Clinton’s ideas on race draw applause, protest on same day

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

As Benghazi inquiry fades, Clinton still faces legal questions about emails.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is drawing ovations and protesters while highlighting criminal justice and economic policies that the Democratic presidential candidate says are intended to treat blacks more fairly. Atlanta — Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton on Friday began in earnest what will likely become the toughest slog of her campaign to win the White House: Convince black voters that she deserves President Barack Obama’s mantle.As former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continued to blame the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi on a controversial YouTube video, a State Department official at Embassy Tripoli in Libya wrote an email to D.C. colleges that urged them to be “cautious” in their messaging just a few days after the attack.

WASHINGTON — A new batch of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails released Friday presented a glimpse into the breadth of her personal network — a Rolodex of powerful celebrities, CEOs, political advisers and politicians that she’s now tapping for her presidential campaign.By contrast, the late U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, never had Clinton’s personal email address to ask for added security help before he died in a terror attack Officials said on Friday that they planned to invoke longstanding precedent invoked by presidents of both parties to keep presidential communications confidential. ‘It is a principle that previous White Houses have vigorously defended as it goes to the core of the president’s ability to receive unvarnished advice and counsel,’ a White House official told The New York Times.

At an NAACP dinner Friday, she watched silently as relatives of the nine people killed in June by a white gunman during a Bible study a historic black church in Charleston took part in a memorial. According to the email from the official in Libya on Sept. 14, 2012, “it is becoming increasingly clear that the series of events in Benghazi was much more terrorist attack than a protest which escalated into violence.” The email was released Friday in the first dump since Clinton testified in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi committee last week. “It is our opinion that in our messaging, we want to distinguish, not conflate, the events in other countries with this well-planned attack by militant extremists,” the official, whose name has been redacted, wrote in the email. The FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, which opened its review this summer after classified information was found in emails transmitted over Clinton’s private email server, is under pressure to act quickly, as Clinton is in the midst of running for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. Those emails contained communications ranging from discussions over security in Libya to light-hearted exchanges about the lack of emoticons on Clinton’s phone. Afterward, to rounds of applause, Clinton said, “People in this room … have shown grace and resilience.” Charleston, she said, has inspired Americans who often “don’t know what to do about that kind of hate and violence stalking our land.” Clinton said the church slayings and the April killing of Walter Scott, a black man shot by a North Charleston police officer who has since been fired and charged with murder, were part of a trend. “The last few years have shone a bright light on the systemic effects of racism and injustice,” she said.

Lady Gaga complimented her, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair praised her for doing the “Lord’s Work,” Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi asked for technology help and former President Jimmy Carter pitched in on negotiations with North Korea. Attorneys who have handled classified information cases say the bureau, initially asked to examine whether Clinton’s arrangement compromised national security secrets, ultimately will have to consider whether she and her aides failed to sufficiently safeguard sensitive information. Congressional Republicans are fighting to have all of the presidential hopeful’s emails released as part of its extensive investigation into the Benghazi attack. The answers, she said, include overhauling the criminal justice system, tightening gun regulations and expanding economic and educational opportunities in communities held back by generations of institutionalized racism.

But a small group of Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters – who upstaged Clinton for nearly 12 minutes during an event at Clark Atlanta University – symbolize Clinton’s challenge in the general election as well as a primary contest that will feature Southern voters early and often starting this winter. They disagree about whether there’s enough evidence to prosecute her or her aides for sending and receiving government messages over the personal email system. routed through a private computer server in the basement of her New York home. The White House said its refusal to release the emails is one that has precedent, and that a president should be free to receive advice from his top aides without fear that the correspondance will be released during a president’s tenure. ‘Direct communications by the president and his senior advisers are really at the very center of what is trying to be protected by executive privilege and the separation of powers,’ said William Burck, a deputy counsel for President George W.

It was the first time BLM protesters had interrupted a Clinton event – as they have interrupted other candidates – and it came at a gala designed to showcase Clinton’s solid support in the black community. Actor Ben Affleck, a longtime Clinton supporter, urged her in April 2012 to review a draft of a report about security problems in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

But most who spoke to McClatchy say it’s unlikely the former first lady, senator and Cabinet secretary will face charges because of her high profile and the hurdle to prove she knew the emails contained classified information when she sent them to others. “She’s too big to jail,” said national security attorney Edward MacMahon Jr., who represented former CIA employee Jeffrey Sterling in 2011 in a leak case that led to an espionage prosecution and 3½-year prison term. He cited a pattern of light punishments for top government officials who have mishandled classified information while lower level whistleblowers such as Sterling have faced harsh prosecutions for revealing sensitive information to expose waste, fraud or abuse in government. On Friday, hours before the email release, Jackson touted Clinton’s candidacy before a meeting of black pastors in Atlanta, saying: “It’s healing time. In response to a public records lawsuit, the department released another 7,200 pages of Clinton’s emails after partially or entirely redacting any containing sensitive U.S. or foreign government information on a range of issues.

Most of the classified emails are at the “confidential” level – the lowest level of classification – but if additional emails are determined to be the more sensitive “secret” or highly sensitive “top secret” levels, it would raise the gravity of a potential security breach. Yet Clinton’s place in preference polls has improved since the first Democratic primary debate, in which her chief primary rival, Vermont independent Sen. Peter Zeidenberg, a former federal prosecutor who handles cases against local, state and federal officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, for leaking the covert identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame, said Clinton’s actions may have been foolish but not necessarily illegal. “If the emails were not marked, it would not be possible – at least not in my view – to establish that Ms.

African-Americans could make up a majority of the Democratic electorate, or close to it, in several of those states, a potential boon for Clinton, given that her closest rival, Vermont Sen. Clinton knowingly mishandled classified information,” he said. “How was she to know that this was classified if it was not marked?” Still, experts say that if Clinton aides pasted classified information into emails to her without including markings signaling the material was classified they could face felony charges. Republicans in the hearing underscored security lapses at Clinton’s diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, through 2012, and castigated her for allowing nearly 600 pleas for upgraded protection to go unheeded.

Stevens and three other Americans died in the Benghazi attacks, which remain the most vexing stain on Clinton’s record as she runs for the American presidency. A few of the emails hint at the ways Clinton maintained her network of campaign donors, even while serving in a position at a distance from electoral politics.

Clinton initially said she did not send or receive any classified information – a denial she later adjusted, saying that none was marked as classified at the time. In a June 2011 message, an aide informs Clinton that longtime donor Susie Buell contributed $200,000 toward a summit at which Clinton was scheduled to speak.

The changes would build on a 2010 act of Congress that narrowed the disparity between crack crimes – concentrated among minorities – and powder crimes, which are more likely to involve whites. In April 2011, Clinton’s aides received a request from Jose Villarreal, a former Clinton campaign adviser from Texas, to speak at the launch of a project she asked him to start involving U.S. engagement with Mexico. Still, a federal investigation can’t be good for a presidential campaign, particularly if it stretches into a general election when Clinton would be trying to woo more skeptical Republicans and independents. “As long as you have an FBI investigation, it’s a question mark,” said Ann Selzer, the leading pollster in the crucial early nominating state of Iowa. Although the message was likely a mass-communication to dozens if not hundreds of foreign-policy influencers – it made no reference to Clinton or the Obama administration’s Africa policy – Clinton treated it like a personal plea for assistance. ‘I’d like to respond to Ben Affleck. Clinton hasn’t detailed how her idea would go beyond existing law, but her campaign cited previous congressional proposals that would make it easier for alleged profiling victims to recover damages from government agencies in civil court.

After the letter reached Clinton, she emailed one of her aides, noting it was “from one of the Generals who supported me.” She later advised, “Pls regret but w special attention!” Other emails highlight the struggles of her daily life at the State Department — from technological issues to sleepless nights. In recent congressional testimony, FBI Director James Comey confirmed his agency is looking into the issue but declined to discuss details of the investigation besides saying he has the “resources and personnel” he needs for the inquiry.

This draft has only been cleared thru AF [African Affairs], but I am confident about the judgments and statements in the proposed email.’ Two months later, Clinton and Affleck shared the stage at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. during a ‘USAID Child Survival’ event, and were pictured warmly embracing after Hillary’s speech. Indeed, a Suffolk University/USA Today poll in early October showed Clinton’s support plummeting by 31 percent among black voters. (The poll had an unusually large 10 percent margin of error.) Last week, Mr. Sanders, in an interview with Ebony, acknowledged that he struggles to appeal to black voters. “Yes, it’s true — I’m from a state that is overwhelmingly white,” he said. “I am also aware that I am running against someone whose husband is very popular in the African American community,” Sanders added, referring to former President Bill Clinton. Philippe Reines responded, “For email, no, I don’t think so – you need to type them out manually like :) for happy, or :-ll if you want to express anger at my tardiness.” Associated Press writers David Scott, Catherine Lucey, Jack Gillum, Ted Bridis, Ken Thomas, Matthew Lee, Stephen Braun, Wendy Benjaminson, Tami Abdollah, Michael Biesecker, Eileen Sullivan, Jeff Horwitz, Matthew Daly and Alicia Caldwell contributed to this report. I’m confident we have the people and resources to do it in the way I believe we do all our work, which is promptly, professionally and independently.

But “the proposals that I talk about are actually more relevant to the black community,” he said, citing his calls for criminal justice reform and better youth education. Comey, a Republican, would approve any initial recommendation for a prosecution, but it would be left to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, a Democrat, to decide whether to proceed.

Legal experts say investigators could be looking into potential violations of Section 1924 of Title 18, which deals with the unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material, or even the Espionage Act, which makes it a crime for anyone “through gross negligence,” to allow the loss, theft or removal of classified information or fails to promptly report such mishandling to his superior. State Department Spokesman John Kirby said Friday’s installment contains between 200 to 300 messages that were deemed ‘classified’ by intelligence analysts. Even then, Clinton’s lawyers might be able to ward off a prosecution by demonstrating “that she was so stupid and so busy that she didn’t have any idea what was going on” with regard to her emails, said Joseph DiGenova, an outspoken former Republican U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. Those policies have been credited at least in part for putting millions of nonviolent drug offenders in prison, and nearly tripling the US prison population in the span of two decades.

MacMahon said that if a lower-level government employee “cooked up their own home server” and received emails containing classified information, “they would have already been arrested.” But Leslie McAdoo Gordon, a Washington lawyer who has represented people charged with mishandling classified information over the last decade, said it’s very difficult to prove Clinton knew certain emails were classified and intentionally sent them. Clinton acknowledged in March that she had ordered staff to delete about 32,000 of the 62,230 messages housed on the server she operated outside official State Department systems, after lawyers determined that they were ‘personal’ in nature. The Justice Department is reportedly looking into whether Clinton violated the federal Espionage Act by recklessly failing to keep classified information on secure computer systems.

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