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13 Jaw-Droppers From the FBI's Clinton Email Investigation File

Hillary Clinton
The FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server revealed a number of startling facts about the former secretary of state and those who worked for her. (Reuters photo)

After sifting through the volumes of pages of FBI interview notes from the yearlong Hillary Clinton email investigation, here are some eye-popping revelations:

1. In others we trust (also known as the deflection game): Clinton State Department aide Jake Sullivan told the FBI he didn't question the judgment of people sending him information via unclassified email, and relied on them to properly mark sensitive information, admitting he frequently reviewed situation reports from State Department assets around the world in an unclassified email system. Many of these assets were covert, putting the lives of not just themselves, but everyone around them, in jeopardy by communicating with the U.S.

2. You have to wonder what he was thinking: Sullivan, despite being fully aware of federal records-retention rules, told the FBI he sometimes used his personal Gmail account on weekends or while traveling.

3. He wasn't alone: Since Clinton did not have a classified email account herself, all classified material went to her in hard copy. Her longtime aide, Huma Abedin, said it was "difficult" to print from the State Department email system, so she often forwarded classified emails to one of several personal email accounts, including one she previously used to support the campaign activities of her husband, Anthony Weiner.

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4. There was a lot to print out: Clinton didn't like reading long emails because the font on her BlackBerry was too small, which led to hundreds of other emails being printed off; there were so many, Abedin admitted she often passed them along without reading them. The FBI also found several hundred emails sent to a family staff member, who lacked security clearance, to print them out.

5. They really liked their private email accounts in the Clinton State Department: Despite being set up with specially outfitted hotel rooms with secure computers hooked up to the State Department's network while traveling abroad, Clinton aide Monica Hanley would frequently use her personal Gmail account on an unsecured computer to print out emails, because she said the secured connection was "unreliable."

6. Maybe that was a mistake: several State Department staffers had their personal email accounts hacked in February of 2011, the result of a successful "phishing" scam in which their email settings were changed to automatically forward all emails to an account the hackers set up to receive them.

7: This was their idea of security: with Clinton's personal email account exposed, her aides decided to change the address, but concerned that her existing emails would be lost, Hanley spent several days transferring the files onto Apple's Mail application using a laptop computer she retrieved from President Bill Clinton's Harlem office.

8. This one destroys FBI Director James Comey's claim that Platte River Networks IT tech Paul Combetta was only trying to alter the name that appeared with Clinton's emails: perhaps as many as "several hundred" State Department employees had her private email address, but emails from her often just arrived with an "H" in the "From" field. Most didn't know she used a private email account, much less she had a private email server.

9. Whether intentional or not, this constitutes destruction of government documents: on March 18, 2009, seven weeks into her tenure as secretary of state, Clinton changed email addresses. All of her State Department communications from prior to that time were lost, and no one has been able to find them.

10. This might be a reason why Congress wants to question him: Clinton personal email tech Bryan Pagliano never installed the necessary software to encrypt Clinton's emails as they passed from her private email server and the State Department's servers, because he didn't believe it would be necessary for a "personal" server.

11. Then, there's this one too: State Department specialists asked Pagliano in 2009 if he was aware of the private server; when told he did, one had a "visceral reaction." Another came back to him a few months later and insisted he address the potential records-retention issues with Clinton's "inner circle," so he told the FBI he informed the secretary's chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, but was told "other secretaries of state" had done the same thing—a now-debunked excuse the Clinton presidential campaign rolled out early in the scandal's timeline.

12. This is what Comey meant when he said Clinton wasn't "sophisticated enough": she isn't very "tech savvy," according to her staffers, who said she wasn't able to operate the secured fax machine that was meant for her eyes only when printing out highly sensitive cables. She instead relied on those staffers to print them out for her.

13. And they really meant it: According to the FBI's notes, Clinton didn't even know how to use a desktop computer.

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