One of Hillary Clinton’s most-repeated talking points is that she never personally “sent or received” classified material through her homebrew email server.
That’s the “Clinton clause” — AKA the legal word-game that supposedly makes an implausible claim arguably true — because it argues that Hillary Clinton was not the originator or sole recipient of the thousand-plus emails containing classified material that have been discovered on her server.
But that talking point appears to be dead, according to a new release from Judicial Watch, which has been pursuing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department over Clinton’s emails.
The latest batch of emails released by the State Department “show that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top aides, Deputy Chiefs of Staff Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan, received and sent classified information on their non-state.gov email accounts.”
The new documents include an email from Clinton asking Abedin (who was also using a non-official email account) to print a couple of March 2011 emails from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, which had in turn been forwarded from Sullivan’s non-official email account.
Clinton and her aides were well aware that Blair’s emails were “born classified” – in other words, foreign government information that protocols clearly indicate should have been treated as classified documents immediately, without any need for the explicit markings Clinton often claims are missing from the sensitive material on her mail server.
In addition to “born classified” material that was never marked, many of the sensitive documents on her server appear to have been cut-and-pasted from secure systems, rendering her talking point about classification markings absurd: the documents weren’t marked because her aides stripped the markings away.
In that vein, another email from the new release described by Judicial Watch has Clinton explicitly ordering her deputies to remove identifiers and then print that email from her longtime associate Sidney Blumenthal – who wasn’t supposed to be working for the Secretary of State at all. These documents contained advice on Libya, where Blumenthal just happened to have business interests.
Some of the new emails from Abedin’s account include details about the Secretary of State’s travel schedule, right down to the exact takeoff time of her flights. That’s the sort of information security teams have nightmares about hostile foreign powers obtaining. Clinton wasn’t just jeopardizing her own life by putting that information through an unsecure server that could be (and probably was) raided by foreign intelligence services – she was endangering the many people who traveled with her.
And then there’s an amazing exchange that gives us an unflattering look at Secretary Clinton’s priorities:
[An] email shows that Clinton wanted to know how meetings in Washington, including a four-hour meeting concerning America’s war on Libya, would impact her Hampton vacation.
Responding to an email that details the sensitive meetings in DC, Clinton emails Abedin on August 26, 2011, “Ok. What time would I get back to Hamptons?” Again, this email discussion takes place on non-state.gov email accounts.
“These emails show that Hillary Clinton isn’t the only Obama official who should be worried about being prosecuted for mishandling classified information,” said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton. “Her former top State aides (and current campaign advisers) Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan should be in the dock, as well.”
“The Obama State Department has now confirmed that Clinton, Abedin, and Sullivan used unsecured, non-government email accounts to communicate information that should now be withheld from the American people ‘in the interest of national defense or foreign policy, and properly classified,’’ Fitton wrote. “When can we expect the indictments?”