The latest batch of e-mails, 7,000 pages in all, is going live on the State Department website at the unusual hour of 9 p.m. ET, which certainly isn’t an attempt to bury this info later in the evening when most Americans aren’t paying attention to breaking news. News junkies like us aren’t most Americans, though, so here’s your thread to chat about the e-mails after they’re released and righty commentators start crowdsourcing them to find the choicest parts.
None of the 150 new e-mails with classified info that were turned over by Hillary were marked classified, State was careful to note this afternoon. Does that matter for purposes of 18 U.S.C. 793? Why, no, but emphasizing that it was a matter of negligence, not willful distribution of classified material, is crucial to Hillary’s political defense. She can tolerate voters thinking she’s incompetent since, as Trump has been helpfully pointing out lately, pretty much everyone in Washington is. Voters thinking she’s corrupt is another matter. Pitted against the right type of Republican, e.g., a fresh-faced guy pitching optimism like Rubio, that might be the difference in a tight election. Expect lots of defensive mumbling that these e-mails were only formally marked classified after the fact from Hillary hacks like Carville and Paul Begala who are inevitably brought on cable news tonight and tomorrow to spin for her. In the meantime, via Joel Gehrke, don’t forget this passage from Reuters last week:
In the small fraction of emails made public so far, Reuters has found at least 30 email threads from 2009, representing scores of individual emails, that include what the State Department’s own “Classified” stamps now identify as so-called ‘foreign government information.’ The U.S. government defines this as any information, written or spoken, provided in confidence to U.S. officials by their foreign counterparts.
This sort of information, which the department says Clinton both sent and received in her emails, is the only kind that must be “presumed” classified, in part to protect national security and the integrity of diplomatic interactions, according to U.S. regulations examined by Reuters.
“It’s born classified,” said J. William Leonard, a former director of the U.S. government’s Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO).
Is it “gross negligence” for purposes of 18 U.S.C. 793 to be transmitting information like that in an insecure manner? Why not?