Ex-Asst. Sec. of State: We Warned Hillary Clinton Against Using Blackberries, Private Email

Michael W. Chapman | May 31, 2019 | 4:17pm EDT
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Former Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton.  (YouTube)

(CNSNews.com) -- Former Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Eric Boswell revealed that when Hillary Clinton was the U.S. Secretary of State he warned her against using BlackBerry smartphones and personal email because they were at high risk of being hacked. Despite the warnings and national security risks, Clinton and some of her top staffers were "wedded to their BlackBerrys," said Boswell. 

He also stated that he and other State Department employees "were surprised" to discover that Clinton used a private email, clintonemail.com, to conduct official government business. 

Boswell made his revelations in a May 2 deposition carried out by Judicial Watch as part of its ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the State Department concerning Cinton's use of an unsecured, non-governmental email system when she was Secretary of State. The deposition was released on May 29. 

Eric Boswell, former Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security. (YouTube)

“Thanks to our court-ordered discovery, we now have confirmation that Hillary Clinton was warned by the top security official in the State Department that unsecure BlackBerry and email use was a security risk, yet Hillary Clinton ignored these warnings,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a statement. 

Boswell served as Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security from 2008 to 2012; he had held the same position in 1996-98. In December 2012, Boswell resigned from the Diplomatic Security Bureau, reported the Washington Post, after being disciplined by State Department officials over the poor security in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans were killed.

From his deposition, according to Judicial Watch, Boswell revealed the following: 

-- "Hillary Clinton and other Senior State Department officials were warned in 2009 that 'any unclassified Blackberry is highly vulnerable in any setting to remotely and covertly monitoring conversations, retrieving emails and exploiting calendars.'

-- "Clinton was warned again in 2011 that, 'We also urge Department users to minimize the use of personal web email for business, as some compromised home systems have been reconfigured by these actors to automatically forward copies of all composed emails to an undisclosed recipient.'

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

-- "Clinton assured him that she 'gets it' when he informed her about dangers of Blackberries."Clinton and her staff were 'wedded to their blackberries' and wanted to continue using them in secure areas even after warning because it was a 'convenience issue' to them.

-- "He and other former State Department employees 'were surprised' to learn that Clinton used clintonemail.com to conduct official government business.  Boswell claimed that they were not aware of such activity while still employed by the government."

U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth allowed Judicial Watch to depose Boswell as part of his discovery ruling in the FOIA case. In that December 2018 ruling, Judge Lamberth ordered the State Department and the Justice Department to meet with Judicial Watch "to plan discovery into (a) whether Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email while Secretary of State was an intentional attempt to evade FOIA; (b) whether the State Department’s attempts to settle this case in late 2014 and early 2015 amounted to bad faith; and (c) whether State has adequately searched for records responsive to Judicial Watch’s requests."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency," said Judge Lamberth. 

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