The number of “top secret” emails found on Hillary Clinton’s server now exceeds the two that were discovered last year and which became the basis for a DOJ referral to examine the handling of classified information.
Yesterday, a letter sent from the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community to the intelligence committees in the House and Senate revealed that “top secret/SAP” intelligence had been identified on Hillary Clinton’s private email server. In an unclassified letter IG Charles McCullough writes, “To date, I have received two sworn declarations from one IC 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.”
Wednesday morning, Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon appeared on CNN and claimed the IG’s letter was merely dredging up information on the same two emails which led to the current FBI investigation into the handling of classified material. “This is fundamentally the same issue that’s been going on since the summer,” Fallon said. Fallon also accused the IG of being “deliberately vague in his allegations.”
But a government official with knowledge of the situation tells Breitbart News the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community sent a separate, confidential communication which was much more specific about the classified information found on Clinton’s private server. The official also tells Breitbart News these are not just the same two “top secret” emails that have been widely discussed since last August, meaning the number of “top secret” emails found on Clinton’s server has now expanded beyond two.
In addition to claiming the story was old news, Clinton’s spokesman revived her vast-right-wing conspiracy argument, saying, “I think this was a very coordinated leak yesterday.” Fallon continued, “Two months ago there was a Politico report that directly challenged the finding of this Inspector General, and I don’t think he liked that very much. So I think that he put two Republican Senators up to sending him a letter so that he would have an excuse to resurface the same allegations he made back in the summer that have been discredited.”
A congressional source with knowledge of the situation disputed Fallon’s claims that there was any covert coordination between the IG and Republicans. As for the Politico story Fallon mentioned, he is referring to this story dated November 6th. The story incorrectly reported that, after a review, the Director of National Intelligence had sided with the State Department and concluded the two emails which led to the DOJ referral were not “top secret” after all. The story even quoted a source who gave a specific reason the review would overturn the earlier judgment: “There was an intelligence product people thought [one of the emails] was based on, but that actually postdated the email in question.”
In fact, a separate government official told Breitbart News the Politico story was in error. The document pointed to by Politico, which postdated the email in question, was a kind of summary document containing information which had previously been published in another form. The actual source of the information predated the email in question. In other words, Politico’s source was wrong about the dates.
In addition, later reporting by Fox News directly rebutted the claims made in the Politico article. In December, Catherine Herridge reported, “An intelligence community review has re-affirmed that two classified emails were indeed ‘top secret’ when they hit Hillary Clinton’s unsecured personal server despite a challenge to that designation by the State Department.” Her sources described the review as a “settled matter.”
Even if that were not the case, the IC Inspector General’s letter indicates that at least one “element” within the Intelligence Community has made a sworn declaration that Clinton’s server contained highly classified material taken from their work product. That would seem to outweigh the anonymous, and incorrect, source of the Politico story from November.
McClatchy notes that Inspector General Charles McCullough, who is now being accused of working for Republicans, was unanimously confirmed by the Senate Intelligence Community in 2011 and was praised as “well qualified” at the time by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein.