The Inspector General for the Intelligence Community has told members of Congress that Hillary Clinton’s private email server contained some emails which were derived from “special access programs” intelligence, a level of classification regarded as above top secret.
Catherine Herridge of Fox News reports the information came in a letter from Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III to Republican members of Congress who had inquired back in November about the process for identifying classified material in Clinton’s emails.
The IG’s response states, “To date, I have received two sworn declarations from one [intelligence community] element. These declarations cover several dozen emails containing classified information determined by the IC element to be at the confidential, secret, and top secret/sap levels.”
The term “special access programs” (SAP) refers to intelligence that is limited to a relatively small number of people at the top levels of government. Only the president and a handful of cabinet secretaries can authorize such a program.
Clinton has maintained that she was not aware of any classified information on her system, but the discovery of SAP level intelligence could make it more difficult for her to claim ignorance. An unidentified law enforcement source tells Fox News, “There is absolutely no way that one could not recognize SAP material. It is the most sensitive of the sensitive.”
Over 1,300 emails from Clinton’s private server have already been redacted before being release. Most of those were at the lowest “confidential” level of classification; however, at least two emails identified last year have contained “top secret” information.
The State Department’s spokesman initially suggested the information in the two “top secret” emails might have come from parallel intelligence gathering. In other words, State might have its own source for the information which it could then choose to classify at a lower level. News reports at the time suggested the “top secret” classification was a routine turf battle between two agencies.
However, it appears State was unable to make the case for parallel intelligence. The Department appealed the classification of the two “top secret” emails to the Director of National Intelligence, but the DNI concluded the classification was correct. That means, at the time they were received by Clinton’s server, both emails were “top secret,” although one of the two has since been downgraded to the “secret” level. As Fox News has previously reported, the classification of those emails is now considered a settled matter.
The FBI has been investigating the handling of classified information on Clinton’s private server since August. A story by Catherine Herridge last week suggested at least some FBI sources believe enough information has been uncovered to warrant charges of public corruption.
Asked last week whether she had been personally interviewed by the FBI, Clinton gave a one-word answer, “No.”