April 4, 2016

Op-Ed Raises New Questions About Clinton’s 2009 Asia Trip & Email Server Security

Stewart Baker, the first Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department of Homeland Security and former NSA official, penned a piece in The Washington Post that takes a close look at the time period between Secretary Clinton starting at the State Department and when her private, homebrew email server became certified as “encrypted.”

Clinton’s first day on the job at Foggy Bottom was January 22, 2009, but records show her server “didn’t have the digital certificate needed to encrypt communications until late March 2009 — more than two months after the server was up and running…”

So, why didn’t the server have encryption from the start? That question has gone unanswered, but Baker raises important points regarding the events that took place between Clinton’s start and encryption dates:

There now seems to be a very real probability that Hillary Clinton rushed to install an encryption certificate in March 2009 because the U.S. intelligence community caught another country reading Clinton’s unencrypted messages during her February 16-21, 2009, trip to China, Indonesia, Japan, and S. Korea.

Following that trip, the diplomatic security office made Clinton aware of the “vulnerability” of the security of her server, and days later encryption was added to Clinton’s emails:

I suppose this could all be coincidence, but the most likely scenario is that the Secretary’s Asia trip produced an intelligence report that was directly relevant to the security of Clinton’s communications.  And that the report was sufficiently dramatic that it spurred Clinton to make immediate security changes on her homebrew server.

Clinton was asked on “Meet The Press” on Sunday if the FBI had contacted her regarding their investigation. Clinton denied that they had, but it stands to reason that those 2 months without encryption are of significant importance to that ongoing investigation.