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US State Department Cannot Seem To Locate Parts Of Hillary Clinton’s Email .pst Files (Video)

The US State Department has lost archived copies of emails sent to and from the man believed to have maintained Hillary Clinton’s private email server during her four years as Secretary of State.

Alex Christoforou



The Hill adds context to the utterly embarrassing circumstances regarding the US State Department’s inability to locate the elusive .pst email file for former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

Between winning six coin tosses in Iowa to best Bernie Sanders, to having her email communication go missing, one could say that Mrs. Clinton is an extremely charmed Presidential candidate.

“The department has searched for Mr. Pagliano’s email pst file and has not located one that covers the time period of Secretary Clinton’s tenure,” (US State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth) Trudeau said in a statement early on Monday evening. A pst file is a format for preserving email messages.

“The absence of this email file, however, does not indicate that the department has no emails sent or received by him,” she added. “In fact, we have previously produced through [the Freedom of Information Act] and to Congress emails sent and received by Mr. Pagliano during Secretary Clinton’s tenure.”

The State Department had previously told Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that it could not find any backups of Pagliano’s email as part of a congressional probe in December, but its acknowledgment of the missing files on Monday nonetheless inflamed criticism of the agency’s recordkeeping practices.

Trudeau declined to comment on how or whether Pagliano stored his emails, or whether he might have decided to delete them after a certain period of time.

“It is not required for employees to save every email they sent and received, however they must preserve federal records,” she told reporters during the daily State Department briefing.

The RNC demanded the IT aide’s records as part of a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act filed earlier this year. The RNC went to court to obtain emails to and from Pagliano, among other records connected to Clinton’s time in office, as part of what is likely to be a protracted attack on the likely Democratic presidential nominee.

The State Department’s claim that it has found at least some messages to and from Pagliano, presumably through the accounts of other people that he communicated with, is at odds with a RNC filing earlier in the day, which made a more sweeping assertion.

“[T]he State Department has represented that no responsive records exist … [of] [a]ny and all emails sent to, or sent by, Bryan Pagliano for the time period May 1, 2009 through February 1, 2013,” the RNC said in a filing as part of the court case.

The State Department’s Monday evening statement, which came hours after the department first addressed the missing emails, seemed to take issue with the RNC’s description of its position.

“At no point did the State Department convey to the RNC that we did not intend to produce responsive emails within our possession, consistent with our obligations under the law,” Trudeau said in her statement. “As this matter is in ongoing litigation, as is standard, the department cannot comment further on this matter.”

In addition to the emails, the State Department also does not have any text messages or BlackBerry Messenger messages sent to or from Clinton during her time in office, the RNC claimed. The State Department declined to discuss that declaration.

On Monday, federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson gave the State Department until May 23 to declare when it would hand documents over to the RNC or to file another motion.

Pagliano has emerged as a key figure in the growing saga surrounding Clinton’s controversial email setup.

After working on her 2008 campaign, Pagliano is reported to have set up the server in her Chappaqua, N.Y., home the following year and maintained it throughout her tenure as the nation’s top diplomat.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department granted Pagliano immunity in exchange for his cooperation with the FBI investigation connected to Clinton’s server, and the possibility that classified information may have been mishandled.


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Can Zelensky bring peace to a Ukraine torn apart by Obama’s Maidan coup? (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 150.

Alex Christoforou



The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at Vladimir Zelensky’s landslide victory against incumbent Petro Poroshenko in Sunday’s historic Ukraine, second round, Presidential election.

Not much is known about Zelensky’s political acumen, but the job of uniting a country torn apart by an Obama funded Maidan coup in 2014, will prove to be a daunting task for the comedy TV star.

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Via TASS News…

Ukraine’s ‘Opposition Platform – For Life’ party will support Ukrainian president-elect Vladimir Zelensky only if he takes practical steps to bring peace to Donbass, Chairman of the party’s Political Council Viktor Medvedchuk said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel on Monday.

“Today, we can’t say that we support him because support is only possible if he truly wants peace in Donbass, if we see that he is taking actual steps to achieve this goal,” he said.

According to Medvedchuk, this is the only condition on which the ‘Opposition Platform – For Life’ party is ready to provide assistance to Zelensky if the need arises.

Ukraine’s presidential runoff took place on April 21. With 99.53% of the vote counted, leader of the Servant of the People political party Vladimir Zelensky has received 73.23% in Ukraine’s presidential runoff, while incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko gained 24.45%.



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Obama & Hillary Easter tweets cause outrage, as media supports genocide of Christians in Syria (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 149.

Alex Christoforou



The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss tweets made by former US President Barack Obama and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton following the Easter terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, which left 290 dead and more than 500 injured on the South Asian island, targeted Christian churches and functions in the country’s capital.

Conservative media slammed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the wake of the Sri Lankan terror attacks, but that very same media has pushed for regime change in Syria and the overthrow of Assad, whose secular government has protected Christians in the region.

Only Fox News’ Tucker Carlson was brave enough to call out the media hypocrisy, in what has become a war against Christianity from both the establishment, neocon right and neoliberal left.

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Via Haaretz…

Former President Barack Obama and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton are under fire from conservative commentators for calling the victims of Sunday’s Sri Lanka bombings “Easter worshippers” in offering their condolences.

Obama tweeted on Sunday, “The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity. On a day devoted to love, redemption, and renewal, we pray for the victims and stand with the people of Sri Lanka.” Laura Ingraham responded by writing, “Christians. We don’t worship Easter. We worship Jesus Christ.”

Fox News host Jesse Watters tweeted a short segment on “The Five” on the topic, captioning it, “Easter Worshippers? This is a made up phrase. Why do liberals make up phrases like this?”

“Fox and Friends” discussed Sunday’s horrific terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka on Monday morning, framing the attacks, three of which hit churches on Easter Sunday, in the terms of a “holy war.”

Co-host Pete Hegseth said, “This hasn’t stopped, isn’t stopping, you’re seeing desecration of religious sites and attacks in Europe. You’ve seen it in the Middle East, Christian churches, Christians, Jews targeted directly, and it’s radical islamists. You got to get at the ideology and then you got to find them and get rid of them too.

“In a world of the internet, with the global Islamist movement, any church could be a target. Any minority group could be a target,” Hegseth added. Co-host Steve Doocy concluded saying, “It is literally a holy war.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday blamed “a horrific wave of Islamic radical terror” for the deadly bombings and added the U.S. will have to remain “vigilant” in fighting this “evil.”

“What was supposed to be a joyful Easter Sunday was marred by a horrific wave of Islamic radical terror and bloodshed,” Pompeo said at a news conference at the State Department.

“But sadly, this evil exists in the world and the United States and all of its partners that are cooperating in the de-ISIS campaign, some 80 countries, and other nations too that are assisting us in defeating this terrorism around the world, we have to remain active and vigilant and it’s going to require attention. There is no doubt about that,” Pompeo added.

Trump tweeted sympathies for Sri Lanka early Sunday morning, but with one major mistake. “Heartfelt condolences from the people of the United States to the people of Sri Lanka on the horrible terrorist attacks on churches and hotels that have killed at least 138 million people and badly injured 600 more. We stand ready to help,” the president said.

Trump later deleted the tweet and posted a corrected version with the 138 figure, which is now close to 300, corrected.

Trump pledged American support to Sri Lanka in bringing the perpetrators of the coordinated bombing attack “to justice” during a call with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, a White House spokesman said on Monday.

Sri Lanka’s president has given the military sweeping war-time powers to arrest and detain suspects following a series of Easter Sunday bombings that killed at least 290 people.

President Maithripala Sirisena’s office announced late Monday that the measure would take effect at midnight. In addition, a government curfew was to begin at 8 p.m.

On Monday, armed security personnel stood guard on street corners in central Colombo that were largely deserted, with most shops closed.

Provisions that granted police powers to the military had been withdrawn at the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, which ended in 2009.

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks on churches and hotels, while another 28 were wounded.

John Amaratunga says his ministry is working closely with the ministry of foreign affairs and local diplomatic missions to “ensure formalities with regard to the victims are sorted out as quickly as possible.”

In Monday’s statement he added, “The government has already offered assistance to all victims, the damaged places of worship as well as the hotels affected by Sunday’s attacks.”

He said Sri Lanka’s tourism industry and the government was doing everything possible to ensure the safety of those in the country.

A total of nine bombings Sunday killed at least 290 people and wounded about 500 more.

Pope Francis is asking everyone to join him in condemning the “inhuman” Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka.

Greeting faithful in St. Peter’s Square on Monday, Francis also invited prayers for the victims of the attacks, including at least 290 dead and some 500 wounded.

The pope said, “I hope everyone condemns these inhuman and never justified terrorist acts.”

Expressing his fraternal closeness to the people of Sri Lanka, Francis encouraged people not to hesitate to offer all necessary assistance in the wake of the nine bombings, which devastated three churches during Easter services and three hotels filled with tourists.

A day earlier, after celebrating Easter Mass in the square, Francis had expressed his sorrow and dismay over the attacks.

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Trump bets on Haftar, as the battle to control Libya rages on (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 190.

Alex Christoforou



The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at a US President Trump’s apparent support for Khalifa Haftar, the leader of the Libyan National Army trying to capture Tripoli from the UN backed government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj.

Field Marshall Haftar’s forces control much of the eastern and southern parts of Libya. The LNA has steadily gained more territory as they march toward Tripoli. At the moment Haftar’s advance on the Libyan capital has been stalled by militias from Tripoli, Misrata, and Zintan.

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Via The Washington Monthly

During Barack Obama’s presidency I probably wrote more than a dozen pieces begging him not to intervene in Libya, and I watched bitterly when he later said that his biggest mistake in office was “probably failing to plan for the day after” Moammar Qaddafi was killed. This was precisely why I had been so vehemently opposed to committing America to the future of Libya. Here’s a sample of what I argued at the time:

Getting Gaddafi to resign does nothing to assure stability. Who says that his opponents are unified? Who says they will agree to split the spoils equitably? Saddam ruled his country the way he did not only because he was a sadist but because the country would tear apart at the seams without some heavy hand to keep things in order. The same may well be true about Gaddafi. I’m not opposed to the idea of democracy for Libyans, but we shouldn’t get too invested in the idea. There’s no evidence that Libya is ripe for parliamentary democracy. If it happens, great. If it doesn’t, let’s make sure we’re not to blame…

…Let me say this again. We don’t know what kind of leadership would emerge from this opposition if they were to prevail, but they don’t even appear to have operational leadership in the field. We have no compelling reason to commit ourselves to this fight. It’s a mistake. And the president has been pushed very far out on a limb here, probably through a false sense of momentum arising from the successful revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. It will be painful to walk this back, but unless Hillary Clinton discovers a compelling, organized opposition in Benghazi when she arrives there this week, our commitment to regime change in Libya should be scaled back. It’s not our problem. Obama is in the process of making it our problem. We should stand ready to prevent massacres and offer asylum, but should not commit our military to do what the rebels cannot do themselves.

Over and over again, I said that we were racing into a quagmire without doing our research.

What disturbs me is the absolutely thoughtless way that so many Americans and American leaders are willing to commit our country to the use of violence and meddling in other countries. In some cases it is justifiable, but can someone do a week of research before they start sending in the 82nd Airborne? I mean, Jesus, seriously…

Eight years later, Libya is still embroiled in civil war and violent factionalism. My purpose here is not to explain or discuss that history or those factions. I want to discuss something that Donald Trump did on Friday.

President Trump on Friday abruptly reversed American policy toward Libya, issuing a statement publicly endorsing an aspiring strongman in his battle to depose the United Nations-backed government.

The would-be strongman, Khalifa Hifter, launched a surprise attack on the Libyan capital, Tripoli, more than two weeks ago. Relief agencies said Thursday that more than 200 people had been killed in the battle, and in recent days Mr. Hifter’s forces have started shelling civilian neighborhoods.

Trump decided to back a military commander who is fighting against the U.N.-supported government. Mr. Hifter (or Haftar) is a U.S. citizen. He has backing from the governments in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. You may also find this of interest:

On November 2016, Haftar made a second trip to Russia to meet with the Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu. It was reported that while he was seeking weapons and Russia’s backing, Russia was holding off pending the new Trump Administration. On 26 December, it was reported that Russia had thrown its weight behind Haftar, saying he must have a role in the leadership of Libya.

Russia has since then treated wounded LNA soldiers, printed Libyan dinars for the Tobruk-based government, and signed exclusive agreements that will allow the Russian government to establish two additional military bases in eastern Libya. Global risk experts Giorgio Cafiero and Daniel Wagner recently observed that “Moscow appears to view Haftar – not the weak UN/Western-backed government – as the only realistic bulwark against extremism in post-Gaddafi Libya.”

When Hifter launched his latest offensive, the U.S. State Department condemned him. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued the following statement on April 7, 2019.

The United States is deeply concerned about fighting near Tripoli. We have made clear that we oppose the military offensive by Khalifa Haftar’s forces and urge the immediate halt to these military operations against the Libyan capital. Forces should return to status quo ante positions. All involved parties have a responsibility to urgently de-escalate the situation, as the UN Security Council and G7 ministers emphasized on April 5. This unilateral military campaign against Tripoli is endangering civilians and undermining prospects for a better future for all Libyans.

There is no military solution to the Libya conflict. This is why the United States continues to press Libyan leaders, together with our international partners, to return to political negotiations mediated by UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ghassan Salame. A political solution is the only way to unify the country and provide a plan for security, stability, and prosperity for all Libyans.

The civil war in Libya has been brutal on all sides, but as Ryan Goodman of Just Security points out, Mr. Hifter’s troops have been implicated in war crimes, including the summary execution of prisoners.

Due to a U.N. Security Council resolution that vests the International Criminal Court with jurisdiction over the situation in Libya, the prosecutor in The Hague is also a looming factor in Haftar’s future. With the backing of that resolution, adopted by the United States and other states unanimously in 2011, the prosecutor has already issued an arrest warrant for one of Haftar’s top military commanders, Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf Al-Werfalli. The allegations against Al-Werfalli include his directing or participating in a series of seven executions of 33 prisoners — that’s the war crime of murder.

Mr. Hifter is captured on video ordering his troops not to take prisoners, which is also a war crime. Because Hifter is a U.S. citizen, supporting him comes with a little extra legal liability.

What also separates Haftar from the rest of the pack is that, as a U.S. citizen, he is subject to parts of the US federal code that make it a crime to violate the laws of war. As Alex Whiting and I wrote in an article for Just Security in late 2017, “By extension, US officials who provide support to Haftar in the future may also risk criminal liability as aiders and abettors under US domestic law if it can be shown that they intentionally facilitated his crimes or, arguably, if the crimes are particularly grave, if they provided support with knowledge of those crimes.”

President Trump’s decision to back Mr. Hifter is stunning on many levels, including that Hifter isn’t exactly dominating the battlefield.

The policy reversal came as a surprise in part because Mr. Hifter’s forces also appear to be losing ground. His promises of a quick victory have proved false, and his forces appear outmaneuvered by those aligned against them. Most analysts say that he has little hope of exerting his authority over all of Libya any time soon, so his continued campaign may only prolong the country’s instability…

“It is nuts,” Mr. [Frederic[ Wehrey, [an expert on Libya at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace] said of Mr. Trump’s statement. “Even judging by the hard-nosed American goals of stabilizing the flow of oil and combating terrorism, this is completely shocking.” …

“I don’t think Hifter can do it,” said Lisa Anderson, a political scientist who has studied Libya and who was the president of the American University in Cairo during the uprisings of 2011. Although he may present himself as a strongman, she said, “he can’t actually control that part of the country and he will continue to face existential challenges there for the foreseeable future.”

What spurred the president to make this abrupt change in foreign policy on Friday? There are many theories already circulating. Here’s one:

US President Donald Trump’s apparent signal of support for the Libyan National Army over the UN-backed Government of National Accord was motivated by the president’s concerns over the impact another supply outage would have on oil and domestic gasoline prices, analysts said Friday.

After imposing sanctions on PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, in January, and reimposing sanctions on Iranian crude exports in November, Trump likely fears that the loss of Libyan crude hike crude prices to politically unsustainable levels, these analysts said.

On the other hand, Trump seems to be aligning himself with Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy for Libya.

Days before Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive to seize the capital and attempt to unite the divided country under his rule, Saudi Arabia promised tens of millions of dollars to help pay for the operation, according to senior advisers to the Saudi government.

The offer came during a visit to Saudi Arabia that was just one of several meetings Mr. Haftar had with foreign dignitaries in the weeks and days before he began the military campaign on April 4.

The announcement also came a day after the U.A.E’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, met with Secretary Pompeo and National Security advisor John Bolton in Washington DC.

My suspicion is that Trump called Mr. Hifter on Friday at the behest of John Bolton. This wouldn’t surprise me in part because Bolton is famously contemptuous of the United Nations. I don’t think Trump came up with this plan on his own or as a result of any thorough interagency policy discussion. Bolton probably told them Hifter is fighting jihadists and that was enough to convince the president to make a hugely consequential move that will alarm and alienate our European partners and the leadership at the United Nations, as well as put American policymakers at risk of abetting war crimes.

Even someone as thoughtful and careful as Barack Obama managed to be bullied into overruling his own good instincts and committing the biggest blunder of his presidency in Libya. I don’t think Trump has the first clue what he is doing with this decision, and that makes it all the more likely that it will not end well.

Martin Longman
Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.

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