Former Secretary Hillary Clinton and her staff continue their effort to mislead the American people about her email server and the highly classified information contained in her emails.
We already know they’ve shifted their story. First, Clinton claimed in March that “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.”
We know this “marked as classified” trick is a complete and total ruse, having debunked it before.
But on Wednesday, Clinton’s spokesman repeated this deception, saying again: “No information in her emails was marked classified at the time she sent or received them.”
But as Clinton well knows, whether the information was marked or not matters little. Because writing classified intelligence information into an unclassified email does not make the information unclassified. And it doesn’t excuse the fact that the classified information itself is still included in your emails in the first place. Those who have security clearances are responsible, and liable, for following proper procedures and the law.
Ron Fournier points out in his National Journal column entitled “Parsing Clinton: Deflection, Deception, and Untruths.”
“What Clinton doesn’t want you to know: Federal rules put the onus on government officials like the Secretary of State to protect classified material, even when it’s not marked as such. Government officials have been convicted of mishandling unmarked classified material. Any chain of events or excuses that led to the disclosure of these documents begins with Clinton’s decision to go rogue with government email.”
John R. Schindler, writing for the Daily Beast, further underscores this point:
“What, then, does all this means for Hillary? There is no doubt that she, or someone on her State Department staff, violated federal law by putting TOP SECRET//SI information on an unclassified system. That it was Hillary’s private, offsite server makes the case even worse from a security viewpoint. Claims that they ‘didn’t know’ such information was highly classified do not hold water and are irrelevant. It strains belief that anybody with clearances didn’t recognize that NSA information, which is loaded with classification markings, was signals intelligence, or SIGINT. It’s possible that the classified information found in Clinton’s email trove wasn’t marked as such. But if that classification notice was omitted, it wasn’t the U.S. intelligence community that took such markings away. Moreover, anybody holding security clearances has already assumed the responsibility for handling it properly.”
Questions about Clinton’s exclusive use of personal email and a private server for government business – first exposed as part of the investigation by the House Select Committee on Benghazi – continue to grow. Americans aren’t going to be duped by Team Clinton’s “serially deceptive” statements. And Republicans will continue to listen to the American people, hold the Obama administration accountable, and produce a complete record of facts on the attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.