When Justin Cooper, the technology pro in charge of overseeing Clinton’s home-based private email servers, told Hillary Clinton that “someone was trying to hack us” shortly after midnight on Jan. 9, 2011, Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin only had three letters to say in response: “OMG.”
This new revelation was hidden in a treasure trove of newly released, partly redacted FBI documents from their investigation into whether or not Clinton was guilty of mishandling classified information. The document shows numerous pieces of evidence that the Clinton team either suspected that they had been hacked or had at least acknowledged that their security measures had come up short.
In an exchange of emails, Cooper wrote to Abedin at 2:57 in the morning on Sunday and said: “I had to shut down the server. Someone was trying to hack us and while they did not get in I didnt want to let them have the chance to. I will restart in the morning.”
The next morning, Abedin wrote to officials at the State Department, including Clinton’s former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and said: “Don’t email hrc [Hillary Rodham Clinton] anything sensitive. I can explain more in person.” Further down the road, Cooper wrote to Clinton, “It is a constant fight to keep up with the security measures and unfortunately we keep seeing reminders of why we need to.”
According to the documents, in August of 2010, Clinton aide Monica Hanley wrote to Abedin after she received a suspicious email: “Yeah I wonder if someone hacked in. that stinks.” Included in the files were also handwritten notes from Cooper’s interview with agents in March of 2016, who described the presence of a “SCIF” (sensitive compartmented information facility) in Clinton’s homes in New York and Washington D.C. According to his comments, the server rooms in both of the homes were frequently left unprotected. “Open door — not always secured, sometimes when HRC not @ residence was not closed. (both resid),” read the notes.
The interview document also stated that Cooper spoke about “safes” in at least one of those SCIFs, which was followed by a note from an agent, “No understanding of when open/closed.” Even though it was entirely unclear as to whether that comment referred to the safes or the doors that led to the server room. According to the notes, there were “home computers” but “no secure computers” in the SCIFs. They also stated that the “phone/fax/video” were “secure” in the homes. According to a previous FBI report, Cooper acknowledged “two instances where he destroyed Clinton’s old mobile phones by breaking them in half or hitting them with a hammer.”
It was reported in August that a Chinese state-owned company actually hacked into Clinton’s email server and then inserted a code that forwarded a copy of every email she sent or received. This prompted President Trump to demand an investigation. According to a report from the Daily Caller, the firm operating in the D.C. area wrote code that was embedded into the server and generated “a courtesy copy” of almost all of Clinton’s emails, which were then forwarded to the Chinese company.
The code was apparently discovered by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) in 2015. They then made FBI officials aware of the situation. A source who was briefed on the situation reported to Fox News the details of The Caller’s report and explained that the ICIG was so concerned by the news that officials drove to the FBI to inform agents, including known anti-Trump agent Peter Strzok.
Fox News was told by a second source that was informed of the issue that officials other than FBI found code on Clinton’s servers that indicated that a foreign source was getting copies of the emails in real time. The FBI argued the claims, saying, “The FBI has not found any evidence the servers were compromised.”
In May of 2016, Fox News obtained an email from Strzok that said: “we know foreign actors obtained access” to some of Clinton’s emails, including at least one “secret” message “via compromises of the private email accounts” of Clinton staffers.