Oh my: Some Hillary e-mails “too damaging” to release?
posted at 3:21 pm on January 29, 2016 by Ed Morrissey
What happens when redactions become insufficient to cover the damage to national security from Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized and unsecured home-brew e-mail system? Get ready to find out. Fox News’ Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne exclusively report that the intelligence community will prevent the State Department from releasing at least 22 e-mails in the current tranche, because not even redactions can prevent damage to national security from their release:
The intelligence community has now deemed some of Hillary Clinton’s emails “too damaging” to national security to release under any circumstances, according to a U.S. government official close to the ongoing review. A second source, who was not authorized to speak on the record, backed up the finding.
The decision to withhold the documents in full, and not provide even a partial release with redactions, further undercuts claims by the State Department and the Clinton campaign that none of the intelligence in the emails was classified when it hit Clinton’s personal server.
Fox News is told the emails include intelligence from “special access programs,” or SAP, which is considered beyond “Top Secret.” A Jan. 14 letter, first reported by Fox News, from intelligence community Inspector General Charles McCullough III notified senior intelligence and foreign relations committee leaders that “several dozen emails containing classified information” were determined to be “at the CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET, AND TOP SECRET/SAP levels.”
It’s the presence of SAP information which has the intel community seeking a halt on further releases of these specific e-mails, apparently comprising seven different threads. The problem, Herridge and Browne report, is that the lack of effective security on both the internet connection and the server itself all but guarantees that others have copies of Hillary’s entire system. Publishing the e-mails with the SAP redactions would allow those with their own Clintonemail.com backup to easily find the information and discover the value of the information they have — essentially providing a map to the needles in the haystack.
But, readers might ask, isn’t that true of all the redacted e-mails? Indeed it is, but apparently the sensitivity of those programs didn’t rise to the level of what the intel community found in this tranche. That gives us a very clear picture of just how much damage Hillary and her team did to national security with their desire to pervert legitimate Congressional oversight for the State Department.
That’s not the end of the Friday afternoon dump, either:
WASHINGTON (AP) — State Department says now looking into whether Clinton emails were classified when they were sent.
— Matt Lee (@APDiploWriter) January 29, 2016
The AP’s Bradley Klapper reports that the Obama administration might finally be preparing to toss Hillary & Co under the bus, emphasis mine:
The Obama administration is confirming for the first time that Hillary Clinton’s unsecured home server contained some closely guarded secrets, including material requiring one of the highest levels of classification. …
Spokesman John Kirby tells the AP that no judgment on past classification was made. But the department is looking into that, too.
Hillary’s excuse all along has been that none of the information was classified when it was transmitted through the system (and then retained in its archives). The State Department had gone along with that defense, at least tacitly. This is the first time that the State Department has said they are investigating whether that claim is true — and that may be a huge, huge problem for Hillary. It might be an indication that the FBI has built the paper trail that shows that the material was classified right up to the moment it appeared on Hillary’s secret e-mail system, and now the State Department has to establish who would have had access to it.
This might be a very big sign that Democrats will need a Plan B for the presidential nomination — and sooner rather than later.
Update: Worth noting:
White House also says the DOJ investigation into Clinton email server "does not seem to be headed in (the) direction" of an indictment.
— Byron Tau (@ByronTau) January 29, 2016
This raises a couple of questions, such as: How do they know? And for good measure, does that mean that they just don’t want to prosecute, as opposed to saying no crime was committed? Clearly the latter is false, so if this is the White House sending the all-clear, the former must be true.
But don’t necessarily read too much into this. They may just be wanting to signal that they aren’t pressing the DoJ to act immediately, as a way of getting their fingerprints off of whatever happens to Hillary. Later they can say, An indictment? Who saw that coming? We shall see, though, and it’s getting more and more difficult to explain inaction away.