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Clinton’s Email Defense Crumbles, 1,583 Classified Emails and Counting

Michael Short - February 1, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s email scandal just keep getting worse. On Friday, the State Department announced that it would withhold 22 emails containing “Top Secret” information from its court-mandated release of Clinton’s emails. 

In fact, the information is so sensitive that these emails will never be released to the public. According to a U.S. government official, the “Top Secret” material on her server contained “operational intelligence,” that could put “sources, methods, and lives” at risk.

In light of this information, Clinton maintains that there is “nothing new” and blames the scandal on a phony interagency dispute. She has also blamed Republicans and recently tried to smear the Democrat-backed Intelligence Community Inspector General after he brought forth evidence that Clinton’s secret server contained information beyond “Top Secret” with material on highly sensitive Special Access Programs.”

The State Department also shattered Clinton’s oft-used defense -- that materials weren’t marked classified at the time they were sent or received -- as entirely irrelevant because material can be classified if unmarked. State also agreed with experts that it is the responsibility of individual government officials to handle classified material appropriately, including flagging unmarked material that should be classified.

After all, the day after Hillary Clinton was sworn in as secretary of state, she signed a legally binding Non-Disclosure Agreement acknowledging classified information is both “marked or unmarked.”

Adding fuel to the fire, while State only released 10% of the emails it was required to put out, the roughly 900 pages that were released on Friday turned out to be the most heavily classified batch to date:  

  • Of the roughly 900 emails released, 243 were classified, bringing the total number of emails containing classified information to 1,583.
  • Of the 243 classified emails, 11 were classified as SECRET, more than double the number from all of the previous releases combined.
  • Of the 243 classified emails, 9 were classified for containing information related to “intelligence activities (including covert action), intelligence sources or methods, or cryptology.”
  • Of the 243 classified emails, 128 were classified for containing “foreign government information,” which is considered “born classified” and the “most important category of national security information” State Department officials encounter.

That puts the classification rate at 27 percent, the most highly classified group of emails yet. And, with State’s claim that many of the emails yet to be released are still undergoing review by other agencies, it appears Hillary Clinton’s email woes are only going to get worse.

With no plausible defense for putting highly classified information at risk on her unsecure email server, there is no remaining doubt that Hillary Clinton broke the rules and cannot be trusted in the White House. 


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