Hillary Clinton's lawyer may have allowed hackers to obtain all of the former secretary of state's emails by reviewing the contents of her private server on a laptop tied to Chinese cyberspies, a House Republican charged on Friday.
Heather Samuelson was one of the Clinton aides who sifted through the private email server used during Clinton's tenure at the State Department, and helped decide which would be designated as personal messages and which were work-related. That's when the potential Chinese hacks may have taken place, because she used two laptops made by Lenovo, a company with ties to the Chinese government that has sold laptops for years with malware pre-installed on the computer.
"It seems clear that Secretary Clinton and her associates played fast and loose with our national security, and yet no one — not a single person involved in this harmful fiasco — has been held accountable," House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., wrote to FBI Director James Comey after learning the make and model of Samuelson's computer.
State Department officials have been banned from using Lenovos since 2006. In 2015, the company admitted to installing a program called "Superfish" on 43 different computer models, "specifically the models used by Heather Samuelson for reviewing classified emails," as Goodlatte emphasized.
Lenovo started installing Superfish in 2010, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The program is designed to place ads on users' computers, but it could easily be used by hackers to attack a computer remotely. "Websites, such as banking and email, can be spoofed without a warning from the browser," the DHS warned in February 2015.
Samuelson sorted through the emails in 2014, before Lenovo was caught installing the malware. That timing raises the possibility that "Secretary Clinton's emails were obtained by the Chinese government — the State Department, FBI or any other agency had redacted Top Secret and Special Access Program (SAP) information," Goodlatte wrote. "This information is so highly classified that even congressional oversight committees were not able to review the emails."
Goodlatte asked Comey to describe whether the FBI investigated Samuelson's laptops in the course of the Clinton probe and he hinted that they should do so now, if not.
"While we understand that you agreed to destroy one of the laptops at the end of your investigation, pursuant to Ms. Samuelson's immunity agreement, do you still have in your possession either of Ms. Samuelson's Lenovo laptops?" he asked.