As the Clinton email scandal turns into a mushroom cloud, with new names popping into the chain of custody for her electronic communications every day, one of the lingering questions is whether any of these people were actually cleared to handle the sensitive, classified, and Top Secret information Clinton recklessly exposed.
The answer in at least one prominent example is “no,” according to the Department of Defense.
A spokeswoman for the Defense Security Service told the Daily Caller that Hillary Clinton’s computer company, a small outfit called Platte River Networks of Denver, Colorado, was not authorized to access such material:
About 13,000 companies have received FCL or facility-wide clearance. But Platte River is not one of them.
“Platte River is not cleared” to have access to classified material, stated Cindy McGovern, chief public affairs officer for DSS in a telephone interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, told the DCNF that the Platte River involvement “raises serious questions” about the security surrounding Secretary Clinton’s server over the last two years.
“The revelation that Secretary Clinton used a private company, Platte River Networks, to maintain her personal server raises questions about what steps the company took to preserve and secure sensitive information in Secretary Clinton’s email,” Johnson said.
Among other things, facilities with the proper clearance must have a special secure room, known as an SCIF or Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, where sensitive material can be reviewed without the risk of deliberate eavesdropping or unintentional exposure. In other words, you’re not supposed to be fooling around with Top Secret data at your desk in the cubicle farm of the average small computer company.
We’ve already been treated to the spectacle of the FBI swiftly confiscating Clinton’s thumb drive from her lawyer, David Kendall, when it was discovered she was processing Top Secret material on that mail server – information Kendall’s much-touted security clearances did not allow him to see.
Platte River didn’t actually take charge of Clinton’s server until fairly late in the game, after she was finished as Secretary of State. We have yet to learn all the details about who worked on that server at her home in Chappaqua while she was in office, and what security clearance level they possessed.