IG to Congress: Hillary sent at least 4 classified e-mails through her server; Update: Hillary’s response cites “inaccuracies” in coverage

posted at 1:21 pm on July 24, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

When the New York Times published its scoop on the Inspectors General request for a criminal probe by the Department of Justice into Hillary Clinton’s e-mail system, the spin at first was that this was either (a) just focused on the FOIA releases or (b) regarding ex post facto classification. A letter obtained by the Wall Street Journal from the intelligence community IG dashes both of those scenarios. The letter, directed to Congress, accuses Hillary Clinton of sending material classified at the time through her private and unsecured e-mail server on at least four occasions, violating the law:

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 secret or top-secret information.

That’s a failure rate of … ten percent. The sample of 40 e-mails indicates that there may have been massive amounts of classified material sent in the 33,000 e-mails that Hillary Clinton actually produced. One has to wonder how many of the other 30,000-plus e-mails that Hillary claimed were personal in nature might have even more sensitive material.

In March, Hillary claimed to be aware of the requirements on classified material, and flat-out denied having ever sent any through her e-mail:

This finding makes the State Department’s demurral earlier this month look even more suspect:

“It’s not uncommon that something that you’re sending now on an unclassified network could in later years or later months be deemed to be classified either because the passage of time made it so or because events on the ground have borne out,” a State Department spokesman said earlier this month.

That was also the spin Team Hillary employed right through this morning’s revelations. They claimed that the material was later classified, which means that Hillary had broken no law in transmitting it through an unsecured and private e-mail system. Even that excuse conceded that Hillary had spent four years making extremely poor choices regarding information that turned out to be sensitive in nature, a point that Hillary and her defenders routinely avoided by resting their defenses on legality.

Inspector General Charles McCullough has stripped that defense from them now. The letter notes that the four e-mails they discovered may not have had classified markings on them, but that they “included IC-derived classified information and should have been handled as classified, appropriately marked, and transmitted via a secure network.” In other words, they took classified material provided by the intelligence community and dropped it into unsecured communications — a violation of the law, and a potential disaster for national security.

Will the Department of Justice follow up on these serial violations of the law? David Petraeus may wonder as well.

Update: A note on classification markings: When someone uses classified material in another form, they are required to mark the new document with the highest level of classification of material in use. The IG notes that “[n]one of the emails we reviewed had classification or dissemination markings,” which is not an escape hatch for Hillary, but another violation of the laws pertaining to handling classified material. She took the information from intelligence material classified at that time, and failed to mark it as such in her e-mails.

Update: Hillary’s response appears calculated to the New York Times story rather than the IG’s clear allegations:

If this is all she has, it’s not going to do much. In fact, considering the gravity of the situation, it’s somewhat akin to turning down the ringer on the 3 AM call.

Update: Gabriel Malor updates the scorecard:


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18 USC § 1924: Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material

(a) Whoever, being an officer, employee, contractor, or consultant of the United States, and, by virtue of his office, employment, position, or contract, becomes possessed of documents or materials containing classified information of the United States, knowingly removes such documents or materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(b) For purposes of this section, the provision of documents and materials to the Congress shall not constitute an offense under subsection (a).

(c) In this section, the term “classified information of the United States” means information originated, owned, or possessed by the United States Government concerning the national defense or foreign relations of the United States that has been determined pursuant to law or Executive order to require protection against unauthorized disclosure in the interests of national security.

A private server and Blackberry do not meet the standards for receiving and transmitting classified documents. She should be fitted for an orange muumuu.

F X Muldoon on July 24, 2015 at 4:29 PM

The New York Times supports Clinton for President.

grumpyank on July 24, 2015 at 4:29 PM

Will the Department of Justice follow up on these serial violations of the law?

…They …and the MSM don’t see nothing, hear nothing, interpret nothing, say nothing…and cover-up everything for their ideology!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 24, 2015 at 4:32 PM

Clinton investigated by THIS Justice Department? Please.

grumpyank on July 24, 2015 at 4:32 PM

blink on July 24, 2015 at 3:50 PM
IGs only send referrals to the DOJ when they consider it to be a criminal matter. First preference is to handled it in house. Leaking this is the last resort, knowing the political types will bury it. This is incredibly damning no matter what Hillery’s handlers do.(Thanks to CW, I had a joke about cleaners and 1950’s, but then I realized only he and I might get it. I’m getting so old…)

flackcatcher on July 24, 2015 at 4:36 PM

I’m content pointing out that Tlaloc was lost, made it into this thread, his head was chopped off by fact, he ran away, as always.

Toodles, bud.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2015 at 4:43 PM

Did Killary learn nothing from Sandy Burglar? Stuff the classified material in your shorts and act like it was an accident, then it’s all good.

bbinfl on July 24, 2015 at 4:53 PM

Yup, if the IG letters described this, then they were most certainly describing CRIMINAL activity.

If the classified info contained anything pertaining to defense it gets worse per 18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information.

(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense,

(1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or

(2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(g) If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions of this section, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy.

So basically if someone sent a classified e-mail on an unauthorized system to someone else, and the receiver didn’t report it, it meets the definition of a conspiracy above.

F X Muldoon on July 24, 2015 at 4:54 PM

Who is Gabriel Malor kidding? Everything out of her mouth is a lie.

ghostwalker1 on July 24, 2015 at 5:06 PM

Welp.

She’s a criminal.

StubbleSpark on July 24, 2015 at 5:31 PM

Der Hildebeast is above the law. Misogynistic vast right wing conspiracies will not stop her from ascending to the throne.

wytshus on July 24, 2015 at 5:33 PM

Tialoc…you lack integrity.

You probably cannot even look yourself in the eye.

CWforFreedom on July 24, 2015 at 5:51 PM

You probably cannot even look yourself in the eye.

CWforFreedom on July 24, 2015 at 5:51 PM

He looks at himself all the time. Like when he’s dancing naked in front of the mirror with his junk tucked between his legs, Jame Gumb style.

CurtZHP on July 24, 2015 at 5:58 PM

Last week, when Hillary was so quick to come out in favor of Obama’s Iran deal, I thought was very strange. And un-Clinton-like. There wasn’t any upside to grabbing on to what could become an anchor.

But now that her email troubles are heating up, she needs friends in high places. My guess is that her support for the Iran deal was part of a quid pro quo that involved Obama instructing Lynch (DOJ) to back off / protect her against things like this.

If she’d come out against the Iran deal, or even stayed quiet, it would have increased the odds of a Congressional mutiny by the Dems when they’re being muscled to help fight a veto override.

Strange bedfellows. Hillary and Obama don’t like each other… but they apparently need each other.

gwgm on July 24, 2015 at 6:06 PM

It’s bold for DOJ to claim that a letter which describes criminal activity wasn’t actually asking for them to take a look at the criminal activity.

But, by all means, keep clinging to that.

blink on July 24, 2015 at 4:40 PM

Okay. I’ll keep clinging to the reported facts. You can cling to…what exactly is that you are clinging to?

Tlaloc on July 24, 2015 at 6:15 PM

I’m content pointing out that Tlaloc was lost, made it into this thread, his head was chopped off by fact, he ran away, as always.

Toodles, bud.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2015 at 4:43 PM

This may come as a shock to you but if I don’t respond to the arguments you want or in a time frame you consider acceptable I…really don’t care that that bothers you.

Tlaloc on July 24, 2015 at 6:17 PM

Okay. I’ll keep clinging to the reported facts, and admit that I lied a couple of months back when I claimed as Fact that Israel “sank” the USS Liberty in 1967.

Tlaloc on July 24, 2015 at 6:15 PM

F-IXED.

Sorry, Kid, but the reported facts were immediately changed without challenge by the NY Times after they were threatened by the Clinton Machine. So all you’re clinging to is a coverup that would make Pravda proud.

BTW I saw a report yesterday in a supermarket tabloid; the reported facts said that the CIA covered up Hitler’s escaping from Germany after World War 2, and ending up in the Andes Mountains someplace.

Is that what you meant by Hitler being “deposed”?

Del Dolemonte on July 24, 2015 at 6:37 PM

F-IXED.

Sorry, Kid, but the reported facts were immediately changed without challenge by the NY Times after they were threatened by the Clinton Machine. So all you’re clinging to is a coverup that would make Pravda proud.

Del Dolemonte on July 24, 2015 at 6:37 PM

The NYT changed their story when they were shown it was wrong.

Why you cling to a story they admit was bungled is the better question…

Tlaloc on July 24, 2015 at 7:03 PM

You really are dimwitted. I’m not claiming that DOJ didn’t say it. I’m claiming that it’s not over yet.

That’s why it’s fun that you think DOJ’s last statement puts an end to everything.

blink on July 24, 2015 at 6:38 PM

It neatly puts an end to the claim that a criminal investigation has been called for. if you choose to believe one will someday be opened that’s your own business.

Tlaloc on July 24, 2015 at 7:05 PM

Hillary had a private server. Period.

How can anyone defend such a egregious affront to national security and the democratic process?

SpongePuppy on July 24, 2015 at 7:58 PM

The NYT’s story isn’t necessarily wrong. DOJ is simply claiming that it was wrong. It may prove that the story was correct all along.

blink on July 24, 2015 at 7:42 PM

So you;re pinning your hopes on the idea that really the NYT had it right all along, they corrected for no good reason, and the DoJ is lying about a matter that the two IGs could instantly reveal.

Good luck with that, man.

Tlaloc on July 24, 2015 at 8:11 PM

DOJ is saying that the letters are something that they’re not. The IGs don’t need to make DOJ’s interpretation of the letters their problem. They can just say that they did their job and not worry about it anymore.

But this is far from over, Idiot.

blink on July 24, 2015 at 8:48 PM

So again you are saying the DoJ is lying about the letters but the IGs aren’t stepping forward to correct them…because why? “It’s not their problem” doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when they started this all by writing the letters in the first place….

Tlaloc on July 24, 2015 at 8:56 PM

The women should be Jail instead of running.

DinaRehn on July 24, 2015 at 1:23 PM

I believe this is why she is running. And why she appears to have so little enthusiasm for it.

The higher her profile the greater chance of beating the rap. They won’t go after her if she’s the nominee and presumptive president, so that’s the immediate concern. The longer this takes, the better her chances, so she will run out the clock if she is allowed to.

Interesting that Obama let this happen now – maybe he will buy her silence with a pardon up his sleeve, so at the right time, she will just go away, on cue.

She is such a disastrous candidate, it’s hard to imagine Democrats who want a future letting her give away the election. And the fascinating part is she will be facing an opposition itself that prefers to concede. A puzzle indeed!

virgo on July 25, 2015 at 12:19 AM

Hillary is a security risk, take away her top secret security clearance forever, and she forfeits the qualification to be President.Prosecution & Prison sentence would be nice but 0 would commute the sentence.

woodhull on July 25, 2015 at 12:04 PM

“It’s not uncommon that something that you’re sending now on an unclassified network could in later years or later months be deemed to be classified either because the passage of time made it so or…

…because someone bypassed normal security protocols (using a personal server) so nobody was able to properly classify the information.

HRC didn’t just bypass transparency rules, she bypassed security measures!

taznar on July 27, 2015 at 10:21 AM