The FBI did not notice that some emails from Hillary Clinton’s private email server were marked classified with a “(C)” when they were sent, until the Intelligence Community inspector general caught them, according to texts between FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
“Holy cow,” Strzok texted Page on June 12, 2016 — less than a month before the investigation into Clinton’s email server ended. “If the FBI missed this, what else was missed?”
“Remind me to tell you to flag for Andy [redacted] emails we (actually ICIG) found that have portion marks (C) on a couple of paras. DoJ was Very Concerned about this,” he texted.
“Found on the 30k [emails] provided to State originally. No one noticed. It cuts against ‘I never sent or received anything marked classified,’” he texted, in reference to Clinton’s denials.
However, Clinton cited as late as July 2, 2016, that she had never sent material that was marked classified.
“Let me repeat what I have repeated for many months now,” Clinton said July 2, 2016. “I never received nor sent any material that was marked classified.”
Comey only revealed the existence of those emails when he announced on July 5, 2016, that he was not recommending any charges against Clinton. He said in his statement that a “very small number” of her emails containing classified information were marked as classified.
Comey’s revelation prompted PolitiFact to downgrade Clinton’s denials from “Half True” to “False,” and to note that Clinton should have known if any of her emails were actually marked “classified” since she had access to them.
The website wrote on July 6, 2016: “While the evidence FBI director James B. Comey presented wasn’t available to us, it was available to Clinton through her own emails. She had every opportunity to present an accurate accounting in comments to the public and voters. She did not do that.”
The State Department on July 6, 2016, downplayed the emails marked classified, arguing they should have been unclassified but were not, due to human error.
Comey also played down Clinton’s false statements, testifying on July 7, 2016, that there were three emails marked classified, and that they did not have a classification header, but a “(c)” preceding the text in the body of the emails.
However, their dismissals contrasted with the alarm Strzok treated the emails with when he found out about them weeks earlier.
The text messages between Strzok and Page, who were having an extramarital affair, were released Wednesday by Senate Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI).
His committee is investigating how the Justice Department and FBI handled the Clinton email investigation. He issued an interim report that included the more than 400 pages of text messages the two sent each other, often late at night and into the early hours of the next day.
Then-FBI Director James Comey announced his recommendation that Clinton not be charged with any wrongdoing on July 5, 2016. Communications found by the Senate Judiciary Committee revealed he had drafted a statement exonerating Clinton in May 2016.
The Daily Caller’s Luke Rosiak pointed out that missing the emails may have been a mistake, since Clinton decided to print out 55,000 pages of emails instead of providing the State Department the digital formats, which prevented use of the search function.
Still, Strzok and Page indicated they found the oversight on June 12, 2016, and allowed Clinton to continue repeating her false statement until July 2, 2016.