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House Committee on Oversight and Government Affairs Chairman, Jason Chaffetz, On Yesterday’s Explosive Hearings on Secretary Clinton’s Email Server

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The transcript:

HH: I am joined by Congressman Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the Oversight and Governmental Affairs Committee in the House wherein held an amazing hearing yesterday, the tape of which and audio of which I have been playing for you excerpts of this morning. Chairman Chaffetz, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt show, great to have you.

JC: Hey, Hugh, thanks for having me on.

HH: Was FBI Director Comey invited to yesterday’s hearing?

JC: No, absolutely not. Despite what Elijah Cummings said, no. I’ve never invited him to a hearing that he hasn’t shown up to. The one time I invited him, he did show up.

HH: All right. The question then comes after you learned everything you did yesterday, especially this clip. This clip is of Blake Farenthold asking Justin Cooper, the Clintons’ point person on the first server system, about hack attacks and evidence thereof. Here’s what Justin Cooper says, cut number 19.

BF: All right, did you turn over the logs and notifications that you received to the FBI, the email, of the brute force attacks?

JC: I did not turn those over to the FBI.

HH: Did that surprise you, Mr. Chairman?

JC: No, most everything about this surprises me. The very basic things you’re supposed to do, the FBI comes up and tells us that they didn’t have any evidence that anything had actually gotten through? And I think Blake Farenthold did a good job of highlighting that they didn’t turn over that information to the FBI. And if somebody was successful, how would a guy with no IT experience even know that it had happened?

HH: So at the end of the day, do you think the FBI took a dive on this investigation?

JC: I haven’t reached that final conclusion, yet, but there are a lot of questions out there. Until the FBI gives us their full record, which we have now subpoenaed, then we really don’t know who they talked to, who they didn’t talk to. We have a duty as a separate branch of government to do our own investigation. So we’re in the midst of doing that.

HH: Based on what you know to date, which way is your suspicion? Do you think they took a dive?

JC: Well, I’m very concerned about their conclusions, because there is what appears to me to be collusion to change the record. That came out of an email that we released yesterday between PRN personnel. I mean, they even called it shady. That was their words, not mine.

HH: Collusion between whom, Mr. Chairman?

JC: Between what Platte River Networks is doing and what the direction was from the Clinton camp.

HH: Okay, so that, not the FBI.

JC: They called it…No, no.

HH: You’re saying the Clintons, the Clinton legal team and Platte River Networks colluded, in your opinion?

JC: Yes, yeah, well, I mean, they used the word shady, and they wanted some documentation. In fact, they wanted to retroactively insert a bogus email to protect themselves from what they called this shady deal. So I mean, there is a lot to look at in terms of intent. There’s no question that the FBI director has clearly articulated that what was said and done was an absolute lie and deception. He just said he couldn’t prove intent. We proved another thing yesterday, too, at least from the testimony of Mr. Cooper, that Huma Abedin absolutely knew about this server. The FBI report says that Huma Abedin knew nothing about the server. That’s what she told the FBI. But Cooper’s saying yeah, she helped set it up. She had an email on the system. She was aware of it from the very beginning.

HH: Given the hack that occurred this morning of General Powell’s emails, will you be surprised if Hillary Clinton’s emails end up being leaked?

JC: Unfortunately, no, because what Cooper told us, and remember, this is a guy who really doesn’t have IT background, there was no dual authentication, there was no encryption. We have devices that are missing. You have a laptop that was mailed and they don’t know where it is. It was mailed, and they don’t know where it is. It’s not a very secure network. I mean, what PRN was doing, Platte River Networks, and Datto, one of the cloud storage services that was offered, they didn’t have the proper protections for even the most basic of computer hygiene and protection.

HH: And why is that? why would they be so sloppy?

JC: Because they didn’t know what they were doing. You have a person who’s charged with setting this up, with no IT background. He couldn’t answer some of the basic questions that some of our members were asking about these brute force attacks and these other things. And we’re up against the Chinese, the Russians and some guy in a van down by the river. I mean, this is sitting in the Clinton residence. It’s co-mingled with the Clinton Foundation, Clinton executive services, President Clinton’s server. You can’t tell me that it’s not subject to a whole lot of attention and attack by nefarious actors. I mean, clearly, it is.

HH: This is what former Deputy Director of the CIA told me, Mike Morell, Chairman Chaffetz, last year about her server.

HH: What did you make of the Secretary of State having a private server in her house?

MM: So I don’t think that was a very good judgment. I don’t know who gave her that advice, but it was not good advice, and you know, she’s paying a price for it now. Yeah, it was not good.

HH: As a professional matter, do you believe that at least one or perhaps many foreign intelligence services have everything that went to and from that server?

MM: So I think that foreign intelligence services, the good ones, the good ones, have everything on any unclassified network that the government uses, whether it’s a private server or a public one. They’re that good.

HH: So that’s a yes?

MM: Yup.

HH: So you agree with that, Mr. Chairman?

JC: Oh, undoubtedly. This is the Secretary of State for the United States of America. Of course, they’re going to be trying to penetrate that. That’s, it created this vulnerability with some of the most sensitive secrets that we have. And we had a hearing the day before with everything from the CIA to the NSA right on down the line, all of which had their information compromised because it was either uploaded or imploded into Hillary Clinton’s email system. And it created a vulnerability that has untold consequence.

HH: So Mr. Chairman, in your opinion, what it worse, that some party, probably the Russians, leaks her emails, and Secretary Clinton is not elected as a result, or they have her emails and they don’t leak them, and she is elected despite the controversy about her server, but the Russians have her emails?

JC: There’s no good scenario. I don’t know how to determine what’s worse or better, but I’ve got to tell you, it just, it could have been avoided at every single step. This is a choice that she made. She says it was a mistake. A mistake is when you add the letter E to potato. That’s a mistake. This was a concerted effort from day one to, for her “convenience”, to get around the system, protect her own network. Instead, she created this huge, massive vulnerability. I agree with Director Comey when he said she’s not sophisticated. Well, neither was her team.

HH: Will you be asking Director Comey to come before the committee to continue the conversation soon?

JC: Well, the, Director Comey, I believe, is scheduled here in the next week or two to come before Judiciary. Myself, Trey Gowdy, Blake Farenthold, a number of us that are on Oversight are also on Judiciary, so yes, he will be coming to Capitol Hill in what will be days. So we look forward to peppering him with more questions.

HH: Will you ask him, I have a question. Will you ask him two questions for me, which is one, does he understand there is an appearance of the FBI taking a dive? That’s my first question. The second one, would military, active duty military who treated their information this way be brought up on charges, or at a minimum, dishonorably discharged? Do you have opinions on those two questions?

JC: I do. I think there’s a reason why in the last couple days, the Director has had to send a mass email to all employees trying to calm them down about how they’ve handle this. Everybody who deals with classified information knows you cannot provide access to classified information to somebody who doesn’t have a security clearance. And what we learned yesterday is a number that is far, far bigger and greater than the FBI Director admitted. They said that every, we found an email. Everybody at Platte River Networks had access to her server. You had people without security clearances set up her server and have continued access for four years. There’s got to be a consequence to that. There just has to be a consequence to that. And would that, would that be allowed in any other situation, military, FBI? Absolutely not. The FBI has worked with the Department of Justice to have people charged for far less than that. That’s why it looks like there’s two sets of justice, that Lady Justice, you know, pulls her blindfold up and peeks and sees if it’s the Clintons. It’s just different.

HH: The refusal of Pagliano to come to your committee, will there be consequences? We have a minute, Mr. Chairman. You subpoenaed him. He’s been immunized. He could have taken the 5th Amendment, but he just didn’t show.

JC: I issued him a subpoena. Subpoenas are not optional. Of course, we have to protect the integrity of the House of Representatives. Subpoenas are not optional.

HH: Mr. Chairman, thank you for coming back. I look forward, remember, though, my two questions about the appearance of a dive on the FBI and what would happen to military people, because I think that’s why a lot of folks are upset with the FBI on this one. Thank you. Great hearing yesterday, tremendously important. Don’t go anywhere, America.

End of interview.


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