negotiated continuing access to classified and top-secret documents for herself and six staffers under the designation “research assistants,” according to a powerful senator who notes that Clinton was later deemed “extremely careless” with such information.

The staff apparently retained access even after Clinton announced her run for president in April 2015, according to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. The access was ostensibly granted to facilitate work on Clinton’s memoir, but Grassley said he was only able to verify it after the Obama administration left the White House.

“It is so unimaginatively offensive that Hillary Clinton or her staff would have any access to classified or top secret information.”

– Chris Farrell, Judicial Watch

“I have repeatedly asked the State Department whether Secretary Clinton and her associates had their clearances suspended or revoked to which the Obama Administration refused to respond,” Grassley wrote in a March 30 letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

“Recently, the State Department informed the Committee that six additional Secretary Clinton staff at State were designated as her research assistants which allowed them to retain their clearances after leaving the Department,” Grassley added.

The State Department has not yet responded it an inquiry from Fox News as to whether Clinton, or her staff, including then-chief of staff Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, her traveling chief of staff and former assistant, who went on to become the vice chair of her presidential campaign, and Jake Sullivan, her senior policy advisor, still have access to the classified and top-secret archives and systems.

Clinton could not immediately be reached for comment.

Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Thursday launched an inquiry into the matter, citing among his concerns FBI director James Comey’s July 5 announcement where he said the FBI found Clinton and her staff were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.” Grassley also contended there is “evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information…”

During the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s use of a private server and her handling of top secret and classified information, Comey acknowledged there were seven email chains on Clinton’s server that were classified at the “Top Secret/Special Access Program level.” Another 2,000 emails on her private server were also found to have contained information deemed classified now, though not marked classified when sent. The server also contained 22 top-secret emails deemed too damaging to national security to be released.

Grassley wants more answers from the State Department now that Tillerson is in charge, including whether it ever investigated or sanctioned Clinton and her staff for mishandling information.

“It is unclear what steps the State Department has taken to impose administrative sanctions,” Grassley said. “Any other government workers who engaged in such serious offenses would, at a minimum, have their clearances suspended pending an investigation. The failure to do so has given the public the impression that Secretary Clinton and her associates received special treatment.”

Grassley said former Secretary of State John Kerry ignored his queries in 2015 and 2016.

In 2015, Cheryl Mills’ attorney said her client had access as late as Oct. 30 of that year, according to documents reviewed by Fox News. After leaving the State Department, Mills was an advisor to Clinton’s presidential bid. Heather Samuelson, a lawyer who worked under Mills and also was a staffer for Clinton in 2008 during her presidential run, also apparently retained an active Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) security clearance, according to records reviewed by Fox News.

Chris Farrell, of Judicial Watch, a conservative Washington-based government watchdog group that has filed a number of lawsuits related to the Clinton email scandal, said it is “outrageous” that Clinton and her staff would have access after they left the state department, and may still have access, after such egregious behavior.

“It is so unimaginatively offensive that Hillary Clinton or her staff would have any access to classified or top secret information,” Farrell said. “It is a mindblower.

“Any other government employee, I don’t care what department or agency they are from, would have had their access to classified and top secret information revoked and their clearance suspended, pending the outcome of an investigation into the mishandling of such information,” Farrell added.

Malia Zimmerman is an award-winning investigative reporter focusing on crime, homeland security, illegal immigration crime, terrorism and political corruption. Follow her on twitter at @MaliaMZimmerman

Source: Will County News

The federal debt is $20 trillion? Try $100 trillion

The federal debt is $20 trillion? Try $100 trillion

By   /   March 20, 2017  /   News

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

THE DEBT GROWS: Deficit spending has become so commonplace in the U.S. that President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget, which features nearly $500 billion of it, is considered by many budget hawks as fiscally responsible.

 

As the national debt grows toward $20 trillion, a financial watchdog says $100 trillion is a more realistic number when factoring in unfunded obligations.

The U.S. Treasury’s “Debt to the Penny” website listed the outstanding debt as $19,846,045,559,411.81 on Monday morning and prognosticators are predicting when the amount will hit $20 trillion. Even Truth in Accounting (TIA), the Chicago-based organization that pushes governments to release accurate, easy-to-understand financial reports, has a small betting pool on which day the magical number will be hit.

But the debt clock on TIA’s home page now ticks above $99 trillion. The group argues that most of the actual federal debt is hidden off the books in the form of promised future payments to Medicare and Social Security recipients.

“The federal government doesn’t include those unfunded liabilities on its balance sheet,” said Bill Bergman, director of research for TIA.

TIA estimates the federal government owes about $31.4 trillion in unfunded Social Security promises and $44.7 trillion in unfunded Medicare promises. It only owes $7.2 trillion in promised pension and other retiree benefits, a common stumbling block among many state and local budgets.

For many years, thousands of those governments didn’t include unfunded pension benefits on their balance sheets, but new standards from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board requiring state and local governments to acknowledge that debt is starting to give the public a more accurate view of the national pension crisis.

The federal government doesn’t hold itself to the same standard, the argument being it has the ability to change the laws regarding Medicare and Social Security benefits at any time, Bergman said. Meanwhile, the federal government lists student loan debt as an asset on its balance sheet (as a bank would), although that debt could be forgiven at any time, which Bergman called “inconsistent.”

“We control the law and we can tell you what we owe you,” he said of the feds. “It’s a superior view and wouldn’t be tolerated in the private sector.”

President Donald Trump’s budget for 2018 proposes a $54 billion boost in defense spending and an equal number of cuts in other departments. The net effect is still a $487 billion annual deficit, although White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said in a statement attached to the spending blueprint that it was crafted “much the same way any American family creates its own budget while paying bills around their kitchen table; it makes hard choices.”

Mulvaney called the $20 trillion debt “a crisis,” noting that each American’s share is more than $60,000.

“The president’s commitment to fiscal responsibility is historic,” he said. “Not since early in President Reagan’s first term have more tax dollars been saved and more government inefficiency and waste been targeted. Every corner of the federal budget is scrutinized, every program tested, every penny of taxpayer money watched over.”

Johnny Kampis reports on national issues for Watchdog.org. Contact him at jkampis@watchdog.org and on Twitter.

Source: Will County News

Trump News April 3, 2017

The White House 

FEATURED
Watch President Donald J. Trump’s Weekly Address to the Nation.

WHITE HOUSE MEMO

President Trump’s top priorities are keeping the American people safe and our homeland secure. Today he is welcoming Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to the White House, strengthening the United States’ relationship with a key ally in the fight against ISIS and other terrorist groups.

MORNING:

  • 11:50AM: President Trump welcomes President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi of Egypt
  • 11:55AM: President Trump meets with President Al Sisi

AFTERNOON:

  • 12:10PM: President Trump leads an extended bilateral meeting with President Al Sisi
  • 1:10PM: President Trump has a working luncheon with President Al Sisi
  • 2:30PM: President Trump meets with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
GET INVOLVED
Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee votes on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination for Supreme Court Justice to advance it to the Senate floor. Stand with Judge Gorsuch and demand that the Senate confirm him.
Confirm Judge Gorsuch. Sign the Petition.
OVAL OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS
President Trump leads a listening session with the National Association of Manufacturers.
Read More
President Trump signs an Executive Order Regarding the Omnibus Report on Significant Trade Deficits.
Read More

President Trump signs an Executive Order Establishing Enhanced Collection and Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties and Violations of Trade and Customs Laws.
Read More
Read President Trump’s Remarks

WHITE HOUSE UPDATES
Photo of the Day:

The White House is lit in blue in honor of World Autism Awareness Day in Washington D.C., Sunday, April 2, 2017 (Official White House photo by D. Myles Cullen).
View PhotoThe Gorsuch Process: Unprecedented Access and Transparency.
Read More

Check out a 360-degree view of the Blue Room.

PRESS ROOM
Today’s press briefing will take place at 2:30PM ET in the White House Briefing Room with Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Watch it LIVE here.
NEWS REPORTS
  • USA Today: “Senate panel to vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch”
    Read More
  • Washington Examiner: “Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly announces support for Gorsuch”
    Read More
  • Associated Press: “Senate panel to vote on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee”
    Read More

Source: Will County News