The lawyer for Hillary Clinton responsible for deleting the former secretary of state’s infamous 33,000 missing emails admitted under oath that she was granted immunity by the Obama Justice Department.
Heather Samuelson, who served as White House liaison at the State Department during Clinton’s tenure, also testified to Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that, contrary to what she told the FBI, she knew that Clinton was using a private, unauthorized email account that jeopardized national security.
The testimony came in court-ordered discovery granted to Judicial Watch by Judge Royce Lamberth.
Lamberth once called Clinton’s use of a private server to transmit classified information, avoiding official accountability, “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”
“The news that the Obama DOJ gave immunity to Heather Samuelson, Hillary Clinton’s lawyer responsible for the infamous deletion of 33,000 emails, further confirms the sham FBI/DOJ investigation of the Clinton email scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
“And it is curious that Ms. Samuelson changed her story about what she knew and when about the Clinton email system. Attorney General Barr can’t reopen the Clinton email investigation fast enough.”
Judicial Watch provided an excerpt of the exchange between its lawyers and Samuelson:
Judicial Watch: Ms. Samuelson, when did you first become aware that Secretary Clinton used the e-mail address [email protected] while she was at the State Department?
Samuelson: I believe I first became aware when either she e-mailed me on personal matters, such as wishing me happy birthday, or when I infrequently would receive e-mails forwarded to me from others at the department that had that e-mail address listed elsewhere in the document.
Judicial Watch: OK. And who were the State Department officials?
Samuelson: I recall Cheryl Mills, but it could have been others.
Judicial Watch said Samuelson’s admission that she became aware of Clinton’s unauthorized emails during her service in the State Department contradicts the notation in the FBI’s May 24, 2016, 302 report on Samuelson’s interview with FBI agents.
In that interview, Samuelson said she did not become aware of Clinton’s use of the private server until she was serving as Clinton’s personal attorney.
In 2014, as Clinton’s attorney, Samuelson was primarily responsible for conducting the review of Clinton emails and sorting out “personal” emails from government emails.
The emails designated as government business were returned to the State Department under the direction of Cheryl Mills and Clinton lawyer David Kendall.
The “personal” emails then were deleted from the server with a software program that ensured they could not be retrieved.
Judicial Watch noted Samuelson conducted the review of emails on her laptop, using Clinton server files downloaded from Platte River Networks, which housed the Clinton email server.
Judicial Watch asked her about her discovery of a “gap” in the emails:
Judicial Watch: I believe you, during your interview with the FBI, you were asked about a gap in e-mails that you noticed in Secretary Clinton’s e-mails from January 2009 to March of 2009. Do you recall that?
Samuelson: I do.
Judicial Watch: Okay. Can you explain to me what that gap was?
Samuelson: My understanding is — well, I’m sorry. I should say my recollection is when we received the documents — the file from Platte River Networks, there was a period of time that was missing in her e-mails. And that period of time was January 2009 to March 2009.
Judicial Watch: And what did you do as the result of discovering this gap in the e-mails from January 2009 to March 2009?
Samuelson: I asked Platte River why we did not have — why they did not provide those.
Judicial Watch: And what did they tell you?
Samuelson: They said they did not have that information.
Judicial Watch: Did Platte River have access during 2014 to the server that housed Secretary Clinton’s e-mails to her Clintonemail.com account – and was there any discussion as to whether they could obtain Secretary Clinton’s e-mails from that server from January 2009 to March 2009?
Samuelson: I did ask them, and they said they did not have any e-mails from that period.