A federal court forced the stonewall specialists at the Obama State Department to release former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s work-related emails in batches. The latest was released on Friday, and it revealed that she kept even more sensitive information on her private, unsecure server:
In 2,206 pages of emails, the government censored passages to protect national security at least 64 times in 37 messages, including instances when the same information was blacked-out multiple times. Clinton has said she never sent classified information from her private email server, which The Associated Press was first to identify as operating in her home in New York.
The Friday release brings the volume of emails publicly released by the State Department to roughly 12 percent of the 55,000 pages Clinton had turned over to department lawyers earlier this year. That falls short of the 15 percent goal set by a court ruling in May, a lag the State Department attributed to interest by the inspector general of the U.S. intelligence community in the possible compromise of classified information. …
Memos sent by the inspector general of the intelligence community alerted the FBI to a potential security violation arising from Clinton's use of a private server located in her home.
The inspector general said his office has found four emails containing classified information while reviewing a limited sample of 40 of the emails provided by Clinton. Those four messages were not marked as classified but should have been handled as such because they contained classified information at the time they were sent, the inspector general said. …
The emails released Friday raised new questions about Clinton's stated reason for routing all her work-related emails through a private server. On several occasions, Clinton received messages not only at her home email server — email@example.com — but also on a BlackBerry email account through her cellphone provider. …
There was no indication from emails released so far that Clinton's home computer system used encryption software that would have protected her communications from the prying eyes of foreign spies, hackers or any other interested parties on the Internet.
Current and former intelligence officials have said they assume the emails were intercepted by foreign intelligence services.
- “[T]here should no longer be a shred of doubt about the reckless and irresponsible nature of Clinton's use of private e-mail while she was secretary of state.” (The Denver Post, 7/24/15)
- “[T]here was only one logical reason for Clinton to do what would have gotten any lower-level official fired: to hide official communications from oversight and open records laws. An unsecure home server only increased the chances that sensitive, even classified, material could fall into the wrong hands. … Obviously, this would have been far less likely had Clinton simply followed the email rules. So far, we also must trust that she was truthful when she deemed another 30,000 emails nongovernmental and destroyed them.” (The Dallas Morning News, 7/27/15)
- “[U]nfortunately, [she] can’t be trusted to provide a comprehensive answer. Clinton has been serially deceptive since it was first revealed she set-up a private email server in her home and often used it instead of her State Department email account, even while conducting government business. … A private server outside the government’s cybersecurity protections is more susceptible to hacking. For a secretary of state to disregard that danger in the interest of protecting her privacy, and who knows what else, is shockingly reckless.” (The Detroit News, 7/28/15)
- “Hillary’s private server represented an outrageous flouting of the rules. Since its discovery, she’s been anything but forthright. ‘We are all accountable to the American people to get the facts right,’ Hillary insisted Friday. We’d say it’s long past time that principle were applied to her.” (New York Post, 7/24/15)
- “Other senior officials have faced criminal charges for misusing classified information. … Mrs. Clinton took an enormous risk to national security by putting her official emails on a private server. Sooner or later she was certain to send or receive some information useful to foreign governments even if it wasn’t officially classified. Every intelligence expert we’ve talked to says it is close to a certainty that some foreign intelligence agency was able to hack her emails while she was America’s chief diplomat.” (The Wall Street Journal, 7/24/15)
- “[I]f, as Mrs. Clinton has maintained since news of it broke, she wants the American people to know the whole truth about her secret email account as secretary of state, she should welcome a Justice Department inquiry.” (The Orange County Register, 7/28/15)
The House Select Committee on Benghazi announced that Secretary Clinton will testify on October 22. Meanwhile, significant gaps in her email record remain, and her aides are still getting around to turning over their own personal yet work-related emails. Also noteworthy: a federal judge has ordered “the State Department to ask Hillary Clinton to confirm, under penalty of perjury, that she has turned over certain work-related emails kept on a private email server” while she was Secretary of State.
“Clinton has put herself in a box,” wrote National Journal’s Ron Fournier last week. “She can either hand the server over to an independent third party, who would protect her private email and our government's working email. Or she can stonewall.”
Why does she believe the first option would be more politically damaging than the second?