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Clinton fends off FBI email fallout as polls narrow



Hillary Clinton battled to contain renewed FBI focus on her emails Sunday as Donald Trump blitzed western states in the tightening race for the White House.

Nine days before the vote, the 69-year-old former secretary of state hit the campaign trail hard in the battleground state of Florida.

Clinton blazed through brunch at an Irish pub, an African-American Baptist church, a soul food restaurant, an early voting site and a rally at a gay nightclub.

Much of her two-day visit to the Sunshine State focused on encouraging early voting. Clinton says a record 200 million Americans have registered to vote, 20 million of whom have already done so.

But her campaign was jolted when FBI boss James Comey announced Friday that his agents are reviewing a newly discovered trove of emails, resurrecting an issue Clinton had hoped was behind her.

The nominee’s response has been to hit out at Comey’s move as “deeply troubling” and to rally supporters to get out and vote, turning the tables on Trump by branding him as unfit to lead the nation.

“When you’re knocked down, what matters is whether you get up again,” she told a packed LGBT rally at a gay nightclub in Wilton Manors, just outside Fort Lauderdale.

“With Donald, it’s always Donald Trump first and everyone else last. He abuses his power, he games the system and doesn’t care who is left holding the bag,” she added.

Allegations Clinton put the United States at risk by using a private email server while secretary of state were thrust back into the spotlight Friday when Comey revealed a renewed FBI probe into the matter based on a previously unknown trove of emails.

Trump — himself under fire for alleged sexual impropriety and facing misconduct allegations from 12 women — has gleefully seized upon Comey’s move in an attempt to offset his own trailing in most polls.

– Law broken? –
The Republican campaigned hard Sunday, attending church in Las Vegas, before leading three rallies in Nevada, Colorado and Albuquerque, New Mexico, whipping up his support base against Clinton.

“We all know about Hillary’s mounting legal troubles, that she has brought onto herself with her serial, wilful, purposeful and deliberate criminal conduct,” he told the crowed in New Mexico.

“Hillary Clinton is not the victim, you the American people are the victims of this corrupt system in every single way and folks this is your last chance to save it,” he said to chants of “lock her up.”

The 70-year-old tycoon repeatedly has described her email issue as “the single biggest scandal since Watergate” — the wrongdoing that brought down Republican president Richard Nixon in 1974.

The Clinton campaign has reacted with fury to Comey’s move, demanding that he explain in detail why he had effectively reopened an inquiry declared complete in July.

“It was long on innuendo, short on facts,” Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta told CNN.

The US Senate’s top Democrat told the FBI chief that through “partisan actions, you may have broken the law.”

“As soon as you came into possession of the slightest innuendo related to secretary Clinton, you rushed to publicize it in the most negative light possible,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said in a statement.

While the candidate looking to make history as America’s first female president remains the overwhelming favorite, polls are narrowing.

– Reported FBI warrant –
An ABC News/Washington Post survey put the Democratic presidential candidate just one point ahead of her Republican challenger.

In Florida — a must-win state for the tycoon — Trump overcame a one-point deficit in September to enjoy a four-point lead, according to a New York Times Upshot/Siena College Research Institute poll.

According to US media, the probe was renewed after agents seized a laptop used by Clinton’s close aide, Huma Abedin, and her now estranged husband, Anthony Weiner.

The disgraced former congressman who resigned in 2011 after sending explicit online messages is under investigation over allegations he sent sexual overtures to a 15-year-old girl.

The Washington Post wrote late Sunday that it learned from one US official that the total number of emails recovered in the Weiner investigation is close to 650,000 — although not all of them are relevant to the Clinton investigation.

US networks reported Sunday that the FBI had obtained a warrant to search the emails. According to CNN, discovery of the emails occurred weeks ago although the FBI did not reveal the matter until Friday.

Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway lashed out at Clinton.

“She just has to call her friend and confidante Huma Abedin and say tell us what’s in the emails, tell us what’s on the devices that you shared with your pedophile husband,” Conway told Fox News.

Clinton’s campaign has been overshadowed from the start by the scandal, but experts believe the FBI is unlikely to make significant progress before election day and few expect her to face charges.

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  • agbobu


    Over the course of decades, Donald Trump’s companies have
    systematically destroyed or hidden thousands of emails, digital records
    and paper documents demanded in official proceedings, often in defiance
    of court orders. These tactics—exposed by a Newsweek review of thousands
    of pages of court filings, judicial orders and affidavits from an array
    of court cases—have enraged judges, prosecutors, opposing lawyers and
    the many ordinary citizens entangled in litigation with Trump. In each
    instance, Trump and entities he controlled also erected numerous hurdles
    that made lawsuits drag on for years, forcing courtroom opponents to
    spend huge sums of money in legal fees as they struggled—sometimes in
    vain—to obtain records.

    This behavior is of particular import
    given Trump’s frequent condemnations of Hillary Clinton, his Democratic
    opponent, for having deleted more than 30,000 emails from a server she
    used during her time as secretary of state. While Clinton and her
    lawyers have said all of those emails were personal, Trump has suggested
    repeatedly on the campaign trail that they were government documents
    Clinton was trying to hide and that destroying them constituted a crime.
    The allegation—which the FBI concluded was not supported by any
    evidence—is a crowd-pleaser at Trump rallies, often greeted by
    supporters chanting, “Lock her up!”

    Trump’s use of deception
    and untruthful affidavits, as well as the hiding or improper
    destruction of documents, dates back to at least 1973, when the
    Republican nominee, his father and their real estate company battled the
    federal government over civil charges that they refused to rent
    apartments to African-Americans. The Trump strategy was simple: deny,
    impede and delay, while destroying documents the court had ordered them
    to hand over.

    Shortly after the government filed its case in
    October, Trump attacked: He falsely declared to reporters that the feds
    had no evidence he and his father discriminated against minorities, but
    instead were attempting to force them to lease to welfare recipients who
    couldn’t pay their rent.

    The family’s attempts to slow down the
    federal case were at times nonsensical. Trump submitted an affidavit
    contending that the government had engaged in some unspecified
    wrongdoing by releasing statements to the press on the day it brought
    the case without first having any “formal communications” with him; he
    contended that he’d learned of the complaint only while listening to his
    car radio that morning. But Trump’s sworn statement was a lie. Court
    records show that the government had filed its complaint at 10 a.m. and
    phoned him almost immediately afterward. The government later notified
    the media with a press release.

    responded to Trump’s affidavit by showing he had fudged his claim by
    using the term “formal communication”—an acknowledgment, they said, that
    he had received what only he would characterize as an informal
    notification—which they described as an intentional effort to mislead
    the court and the public. But the allegation slowed the case; it
    required government lawyers to appear in court to shoot down Trump’s
    false charge.

    The Trumps had more delaying tactics. Trump
    announced in a press conference that his family and their company were
    bringing a $100 million countersuit against the government for libel;
    anonymous tenants and community leaders, he said, had been calling and
    writing letters expressing shock at the government’s “outrageous lies.”
    Once again, motions, replies and hearings followed. Once again, the
    court threw out the Trump allegations.

    For months, the Trumps
    ignored the government’s discovery demands, even though court procedure
    in a civil or criminal case requires each side to produce relevant
    documents in a timely manner. This allows for the plaintiffs or
    prosecutors to develop more evidence in support of their claims, as well
    as for the defense to gather proof to fight the case against them. When
    litigation is filed or even contemplated, scrupulous lawyers and
    corporations immediately impose document-retention programs or require
    that any shredding or disposing of records be halted. Courts have handed
    down severe sanctions or even criminal charges of obstruction of
    justice against executives and companies that destroyed records because
    they knew they were going to be sued.

    Yet when the government
    filed its standard discovery requests, the Trumps reacted as though
    seeking that information was outrageous. They argued in court that
    prosecutors had no case and wanted to riffle through corporate files on a
    fishing expedition. Once again, this led to more delays, more replies,
    more hearings…and another specious argument thrown out of court.

    Six months after the original filing, the case was nowhere because the
    Trumps had repeatedly ignored the deadlines to produce records and
    answers to questions, known as interrogatories. When a government
    attorney finally telephoned a Trump lawyer to find out why, he was told
    the Trumps had not even begun preparing their answers and had no plans
    to do so. The Trumps also postponed and blocked depositions, refused to
    provide a description of their records, as required, and would not turn
    over any documents.

    11_11_Trump_02 Trump has a long history of
    ignoring orders from a court, such as during his 1973 discrimination
    case when he ignored government requests for documents. Brad Trent

    Finally, under subpoena, Trump appeared for a short deposition. When
    asked about the missing documents, he made a shocking admission: The
    Trumps had been destroying their corporate records for the previous six
    months and had no document-retention program. They had conducted no
    inspections to determine which files might have been sought in the
    discovery requests or might otherwise be related to the case. Instead,
    in order to “save space,” Trump testified, officials with his company
    had been tossing documents into the shredder and garbage.

    government dashed to court, seeking sanctions against the Trumps.
    Prosecutors asked the judge to allow them to search through the
    corporate files or simply declare the Trumps in default and enter a
    judgment against them. The judge opted to allow the government access to
    the company offices so they could find the records themselves.

    In three letters and three phone calls, the government notified the
    Trumps that this inspection would take place on June 12, 1974. When they
    arrived at the Trump offices, Trump was there, but he and everyone else
    were “surprised” that prosecutors had come and refused to allow them
    access to documents without their defense lawyers present. A prosecutor
    called those lawyers, but they were not in their offices. The frustrated
    prosecutors then gave up and headed back to court.

    The Trump strategy was simple: deny, impede and delay, while destroying documents the court had ordered them to hand over.

    They were then hit with a new delaying tactic. The Trumps submitted a
    filing based on statements by Trump that radically misrepresented what
    had occurred that day. He claimed a prosecutor, Donna Goldstein, had
    arrived at the company without notifying the Trumps’ counsel, refused to
    telephone their lawyer and demanded access to Trump’s office. The
    prosecutor—accompanied, the Trumps claimed, by five “stormtroopers”—then
    banged on doors throughout the office, insisting she and her team be
    allowed to “swarm haphazardly through all the Trump files and to totally
    disrupt their daily business routine.”

    At the same time, in a
    move that caused another huge delay, the Trumps claimed that Goldstein
    had been threatening Trump employees who were potential witnesses. In
    several instances, the employees signed affidavits stating they had been
    subjected to abuse by Goldstein, then denied it when they were forced
    to testify. Even one of the government’s key witnesses, Thomas
    Miranda—who told the government the Trumps instructed managers to flag
    applications from minorities and that he was afraid the family would
    physically harm him—suddenly announced that prosecutors had threatened
    him and that he had never provided any evidence against the Trumps.

    These allegations of misconduct, which demanded sanctions against the
    government for abusing its power, required more hearings. Once again,
    the Trump claims went nowhere.

    In June 1975, more than 18 months
    after the government filed the case and with the Trumps still
    withholding potentially relevant records, the two sides struck a
    settlement. The agreement—which, like all civil settlements, did not
    contain an admission of guilt—compelled the Trumps to comply with
    federal housing regulations against discrimination, adopt specific
    policies to advance that goal, to notify the community that apartments
    would be rented to anyone, regardless of race, and meet other

    The Trumps ignored these requirements and still
    refused to rent apartments to minorities, something the government
    proved by sending African-Americans and non-Hispanic Caucasians to pose
    as applicants. The government brought another complaint against the
    Trumps in 1978, who then agreed to a new settlement.

    11_11_Trump_06 A poster depicting Clinton behind bars hangs in the yard
    of George Davey in West Des Moines, Iowa, on October 11. Davey said he
    hung the poster “because I know a lot of people would like to see
    Hillary in prison, so I gave them what they want to see.” Davey
    previously had a portrait of U.S. Republican candidate Donald Trump in
    the frame. Scott Morgan/Reuters

    In that case, the government had
    the financial wherewithal to fight back against abuses of the courts and
    the discovery process by the Trump family. But many private litigants,
    who have to spend their own money and hire their own lawyers, have been
    ground down by Trump’s litigation-as-warfare-without-rules approach.

    Courts are loath to impose sanctions when litigants fail to comply with
    discovery demands; in order to hurry cases along, judges frequently
    issue new orders setting deadlines and requirements on parties that fail
    to produce documents. But Trump and his companies did get sanctioned
    for lying about the existence of a crucial document to avoid losing a

    In 2009, a group of plaintiffs claimed Trump duped them
    into buying apartments in a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, development by
    portraying it as one of his projects. The fine print of the dense and
    legalistic purchase contracts, however, revealed that Trump had agreed
    only to license his name to the developers, and when the project hit
    financial snags, he walked away from it.

    In their initial
    disclosures in 2011, Trump and his company said they had no insurance to
    cover any of their liability in this case. That was important because
    an insurance policy lets the plaintiffs calculate how much money a
    defendant can pay in a settlement without suffering any direct financial
    consequences. In other words, that insurance lets the plaintiff know
    how aggressively to pursue a settlement, knowing the defendant will have
    some losses covered by the policy.

    At the time, a settlement in
    the then-prominent case could have been disastrous for Trump; he faced
    an array of similar lawsuits because he had licensed his name to
    developers around the world for projects that later collapsed. In each
    case, Trump had marketed the developments as his own, a claim
    contradicted by the sales contracts. A settlement in any of these cases
    might have encouraged other people who had lost deposits in a
    Trump-marketed development to file lawsuits against him.

    years after denying that Trump had insurance that could have been used
    to settle the Fort Lauderdale litigation, one of his lawyers made a
    startling admission: Trump and his company had been insured all along
    for up to $5 million. But no more—the policy had recently “dried up,”
    the lawyer said. Stunned, the apartment buyers filed a motion seeking
    sanctions against Trump and his company, arguing that the case “may very
    well have settled long ago had the plaintiffs been provided with the
    policy in a timely manner,” according to a court filing.

    Garten, General Counsel at the Trump Organization for the past decade,
    said that at the time of the original disclosure, the company’s lawyers
    did not believe that the policy covered any potential liability in the
    lawsuit, which he said was an error on his part. “This solely fell on
    me, and if anyone is to blame for that, it’s me,’’ he said. “It was
    completely an innocent oversight. And it was my innocent oversight.’’
    Garten said the other cases in this article preceded his time at the
    company and he did not know the facts surrounding them. In the Ft.
    Lauderdale case, Federal Judge Kathleen Williams ruled in favor of the
    plaintiffs and ordered Trump to pay limited legal fees for failing to
    disclose the policy, then held in reserve the possibility of imposing
    additional sanctions. The case subsequently settled.

    Perhaps the
    worst legal case involving Trump and his companies hiding and destroying
    emails and other records involved real estate developer Cordish Cos.,
    which, through an affiliate called Power Plant Entertainment LLC, built
    two American Indian casinos in Florida. In January 2005, Trump Hotels
    and Casino Resorts sued in a state court almost immediately after the
    opening of the casinos, which both operate under the Hard Rock brand. In
    his lawsuit, Trump claimed that the companies had unlawfully conspired
    with one of his former associates to cheat him out of the deal; he
    argued that the projects should be turned over to him.

    Negotiations with the tribe and construction of the casinos had taken
    many years, raising the possibility that the state’s four-year statute
    of limitations had passed before Trump finally got around to filing his
    lawsuit. If Power Plant could prove Trump knew in early 2000 that his
    former associate was working on the Hard Rock deal, the case would be
    thrown out of court. The clock here for the statute of limitations
    starts ticking down when plaintiffs learn they have been swindled.

    Trump claimed he learned about the deal in January 2001, about the time
    of the groundbreaking and more than three years before he filed suit.
    However, the defendants contended he had been informed of the projects
    in 1999. Trump offered no evidence in support of his contention except
    his word, so the opposing lawyers filed extensive discovery demands,
    seeking emails, computer files, calendars and other records that might
    prove he knew about the casino deal before 2000.

    A full year into
    the case, Trump and his company, Trump Hotels, had produced only a
    single box of documents, many of which were not relevant—and no emails,
    digital files, phone records, calendars or even documents Trump lawyers
    had promised to turn over. Interrogatories were still unanswered.
    Lawyers for Power Plant obtained a court order compelling Trump and his
    company to comply with the discovery demands and hand over the relevant
    information and documents.

    11_11_Trump_03 Trump sued the
    developers of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino at the Dania Beach
    in Hollywood, Florida, claiming they cheated him out of a casino deal
    with Indian tribes in the state. James Devaney/WireImage/Getty

    a March 2006 response, Trump’s lawyers argued that the emails and other
    electronic documents had not been produced because the company didn’t
    have them. They claimed it had no servers until 2001—the year Trump
    claimed he had learned of the Power Plant project. They also claimed
    Trump Hotels had no policy regarding retaining documents until 2003. In
    other words, they hadn’t turned over any emails because no emails had
    been saved on a Trump server.

    Judge Jeffrey Streitfeld reacted
    with near disbelief. “I don’t have the patience for this,” he said.
    “This has been going on too long to have to listen—and I don’t mean to
    be disrespectful—to this double-talk. There has to be an attitude
    adjustment from the plaintiff.”

    Streitfeld ordered Trump
    executives to file sworn statements attesting to how their email systems
    had worked from 1996 onward. In response, Trump Hotels filed an
    affidavit from one of its information technology managers stating that
    it had had no servers prior to 2001.

    That was false and by
    deposing numerous IT specialists with two Trump companies—the Trump
    Organization and Trump Hotels—lawyers for Power Plant gradually chipped
    away at it. Finally, during a deposition nine months after he had signed
    the deceptive affidavit, the same Trump executive admitted his
    assertions in it were untrue. In fact, an IBM Domino server for emails
    and other files had been installed in 1999, the same year witnesses for
    Power Plant contended that Trump had learned of the casino deal. Prior
    to that, as early as 1997, the Trump corporations used servers off-site
    operated by a company called Jersey Cape, according to sworn testimony
    by one of the Trump IT experts; the following year, the Trump
    Organization and Trump Hotels moved to another email provider,
    Technology 21.

    These startling revelations changed nothing,
    however, because there was no trove of documents. The Trump records had
    been destroyed. Despite knowing back in 2001 that Trump might want to
    file a lawsuit, his companies had deleted emails and other records
    without checking if they might be evidence in his case. Beginning around
    2003, the company wiped clear the data from everyone’s computers every
    year. Lawyers for Trump Hotels had never sent out the usual
    communication issued during litigation instructing employees to stop
    destroying records that might be related to this case. The deletions
    continued, and backup tapes were reused—thus erasing the data they held.
    Power Plant lawyers also discovered that after the lawsuit was filed,
    Trump Hotels disposed of a key witness’s computer without preserving the
    data on it.

    Data from everyone’s computers at Trump’s company was wiped clear every year.

    In subsequent filings, Power Plant maintained that Trump Hotels had
    intentionally deceived the court in its March 2006 filing when it
    claimed it had located no emails relevant to the case because, at that
    point, it had not yet conducted any searches of its computer system.
    Trump Hotels executives did not instruct their IT department to examine
    backup computer tapes until 2007, and even then the job wasn’t done,
    depositions show. And when computer specialists finally attempted to
    electronically locate any relevant documents that had survived the
    flurry of deletions, the procedures were absurdly inadequate. While
    looking for relevant documents, the technology team was told to use only
    two search terms—the name of the tribe and the last name of the former
    Trump associate. So even if there was an email that stated, “Donald
    Trump learned the full details of the Hard Rock casino deal in Florida
    in 1999,” it would not have been found by this search.

    With all
    this proof that Trump Hotels had ignored every court order and filed
    false documents, Power Plant asked the judge either to impose sanctions
    or allow its own expert to search for relevant digital records. Trump
    Hotels argued it had done nothing improper, although its lawyers
    acknowledged having made some mistakes. Still, Streitfeld ordered Trump
    Hotels to make its servers and computer systems available for
    inspection by a computer forensics consulting firm. That review showed
    there was no digital data in the computers, servers or backup tapes
    prior to January 2001—the very month Trump claimed to have learned of
    the Florida casino deal.

    11_11_Trump_04 A large crowd of poker
    players turned out to play in the Inaugural Michael “The Grinder”
    Charity Poker Tournament at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in
    Hollywood, Florida, January 19. Arkasha Stevenson/Miami Herald/MCT/Getty

    With the likelihood of sanctions growing, Trump Hotels dropped the suit
    a few months later, in part because of the company’s financial
    troubles. A company involved in the Power Plant case agreed to purchase
    one of Trump’s struggling casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and
    included as part of the deal a requirement that the litigation be ended.

    This review of Trump’s many decades of abusing the judicial system,
    ignoring judges, disregarding rules, destroying documents and lying
    about it is not simply a sordid history lesson. Rather, it helps explain
    his behavior since he declared his candidacy. He promised to turn over
    his tax returns and his health records—just as he promised to comply
    with document discovery requirements in so many lawsuits—then reneged.
    As a result, he has left a sparse evidentiary trail that can be used to
    assess his wealth, his qualifications for the presidency or even his
    fitness. Should voters choose him to be the next U.S. president, he will
    enter the Oval Office as a mystery, a man who has repeatedly flouted
    the rules. He has solemnly told the country to trust him while refusing
    to produce any records to prove whether he speaks the truth or has utter
    contempt for it.

    • bethl

      I agree with every word – but you should have edited. It is a tl:dr for many. Maybe summarise?

      • agbobu


  • bethl

    a) Comey’s statement says he did not know if any of the emails were’significant’ or ‘pertinent’ – at that time he had not seen the emails in question, and neither should any other FBI agent – they were not included in the subpoena for Weiner’s emails.So why did he announce it?
    b) The FBI traditionally does not comment on ongoing investigations – an announcement is made when they are ready for indictment.
    c)All Government bureaux are warned not to release politically weighted information in the 60 days before the el
    ection – viz – the court hearing Trump’s case re Trump university delayed hearings until after the election;the court hearing the civil case of rape brought by a woman who was 13 at the time has also been delayed until after the election.
    d)Comey went against advice both from within his own bureau and the DOJ when he made this nebulous statement.
    e)Harry Reid’s letter brings up some serious questions re investigations into Trump’s Russian connections.(Sen. Reid says he raised these concerns several months ago – I presume he has proof, or he would not make such a libellous statement). Comey has not responded to this.
    What is more dangerous – a man very much in debt to Russian nationals, who changed party policy on the hoof at the RNC, to backtrack on opposition to Russia’s takeover of the Ukraine, who has invited Russian hackers to attack US email servers – today Hillary, maybe tomorrow the DOD – and who claims Putin as a ‘friend’?
    But Comey will not release ANY part of the ingoing investigation into this.

    If you believe this man is a public servant moved by his conscience, I have several bridges to sell you.

  • bethl

    Does anyone else feel that this election is being run for ratings, and not the good of the country? $2billion in free coverage of Trump, when he was a bit of a joke in the primaries – made him the candidate. Now some of the media seem to be waking up to what they have done…….

  • Omo Akin

    By what I can deduce from a number of people contributing here is that Hillary Clinton will be a perfect President for Nigeria, is that right? Hillary Clinton is the saint and Donaldson Trump the devil, is that not it? By the way who will not prefer Hillary Clinton to Trump, most especially as her “reign” would be an extension of Obama’s with the following elements:

    – Fake agenda and playing to the gallery
    – Despising men in the name of feminism: Of course, when a wife is pregnant, the woman can unilaterally decide to terminate the pregnancy without the husband’s consent, because the woman is the owner of her body, so they say.
    – Homosexuality- woman to woman, man to man
    – Open border which corresponds to free drug pusher and terrorists. It is like giving free rein to Nigerian Boko Haram.
    – Collecting money from terror-sponsoring nations, that have no respect for women or life of other people.
    – Double standard – one law for the poor another law for the elite like Hillary and her husband Bill. They can lie under the oath and think they can escape with it. The list can go on and on.

    The fact is that the establishment is against Donald Trump because he is not one of them. He is not in the same secret society that they all belong; for instance, to be president of America (Republican or Democrat) you must be member of Skull and Bone, one of the negative parts of the Illuminati. Obama, a Black-American is 44th president of America. Barack Hussein Obama was a perfect fit for them. That is no accident. It has been predetermined long ago to achieve an agenda which is Satanic. The truth is that God the Almighty has also determined it long ago to make Donald Trump American president to save America and right some wrongs. Let’s wait and see who wins. Some genuine prophets called by God had also prophesied about that.