The Obama Administration has officially admitted that yes, there was TOP SECRET information contained on Hillary Clinton’s secret homebrew server. After months and months of headlines about the topic, this is the first time we’ve had an official confirmation from the White House.
Officials located 22 emails (which have since been censored) on the server that contained important government secrets. This news comes as Hillary is sweeping through the nation’s primaries as the probable Democratic nominee.
Hillary’s biggest argument thus far has been that none of the emails were classified at the time of sending. Both the Diplomatic Security and Intelligence and Research agencies within the State Department are now investigating to discover if that claim is true for the 22 emails in question.
The latest batch of emails was released on January 29th, and as can be expected, many were dotted with black bars. But according to the Associated Press, 7 entire email threads were withheld because they contained TOP SECRET information. Those 7 emails (totaling 37 pages) include SAP (special access programs) info, which is a classification beyond sensitive.
More than 1,000 messages at lower classification levels have already been rooted out of the vast number of emails Hillary turned over to the feds, but this latest release is the first time officials have discovered emails at the TOP SECRET level.
“The documents are being upgraded at the request of the intelligence community because they contain a category of TOP SECRET information,” says John Kirby of the State Department. The State Department denied to comment on the content of the emails withheld.
Even if Hillary didn’t send or forward the messages herself, she still had a responsibility as Secretary of State to report any slippages in classification she noticed. Without classification markings, however, that may have been difficult.
“We firmly oppose the complete blocking of the release of these emails,” says Brian Fallon of the Clinton campaign team. “Since first providing her emails to the State Department more than one year ago, Hillary Clinton has urged that they be made available to the public. We feel no differently today.”
Fallon argues that of the emails in question, “in at least one case, the emails appear to involve information from a published news article.” He says the emails originated in the Department’s unclassified system before reaching Hillary. “This appears to be over-classification run amok,” he continued.
The State Department is now focused on whether or not those emails would be considered “classified” today. Kirby also said that the Department is holding 8 email chains between Hillary and President Obama “to protect the president’s ability to receive unvarnished advice and counsel.”
The secret server, which Hillary has called a “convenience,” and then a “mistake,” has been plaguing her for the past 10 months. As her presidential campaign progresses and investigations deepen, one has to wonder what effect this whole thing is having on voter support.
In my opinion, someone who can’t be trusted with national security has no business becoming commander in chief.
Meanwhile, FBI Director James Comey is ruffling feathers at the White House. “He takes very seriously the fact that he works for the executive branch,” says former agent Leo Taddeo. “But he understands the importance of maintaining his independence as a law enforcement agency that needs to give not just the appearance of independence but the reality of it.”
Comey has repeatedly pushed back against Obama’s defense of Hillary in regards to the email scandal. Ron Hosko, the former head of the FBI’s criminal investigative division, told The Hill that a showdown may be imminent as the threat of criminal charges looms large for Hillary.