When the New York Times broke the story about inspectors general recommending a criminal prosecution of Hillary Clinton’s illicit basement email server (and then modified the wording of the story and headline at Clinton’s command to make it seem less damaging to her), it was still considered an open question whether she sent classified material through her poorly-secured private account.
It has been known for some time that information routed through her server was classified later by the State Department, and therefore delivered to Congress with redactions, but it’s a very important point whether anything Clinton handled was classified at the time she sent it.
That question is no longer open, according to a Friday afternoon report by the Wall Street Journal: “An internal government review found that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent at least four emails from her personal account containing classified information during her time heading the State Department.”
In a letter to members of Congress on Thursday, the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community concluded that Mrs. Clinton’s email contains material from the intelligence community that should have been considered “secret” at the time it was sent, the second-highest level of classification. A copy of the letter to Congress was provided to The Wall Street Journal by a spokeswoman for the Inspector General.
The four emails in question “were classified when they were sent and are classified now,” said Andrea Williams, a spokeswoman for the inspector general. The inspector general reviewed just a small sample totaling about 40 emails in Mrs. Clinton’s inbox—meaning that many more in the trove of more than 30,000 may contain potentially confidential, secret or top-secret information.
Not only has national security been jeopardized by exposing this material to foreign intelligence services and hackers by sending it through Clinton’s poorly-secured private server, but some of it ended up on a thumb drive belonging to her attorney, and the inspector general found that at least one email containing classified information has been released to the public.
This turns out to be one of the major reasons the inspectors general recommended the matter for investigation to both the counterintelligence division of the FBI and the Justice Department.
As one might expect from the Obama Administration, the Justice Department initially described the referral as “criminal,” but then backpedaled and said, “The department has received a referral related to the potential compromise of classified information. It is not a criminal referral.”
Clinton has claimed she didn’t pass any such material through her private server.
“I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material,” the WSJ recalls her telling reporters in March, when the scandal blew up. “I’m certainly aware of the classified requirements and did not send classified material.” That statement is now demonstrably false.