Hillary Clinton has tried to deflect the controversy over the presence of classified information on her secret email server by claiming that it wasn’t classified at the time it was sent and this is all about bureaucratic infighting. But new developments reinforce that neither of those arguments hold any water.
As FOX News’ Chief Intelligence Correspondent Catherine Herridge reports:
- Information Clinton received was classified at the time it was sent by the agencies that owned the intel.
- An executive order signed by President Obama in 2009 stipulates that only those agencies have the legal authority to declassify the information – not the State Department.
Given these facts, the arguments presented by Hillary Clinton and her campaign in recent days completely fall apart. See the clip and transcript below:
CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT CATHERINE HERRIDGE: One of the cardinal rules is only the agency that gets the information has the authority to declassify that information, and that's why the State Department and Mrs. Clinton and her team are in such deep trouble over these e-mails. Fox News confirming the e-mail from aide Huma Abedin to Mrs. Clinton that kick started the FBI probe contained classified information from three intelligence agencies: the DIA, the NSA and the NGA, which overseas U.S. governments by satellite. All three agencies have confirmed the intelligence was classified when it was sent three years ago and remains classified to this day. But the State Department claims the intelligence was unclassified, even though they didn’t own it, and released the e-mail – now simply stating there's a difference of opinion.
[HILLARY CLINTON CLIP]: What you're seeing now is a disagreement between agencies saying, ‘you know what? they should have,’ and the other saying, ‘no, they shouldn't.’ That has nothing to do with me.
HERRIDGE: But under this executive order, 13526 signed by Mr. Obama in December 2009, only the three intelligence agencies who own that information in the first place have the authority to declassify it, not Mrs. Clinton and not the State Department.
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